Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Mark Spencer, author of A Haunted Love Story..
My family experienced a lot of doppelgänger activity when we first moved into the Allen House four years ago. It wasn’t exclusive to our youngest son, who was then five, but it involved him more than other family members. We’d see Jacob go into a bathroom and never come out. We’d see him standing in the upstairs hallway on our way down the stairs, and when we got downstairs seconds later, he would be in the kitchen, eating cereal and watching Sponge Bob Square Pants—oblivious to the fact that a spirit was using his energy to manifest itself and taking on his appearance. A friend of our older son Joshua freaked out one morning because he saw Jacob in the upstairs hallway and in the very same moment he saw another Jacob at the foot of the staircase on the first floor.
I don’t believe any harm has ever come to Jacob as a result of a spirit’s connection to him or use of his energy and physical form, but I have long wondered whether a particular ghost in our house is influencing his sense of humor. Allen Bonner has, for well over half a century, been reputed to haunt my house along with his mother. Allen’s school papers and toys still clutter parts of the attic, his special play area. On a homemade desk he wrote his and the names of two friends, labeling their group “Ye Olde Village Half Wits;” the description is indicative of Allen Bonner’s interest in and inclination toward comedy. In college he wrote a humorous column for the school paper. He loved corny puns and corny jokes: “Somebody said it was raining cats and dogs outside, and sure enough I went out and stepped right in a poodle.” At Baylor University he joined The Nose Brotherhood, an organization that was dedicated to comedy and pranks and that held annual events such as “The State of the Onion Address.”
My wife and I have noticed Jacob’s growing inclination to blurt out in random moments the most random, weird—and corny—jokes. Often, oddly old-fashioned jokes: “Why does a chicken cross the road?” He’ll don a fur cap with shorts, rubber boots, and no shirt. He’ll suddenly launch into impersonations of high-pitched women or obsessively feign a British accent for days at a time. He can be amusing. He can be annoying. The only time it got creepy was when I said, “Jacob, why are you saying these things?” And he responded in a soft voice, “I’m not Jacob.”
Maybe he’ll grow out of his obsession with corny comedy, but until he does, I’m going to keep wondering.
Our thanks to Mark for his guest post! For more from Mark Spencer, read his article “A Growing, Ghostly Intimacy.”