Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I’m not particularly superstitious, but…

A few months back, I was invited to the house of a recently deceased woman by the heirs (her sister-in-law and niece) to the estate. I was absolutely flabbergasted by the sheer volume of “stuff” that was in this house. It was a three bedroom, two bath house with a full basement and attic. It was packed from the foundation footers to the roof peak with “stuff.” I was even more surprised when I was informed that the mother lode I was looking at had a twin mother lode in Florida. This woman evidently had spent her waning years splitting her time between the two climates.

Her sister-in-law and niece inherited because the woman was a widow with no children. She herself had been an only child. She was well into her 80’s when she died, and it was obvious she had kept every last piece of furniture, clothing and household item her parents had ever owned, not to mention the stuff she and her late husband had accumulated.

In the basement of the house, there was a strange variety of very old imported items from Mexico, South and Central America. I was told that the elderly woman’s father had been an importer back in the day. Since she was in her 80’s, I can only assume he was in his heyday starting around the time of the WWI. At any rate, the basement was loaded with old dusty pots, strange looking furniture and odd stuff hanging on the walls.

In one far, dark, web-filled corner, there were several tribal masks hanging on the wall. I mentioned to my hostess that I thought they were old and fascinating.

“You like them?” she asked as she grabbed a large bag. “They’re yours! I have no idea what to do with all this “stuff” and if you take these, that’s less I have to deal with!”

She filled the bag with the masks, eight in all. When I got home, I took out the masks and contemplated them. They would make an interesting focal point in my relatively bare office on the second floor, next to my bedroom. I took the masks upstairs, back in the bag, and set them in a corner. It was several weeks before I looked at them again.

Then one day I took out the masks and arranged them on the floor, moving them about until I found an arrangement that was suitable to the eye. I brought in a step ladder and proceeded to hang the masks on the wall.

Six of the eight masks were definitely made for the decorating market…there was no way to actually wear them. But the two creepiest looking masks, the ones that gave me the willies, were definitely meant to be worn; and I’m not talking Halloween, here. I took pictures of my wonderful wall arrangement and headed off to bed.

Then the disasters started.

The week from hell began the next day, when I went to the dentist for a simple examination of my bridgework and ended up with no bridge, a painful and drawn out tooth extraction and needing 5-6K in dental implant work. Next, the dishwasher died, then the dryer died. A few days later, a friend died. Then we had a layoff at work. When my husband called me desperate because all the smoke alarms in the house were going off intermittently for no reason, I decided a change should be made.

I went home and removed the two creepiest, meant-to-be-worn masks from the wall, placed them in a black plastic bag and put them in a dark closet.

The disasters stopped. In retrospect, I placed two items of unknown origin in the highest point of my house…perhaps putting them in a position of power? I don’t normally believe in superstition, but in this case, the disasters started and stopped with the placement and removal of the masks from that wall.

So, was it simple coincidence or was it something of the supernatural? You decide!