Are you here looking for information about DC’s Demon Cat, who was alleged to prowl around the grounds of the White House and U.S. Capitol? You’re in the wrong place, but you might as well stick around because every day is Halloween around here and I have a ghost story for you all the same!

One day, while I was making some afternoon coffee, I looked out our kitchen window and saw the neighbor’s kids giggling and intently watching one of our upstairs windows. One of them waved up at the window. My office window. Since it wasn’t the window I was looking out, and I’m the only one home, I went outside to see what was up.

I looked up at the window and didn’t see anything out of the ordinary.
That’s when the little girl told me they’d been watching our kitty sun itself in the window.

We don’t have a cat.

GhostCat Reenactment

I asked her if she could still see the kitty. Nope. I asked her where the kitty went. She said the big orange cat got up, stretched, and left the window sill and now she couldn’t see it.

Creepy? Yes. Surprising? Not really.

GhostCat apparently took up residence here in our house last year around Halloween. As one of the few houses in Alexandria, Virginia not claiming a ghost, I guess we were due.

I haven’t seen GhostCat myself and we’ve never owned an orange cat. Husband’s grandmother had a big orange cat, maybe it just took a while for him to find us? If cats can have ghosts and ghosts can sneak in to your house, we figure that’s how GhostCat got here.

You can’t prove it didn’t happen that way!

Our Official Ghost Cat Sightings began when JunglePete visited last Halloween. On the first morning, he mentioned that our cat walked over him a lot before finally settling in to sleep by his pillow.

We laughed at him, chalking it up to lack of sleep.

Since then, 3 little girls and one allegedly sober adult claim to have seen the big orange cat sitting in the window.

There are few things as creepy as watching someone wave and greet someone only they see in a window, especially when you know there’s no one there. And it’s always the same window – the window I have my back to when I work at my desk.

The window I have my back to right now.

Hang on a second, I need to nervously glance over my shoulder a few times.

Okay. I’m back.

I’ve spent a lot of time standing in my yard at all times of the day trying to figure out what they could be seeing but there’s nothing there and nothing reflecting that looks either orange or feline. We just tell little kids our kitty is very shy. My neighbors would kill me if I filled their kids heads with ideas about ghostly pet hauntings.

In light of the fact that one family turned their house into a haunted sanitarium for halloween and another had a guy in a clown costume chasing people with a chainsaw, I don’t know why I’m concerned about inflicting psychological damage on the little ones.

Maybe I should tell them we have a Cheshire Cat.

Recently, a friend and her adorable hound were visiting for the afternoon. Carolyn and I were knitting and watching a movie when the dog hopped up, ran across the room wagging her tail, and started behaving like she was trying to befriend a smaller creature. She then trotted around the house with her new friend for about an hour. We both found the dog’s behavior terribly peculiar. The hound now runs around our house looking for her friend whenever she comes over.

I don’t know why it only just occurred to me that we should make a video of this behavior. I’ll keep you posted on that. I think we should also bring in another dog, one that hasn’t “met” GhostCat.

I’ll work on that.

Now that I think about it, ghostly pet eminences aren’t completely unknown in my family.

My uncle is apparently being haunted by my grandmother’s dog, a mastiff/great dane cross who, I suspect, could do some serious spectral damage. Do you think it’s possible to drown in ectoplasmic drool?

I don’t know which part of this perplexes me the most – that Netflix suggested the Tinkerbell video or that their algorithm considered these titles to be similar:

(You can view a larger version of the image by clicking on it).

There are a lot of places we could go with this but I’m just going to move on. This is a family-friendly blog, after all. (No it’s not, but every once in a while I like to type that just to make myself laugh).

If you’re a blogger, I bet your most popular post is the magical tale of the day you gave birth to your beautiful children. Or the lyrical paragraphs and heart-breakingly beautiful prose about the day that your future spouse sent Placido Domingo to your office to wish you happy birthday. Or maybe it’s the recipe for your great-grandmother’s traditional Arbor Day cake, which you’ve lovingly reconstructed with the help of your ancient relatives, who clung to their deathbeds waiting for that last bite that would determine if you’d finally figured out the right amount of vanilla (but only vanilla harvested by virgins and processed at 3 meters above sea level on the second night of the full moon in May).

Not mine. This is my most popular post of all-time.

this and the previous post were both updated/corrected tonight at 11 p.m.

The physicists have studied my closet. Round objects placed in the center of the room (pencils, marbles, liquor bottles) roll toward the closet. Ergo, there’s no reason for that door to swing out, let alone swing out slowly and creepily.

None of us really believe it’s haunted, of course, but it’s providing us much amusement. And no small amount of puzzlement.

[3 hours later]

I returned from dinner to find that the chair holding the closet door shut (seen in the previous post) was now in the closet. This was deeply weird until I realized that the summer conference housing has housekeeping service and I also had fresh towels.

Or, I have a poltergeist who can’t abide dingy linens.

The entomologists want to go find some martinis. We could consume gin and debate the possibilities, or I could just go to sleep and dream of all of the new and exciting mummy research I learned about today.

I’m voting for sleep.

My haunted closet door opens too slowly for me to stand there and shoot video, but I happened to be standing nearby when it started creaking tonight so I took some pictures. It opens a bit, waits a minutes, then opens some more. It’s creepy. The sequence of photos below were taken between 45 seconds and one minute apart.

I know, that’s only 6 minutes. I could stand there and shoot the video, but I’m lazy, ok? Lazy and tired. Who starts a 5 day archaeology conference at 8 a.m. every day?

I put a knitting needle through the hasp on the door earlier and when I returned to my room it was gone. I have a single room. Nothing else was touched that I noticed so I’m hoping I was just too tired and didn’t really “lock” it like I thought I did.

photo 1
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photo 2
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photo 7 (problem resolution)
Chair, photo 7

University of San Diego

The first day of the 7th World Congress of Mummy Science (being hosted here at the University of San Diego) was super-excellent. I’m also super-exhausted because I spent about 9 hours traveling to get here, dumped my stuff in my dorm room, and dashed over for the afternoon sessions, a plenary speech and a reception. I’m deliriously tired and actually slogged back to my room by 9. I wasn’t the only one since there are plenty of east coasters and plenty more participants from Europe.

I’m determined to stay up until 11 local time so I don’t wake up at 4 a.m. every day and then run out of steam before the parties start each night.

I chose to stay on campus because a) it’s crazy-cheap, b) the hall we’re all staying in is about 50 yards from the conference center, c) it’s crazy-cheap, d) I can sneak back to my room for (very necessary) naps and e) crazy-cheap.

The campus is beautiful, but with all this dark wood paneling and dark ornate furniture, this place would be my first-choice location if I ever decided to make a horror movie and set it on a college campus.

I My room is meant to be a triple, and has 2 big closets and a wardrobe. The closet doors like to slowly and ominously creep open, but I swear they stop moving if you look directly at them.

Haunted closet

Come to think of it, there are a lot of statues on this campus. I better not blink….

And on that note, it’s 11 PST. Stick a fork in my, I’m done.