The House in San Bernardino By Tamara Thorne Late in the 70s, we moved into a four-bedroom home, a typical tract house in an established, pleasant neighborhood in the north end of San Bernardino, California. The house ‘felt’ fine to me, but almost immediately weird little things began happening. Everything about the house felt fine, but within a few weeks of moving in, I saw a toothbrush pop out of the holder by the medicine cabinet, slipping straight up then tumbling into the sink. I thought it was simply interesting whenever it reoccurred, or when magazines would flop up over the edge of the basket I kept them in, or the Kleenex box slid across a nightstand and another foot beyond before dropping to the floor. These things happened regularly, and I chalked them up to some kind of gravitational glitch because they didn’t frighten me. That was the strange part. All my life I’d jumped at every noise and seen ghosts in every shadow. I couldn’t watch or even listen to a scary movie without bolting. I always had a reputation for being the family scaredy cat. But here, in this houseful of phenomena, I was fine. There was no emotional sensation, so I knew it wasn’t anything spooky. Because it honestly seemed unimportant and because I didn’t want to talk about something that could bring on the old teasing, I didn’t tell anyone, even my husband. He wouldn’t have teased though, and I think part of me knew that if I drew his attention to it, my blasé feelings might evolve into something unnerving. For six months, these phenomena continued on a regular basis, minor and harmless. Then one Saturday we sat down for lunch at the kitchen table. We were side by side, facing into the room and a full trash box, about three and a half feet tall, was waiting in the center of the room to be taken out after we ate. We were both holding ham sandwiches on wheat and tall glasses of milk were in front of us. We were talking, joking around. And we were both looking forward when the trash box lifted off the floor. It levitated about two or three inches off the ground and hovered for several seconds. Then it dropped and sat there like nothing had happened. We looked at each other and simultaneously said, “Did you see that?” We agreed we did and then I said, “It’s just gravity,” and explained that while I’d never seen anything so impressive before, that little things hopped around all the time. My mate was fascinated and spooked and used the “p” word—poltergeist. Despite my life-long fear, or because of it, I was well versed in paranormal phenomena and I guess my subconscious had kept that word out of my mind. Scary word! Sure enough, in the next couple weeks, though nothing but the usual little phenomena occurred, the house began to feel menacing. I turned on all the lights as I moved down the halls and jumped at noises. Shadows seemed menacing now. I was most afraid that I’d buckle under the pressure and announce that we had to move. I would have before long, but the owners announced they wanted to move back in. What a relief!
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