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Now You See It, Now You Don't


We moved into our townhouse in El Monte, California about four year ago. The townhouse is fairly new, not even 20 years old, although El Monte is one of the older communities in southern California. Late in the evening as I was lying in bed I'd hear footsteps running up and down the stairs, but I never thought much of it. We shared a common wall with one neighbor who had two younger children, so I just figured it was their son running up and down their stairs which shared the same wall as ours (the floor plans of the townhouses were mirror images of each other). Although it sure did sound like someone running up our stairs.

Now as probably happens in many houses the world over, items in our house would disappear, often when they'd been left in plain sight, like on the kitchen table or counter. We'd search high and low but not find them, but a couple of days later they'd be back; sometimes lying in plain sight, other times under a newspaper or a magazine, even though we were positive we'd looked there several times.

Last week my wife woke me around 2am when she came to bed. She asked me what I'd done with the book she'd been reading that afternoon when she took her nap. I told her I hadn't seen it when I came to bed, nevertheless I was forced to get out of bed and conduct a search for her book because she just has to read before going to sleep, even at 2am. The book was nowhere to be found and my wife reluctantly abandoned the search and climbed into bed.

Over the next few days, when it occurred to us, we'd look around for the book. I even lay down on the floor and looked under the bed and under our bedside tables. I did this a few times over several days. You know how it is. You've looked there already, but maybe, just maybe, it will be there this time.

Last night my wife excitedly showed me the book. She'd found it under her bedside table. Now the gap under our bedside tables is rather high, so anything lying under them should have been immediately apparent. And remember that several times I'd lain on the floor and been at the perfect level to see anything under the bedside tables.

Not only had the book been under my wife's bedside table, but she said it had been standing up on one end, not unlike when you have it on a bookshelf. Somehow over several days we had both failed to see the book, standing up under her bedside table, despite it being something we'd both been actively looking for.

That night around 2am I was woken by a tapping on my shoulder. I rolled to face my wife and asked her what was wrong. With her head buried in her book my wife did not reply. What did you want? I snapped at her, grumpy and annoyed at being woken in the middle of the night. My wife raised her head, puzzled, and asked what I meant.

Why did you tap me on the shoulder? I asked her.

I never touched you, she replied.

Still annoyed, but possessing the enviable gift of being able to return to sleep at a moment's notice, I rolled over and was back to sleep within seconds.

Perhaps I imagined the touch on my shoulder, perhaps it was a remnant of a dream I couldn't remember, although it must have been a dream where I was awoken by a tap on my shoulder.

And how on earth could the book have stood up, under the bedside table, for an entire week, and not been seen by two people turning the house upside down looking for it. It wasn't the first item in our house to disappear and reappear days later, and I'm sure it won't be the last, either. Did we somehow overlook the obvious, unable to see the forest for the trees? Or had someone, or something, borrowed the book for a time?

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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 Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, Kwazimoto, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

whitebuffalo (guest)
15 years ago (2008-01-01)
Hello Kwazimoto.
I find it interesting that it appears your ghostie likes the written word. I do not know for sure, (as a lot of things become missing in my home, but they all appear to be unrelated items) but I wonder if that is a clue as to who this may be? Interesting.
I think I would just sit back and watch the show. Nothing seems to be leaning towards a violent being and hiding things is relatively harmless, unless it is something of great import such as medication, car keys and things of that nature. I have found that if I ask for my items back, or explain how important the lost items are for my daily life the items seem to return quicker than if I just look about the house for them.
Thank you for your story.
zerostatic23 (8 posts)
15 years ago (2007-10-20)
First off I agree with Ohiwatha. Well written, easy to follow stories are always better. Second, Just a little while ago this happened to me too. I had my cell phone. I checked it before I went to bed to look at the time (i'm younger, I don't need a watch I have a cell phone 😆) But anyways I put it on my night stand like always. Next morning gone. I ripped the house apart, searched high and low. But to no avail, it was just gone. Few months later I'm mowing the lawn and I see something at the edge of the bushes. Walk over there and its my phone! Somehow it managed to get outside atleast 30 feet from my house. And no I don't sleep walk, I sleep like a rock. And I also lost it during the winter, so if I sleep walked outside I would of known. That stuff is just aggrevating.
Ohiowatha (11 stories) (415 posts)
15 years ago (2007-10-19)
First, just let me say what a pleasure it is to read something so well written. Your prose is clear, concise, expressive, grammatically sound and well-punctuated. Thank you so much for taking the time to actually edit this fine story. Due to your literary competence, this story is even MORE believable. I would believe it anyway based on the context, but it's such an easier sell when you can tell the person writing is mature, educated, and serious. So many posters here lose me because their writing is so poor, it makes me question their credibility.

Second, this type of thing would happen constantly to 3 members of my family in our old house.

Third, you are my favorite poster! Please keep me updated to the goings-on about your house.

Thanks so much,
Kwazimoto (5 stories) (18 posts)
15 years ago (2007-08-15)
Shandi, I think it's almost a given that remotes will disappear for weeks on end, then reappear in the most obvious of places. I think there's something in the manufacturing process that affects the time-space continuum around every unit 😉

Usually the items that disappear are smaller items, but not tiny. Things like letters/mail will disappear, then later be found sitting on the kitchen counter although neither my wife nor I recall putting them there. Hmmm, it could be that our house guest enjoys the printed medium, for some reason known only to it.
shandi (9 stories) (86 posts)
15 years ago (2007-08-14)
Do they usualy tend to take the same kind of objects? I had someone in my old bedroom that would take my cd player remote for weeks, and then one day I would come home from school and it would be right on my bed. 😊
Kwazimoto (5 stories) (18 posts)
15 years ago (2007-08-14)
Thank for commenting, folks.

We were more amused by The Case of the Disappearing Book than anything else. It was just one more incident in our lives of things disappearing and reappearing a few days later, and we always thought we'd just overlooked them somehow. But this time it was so crazy for the book to suddenly be there, in plain sight, after we'd looked for it for almost a week.

We're not concerned because there seems to be no attempt at physical harm, but the comments we would make about a ghost taking the missing items, while meant in jest, might be closer to the truth than we first thought.
Shane (13 stories) (1258 posts)
15 years ago (2007-08-13)
I have to agree with Bell. As long as no one is being hurt or items are not be thrown around just enjoy the entertainment. Puzzles are always fun to solve don't you think, and what bigger puzzle could you have besides a paranormal one. Thanks for sharing your story with us.

Peace, Love, and Luck be with you.
Bellissima (12 stories) (792 posts)
15 years ago (2007-08-11)
This is a good story with simply no explanation. I really liked it and the way you told it. You've got somebody, maybe someone shy, fooling around with you. I wouldn't worry, I'd just be entertained! Good luck with everything! (Hope your poor wife doesn't have to wait a whole week to get her book back next time!) 😉

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