Ghost Story

October 31st, 2009

This is truly a creepy Halloween. Just in time for the spookiest night of the year, a rodent (I pray that it is a rodent and not a larger mammal, such as a human being) crawled into a wall of our house and….

Died.

And we cannot find its body.

Do you want to know what a rotting corpse smells like? A real rotting corpse?

Come to my house!

(Or better yet, don’t, unless you love the smell of death and Glade plug-ins.)

We should use the opportunity to set up our own haunted house.

But instead, we have abandoned the affected rooms, moving everything we need out of them (this includes Henrietta’s litter box, which is now in the master bathroom, and that’s a whole other story), installing Glade Plug-ins, shutting the doors, and hoping for the best.

Gross.

In other Halloween related news, yesterday in the New York Times there was a story about a ghost at an NYU residence hall (see, “The Spooky Suitemate”), “Molly,” and how some “mean girls” riled her up (which reminds me: check out this hilarious Onion piece on how some popular mean girls made the whole country cry).

At Hayden Hall, the dorm where I worked when I was at NYU (the basis for Death Dorm in the Heather Wells series), we had a much cooler ghost. He was a male.

I know because a psychic student had a long conversation with him one day. When she reported this to me (she came down to my office to ask if anyone had died in her room the year before, because when she’d woken up that morning, a ghost had been sitting on the end of her bed), I sent her immediately to Counseling Services….

Who sent her back with a clean bill of mental health.

Then the counselor she’d been assigned (whom I knew well) called me to say:

“Uh, Meg…yeah, she actually described in detail the student who committed suicide in that very room twenty years ago when I worked there…down to the tie-dyed shirt he was wearing when he hanged himself. I know this sounds insane…but I think she actually had a visitation by him. She says she comes from a family with a history of sensitivity to psychic phenomena.”

CREEPY!

The scariest part of all (besides my being so close-minded–although in my own defense when a girl comes into your office and says the words, “woke up with a boy sitting on my bed” and you work in a dorm, the words “roofies” and “rape” will always automatically be the first things that flash through your head: so I was just doing my job) was that that whole floor ALWAYS had problems, like desk drawers slamming closed (and sliding open) for no reason, chairs moving from one spot to another (without anyone touching them), and of course doors slamming (without a breeze).

Until I found out about the ghost, I was always giving them new desks…but the new desks kept having “faulty” drawers, too!

After I found out about the ghost (I apologized to the girl for sending her to Counseling and she was all, “That’s okay. It happens all the time.” And yeah, she was kinda part of the inspiration for the Mediator), I just told the residents what was going on.

So when they came down to say, “When I left for class my chair was on one side of my room, but when I came back it was outside my bathroom door,” I’d be like, “Let me tell you a story….”

Everyone was always cool about it. They even sort of liked the glamour of being the only floor with a ghost!

I’m sure the ghost of Hayden Hall is still there, punking residents to this day.

I bet he’s mad HE didn’t make the Times.

As for our own “ghost,” I’m certain someday we’ll find a little mouse skeleton.

In the meantime, I’m hoping you have a better Halloween than I am…and just remember:

Fake dead bodies are WAY BETTER than real dead bodies (of the rodent variety, obviously). So be safe!

And if someone tells you they’ve seen a ghost, don’t automatically send them to Counseling Services.

More later.

Much love,

Meg