Wednesday, October 31, 2012


One of our family's worst kept secrets is the fact that our family home in Lianga is haunted.  When I use the term "haunted" I refer, of course, to the "infestation" of human dwellings by non-human and obviously otherworldly beings or those aptly termed tongue-in-cheek in local parlance as the "not like ours". Whatever is specifically haunting the house we in the immediate family circle, however, have never been able to determine with some degree of certainty.  Yet we are convinced that the hauntings themselves are real.

Those among our close relatives who do know about this (ehem!) skeleton in the family closet have ventured varying opinions as to what is causing what can be best described as inexplicable phenomena that have occurred at various times during the recent history of our fifty-year old home in this town.  Some have pinned their blame on dwarves or the little people who are so much part of the myths and legends of many peoples all over the world.

Others say that it can be any of the variety of spirits or invisible supernatural beings that inhabit this earth and this plane of existence and who, because of unknown or unfathomable reasons, have decided to co-inhabit this house with us. The beings, they say, can be benign or harmless although occasionally mischievous while others can be malignant and malevolent.

The paranormal happenings that have occurred in our home follow a definite pattern.  They always seemed to be triggered whenever our entire family departs for a trip or vacation that would necessitate leaving the house in the hands of trusted caretakers for at least a few days or more.

After a day or so of quiescence, the disquieting disturbances would begin to happen usually in the latter part or middle of the night.  Whoever is left in our house would suddenly hear heavy footsteps and footfalls on the supposedly empty second floor of the house.  The rhythmic thudding of a man seemingly shuffling along with the aid of a cane or laboriously climbing the main staircase has been commonly reported by witnesses, the alarming sounds amplified and made clearly audible by the thin wooden planks that cover the entire floor of the upper story.

The doorknobs of the second floor bedrooms would be suddenly and forcibly jiggled as if someone was trying to open the doors.  In some cases, locked doors would be rattled and shaken as if a burglar was trying to force entry but a quick albeit nervous check would quickly reveal that the whole of the second floor was empty of people.

In one specific instance some years ago, two house-helpers and a female caretaker was so spooked by the barrage of unearthly noises breaking the quiet of the night that they barricaded themselves in an upstairs room and desperately called out to our neighbors for help.  They were initially convinced that burglars and robbers were robbing the house only to find out later on that except for themselves there were no other people within the premises the whole night.

A close relative and family confidant has recently offered what many people in the know about our house's rather sinister reputation believe may be the most plausible explanation for the cause of these disturbing manifestations, if indeed they are supernatural in origin.  "I believe, " she said to me and my siblings, " that these disturbances are simply the work of the spirits of your late paternal grandparents who were always distressed at being left alone in the house during their lifetime."

She reminded us that our grandfather was always thrown into fits of anxiety whenever all of us including our parents would be away from Lianga for extended periods of time.  He was, in his elderly years, a sickly man always in fear of sudden asthma attacks, a malady from which he suffered greatly for many years until his passing away in 1988.  "Hence," she added, "you have the manifestation of the man walking with a cane."

She reminded us also that our grandmother had, during her lifetime, the disconcerting habit of habitually opening and peering through half-opened bedroom doors at night in order to assure herself that all members of her family were safe in their rooms and getting ready to sleep.  She surmised that she was simply carrying on with that compulsive behavior in the afterlife.

I, of course, have never been a witness to these "hauntings", if you can call them that.  Apparently they never occur whenever anyone within the immediate family is present and essentially "guarding" our house here in Lianga.  But I do sympathize with those who have and who to this very day will not, under any circumstance, be left alone in our home without any of us, family members, accompanying them.

The forced intrusions and evil designs of ordinary men, men of flesh and blood, in our lives in the dead of the night are fit occasions for dread, fear and foreboding.  But the noisy and mysterious doings and goings-on of unnatural beings and entities forced upon us in our very own homes and abodes especially at the darkest of the night when our physical and mental defenses are at their weakest and most vulnerable can be too much for any man or woman to handle no matter how brave and intrepid he or she may claim to be.

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