Around the middle of October, Trask and I found this trunk, just sitting next to the dumpster, waiting for garbage pick up the next day. I get very excited when I find things - pennies, sales, a new use for something old, a new blog... whatever it is, if it is something that I've discovered, I get really excited. This is usually accompanied by clapping or fist-pumping, along with squealing. I'm just enthusiastic like that. And believe me, it doesn't irritate Trask one bit. Never. Ahem...
It was a sunny but chilly October afternoon, around 4 pm, when we drove past the trunk, on our way to park the car in front of our apartment. I caught a glimpse of this beauty next to the dumpster. And if you know me, you know that I adore trunks. I could fill a whole house with trunks. I love their aged look, their beauty, and I love that I can store (or hide) crap inside them, making me appear neat and tidy. I also adore free things. I immediately told Trask to stop the car RIGHT NOW and get out and get that trunk. I was feeling anxious and rushed. I didn't want an unlikely neighbor to swoop in and snatch it in the 15 seconds it was going to take Trask to walk to the dumpster area to retrieve this beauty made of wood. It had to be ours.
Eventually, after Trask telling me to calm down and go upstairs with the kids, he came up with the trunk. It was beautiful! The canvas on the sides was in great shape, and you could tell it was old, but it wasn't battered, especially for its age. It smelled musty, but it wasn't moldy or damaged. The hardware was in perfect condition and I had plans for this beauty.
We opened the trunk and found that it was full of things. It was like finding a treasure chest or a time capsule. There were newspapers in there dating 1909 and 1926, from St. Louis and from Winter Springs, California. There was a beautiful hand mirror, a few old pieces of clothing that looked handmade. little keepsakes, handkerchiefs, hat pins, a doll made out of a wooden clothespin and crepe paper, and papers with the name Rachel Sager on them. There was an obituary about the death of Rachel's mother. We did some research online and found out a bit about Rachel (she worked for the newspaper in Winter Springs) and about her family. We have NO idea how the trunk ended up in Hillsboro, Oregon.
This was AMAZING. I was so curious as to why it was going to be thrown out. And which one of my neighbors would have this trunk, and just cast it aside? And didn't that dumb-ass know that trunks are worth a lot of money?! For a moment it was quiet, and Trask said it was probably haunted. We laughed nervously, or at least I was nervous, but then again, I am always nervous. I suggested that maybe someone inherited it and they kept what they wanted and just tossed the rest, I didn't want to think about ghosts.
Let's stop for a moment here and talk about my passion for the show Ghost Hunters on the Sy Fy channel. I've blogged about my love of ghosts and this show before, here. Go read it real quick and come back... And now that you're back, you know that I love ghost stories and I find them thrilling. YET, it's good for you all to know that I am a huge scaredy cat, as well.
Well, strange things started happening once the trunk came into our home.
At first, it wasn't anything too out of the ordinary, just weird. A few different times when I was up at night walking into the bathroom, while the hall was pitch black, I swore I saw a tiny flash or beam of light, moving all sorts of directions, not just straight, out of the corner of my eye. I would rush in to the bathroom and rush back to bed. It scared me a bit, but I have an active imagination. Some say I'm delusional.
On one strange occasion I was telling Trask goodnight and I laid my head on my pillow, and hadn't closed my eyes when I saw a flash of light down on the floor by his side of the bed, by his head. I told him his phone was ringing (on silent) and was lighting up. He picked up the phone and looked, he hadn't missed a call, there was no message, and besides, it was facing DOWN on the carpet, not up, so I wouldn't have been able to see a flash. THAT scared me. The same night I woke up in the middle of the night and saw that down the hall, Taylor's light was on in his room. His light is a pull-string light, attached to his ceiling fan. I turned it back off and went to sleep. The next day we tried re-creating a situation where the light would come back on (like pulling the string halfway and seeing if it turned on or off, etc., but we found nothing).
We also had Carsten's sound machine turn off at different times of the night, without an alarm being set, and with no malfunctions of any kind. It would just turn off. We'd realize this when I'd get up to feed Carsten and there was no sound coming from the machine. There was also one night that scared the piss out of Trask and I where Carsten's sound machine alarm went off (it was never set!), and not only was it going off, but the volume was going up and down, up and down, until Trask got up and turned the whole thing off. (THIS gives me goosebumps and chills still as I type this).
Another day (mind you, this is all in the time span of 3 weeks) the boys and I were at home and I had an eerie feeling like someone was there. Of course, we saw no one, but I couldn't shake the feeling that something was off. At this time, our security alarm system by our front door (the one that we have NEVER used, turned on, etc.) started beeping. It was quiet, and I didn't know where the beeps were coming from at first. After looking everywhere for a broken toy and not seeing anything, I saw the alarm panel. It was beeping. And the word "trouble" was lit up on the box. No button that I pushed could make it stop. For 5 minutes it did this. I called the maintenance office for the apartments and didn't get an answer, but later found out that this doesn't happen if it needs new batteries or anything, it would just keep beeping or show the "service" light if that were the case. I was hoping it was from needing service, but this was inexplicable, and stopped after that time, and didn't happen again. I was frightened, but not that worried.
At this point Trask and I are both kind of scared. It bothered us that whatever it was went into Taylor's room, and was messing with Carsten's sound machine. If it was just us, maybe it would have been okay. BUT, this is where it gets strange. I was in the kitchen and Taylor was on the couch. Carsten was on the floor by my feet, as always. I heard something down the hall, like something shifting in my bedroom closet. I thought it was just Tay playing in there until I saw that he was in the living room. At the time I was looking at him, he looked at me and said that he saw a man in a white shirt walking down the hall and into my room. This scared the crap out of me. He told me he was tall. I called Trask at work and got brave and walked down the hall to my room. Nothing was there. Nothing in my closet had shifted or had fallen over. What happened to make that noise, I have no clue. No matter how many times I asked Taylor about the man, the story never changed. This was not a Taylor-fib.
So, it was decided that we wanted to get rid of this beautiful trunk. We had sent in pictures of it to a few trunk experts to get the date and some information on it, and found out it was from the late 1800's and was a nice, expensive trunk. We didn't feel right just throwing it out, especially because it had Rachel's belongings in it, and they must have been treasures to her. We decided to ask if anyone wanted it, and disclosed it was haunted.
Trask's boss ended up taking it to her home. The day Trask was going to take it to his boss, I was loading the washing machine and felt someone behind me - a presence. I knew no one was in the room with me, that I could see with my naked eye. All of a sudden the musty, old smell from the trunk filled the laundry room. I didn't have any of the items from the trunk in there, so I knew it was the ghost. I told it that it was going to go with the trunk somewhere else, and when I turned around (scared as could be), the smell and the weird feeling was gone. Trask took the trunk that morning.
The trunk is now at Trask's boss's home. And guess what happened at her home... She had it in the living room and she fell asleep on the couch. She woke up because she felt something pull her hair, hard enough to wake her up. She looked around and saw nothing. She pulled her hair back a bit, in case it got snagged on the couch or something like that, and went back to sleep. She was awoken two other times, from a deep sleep, by the ghost pulling her hair. She finally sat up and looked at the trunk and said "quit it!", and it hasn't bothered her since, that we've heard. She told us she had the feeling that it was a child.
As soon as the trunk was out of our home, the weird instances and feelings stopped. The sound machine hasn't turned off, nor has the alarm sounded. Taylor hasn't spoken of the man in the white shirt. The smell hasn't reappeared. Taylor's light never did that, and I didn't see lights down the hall while it was dark. I'm not sure if others would call this a haunting or not, but I believe it was. I don't think it was harmful at all, but most likely just wanted us to know it was there. I'm so happy it found a new home though, because I'd rather watch Ghost Hunters on TV than experience it in my own home, although I wish Steve and Tango would come hang out with me in the dark...