During my breaks at work I like to walk the floor of the store. I do this for two reasons:
It gets the blood flowing in my legs after sitting at a desk for hours on end and…
It keeps me warm.
And believe me, I need the warmth. My office is colder than a northern lake in the dead of winter. No lie.
[ For those of you that don’t know, I work an office/administrative job at a bookstore here in town. ]
Today while taking one of my walks I noticed a jumble of books strewn about the floor of one of the upstairs aisles.
This didn’t strike me as odd because it was something I’d always seen in the store. Customers frequently pick books off the shelf and leave them around the store in small stacks. However, I did find it a little odd that they were all copies of the same book and that they were thrown about instead of in their usual stacks. Messes like this are only common in the kid’s department, not the rest of the store.
I put the books back on the shelf and muttered to myself something about the poor manners of some people and walked away.
Later as I was walking around the store again I said to myself something along the lines of “Wouldn’t it be weird if I found the books all over the floor again?”
Sure enough, as I came around the corner, the SAME books were thrown all over the place!
I quickly put them away and joked to a nearby bookseller that we had a ghost in the store. She laughed and we started talking about how awesome that would be when there was a loud crash behind us. We quickly turned around and all of the books were on the floor AGAIN!
We quickly picked them up and booked it out of there, laughing at ourselves the entire time.
It looks as though we may have a ghost that either hates booksellers or really hates that book.
As a kid, my grandmother’s house was like a second home to me.
My parents had divorced while I was still quite young and as a result we ended up moving in with her for a few years. Even after we moved out, we spent a lot of time there.
Some of my earliest memories, in fact, are of waking up to the sounds and smells of my grandmother cooking in the kitchen, her television set to her favorite novela or talk show.
The house was very old and as a kid, there were a lot of things about it that gave me the heebie jeebies.
The bathroom, for example, only had a standing shower with metal walls so old and full of grime that they had become black. As a kid I was scared shitless of those walls. And don’t get me started on the shower floor. It was just as old and gross and when it rained, worms would crawl up through the drain.
Needless to say, I bathed in the kitchen sink for most of my childhood.
It was in this house, however, that my love for all things paranormal began.
I fondly recall sitting around, listening to my grandmother and my uncles as they told stories about such characters as la llorona and la lechuza. Of soaking wet women who begged for rides near large bodies of water and later vanished.
It was during these storytimes that I learned about the old woman that haunted the house.
According to my uncles, she could be seen cooking in the kitchen or moving about the dining room, going about her business as though no one else lived in the house. She appeared to be a regular old woman…except for the fact that she moved about the house as though she were hanging from a rope.
As you can imagine, I spent my entire childhood avoiding her.
There were other stories too. Stories of curanderas who could cure you of an illness with herbs and folk magic and of brujas who took on the form of owls and sought revenge against others using black magic.
Through these stories I gained a respect for a world seldom seen and I also learned that some things are best left alone.
Sometime during my pre-teens, my grandmother’s house was demolished and rebuilt. Dozens of years of history wiped out by bulldozers and workers that had yet to exist when it was first built.
During the demolition the front door was the last thing to come down. It managed to stand erect with no visible support for a few minutes before it fell. It was as if though the house was saying farewell to those of us who had grown up in the house. Or giving the demolition workers the finger. Take your pick.
The new house was up within a few months and the first thing to greet my family upon their return was the ringing of a phone…that had yet to be connected.
As time went on, I spent less and less time at grandma’s house. I just never felt as comfortable in the new house. Maybe it lacked the history of the old house. Maybe the old woman we feared as kids was watching over us the entire time and had moved on after the old house was destroyed. Who knows. All I know is that my love for the unknown began in that house and I would never change that for one second.