Keeping Tabs on Mrs. Crouch

Window That Has Settled To The Right

I am frequently asked about what kinds of mischief Mrs. Crouch has been up to lately, and I know my vague responses aren’t very satisfactory.  Although I am often aware that she is  just out of sight, she seldom does anything substantive enough to satisfy those who are looking for a good ghost “experience”– certainly nothing interesting enough to warrant the beginnings of a story.

Nevertheless, I have vowed to begin paying better attention and to document anything that seems enough out of the  ordinary that it might be attributed to Mrs. C — even a few definite indicators that she is still “looking out for the household” in her own inimitable  fashion.  I’ve decided to  write down each incident as it occurs,  and perhaps in time a pattern will become clear.  And, perhaps, a story will emerge.

Door From Library Into Hallway With Sad Iron Doorstop

With that in mind, I want to tell about what happened a day or two ago — nothing much, of course, but still out of the ordinary.  First, let me remind you that this house is now 153 years old and has settled and become comfortable on the sand dunes that underlie Oysterville.  Some of the windows no longer open and the interior doors need to be latched closed or propped open — otherwise they almost-but-not-quite shut on their own.

The door between the east room (where the TV is) and the hallway is kept open with one  of my grandmother’s old sad irons, and the door from the east room into the library is propped open with one of the old ballast rocks brought up on the oyster schooners of long ago.  Both doors are usually left open for ease of access, but occasionally I close one or both.

Door Between Library and East Room With Ballast Rock Doorstop

The other day, it felt a bit drafty as I was watching TV, so I moved the sad iron and firmly closed the door into the hallway.  Not ten minutes later, I heard the door unlatch and watched, fascinated, as the door swung slowly (uphill!) back to its wide open position.  In a moment of total disorientation, I thought that Nyel would appear in his wheelchair, probably miffed that I had closed the door.  But…

I went into the hall and looked around but there was nothing to see.  Nor did it feel cold as is often reported after ghostly activity.  All was as usual… except the door.  It seemed clear to me that Mrs. C. wanted it left open and so I have complied, draft or no draft.  (Or was that actually a draft?)  It’s always hard to tell with ghosts…

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