HAPPY HALLOWEEN: A Ghost in the Closet 

When I was younger, I was a fan of Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color TV program on Sunday nights. You got to go on adventures to far away exotic places like, the Grand Canyon. Later as a grown up, it was the Travel Channel (for the cool kids today, Trvl Channel), where they would take their cameras all across the globe and bring the adventures to you on the cable channel. Sometimes visiting places like the beautiful resort islands of Maldives, where I can only dream of spending time vacationing with televisions’ Jennifer Love Hewitt. 

Although lately, have you noticed more and more of the shows on the Travel Channel have been about the super-natural? The Dead Files. Destination Fear. Haunted. Paranormal: Caught on Camera. Mav3rick’s Dating Life (OK, we made that one up). Ghost Hunters. Ghost Brothers. Ghost Nation. And of course the most popular, Ghost Adventures. I mean who doesn’t love Zak Bagan’s crazy, sometimes possessed, antics. Or whenever there’s a voice heard on the spirit box, Aaron Goodwin’s facial expressions that are compared to Taylor Swift’s surprised look every time she wins an award.

But are these shows for real? Are the slamming doors really done by ghosts? I’ve always believed those were caused by pre-teen spirts. Because no one likes slamming doors like pre-teens. Or is it just our complexed brain conjuring up a boogie man? I say that because I’m not sure what I saw as as small child. But it happened. And I wasn’t the only one. 

I was about 7 years old when I first saw…something in the closet. That’s right. I left the closet door open. And as we all know, this is a childhood no-no, as the closet is the portal to Monsters inc. 

I slept on the top bunk, sharing a bedroom with my brother on Towne Ave in Carson, California. This particular night, I couldn’t sleep. Which didn’t bother me too much, because I had these recurring dreams where the house would talk to me. The front windows of the house were be occupied by faces. It creeped me out. But not as much as the real thing that I was about to witness with my very own eyes! (Cue the dramatic spooky music)

As I tossed and turned, I looked directly into the darkness of the open closet. Suddenly, there was a slight glow of an elderly woman sitting on a rocking chair. My mind must have been playing tricks on me. But then I heard her voice softly ask, “Having a hard time sleeping again?” I was too scared to scream. So I did what any child learned from other kids on the kindergarten playground. I protected myself by hiding under the cloak of the ghost proof bed sheets my mom bought at Sears. Duh! And it worked! She was gone. But I didn’t learn my lesson about closing the closet door. 

A couple of nights later, I found myself lacking in sleep. But this time it was because I noticed the portal to ghostly white figures was open….again! What is wrong with me?! How did I even pass 2nd grade? Too frighten to jump down and close the closet, and not quick enough to hide under the protective sheets, the old lady sitting in the rocking chair appeared again. Smiling. Not one of those evil Jack Nicholson grins. it was more of that grandma type smile before they beg, ‘Give your granny a kiss.’ Though I felt more like a seasoned ghost whisper at this point, it was still bizarre to hear her speak. “Another sleepless night?” Frozen with freight, the transparent grandparent suddenly disappeared. Perhaps scared because at the very moment, my brother on the bottom bunk jumps out of bed, slams the closet door shut, runs out of the bedroom, and into the bathroom, where he proceeds to…well…let’s just say, cast out some demons. Or maybe it was Mom’s pork chops and apple sauce. Yeah. It was a thing back then because of that episode of the Brady Bunch. 

This woke up my parents. After cleaning up my brother, he sheepishly returned to the scene of the unexplained. My brother and I made a pact that we would, first, always make sure the closet door is closed before bed. And to never speak of this again. Not even to our little playground pals. In fact, we never did. Until…20 years later. 

We were now living in another home in Torrance. The family was gathered to celebrate Christmas. I joked about how cool it would be to get a visit my the Ghost of Christmas Past. I know what you’re thinking. Have you not learned about calling out ghosts? My mother suddenly tells us a story about when we were all little kids living on Towne Ave. My parents would wake up in the middle of the night because my sister (who had a room of her own next to our mom and dad’s bedroom) was up and chatting away. One night, my mom ran into the other room, where she found my sister hosting her own little late night talk show…in the dark. 

“Who are you talking to?” My sister says, “I’m talking to the lil old lady in my closet.” (Cue that spooky drama music again!) My jaw dropped. I had never heard this story before. So I began telling my tale of that terrifying time on Towne Ave.

Today, I wonder if that house was truly haunted. If it was, is it still? Are the people who live there now experiencing any paranormal activity? Maybe I should send Zak Began’s crew out there. I never get tired of Aaron Goodwin's facial expressions. Happy Halloween! 

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