Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Not Ready To Call Ghost Hunters

A strange thing happened one day last week. To get the true picture you need a description of my stove in my kitchen: just your basic old fashioned four-eye stove with an oven underneath. On my stove top I keep one of those scented candles in a jar. I've noticed that when I use the oven the heat will melt the wax and give off a fragrant smell (in this case, blueberry) - and this without lighting my candle. It has lasted for many years this way. Finally, my favorite pot holder sits in the center, safely away from the eyes.
One day last week I came home from work to find my candle moved out of its place on the back of the stove top and now turned face down on my potholder in the center. Of course I was shocked. It looked so deliberate.
The only other person who has a key to my home is my mom, and she wouldn't come over without telling me. And if she had I doubted she would turn a candle upside on my stove in lieu of a calling card or note! Also dismissed out of hand was the idea that someone might have broken in without leaving a trace of entry, turn over the candle, and then leave without doing anything else or taking anything.
I thought it was the weirdest thing, but went on with my evening. I remembered many years ago reading a book by the late Bishop James Pike, whose son had committed suicide, telling of finding clues (like a couple of safety pins configured in the clock position of the time his son died) around his apartment that indicated to him his son was trying to communicate with him from the Great Beyond.
Was this an attempted communication from one of my loved ones no longer a part of this world?
That was a solution I couldn't seriously entertain, so I went about thinking how this strange thing might have happened naturally rather than supernaturally.
My daily custom is to take my insulated lunch bag and load it up with drinks and snacks for my work day just before I leave for work. I use my stove top for this task because it sits right beside my refrigerator. Was it possible I might have inadvertently hooked the strap of my lunch bag around the candle and flipped it over as I pulled my bag off the stove in my haste to get on the road? I wondered.
I did set up this experiment and duplicated the upturned candle on the pot holder (perfectly centered, no less!) on the very first try. Mystery solved.
There resides in my mind no firm belief in postmortem survival, but I am open to be convinced. One big reason for my lack of belief is that none of my loved ones, my beloved father or older brother, or my former lover/friend Pam who died a year ago this very month, have returned to me (other than dreams, which I don't consider evidence of survival).
With all due respect to Bishop Pike and many, many others who see signs of hauntings so readily and in so many things, I myself need a better example. Don't call Ghost Hunters yet!


  1. We inherited one of those 'touch lamps' after the death of a family member. You touch it, it comes on. Touch it again, it goes off.

    This lamp found a home in one of our kids bedrooms. At night, the lamp would turn on without a touch. After this kept up I began to pay attention while our child was at school. I noticed the lamp turned itself on during the daytime too.

    I was still "believing" (barely) and though believing someone was around after-death to toy with a lamp was out of character for my then born-again beliefs, I jokingly toyed with the idea that said relative was communicating.

    During a morning vacuuming session I got tired of the lamp turning on. I kept going in to turn it off. I said, outloud mind you, "So and So, I don't know if you are communicating or not but I haven't got time to keep turning off this lamp and wondering. Sorry, but life goes on." Or something very much like that. I put the lamp downstairs in a workshop and never plugged it in again. Eventually the lamp went to the happy lamp grounds (second-hand store.

    Now, in the time the lamp sat in the workshop, unplugged, it never did come back on. That would have been interesting and maybe a "better example" of a haunting. *grin*

  2. @ Zoe,

    Great story. And if it had come on while unplugged, then I think it would be time to call the paranormalists!

    Now my friend Pam, who died this time last year, always loved my scented candles and would often take them back home with her. If I were a true believer in hauntings I might entertain there was a message there. I have to say that when I came home and found that candle upside down on my pot holder, and nicely centered at that, it did have the appearance of having been done deliberately. There just seemed to me to be a better explanation. But a lot of the people I know would have started humming the Twilight Zone theme.

  3. "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
    Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

    But just for the record, I don't have a clue......I just suspect there's more.

    1. @ Don,

      I'm hopeful, but I just don't know.