Wednesday, June 6, 2012

I Ain't Afraid of No Ghost

We have a fascination with the idea of a haunted house. At Halloween we like to go to haunted houses. We make movies like the Amityville Horror and weird movies like the Burbs. Laws have been passed requiring a potential home buyer if there has been a murder in a house.  Would you ever live in a reputedly haunted house? What if you got a great deal on it? Never fear though because most “supernatural” events can be naturally explained, but only most.

Everyone has probably heard a creak or a groan coming from a door or the attic or even the basement. Sure it could be the reanimated remains of a zombie coming to eat your brains, but it probably isn’t. In fact, it is probably just weather related, especially if you have an older home with a lot of wood in it. What happens is that during colder weather the wood expands and puts pressure on the support around it and creates creaks as it expands. During warmer weather it will creak as it shrinks back down. In fact, during the winter it is common for doors and windows to stick due to the expansion. Another common creak maker is hardwood floors. They always creak under the weight of steps. Wooden staircases are another common culprit.

Things that go bump in the night could be a madman dragging an axe behind him coming to get you but more likely not. If it is windy then it probably trees or bushed brushing against the roof or walls. Routine trimming will keep that problem down to a minimum. Overhanging dead branches will often snap and break off, only to land on your roof as well.

Few things can make a disturbing ruckus like wildlife can. A cat’s meow may sound like a banshee’s wail in the night. That shadow see moving outside is most likely a possum. Raccoons in particular can be a noisy nuisance. They can knock over trash gets, dig through trash and rustle around in the bushes. If your motion sensor lights suddenly it’s probably not a werewolf, more likely it is just a random rabbit or armadillo. Okay the bat flying around at night might be vampire but that’s about it. If not it might be a ghoul coming to collect the mortgage.

 Many other things have perfectly natural explanations as well. Two liter, plastic bottles often pop with air bubbles filling out. Ice will make noise as it drops into the refrigerator dispenser. If you ever feel something touch your head in the night it is your head board. Unless you don’t have a head board, then you better run.

Jefferson Jordan writes and hides from zombies in Southern California. He mainly writes about education. monster slaying, and alchemy. One place to find a good, scare free home is Brookfield Homes.

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