This week is our last slice of the freakish and the frightening.

And tonight, I will relate a ghost story that is 100% true. You have my word as an officer, a gentleman and a peddler of homemade comedy.

Because, Gentle Reader, it happened to me.

On Easter Sunday 1989, Petey had to work, so I went to Easter brunch with my boss and her husband, Will, who worked as a cabinet maker.

After we ate, Will asked us if we’d like to go see a house he was working on.

As we can around the corner I got my first glimpse of a Gray Victorian. I loved it instantly and knew I was destined to live in it. It felt like home, if home is warm flannel pajamas and a warm bowl of macaroni and cheese.

I called it “Easter House.”

When we moved in, we had our uber-twitchy, not quite right pooch, Harry. Very often, he would gaze up the wall next to our stairs. He’d be sleeping, or wandering around, or hanging out with me, then get up, walk over to the spot and just calmly look at it for a minute or two.

Then he’d go back to whatever he was doing. The dog was oddness in canine form, so we noticed but weren’t alarmed.

Then we had The Kid.

The Kid seemed to also be entranced with the Harry approved spot on the wall. Pre-ambulation, my child would point, babble and clap tiny hands.

We started to wonder.

Then The Kid began to walk. And following that, climb.

Up the outside of the stairs, going hand over hand like a suburban simian. After we got over the fear and seeing how well the climbing was accomplished, we always watched, but didn’t stop it.

We saw then the reason for making like Mount Everest.

The Kid would get to the spot where Harry was fixated, slap a hand on it and talk away.

Well. Now that’s as weird as a six-legged horse.

It didn’t stop. So, right after our toddler was capable of verbally answering a question, I asked the one that was driving me crazy:

“Who are you talking to up there?

“The Old Man.”

After we had another dog who also communed with The Old Man, we rearranged the living room. And the dog, Riker, stopped focusing on the wall next to the stairs. The Kid had stopped talking to T.O.M. years before.

We moved the couch, where we always sit, with its back to our bay window.

And we noticed something.

The Old Man, as evidenced by Riker, Steve and, later, Crowley moved along with us.

Now the spot is on the wall above the window. They spend a part of each day looking up at the new spot, in silent discourse. But none of the dogs or The Kid were ever upset or afraid of T.O.M.

The presence has always been benign.

Inside the house there’s always been a protective, nurturing vibe. Even during our darkest days, coming home, even to an empty house, it’s felt like somebody who looked out for us was already there, waiting for us.

I’ve stopped doubting.

If I’m wrong, I’m wrong.

But if I’m right, there is an essence of someone or something that has made it their business to keep an eye on the souls under this roof. It’s not malignant or mean and mischievous. It’s not even judgy or intrusive.

It’s an entity that seems to want the best for us and literally has our backs.

Thanks for your time.

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