A Halloween poltergeist?

The following is a true story that took place earlier this afternoon while at work.

I had just finished my afternoon break and began my walk from the break room to the parking lot where I collect shopping carts. Along the way I passed a Halloween display at the front of the store with various decorations and props for sale. Suddenly my eyes caught a glimpse of some wolf masks falling to the floor with no one nearby. There wasn’t even anyone at the Halloween display. Maybe someone was looking at the masks moments earlier and then restacked them unevenly for them to fall later. But how would that be possible? My mind was swimming with questions.

I picked up the masks and put them back on the shelf. Every so often I would pass by the Halloween display to see if the masks had fallen again. This time they stayed put. Perhaps the poltergeist knew I was watching…

A punny day at work.

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This morning I was collecting shopping carts in the parking lot when I came across one that was badly damaged and unfit for use. I wasn’t sure where to take it, so I consulted a supervisor who in turn told me to ask one of my coworkers who knew where to take it.

I spotted the coworker a few minutes later and wheeled over the damaged cart for him to see.

It was at that moment I asked him, “Where do broken carts go?”

The perils of infrequent oil changes.

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When it comes time to change the oil on my car, I take it to my parents’ house where I back my car in the garage just enough so the front bumper sticks out of the garage. That way I can easily slide the oil pan under the car, remove the plug to drain the oil and remove the old filter. After draining the oil, I re-install the plug, replace the filter, add the new oil, and then finish the job by recording the date and mileage on the garage wall.

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The wall on the garage is decorated with dates and mileages of previous cars I owned as I performed the many oil changes over the years. But no oil change is more memorable than the Great Oil Change Disaster of July 20, 1990. That’s when I owned a 1981 Honda Civic, my very first car. According to the writing on the wall, the last time I had changed the oil was on October 28, 1989, which was a span of 8 months and 22 days between oil changes. I was to learn what a mistake that was.

The oil change went off without a hitch, or so I thought. I changed the  filter, drained the dirty oil and added the fresh oil, just I had done many times before. By the time I was finished, it was time for me to go to work, so I changed to my work clothes, got in my car and drove off.

As I was leaving the driveway, I glanced in my rear view mirror and noticed a long trail of oil that began where my car was parked when I did the ill-fated oil change and continued down the street where I was driving. All the oil had drained out and I was left to wonder what happened as I continued driving to work with an empty oil reservoir. Fortunately, my job was only a few miles away so it wasn’t a very long drive to and from work.

The next day I investigated what happened and found the cause. When I removed the old oil filter, a piece of gasket had broken off and stayed in place to prevent me from fully seating the new filter, thus allowing the oil to escape when I started the engine.

After spending a sweaty afternoon of scrubbing away the oily trail from the driveway, I’d say I pretty much learned my lesson.

A visitor in the night.

misc-true-storyI still have vivid memories of a very frightening nightmare I had when I was a kid. But then, chances were that it may not have been a nightmare at all but some uninvited visitor from beyond the realm of my darkest fears.

There I was, a young kid of perhaps four or five years of age, lying there in my bed in my dark bedroom, trying to sleep when out it pounced from nowhere with a piercing yell, a very frightening creature with a glowing white face with features slightly resembling a skull with piercing white eyes. I could feel its weight as it rested on my chest while staring at me in the face for a split second before it disappeared just as quickly as it had arrived.

I don’t know what happened after that but I am sure I was much too scared to sleep. I most likely got out of bed and walked across the dark hallway to seek comfort from my parents even if it meant waking them up in the middle of the night.

That nightmare still frightens me even today when I think about it. I still wonder if it was either a nightmare or a nighttime visit from some mischievous glowing monster from nowhere. I may never know.

A Sunday night adventure.

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This is an actual entry from my journal dated November 29, 1987.

It all started with a phone call one evening from my friend Ian. He was at home, extremely bored. After asking my parents if I could go, I went over to his house where he asked me to go pick up Steve, another friend of his. After picking Steve up from his house, we went back to Ian’s house, where we laughed as we clowned around, listening to heavy metal music and having a great time. We also messed around with a pair of toy handcuffs while pretending we were security guards. In a playful mood I picked up the handcuffs and cuffed¬† my right wrist. Then I was shocked to learn that Ian didn’t even have the keys to the handcuffs!

We messed around a little more, and then, in an attempt to get the handcuffs off, I tightened them by mistake. Now was the time to get them off! They were really squeezing my wrist, so we all went to the garage and Ian tried to get the cuffs off with whatever tools were within reach. Hammer, center punch, drill and saw, nothing worked. The handcuffs only got tighter around my right wrist.

Then I had made the suggestion that if everything failed, we could go over to the police station but I intended that as a joke. They actually took that idea seriously and decided that was the next thing to do. I was very hesitant about going and after listening to pleas such as “You’ll have to keep this on for 7 days a week” and “People at school will be asking you why you have the cuffs on,” I finally accepted and we all jumped in my car where I drove to the Juno Beach police station to get some help. Closed. Next we tried the County Courthouse. Closed. By this time my cuffed hand was getting numb.

Then we went to the Palm Beach Gardens police station. We saw a cop walking across the parking lot and I caught his attention. Then the cop did something unbelievable – he actually asked me for my ID to make sure that I was not “an escaped convict.” Hey, these were toy handcuffs from a novelty store, and the cop’s keys were much smaller than the lock on the cuffs.

Anyway, after producing my ID and proving that I was not a fugitive, the cop tried to remove the cuffs but he failed, so he asked a fellow cop for some help. This other cop said he could remove them, and as he worked, I could feel them get looser but they were still dangling from my wrist. He couldn’t get the cuffs off, so they sent me to the lobby and we sat waiting for the police chief. He came up to us, checked the cuffs and said, “We’ll need to cut these off.” Then he left and returned with a bolt cutter, and with a snip, the cuffs fell to the floor. I thanked them and we threw the cuffs away. After dropping my friends off at their houses, I drove home.

A little noisy fun at work.

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At work today I needed to call the dispatch center to get an update on a dispatch ticket that was past due but not yet completed. As I was going through the voice prompts to enter my user ID and ticket number in question, I heard a strange noise on the line that sounded like a bad connection in progress but still a noise unlike anything I ever heard before.

Then I realized I was listening to my own breathing. For some strange reason there was not a good connection on the call and there was a slight network lag that resulted in a slight delay before I heard my voice or any sounds I made. Before I knew it, I was playing with an echo while waiting to speak with a dispatch agent.

Then I had an idea and adjusted the microphone sensitivity on my headset and noticed that the echo was now slightly intensified. Finally, I removed my headset, placed the microphone next the earpiece and generated some feedback that created a strange buzzing noise. This was getting more fun by the minute.

I was still on hold so I played with the echo some more before removing the headset one more time to create some more of the buzzing feedback. When I put my headset back on, that’s when I heard the agent who finally came on the line.

He did a nice job ignoring the noise.

An unsolved household mystery.

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This is a true story that took place some years ago.

I was doing some housecleaning one day when I decided I needed a little music, so I loaded Sinner by Drowning Pool into my CD player. The music had just started when I suddenly heard something break in the adjacent bedroom. When I went over to investigate, I was startled to see my double pane sliding glass window had completely shattered. I saw nothing that could have been thrown through the window and began thinking that the music was too high-pitched, but that was unlikely considering that this was a small CD player in the other room. I ended up calling a window repair place and had the broken window replaced hours later.

I’m still haunted by this mystery years later. It may have been a case of spontaneous glass breakage in which the glass may have started cracking long before I moved in. It could very well be the stress from the elements or my running my air conditioning too cold. Or maybe Drowning Pool is really that evil.

In any case this mystery remains unsolved to this day. I may never know what really happened.