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My House ISN'T Haunted
by Rose DeShaw

I should've realized something was up with the universe when I was coming back to our nearly 200 year old, vine-covered house with some groceries, earlier. A little kid, walking with his mother yelled, "Hey, is your house haunted?"

"Of course it isn't haunted!" I said indignantly. "Do I look like a ghost to you?"

"Maybe there are some inside," he persists.

"Why would you think it was?" I said, curious.

"My Daddy says it's haunted," he says.

"Be sure to tell your Daddy he's wrong, then," I said, worried he might be a stringer for one of those ghost-buster shows. There are at least 3 running on TV this season. I thought about the occasions when I had the door propped open with a lifesize statue of a woman in a black dress, which I thought was rather elegant. After that, occasionally, someone would chuck a little kid in and hold the door shut while he screamed, "Lemme Out! Don't let the witch get me!"

"Neighbourhood wouldn't know culture if they tripped over it in the dark", I muttered to myself, but I'd thought that was a one-time thing. Or maybe Daddy was one of those little kids grown up. I know the vine makes it look different but I never thought, spectral.

Then I cleaned out our freezer. I took everything and crammed it into the top of the refrigerator. As long as you didn't open the door, it was okay. I had to replace the freezer as it was leaking all over the kitchen floor. I had another one coming in the afternoon. They sent two young guys to deliver the replacement and haul off the old one.

"What'll we do if we find stuff behind it or under it?" one of the guys asked as I started for the front door to sit outside and ignore what was going on in my kitchen.

"Oh just put it anywhere," I said.

When the two of them came out, they seemed nervous, didn't look me in the eye, just handed me the paperwork and peeled on out. I went back in noting that the kitchen IS rather dark the way the vine has surrounded it outside. Then I saw a little pile of what they'd found under the freezer sitting on a stack of newspapers. On top was a black-covered, watersoaked copy of Bram Stroker's Dracula.

Personally I think that was jumping to conclusions but lately at neighbourhood gatherings I've been introduced as the woman who owns "the weird house." Unless I go vineless and maybe install a little aluminum siding, I'll no doubt be fending off producers of those TV shows for some time to come...