So being that I have been known to write in the horror genre (allegedly at least), I’ve been thinking I should maybe...I don’t know...occasionally blog about something horrific.
What to write about, though? Taxes? Nah, too scary. My ingrown toenail? Definitely not! Aha! Ghosts! There’s nothing quite like the classics.
So where to begin? Once upon a...no! It was a dark and stormy night...nope, nothing there either. A long time ago in a...err...galaxy...oh screw it!
*sigh* Unfortunately, I just don’t have all that many horrifying ghost stories. Growing up, my parents claimed our house was haunted, but I never really noticed our walls bleeding or anything. I’ve had a few spooky encounters over the years, but nothing that sent me screaming towards the local exorcist. In fact, the longest haunting I ever experienced was pretty darn benign. That being said, maybe I’ll put a spooky title to the tale just to help set the mood. If it helps, assume I didn’t make it out of this alive...
The Apartment of Infernal Apocalyptic Evil from Which There was No escape!
AKA: The Ghost Cat.
Before getting married, I lived in a single bedroom apartment. While not exactly a luxury abode, it was a pretty good place. The rent was ok, the neighbors were quiet, there was a cute girl who lived downstairs from me, etc etc. There was just one bit of oddness about the place...shadows. No, not ordinary shadows. Those don’t frighten me...well not much anyway. From the time I moved in, I always saw movement out of the corner of my eye. I had several friends likewise comment on this bit of weirdness. A few of them even refused to come over afterwards...although this latter part might have had more to do with the small army of inflatable Godzillas I kept in my living room (don’t ask!).
All in all, though, this didn’t bother me much. While I have always been fascinated by the paranormal, I always look for a logical explanation first and the thing with shadows is that they can usually be explained. In short, it wasn't that big of a deal for me because I was always sure it was either all in my head or one of those aforementioned rational explanations.
At least I was. One night I was home alone (a tragedy in of itself). I was sitting in my living room reading. It was late, so most of the lights in the apartment were on. At one point, I looked up from my book and saw it. A dark mass was directly in the middle of my living room about three feet away from me. It was small and low to the ground. As I watched, it moved across the room until it disappeared into the bathroom. After sitting there for a moment wondering if I had really seen it (and questioning my sanity), I got up and went to investigate. As can be expected, there was nothing there.
So you’re probably wondering what I did next. I’ll tell you.
I went back to reading.
Here's the thing; it didn't freak me out. Quite the opposite, in fact. See, having finally gotten a good look at it, I immediately came up with a theory. All of the movement I had ever seen in that apartment had been small in size, quick, and usually low to the ground, much like what I had just witnessed. Therein was the key.
The complex I lived in pet free...in theory at least. That being said, nearly everyone else there owned a cat. I was literally surrounded on all sides by cat owners. I couldn’t even use the balcony of my apartment because my next door neighbors had a cat that hated me (that’s OK...we had an unspoken rule. I didn’t complain about their cat, they tolerated me watching horror movies with the volume cranked up).
You can probably see where this is leading. My theory: whoever lived there before me had probably owned a cat which had passed away at some point. When they moved the cat, not knowing any better (because, hey, it’s just a cat) had simply stayed behind to be adopted by it’s new owner, me.
I lived there for a while longer and saw the “cat” several more times after that. Everything was fine until the fateful night that...well ok, everything was fine period. The cat never bothered me and eventually I just moved.
I know, not exactly the traumatic story you were hoping for. Alas, I have never been afraid of living cats. Thus I see no real reason to be afraid of dead ones. The end.
So how about you? I love a good ghost story, scary or not. If you have one to share, I’d love to hear it.