Things That Go Thump in the Night

Yesterday was the second anniversary of Doris’s death. You might recall, she was the previous owner of the home we bought in 2019. We learned later that she died in the middle of the kitchen.

While that’s a little unsettling, I can’t say we ever feel her presence. There have been a couple of unusual occurrences — a light sometimes comes on by itself, a book fell off a shelf once — but for the most part, nothing. If Doris is still hanging around, she’s a quiet ghost.

Until last night?

Tara was listening to a podcast while doing dishes in the kitchen a few minutes before 10 p.m. when she heard, and felt, a thump behind her. Then, she felt a tingling sensation on her neck.

I’d been in bed already, so the first I heard about the incident was this morning. Here’s the thing about Tara: she’s a nonbeliever in anything paranormal (or at the very least, a strong skeptic), while I am Team This Shit is Real. I’ve had too many experiences to discount (like this one). I even went on a real-life paranormal investigation that was creepy with a capital C. Tara listens to my tales and humors me, but I don’t think she actually gives them much credence. And yet, what happened last night rattled her a little. Especially given the significance of the date and the location.

And while we don’t have an exact time of death, we do know it was dark when it happened because what tipped off the neighbor who discovered her body was the fact that her curtains had remained closed for a couple of days, which was not the norm. So, we figure it was either early morning or sometime in the evening.

Like maybe a few minutes before 10:00?

I had the pleasure of interviewing three couples from the tiny town of Philip, South Dakota, for a Valentine’s Day story this week. They had been married for a combined 183 years! Damn impressive. I got a kick out of hearing their wisdom and the way they interacted with each other. Talking with people and sharing their stories is the best part of my job.

I kept having to bite my tongue when talking to one guy who is a retired funeral director. At one point I almost said, “I’m dying to know the secret of your success.”

Pretty sure dying is the secret to his success.

At the end of the call he thanked me, and I replied, “Of course.” When listening back to my recording, it sounds like I say, “A corpse.”

That would have been a grave mistake, eh?

Greetings from the tundra, BTW.

It was 1° early this morning (midnight, actually) and only went downhill from there. It never got above zero once the sun came up and was down to -10° when I got home from work. Don’t even get me started on the wind chills. Add in some snow, and you’ve got a slick, sloppy mess on the roads. I’m so thankful for AWD! My Mazda would have struggled to get up our hill. Even in the Kona, I’m taking it real slow, especially when coming to a stop and turning. A few years ago, I would have freaked out driving in conditions like this, but I’ve gotten a lot more comfortable.

Not like I have much choice!

Luckily, I figured out how to start my car and lock the door to warm it up. Seems like a simple thing, but with automatic key fobs you can’t lock a car with the engine running. It’s a safety feature to prevent you from locking your keys in the car, I guess. Turns out there’s a hide-a-key built into the fob, and you can use that to manually lock your door. Who knew? Now I can start my car ten minutes before I’m ready to leave home or work, and it’s nice and toasty (ish…we are talking sub-zero weather still!). Bonus: no risk of death by carbon monoxide poisoning.

A few people have asked why I don’t invest in a remote start. And the answer is…umm…I have no freakin’ clue. Those who have it swear it’s the best thing ever. Guess it’s something I should look into, huh? Even Tara says go for it.

Ironically enough, we’ve been running the ceiling fan at night. We bought a down comforter a couple of weeks ago, and it’s almost too efficient. No chance of freezing to death with that thing covering us!

Hope you’re all surviving the cold. Sounds like most of the U.S. is affected. Even Portland’s got a Winter Storm Warning with lots of snow expected. We aren’t supposed to get back above zero until Monday and above freezing until the end of next week. This has been quite the cold snap!

40 thoughts on “Things That Go Thump in the Night

  1. My son bought me a remote car starter for Christmas a couple of years ago! I LOVE it! Best thing ever! And I can transfer it from car to car when I decide to buy a new one! Just crank up that heat before you get out of the car the night before…and hooray…a nice and toasty ride to work. Which for me is literally 4 minutes from home.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, a follow-up for Halloween! That’s a ways away, though, so maybe you should do the interview early, in case the guy dies. Then again, if you could interview his ghost–win-win!


  2. I feel you guys on the down comforter being too hot. I am an absolute heater at night. If I don’t start off cold, I’ll wind up sweating.

    Probably 55 degrees in my perfect sleeping temperature. Meanwhile, my husband from Hawaii is shivering…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m skeptical by nature, but I’ve heard too many of these stories to scoff at them. Just listened to a podcast yesterday about nurses who’ve had paranormal experiences while working in hospitals. Scary sh*t!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I read your title and that it said: Things That Go Trump in the Night. Oops, I guess we know where my mind is today.

    I could be all about a ghost in the kitchen IF said ghost did dishes, tidied up the counters, you know– chipped in with a little elbow grease to keep the place tidy. Perhaps you could train yours?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A few weeks after my dad died he visited my mom. She said he pulled her blanket off her as she slept in their bed.

    He came back one more time, and she told him he had to go now, he had to find his way. They had a conversation.

    My grandmother died in Switzerland many years ago. A framed picture she gave me was on top of a Billy bookcase in the rec room downstairs. The day she died (keeping in mind there’s a time zone difference between Switzerland and Canada) that picture, which had been sitting on that shelf for years, flew off and shattered.

    I still have the picture but the frame and glass broke.

    Mom said ‘she came by to say goodbye’.


    Liked by 1 person

  6. Got such a kick out of your writing
    “while I am Team This Shit is Real.”
    ““I’m dying to know the secret of your success.”
    “Pretty sure dying is the secret to his success”.
    Yes.. would have been a grave mistake.
    Yeah and listen to Tara on getting a remote start unless being aphyxiated appeals to you. 🤣
    have a great weekend.❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  7. *may comment too long*
    I also have keyfob car and warm it up, but I don’t lock it, because no one can drive it without the key inside the vehicle, so you know, if you don’t worry about people stealing your kleenex or ice scraper, whathaveyou… I live in the hood, so far so good, many years of this.
    I have been told only to use remote starts which are installed by the manufacturer and never to have them installed. I don’t know if it’s true they always cause troubles, but that’s what I’ve heard from several people who have had them installed in an after-factory way.
    And, I’m a believer, was before I moved here. This home is 100 years old and bears ghosts not just of the lady who I know died here.
    Funeral director puns are fab! Never stop punning, even if it’s just for us 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Umm…

        The internet backs him up.

        “Yes the car will still operate without the Key fob once the engine is running. Furthermore, you can shift from park to drive without any issues without the key being present.”

        Thank you for letting me know!


  8. Ah, I too once thought I couldn’t lock myself out of a running car, but earlier this fall that very thing happened – as I was leaving work, no less. I don’t know how it happened, but I heard the auto lock click as the door was closing (I unlocked it, threw my bags into the back seat, and got the snow scraper to scrape the windshield). Maybe it was Doris playing a trick. Good thing my relatively new car has that OnStar membership. I think it lasts for 3 years?? Anyway, there was some ado, but they unlocked it remotely. Since then I always leave a door open while I scrape.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, it’s happened quite inexplicably to several of us Subaru owners, it turns out. I discovered this while at work – car on and keys locked in it – frantically trying to figure out if I had access to the entity that could remotely unlock it.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh, wow, Mark, quite the introduction. I did hold my breath as I continued with the story. It may be good to have one person in the family a believer and the other one a skeptic. Someone has to creep downstairs and check on things.

    I love listening to people sharing their stories and gems from their relationships. I get it on the driving and not having much choice. I have had some close calls and scary situations, especially driving on ice rinks in the North. Good info on the hide-a-key and locking the door. I will investigate the remote start. We just upgraded our vehicle and gave our older vehicle (driven by an older couple on Sundays) to our daughter.

    Thank you for sharing a fun and interesting post, Mark. Stay warm.

    Liked by 1 person

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