Friday, December 16, 2005

Pop Goes the Light Bulb, Pop Goes My Eye

Oh, that pesky poltergeist is at it again!

Could be that it didn’t like Lar fixing the wall sconce last night (finally! -- he had to take it apart and scrape out the melted leftovers, put in new bulb), or it simply felt jealous that I was totally digging this guy:

(Aw, cut it out -- he had the sexiest French accent, tattoos, and good hair), but whatever the reason for its annoying (and potentially dangerous) prankage, I wish it would cease and desist immediately.

Time for a story, kids. I need to tell a story. So sit back, relax, pretend that you don’t think me insane, and enjoy...

The following events are true, names have not been changed, because nobody in my home is innocent.

If was 9:15 p.m., the holiest of hours, and Ms. Lori was watching a hideously bad movie starring Matthew McConaughey, Patricia Arquette, the fabulous Gary Oldman, and a host of talented dwarves (see photo above). To her dismay, Ms. Lori developed a bit of a crush on one of the characters, a leettle man with some beeg sex appeal, which is why she continued watching this silly, didactic, thinly disguised public service announcement of a film. Anyway.

Ms. Lori watched the hideously bad movie while laying the palm of her hand against her left eyelid and silently praying to the eyeball god that she wouldn’t catch conjunctivitis from her boy. As multi-tasking had become difficult for her lately, Ms. Lori soon stopped praying and paid full attention to the hideously bad movie, though her mind did wander a bit whenever Patricia Arquette’s gnarled yet strangely attractive overbite flashed on the screen; “Why is it,” Ms. Lori thought aloud, much to the irritation of her husband, “That her teeth are so damn appropriate? If anybody else possessed teeth of that nature, they would be shunned by Hollywood, chased by orthodontists across the globe, perhaps even forced into a life of prostitution and misery.”

The nightwind howled, the window pane shook, and Lar, as usual, ignored Ms. Lori’s inane musings to the best of his ability.

But Ms. Lori would not be ignored. “Seriously, Lar. I mean, imagine if I had teeth that looked like they’d been worked over by a ham-fisted wise guy. I don't think I could pull it off.”


“Hey, did the kids tell you that the cat had another one of her weird moments? Yeah, Sarah got all freaked out because -- again -- Sapphire ran around the house today with her tail puffed four times the norm, then hid under the bed. Why do you suppose she does that, Lar?"

The trees groaned.

“By the way, I’m pissed that the boy caught pink-eye, man. So not cool. Now we’re all going to catch it, and we’ll have to spend Christmas Eve entertaining friends and family while wearing big-ass eye patches. We’ll have to wear rubber gloves and keep our distance from our guests so that they don’t catch it, too, and we’ll probably talk like pirates and shit, because, you know, we’ll most likely drink way too much in order to dull the pain and inflammation, and I’ll definitely embarrass myself by shrieking Shiver me timbers! at my grandma or something, and…”

And the wind screamed.


Lar, who’d apparently had enough, somehow slipped into the other room without Ms. Lori noticing and was working on the computer.

She shrugged and continued watching the hideously bad movie as the ice storm raged outside, her muddled brain pondering Patricia Arquette’s teeth while thoughts of pink-eye and Christmas cookies competed with unspeakable fantasies involving a little French man. Ms. Lori soon began to drowse, as she even bores herself at times, but a loud popping sound, followed by the tinkle of shattered glass, jolted her awake.

What the hell was that?

She rushed into the living room to find Lar standing before the wall sconce opposite the one he’d fixed just three hours previous. The bulb had exploded. He scratched his head, knuckled his hips, then turned to a wild-eyed Ms. Lori and said, “The light bulb exploded.”

“I see that, Lar.”

They both stared at the light fixture.

“I don’t like this, Lar. Not at all.”

A cold draft brushed across Ms. Lori’s shoulders, caressed her neck, slithered down the back of her nightshirt . She shivered. “ I need a smoke.”

Ms. Lori hurried to her upstairs office, opened the door, flipped on the light and pop! The bulb exploded. A bulb that had been replaced no more than two weeks earlier.

Later that night, as the ice storm drifted off to other places, and Lar snored like a truffling pig, and the cat peered into the heating duct, tail poufed, ears back, Ms. Lori lay awake, pondering, as usual. She pondered over things unseen, wispy visitors of unknown origin who enjoy terrifying suburban housewives. She pondered the meaning of life, the mysteries of death; she pondered over Lar’s deviated septum, whether Breathe-Right Nasal Strips would help. She pondered over which main dish to serve on Christmas Eve -- stuffed shells or prime rib? She pondered, while rubbing her swelling, weeping eye, if wearing a patch and rubber gloves would hamper the evening as much as she feared, or if her costume would add an eccentric spice to the festivities. Finally, as her ponderings are wont to do, she bored herself to sleep.

It was two o’clock a.m. when the closet door slowly creaked open.


Note: My boy just told me that the television in the family room turned off and on. I'll be right back.

Okay, it turned off again as I was heading down the stairs (which are right next to the family room), and turned back on when I entered the room.

This is so exciting! Yet sucks.

UPDATE: It's about 8:30 in the morning, and I was replying to comments when I heard a loud crack -- startled me for a sec, but continued working figuring it was the house settling or something. Then, about one, two minutes later, the light fixture in my office (the one I wrote of above), made a HUGE cracking sound, and pieces of the inner rim of the opaque globe-like covering (the light is on the low, sloping ceiling above me -- my office is in the attic, a small attic) fell off into the globe. I took it apart (you need a screwdriver to get the globe off) and discovered that 1/4 of the inner rim is snapped off. This fixture has been there ever since we renovated the attic (used to be a bedroom for my oldest daughter, now it's my office), and it's been perfectly fine for over four years. I'd just changed the bulb last night, and nothing seemed amiss with the globe, so WTF?!


At 2:32 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Dude, what's up with your house?

And, I am sad to report that I too watched this HIDEOUSLY bad movie recently. Was it not awful? God, it was truly sprawlingly bad and it just went on and on and on.

At 3:28 PM, Blogger Alena said...

Sounds like you may have a spiritual prankster on your hands... it's gotten your attention and apparently is really enjoying it. From what you have said, it sounds like an intelligent haunting. Out of curiosity, how old is your daughter? There's a theory about poltergeist-like phenomena either being centered around or unconsciously caused by teenage girls (due to an energy lash-out caused by the whole crazy-intense angst/anger/emotional thing).

I'm a medium in a paranormal research group, and my first piece of advice is to try addressing the spirit. I would absolutely do this in any case in which the entity doesn't feel threatening. If it does feel threatening, I advise some sort of blessing or purification ritual done by a priest or Witch who knows what they're doing.

If it's mainly an annoyance to you, you can speak out loud and tell it to stop or try to lay down some ground rules. You could also try to communicate with it if you're brave enough to find out what it wants (maybe just attention).

You may want to check out T.A.P.S, they're one of the leading paranormal groups in the country and the website has a lot of information. In addition, their forums are a great place to share your experiences and get advice from other people (some of whom have experience with different types of phenomena).

Good luck.. I know it can be a bit unnerving!

At 3:51 PM, Blogger Ms. Lori said...

Haha! Yes, bad, bad, bad movie, Stephanie (well, except for the little French character, perv that I am).

Alena, you're a medium? Awesomely awesome!

Yes, I have a fifteen year old, and the rest are ten, eleven and three. I don't feel a threatening presence
(or any presence, for that matter), but there's something odd happening, for sure. I have noticed that before something weird happens, my mood gets VERY, VERY bad. I feel depressed, agitated...Hmmm.

Thanks for the info, Alena! I'll check out TAPS.

At 4:01 PM, Blogger Justice said...

Much like alena says, "There's a theory about poltergeist-like phenomena either being centered around or unconsciously caused by..." I read about a theory stating "empaths" can cause all of this on their own. But the theory wasn't limited to teenage girls.

It all sounds like potential fun to be had. Next time a bulb blows, run in the room and yell "BOO!!"

I SO would.

At 6:55 PM, Blogger Jas... said...

May I come visit and maybe stay for a few days because I, you know... like, love ghosts and scary stuff!

PS, Serve the prime rib.

At 7:31 PM, Blogger Alena said...

Maybe it's you, Ms. Lori.. ;)

I did a little research on exploding lightbulbs and most of what I found had to do with lights that generate a tremendous amount of heat (stage lights, for example) exploding on their own, but nothing on regular light bulbs. I caught a snippet of one site that mentioned finger oil on the glass can cause irregular heating that can cause a bulb to explode, but it didn't specify what type of bulb. I guess anything's possible, but it sure seems odd that you've had several of them go. If it happens again, I would get up and go into the room and say, "You know, you HAVE to stop doing that. We know you're here and breaking lightbulbs is very disruptive."

When your mood changes, is it precipitated by an event, or is it a sudden change for no reason?

At 8:14 AM, Blogger Ms. Lori said...

Justice, you would do that, ya freak. ;-)

Jas, that would be so much fun if you did. I should plan a ghost party -- a little get together with you and some of my other fave bloggers. Maybe this summer...I love this idea.

Alena, my mood will change in a snap. The "down" mood will go away just as quickly, and I feel a great sense of giddyness and relief the second it does.

And I, too, did research on exploding lightbulbs, found the same info as you. Also, outdoor lights will explode if the temperature is very low. The bulbs in the sconces are 25 watts, and the one in my office is 40.

At 1:12 PM, Blogger Alena said...

Well, of course it's entirely possible there's a scientific explanation for the lightbulbs. It just seems very odd to me.. in my whole life, I have never experienced a single exploding lightbulb and here you've had several. Combined with the other stuff you've mentioned.. the cat acting weird, noises, rattling, mood changes for no reason.. all of that indicates to me a possible haunting.

The mood change to me indicates there's a severe energy shift when it happens. Maybe not paranormal, but it leads me to think so. It's common for people in a haunted location to be emotionally effected like that. Sometimes they feel a great deal of anger, other times it's sadness/despair. The fact that you are experiencing the latter rather than the former is actually a good sign. The former would indicate to me you have an angry entity on your hands.

So if we run with the idea that it's paranormal rather than "scientific", I think it's interesting that you don't feel a presence at all, just the emotions. It's interesting because people who get emotionally effected by energy not belonging to them are called sensitives (like me), but usually sensitives are able to also feel spiritual energy (i.e. sensing when something is there).

You can try leaving a camera running on one of the hot spots (the TV or the lights) and see if you catch anything. You can try unplugging the TV when it's acting up.. if it comes on anyway, then you have some serious proof that something paranormal is happening. There are other things, like doing EVPs, but frankly if it were me, I would be WAY too chicken to do EVPs in the place I live if I thought it was haunted. EVPs can be really creepy and for me, I think it would be too much.

Lastly, the one thing I strongly (and I mean strongly!!) recommend you do NOT do is mess around with a Ouija board. The consensus on them is that unless you're properly prepared and know how to protect yourself, they're dangerous. They can open up a whole other can of worms and cause a lot of problems. That probably sounds really superstitious or whatever, but trust me on this one.. a Ouija board is as much a tool as anything else.

Anyway, good luck with this! Hopefully TAPS and the board there are helpful and/or might help shed some light on the situation. :)

At 1:46 PM, Blogger Ms. Lori said...

Alena, the mood changes include extreme agitation as well as sadness/hopelessness. For instance, the day the other light bulbs exploded, I'd been hit with one of those moods, only it was much more extreme than usual, felt so ANGRY and upset. And confused -- just soooo confused, like I couldn't tell which way was up. Next morning, I literally *felt* that mood leave me, and was overcome with a sense of peace. Still feeling good. Weird.

Not going to post anything at TAPS just yet -- I feel embarrassed because there's nothing solid going on here, just weirdness.

At 3:19 PM, Blogger Jordan E. Rosenfeld said...

I am like Mulder, I want to believe. But I am equally one part Scully, I don't believe without proof. Which leaves me at: I would totally talk to the "force" just in case. I'd ask it if it could arrange to bring you that cute French dwarf too. Oh yes. Why stop at light bulbs?


At 1:18 AM, Blogger G-Man said...

When I was a little kid I remember believing that witches hung out in my closet. When I went to bed my parents and brother would watch TV downstairs so I was alone with the witches. Sometimes I would talk to them, about what I can't remember. Fortunately, they never shared in the conversation.
I guess what I'm trying to say, in a very round about way, is don't sleep with your toes uncovered no matter how hot the room gets.

At 11:35 AM, Blogger Alexis said...

Wow - this is AWESOME - I love the updates. The camera idea is great - I would not mess with the EVP's - they scare the bejeezus out of me.


At 9:46 AM, Blogger Ms. Lori said...

G-Man, but I simply can't have my toes covered! If a witch wants to eat my toes off, I dare her to try. She'll get a swift kick to her cold, cold teats, for sure.

Thanks, Alexis! EVPs are voice recordings, yeah? Aw hell, my house is so freaking noisy as it is, I doubt the recorder would be able to pick up anything other than my supernaturally loud kids.

At 9:50 AM, Blogger Ms. Lori said...

Jordan, I asked the "being" if it would please send me the little French dude, and it called me a "big, fat pervo" then made another bulb explode.

At 1:16 PM, Blogger Myfanwy Collins said...

Scary!!!! You need an exorcist.

Hey, that little guy you have a crush on is in an excellent movie called "The Station Agent"--have you seen it?

At 3:58 PM, Blogger Alena said...

Ms. Lori.. don't feel embarrassed, honestly. The boards are full of people who either had or are having experiences like yours. Much of the time, there isn't anything concrete to 'prove' a haunting, but I do think that other people would be highly interested in hearing the goings-on at your house. Especially since there is a small fraction of attention-seekers on the TAPS boards, who post these outlandish stories that stretch all credibility.

In my experience, the TAPS forums people tend to be supportive and they're a great mixture of belief and skepticism. Plus there are people with a range of different experiences and knowledge. They could also help you 'debunk' some of the stuff (i.e. figure out a scientific/reasonable explanation) or offer you different viewpoints on what's going on.

I'm kind of curious about the whole lightbulb thing.. you guys are probably using the standard-type bulb, right? What if you tried a fluorescent bulb, just to see what happens? I have one in my living room lamp because they take less energy and last a long time, plus I don't think they're prone to exploding (the glass seems to be quite thick). They're not terribly expensive (like $5 for a small one), either. Just a thought. :)

At 9:24 AM, Blogger Ms. Lori said...

Myfanwy, Dunno about the house, but *I* most definitely need an exorcist.

Haven't seen that flick -- must rent! Thanks for the heads up!

Alena, I checked out the TAPS boards -- very interesting stuff. Nothing's happened since my last update (yay!), but if the weirdness continues and escalates, I'll probably post a couple of questions on there.

As for florescent lights, I can't tolerate them, never could. I get bad headaches, become dizzy and disoriented if exposed to them for long periods of time.

At 9:52 AM, Blogger Lunacy said...

We spend a lot of money on light bulbs too. Every time I freak out another one blows. I think you're like me; your emotional body of energy is very strong and affects electronics.

Doesn't explain the bogeyman in your vent, though.


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