Four years ago in celebration of The Dead Time I began sharing some of my more creepy experiences of the wyrd. Sooner or later most people experience phenomena they can’t explain, or that occurs outside the bounds of their belief system. What it is and what it means is open to interpretation, and most certainly is in the eye of the boo-holder. Bless the darkness, hold the light.

This is the most recent addition to my collection, although the incidents only marginally included me. This experience reminded me of the many reasons that spirits visit us and introduced me to a phenomenon I hadn’t experienced before.

Earlier this year my sister, Ellen, expressed concern that something odd was happening in her home. Hearing these words I perked up as her house often has interesting, but soothing activity from peaceful spirit visitors. The mountains of North Carolina are very active spiritually and etherically, and she resides at the heart of the region. In fact, we’ve even ventured to say that the exact spot of her home is a rejuvenating place for souls in and out of form. That something out of the ordinary distressed her gave me pause.

We didn’t have another opportunity to talk before I went up to her place for a visit. That area is always very “busy,” so on general feel alone, nothing felt off to me. However, as we all wound down for the day and casual conversation came up, something else new happened. My nephew mentioned that something was going on in the house. My sister has often acknowledged visitors, and my niece has on occasion reported interesting events. This was a first for my nephew.

He began by telling me something that he hadn’t even had a chance to tell his mother, which was that one night he’d heard pacing upstairs in the small hall between his room and his sister’s, as well as on the balcony that overlooks the livingroom. He could hear individual footsteps shuffling over the hall carpet and boards supporting the balcony creaking with each step. It went on for quite some time until it eventually stopped. He also indicated hearing a woman’s voice.

At that point my sister chimed in, saying that was the exact spot that she’d heard someone walking, directly above her bed downstairs. She’d been home alone at the time. Though she’d not heard a voice, she felt that the presence was feminine. Fairly comfortable with experiencing such phenomena herself, she was not at all happy to learn that it was affecting her kids. As we discussed what spirits are and how to interact with them, I put feelers out around the house. Again, I got nothing beyond the usual busy stream of life force that I know is typical for her home. Things felt peaceful.

A caveat of this story is that since having twins, I’ve been highly conscientious of sounds that come through the baby monitor. From the first minute that we moved them into their room to sleep alone, I kept an ear tuned to pick up sounds that did not originate from them. Of course, I heard none. Later that same evening at my sister’s, their dad and myself were putting the babies to bed in the third upstairs room. I was highly aware that this was the area where they had heard the pacing woman, but I trusted my perception. Everything felt fine. The room was a bit upended as they were in the midst of redoing it, but it was fine for the babies. We put them down for bed and shut the door behind us.

I went into my nephew’s room to grab the monitor and turned it on. As I walked back down the hall toward the stairs, I got right in front of the room where the babies settled and I heard muttering through the monitor. What instantly struck me as odd was that I could hear the babies chattering through the monitor as well as with my ears, but the muttering only came through the monitor. I froze, and heard nothing. I took a step back, and there it was again. Plain as day, I heard the croaky voice of an old woman muttering. I couldn’t make out what she said, but she was distressed, very upset about something. The other feeling I had was that she had no intention of leaving, that she was protecting something. I attempted to engage her but she did not respond. I listened to her and my children for about a minute, then the voice stopped. With careful steps, holding the monitor out before me I tried to locate the voice again and could not.

I was a little rattled that I’d heard what we had just been discussing moments earlier, and that for the first time I’d experienced Electronic Voice Phenomenon. What really bothered me still was that beyond feeling the spirit woman’s distress, everything about the home and area still felt peaceful. This observation did not mesh with the intensity of her upset, and it definitely was not aligned with her etheric assertion that she was not leaving. Posing a completely new dynamic for me, I was confused.

Returning downstairs I described what I’d heard, and we discussed it further. We all agreed there was nothing malevolent about the visitor, but that she was insistent about being there. It was futile to release her at that point. After laying out their boundaries for visitors in their home—those in form and those not—we spoke them to the house and general area and left it at that. Nothing further happened that weekend.

A few weeks later I got a frantic phone call from Ellen. They were in the process of finishing the third room when they discovered the electrical outlet between that room and the balcony was loose. Upon attempting to tighten it, it fell out of the wall and fire shot out. The outlet hadn’t been wired correctly and had completely burned through, save a tiny connecting filament. The state of the outlet should have caused a fire, and had that outlet been used it definitely would have.

Immediately my sister had begun crying. There had been no further disturbances in the house since my visit, though they had all remained vigilant of the old woman and their etheric boundaries. As soon as Ellen realized what was happening, she knew the woman had been trying to warn them that the outlet was dangerous. She thanked the spirit profusely for attempting to alert them to the danger, and all has been safely quiet since.