Ahem.... okay, you may have guessed, that unlike the toadstool poisioning thing, I have some experience on this front. But I wasn't the one doing the convincing, the... shall we say it?... the victimizing. Nope. It was all the Handsome Guy's fault. He's really evil, I tells ya.
This is totally going to send the Handsome Guy into sputtering spasms of denial when he reads it, but he like totally believes in ghosts. Oh, sure, he tries to be all manly and stuff, and if you asked him, he'd be all with the dismissive wave of his hand and the "Pshaw!" and the "Don't be ridiculous!" Although, to be fair, I don't believe I've ever heard hm say "Pshaw!" or "don't be ridiculous". But trust me, he would make similar squawking noises whilst (whilst!) steadfastly avoiding looking you in the eye. 'Course, in the depth of night, especially when it's cold and chill and rainy and it's just the two of us (and a furry someone else), it's an entirely different thing. Then the truth comes out, and the truth is that Johnny Midnight totally believes in ghosts.
The story goes like this: once upon a time, long, long ago, way, way, way B.F. (Before Finnegan), we were living in a little rented 70's-era duplex in High River, Alberta which housed, amoung other things, the ugliest royal blue curtains, bad shag carpeting and a big screaming and all-too-real ant problem. And, according to my handsome woodcutter husband who is suppose to protect me from such ickiness as shag carpeting, royal blue curtains and ant problems, we were also housing... a ghost. The ghost of an old lady only he could see, an evil, wretched ghost who took great delight in bumping along the ceiling in her polyester suit, wagging an umbrella while her showing her old lady bloomers and aging slip. (which you know, is sort of forgiveable bacause I don't know how you could possibly float and bump along the ceiling without showing your bloomers and your slip at least occassionally.)
Her name was Edna.
And Johnny Freaksmeout would wake up in the middle of the night, sit bolt upright in bed, panting shallowly and sweating profusely, and announce that Edna was in the hallway, bumping down the long narrow corridor to our bedroom, smooshed flat against the ceiling.
And Edna was moaning. (and also, Edna had no teeth. Just a big gummy maw)
Then he would flop back down and fall back to sleep and leave me staring wide-eyed into the night, trying to make sense of shadows in the doorway, scared out of my mind. I could never make up my mind whether it was better to keep the bedroom door shut and thus avoid seeing Edna myself, or leave it open and be better prepared to greet Edna when she descended to stab me with her umbrella and gobble me whole without the aid of teeth.
And this occurred semi-regularly. At first, he denied it completely and gave me that look – you know the one – the disdainful "are you on crack?" expression overly-imaginative wives have come to expect from their spouses. But eventually, Johnny Nightmare confessed Edna's details in the light of day.
No, he was sure it wasn't just a dream. He was sure! He thinks, he thinks...he thinks Edna died in our very bedroom. He was pretty damn sure. He wasn't sure what she wanted, but he was pretty sure her lack of it was making her really, really angry. And no, absolutely, don't be silly, "I don't believe in ghosts!"
So this went on for some months. For some months, this continued to gnaw at me, continued to cause me many a sleepless night and really unattractive purple eyebags. Til finally one day, when the landlord was in to look at the plumbing or some such, I asked him. Tentatively. In between the begging to get rid of the shag carpeting and the please, please, please can't I paint the walls... "Did , um, has anyone, um, you know, like ever DIE here? Like, um, maybe in our bedroom?"
And the landlord, an easy-going, laid back kind of guy with feathered hair and two young daughters he ferried back and forth to figure skating lessons, gave me that long, slow, hard look that clearly registered my blonde-ness and all that that implies in the brain cell department and said, "Nope."
Which, of course, totally confirmed it for me. Because everyone knows, in the the Stephen King novels? The landlord always denies, denies, denies until he finds himself being ruthlessly eviserated by a dead, toothless, ghostly and ANGRY senior citizen, and then, well THEN... absolutely, it is too late to apologize for sneering at a particular person's blondeness.
Eventually, we moved out, onwards and upwards leaving the royal blue curtains and Edna behind. I kind of missed High River, but Edna and the ants and the bad seventies decor? Uh..no.
Not too, too long afterward, we happened to be in a conversation with a guy that Johnny Teevee went to film and television school with and I don't know how it came up, but it turns out Mike (the classmate) knew alllll about that little High river duplex. turns out, see? the occupant of that duplex since the time it was built until just before we moved in? Was indeed an old lady. An old lady who might favor polyester suits and umbrellas.
But her name wasn't Edna or anything even remotely close. It was Susan or Sophie or something. I forget now.
The former occupant? Was Mike's grandmother. And she was alive and well and living with all her teeth in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
(Just so Johnny Flummoxed doesn't get too outraged, I gotta confess... I may have embellished this story slightly. But only slightly. I swear! I love you, sweetie! And Look! I've totally kept my promise about not telling the internets the thing about the bull. Smooches!)
P.S. Also? I have just decided that in the unlikely event I ever form a rock band? I'm going to call it "Edna and the Ants."