Slippers and the Ghost ... by C.L. Beck

A Ghost Story that Makes You Wonder

© C.L. Beck, 2009

We've never been big believers in ghosts—at least, not the kind that floats in the treetops on Halloween night, giving the trick-or-treaters a chill. And when my husband, Russ, and I moved into our hundred-year-old home in Ephraim, UT, we didn't even give a moment's consideration to the fact that it might be haunted. That is, until we rescued a Siamese-mix cat from a Salt Lake City animal shelter.

We named her Slippers because she had little white markings on her paws that resembled … well … slippers. She’d sit looking into space, her sapphire eyes crossed, which made us wonder if she saw everything in double vision. Her unfocused gaze sometimes gave me the whim-whams and even Russ commented on it. (No, not on my whim-whams. On what Slippers was seeing.)

"What do you think she's doing, staring into the distance like that?"

I shrugged my shoulders. "I don’t know. Figuring out her taxes? That’s how I look when I’m doing them. Cross-eyed and spaced out.”

We usually closed the door to the TV room when we watched television and Slippers loved to sleep on the back of the couch. Or on Russ’s head. It wasn't long after we brought her home that we noticed an odd phenomenon. When we sat in the TV room with her, the door would slowly swing open.

The place had its share of creaks and groans, but what old house didn't? Creaks, groans, and a door that opens by itself aren't indicators that a house is haunted. Right?

Or … (scary organ music plays) … are they?

For a short while we dismissed the "haunted house with a ghost" idea, until one evening when the TV room door swung open by itself once again. Slippers had been sitting, cleaning her face, and when the door opened, she stopped and stared at it. Then, her eyes followed something as it moved slowly across the room.

The hairs on Russ’s head stood on end. All two of them. A chill ran down my back, and I gave a shiver. Russ jumped up from the couch, and walked over to see if there was a small moth or insect flying in the air where Slippers stared.

He waved his hands around as if directing traffic. Nothing. Not even so much as a gnat, waiting to make a left turn.

The scene repeated itself for the rest of Slippers' life. Some days the ghost would open the door and Slippers would watch the doorway for a second and then go back to sleep. Other times, the ghost would open the door and the cat would follow it with her eyes as it crossed the room.

Naturally, not wanting to believe in the “creepy haunted house” theory, we always attributed it to the “Slippers is just a weird-o cat” theory.

Slippers lived with us for fourteen years, and we grew accustomed to the ghost who came to visit. Even though we didn't believe in ghosts. And when we laid Slippers to rest in a little spot out on the back half-acre, it never dawned on us that the ghost would no longer haunt the house but would go with Slippers.

To our recollection, however, the TV room door hasn't opened on its own since Slippers passed away. It makes us wonder. Did a ghost come with Slippers when we rescued her from the animal shelter? Or had it lived in the home all along, became emotionally attached to Slippers, and then decided to go with her to the next life?

Then again, maybe a ghost never haunted us at all. Perhaps we simply lived in a creaky, old home with a door that didn't latch right, and owned a spaced-out cat that watched microscopic particles of dust as they floated through the room.

I'll let you decide.

(Scary organ music played by that masked guy in the furnace room comes to a crescendo.)

What's playing in my head (You're definitely gonna want to click on this link!): Theme from Ghostbusters.

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CONTEST WINNERS : Oz-Girl and Connie Hall! Congrats to Oz-Girl, who won In Good Taste, and Connie Hall, who won The A-MAZE-ing Book of Mormon! Please contact me no later than midnight on Wednesday to claim your prize. Send me an email with your mailing address at cindybeck(dot)author(at)yahoo(dot)com.

If the prizes aren't claimed by Wednesday, new winners will be drawn.

I'm giving away a 5 ml bottle of Young Living essential oil, lavender fragrance. This is quite a prize, as you can use essential oils in the bath and to freshen the house. In addition, lavender is considered a calming fragrance and is purported to have anti-bacterial properties. Plus, it smells soooooo good!

How to Enter: Leave a comment on this blog entry. Contest ends Friday, Oct 30, 2009 at midnight.

*Winners will be announced no later than Monday, Nov 2, and will have until midnight on Wednesday, Nov. 4, to contact me or ... sorry ... another winner will be chosen. Email me at cindybeck(dot)author(at)yahoo(dot)com.*

(Disclaimer: Please note this contest is not an endorsement of Young Living Farms, and I have not received any compensation to mention their products in my blog. Also, my family members are encouraged, enticed, and eligible to comment on my thoughts, but unfortunately, are ineligible to enter the contests.)



Unknown said...

Oh, I love Lavender Oil!! Very calming. I need to use it more often :-) Please add me to the contest this week and thanks for offering such a nice prize.

Danyelle Ferguson said...

I *heart* lavender! So please enter me! You always have such fun give-aways!

Melanie said...

OOh! I'm the first to comment. Weird-o cat or not, this story is spooky.
Please advise Russ to keep those two hairs under control. He could put someone's eye out.
Happy Halloween!

Niid said...

Weird! At least it wasn't scary to you! It must have been a benevolent ghost! Maybe one with a sense of humor, i.e. it liked to watch the expressions on your faces by creaking the door! Maybe it was a companion to the cat, coming when it had a hard beginning! Who knows! Great story.

Carol L. said...

Hi Cindy,
I love the story.I think I'd go with the third option of the house not having a ghost. lol Makes life so much simpler. Thanks for sharing. :)
Carol L.

Watchman said...

I loved it, especially wondering if Slippers was moonlighting as a tax accountant.

I take it that you're no longer living there, ghosts or no ghosts. :-)

ali cross said...

Well, cats ARE mediums, connecting our world to the netherworld so . . . my vote is: GHOST!!!

Fun story Cindy ;)

Rachelle Christensen said...

Ooh, now you've creeped me out! I won't be able to go downstairs by myself in the TV room anymore.
What a great story!
You don't have to put me in the contest because I have lots of lavender oil I love so I want someone else to win it. :)

Girl Tornado said...

I love lavender too and use it around my house very liberally. Such a calming scent! BUT I see I actually won the cookbook this week so surely I could not win again! Little ole me WON!!! Yay, I'm so excited! Thank you so much... email on the way with my mailing address.

As for your ghost, maybe or maybe not... our dalmatian used to watch "things" and my son swore our old Ohio house was haunted. I pooh-pooh'd the very idea, but he and then subsequently his girlfriend (now his wife) fervently insisted the house was haunted and that the dog knew it too.

Sometimes we will never know...

Unknown said...

I love coming to your website! Please please please let me win the lavender. I have a 5 yo that won't go to sleep without lavender fragrance and I have run out. I am a poor grad student and a loyal reader. xo

Nichole Giles said...

Slippers came with a ghost? Interesting. And essential oils? Count me in! I love that kind of stuff.


C. LaRene Hall said...

Great Halloween story. Don't enter me in the contest this time, but I wanted you to know that I'm still reading.

Anonymous said...

I had a cat named Dandruff for 16 years that would jump from trees onto our neighbor dog's back and ride him home. Ride em Dandy!

Rebecca Talley said...

I could hear you telling that story. And I love that Russ's two hairs stood on end. I think maybe everyone's nuts but you and me and I'm beginning to wonder about you :).

Please enter me in the drawing.

Cheri Chesley said...

"All two of them." ha ha ha! I'm not supposed to laugh in the middle of a ghost story. :) Fun stuff. Please enter me. I need all the relaxation help I can get.

Taffy said...

We TWO weird-o cats and they don't need a ghost to make them that way :)
Liked your (scream) scary story!
And I love (ahhhs) lavendar.

Daron D. Fraley said...

Fun story. I'd definitely say ghost.

My wife would love the oil. :)

Here is a quote you might find interesting:

Elder Parley P. Pratt said, "Many spirits of the departed, who are unhappy, linger in lonely wretchedness about the earth, and in the air, and especially about their ancient homesteads, and the places rendered dear to them by the memory of the former scenes". --Key to the Science of Theology.

If you read more of that section, Parley will convince you there are such things as poltergeists. I would suggest you read it on Halloween. By candlelight.

Read about it here:


Slamdunk said...

Interesting story with an unexpected twist (cat's pal the ghost). Our cat "Emmy" was a stray who followed me and my now deceased Springer Spaniel home from a walk in our apartment complex.

After 14 years, the only thing that our kitty follows now is anyone coming from the kitchen with cereal and milk or ice cream.

G. Parker said...

Fun story!! Good stuff. When are you going to publish all your little vignettes???

Daron D. Fraley said...

Hmm. I voted for ghost yesterday, but the comment didn't show up. The ghost must have gotten it.

Rachelle Christensen said...

Congrats Cindy! I'm enjoying all your stories. I like the idea I saw about getting all your short stories together in a book. :)

Rebecca Duvall said...

What a fun story! You just never know . . . It reminds me of some mysterious family legends of my childhood. Looks like you have a fun blog. If you are interested in creative party ideas, check out my blog at http://partyhuman.wordpress.com.

Triple Nickel said...

Of course it was a ghost! What else could make your husband's two hairs stand on end? Did they end up falling out?
Great story.

Janice said...

A ghost! A ghost! I'm sure it was a ghost! And please don't enter me in the lavender contest--I'm deathly allergic! So sad.