When we saw the home seven years ago, it was everything we needed and held the potential for everything we wanted in a home in which we planned to stay for the duration: great floor plan, lived mostly on one level, tall ceilings and enough common and separate spaces for my husband and I to enjoy life as a fairly newly-wed couple. The real estate agent who sold us the place was the daughter-in-law of the former owner who, coincidentally, had died on the premises. By California law, Realtors must disclose this information within three years of it happening — just in case it affects the decision of a potential buyer. Sure enough, the buyer before us for the home terminated his interest the moment he found out. We loved the home enough to proceed, however because for my husband and I, none of this scared us.
We had experienced the loss of all our parents by this point, having lost the last one just a few months before moving in. Death was just part of the equation in our minds, and the fact that someone’s life ended in this home was not a concern. Truth is, it fascinates me to hear about unsettled spirits – poor souls who just can’t seem to move on to another plane after leaving their bodies. None of the more credible “haunting” stories I’ve heard resulted in anything more than a bit of a scare, and in many cases, people living in homes where things go bump in the night (or daytime) just live with the phenomenon of someone else hanging around.
Such is the case with a lady I will call “Hilda”, since that is the name of the woman who met her demise from a fall in the master bedroom and was evidently not discovered until it was too late. The house had been adapted in many places for a wheelchair, with handles in the master shower, lots of wide corridors and enough room to maneuver the chair around the kitchen area and Hilda had evidently gotten around pretty well under the circumstances.
Hilda began making her presence known just a few months after we moved in. A door at the other end of the house from where I was sitting opened and slammed shut. No one else was home, no windows were open and there seemed to be no provocation for this happening. It happened a few more times, prompting me to tell my husband about it, after which we decided it was Hilda just saying hello.
The most unlikely events occurred with electronics, however. On more than three occasions, either our TV or audio has turned on for no reason after both had clearly been switched off by one of us.
It happened again this morning. I had gone into the kitchen/family room area to feed the dog and let him out, as usual, and all was quiet. Heading to my office to get a jump on the day I clicked into my favorite social media web sites and checked email. Then I heard what sounded like TV dialogue. Poking my head into the master, where my husband still slept, I found all was quiet. Then I revisited the family room and, sure enough, the TV audio had been switched on. Unlike the scenes in movies, where none of the remote controls stop the transmission, however, ours always works.
Was Hilda trying to get the morning news? Nah. I think she was just messin’ with us again. So I switched it off, looked around, said, “Oh hi, Hilda!” and went about my day. Who knows? Maybe the old girl sticks around because she knows she isn’t all that unwelcome. But I hope she finds her way someday, because we aren’t going anywhere any time soon.