Tipsy Toad Grove is haunted. Not surprising, really. It’s what you’d expect from a house of this age.

Most people I associate with would counter my suggestion with exclamations of  “Bullpockey!” Most people I know believe hauntings are no more than figments of Stephen King’s imagination. I can prove, however, without a shadow of a doubt, that Tipsy Toad Grove is indeed occupied by spirits of another realm.

It all started in October of this year. Prior to October, I was convinced that nothing could be further from the truth. Houses have auras and the aura here was nothing short of welcoming, warm, safe. This house felt spiritually cleaner than any place I’ve lived to date. Spending my evenings here alone while Troy worked was easy – free of the anxiety that my imagination built in other venues.

And then October came, and with it, a series of events that changed my mind about how alone I really am when I stay here by myself.

First there were boots. Shoes too, but mostly boots. I would go down to the barn to muck out stalls or fill buckets of water and when I returned, one boot would be sitting in the middle of the porch floor, looking lost as if searching for its mate. The partner boot, I would discover, had made its way to our bed upstairs. Socks, on the other hand, would magically work their way down the stairs, and turn up in the oddest locations: the dining room table, the bathtub, the plants. It was as if though footwear conspired to tour the house in my absence. As quickly as I could re-assemble the pairs, another boot or sock would decide to explore.

Then came the deconstruction of tissues en masse. Somehow the Kleenex would not only escape the confines of a waste basket, but they would shred themselves bit by bit, leaving soggy sloughs on our dark wood floor. I wondered what message this tissue suicide was meant to relay. Were poltergeists crying over mismatched stockings?

The back door shedding its paint was particularly disturbing. Coincidentally it occurred most often when the postman left a package slip on our door. I’d return home from work to discover flakes of white paint scraped from the door and decorating  the floor like ghostly dandruff. It was as though something had begged the visiting postal worker to let it out. The thought sends shivers down my spine.

Last but not least, and most haunting of all, the new puppy would wake in the middle of the night, from sound asleep to barking up a storm in 1/4 second flat. There is no better way to experience the chest-clenching grasp of a heart attack without actually going through the motions.

Yes, there is no doubt in my mind that Tipsy Toad Grove is haunted. I thought another dog would make the home even more secure, but it seems that Milo’s exuberant energy torments even those in the other dimension – why else would his arrival and their sudden activity coincide? Perhaps as he matures he’ll learn to scare poltergesits away from boot trays and garbage cans. Right now I suspect he’s a curious about their motives as I am. Our ghosts must be cat people.

Who knew?



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