It wasn't a dark and stormy night. I wasn't all alone. It happened on a night not unlike any other night in my house when I was growing up.
I was about 10 years old. I had begrudgingly gotten ready for bed, brushed my teeth, gotten into my pajamas, and headed back downstairs to say goodnight to my parents one more time. Okay, if I'm being honest, I really went down there to stall. My 16 year old sister, and roommate, didn't have to go to bed until much later and I really pushed it every night trying to get my folks to let me stay up later and later. No such luck this night. They gave me kisses and the standard, "Goodnight. God bless you. I love you."s were exchanged and defeatedly I went upstairs to my bedroom.
I crawled into my twin sized bed and pulled the cream comforter with pink flowers up around me. I turned on the old fashioned clock radio for some sweet, soothing music to help lull me to sleep. I turned the knob on the side of the clock and watched as the needled slid back and forth on the faceplate with the orange backlight glowing. Jackpot! I found one of my favorite songs. I reached for the light on the bedside table and snapped it off, turned over to face the wall, and snuggled down in my bed thinking about my grade school crush as Huey Lewis sang "Happy to be Stuck With You".
Just as my crush was about to ask me to dance the music on the radio got fuzzy. Great! Way to ruin my fantasy! Stupid static! Stupid radio!
I turned back over to face the clock radio hoping to adjust the station a bit, and I froze. From the orangey glow of the clock I saw the needle moving back and forth on the faceplate and the knob on the side was slowly turning. I couldn't move. I couldn't look away. I just watched as the needle went back and forth, back and forth, up and down the faceplate, all the while going in and out of static and music. Finally it came to a stop.
I jumped out of bed and ran down the hallway, flew down the stairs, and jumped onto the couch where my mom and sister were watching TV. They immediately new something was wrong just from the sheer speed at which I burst into the room. Never mind the look on my face.
I whimpered as I retold my story to my mom, dad, and sister. My mom tried to think of things to calm me. Perhaps I had just fallen asleep and dreamt it. Dad thought that maybe my eyes (and ears?) were playing tricks on me. For once my sister backed me up. Maybe it was the look in my eyes, or maybe it was the fact that she knew I hadn't even been in my room long enough to fall asleep when it happened. Either way, they believed me enough to let me stay up later that night. At least until my sister was ready for bed.
When my sister and I finally went to bed later that night we put the clock radio down on the floor so that we couldn't see it, and we didn't listen to music to help us fall asleep. And for the first time in a long time I asked, "Anne? Can I sleep in your bed tonight?"
(On a side note: I had only fuzzy memories of this up until a few years ago. Todd and I were watching some kind of television show about hauntings. On it they had almost the same scenario play out with a clock radio that looked JUST LIKE MINE growing up, but it had a green backlight instead of orange. When I saw the needle moving on that clock radio on the television I immediately teared up. The tears just started rolling down my face. I wasn't sad or even that scared. I almost felt like I was reliving it again. So bizarre!
So anyway. That is Ghost Story Number 1. But trust me. They get scarier. Stay tuned tomorrow for another freaky ghost story!)