In the course of my life, I’ve had a few run-ins I would characterize as supernatural or paranormal, but the experiences we would have when we bought our first home would leave no doubt in my mind about the reality of the supernatural. With Halloween not far off, I thought this story would be appropriate. This is the first chapter, from the beginning.
We bought our first house in the summer of 2007. It was a beautiful, sun-soaked summer for the most part, until we started looking for a house. For about ten or eleven days straight, it rained. We ran around town with our realtor, checking out houses in a constant downpour. We learned to go in the basement first — it was so wet, if there were any problems with water in the basement, it was exposed by the weather. At the time we kind of took it as a blessing. We found a nice little home in North Fargo and bought it.
We didn’t have to make our first house payment for about sixty days, so we had the luxury of having the keys to our house while still living in our apartment for two months. We decided to take the move-in process casually, moving a little bit each day. Every day, I would leave work, drive up to the apartment, fill our Jeep with one load of boxes, drive it to the house and unload in the garage. When I arrived on day two, I started to notice little things.
The light in the basement was on when I arrived. There’s a switch at the bottom of the steps, and one at the top. I turned it off after I dropped off the first load yesterday. I was sure of it. And yet, there I was, looking down the stairwell at a lit basement. I unloaded my cache of boxes, made a production of turning off the light — “I’m turning off the light now” — and headed back to the apartment. I did not immediately mention any of this to Rebecca.
A couple of weeks later, we had moved enough of our belongings to begin spending the night in the house. So our family spent a Saturday taking apart our beds and reassembling them in our new bedrooms. By this time I had shared my experiences — with lights being on, etc… with my wife. She expressed some mild agreement as she had encountered the same thing… thinking she had turned off the light, but finding it on. We were on our hands and knees in our bedroom as we had this conversation, putting together our bed frame. It was quiet in the house since our TV hadn’t yet made the trip. And out of the corner of my eye, I thought I saw something.
In my peripheral vision, I saw my son Cole walk into the room. Or that’s what I thought I saw. And in a reflexive fatherly moment, I stopped cranking on the socket wrench and sat up, hands on my knees, knocking back my baseball cap as I readied myself to answer the question that would inevitably come from my three year old boy. There was nobody there. I was looking at an empty spot in the room. And Rebecca was looking at me, looking at an empty spot in the room.
“What??” she said, alarmed. “Nothing,” I said. I had learned a long time ago to not make a big deal out of these things or Becky gets all freaked out. I tried to go back to work, but she wouldn’t let me. She made me tell her what I saw. A little boy in blue walked into the room. I thought it was Cole. Becky had a little shudder and we went back to work.
This would not be the last time we encountered a small, child size apparition in our new home. Read more in chapter two: bedtime wanderings.
Troy Larson is a father, author, and photographer originally from Minot, North Dakota, now residing in Fargo.