This new house, the house that we bought this summer, has no ghosts.
Our last one did – it wasn’t scary at all, just a sense of a presence in the house. A couple of them, actually. There would be the sudden, strong scent of pipe smoke. And she, presumably the old woman who lived and died there, would be felt as a usually benevolent presence. You could catch movement out of the corner of your eye when you thought you were alone, or hear a voice talking. She hid things, too – things that we just KNEW we’d left in the usual place. We could turn the house upside down looking for the missing item, to no avail. Always, though, in a day or a week, the item would appear someplace very obvious, such as in the middle of the dining room table. It seemed a way for her to say “I’m here. This is still my house.” We co-existed without stress or tension.
There are other ghosts that you sense in a place that you have lived for a while. Memories, really, that come back to you unexpectedly: quick flash of making love, just there, in front of the fireplace. The crack in the vanity mirror where a thrown coffee cup shattered during an argument. The dress that I wore on our first Christmas Eve together.
Ghosts. We live with them all around us.