Happy Halloween!

I normally don’t make a big fuss over Halloween because there’s too much celebration of death associated with it.  I prefer to celebrate life.  But today is Halloween and here is a true ghost story.  Hope you enjoy it!              

  The sound of water running in the downstairs bathroom halted my steps on the landing above.  It wasn’t the first time I’d discovered water running with no one around.  I’d always blamed it on the kids, thinking Danny forgot to turn off the faucet in his rush to get back outside with his friends.  Or little Becky, just tall enough to push the lever up to wash her hands but too short to pull it down when she finished.  I’d always imagined a reasonable explanation.

            Until now. 

With pulse racing alongside my imagination, I knew there was no reason for water to be gushing into the sink in that bathroom.  The kids and I played games in the family room downstairs all evening.  We passed the bathroom on our way up to their rooms at bedtime.  No water running then.  No one had been down there since.  The kids were all in bed and accounted for.  So why am I hearing the faucet going full blast?

            Is some psychopath down there waiting to kill us?  Should I call the police and tell them the water is running in my downstairs bathroom?  No, maybe I’ll call Vince next door, ask him to come over and check out the house for me.  I’d have to look up his number though.  In my address book.  Downstairs.

            Okay, seriously, if somebody wanted to kill me, he probably wouldn’t lure me downstairs by turning on the bathroom faucet and waiting for me to notice.  I grab Danny’s baseball bat anyway, just in case, and silently descend the first six steps.  The bathroom is at the bottom on the left–the bathroom where the water is still running.  I flip a switch, illuminating the family room below and take two more steps down.  The water continues to run.  Another step. 

            Holding my breath, I peek into an empty family room.  Descending the next step, I swallow my heart that’s pounding in my throat.  One more step.  I twist the bat in my sweat-greased hands and raise it over my head as I reach the bottom.  The water is still running. 

I consider uttering a battle cry while I burst in swinging but first I peek between the hinges…a little further…around the door until I see–.

Nobody.  Just water gushing full blast into the sink.  I slam the lever down, take the first three steps in one leap, race up the rest of the stairs and hide the bat under my pillow. 

            “Do you believe in ghosts?” I ask Hubby when he calls.  He’s always out of town when things happen—floods, tornadoes, fires, ghosts. 

            “Ghosts?  What kind of question is that?”

            I explain what happened but since I’d never mentioned the earlier episodes of running water to him, he’s skeptical.

            “There has to be a logical explanation for it,” he says.   

            Of course, there is.  Like a psycho killer who lures his victims downstairs by turning on the faucet.  I think I’m more comfortable with the ghost explanation–a ghost who likes to wash his hands.

            Weeks later, Hubby comes down to breakfast, looking a bit sheepish.

            “I couldn’t sleep last night so I went downstairs to read,” he said.  “All of a sudden, the water came on in the bathroom, running full blast into the sink.  I knew no one had gone in there because, where I sat, I was facing the bathroom.  I would’ve seen them.  I don’t blame you for being scared.”

            “Oh!” I said.  “So you met Caspar.”

            “Caspar?” he asked.

            “Of course.  Caspar the Cleanly Ghost.”

About marylhamilton

I'm a free-lance writer, currently working on a middle-grade novel. Originally from WI, I've been in TX for about 30 years.
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