My mom called me a while back, which is always a nice thing. We have good conversations. Mostly they’re about the usual stuff that happens to be going on in our respective worlds, but sometimes they do take a different turn.
The following has been reconstructed from memory and I make no claim that it is a verbatim transcript of what was actually said.
But this is the gist of it.
“Do you remember the people who bought our old house?”
“Well, not personally, but I remember you talking about them. They seemed like nice people from what you said.”
“They are. But guess what – they’re putting the house back up on the market! And you’ll never guess why.”
“I suppose with that kind of introduction it’s not anything as mundane as a divorce, is it?”
“No, no, they’re not getting divorced.
“That’s good to hear.”
“They did a lot of work on that house after they moved in. It needed it. They put on a new roof, took out that tree in the back yard, redid your grandmother’s old bedroom into a nursery, all sorts of things. One of the things was that they completely redid the kitchen.”
“Yeah, that kitchen hadn’t been done in a long time. It definitely needed some attention.”
“The contractor says he saw the ghost of a young girl in the kitchen!”
“Wait – we lived in that house for nearly four decades and there was a ghost in our kitchen that was IGNORING US? Were we NOT GOOD ENOUGH for this ghost?”
“It is, though maybe it’s just that the poor thing could never get our attention. We could be pretty loud.”
“We could indeed.”
“And now the people who bought the house are selling it.”
“I hope they put ‘Haunted’ on the ads. People go for that sort of thing these days.”
“I just can’t imagine how there would be a ghost in there. The house isn’t that old! We bought it from the original owners and then we sold it to the current people so there aren’t many mysteries there. We know where everyone who lived in that house went! The only person who ever died in that house was your grandmother.”
“She was hardly a young girl at the time, as I recall.”
“I’m just amazed that she didn’t see anything. She really believed in that sort of thing.”
“She would have felt pretty vindicated. I’ve never really put much credence in such things, to be honest. I tend to view ghosts in much the same way I view Miami and Dallas – people tell me they exist and for all I know they’re right, but I’ve never seen them and they make no impact on my life.”
“Maybe someday you’ll go.”
“Maybe. Remember those five years I ran that historic museum? I was there alone at all sorts of hours and never saw anything. I may be the only person who has ever set foot in the place who can say that.”
“I have no idea where a ghost would even come from in that house. If any house on that block would be haunted it would be the 150-year-old house next door.”
“Well, maybe that house is full up with ghosts and this one needed some space and decided to move out?”
“Maybe. Who knows.”
“Or maybe the ghost just followed the new people into our old house. Wouldn’t do much good to move in that case, really.”
“I just can’t believe they’re selling the house. They’re such nice people! Our old next-door neighbors really like them and want them to stay.”
“Have they considered hiring an exorcist? Solve the problem at its root?”
“You know, I don’t know about that.”
“I mean, it can’t be that expensive, right? It’s non-union labor after all.”
“Maybe I’ll suggest that to the neighbor to pass on to them.”
“Can’t hurt; might help.”
“I’ll let you know what happens.”
They sold the house and now there are new people in it. So far no new reports of ghosts, but we’ll see how it goes.