I had an interesting thought the other day: Where do ghosts go when we bulldoze their haunted farmhouses, when we pave purgatory and put up a parking lot? If you ask me, it’s an issue that rarely gets the attention it deserves.
Our old farmhouse was built in 1897. You can tell Kendricks built it. Kendricks, my in-laws, have a tendency to build on the fly and verbalize all their decision-making processes at the moment of cognitive conception. They decide in milliseconds what to do and move forward, no second thoughts, no regrets, hammer to the nail, then another nail, another nail, and so on, till they have a house with as confusing a floor plan as a house of mirrors. It may seem impractical to have three front doors, a bathroom as a hallway, and a fireplace in the closet, but, as I said, Kendricks built my house and there are no regrets.
These three front-doors doors make it easy to flee the premises from Kendrick ghosts who are equally vocal and decisive in the afterlife. Don’t get me wrong, decisiveness has its place, like the Battle of King’s Mountain, when my wife’s ancestors fought with the Overmountain Men to whip the British. (If the battle had depended on the Bishops, my ancestors, we would have surely lost for fear of hurting the British’s feelings. Or, we would have starved to death, unable to choose which campfire to eat at and insisting someone else choose. My wife has studied my genealogy and says I have a French ancestor, which explains a lot).
But self-assured and outspoken Kendricks are not who you want haunting your farmhouse. Kendrick ghosts have no qualms about terrifying an in-law now inhabiting their old domicile with disembodied utterances and footless footsteps. I’m certain it’s Kendrick ghosts because no other ghosts could navigate our house without getting lost and asking for help. Plus, a Kendrick ghost would never ask for help as a point of pride.
Furthermore, I did see a real Kendrick ghost once, no joke. It was a grayish apparition in the shape of granny from the Beverly Hillbillies. I saw it on the same night my wife was laughing in her sleep with a strange, childlike giggle. When I rolled over to investigate the cause of her laughter, my wife was still clearly asleep, yet still clearly giggling. And standing beside the bed, beside her, was this grey granny. I rolled back over, put the sheet over my head, and tried to convince myself I was dreaming. The next morning, I told my wife about the giggling and asked her what she was dreaming about. I had yet to mention anything about the ghost. She said she had been dreaming about her great-grandma, at which point I nearly created a fourth front-door in our house.