The hubs and I have somehow managed to acquire three houses. The how and the why of this is its own story. One of the houses is between where I live now in Alabama and where I'm moving to in Georgia and it's a historic home built sometime between the 1930s and the 1950s in the historic Garden District of Montgomery, Alabama, and it's up for sale.
The weekend before last I packed up the cats and the snakes and drove to the house in Georgia to visit the hubs. I figured I'd stop by the Montgomery house on the return trip, do a little light cleaning and check the status of a project our contractor has been working on. The trip from Georgia to Montgomery took more than seven hours along a mostly four-lane highway through the countryside. The last hour was on a lovely (not!) two-lane road in the rain in the dark and by the time I reached Montgomery I was already tired.
I unloaded my cleaning supplies and vacuum from the mini-van and checked out the house. Everything seemed fine except that the light cleaning the hubs told me it would need turned out to be a three-hour tour of duty. And of course, some of the light bulbs had burned out, and with the dark and the rain, the house wasn't as well lit as I would have liked. But I set to work on the cleaning starting with the upstairs.
After two hours of work, I was in the downstairs bathroom when an odd banging sound started. I stopped and listened, thinking that maybe a tree branch was bumping the house. But it sounded as if it were coming from somewhere in the house, possibly in the basement. I was tired and wanting to hurry up and get all the cleaning done because I still had another two and a half hour drive ahead of me and at the rate I was going I wouldn't get home until almost midnight. So I just kept going with what I was doing. The furnace was off, by the way, and the house doesn't have radiators, so the banging couldn't be explained that way.
I finished the downstairs bath and bedroom, cleaned the front hall, dining room and kitchen, all the while listening to that odd banging sound. And let me tell you, I was creeped out by it. But being the responsible person that I am, I wanted to get all of the ding-dang cleaning done before I left, banging or not.
At last I was nearly done with my work and went upstairs to double check that I'd gotten everything and stopped off in the bathroom. The banging carried up the stairs quite clearly. Since I'd been downstairs and seen nothing that could have been making the noise, I figured whatever it was must be down in the basement. And I had to go down there before I left to unplug a dehumidifier. Yep, I was rather unnerved.
Okay, I told myself, you're being silly. Just go down in the basement. You've already been down there once already and there was NOTHING out of place. Yeah, that's what they always think in the horror movies.
So I go to the basement door which I'd left open with the stairwell light on and the banging stops. Uh oh. Can you say creepy? I thought you could.
Down the stairs I go, my heart pounding, feeling EXACTLY like those silly women in scary stories who go down in the basement despite the audience shouting otherwise at them.
Nothing was out of place, but I really didn't take the time to do a close examination. I unplugged the machine and then hauled ass up the stairs.
So was it a ghost making all that racket? I really don't know and am not sure if I really want to know. When the hubs and I bought the house last spring, the previous owners had jokingly told us the house had a ghost named Robert. Now I'm wondering if they weren't joking.
So if you like your houses to come with a spook, I know where you can buy one in the historic district of a fine old Southern city that's steeped in history. It's a charming house, ghost aside, especially in the daylight. It was supposedly built for two unmarried sisters by their rich daddy behind the family mansion The kitchen is small because the ladies took their meals at the main house. The neighborhood is quaint and very Norman Rockwell with glorious Victorians mixed in with bungalows and Craftsman-style houses from the 1920s-1950s. F. Scott Fitzgerald even lived in the area at one time and his house is now a museum.
My historic home in Anniston, Alabama definitely has a few spooks. They're quiet, though, and only show up now and then in the middle of the night. Because what's a historic home in the Deep South without a ghost or two? It's part of our culture.