Colleague M’s sister Lydia is having trouble with ghosts.
No, really. I’m not making it up, and I don’t think M is either. I don’t know her sister, and I think that a lot of this story sounds a little unlikely. But Lydia’s scared, because she’s having trouble with ghosts.
The first M or I heard about it was a couple of weeks ago, when we were visiting M’s mum, and Lydia phoned up in a great panic. She’d gone to bed early, and had been drifting off to sleep, when a man whispered something in her ear. She awoke, startled and panicking; you can’t blame her, because her small daughter was the only other person in the house. Lydia was convinced – for no apparent reason – that this meant her father was dangerously ill and didn’t have long to live.
Anyway, leading up to this, Lydia and her daughter had been having a lot of trouble with things going missing. The sort of problems, in fact, that might be blamed on poltergeists. Little things would disappear, be unfindable, then mysteriously pop up in somewhere they’d only just looked in. Things would vanish from Lydia’s makeup bag, for example – and then would reappear impossibly, on top of it, even though it definitely hadn’t been there just before.* Secondly, just recently, Lydia got a kitten. Most of the time the kitten was happy, sleepy, purry, the way kittens usually are. Surprisingly often, though, it would start hissing and yowling, the way cats do at things they don’t like – but when there was nothing at all there. After thinking about the mysterious voice for a few days, Lydia started to wonder if all these things were connected; so, she went out and found a psychic.
The psychic she brought in was, I’m told, a very experienced psychic who is an expert at sorting out This Sort Of Thing. I’m not sure how you tell, or how you find psychics – is there a psychics category in the Yellow Pages? – but anyway, the Expert Psychic came in, sniffed around the house, and told Lydia that the house was very much haunted; which was why things kept going missing, and why the cat kept hissing at empty spaces. In fact, there were two ghosts living in Lydia’s house; they had quarrelled when they were alive, and they were quarrelling now. One of them – a man – was a nice friendly ghost; the other – a woman – was not. The friendly ghost was trying to protect Lydia from the other one, which was why she’d suddenly heard a man whispering in her ear: he was trying to warn her. The non-friendly ghost, on the other hand, kept stealing things and trying to possess the cat.** The psychic said: “I’m going to take them both away with me now – but be careful, because after a while they’ll probably come back.”
Lydia, then, is terrified. Her house has apparently been occupied by two warring ghosts who could return at any moment. At any moment, one of them might try to possess her cat, or even her daughter. Even worse, her mascara keeps going missing. As fas as she can tell, anything might happen. If anything does, I’ll try to let you know.
* I was sceptical about the significance of disappearing makeup in a house where a young girl lived; but M assures me that it wasn’t her niece doing the disappearing.
** Seriously, I’m not making any of this up. The psychic might have been, but I’m not.