Before I tell you the story I'm about to tell you, I feel it's important to preface it with a piece of information that you might find shocking. Or maybe laughable. Or maybe a bit shocking and also a bit laughable, but here it is anyway: I believe in ghosts.
(Oh wait, I've told you this before. So much for my big confession!)
Do you believe in ghosts? I believe in ghosts so strongly that I sometimes have to say "I believe in ghosts" out loud, just in case the ghosts are listening. Sean, on the other hand, does not believe in ghosts and will often say out loud "I don't believe in ghosts," at which point I will have to say—also out loud—"no, he's just kidding, he really does" because come on, dude, that is just asking for someone to haunt you. You are just messing with the ghosts right now. Don't drag me into your ghost-doubting club, you ghost-doubter, because I don't want to be the one who wakes up at 3am with a glimmering Great Uncle Marty sitting on the edge of the bed just trying to prove he exists.
Despite—or maybe, I would like to think, because of—my belief in ghosts, I haven't actually experienced much in the way of paranormal activity. The craziest thing was the tale of my missing earrings, for which I honestly believe there is no other explanation, but I haven't woken up in the middle of the night in a youth hostel, say, to see a glowing woman dressed as a 19th-century nurse glide past the rows of bunkbeds and disappear through a wall at the end of the room while carrying a lantern. (This happened to my mother, by the way, lest you thought it was just a particularly detailed and imaginative example.)
I am happy to report, however, that Sean has. Or at least he has now.
A few weeks ago, as you may remember, we went camping at Pyramid Lake for the first time in eleven years. While we were there, Sean revised his stance on ghosts, due to a very strange thing that happened to him—actually, due to several strange things that happened to him, the first being the weirdest and the others just kind of being strange-at-the-time things that now seem full of portent. All I can say is that I'm very, very happy he didn't tell me any of this until we got home.
Here's what happened: in the night, several times, Sean woke up to find one of his arms raised up high and stiff above his body. Baffled, he put it down again and went back to sleep, only to wake up a little while later with his arm straight up in the air again. This happened four or five times, he says, and is notable not just because it is CREEPY AS FUCK—sorry for the language, dad, but it is—but also because Sean is typically a very heavy sleeper who doesn't wake up for anything.
Add to that the inexplicably warm ground beneath our tent—and only beneath our tent; it was like sleeping on a furnace and yet the earth several feet away was perfectly cool—and the otherworldly mewling noises we heard around 10pm and dismissed as coyotes but are now convinced were CRYING SPIRITS, probably WARNING US NOT TO CAMP THERE—and you have a pretty good chance that I'm not going to go back to Pyramid Lake for another eleven years, or at least not to the middle-of-nowhere spot we chose to pitch our tent. Plus I googled "haunted Pyramid Lake" after Sean told me all that and this came up and also this and now I can never sleep again.
While we were there, I took a few clips on my iPhone using my twee little Super 8 app—eh, I know it's gimmicky, but it's so much fun—and once I got home, I strung them together into a short video in iMovie so we could remember our trip. The song I chose is called "Be Brave" by the Strange Boys, and when I used it I was thinking more about the pitfalls of peeing in the bushes than the possibility of being visited by an arm-raising ghost, but hey, what do you know, it turns out I was worrying about the wrong thing entirely the whole time.