papa lindsey strikes again

I’ve mentioned Papa Lindsey before: the demented handyman haunting our property. He keeps tabs on what we’re doing through his army of spiders. No matter what we do, there are daddy long-legs on the ceiling, black widows in the sheds, some enormous hideous monstrosity we call Aragog in the mailbox. Clearly they are all reporting back to Papa Lindsey, warning him when we decide to replace one of his precious power outlets or mismatched light bulbs.

But it turns out, the spiders might be protectors more than spies.

It turns out, Papa Lindsey was worried about worse problems than the sufficient proliferation of power outlets. Perhaps my home is a sort of Southern Californian Winchester House, and Papa Lindsey had to keep hand-building crummy additions to keep other ghosts at bay.

shack

Seriously, this hell shack was going to be your un-permitted laundry room?

This month we finally took action on a crack in the foundation beneath our dining room (these tears I’m shedding are made of dollar bills). The entire room was carpeted when we moved in, so if the damage was already there, we missed it in the home inspection.

Upon peeling back the carpet, we discovered THIS in the concrete where the dining room was added to the main house:

house

“As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD”

EXCUSE ME? This is far too insistent. Was my house the site of a religious cult? Or was this the work of a pious handyman trying to expel demons?

Upon seeing the ominous inscription, it occurred to me that when we first moved in, there were nails driven into the walls above the windows and doors. Is it possible that these were not the World’s Worst Curtain Fixtures, but in fact iron spikes intended to repel faerie creatures??

Before you accuse me of overreacting, consider this:

Within days of demolishing this piece of concrete and its aggressively protective carving, my sister broke out in all-body hives, my husband threw out his back, and my toddler dislocated his elbow.

DRAW YOUR OWN CONCLUSIONS.

papa lindsey

Welp, my house is haunted.

When we first moved in, I mentioned that our home had some serious DIY flare. The prior owner clearly had a tendency to declare, “Yeah I can fix that,” regardless of whether this was, in fact, true.

The light bulbs in any given room don’t match. The doorjambs have been painted over so many times the doors barely close. The bathroom door is ragged because somebody inexplicably (and shittily) sawed an inch off the bottom?

bathroom door

But…why??

The dude was obsessed with power outlets, so the house has outlets all over the place, even on the ceiling (which, hey, was actually useful for Christmas decorating). It’s a scavenger hunt to figure out which outlet connects to which switch. A year-and-a-half in, I still have mystery switches.

At this point, we have mentally constructed a vision of this man: a middle-aged, gruff, white, Dad-type marching around with a tool belt, or else rummaging in a messy tool box and bellowing about things being missing even though he was definitely the last one to use it. And due to misreading some documents regarding prior owners, we thought the family was named Lindsey and therefore dubbed this paragon of self-sufficiency Papa Lindsey.

But Papa Lindsey is real, guys. And he’s a ghost.

Papa Lindsey sneaks around at night adding outlets to the baseboards. He tries to fix the wiring in the dining room, but it only makes the lights flicker even more unpredictably. He lives in the gaping hell-hole attic space of our converted garage, but slinks into the main house at night for further tinkering.

And apparently he is not pleased with our lackluster upkeep, because he’s turning poltergeist. Let’s document the incidents in chronological order.

FIRST. My husband witnessed our son’s motorized car jolting back and forth against the dining room table leg, despite neither child nor cat being anywhere near the remote controller. I later heard a similar incident in the kitchen, though the car stopped moving as soon as I whipped my head around to look.

SECOND. Our 2-year-old son ran out of his room in distress, insisting, “I don’t like that kid!” Do we have a secondary ghost on our hands? Is this child-ghost trying to warn us about his mad papa?

THIRD. Our cat has, on multiple occasions, bolted onto the dining room table, gone stock still, and stared at the ceiling in hunter-cat readiness. This cat is no hunter. He’s a useless marshmallow. What does he think he’s keeping his eye on?

FOURTH. The most alarming incident of all. Like, really alarming and not comedy-for-my-blog alarming:

A few days ago, my husband and I were woken up by a persistent click-click-clicking noise that invaded our dreams. I rolled over in disoriented annoyance. He realized what it was and bolted out of the room.

One of the burners on our stove was on. Like, propane flame a-flaming. Luckily (??) the knob was still on the igniter, so the clicking sound woke us up. As opposed to not being on the igniter, and either leaking gas or burning till we went in the kitchen. It was about 5:30 a.m., so it could have gone 1-2 hours unnoticed if not for the noise.

Papa Lindsey, whyyyy?? Is it our lack of appreciation of power outlets? Our determination to slowly replace or patch your bizarre handyman fixes? The terrible state of the backyard?

And per my move-in blog, remember this vaguely unsettling grave marker by the shed?

DSCN0776

“Max”

Yeahhhh, I’m really starting to doubt whether Max was the dog. Are we dealing with the alcoholic handyman known as Max Lindsey, electrocuted by his own wiring? Or is Max the tortured child-ghost trying to warn us before it’s too late?

Time to start looking for a new house.