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Visiting Step-Father

Texas, USA
May 2000

My stepfather Curt died back in May 1993 from lung cancer. The whole family came up from Houston and down from Arkansas for the funeral. Some strange things happened around the house that week that none of us can really explain.

My mother was the first to notice things. Every night that week of his death, she had woken up at 2:35 a.m. in the middle of the night. Either she heard something, or felt something. Of course, she thought it was in her mind so she never quite paid much attention to it. This went on for days. Well, when the entire family showed up, we were strapped for sleeping space, so my little cousins (ages 7 and 11 at the time) slept on the floor in my mom's room. Sure enough, at exactly 2:35 a.m., mom was woken up by my little cousin whining "Ouch Curt". When asked what was wrong, she said that Curt had stepped on her.

The one that I witnessed (as did the whole family) was the door. We have this pantry door that for some reason or the other, refuses to sit still. I guess the foundation has become unlevel over the past 20 years. So if you don't actually shut the door to where the door knob latches, the door will swing open and hit the wall and make a loud banging noise. This always bugged my step father and he tried for years to fiddle with the hinges to fix it; to no avail. Well, we were all sitting around the kitchen table trying to figure out finances and funeral arrangements. My grandmother got up, got a cookie from the pantry and shut the door, but not hard enough because it didn't latch. And sure enough, the door started to swing open. But then in mid swing, it just stopped. In the 22 years we've lived there, I've never seen it do that. You could have heard a pin drop in the room it was so quite. Everyone's eyes were fixated on this door. My mother says "Curt?" and the door started to swing again. It must have done this about 5 more times during that week. And to this day, whenever my stepsister (his daughter) comes to town, the door will do the same thing. It really only seems to do this when she comes to town.

The one that I can't explain (as if I can explain any of them) are the speaker grill incidents. Everyone who has ever messed with home stereo speakers knows that the grills in the front come off. You also know that these are not easily really have to tug at some of them. My mother now has a traveling job and is gone a lot. Well, sometimes when she'd be gone for a week or more, she'd come home to find the speaker grills removed and laying on the floor. As if they had been blown off by wind. This was my original thought (as a chimney does sit next to the speakers). But honestly, these things could not just blow off. They are on there VERY tight. We also thought that maybe it was the cat; but the cat's been dead for years, and this still happens. We thought that the neighbor (who has a house keep and knows the alarm code) was pulling a prank. But we called the alarm company and they showed that the alarm was not turned off during her trip. Just to let you know, it doesn't happen all the time. But it is a freaky experience when you come home and all the speaker grills have been removed and are lying on the floor.

I believe that my step father comes to visit us every now and then. Truthfully, we used to be freaked out by the events. But now we're more relaxed about it. It's actually more fun to introduce new people to the events and watch them freak out.

Texas, USA
00:00 / 01:04
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