For the first sixteen years of my life, I lived in a house I thought was haunted, but there was never any proof. We often heard the sound of doors slamming down the hall, yet the doors remained wide open. A few times we investigated crashing noises in the basement, a sound like shelves of tools had fallen over, but nothing was ever out of place. Even when water faucets suddenly turned themselves on, my dad would rather blame worn out washers than speculate about poltergeists.
Those noises might have been caused by the house settling, or something else, but certainly not anything from the spiritual realm. Dad thought everything must have a logical explanation, and that’s how he raised me and my sister, Jennifer.
So years later, when Jennifer and I moved in with my mother and her boyfriend, I didn’t think too much about sounds of doors opening and unexplained footsteps. At least, not at first.
I was about nineteen at the time, and I worked varied shifts at McDonald’s as a Crew Chief, while Mom and Wayne both worked day jobs. I was often home alone during the day. One day I was in the shower and I heard the front door open and close, and the distinctive heavy-footed steps of Wayne, in his electrician’s work boots.
“Well, crap,” I thought. I hadn’t brought my robe into the bathroom because I thought I was the only person home. The bathroom was located in the middle of the hall, so rather than risk streaking, I yelled out for Wayne to please hang my robe on the bathroom door. I didn’t hear him answer but my soapy head was under running water, so I didn’t think anything of it.
When I finished my shower, there was no robe hanging on the door. I called out to Wayne. No answer. Figuring he’d just ran inside the house to grab some tools he’d forgotten, I shrugged it off.
I didn’t recall the incident until a while later. I had just finished showering and was getting ready to go out with one of my closest friends, Lisa. Lisa had a key to our house, so I wasn’t startled to hear the front door open while I was in the bathroom. I hollered that I’d be out soon.
I was taken aback when it wasn’t Lisa’s voice—but our friend Betty’s—I heard say, “Hello, Lorraine.”
Still, I answered it.
“Oh, hey, Betty,” I called through the bathroom door. “I didn’t know you were coming, too. Is Lisa with you? Y’all are early. I’ll get ready as soon as I can.”
There was no answer. Perplexed, I wrapped a towel around me and opened the bathroom door. Humans, like animals can sense the presence of others, so I could tell there was no one there, even before I looked around. Sure enough, it was just me and the walls.
This happened way before we all had cell phones, so I couldn’t just call Lisa and ask, “Were you just here?” But since I’d been raised to look for a logical answer, I assumed they’d gone to the country store near our house for a Coke, while they waited on me. I hurried up and finished getting ready. However, when Lisa finally arrived, she was unaccompanied.
“Where’s Betty?” I asked.
“I don’t know,” she said, “was Betty goin’ with us?”
I explained to her what had happened—why I expected Betty to be with her.
“That’s weird, Lorraine,” she said. “You’re weird.”
And we laughed it off because, well, it was true. She wasn’t the first—and wouldn’t be the last—to say so.
Over the next several weeks, I got other “greetings” while in the shower: one from my aunt Brenda, a frequent guest who also had a key, and another from Jennifer. It was always the same—I’d be alone in the house, in the shower, when I’d hear someone saying my name or saying hello—then I’d get out of the shower and still be the only human there.
After awhile I began to panic. Was I hearing voices? What else could it be? No one wants to admit to losing her mind, but I started looking up psychiatrists in the yellow pages. Still, I couldn’t force myself to place the call. I started getting really scared. The only person I’d told was Lisa. I didn’t dare tell anyone else and I hadn’t told Lisa that it was happening more and more.
Then one night I got up to get a drink of water from the kitchen. I walked through the dark living room and was surprised to find our house guest, Sherry, who’d been visiting from Florida, reading at the kitchen table. She was reading by the tired light of a florescent bulb over the sink. It wasn’t very bright in there, so I was caught off guard when she looked up at me. Sherry has huge, round, bright blue eyes—true “Betty Davis eyes”—and she looked at me evenly across the top of the paperback.
“Well, all I can say is I’m glad you’re a real person this time.”
“What?” I asked.
“Just before you came in here, I saw someone. A man. There was a man standing right where you are, and when I looked full on at him—he disappeared.”
“What? Should I wake Mom?” I asked, shaking all over.
“No, we’ll tell her in the morning,” she said. “But I think it’s probably time for me to go to bed after all that,”
“Well wait on me!” I said. “I don’t want to be in here alone!”
The next morning, we all started telling stories. To my great relief, I wasn’t the only one hearing voices. My aunt Brenda had heard my voice call out to her. Another time Mom and Wayne had both been in the bathroom when they heard me come in the front door … and were both confused to find I wasn’t there.
Jennifer was very pregnant at the time, and she told us that one day she was ironing her shirt and had to stop mid-task to go to the bathroom. When she went back to her task, the shirt she’d been ironing was gone. Perplexed and frustrated, thinking maybe she was having a pregnant moment, she went down to the basement laundry room to get a different shirt from the dryer.
Much to her confusion, the shirt she’d been ironing was laying neatly on the dryer. She knew she hadn’t gone downstairs before she went to the bathroom, but she couldn’t explain it.
Other than my sister’s shirt and Sherry’s sighting, the one thing the rest of the stories had in common was that they all happened while someone was in the bathroom. People would be getting in or out of the shower, and most of the time, the water was running. Did that have something to do with it?
My mom decided to do some research. She called the people we bought the house from to see if maybe there was something unusual about the house—something they’d neglected to mention when we bought it. I don’t remember if they said they’d seen or heard a ghost, but there was a bit of information that had not been revealed to any of us yet.
Apparently, one previous owner, a Mr. Morelock, had died inside the house. Mom joked that since her grandmother was a Morelock, maybe we were related to this man and he was just saying hello to his relatives. Maybe Mr. Morelock was lonely.
That solution was kind of logical. It did seem like we were being greeted by familiar or family voices. But what we found out next gave me chills. Maybe it was not just a coincidence that we were often greeted while taking a shower—because it just so happened, Mr. Morelock had died in the bathroom.
Sadly, our friendly Mr. Morelock had taken his own life. While he was…. in the shower.
Now you, like my father, may insist that ghosts don’t exist. But this encounter was enough to prove, if only to me, that at least one of the houses I lived in was indeed haunted.