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A Haunting at 6400 State Highway 28

During a visit to our house a few weeks ago, my mom delivered several boxes of my
'80's and '90's toys that my dad had extracted from the attic. We found Pound Puppies, My Little Ponies, a Simon Says and lots of music boxes that my grandmother sent me over the years. Caroline and Andy gathered up most of the goods before I was able to hold them and think about all the wonderful times spent playing with these items.

Since the arrival of the old toys, I have been playing one of the music boxes for Caroline after reading her bedtime stories. I remember my mom doing the same for me, each night, year after year. Last night Caroline was a little less tired and a little more rambunctious than usual. Andy read to her and then she called for me. After a story, I turned out her light, turned on her night light and twisted the ballerina music box a few times. I hummed the tune I know so well as I wished her a final good night and left the room.

I spent the next few hours scrap booking while the rest of the house, Andy, girls, and cats, snoozed. I passed Caroline's room as I packed away my crafts and I had to laugh. Apparently, after I'd left, she decided she still wasn't tired. She'd emptied one of her toy bins and turned back on the light. I found her asleep in her bed, toys scattered around her.

Around 1:30 that night/morning Andy rose from his sleeping post on the couch and interrupted my beauty sleep by watching something on the ipad in our bedroom. Only half awake I heard him mention something about Caroline's music box. I sat up, and sure enough, I could hear the familiar tune. A few minutes later, when Andy didn't return from investigating the sound, I decided to get up myself. I found Andy in the living room searching the nooks and crannies with a flashlight. We turned the lights on, peeked into the girls' rooms and decided that there was no intruder in the house stealing our stuff and playing our music boxes. Caroline was also fast asleep. I made Andy take the music box out of Caroline's room and I kept it, on its side, near my own bed. You know, to watch it in case it mysteriously started to play again.

Well then, if it wasn't Caroline and it wasn't an intruder, who was playing with the music box during the wee hours of the morning? And, was it really Caroline who emptied her toy bin and turned the light back on? Que creepy music.

When I was a kid I used to hear strange sounds in my house. Yep, call me a freak. Write me off as a weirdo. My parents' house isn't all that old and nobody that we know of has died there. As a teenager I often heard someone call out to me. Sometimes I would hear the brass handles of my bureau clink up and down. Occasionally I'd see a dark shape in my room. Loony. I know. But other people heard the sounds, too. Belief in the supernatural is not all that uncommon in my family and many have claimed to hear or see a ghost or two lingering around. I think we all hope that it is the presence of a lost loved one reaching out to us to make contact from the other side. My mom, who is just a crazy as me and totally believes all of my ghost stories, thinks that I had a teenage poltergeist. After I grew up and moved away, I've never heard, or seen, anything out of the ordinary at my parents' house.

I'm still afraid of the dark and hate to be home alone. At night I close up all of the curtains and I don't spend too much time in front of a mirror. (Hey, you never know who you're going to spot standing behind you.) Most of this is fear derived from scary movies, not personal experience. It wasn't until last night that I thought perhaps my ghost wasn't tied to my parents house but to an actual object- the music box. Could it be that my very own Casper was inhabiting the ballerina music box and she has been locked up in the attic all these years, finally let loose again to haunt? Maybe it is the ghost of my childhood, here to watch over my children now.

Maybe it's just an old music box that doesn't turn as well as it used to and could use a little oil. Maybe it got stuck mid-turn and it just took 5 hours to gain momentum again.

This morning, as I brushed my teeth, I held the ballerina music box and turned it around several times, inspecting it. I put it down on the counter and moved to put the tooth brush away. For a minute I thought I saw the ballerina's little black eyes following me. Is she still watching over me? Or is she plotting to kill me in my sleep. I tucked her under a towel in a bureau, just in case.


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