I fell out of bed this morning. It was not a pleasant way to wake up, and as shocked as I was to be on the floor, I was even more surprised that I had actually been asleep. As is usual when I am in the haunted guest room, having left my own comfy bed in the middle of the night to try to get back to sleep without my sweet husband’s snoring, I had tossed and turned, my brain churning.
The guest room was formerly my son Duffy’s room. We moved into our house when he was ten years old. He picked his carpet color, chose the light fixtures, and not once could get to sleep in his own room. He has always had sleep issues, from when he was a baby, but this was something more, a true inability to fall asleep. We tried listening to chants recommended by a reiki master friend; we tried soothing sound machines; and then we moved him to a different room. (That) problem solved.
There were some other goings-on then that had caught our attention. Duffy was seeing cats. Cats that were not there, yet running through our upstairs hallway. Just outside of the guest room. This was not a big concern, as Duffy has always had a strong psychic antenna. When he was about eighteen months old, we went into Boston for the day and parked at the Boston Common Garage. When we returned, we took the elevator to what we thought was the correct floor of the garage. As the doors opened, Duffy yelled “GRANDAD!” We shushed him, and reminded him that Grandad was in Florida for the winter. Quickly realizing that we were on the wrong floor, we got back in the elevator and took it down a level. When the doors opened again, there stood Joe Byrne, Duffy’s grandad, home for a meeting at Tufts.
It was a concern however that our dog would never go into the now-guest room, even if we were in it. Preston never leaves our side. There followed the summer day that a strange cat sat at our back door crying to come in all day. I also noticed that there were two or three cats who walked the perimeter of our lot every morning, at almost the same time, passing the rear of our neighbor’s garage, where scratched into the red paint were the names Fluffy, and Buster, and others–a pet semetary (credit to Stephen King who scared the bejesus out of me with that book!)
Then one December, my brother David who was visiting for Christmas with his partner Tony, and staying in the guest room, came downstairs and said that maybe there was something not right with the room, that he had been agitated, his brain troubled, and unable to sleep soundly all night. David has never been a morning person, but this was very unusual for him, he noted. We called my friend the reiki master, who told us to take some photos with a digital camera, and to look for orbs. She explained that orbs appear as what looks like a globe or blob of light in a photograph and that, if they show up, could be the appearance of a ghost or some sort of ‘psychic energy’.
We dutifully took photographs of the room from a number of angles, and sure enough there were orbs in more than one. With goose bumps and shivers, we called her back and she instructed us that we needed to, in essence, hold an exorcism. She gave us a script to follow, a chant to honor the spirits, and a shopping list of materials, which we purchased at Whole Foods. It was Christmas Eve.
We chanted and recited and honored the hell out of those cat spirits. David, Tony, my sister-in-law Lisa, my children and some nieces and nephews and I waved smudge and burned sage and took the whole thing far more seriously than I would have thought possible. And it worked. For a while. But lately when I find myself in there, I, too, am agitated. I dream troubling dreams, mostly about painful parts of my past that I never think about in the light of day, or ever in my own bed.
The garage behind us has been painted so there is no longer any sign of the tributes to pets past (passed?) I have not seen the real cats on their morning constitutional lately, nor has Duffy caught a glimpse of the ghost cats out of the corner of his eye. And Preston has actually lain down next to the guest room bed a time or two. But there is still an energy there, perhaps not as strong as it once was, but present, and disturbing. And while I am not afraid, I am tired.