I live in a haunted house. It’s not nearly as scary as it sounds.
I think by now we’ve all seen this tweet:
Truthfully, that’s not far off the mark.
My house is more than a century old; it was built around 1900. My grandfather lived here from February of 1949 until his death in July of 2015.
He died in this house. And he never left.
We can tell he’s here. Sometimes lights will turn on in the middle of the night. Sometimes we hear footsteps upstairs. Occasionally he’ll touch one of us; he grabs me on my shoulder periodically, or put his hand on my back.
Sometimes he grabs my daughter’s butt.
Once, while Robyn and I were in the bedroom–and the only living souls in the house–he flipped over the bathroom trashcan. Turned it completely upside-down.
Those are the freaky things.
He also keeps messing with the thermostat. That’s annoying.
For the last, I don’t know, decade or so of his life, Mohawk was on blood-thinners, so he was usually cold, and would wear cardigans, put the thermostat on 71°F, and have a bunch of lights on.
(The dining room, for instance, has five bulbs, and he would put 100-watt bulbs in each fixture. When that light was on, the temperature in that room would go up at least ten degrees, which made dinners in there very uncomfortable.)
I like it a little cooler, and I like my gas bill lower, so I keep the thermostat at 68° and wear one of his cardigans.
And the thermostat always finds its way back to 71°.
Now, here’s the thing.
The thermostat doesn’t have a separate switch for heat or cold because we don’t have central air. It only controls the heat. And if it ALWAYS defaulted to 71°, I’d blame the thermostat.
But from May until about two weeks ago, I had it set at 60° so the heat wouldn’t come on. And it stayed at 60°. Not once in five months did it creep up to 71°.
It only does it when it gets cold.
It’s not the thermostat.
It’s my grandfather.
(Add to that the fact that, sometimes, one or all of the cardigans goes missing for a while, especially on colder days, then reappear hours or days later in completely ridiculous, random places.)
He’s still here.
And he still gets cold, so he adjusts the thermostat to 71°.
He doesn’t pay the bills here anymore. We do. And the standard rule in any house is that if you don’t pay the bills you don’t touch the thermostat.
So unless he’s going to magically make money appear, he needs to stop touching the God-damned thermostat.
Like I said.