- One black dreadlock wig. Check.
- One long, black, hooded cape. Check.
- One skull-topped walking stick. Check.
- Assorted pots of face paint1. Check.
- Assorted fake vermin to wear about my person. Check.
- One pair of... um... er... orange and black striped socks??!!!
*sigh* It's official. This year, once again, despite my best efforts, I'll be handing out Halloween goodies dressed up as...
... a dork.
And I try so hard to be socially acceptable. At least I'll fit in with the real ghosts around here. Yes, indeedy, it appears that my apartment complex is hosting some spectral visitors. Last week a group of us were chatting in the leasing office, and talk got around to our plans for Halloween trick-or-treats. The leasing specialist mentioned that she hates to work alone in the office on the weekends, because she sometimes hears someone stumbling around overhead, even though she knows that she's the only one in the building (cue the Addams Family music). 'Overhead' is the party room, and the locks are on a timer — you need a special key to open the room during the day, so she would have been the only one who could have gotten in during business hours.
A ghost is bad enough, but this particular one seems to be something of a klutz, because it can't walk around for long without tripping over things. (I have visions of a ghost getting tangled up in its chains. Wasn't there a Far Side cartoon with a couple ghosts, one of which was carrying a bicycle horn? Caption: You'll never scare anybody like that.) Our ghost ought to be feeling right at home these days. We've been decorating the office with a vengeance — there is a pair of skeletons dressed in their wedding finery sitting in the lobby, for example — and all the commotion apparently has encouraged the ghost to get into the 'spirit' (heh) of things. Now we're starting to find things knocked over or moved to different places in the party room, and about a week ago we began to notice odd smells in certain parts of the room. Residents and staff have been walking around, sniffing at the air, trying to figure out where the spicy odour is coming from. So far, we have no clue.
I've spent evenings alone in the party room — I work for the apartment complex, and part of the job is occasionally working in the room while it's open — and I've never noticed anything odd. Maybe the ghost recognises a kindred 'spirit' (heh, heh) as I often bump into and trip over things. Queen of the Bruised, that's me2.
Anyway, Angel the leasing specialist — yes, she's really named Angel — also says she'll hear people walking overhead when she's home watching TV late at night. She'll go upstairs and find her husband and two children fast asleep. So she's convinced we have ghosts. This complex seems too new — it was built in the early 1970s — to have acquired any disembodied spirits, and as far as we know, nobody has been murdered or committed suicide on the property. It seems an unlikely place for ghosts, but what do I know? Whenever I read books about ghosts in the evening, I get the heebee-jeebies and end up with the lights on all night and the bedclothes pulled up over my head.
On the other hand, all the racket could just be squirrels on crack. Still, this situation bears keeping an eye on. Stay tuned for future developments. This is your hootoo ghost-buster wannabe, armed with her cross and holy water and her orange and black knee socks pulled firmly up, signing out.