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Ghost story: true or false


Most of what I write is true.
Sabra, for example, was moving our raised bed garden boxes 50 feet to the right for no apparent reason, and I was watching her from my office window overlooking the backyard. It was a blustery, cold day and I did pull down the shades because it was distracting to see her drag the heavy frames 1 inch at a time to the new destination.
But she did not dig a trench for the asparagus. You think me a total cad? That was my job.
She also did not mysteriously measure my shoulder width (to make sure the hole was big enough for my grave). No, she had me lie down in it for a photo. There’s proof of that. Just go to Orange Hat Enterprises on Facebook and you’ll see it. While you’re at it, follow my page.
Sabra wanted me to start on the job on Tuesday, but snow stole away another spring day. Darn global cooling. But I got on it first thing Wednesday morning.
It’s one of the few things I claim to be an expert at. It’s a family affair. As a child, I dug for Dad at more than one of his projects including the crawl space for a room addition. In my late teens, I worked a shovel as a lineman for Ma Bell. And, as a soldier, I dug a few trenches for Uncle Sam.
I’ve also dug myself a few metaphysical holes in my lifetime, but those are all stories already told or never-to-be told.
Whether digging a hole in the ground or mending one in your psyche, you get started with one step and then keep at it. The key to good digging is to obey one edict: do no harm. That means don’t step on dirt you’re about to dig, and don’t let dirt near the surface fall deeper. Keep these rules in mind and you can be an adept dirt digger too.
The keys to the moving van did go missing but they have not shown up again. Over the years, I’ve used the existence of “the imp,” as an alibi for something I lost, but there have also been plenty of mysterious incidents that beg explanation. Before our trip to Australia, for example, Sabra bought me a fancy pair of full length pants that converted into shorts with the help of a couple of zippers. (Why she did this I don’t know, since one zipper on pants is plenty hard enough for me to operate correctly.) She set them on the bed in the guest room, which we use as a staging area for our clothes whenever we travel. The pants sat there for a week in full view. Then with just a couple days to go until our trip, they simply vanished.
But it is totally true, I am a trained paranormal investigator with a certificate to prove it. As a child, I watched every episode of Casper (it must be real because I saw it on television) and, as an adult, successfully completed the Paranormal Investigations class offered through Kirkwood Community College. That’s where I got the certificate.
That class ended with a field trip to the Mason House Inn in Bentonsport. It’s a little unknown corner of American history right here in sleepy old Iowa. During the civil war, it served as a hospital for both Union and Confederate soldiers and the place is filled to the rafters with lost souls. Souls, I learned in the class, often show up as little blotches of light in photographs. During our visit Sabra snapped a photo of our group of 10. Everyone else’s image turned out sharp but mine was blurred by dozens of puffballs of light surrounding my body.
Turns out, you’re reading the writing of what’s known in serious psychic circles (say that five times real fast) as a “sensitive” or sometimes even a “ghost whisperer.” Not sure why. Over the years I’ve joked, well lied, that women are extremely attracted to me. That may not be true, at least anymore. But it’s true that spirits are attracted to me. How else can I explain all the ghosts I’ve known?