In the early hours of today, I was woken up by my eldest daughter shouting for me. This is nothing unusual. I’ve written before about my daughter’s belief that our house is haunted and how she often hears footless footsteps and noises-with-no-source.
Anyway, I went up to her room and asked her with weary patience what the matter was. She switched on her lamp, looked at her clock which said 1.10 am and asked . . .
What was going on just then?
I have no idea?
Did you not hear anything? My bed was shaking.
(Sigh). No, I heard nothing at all.
Don’t believe me then! My bed was literally moving – for about five seconds!
You must have been dreaming.
I wasn’t even asleep!!
Maybe it was that twilight dreaming. I do that sometimes. It’s horrible. Do you want me to stay with you for a bit?
No! (My daughter is very stubborn).
Do you want to get into my bed?
No! I’ll stay here and have my bed shook again! It’s such good fun! (My daughter is also very sarcastic).
So I went back to bed but I don’t mind telling you folks that it left me feeling a bit disturbed and I led there suffocating under the duvet for a while with one hand gripped to the bedside lamp. When my daughter has these ‘experiences’, it tends to have a spooking effect on me too. Much as I am deeply cynical about such supernatural doings, there’s something about the darkness and the quiet that brings out the irrational in me and it only takes my daughter to have an ‘experience’ to get my heart pounding. Yes, I’ll admit that sometimes I can’t help wonder in the creepy darkness of the night whether there is some kind of presence that only my daughter can sense and I really have to talk myself into remembering that I don’t believe in ghosts.
I’m sure you know where I’m going with this if you’ve heard the news of last night’s earthquake but you have to remember that in the middle of the night we were totally unaware of any earthquakely goings-on. It was clearly not a very strong tremor in our area hence us all sleeping through it – apart from my hyper-sensitive daughter who thought she was having another friendly visit from Regan’s demon.
Of course, really I knew all along that there would be a rational explanation. Beds don’t just shake on their own in the middle of the night – do they?