posted by dave on Friday, October 29, 2004 at 12:51 PM in category family, ramblings

Halloween is in a couple of days, so I thought I'd write about the only "true" story of the supernatural that I've ever been a direct witness to.

My grandmother died on September 27, 1998 in a nursing home. Before she went to the home she'd lived in a relative's home for about a year. Before that, she'd been in the same house for nearly 60 years. That's the house I'm talking about here.

I grew up about 100 yards from MaMaw's house, and I spent a very large part of my childhood in it. With my parents working all the time my sisters and I spent nearly as much time in that old house as we did in our own. All of my cousins would come over to play pretty often. We had Christmas lunch there. From the time I was about 10 until I was 18 I spent at least two nights every week in that house.

No matter how much time I spent there, the house still scared the shit out of me sometimes.

It's just a creepy house. The upstairs in particular - many of the rooms have crudely-nailed panels blocking access to or from the attic. As a kid I was always afraid of those areas and would usually sneak past them while watching carefully for an arm, or a tentacle, or whatever I was most afraid of during that particular time in my life.

But enough background. I was a kid. It was an old house. It scared me.

A couple of days after my grandmother died my cousin Jeff and I went up to the old house to look around. Though nobody had lived there for over a year, there was still electricity and water since my uncle had been using it for storage.

This was the first time I'd been in the house since MaMaw had died, and it was the first time Jeff had been there in at least a few years.

So we went into the house and were immediately stunned by how warm it was. It must have been over a hundred degrees there. The furnace was going full-blast and the registers were almost too hot to touch.

I went to the thermostat against the kitchen wall and, sure enough, it was set at the absolute maximum. I turned it back down to about 50 or so and Jeff and I continued our explorations.

The next day I mentioned to another cousin (one who's father was using the old place for storage) that I'd lowered the thermostat.

He got a quizzical look on his face, and told me that there was no way that the furnace could have been going, that there was no way that the house could have been that warm.

You see, when my grandmother had moved out of the house, over a year earlier, they'd removed the propane tank.

I confirmed this rather alarming fact myself. The house had no gas supply. The furnace had no fuel. The pilot light was long dead.

So that's the story of the weirdest thing I've ever experienced. If I was better at writing about scary stuff I bet you'd be shitting your pants right about now.

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