Thump. Mark and I heard it while sitting on the front porch. "What the—?" he asked. With three cats and a dog in the house, I wasn't worried about the noise. "I left my Gatorade bottle on the parlor table," I told him, "Someone probably knocked it off." Then again, thump thump thump. Most definitely not the Gatorade bottle. "You stay here," Mark said, standing up, "and I'll check it out." There have been several break-ins around town lately and I think Mark thought someone may have been in the house. He came back in a few minutes and reported nothing amiss. Thump, louder this time. "It's the fur-babies, " I said. So we rounded them up and brought them onto the porch with us. Just as we sat down, we heard it again. Thump thump thump. We looked at each other wide-eyed. The dog growled. Then, a window-rattling, front-porch-sofa-shaking THUMP. The cats hid together behind the sofa and the dog wriggled under a chair.
That's when I thought it might be a good time to tell Mark that I'm not entirely sure Mr. and Mrs. Kelly (the original owners of my house) have ever left it. I told him about the sound of women laughing that I sometimes used to hear in the second parlor and the lights turning off and on when my son and I first moved in. When he didn't scoff I told him about the Whistling Man (heard but not seen) who came in from the entryway, crossed the parlor into the dining room, paused, and then left the same way he came in. Then I told him about the tapping noises that occurred for weeks on end with no cause ever found and the cinder blocks in the basement.
"But all that stopped about the time I took the shingles off the house," I said. Mark smiled and said, "Apparently they're back." Based on the thumping, and on the fact that twice yesterday my sleep was interrupted by persistent knocking on an interior door (which stopped when I opened the door) I think he just may be right.