In our family, we put up the Christmas decorations on Black Friday. This year being what it has been, we decided to change up our decorations and do more with lights. We went shopping and bought all new lights and then brought up some of our non-lighted decorations from our storage unit.
Decorating was uneventful and my son was happy with the results. He loves Christmas. It is the one time of the year he drops the serious teenager act and becomes a giddy little kid again.
Now, as I’ve told him, I have never been the jolliest of elves (family of origin issues), but since my boyfriend died in November two years ago, the end of the year holidays are just something I drag my ass through now. I don’t expect that to change. But I put on a neutral, if not fake happy face for my kid.
Not long after the decorations went up, some weird things started happening. First, we both started to see and hear weird things. We are sort of short of storage space here and our water and drinks are kept in a corner of our kitchen. One of our cats has a small plastic addiction problem and he will sometimes fall off the wagon and start chewing the plastic that the bottles are wrapped in.
My son said several times he would swear that he heard the cat chewing plastic, but when he went out to make him stop, there would be no cat. He would go looking for the cat and find it sleeping somewhere. We had rearranged that corner recently and I thought maybe things were not as stable as they looked and were shifting around. We moved the packages to make extra sure they were stacked reliably, and I removed all the plastic wrappers.
He didn’t hear the noise again. Problem solved.
But while we were working on the rearranging, he mentioned that several times he had seen what he thought was one of the cats moving out of the corner of his eye, but when he looked for them, he could not find them.
I was rather unnerved by that because that same thing had happened to me that morning. I had gone into the bathroom to begin preparing for my day and could have sworn I saw a flash of white move behind the toilet. I thought it was weird since the cats, who sometimes tag along into the bathroom, don’t normally go behind the toilet. I went to see what the cat was doing and could find no cat. Not behind the toilet, not even in the room. Neither cat had come in with me.
The next day got even weirder. In the evening I was sitting at my desk in the small office area that I have appropriated out of our living room. I was typing on my computer when the Christmas lights we had hung up to frame the area turned on. By themselves. I froze and then called my son over. We pulled out the boxes from the lights to check if we had just overlooked them having a timer function that had somehow been turned on. They did have a timer, but it was just supposed to be one you could set to turn them off.
After about an hour, the lights started to change to different patterns. It was an option you could accomplish by pushing a button. I never heard the button pushed (it makes a small clicking sound) to either turn them on or to change the pattern. I just sat there and watched it happen.
The next night, the lights in the kitchen turned themselves on.
By this point, we were very unsettled. My son is a wholehearted believer in ghosts. I’m a full-on skeptic. If you watch Buzzfeed Unsolved, which we do, he’s a Boogara and I’m a Shaniac. Seeing ourselves reflected is part of why we love the show so much.
I looked for logical reasons. Both the offending strings of lights were battery-powered and the same style and brand. While it would be an odd coincidence, it is still plausible that there was some kind of defect in them. I went online and read the reviews people had left, but could not find anyone talking about them turning themselves on.
It became common for one of the strings of lights to turn itself on every couple of days.
The final straw for me was the day I was making dinner and they both turned on. I was pre-heating the oven and left the room to wait for it to be ready. When I returned to put the food in, the kitchen lights had turned themselves on. By this point, I was fed up, but I continued to make dinner. I had been in the kitchen for a while working and when I went to the far side to get something, I could see into the living room and my office lights had turned themselves on, too.
The kitchen lights seemed to be faded on one side, so my son used that as an excuse to take them down and throw them out. He replaced them with another set of battery-operated lights (no plugs were convenient to the window area) that he had hanging in his room, but wasn’t really using.
The next night, those lights turned themselves on.
I was still trying to cling to the idea that the cats had turned the lights one. Even when we had not seen any cats in the area. The original lights had a button that had to be pushed to turn them on or change the pattern. The new lights had a recessed switch. There is no way a cat could have turned that on.
The light issues were ongoing. During this time, there were two other odd events. My son was sitting on the ground playing with the cats and he said he felt the back of his sweatshirt being pulled on. But the cats were in front of him.
He also has a small fan on his nightstand, and it was blowing on him. He heard the fan move and stop blowing on him. It’s adjustable so it makes a significant clicking sound as it moves through the different positions. He figured a cat was on the table messing with it but he rolled over and there was no cat to be seen. But the fan was blowing at the ceiling.
As I said, I’m a skeptic. I don’t believe in any sort of paranormal/supernatural anything. I think your mind and your eyes play tricks on you. Scientists have proven this many times. Your brain cannot process all the stimuli that it encounters so it takes shortcuts and assumes stuff. Sometimes it is wrong.
For me, that adequately explains everything except the lights. I would have been happy assuming a rare, but at least plausible manufacturing defect if it were not for the second string of lights. Different type, different manufacturer, different on/off mechanism. The second string also had no timer of any kind. They were simple on/off only.
Things suddenly went quiet with the lights a few days ago. It’s been several days since they turned on. But since then there have been several instances of what sounds like people walking on our roof. It’s not super unusual to hear that during the day since repair people go up there, but our manager is out of town for the holidays and no repair people have been around. Plus once it was around 2 am that my son heard them.
Again, as a skeptic, I know it could very well be someone up there who doesn’t belong. I’m not going up to find out, but I will mention the sounds to the manager when he returns next week so he can make sure nothing is out of place. Whatever it is, I’m not enjoying an extra dose of weirdness on top of the lights.
We normally leave our Christmas decorations up until just after the New Year. I can’t tell you how much I am looking forward to taking these all down next weekend and hoping nothing else strange happens. I normally write off the supernatural as not real, but after the year we have had, who the hell knows? At this point, nothing 2020 can throw at me would surprise me.