Friday, May 05, 2006
My Brush with Myrtle (Or, the Phenomenon My Theology Just Won't Support)
I think I live in a haunted house.
It's not frightening, unsettling, or even strange. But it is haunted. I first met Myrtle (more on why I call her Myrtle later) when I was sitting at my dining room table using my laptop. I continued to see someone through the glass on the front door walking down the sidewalk, but every time I looked up to see who it was, they were gone. Convinced it was just a reflection, I kept working and tried to ignore it. Finally, it became so annoying that I moved.
About two weeks later, David was home to work and trying to use the laptop to check his e-mail. "I keep seeing someone walk past the door," he said, "but whoever it is never appears in the window as they walk by." I hadn't told him about what I had seen until then.
I continuted to be annoyed intermittently for days until one afternoon when I was sitting with Corduroy Dog on our front porch. I looked up and saw a woman in white gliding more than walking down the sidewalk past our house. The image was very faint, I could clearly see the trees and the grass straight through her, but I could tell that she was dressed for a day of shopping that might have taken place 100 years ago. She had dark hair piled on top of her head, a narrow face, fitted dress with a high collar and a wide hat. When she reached a certain point on the sidewalk, she was gone.
All this time, I wasn't afraid or nervous, just curious about who this could be. It was then that I called her Myrtle. Apparently, a man and a woman named J. Carl and Myrtle Park lived in our little house between 1915 and 1956. Our house was built in 1910, so it could be someone entirely different, but I like to think it's Myrtle.
I've seen her several times since then, both in the daytime and at night, sometimes through the window and sometimes from the porch. She always does the same thing--walks to a certain point on the sidewalk and fades away. I suppose this will always be a mystery.