Saturday, January 16, 2016

Bermtopia by the Sea: The haunted edition. . . Or don't read this if you're home alone, laying in a bunkbed, at 4:10 in the morning


We have survived yet another grand Bermtopian holiday. One that, this year,  was just a notch below epic.

Who else out there in the Blogosphere can say they survived a canine near-death experience. . . the Great Seattle Poopheads' Dishwasher Fire. . . a trip to the ER and hospital overnight with The Mom Unit. . . four days in Texas (not as weird as we thought it would be). . . the Number Two Son's version of Grand Theft Auto. . . and throughout it all, the impossible cuteness of The Most Adorable Grandson in the World.

But this all pales -- pales, I tell you -- to being haunted.

To recap. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day played out here in The Beav with My Date, two sons, daughter-in-law, The Mom Unit and, of course, TMAGITW. We then decamped for another four days to Arch Cape Cannon Beach on the Oregon Coast.

WTF!!!! you ask in a shouting font: YOU ALWAYS STAY IN ARCH CAPE.!!!!

Why, yes, boys and girls, we usually do. But this year, five weeks before Christmas, we we were informed our long-time go-to rental place in Arch Cape had been hijacked by its owner (fancy that) for an impromptu family reunion. Okay, so the guy apparently lives in Tanzania and is home for once in a blue moon. . . . . w.h.a.t.e.v.e.r.

So we selected a back-up place suggested by the rental agency in Cannon Beach. It had its pros and cons, including My Date, Number Two son and myself sleeping in bunkbeds (try it sometime!), a faintly sinister playhouse in the backyard and a selection of somewhat weird tchotchkes displayed throughout the house.

Bald dolls. Two-sided dolls. A frog holding a potato.
There are SO many things are wrong with this.
They should have been our first clue.

After a bracing walk on the beach and a replay of Christmas dinner (leftovers are ALWAYs better -- probably because they are actually warm when you eat them), we all toddled off to bed our first night in the house: The Mom Unit in the main floor master bedroom, the Number One Son and family to an upstairs bedroom, the dog to his bed in the living room and The Number Two Son, My Date and myself to the lower level "bunkhouse."

My Date and I nestled into our bunks, noting not to rise up too quickly or risk smacking our heads on bunkbeds above us, while N2S stretched out in the adjacent room for a late-night movie.

And we fell asleep.

Until about 4 a.m. that is -- when I was vigorously persuaded to answer a call of nature. As I tiptoed back to my bunk, I glanced at my cell phone. It was exactly 4:10 a.m.

"Perfect. Another couple of hours of shut-eye," I thought and began to doze, the house silent except for the faint whisper of a gentle wind in the trees outside.

And then. From inside the wall right next to my pillowed head:






And silence. Well, except for the "WTF!!??" firmly wedged in my throat, struggling to make its presence known.

I let a minute pass.

"Bra-aa-ad. . . did you hear THAT?" I hissed.

"Yesssssss," My Date hissed backed.

We bolted out of bed (of course smacking our heads on the upper bunks) and checked the bedroom windows.

Nothing. Nada. Zip.

The front and backyards were empty and silent, shimmering through an early morning rain shower.

And with that, date and I settled back in our bunks for a not-surprisingly restless couple hours before sunrise.

We recounted the story at breakfast. The Number Two Son had heard the knocks, too!

With that, he and I decided to do a perimeter check, reconnoitering for evidence our Cannon Beach version of Caspar the Friendly Ghost. Armed with a flashlight that was about 4 feet long (they grow 'em big in Cannon Beach), we set out on our ghostly campaign. We checked the empty garage first, thinking it was adjacent to the "bunk house." It was not. Plus the exterior doors were locked.

And then. . .  we discovered the Secret Room -- an add-on to the garage that did, indeed, share a wall with bunkhouse. Was this the haven of some insidious Cannon Beach prankster? The N2S readied the flashlight.

We stopped in our tracks and stared the irrefutable evidence. There couldn't be an insidious Cannon Beach prankster: The knob was coated in at least a year's worth of cobwebs. No. one. had. been. in. the. room.

Gentlemen (and women) of the jury, Exhibit #1
Suitably impressed by our phantom visitor's skills at breaking and entering and knocking, the N2S and I retreated back into the beach house to make our report, only then noticing one, slightly unnerving detail. The door to the faintly sinister playhouse was ajar. The same door -- that had been closed the day before.  

We gently closed it -- with apologies to Caspar.

Epilogue: There were no more paranormal antics for the rest of our stay. . . although we three bunkmates slept upstairs the next night, but the bunkhouse was silent and would not reveal its secrets.

It appears haunting is a lonely -- and somewhat inconsistent -- business. Which is a good thing.


  1. Even better in the retelling!

  2. What a gripping haunting story...One to be told at many more future Cannon Beach gatherings, I'm sure. BTW, did you use AirBnB for your booking. I have heard a few horror stories about that....