Location: Dunedin, New Zealand
Date of Encounter: 2000
I moved into my home, which was built around the turn of the century and soon found I wasn't alone. Shortly after moving in, I was changing a light bulb at the top of a 10-foot ladder and lost my balance only to feel two large, calloused hands push me upright again. Saying, "Thanks," I realized I was not alone as thought. However, growing up in an inhabited home (a term I prefer to haunted), it truly made my new home feel welcoming. I have had several other housemates "living" with me, some I have seen, some I only hear.
The calloused hands belong to the "Preacher." The reason I call him so is because he wears a long, dark coat and wide brimmed hat like a frontier preacher. He has also comforted my dog, who had been abused in his last home and who is prone to night terrors on several occasions.
I have woken to the weight of a hand on my leg when the dog is crying only to see him petting and calming the dog down so I can rest for work. Of course, I always thank him. He often looks up startled and vanishes.
Another housemate I have likes to play with an old-time rotary phone, which I have yet to find. The oddest thing about this game is they call a friend of mine from work. The first time this happened, she had come over for dinner the night before, the next day at work she wanted to know why I had called her at 3 in the morning and wouldn't say anything when she answered. I was surprised because that was when the "kids" were playing with the phone, my phone that doesn't have a rotary dial tone and I was long asleep by 3 AM. This happens so commonly it has gotten to be a running joke between us that the "kids" need their phone privileges revoked, but how to do that if you can't find the kids or the phone. These are only a few examples of the antics my housemates are up to. Some people find living in an inhabited home frightening, but I on the other hand, find it comforting knowing even though I live alone, I'm never truly alone. Now if I could only convince them to turn the lights off when they are done, and to remember to close the cupboard door when they are done with them.