Ghosts From the Past, Do You Believe?

 A_young_Lindsay_in_the_Gatineau_River_w_Mutti

A_young_Lindsay_in_the_Gatineau_River_w_Mutti

Many many moons ago, I used to live on Queen's Road in St. John's, Newfoundland. My two room-mates and I shared an awesome home with high ceilings, a fire place, bay windows and a back porch, all within seconds to work. We all worked in the service industry and there were aprons, black clothes and change scattered all over. It wasn't in our interest to be clean freaks, but rather to have fun. And fun we had. All of us in our twenties, we were experiencing life on our own with no parental help and all the freedom, hope and aspirations we could bear. When we moved into our three story 100 year old house with majestic staircases, beautiful moldings and bright windows, we were all wide eyed and bushy tailed. Three single women interested in boys, music, wine and take out, we had nothing to lose.

 My_old_house_in_St._John's

My_old_house_in_St._John's

Strange things used to happen in this house. We would be sitting on the couch talking about all things interesting within the circles of our small world and both candles on either end of the mantle piece would spontaneously go out at the same time. One morning I awoke to find the flowery gold framed mirror, which I had purchased for pennies at a garage sale, turned upside down at the end of the stair well. All of us were in awe of the little and unusual happenings within the walls of our quaint home. Soon thereafter one of us found out that the home had been lived in for more than fifty five years by the same family and that the maternal head of the family had passed away while enjoying a bath, only six months after the death of her husband. Turns out she died of a broken heart A story of true Love at its finest. One of the girls lived in her room and would wake to the sounds of keys jingling in her bedroom door and then the sound of footsteps walking on the wooden floor beside her bed.  

 Through_the_keyhole

Through_the_keyhole

Most things could be explained... wind, imagination, dreams, etc etc. It wasn't until one afternoon, a few hours before I was to start my late night shift down on George Street at one of the finest, dirtiest, coziest, pubs in town, that I decided it was time to face my fear and take a bath. Showers were easy enough, I could get in and out as fast as can be, lights on, music blaring, no problem. On this day, however, I had the place to myself and was craving the hot comfort of a soothing bath. So, I got the water to temperature, put the plug in and walked away. When I came back to swirl the suds around, I noticed the water was tepid, almost cold. I never thought much of it, maybe I had the cold water tap turned too far on??? I took out the plug and released the water down to it's home under the streets and tried again. Turning the hot water tap on and sure that the cold water tap wasn't turned too far to the right, I found the perfect temperature and plugged 'er up again. I walked away. When I came back to check, the water was cold again. I was feeling a little uncomfortable at this point. So I drained the water once more and this time, barely added any cold water, the water was so hot coming out of the tap, I could barely touch it. When I reached down to insert the plug in, I actually felt the water turn from hot to cool. There would be no bath for me. Showering was fine. I had a shower and left.

 Vintage_clawfoot_tub_w_shower

Vintage_clawfoot_tub_w_shower

I was freaked out.  To be able to have a shower, no problem. One hot water heater in the house. Plumbers have scratched their heads in trying to explain this one. The next day I told the girls that I tried to have a bath. In unison, the colour drained from their faces and together they said "But you couldn't!" They too had, unbeknownst to each other, also tried drawing a bath on different occasions and were also unsuccessful. A week went by and my friend, the one living in the same bedroom as the couple who had passed, went to have her Tarot cards read. After the reading, the "seer" told her that she could see an elderly woman's energy around her with the name of Jo. She said that Jo was lost and needed to find her way. Relaying that the elderly woman who had died in the house that we were  presently living in (and less than a year before,) the Medium instructed all three of us to tell Jo, who's actual name was Joan (!!) that she could leave. She could go home now. I was a little more freaked out that the other two girls, so I could only talk to Joan when I was exiting the house myself... "Okay Joan, you can go home now! This is not your home anymore!" I would say, as the door behind me closed....

A few months went by and we all left that house to leave for an epic  Spring adventure to Ireland. But not before, around Christmas time, I was sitting in the living room, counting my float and I heard people walking up the stairs. I leaned over the banister and saw the look of awe in the eyes of who I assumed to be the family of one of my Newfoundlander room mates.... I went upstairs to interrupt the 'getting ready for work' rituals of one of the girls, who hadn't been expecting anyone. We went down to greet the guests but they were consumed by the house, talking about where "Mum had the Christmas tree on the other side of the room" and "Oh! This clothes closet used to be the pantry" and so on... turns out Joan's children weren't ready to spend their first Christmas away from the house they grew up in......

Years later I often think back to that moment, when complete strangers entered "our" home without knocking. How could they knock on a door they had freely run in and out of for their entire lives? One day, maybe I might find myself in the same situation in a 'what goes around comes around sort of way??? Well. The day finally came. Eight years after my Grandparents left their (our) family home, (death comes to us all) I had the chance to return to it and all of the memories within. It was a soulful experience and I am pretty sure my Mutti (Grandmother) was right there with me, feeling all the feels. Being in that home after all these years, this past Christmas was most definitely a Holiday highlight. The way the front door creaks when it closes, the weight of the wood stove window when you try to shut it, the heaviness of the sliding glass doors out to the balcony over-looking the Gatineau River, the scent of the laundry room (and the original orange wall paper, still there!!) The sticky cutlery drawers... All those memories... Living on.....

 Forget_Me_Nots

Forget_Me_Nots