Haunted Happenings at Work: Largo, Florida

My sister Reenie is a mammogram and x-ray technician in a facility in the Largo area of Florida.  Reenie has had her own personal experiences with the paranormal, so while she isn’t a gullible sort, she does keep an open mind.

One of her co-workers, Maddie, started complaining during the down time in their work day that she thought her adult son, from whom she is estranged, was breaking into her home and moving her things around to mess with her. My sister and the other technicians pooh-poohed this idea and told Maddie that she was probably moving the things herself and just not remembering where she put them.  Maddie was adamant, however.  She lived alone, without even any pets, and she was a  bit OCD about putting things back in their assigned places throughout her house.  For instance, her remote control went on a small end table that was between her sofa and her recliner. Her keys were kept on a hook in her kitchen. Maddie explained that her son, a former Special Forces member, knew how meticulous she was, and that she would notice the small changes that occurred whenever she left the house. Early in their estrangement, he had broken into her previous home just to prove to her that he could. It had been some time since those days, but apparently he was back to his old tricks, she said. Sometimes, she was only gone a half an hour to run to the store, but when she returned, something was typically out of place. Reenie just told her  it sounded like she had a ghost. Maddie was not amused. She vowed to catch her son in the act.

To this end, she purchased a motion sensor camera and set it up in the dining room, pointing towards the living room.  The two rooms had had their share of items moved around in the recent past.  The camera was programmed to send a photo to Maddie’s cell phone whenever the motion sensor was triggered. She would see who was coming into her house and messing up her stuff. And she would have proof to show the police, if need be.

The first day she switched the camera on before she left for work, she received three photos sent to her phone. As she received the photos, she puzzled over them and eventually shared them with her co-workers. Reenie said in each of the three photos was a wispy white mist. The form in the first two photos was undefined, but still quite noticeable. The third photo my sister described as a solid mist (an oxymoron, I know) that seemed to be looking around the corner of the living room towards the dining room where the camera was.

Reenie studied the photos and told Maddie again, “Looks like you have a ghost.” Maddie shook her head definitively and told her that the motion sensor must have been activated by the air conditioner turning on and moving the blinds in the living room.  Reenie looked again at the pictures and pointed out that the misty form was in each one of them and far away from the blinds, which themselves seemed still in all the photos. Plus, she reasoned, how could the blinds move your keys or remote? Maddie just shook her head again, told Reenie it was the blinds and (perhaps tellingly) has never set the camera up again. One day was enough.

My sister was curious, however. She was sure that there was more to the story than swaying blinds causing the camera to go off. She asked Maddie what the history of the house was.  Had there been any deaths in the home? Absolutely not, Maddie said.  As a matter of fact, she was only the third owner.  The first owner was an older lady, Beth, who went up north to live with her son after she became too feeble to take care of herself.  Beth had sold the house to a second lady who lived in the house  for three or four years and when her company needed to relocate her, she in turn sold the house to Maddie.

Did either of those women have any similar occurrences in the home? Maddie said no, neither had and for that matter, she herself hadn’t either all years she had lived there until just a month or two earlier. But what was funny, Maddie told Reenie, was for years after she bought the house, the original owner, Beth would call her up periodically and comment on changes that Maddie had made to the house.  If Maddie dug up a bush in the front yard, Beth would call her and say, “I’m glad to hear that you dug that old bush up. I had always meant to do that, but never got around to it!” When Maddie painted the front door a bright red, Beth called and said, “I heard that you painted the door red; I really don’t think that would look too good.” She was apparently still hooked up to the neighborhood grapevine through Maddie’s next door neighbor, an older gentleman who had been friends with Beth. The gentleman would keep Beth abreast of any new changes that occurred to her former home.

Reenie commented that Beth seemed to have an inordinate fondness for the house, to still call and hound the new owner (whom she had never even met) after almost a decade of living elsewhere.  She asked if Beth was still alive.  Maddie confessed that she wasn’t sure, as the phone calls had stopped about a year earlier when the gentleman who had been Beth’s friend had passed away.

Hauntings aren’t always caused due to a death in the home, Reenie pointed out. Often a spirit will return to a place that they had loved in life, as Beth had obviously loved what was now Maddie’s home. The mystery had started very spontaneously a month or two earlier; the previous five years had been quiet and uneventful. There was no physical evidence of her son or anyone else actually entering the home. The motion sensor camera caught three separate photos of a wisp like figure.

Maybe, Reenie suggested to Maddie, you should try to track down whether Beth had passed away….maybe around a month or two ago. Perhaps, she continued, you should try connecting the camera for a few more days and see what evidence you get! Maddie listened to my sister and slowly shook her head to all suggestions.  No need for any of that…it’s just the air conditioning and the blinds.

That’s some pretty powerful air conditioning that can relocate t.v. remotes and keys, but I guess it’s okay to believe whatever allows you to sleep at night.  After all, if it was my house, I would be trying to convince myself that it was only the air conditioning system too.