OK, kids. A Halloween story of sorts. I'm a skeptic of the atheist variety, right? Well, listen up. (Yeah, I know I've missed Halloween by x minutes. Just shut up & listen.)
When I was a kid, I loved ghost stories even though they were verboten. Hey, I was a Christian Scientist. We believed real spiritual Life was eternal. But it was fun for me to believe in ghosts. I read stories, screamed at slumber-party tales, and imagined the "haunted" house down the road had sent a soul between-the-worlds to my own attic.
Flash-forward forty-odd years. (Believe me, those years were odd.) I became a skeptic of the atheist persuasion. I had (have) two daughters, the elder of whom was sixteen or seventeen when this series of incidents happened. We (my two daughters & I) lived in a new (= non-spooky) log cabin.
My elder daughter had always had a somewhat tumultuous relationship with her father. One afternoon when I was home alone, I heard a huge, deafening crash from my daughter's (empty) room. I thought Shit! her shelves collapsed!... because that was what it sounded like. I assumed her glass dolls & all were gone. I sighed & went to look.
Nothing. Her room was empty. Shelves intact.
Some time later (again when I was home alone) I heard another deafening crash--this time from the stairs that led to the basement. Instinct said The shelves with all the canners & canned jars collapsed! Again I groaned & went to look.
...& again: nothing.
There were more incidents. My daughter had a party, and a bunch of her high school friends spent the night in our semi-finished basement. In the middle of the night there was a crash that shook the house and woke everyone. My daughter & her friends discussed it, then recreated the noise by lifting and dropping a heavy futon on which several kids had been sleeping. Yup: that was the sound.
Keep in mind that my daughter's relationship (and mine) with her dad was...uneasy...throughout this time.
Fast-forward to that summer. My daughter went to live with her dad for several months. There were upsetting developments. Very upsetting. She moved home under less than happy circumstances. And then the noises started in earnest.
For several nights in a row, there was a terrific crashing and banging from the (empty) basement. I heard this. It stopped after I turned on all the lights on the first floor & prepared to go downstairs. Except no one was there. (I was not asleep or sleep-walking at the time. This happened.)
As a skeptic (which I've become very consciously in the half-dozen years since this took place) I would doubt someone heard those noises, had I not been the one (among others)who heard them. I have no explanation. I am not claiming a paranormal defense. But I heard them. So did my daughter. And so did close to a dozen of her friends.
Everything I've recounted here is true. I am willing to believe there is a logical explanation. But I have yet to hear one.
Sleep well, campers. Dammit! I don't care if it isn't Halloween anymore. Close enough.