The chill of autumn has arrived, and it’s time to make your home cozy and snug. Replace those broken shingles, seal the window frames, start the water boiling and throw in some scented nutmegy things, or a rabbit if you’ve been disappointed in love.But what to do about that ghost that has been making such a racket, scaring the guests and making it impossible to sleep? Sure, you can kid yourself that it’s a squirrel on the roof or a rattling pipe or a fog that comes up from time to time. (On Narragansett Bay? Sure, pal, that’s credible.) But eventually, when guests and family members become truly frightened, somethingmust be done.Such was the case with Kathleen Whitehurst, an artist in Arnaudville, La., who scoured the countryside to salvage materials with which to build her home and guest house, the picturesque l’Esprit des Chenes.
Visitors complained of creaking stairs, sounds in the night. Some fled in terror. Finally, Ms. Whitehurst called in a specialist.
all the way from Arkansas,” Ms. Whitehurst said in a telephone
conversation. “She sat on my couch, and within 30 minutes she says,
‘Yes, you do have a ghost in your house.’ She goes into a trance, she
came back to her body, and said, ‘He’s a Baptist minister, wearing a
white robe, and he’s roaming the house.’ ”
The reason for this
problem, incredible as it may seem, was recycling. Ms. Whitehursthad
found three Gothic windows in a junk pile at a demolished church, and
the ghost had come along with them. The specialist did what is often
recommended in these cases, asking Ms. Whitehurst and two friends to
make a circle with her around the lost spirit, and tell it,
sympathetically but firmly, that it was time to move along.
“All of a sudden, you could
feel the electrical energy moving — it was so intense that all the hair
on the back of my neck and hands was standing up,” Ms. Whitehurst said.
“And when she said the final words” — Go, go! — “we got that zapped
feeling. And he went up, and he’s never been back since.”
You don’t believe in
ghosts? Then you are either tragically out of step with the times or
possibly a slovenly spiritual housekeeper looking for an excuse to
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