In Jill's Words

I dedicate this site to my mother. She was a columnist and an author with the uncanny ability to find humor in the daily ins and outs of life. She faced every challenge with a witty optimism, including the cancer that ended her life too soon.

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Location: Boise, Idaho, United States

Friday, October 31, 2014

The Ghost in the Music Room (RE-POST from 9/13/14)

I thought this would be an appropriate re-post for Halloween. Enjoy! (Originally published 9/13/14)

I have a ghost in my music room. I'm not kidding. I don't even believe in ghosts, and my school is only six years old. But there is seriously a ghost in my music room.

A couple of years ago, I was teaching preschoolers. Two other teachers were also in the room. My guitar sat on its stand near my far wall. No one was near it. We weren't bouncing around or doing anything that would have caused sympathetic vibrations. All of a sudden, the guitar played. It was as though someone strummed his/her fingers right over each string.

No joke.

I have credible adult witnesses.

Something played a glissando on one of my glockenspiels while I was alone after school one day. Again, all of the instruments were tucked away safely on the shelves. No one was even near them.

One spring afternoon, my third grade students were dancing "La Raspa," and the CD player started slowing down like a warped record on a turntable. (I'm sure some of you remember those old things.) The kids froze and stared at me. Normally, they would have giggled at the silly sounds coming from my stereo.

But my students take the ghost very seriously. In fact, after telling them the hilarious story about my guitar playing on its own, I realized, from their anxious expressions, I might be freaking my kids out. So I named the ghost "Fred."

That was until the opera singing incident.

"I swear I heard a woman's voice coming from your room at around ten o'clock," one of the night custodian's told me last year. "She was singing opera. She sounded just like you, but no one else was even here.
So it's unlikely that the ghost would be a "Fred," unless he's a countertenor.

Our current custodian told me she was cleaning near my room when she heard someone whisper her name and then break into laughter. Again, it was late evening, and no one else was in the building.

"I've been cleaning your room for a week, and I haven't heard anything," scoffed the other night custodian who was listening in on our conversation.

"Just wait," we said in unison.

This week, I've heard a knock on my exterior door twice while teaching class. Both time, the kids and I looked out the window, and no one was there. No wayward children were wandering around the courtyard either or running away guiltily after playing a little ding-dong ditch.

My husband, Dan, thinks that the music room might have an opening to a parallel world.

"Think about it," he said. "The woman is an opera singer who sounds just like you. She laughs, which you do a lot. She likes music and hangs out mostly in your room. The ghost could just be another you."

"Because that's so much more believable than a ghost," I said.

"It's quantum physics," he said. "You know, string theory?"

"You mean like Fringe?" I said. "Are you the Peter Bishop to my Olivia?"

"Do you want me to build you a window to the other universe?"
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