August 31, 2008

Hungarian Haunted House
Sárospatak, Hungary

A belief in ghosts generally runs counter to my views on life after death, so it's hard for me to believe in such things. Our minds can play tricks on us, and short of turning around and suddenly finding the kitchen chairs stacked on top of the table, I suppose I'll always be found in the skeptic category.

But at times I've wondered if my days in this home are running parallel to a horror movie, where the characters are given ample cause for alarm, yet ignorantly ignore them to continue pushing their luck (while the audience shakes their heads). Maybe it's coincidence; maybe it's Laszlo's deceased grandmother.

Many of the oddities seem to be focused around Tatiana, who needs no convincing on the subject. She's a believer, and lets herself get seriously creeped out by the home, and some of the odder nuances of living within it. "For sure it's the grandmother," I tell her playfully, "and she doesn't like you."

Tatiana's incident list has grown with every passing day:

I was giving Aidric his bath the day we arrived. He kept on staring at a curtain covering a door, as if he were staring at a person, and then he just started yelling at it, like he does at people (but never at objects). At night, I could hear footsteps in the hall, sometimes even someone sneezing.

One day I was in the bedroom with Aidric and when Craig came in the lamp on the ceiling was swinging violently. Some days we'd have only cold water, some others hot water all day, without anybody touching the water heater.

On one occasion we'd been looking absolutely everywhere for one of Aidric's bottles—it was nowhere to be found. A day or two later it mysteriously appeared next to the blender that we happen to use at least once a day.

There were also a few times when I felt like someone had come in the room; I'd turn around, and nobody was there. Many times I'd go to Aidric and he'd look at me, and then look next to me, like he was looking at someone. So I'd turn around thinking Craig had come into the room and was behind me, but there was no one. Aidric did this many times, but had never done before our arrival at the house. He'd be playing or doing whatever, he'd look at thin air and start "talking", like he was talking to someone.

The workshop kitchen

I'll admit it; once, around two o'clock in the morning, I awoke and could've sworn I heard footsteps and muffled coughing coming from what sounded like the attic space above the hallway. That was indeed a bit odd, but not enough to keep me from going right back to sleep. Maybe there are gypsies living up there.

Update: September 7

Laszlo e-mailed, and seems to have finally gotten around to telling me that he and his cousin Marton actually refer to the home we stayed in the "ghost house" (seriously), and that Marton has thought for a long while that that it was granny's ghost in the place. Lovely.

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