By Rick Hinton
Can stressful situations escalate paranormal situations? I believe they can, and do. The last couple of weeks at the Hinton compound has been an example of this very thing. However you term it: anxiety, aggravation, depression, the flu, or even just a mild dose of melancholy, it has ignited our house spook to bold new frontiers of paranormal excellence. “Yes … we are quite aware you are still here, and watching from the shadows. But as of lately, you’ve been emerging from the shadows, making your presence known. Thanks for the contribution in an already stressful situation!”
There are things we can’t control. Currently, these are driving my wife, Laura, to new peaks of patience and endurance: her father’s sudden stroke and his stubbornness to accept rehabilitation; her mother’s health (she lives with us) and trying to sort out doctor’s visits and the challenge of receiving VA benefits; juggling not only work, but also babysitting grandkids and two weeknight Bible studies. All are important. Parents need to be cared for, and we wouldn’t give up the grandkids or our fellowship for anything. But at the end of the day, it all comes down to a stressful situation suddenly magnified by a ghostly helping hand.
Our ghost plays by the rules in general. There are no hissing and swirling apparitions. It (she/he?) lets us know on occasion that it is still in charge, but generally stays quiet … only most likely messing with the cats (and my mother-in-law) during the day when Laura and I are not home. The last two weeks, there has been something going on almost daily: Laura unlocked the front door so my stepson, John, wouldn’t have to use his key one evening. While we were downstairs watching TV Laura heard the door open. (I heard the click of the dead bolt.) No John, and when we investigated, the dead bolt was again locked; while Laura was in the upstairs hallway getting ready for work, she watched the medallion on the dream catcher swinging and slapping against the wall. No windows open … no heat register … no breeze.
She awoke one night to the strong smell of cologne on her side of the bed. I was gently snoring and not wearing cologne; we’ve all heard sounds of rumbling and rattling inside the kitchen cabinets. Nothing is ever array; it’s the sound of someone upstairs in John’s bedroom when he is gone. We wearily investigate because, well, we have to. Everything is in order; little things disappearing and then reappearing.
Most often, in academia, paranormal experiences are readily dismissed by a subtle rolling of the eyes when they think we can’t see such. I can say, “I was once there with you, bub, but nowadays — you don’t live in my house or seen the things I’ve seen.” Yeah … our spook is mild, nothing on the level of a good horror movie. It’s a quiet roommate generally, until it has something to say. When it speaks, it’s usually Laura who is the recipient. It might have something to do with her sensitivity. I’m the bad cop in the good cop/bad cop scenario. I tell it to behave or I will send it out of here! It ignores me most of the time.
I know that these sudden instances (parents and ghostly mirth) will level out in time. They always do.