About ten years ago, when we had just moved into our new home, I was having a friendly chat with our next door neighbor.  Donna and I had warmed to each other fairly quickly and I decided to take a chance.  “I’m going to say something and I just want to see if you have any reaction.”

“Okay…,” she said dubiously.

“Evening in Paris perfume.”

She thought for a moment, then she sighed.  “You’ve got a ghost, don’t you?”

I explained to her how I had been walking out of the bedroom-cum-study on the second floor when I had the sense someone had brushed by, followed by the scent cheap dime store perfume.  For those too young to get the reference, Evening in Paris perfume was typically sold in Woolworth’s stores and the decorative packaging was the thing that sold it to an eight year old boy who was trying to impress a favorite teacher for Christmas.  I remember buying said item displayed in a black, velveteen package that resembled a Persian cat, fake pearls around its neck.  The stuff was sugary sweet and insubstantial as a perfume; the scent most likely wore off in less than half an hour.

But the scent was fresh that day.  And warm.  As if it was emanating from someone’s skin.

Donna told me an old woman who never took (a New England phrase) had lived there – and slept in that very bedroom – until her elderly parents passed away.  She then sold the house and moved to warmer, southern climes.

I’m agnostic about most things.  I leave open the door to possibilities and I attempt the humble stance that I’m a dumb ape with limited resources to fully comprehend my world.  That applies to religion.  Likewise it applies to all other things supernatural.  I cringe at the notion of ghosts.  I roll my eyes at the idea that spirits linger due to their own confusion over death or their unsated desire for vindication.  Brother!

Is it possible that impressions are left behind?  I remember several years ago scientists got excited because they thought they might actually be able to retrieve sounds recorded in wet clay spinning on ancient potter’s wheels much like sound is recorded on a record.  Of course.  Perhaps all events are indelibly recorded, and they merely require finely tuned devices to retrieve and reconstruct those events from the ever fragmenting pieces of our past.

That’s one possibly explanation and there are so many others, none of which I choose to embrace.  I’ll just let them be.  But I’ll acknowledge that any of them could be correct and my brain may be too simple to ever truly understand.

But Doris, the ghost, has become part of our lives.


I hate two part series, but I’ve got to stop.  Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post.  Working title:  “A haunting, A Psycho Cat or Termites”.