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Strange things afoot at the Holtmann home

So I love my new house ever so much. I really, really do. In a lot of ways I like it better than the Magnolia house. However, the new house has got something going on in it that's making me question some of my fundamental beliefs.

I'm a proud atheist. I believe in science and empirical evidence. I was agnostic when I was younger but then some time in college, when I was getting really into existential fiction, I thought about it and decided to take a stand and not be wishy-washy about it any more. I came to terms with the fact that the universe is big and as far as we know vastly empty and that life is ultimately without any inherent purpose (though we give it purpose in our own pursuits that are powerful and meaningful to us) and once our bodies die, that's pretty much it, end of show, lights out. Belief in the afterlife or any kind of consciousness w/out a physical brain attached to it is, in my opinion, much more likely to be an opinion based on human sentimentality rather than acceptance of the much higher likelihood of there just being nothing. In fact I feel most of the things we believe spiritually is more of a product of the human psyche trying to ignore the unpleasant thought that where we're gone we are nothing and it's more for our mental benefit than it has anything to do with the reality of the situation. That's pretty much my atheist/existential outlook in a nutshell.

Andy on the other hand is agnostic but says that he used to be an atheist. He was an atheist until he experienced weird shit he could not explain in the townhouse in Vegas. He has no doubt that the townhouse was haunted and that there was come crazy paranormal stuff that he and his friends experienced. We had had conversations about whether or not I believed him. I told him I didn't believe in ghosts, that I could not make that judgement having not had the experiences myself and that my default mode is always going to be skeptical about things like that. I believe he had experiences that he could not explain but as I wasn't there I couldn't confirm that there was no other possibility other than "paranormal." Andy accepted that.

Actually, the fact that we got married at Manresa which is supposedly haunted was a neat little tip of the hat to Andy's past where he and friends went ghost hunting and the like. Skeptic as I am I do enjoy the embrace of history and the stories that ghost stories produce even if I think it's rubbish. I enjoy it like it's fiction, I suppose because as far as I'm concerned, it is.

Okay so with all that in mind, and with no further ado, let me get to the weird things that have happened in the house. Since we moved in. I will omit the things that seemed creepy but have since been explained. However I will try to mention the things that have happened where opinion is split. There are definitely at least two things now that I have no explaination for.

The Fan
So we have this box fan that Ryan gave to Andy about 4 years ago and who knows how long Ryan had it before that. It's been a great fan but it's served a lot of time. One night I was in bed and I was just burning up so I got up and went to sleep on the couch with the box fan blowing on me. In the middle of the night I woke up and noticed the fan wasn't on. I got up and moved around the knob to get it going again but it wasn't doing anything. Boo, I thought and just went back to sleep on the couch, thinking the fan had finally bit the dust after years of trusty service. Then in the morning I went to unplug my phone charger on the same outlet and thought to myself "oh I don't know if I left the fan in off or on mode if it's broken, it's probably a fire hazard to leave plugged in." So I unplugged it. I distinctly remember this thought process and doing this.

Later that day I was emailing Andy while at work about things to pick up on the way home or some other such mundane thing. I decided to add. Oh by the way. The fan finally bit the dust but I unplugged it. To which Andy replied that the fan was plugged in and running when he woke up that morning (Andy gets up about 15 minutes after I leave) and he turned it off.

When Andy got home he said the fan was off but still plugged in.

Reasonable explaination?
This is the first one that got me thinking for real we had a mystery on our hands. With the exception of Sparky barking at nothing, this was the first thing that happened that I couldn't easily debunk. However if it were me being a skeptic hearing this story I would point out the following things. This was while Charlotte was visiting, so there is a third party in the story to account for. However Charlotte said she didn't get up until after Andy had left for work. I guess you could say that either one of us could have been remembering wrong. . This could be dismissed by the fallibility of memory.

Shadowy figure
Around this time Andy also reported seeing a black figure in the kitchen late at night, but it was only for a split second and it was late at night. This I can not confirm or deny, having not experienced it myself.

There have been some things that are a little bit off. I would wake up in the morning to tall the lights on in the kitchen and office and think to myself "geeze, Andy, thanks for leaving all the lights on over night" only to scold him later and him saying he did turn the lights off before going to bed. Andy has said that he has left the TV on for sparky before leaving the house only to come home and find that the TV was off. That could easily be explained if there is some sort of energy saver feature on our new cable box. As for the lights, it could be forgetfulness or misremembering again. It is rather he said she said at the moment.

Foot steps
One night I came home later in the evening and Andy said he heard what sounded like footsteps running across the house upstairs. I was skeptical until, strangely enough when we had people over for Doctor Who night when both Andy and I heard it over the conversations going on in the living room. (I think Dani heard it too).

I think a possible explanation could be either nuts bouncing down the roof of the house (we have a black walnut tree out back) or Squirrels or rats in the rafters or on the roof making noise. Andy is convinced it can't be either of those things, he insists the footstep sounds is heavier, but I still consider those two explanations a possibility.

Okay on to the two things that were direct experiences I encountered that I simply can't explain.

Bathroom Light
One evening I was in the shower and shaving my leg when the vanity bathroom light just turned off. It wasn't just the bulb going out, mind you, I heard the click of the switch. I looked and for sure the vanity light had been turned off. I didn't have my glasses on but I didn't see Vyvyan sitting on the counter or anything. Andy was outside smoking and taking Sparky out. I hurried my shaving, got out of the shower and sure enough the light switch had been flipped into the off position. Kitty walked into the room after I was done. I asked Andy if he was fucking with me and he was outside smoking while Sparky was going potty. Kitty, he said was watching them thorugh the window at the time.

I really don't know how to explain this one. Unless it was kitty and I just didn't see him because I didn't have my glasses on. But Andy insists that the kitty was watching them outside. It is a bit more spooky when these things happen in front of you and you're all naked and vounerable in the shower.

After this happened, which did freak me out fairly enough, nothing happened for the rest of the week really until..

Bedroom Door
Monday night I was asleep in bed and Andy was in the office just about ready to go to bed himself when we were all startled by the sound of the bedroom door slamming out of nowhere. In my half asleep state, I thought that the kitty had knocked over the hamper again so I didn't didn't bother to get up at first. Andy burst through the door checking to see if I was alright. (He assumed I fell down or something because, ya know, I'm not graceful.) The hamper was upright. Kitty was in the bedroom with me but looking kind of bewildered headed towards the bedroom door. Vyvyan openes and closes doors all the time. However, he couldn't have slammed the door because he was in the bedroom and the door from the bedroom opens outwardly. Sparky was asleep on the bed with me and was as disoriented and confused as I was. The door aparenlty just slammed all on it's own with no wind to close it (no other doors were opened or closed).

I was so tired at the time I just wanted to let it go and go to sleep, but I did want to make sure that Andy was going to be coming to bed soon next to me when he went to sleep. It was more creepy to me as I went back to sleep and kept dreaming about it. Then when I woke up to let the dog out in the middle of the night I was kinda spooked as well

So of all of those mysteries, the two I directly experienced, the light coming off in the bathroom and the bedroom door slamming, I can not find an adequate explanation or way to debunk the mystery. Being keen on science fiction I'm more apt to accept that there is some weird wibbly wobbly timey wimey thing going on neither I nor Neil Degrasse Tyson could explain, or that maybe there's some crazy 9th dimensional shit going down. I'm more open to those ideas than a ghost or any conscious non-bodily entity. Still I think about it a lot.

I'm stubborn and will continue to try to find a reasonable explanation for anything weird that happens, however when these mysteries take place that I can't explain it does force me to open up my mind to other possibilities, some times I'm comfortable with that, sometimes I'm not. Sometimes if I seem to bend on accepting something as being possibly paranormal I feel bad like I'm accepting not being clever enough to find the reasonable explaination or that I'm falling victim to one of those human shortcomings of sentimentality over reason. On the other hand, maybe I'm just being empirical and open to what I experience and judeging it fairly. I'm really not sure.

As it stands right now I'll go as far as to say that something mysterious is definitely going on in our house** before I'd ever say "I think our house is haunted" And whether that's stubborn or smart, suffice to say, it's weird.

**This is all of course barring the perhaps the obvious Scooby Doo theory, wherein Andy is behind all of it and is just fucking with me to come around to the agnostic side. Though possible I do not believe this because I trust him. "And I would have gotten away with it too if it weren't for you snooping kids!"


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Sep. 3rd, 2014 10:51 pm (UTC)
Yes, tis all me -- a very long running April Fool's joke.

Having experienced a very real paranormal living situation before, I am not yet fully convinced that we have a full-blown paranormal situation here, though I will say I'm in about the 75 percent range at this point.

The footsteps and the bathroom door slamming to me are the most intriguing since I didn't directly experience the bathroom light. We tried to recreate the footsteps by throwing nuts on the roof (and from high) as if they were falling off trees and they make a different noise and are more inconsistent in their patterns, whereas both times I have heard the footsteps, they are pretty well defined and steady -- like someone walking or slowly running.

The "shadow" figure I saw I am not convinced was real ... more likely me just being tired. I say this from personal experience, having seen real things with my eyes. I'm chalking that up to normal "eyes playing tricks on you."

The lights and fan are interesting, but like Mir said, it could be one of us remembering wrong (though a lot).
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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