There’s a Ghost in My Toady
This is a tale of a Halloween past. A dark and scary night that was blanketed in snow and clouded breath. A night when the souls of the living mingled with the souls of the dead, the one night when a crack opened in the vale between the worlds and spirits slipped into it like smoke rising from a candle.
The year was 2011. It was October 31st in Alberta, which meant a few inches of snow and a whole lot of cold. Brave children were trekking through the neighborhood, ignoring the fact that princesses and superheros did not wear insulated winter boots and thermal mittens. Manbeast and I had loaded up on candy and scary movies and turned out all of the lights. We are the Scrooges of Halloween. As we sat in the living room, ducking down every time we saw the shadow of a child walking by, we watched some poor character in a movie be disemboweled in some horrifically Hollywood way. This eventually became boring. You can only watch so many actors be haunted, murdered, or terrorized before the tune starts to sound the same each time.
We started to snap some pictures of the dogs, an excellent past-time that far surpasses the gore of a cheesy Halloween movie. Toady was lounging on the loveseat; his favorite haunt. We started to scroll through the pictures together, giggling like school children and jamming candy into our faces. It was then that we came across a most terrifying and disturbing picture. It was one that I had taken of Toady, only moments before. He was sleeping soundly, paying no heed to the screams and crashes from the movie we had on. Toady looked normal, but in front of him was a cloudy, white, squiggly line. Now, Manbeast and I do not believe in ghosts and ghouls and spirits and such. It’s just not how we are. So, when we saw the picture, we nearly lost it. It was clearly something from the Otherworld, something sinister and frightening. Something unknown in our house that was only showing up on my camera screen. Something that was visually missing to the naked eye.
We cautiously waved our arms through the air where the thing had appeared on the camera. We turned off the movie to see if we could hear anything. I don’t know about Manbeast, but my heart was racing and my stomach was contracting (but that could have been from the few pounds of candy that I had consumed). We had a stroke of genius and decided to try recreating the incident by taking another picture of the same spot. Nothing showed up on the screen that time except for Toady. No floating line in front of him, no spirit lingering in our living room.
It was then that I realized that the apparition looked familiar. Like something that I had seen many times before. I worked out what I believed to be a satisfactory conclusion in my head. But, to avoid being wrong I decided to test it out first. I took my camera and a Toady hair. I placed the hair up against the lens and snapped another picture. Voila! Mystery solved. We hastily blurted out that we had never really thought it was anything scary anyway, and that we hadn’t been even the slightest bit disturbed by it. Even though we were now avoiding that area of the living room.
I wonder why that had to happen on Halloween, of all nights. Of all the hundreds of pictures I have taken, that it the only one that came out like that, and Toady hairs are plentiful in my house. It sort of makes you wonder.