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    The Haunted Office

    If you work at home, there are many ways to procrastinate. (If you are a not a procrastinator, you are not normal. My opinion.) I have engaged in most of them. But I was once pushed out of my office by a ghost.


    Let me just say that my house is not haunted. Before this happened, I’d lived and worked and procrastinated here for several years. I didn’t need help from ghostly ectoplasm.

    I’d just come home from a working trip to Seattle. But before I left the city, I decided to take the Underground Tour, essentially a walk through Seattle’s kind of creepy basement. Sorry, Seattle, but, meh.

    When returning from a trip like this, I’m always slow to get into the work groove. But by the third day home, I was ready to get to my desk. Ideas were firing, and it was time to start putting them down. I went into the office, sat down…

    And found myself standing in the hall.

    While it’s not unusual for me to procrastinate by heading to the kitchen, I ran down the usual list of reasons not to work:

    Food? No, I’d eaten.

    Beverage? No, my water glass was sitting on the desk.

    Bladder pressure? No, I didn’t need a bathroom break.

    Avoiding work? No. I really wanted to get started.

    So, what was I doing in the hall? I almost couldn’t remember getting there.

    I turned and went slowly to the door of my office.

    There was a…pressure…in the room keeping me out. It was like a balloon of air filled the space, stopping at the door. It was more than a little unnerving, but, hey, it’s my house. So I went in.

    Sat down. Waited.

    I had the strangest feeling that the room was facing the wrong way. Like it should be turned 180o toward the south. The source of the “presence” seemed to be in the northeast corner of the room. This time I was very aware of the insistent pressure on my chest pushing me toward the door. Not malevolent. Just determined.

    Seattle, dang it. You’d given me a ghost.

    Yes, I took the Haunted House ride at Disneyland, the one where, at the end, they make it look like you have a ghost in the car with you. I’m here to tell you that’s what happened. Apparently whoever designed that ride knew all about this kind of thing.

    But it was obvious I was going to get no work done that day. (Pre-laptop.) So I got up and left the office.

    Bill Murray wasn’t available so, who ya gonna call, right?

    Fortunately, I have a friend whose family is very much into ghosts and ghouls and things that go bump in the night. Two of her brothers are ghost hunters.

    Within the hour, I had five ghost-busting enthusiasts at my door. One checked the exterior of the house to be sure there wasn’t any outside reason for whatever was happening. The rest gathered in my office.

    My friend, sitting on the floor, said she had the strangest feeling that the room wanted to turn 180o toward the south.

    I hadn’t told her about having the same sensation.

    Her husband said it felt like the presence was focused in the northeast corner of the room.

    I hadn’t mentioned that, either.

    And then he went and stood in that corner.

    Every one of us felt the energy drain from the room into the floor at his feet.

    My office no longer felt like it was facing the wrong way. There was no more feeling of pressure.

    My friend’s husband then asked me if I had a picture of a polar bear. I swear.

    I happened to have one (!). Do normal people just happen to have pictures of polar bears? I did, on a postcard a friend had sent from Alaska. I also had a Gund stuffed polar bear, a gift from another friend. My friend’s husband told me to put them in that corner and the ghost wouldn’t come back.

    Listen, the man had just gotten rid of the ghost. Was I going to question him?

    That is why, if you look at the photo of my office on my website, you will still see a polar bear in the corner. Better safe than sorry, right?

    And he was right. The ghost hasn’t come back.

    My advice for everyone working from home? Get a polar bear. You’ll never have a ghost push you away from your desk.