The Curious Incident Of Sean's Arm In The Night-Time

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. 

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Aug 13, 2012

I was thinking: "That's seriously creepy... " but then I read the Google search results, and now I can only think: you should be glad that it was only a bit of arm-raising!:os

Aug 13, 2012

I spent the past four days at a music festival, so I'm a little raw, but you know when you're trying not to cry and you would be completely succesful were it not for the tears pouring down your face? That just happened to me with tears of fright as I read this. I believe in ghosts!

Amanda Blog and Kiss
Aug 13, 2012

Oh frick! The mewling noises! That was mentioned in the second article too!
Frick Frick Frick!

Aug 13, 2012

I totally believe in ghosts. As a child of Irish/Scots ancestors, it's required. But my grandparents, as well as my mom and her siblings, have all seen ghosts. I've never "seen" any, as in, with my eyeballs, but I've had some things happen that could only have happened via ghost, in my opinion.

When I was a flight attendant, I regularly overnighted in hotels all over the country. As an extra safety precaution, I bought a motion detecting alarm that hangs on the doorknob of the room. If anyone so much as wiggles the door handle, it goes off, - piercingly loudly, with flashing lights.

I also used to sleep with the bathroom light on, and the bathroom door slightly ajar, so that if I woke up in the middle of the night I could see where I was and not run into furniture.

One night, while I was away on a four-day work trip, I had a really intense dream about a guy I used to date a long time ago. He used to aggravate me because he would never close the bathroom door when he took a leak, and he always left the seat up.

When I woke up early the next morning, I walked to the bathroom and when I got there, the toilet seat was up. I had not gotten up to go to the bathroom in the night. I had not lifted the seat before I went to bed. The doorknob alarm was activated, and had not gone off. The security bar lock was still on the door. In other words, no one but me was in that room all night, and it definitely was not me who lifted that toilet seat.

I know, creepy, right?

Thing is, he's not dead. So it wasn't HIS ghost that lifted the seat. Wonder whose it was...

Aug 13, 2012

And it's official. I shouldn't have read this in the middle of the night while nursing the baby. Especially since I've been thinking recently that I just might believe that ghosts could exist. There goes my sleep for the rest of the night.

Aug 13, 2012

This just sent a shiver down my spine, especially after reading the google results!

Aug 13, 2012

Freaky! Like the song, though.

Aug 13, 2012

Oh, no! Husband has the arm-straight-up-in-the-air symptom frequently, to the point that I don't even try to wake him when it happens. I just push it down and go back to sleep. I figured it was something to do with the nerves in his persnickety lower back, but maybe Great Uncle Marty is trying to tell me something.

Aug 13, 2012

Oh HELL no. Probably shouldn't have read that while I was alone in my house. I'm not sure what I believe in. I do definitely believe in "bad juju" -- if I get a bad feeling about a place or person, I try to stay away. And I do not fuck around with native american stuff. I used to manage some corporate buildings in san jose that were built on top of an old indian burial site, and people died there all the time. I mean, who dies at an office park? Multiple people drowned in a two-foot deep fountain. How do you even manage that? You couldn't pay me enough money to work in that park now.

Aug 13, 2012

Nothing like a good old fashioned ghost story to wake me up on a Monday morning. I'm so glad you don't post it last night or I might have been up the whole night. Super 8 App is downloading as we speak.

Aug 13, 2012

I love your videos, every time.

Aug 13, 2012

Man, oh, man. This is so creepy. Creepy enough to get me to make my first ever comment. I couldn't even enjoy your lovely video as I was too distracted looking for apparitions to appear behind you. And I was busy murmuring "Sweet fancy Moses" while reading those links to the articles....(Ack, the mewling!!!) Glad you are home safe and sound! Now, NEVER go back.

Aug 13, 2012

Whoa! I've had two mysterious ghostly encounters, but never as intense as this. Shame, Pyramid Lake actually looks quite beautiful. Remind me to only visit when the sun is up.

Aug 13, 2012

Ok, so now I cant stop studying your photos from this camping trip. I'm sure the ghost has to be there somewhere in them- in the form of some kind of blur or blob.....


Valerie L
Aug 13, 2012

I was born and raised (and still live) in Reno, NV. Since Pyramid Lake is just a short drive away I have been there many times. There were always stories about things that happened at PL growing up. I originally chalked them up to being elementary school ghost stories. Now I have grown and am close with someone who works for the PL Tribe. I won't camp there or get in the water based on the stories I have heard. Not going to happen.

Aug 13, 2012

Valerie! Please elaborate! I'm on the edge of my seat!

Aug 13, 2012

No, no, no! Ghosts are not real! No! They can't be. I'll never sleep again!

Aug 13, 2012

As someone who lived in a haunted house from age 6-12 and REGULARLY experienced supernatural things (that my mom explained away at the time so my brother and I wouldn't freak out), I definitely believe in ghosts! Your story is creepy!

Aug 13, 2012

Geez, now I'm all freaked out. Creepy. {shudder}

Aug 13, 2012

GAH! That is so spooky, I won't even look at the google search results!!

Aug 14, 2012

Which super8 app do you have? There are a few!

Nothing But Bonfires
Aug 14, 2012

Kristen: It's just the one called Super 8. I think it's 99 cents in the App Store.

Aug 14, 2012

got shivers from this

Aug 14, 2012

My boyfriend did the arm/hand in the air thing last night and I immediately thought of you and could not sleep at all the rest of the night. ohhhhh...what is with that?!

Camels & Chocolate
Aug 16, 2012

I've only ever half-believed in ghosts, but now that we own a 115-year-old house, I'm going to walk around saying "I believe in ghosts," know, just in case

Aug 19, 2012

I read your blog and the links to the ghost stories and then went about my day all la-la-la. And then at night? I was driving home alone from my dad's house in the country late late late at night and all I could think of was the mewling dead babies and why was his arm lifted and I kept smelling the strongest waft of peanut butter. And I wondered why I was being haunted by a ghost who smelled like peanut butter, and what did it mean? and then I realized it was the cup from the peanut butter milkshake I'd had earlier and felt better during my drive home in the dark.
The end.

Aug 20, 2012

this post was so exciting to read! holly, you need to turn this whole pyramid lake thing into a book. it is seriously spooky stuff.

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