Things That Go Bump…

Halloween is fast approaching, and even though it can’t begin to compare with the sheer bowel-wrenching scariness of the current government shutdown/debt ceiling debacle we have Ted Cruz to thank for, I thought I’d give it a nod with a ghost story from my past.

About seventeen years ago we moved into an old house in Texas which was built in the late 1800s.  It was constructed partly of limestone blocks that had been hand-quarried and featured an upstairs room running the length of the house.  This had served as a sort of dormitory for the boys in the family.  The house is quite small, but it held two families of ten kids each over the years.  When we moved in, it was just the two of us and we marveled how those early folks had managed to thrive in such small quarters.  By the time we bought the place, all the modern conveniences were there, but outside there was a remnant of an old outhouse.

A reminder that we had it pretty good, so no complaining allowed.

Eight months prior to our move to Texas from California, we had to have our 16-year-old long-haired Chihuahua, Lolita, put to sleep.  We had one other Chihuahua, Pepe, and a mini-Dachshund, Rudy, who made the trip with us, along with four big Collie-mix dogs.  All six of them and the two of us traveled together in our Econoline van.  When we stopped at rest stops it was like the clown car at the circus.  We opened the back doors and the dogs just kept on a’coming.

About a month after moving into our new (old) house, we’d turned in for the night in the bedroom downstairs.  Not long after turning out the light, we heard the sound of a little dog running across the wood floor.  It came from the adjoining dining room and ran toward the door to the porch, which was at the foot of the bed.  It stopped there, scratched the door two or three times, and then ran back across the room.  This happened several times over the course of the next hour.

Pepe and Rudy were soundly asleep under the covers.  It wasn’t them running through the room.  The big dogs were outside.  The hair on the back of my neck stood on end.  What the…?

Just about every night thereafter the same routine occurred.  Sometimes it started right after lights out, and sometimes it wasn’t until one in the morning.  A couple of times, soon after turning out the light, I would hear the “ghost dog” (as we’d started to call it) get up from the sofa near the bed, shake its ears enough so I could hear them flap and then jump down to the floor.

We had become friends with one of the “kids,” now in his late 70s, who’d grown up in the house and we nonchalantly inquired if the family had a little dog at any time in the past.  He said no, they hadn’t.

Then it dawned on us that when we moved we’d brought along Lolita’s old dog bed.  Why, I can’t say.  And then we realized that we’d stuck it in the dining room which was serving as a catch-all until we could get everything sorted out after the move.  That’s where the activity seemed to be emanating from.

So we took the dog bed and put it upstairs in the dormitory room.  It wasn’t long before we would hear ghost dog come clicking down the stairs on her nightly run.  She also was heard rustling in the wastebasket next to the desk upstairs while my husband was working there.

I took to sleeping with a little flashlight I called my “ghost buster.”  Whenever the activity started, I would take the flashlight from the table next to the bed and scan the room on the off chance I’d finally see something.  All it did was stop the activity—for a bit.  Some nights I would hear her drop what sounded like one of our other dogs’ Nylabone chew toys on the hardwood floor.  When I lit up the room, there was nothing there.

Other nights, Lolita (by this time we figured it had to be her) would bonk around under the bed like she used to do when she slept in her dog bed under our bed back in California.  We would even hear her tripping over the extension cord on the floor.  Sometimes Rudy and Pepe would look up after hearing her, but they never growled or seemed disturbed by any of it.

This went on for almost a year until the terrible day that Pepe was bitten by a rattlesnake and died hours later on my bed.  We were grief stricken.

Maybe a week or so later, we heard two little dogs running around upstairs, like they were chasing each other.  There was more rustling in the trash and just double the activity in general.

Then, the noises gradually subsided and finally stopped altogether.

I’d had a dream (or visitation?) from Pepe the morning after he died.  He used to wake me up by standing on my chest and licking my face.  That’s what I awoke to—or dreamt I was waking to.  He was backlit by white light and I was crying, I was so happy to see him.

Then he faded away and I realized I was awake and he was gone.

But maybe he wasn’t.  Maybe he hung around with Lolita for a while before they both went off to doggie heaven together.  Maybe…

Happy Halloween

Lolita swami


21 thoughts on “Things That Go Bump…

    • We got kind of used to it, but my brother had the same reaction as you. My daughter had a human ghost in her old house in town. Previous owners had encountered it too. I knew the first time I walked in that something was there. It hung around upstairs, mainly at the top of the stairwell. We used to smell cigarette smoke in the kids’ bedrooms—fresh smoke, not old stale smoke that might be in the walls. Nobody smoked in the family. One night when I was staying overnight to babysit the kids while their folks were out town, someone sat on the edge of the bed while I was trying to go to sleep. I was so tired from taking care of two little ones that I just said (in my mind) “Okay, I know you’re there. Will you just let me alone so I can sleep?” It did.

      One day I went over to see my daughter and the place felt different. I asked her if she thought the ghost had left and she said she’d been praying that it would leave. I guess it got the message. 🙂


      • I have had very similar experiences as you. I would be willing to bet that when you saw your dog back lit that morning, this was to show you that the two dogs were being escorted home to Heaven, prob. by your Guardians. I can now help souls to return home, and have been doing so for approx.15 years. If you would like the way to do this, I call it “Spirit Releasement”, I would be happy to give this to you. I am concerned for your family in regards to the human soul experiences, though. Most of the good souls do not disrupt things, or frighten you. They hang out with us for a while and move on. The souls who make the side of the beds to go down are usually the bad ones. It could also be a reg. man who is being egged on by the bad ones, and he used to smoke cigars which you smell, for instance. Helping the good ones to return home will keep the crowds down so your Spirit Guardians can protect all of you from such things. Just let me know. I have a show on blog talk radio “SpiritQuest Helps” 4pm est sat. and sun., and my e mail is, if you want to me to send the prayer to you. May Father bless!


  1. I have two little dogs that are 10ish years old. I can’t imagine one without the other (life gets pretty dramatic when one of them is at the groomers or vet and the other is at home).

    I love that your little girl followed you across the country, then stuck around so she could move on with her friend. I love my dogs like kids, and think I would find it comforting to have them stick around after death.


    • One morning, shortly after Pepe died, I did “see” him out of the corner of my eye when I was feeding Rudy. I have pretty good peripheral vision and I spotted him sniffing around not far from the food bowl. It was just for an instant, but I felt better if only for a bit. Thanks for commenting!


  2. Loved your post again. We all love our pets, they are part of the family and are missed as much, if not more so, than relatives. I am convinced there is a Doggie Heaven and hope to meet up with all my loyal pets over the years (must remember biscuits in my pocket when I ‘go’).


      • When I was growing up we had a terrior mix. When we sould go anywhere we would put sunglasses and a baboska on him. He would sit in the back window of the car and watch the world go by. Got some strange looks but he seemed happy with the arrangement.


  3. Loved your post! An absolute delight. So glad you figured out it was your Lolita still wanting to stay with her “pack”. And that Pepe joined her when his time came. Heart-warming.

    I’ve had enough odd-duck experiences with visits from the other side to be a believer. I rented half of a Victorian back in the day, when my husband and I were first dating. A young girl had died in the house and she was my “playmate.” I would drop my keys on the coffee table in the living room, walk into the kitchen then come back into the living room and the keys would be gone. And I was the only one in the house. Same thing would happen to my favorite pair of shoes. Or my favorite jacket. I got in the habit of standing in the room where the item had gone missing, then saying out loud “Come on, now. I need my [keys] and I don’t have time for your nonsense.” I would leave the room, come back and the keys would be just where I left them. My soon-to-be-husband and I used to make Sunday brunch for our friends. We had this favorite pan that made the best pancakes. When the time came for me to move, we were packing up the last items in the kitchen the morning of the move. Yup…that pan was one of those items. It was in the dishdrain along with the dishes from dinner the night before. We walked out of the kitchen to get a box and when we came back, everything was in the dishdrain, except for…drum roll, please…the favorite pan. No matter how much we asked, begged and demanded the house to return that pan…no luck. Never did find it. Never got it back. Still miss that pesky pan.


    • What a great story! Sounds like your spirit friend wanted you to stay and thought she could accomplish that by hiding your favorite pan. How sweet.

      Further up in the comments I mention my daughter’s “house guest” that previous owners had encountered. One of them said sometimes they would come down to the kitchen and find the table set for them. That didn’t happen for my daughter, though, unfortunately. But I was at the kitchen sink once when I was babysitting and definitely felt a presence or energy next to me. One of the grandkids needed me in the living room and I think the spirit was trying to give me a nudge to get with it and do my babysitting duty, so I said “Okay, okay, I’m going!” Also, one time I tried to take a photo with my digital camera of my grandson in his highchair in the kitchen. Every time I tried, there would be something between him and the camera—a whitish blur. I think someone wanted to be in the picture—what a ham. haha


      • lol I was standing at my sink in an apt. I once rented. It was night time and I lived alone. It was a divided sink, and there was a glass laying on its side. Suddenly, someone unseen set the glass upright! I wasn’t trying to help them back then. I just swallowed, and said a sheepish sort of “thank you” .


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