Plays Well With “Others”

by Robyn Justo
Years ago, I fell in love with a cottage in a 100-year old mansion in Auburn. It had so much character and history that every nook and cranny seemed to have a story. 

The gal who was renting it before I took occupancy wanted to talk to me before she let it go.  Kind of an odd request, but I met with her.

“I just wanted to be sure of the next person,” she said. “Are you ok with not being alone here?” 

She smiled. I smiled back. “I’m fine with that,” somehow sensing what she meant. 

She went on to describe how she would play jazz at night and hear footsteps of people dancing in the next room but no one was there. In my opinion, spirit roomies are sometimes the best kind if they behave.

There was only one time that I had any issues and that was when I had been gone on a short trip and returned to find a broken light switch and a very heavy plaque that had somehow flown itself across the room, along with a tapestry that was now hanging at half-mast from my wall. What the hell?

“Ok,” I said sternly. “Not ok. You can be here, but no breaking things and no temper tantrums!” 

I was always known to play well with others. Maybe they missed me while I was gone, but the phenomena stopped after I set my boundaries. 

People could feel something in one of the rooms that soon earned its new name “The Portal.”  3,000 births and deaths had happened there as the mansion had previously been a hospital, an old folks home and a sanitarium. Worked for me.

But if you think about it, unless a place is brand spanking new, it has some sort of (and maybe sordid) history. It has the memories and energies of people who have lived, loved, hated, married, divorced, yelled, made love, had kids and whatever else humans do. 

Sometimes when I go to a hotel, I have to block all of this out. I mean think of all of the people who have been there. Ewwww. 

Now I live in Pacific Grove and a lot of the dwellings in town were built in the late 1800s.  Lucky me. I found one that I loved recently and moved right in.   

I soon found out the history of the place. It had been a prison which was ok since I lived in Folsom for a while and it didn’t bother me one bit. 

My neighbor disclosed that the place was haunted and that during a renovation a few years back, they had discovered bones and no one reported it. Great. She also said that other people who had rented it had experienced disrupted sleep. I giggled because I sleep like a rock here. 

Maybe I get along with the disembodied better than I do the bodied ones. They don’t take up much space or make a lot of noise, and they don’t eat much so you don’t have to cook for them or answer to them, you don’t have to shave your legs for them and they don’t add to the power bill. 

If I can teach them to refrain from shaking things from the walls, maybe they will be willing to teach me how to walk through them.

No bones about it.  I’m good. 

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