Paranormal Wear and Tear / by Courtney Mehlhaff

A couple years ago, I went out of town with a friend for his college reunion.  The event spanned a whole weekend, so we got a hotel room. For two nights, we crawled into our beds happily exhausted from the day's sightseeing. And for two nights, we spent a couple hours pre-slumber watching a marathon of a ghost-hunting show on TV.

It was your standard "reality" program, filled with EVP static, plenty of green night vision, and manufactured "Ohmygoddidyouhearthat!?" jumpiness. So we laughed and laughed. And then we nodded off.

But it turns out that sometimes, stuff that you think is hilarious bullshit when you're with someone else is decidedly less amusing when you're back in your own house alone.  For several nights after that trip, I couldn't get images of floating bricks and infrared apparitions and demonic whispers out of my head. 

When I got together with my friend a couple weeks later, I mentioned that I'd been having trouble sleeping because of the stupid show.

"I've actually . . . had to leave my light on a few times," I admitted.  I waited for him to  scold me for being ridiculous, but he suddenly looked equally sheepish.

"Me, too."

I slept a little better that night.