“Damn you woman! What the hell did you turn that thermostat up to?!?” Hollered the husband, waking up from a dead sleep, pouring sweat.
“I didn’t touch it! Dominic must have done it!” Said the wife.
The husband got out of bed to check the thermostat, “Damn you woman! It’s set at 90*! What is wrong with you? It’s summer, we don’t need the damn heat!” He lies back down in bed, but only for a moment… “The damn heater is still running!”
“I didn’t touch the thermostats!” The wife said, frustrated.
The husband walked down the hall to the other thermostat and came back, “The damn thing was set at 90* too!” He crawls back into bed… but only for a second again. “The damn heater is still running!!” He goes downstairs to check the other 2 thermostats. Both set at 90* as well… “Woman I don’t know why you would turn all the thermostats up!”
He crawls back in bed again… but again… only for a second till he hears the heater running… “What the hell?!?” He goes up to the third floor, no one ever went to the third floor, that thermostat also was set at 90*. “The heater is still running!!” He storms off down to the basement. After a few minutes he returns and climbs into bed, grumbling.
“I told you… it’s Dominic.” Says the wife. She simply rolled over and went to sleep.
It may seem like a typical conversation at first, blaming a child for playing with the thermostats. In fact, this was a conversation that my grandparents had one night when our ghost decided to turn up the heat.
Most people when they tell ghost stories they talk about things that go bump in the night and spooky tales… my family… it’s stories of my invisible Uncle Dominic. Just the other night I got a chance to sit down with my grandmother and hear all the stories I heard as a child once again. I love these stories and they are part of what has convinced me to search to find the unseen.
Here is another favorite:
My grandmother and grandfather came home from shopping one day, they heard a sound upstairs. They went upstairs and found my little cousin who happened to be about 8 at the time playing with one of his friends.
“Matthew?! What are you doing here alone? You are supposed to be down at Uncle Bobby’s!” My grandmother said slightly panicked over the thought of the 8 year old in the house by himself.
“We’re not alone. Dominic is watching us.” Matt replied without hesitation.
“Dominic?? Who’s Dominic??” Asked his friend who was pretty confused.
“Our ghost.” Said Matt.
With that, the boy ran down the hall, down the stairs, out the door and across the field as fast as his legs could carry him.
We never really gave it a thought growing up with a ghost. He was just like an invisible Uncle… sometimes with a bad temper. Like the time he threw the Bible off the shelf at my grandmother. Without really thinking about it, she simply picked it up and put it back on the shelf. This happened several times, several nights in a row. She told my grandfather, who thought she was insane… if you couldn’t tell by the first story, he told her it had to have been one of the cats bumping it off the shelf. One night finally my grandfather and grandmother were sitting together reading and the Bible flew off the shelf. He realized it couldn’t have been one of the cats sending the Bible flying like that. They ended up moving the books around on the shelf, putting my grandfather’s books lower (books on Nazi history and the KKK, he loved dark history) and putting the Bible up on the higher shelves and it never flew off the shelf again.
My grandparents were only ever scared by Dominic once. One night as they lay in bed, all the kids were out of the house, they heard someone walking down the hall towards their room. The house was old, my grandfather and my uncles built it for the family, the floors really squeaked! My grandfather grabbed his pistol and told my grandmother to flip the light on as soon as he opened the door. He flung open the door, she flipped the switch and… no one was in the hall. It was the first time they had ever heard footsteps in the hallway.
My memories of Dominic… they aren’t quite the same. I remember a dark shadow lingering in my room almost all the time. I remember hiding under the blankets hoping he would just go away. I remember how it felt as he sat down on my bed, his weight pushing down on the covers and mattress. I remember the bruises and scratches that I would wake up with. I also remember playing and if we ignored him he would throw our toys or books.
My quest for answers continues… someday I hope to learn who or what Dominic was. For now, I cling to the ghost stories that I listened to growing up, the happy memories of laughing with my family over the tricks that Dominic pulled.