Rss Feed
Tweeter button
Facebook button
Technorati button
Reddit button
Myspace button
Linkedin button
Webonews button
Delicious button
Digg button
Stumbleupon button
Newsvine button
Signs Of Life

Columns by Pamela Majteles

RSS Feed

Haunted House

Comments Off
Posted by pam on January 14, 2011 at 10:12 pm

Originally published October 27, 2006

This column is reprinted with permission from The Hills Newspapers.

It made my hair stand on end.  First came a ghostly wail, followed by eerie hissing.  By the time the insistent clawing started coming from the radiator in my house, I was really scared.  Past experience had shown, however, that noises of this sort had nothing to do with living in a haunted house.

Over the years, I have given up on a ghost as the cause of scary noises and other hair-raising episodes at home. When problems arise, like those with the radiator, I have to blame them on living in an old house not a haunted one.  In houses like mine built around the beginning of the twentieth century, I can count on things breaking down, the same way I can count on trick-or-treaters at Halloween.

Similar to other old houses, my house requires constant repair because of its age.  We regularly fix sticking doors, cracking ceilings and broken windows.  There is always work being done on the wiring, heating or plumbing.  It has been necessary to renovate the kitchen and bathrooms.

Like the endless stream of ghouls and goblins on Halloween night, the repairs necessary in an old house can seem endless.  With each ghoul that comes your way, you believe you have seen the worst.  Then, when you least expect it, you meet the biggest, scariest goblin of all.  Life in an old house can be one long night of trick-or-treating.

There are times I have tricked myself into believing all the work is done.  After completing yet another series of repairs, I am convinced nothing more will be necessary.  Unfortunately, my certainty is as short-lived as a contractor’s promise to finish a project on time.  Just when a leak in the roof is fixed, there is one under the sink.

In my neighborhood, some still believe it is possible to finish the work on their old homes.  They toil away repairing foundations, replacing rain gutters, and repaving driveways.  Just one last thing.  In the end, they too have been tricked again.

Along with the tricks, though, there are treats.  The character of old homes is irresistible.  They entice you with decorative moldings, unique architectural details, and old-time craftsmanship.  Overall, they exude the charm of yesterday. By reminding you of earlier times, old houses can slow down the sometime frantic pace of today.

Most days, I feel lucky to live in my old house.  It shelters my family with its broad eaves and offers solitude with its sturdy walls.  There is strong connection to both the past and future with the families who have lived here before us, and those who will come after we are gone.  We are part of a larger story about an old house.

Still, there are times I could do without the problems.  Some days, a haunted house seems less scary.  On those days, I would take a haunted house over an old house, even on a day like October 31st.

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 License.

Filed under Main
Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Type your email address and name to subscribe.