Friday, June 13, 2014

GKC Wrap-Up, Phase 4: Aromas, Shades & Incantations

Phase 1. Phase 2. Phase 3.

In our third year in the house, I woke up to the smell of baking cookies — vanilla biscuits, perhaps, or shortbread. It was around 1:30 in the morning.

The house is semi-detached — we share a wall with the neighbours. They were a couple of single fellas, at the time — younger and a tad boisterous, but not to the point of being annoying. Girlfriends came and went. I figured somebody over there got a case of the midnight munchies, and whipped up a quick batch for a bedtime snack.

This continued through the winter, and picked up again the next. In February of that year, I woke up again to the smell — it was almost heavy and cloying — and thought, The neighbours, then rolled over onto my other side. Then I remembered: we had no neighbours. The fellas had each got serious with their respective girlfriends and were living elsewhere. Other than us, the house was empty.

Later that month, I hired a guy to put up drywall. He had access to our basement, for overnight storage. He spotted some iron rods lying against the basement wall and said, “Looks like someone used to work in a bakery.” He explained what the rods were used for, the purpose of which I no longer recall, because my brain went white hot with panic.

That night when I again woke up to the gentle smell of baking cookies, I shrieked, THE POWER OF CHRIST COMPELS THEE! Only the Mennonite version. And in a very soft whisper, because I didn't want to wake my wife.

This went on for the next two weeks. Nothing changed. So I did an attitude check. I mean, cookies, fer cryin' out loud. Not thumping in a basement room, or chains being dragged across the floor, or fingernails scratching from inside a closet — cookies.

My sleep improved. Then one night my wife shook me awake, said, “I think you left the oven on!” I rubbed my eyes, sniffed the air. Oh, that. Uh . . . it's alright, babe. I'll tell you about it in the morning.

Still, as the years accumulated and the aroma continued, I remained slightly ill-at-ease with it all. There were rational explanations: auto-suggestive-neurological . . . whatever-the-hell-you-want-to-call-it. It wasn't explaining away the odour, so why not resort to the irrational?

The ancient thinking on ghosts and hauntings is fairly straightforward: ghosts don't generally hang around because they're happy.

If someone was unhappily caught between Here and There, and “Here” happened to be our house, I hadn't the first clue what to do about it. But I was, and remain, a praying man. So when the “baking” woke me up, I gave thanks for and blessings to the people who made and lived in this house for several generations. I asked for mercy on their souls. I asked, on behalf of all who lived in this house, for the courage necessary to face the heart of Love, and Truth, and final release. On and on in that vein, until I drifted back to sleep.

It's been three years since anyone in the house has last smelled that aroma. There are rational explanations for that, too, I expect. Those will be more important to some people than they are to me.


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