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The Practical Joker

 

As I mentioned before in my stories about my Aunt Melody and Major Marsh, I grew up in a house that my parents built themselves. It was a pretty good house, despite it never being finished. For instance, my bedroom was missing a door until I was 13, and never had a full ceiling - just insulation covered in plastic. The eves weren't closed, either, so we always had random wildlife in the house, from snakes in my room to flying squirrels in the attic. It was a fun place to grow up, though, and I miss it.

Unfortunately, when I was a teenager, we had deep flooding indoors from hurricanes a few summers in a row. There was black mold, and we did what we could to rebuild, but it was impossible to raise the house. Eventually FEMA bought the house and tore it down, and my parents moved. I was in college by this point, and the moving dates corresponded with the beginning of my Christmas vacation. When my parents picked me up at the airport, they announced that I would be spending the night at the new house, but because they hadn't been able to get their bed over to the new place that day, they'd still be at the old place. Can you say "my worst nightmare?" I had never visited their new home before, and now my first time there was going to be a night alone.

Luckily though, I wouldn't be entirely alone - I was traveling with my cat, Matthew. I'd gotten Matthew a year or two before, mostly because I really wanted a furry companion, but also because I wasn't keen on being alone, and wanted an animal companion to help sense if there were any spirits present (and hopefully give me comfort when any otherworldly house guests decided to drop by). It was already past midnight, so my parents helped me bring my bags into the house. They gave me a very short tour that didn't include lightswitch locations, and then beat a quick retreat, leaving Matthew and me there to fend for ourselves. I quickly got us settled in the guest bedroom, shutting the door and locking it, then pulling the covers over my head and trying not to freak out at every new noise.

Without Matty, I don't know if I could have stayed there that night, but when I woke up in the morning, I felt a lot more optimistic. I decided to set up the room a little bit. The mattress was still on the floor, but there was a mattress frame propped up against the wall. It just needed to be unfolded and snapped together, and then I could put the box spring and mattress on it. It was something I'd done a few times before, and knew it was easy. This time, though, when I was snapping the frame hinge into place, it seemed to happen before I'd applied any pressure, and it sliced my finger. It wasn't a deep cut, but the pain and quickness of it shocked me, and I got a little upset. Instead of finishing with putting the bed together, I decided to wait for backup. Luckily, my mom had already brought the medical supplies over, so I found alcohol and a bandaid in the bathroom and patched myself up, then decided to unpack my suitcase.

The guest bedroom closet was large and empty, with some hangers already hanging inside. I unpacked my bag, hanging up one thing at a time until I was out of hangers. It occurred to me that my mom had said she'd already brought most of her clothes over from the old house, so I went into their new bedroom to be naughty. I planned to take her clothes off of hangers, and steal the hangers for myself! I only needed maybe five more hangers, so I didn't feel guilty as much as like I was getting her back a little for leaving me alone at this new place, and I was giggling to myself about my little joke when I walked back into the guest bedroom with a handful of hangers. As I walked in the door, a strong whiff of a musky men's cologne floated by. A really nice scent, but something I hadn't smelled when I was in the room before. Just as it hit me that the smell was new, I got to the closet and looked inside. There were several new hangers now in the closet, still gently swaying on the rack, like someone had just put them there for me. I didn't think twice. I dropped the hangers I was holding, shoved the cat in his carrier (which wasn't hard, because he'd already run back into the carrier - it was like he was waiting for me to leave), and went out to sit on the front porch until my parents showed up.

When my mom and dad finally arrived, I told them what had just happened, and my dad started cracking up laughing. The elderly couple who had owned the house had passed away fairly recently, and my dad had known them both pretty well. They were a very nice couple. She was a straight-laced, houseproud schoolteacher, and he was known to be something of a practical joker. Ha ha. I never did come to a conclusion over whether the bed frame incident was just my dumb luck, or the ghost trying to help and accidentally making me hurt myself. Sometimes I think that maybe he felt bad, and was trying to make up for it with the hangers, only to have that go even worse, lol.

That same vacation, I also had an experience with what I can only assume was the lady of the house, especially given what I know about her being rather prim. The third bedroom of the house, which my mom uses as a sewing room, was originally the master bedroom. Since the house was still getting set up, Mom had put the record player and all of my records in the sewing room, so at one point in the vacation, I was listening to music and blowing off steam, just dancing around the room. I was listening to George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord" (which has a background chorus of Hare Krishna singers), very loud. Loud enough that an old lady would get pissed at me, especially if she didn't like my taste in music. There was a mirror on the back of the door, and at one point, as I was dancing and shout-singing along, I happened to glance in the mirror to see an orb of white light at about shoulder height, just behind me. I immediately froze (freaked out), watched it for long enough to realize it had a shape/substance to it, and saw it wink out. I turned the radio down and apologized for being rude.

There's other energy to the house that isn't so welcoming, but these initial visits from the practical joker and his wife felt benign. On subsequent visits home, I've felt like their energy has gradually faded away. For awhile there when they first moved, my mom would ask for help finding things. A couple of times she'd look around for the thing she'd lost, ask the ghost to put it in the dining room if he could find it, and then she'd go to the dining room later to find the item sitting on the table. Whether that's just her being crazy and forgetful is up to you.

I'm not sure if whoever/whatever else is in the house is related to my mom's penny-throwing ghost (who she sometimes wonders about being her dead uncle, who was a practical joker, himself, and would probably find a years-long penny-throwing campaign to be hilarious), or if it's something else that's attached to one of my parents. My mom does have a ton of dolls, and I find them incredibly disturbing - especially one that her grandmother gave her when she was a little girl. But she'll never admit that they're creepy, and I'm not home enough to get any haunting proof, so no stories about the doll collection...yet.

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Comments about this paranormal experience

The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by yourghoststories.com. Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, twilighttyger, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments but I won't participate in the discussion.

L_Melb (165 posts)
 
2 months ago (2017-07-24)
Twilighttyger! Don't get me started on 'teeth clenching'
I wake up with the need to pry my jaws apart - anxiety during the day is bad enough but in my sleep?
Sorry to stick my beak in, but I know how annoying that is 😐
By the way, these comments were most entertaining 😁
AugustaM (2 stories) (355 posts)
 
2 months ago (2017-07-24)
When I was in the ninth grade, they had us read Siddartha - granted, it was a fool move on the part of the school, we were really too young to grasp it but anyway, one thought really resonated with me and still does today 'To know yourself requires others.' Or something to that effect - I am sure in the ensuing eighteen or so years, my mind has paraphrased but that was the gist and the (cringe) older I get, the more true I find it to be - and in the most unexpected of ways:)

So no, I don't think you are a weirdo at all:)

Looking forward to your comments!

Cheers!
twilighttyger (3 stories) (12 posts)
+1
2 months ago (2017-07-21)
AugustaM - You know what's funny? Until I read your comment, I had never put two and two together re: the way I felt in math class as a kid. I used to get so tense doing math problems that I'd clench my jaw and have face pain for days after. All of a sudden, things are making a lot more sense. What a weirdo, how did I not ever see this before? Also, thank you for the vote of confidence! I might start to comment now - I've actually been reading faithfully for close to two years, so might as well participate 😁
twilighttyger (3 stories) (12 posts)
 
2 months ago (2017-07-21)
Miracles51031 - Thank you for explaining the age categories. This might be the last place where I get to hold on my youth, lol! Also, I'm so sorry to hear about Rex's passing. Even when they're just rotten (one of Matthew's nicknames was "Cat Bastard," completely appropriate) they still find their way into our hearts. ❤
AugustaM (2 stories) (355 posts)
+2
2 months ago (2017-07-19)
Hi twilighttyger! Ok, I have read all three of your accounts now and comments - I agree with Miracles... I just don't get the feeling that these are made up. The way you write reminds me very much of myself - possibly because we are from the same region... And I also have anxiety. I understand completely what you mean about the anxiety involved in reading and responding to comments on your own story - it got me going responding to comments on my own stories... And even responding to comment responses to my comments on others' stories. But I have always been this way - I can remember getting attacks before math tests in the third grade lol. Anxiety is a b*tch! Here's to you for coming back to comment in spite of it! And folks here, particularly the regulars, are very nice and remarkably knowledgeable- its just that the 'I will not participate' button gets them going sometimes.

I love the accounts of your experiences. Please, stick around and share more - and maybe share your opinions on others' accounts, it seems as though your insight could lend something meaningful to many ongoing discussions!

Miracles51031 (36 stories) (4802 posts) mod
+1
2 months ago (2017-07-18)
Reading these submissions from twilighttyger reminds me of one of my favorite posters: Applerose. If y'all haven't had the opportunity, take the time and read her experiences 😊

There is something about them, and twilighttyger's, that just make me feel they are honest. I have been fooled before, just like almost everyone else, and I'll be fooled again I'm sure, but I believe these. Just my personal opinion 😊
Miracles51031 (36 stories) (4802 posts) mod
+2
2 months ago (2017-07-18)
Maybe I am the odd man out, but I thoroughly enjoyed all 3 of twilighttyger's stories. For the record, I hate the use of stories when referring to shared experiences. It makes it seem as if I don't believe what has been written.

Twilighttyger - I understand why you felt you have nothing else to offer. When you share something, and give as much detail as you think necessary, there doesn't seem to be a reason to participate. However, sometimes a question or comment can prompt something you (meaning we) may have forgotten that could be relevant.

As I said, I enjoyed your submissions and would love to read more. Thank you for sharing these with us.

By the way, I had a cat who was a bit of a jerk too. I affectionately referred to Rex as the Demon Cat From Hell. We lost him a year ago and I miss him every day ❤
Miracles51031 (36 stories) (4802 posts) mod
+1
2 months ago (2017-07-18)
twilighttyger - in response to your comment about the age category, I have copied the explanation from our site administrator.

"The age categories are pretty broad, I didn't want to be overly specific for privacy reasons:

20 or less = teenager
20 - 40 = young adult
40 - 60 = middle age adult
60 or more = senior adult"

For all our members, I have posted this on my profile for easier accessibility should the question arise again.
twilighttyger (3 stories) (12 posts)
+3
2 months ago (2017-07-18)
Thanks for the kind words, y'all 😁 I'm going to suck it up and just pop over to the other two stories and leave a comment that I do exist and am willing to answer questions to the best of my ability.

L_Melb - thank you for your kind words.

Melda - Thank you for the suggestion for posting one story at a time, and taking time between posts. I will definitely do that in the future. Lesson learned! So far, my life in New Orleans is pretty quiet, so there's only one and a half little stories I could tell, anyway. I'll leave them be for now.

Also, you're 110% right about medication. I'm that classic idiot in the story of "takes drug, feels better, stops taking drug, symptoms return" And oh, the irony regarding what makes me most anxious: trying to use my insurance company's physician directory to find a new psychiatrist! So fun 😜

Manafon1 - All of my favorite people are cranky. You should see the crew at my day job; nothing but smiles at the front desk, nothing but snark in the back office! 😆
Manafon1 (5 stories) (477 posts)
+2
2 months ago (2017-07-17)
twilighttyger--I am really glad you have decided to chime in. Like several members of YGS I am a bit jaded from stories that have been posted that have turned out to be fiction. It's the "one bitten, twice shy" thing. There was one story that I was taken in by hook, line and sinker some months back and I then felt stupid for falling for it.

My point is, I sometimes come across a bit (or a lot) cranky. I suppose I am a bit cranky but once communication opens up that is a great thing! Not that I'll always agree but like most members I am more than willing to listen and give my honest opinions. Hope you stick around.
Melda (8 stories) (585 posts)
+1
2 months ago (2017-07-17)
twilighttyger - I'm really pleased that you decided to reply.

Nobody expects you to sit glued to YGS 24/7. I seriously doubt whether anybody is capable of doing that, or if they would even want to!

May I make a suggestion? In my humble opinion it's far better to take some time between posting one account and the next, so that you don't have too many questions on different topics to deal with simultaneously. To me that makes sense, particularly in your situation where you are working two jobs and post from work.

I understand your anxiety disorder as I myself have suffered from this since childhood. It doesn't help at all for people to tell you to relax, so I for one won't go that route.

Are you on anxiety medication? I take rather mild medication but it works wonders. It certainly put an end to my panic attacks.

You'll find that the posters on this site are very helpful and always prepared to assist. Try to participate and you won't find all sorts of negative comments and jokes on your story thread if you are totally honest and up-front. By the way, I'm certainly not suggesting that you are not honest but simply try to answer the questions to the best of your ability.

To be quite frank, I am extremely nervous each time I have one of my experiences published because I don't know how people will react. There is no way of knowing. So my way of dealing with that is to reply to questions and offer clarification when requested to do so, otherwise I would be leaving myself open to criticism without any defense mechanism in place.

Anyway, I would suggest that you take some time to go through the questions and reply at your earliest opportunity, to dispel any thoughts which people might have regarding your credibility.

Regards, Melda
L_Melb (165 posts)
+1
2 months ago (2017-07-17)
Twilighttyger, I get the impression from your comment that you're being up front about your reasons for participation and all you've tried to explain. Also, I can only imagine the anxiety of being flooded with questions from a group you're not familiar with. In short, I appreciate your effort 😊
Melda (8 stories) (585 posts)
+1
2 months ago (2017-07-17)
L_Melb - Besides "comment remorse" I also tend to suffer from "foot in mouth syndrome". Sometimes those words are out before I can stop myself. Before I know it, I'm spitting out toenails 😆

Regards, Melda
twilighttyger (3 stories) (12 posts)
+3
2 months ago (2017-07-17)
Hey guys, tried to reply in depth last night but the website stopped responding and I needed to get to bed. Let's try this one more time (though I'm at my day job, so it's going to be pretty short). I am not rereading all of the comments today, just going on what I remember from last night.

First off, I'm 35, so I'm not sure why the site is calling me a Young Adult. It's an ego-boost for a lady who doesn't even get carded for liquor anymore, though 😆 When I signed up, the site asked my age, and I was honest, so I'm wondering if the moderators saw that this was a story about a college-age kid and tagged it as Young Adult? I don't know how this works, though.

Secondly, in total agreement about George Harrison being the best Beatle.

Matthew passed away in 2007, unfortunately, but he was a terse kind of tom, so he probably wouldn't be interested in comment boards, even if he was still kicking about. He was kind of a jerk, even by cat standards.

As far as my stories having any kind of literary bent, that's honestly just the way I talk, stream of consciousness. But thanks for implying that I was trying too hard. It's the story of my life. I have anxiety, and my thoughts kind of loop around. I'm probably trying too hard in leaving this comment. Oh well.

Regarding participating in comments, I had originally selected "not participating" because I work two jobs and though I do have something resembling free time now and then at work, I didn't want to have the stress of feeling like I had to be watching a comment board 24/7. Last night, after reading through all the comments and not being able to get the site to work, I had a little panic attack. This level of participation is just not healthy for me. I know that sounds silly, probably, but my heart is just thudding in my chest right now. But I'm here, so I'm going to participate on this comments section if you have any questions. (I'm not going to read the comments on the other two stories, because I have to work a double today, and if I have a panic attack at Job #1 that's going to things more difficult than life needs to be).

And as far as everything else goes, Valkricry, you hit the nail on the head. I'm not sure I'll have much other to share for anyone who has questions - these are all just things that happened to me, and I'm not sure I'll have much else to say if anyone does ask me questions. But I'll try.
L_Melb (165 posts)
 
2 months ago (2017-07-17)
Oh Melda more than once I have suffered from"comment remorse" That awful feeling of seeing something you wrote followed by "what was I thinking?" going through your mind 😭
Oh well, at least I'm not alone!
Melda (8 stories) (585 posts)
+1
2 months ago (2017-07-17)
Val - I see that the OP has now decided to respond, so no more silly comments from me 😊

Regards, Melda
Melda (8 stories) (585 posts)
+1
2 months ago (2017-07-17)
L_Melb - Thanks for your support of me. You and lady-glow have given me some confidence. I sometimes think I have too much to say and have on more than one occasion regretted pressing "publish"!

Regards, Melda
Melda (8 stories) (585 posts)
+1
2 months ago (2017-07-17)
lady-glow - Thanks for removing the negative point although I must admit I was way off topic and just might have deserved it. On the other hand, maybe somebody doesn't like Federer 😆

Yes, I was a bit cheeky in posting that comment. I tend to be a bit impulsive - not always a good thing.

I also remove negative points when I feel that they are undeserved. By the way, you certainly deserve all your karma points and I don't think your "comments stalker" will ever be able to reduce them to a noticeable degree.

I also tried to vote you up on your last comment but found that I can't do so. Must have voted you up too many times recently!

Thanks for calling me a nice poster. That's a good start for the rest of my week 😊

Regards, Melda
L_Melb (165 posts)
 
2 months ago (2017-07-17)
Certainly don't mean to bring on any anxiety to any posters!
It is an awful emotion so please don't take anything I may write too much to heart - after all, I'm no authority! 😁
twilighttyger (3 stories) (12 posts)
+2
2 months ago (2017-07-16)
Hey guys! I just got the email that this got posted, so sorry to leave you hanging. I wrote all three of my posts about a week ago at a very long overnight shift (I work at a hotel front desk). I can assure you that these aren't fiction, just things that have happened to me. I'd prefer to think that if I were writing fiction, I'd write something more exciting. Also, when you post a story here, it let's you choose whether you want to participate in comments or not, so I chose "no" since I don't have much more to talk about besides what I've shared.

That being said, it looks like several people are being a little crotchety in their responses, so I'll read through and answer until my anxiety kicks in.
L_Melb (165 posts)
+1
2 months ago (2017-07-16)
Darn it, just tried to vote for you lady-glow and was told to vote for someone else!
See Melda, I'm not the only one who thinks you're a delight to read 😁
lady-glow (6 stories) (1478 posts)
+1
2 months ago (2017-07-16)
Melda: I took care of that negative point and now it is gone.😃

Some time ago, there's this stubborn member that kept on submitting outrageous stories that nobody believed. He would close his account only to open a new one under a different name but his writing style would give him away over and over again.

He hasn't been openly active for a while, but I suspect he has a grudge against me because every so often I get down voted by 4 points for no reason.
Just like you, I would like to know why they are doing this, sometimes I almost feel like borrowing one of Zak Bagans's lines and say: "show yourself, coward!"

Anyway, if he happens to read this comment, I just want him to know that I hope he's keeping track of my karma points, because even with my bad and broken English, they keep accumulating.

You are one of the nicest posters of the site!
lady-glow (6 stories) (1478 posts)
 
2 months ago (2017-07-16)
Valkricry: I would bet all of twilight's mother's mysteriously-thrown at pennies that her next submission will be about how Raggedy Andy protected her from the mother's evil dolls. 😨

... That is, of course, if them pennies had been thrown at me!
L_Melb (165 posts)
 
2 months ago (2017-07-16)
See what happens when I'm asleep? Down votes 😁 Well, looks like all has been rectified
I remember reading about the Hamburg days of The Beatles and how George was considered the "looker" and musically, he was very talented, something most don't pay any attention to but I was raised on their music and it doesn't tire!
valkricry (38 stories) (2699 posts) mod
+1
2 months ago (2017-07-16)
Just a gentle reminder:
As far back as I became a member, those stories that were marked 'will not participate' seemed to have gifted their comment space for what ever comments came their way. Be it topic based or not, as long as it remains polite. UNLESS of course the OP decides to join in, then comments focus on the story.
However, I do want to give voice to something everyone seems to over look as to why a person might intentionally click the "will read, but won't participate" option. Maybe, just maybe for some, although they want to share, they simply do not want to question whether they had a paranormal experience. They do not want to examine it and maybe need to consider it wasn't paranormal at all. Participating in the discussion could cause them to reconsider, and they just don't want that.

Does anyone else think the next story will have the topic of creepy dolls?
Melda (8 stories) (585 posts)
 
2 months ago (2017-07-16)
Manafon - Of course, you are quite right. It doesn't matter where people come from and I definitely would not challenge them unless I knew that I was 100% correct.

Perhaps if I mellowed down that patriotic fervor I wouldn't have got that minus point on my earlier post! Then again, I don't particularly care about that. If people aren't prepared to participate and clarify their stories, they should be prepared to take whatever comments come their way. (Okay mods, time to tick me off!)

As far as George Harrison is concerned, although I have to admit that at that young age the female hormones kicked in, I knew that there was a lot more to him than many others recognised. My friends were crazy about Paul.

All of the Beatles were great - to me the best of all time!

Okay, whoever you are, give me another downer 😆

Regards, Melda
Manafon1 (5 stories) (477 posts)
+1
2 months ago (2017-07-16)
Melda--I think you did a great service for YGS concerning KikiGirl. Where a YGS member comes from doesn't reflect on others from that place! There have been credible and questionable accounts from every corner of the world on this site. I only brought up Kiki because there are similarities in her writing style and that of twilighttyger.

I gotta say that Harrison was my favorite Beatle too. He was often referred to as "The Quiet One" and that seems to be a similarity he shares with twilighttyger.
Melda (8 stories) (585 posts)
+1
2 months ago (2017-07-16)
To whoever gave me a down-vote, that's fine, go for it! Would you care to leave a comment? No, I didn't think so.

You see L, so much for the "nice" side of me 😆

Regards, Melda
L_Melb (165 posts)
 
2 months ago (2017-07-16)
Did I mention that I'm prone to errors?
I looked over Manafon's comment and now see I didn't read it properly and got the whole nationality business mixed up
My bad! 😕
Melda (8 stories) (585 posts)
+2
2 months ago (2017-07-16)
L_Melb - I'm a tennis fanatic and am watching the Wimbledon final between Cinic and Federer. I'm so disappointed - I want Federer to win but I wanted a MATCH! Must rush back to watch the rest of the third set after which I'm prepared to bet my sweet little A$$ it'll be game, set and match to Federer. It started getting boring so I decided to take a break, which is when I noticed your comment.

Lots of people I know wouldn't call me a sweetheart but I believe they would call me fair. I can't judge myself but sometimes I can be a bit harsh or crack a joke or two which aren't always appropriate but thanks for recognising the "nice" side of me 😊

Okay - to finish this comment to you. I can take my sweet little A$$ off the betting line now, Federer once again Wimbledon champion. If nothing else, I'm patriotic. His mother is South African. Roger was born in Durban, SA.

As far as off topic goes, if I have a story published and refuse to participate in discussions, everybody is welcome to discuss whatever rocks their boat, be it that the sun rises in the west, whatever...

Regards, Melda

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