“Mama.” That was the word my wife heard as she stood at the breakfast bar in her apartment one dreary morning as she prepared to leave for work. Knowing that our son was with me and there were no neighbors home, she was startled. The upstairs neighbor had already left for work and the school buses had already picked up the children of the complex. Not having a valid reason why she would hear it, she then promptly phoned me to tell me the tale.
As she told me the story of hearing “Mama,” I chased after our two and a half year old son, so the revelation that something had spoken to her out of the ether didn’t register promptly or properly with me. I tried to explain it away, as I am wont to do, but she thoroughly believed something had said “Mama.” While she wasn’t terribly frightened, it was her first brush with the paranormal and it did leave her a little shaken.
I soon forgot her tale as I did the things that parents do when they have an inquisitive two year old that is more curious than a cat with ADHD. I changed diapers, helped with potty training, watched a lot of Elmo and SpongeBob SquarePants, cleaned messes, and thoroughly attempted to not let the little adventurer kill himself by drinking cleaning products. In other words, I was so busy I didn’t have time to dwell on the narrative.
The day passed as uneventfully as any can, and I drove my son to my wife’s apartment. Once there, I did the things a father does to get a child ready for bed. Dinner. Bath. Brushing of the teeth. More Elmo. “Flay, Deedee,” as my child says when he means “Play, Daddy.” With time and no small amount of strained patience, I finally got the little one to fall into a deep slumber. I then sat at my computer to begin work on a website I run, the story of “Mama,” all but buried in the deepest recesses of my mind.
Soon thereafter, my wife returned home from work. As is par for the course, she promptly went to take a shower. After the shower was finished, we sat on the couch and she played on Facebook while I worked on my site. We made idle chatter until she mentioned the call of “Mama,” earlier that day. Having forgotten about it by that point, she had to remind me and tell me the story again.
As we sat on the sofa, she told me all about how she had gotten ready for work and was just getting ready to leave. She made mention of the fact that she had heard the upstairs neighbors leave for work and saw the school buses leave while she was outside smoking a cigarette. She told me that the parking lot around her apartment was empty and that there was no one left in any of the adjacent units. That’s when she heard it, a little girl’s voice, saying “Mama.” She then mentioned that she had heard it a second time.
When my friends and I used to go ghost hunting, I was the debunker. That is to say that I was always the one who would find the logical explanations for the strange things that were happening. Whether it be a rusty pipe creating a strange screeching noise whenever the water heater kicked on or the winds rushing through an unclosed window creating a whistling sound, I could usually find some explanation for the things I was hearing. Usually.
So as she told me this strange moment of her day, she was clearly excited. She had never experienced anything of the sort before and it titillated her.
I asked her the normal questions. Are you sure no one was here? Are you sure no one was walking past the apartment windows? How much sleep did you have the night before? Were you listening to any music or watching any videos online prior to hearing it? Was the TV on? She answered all my questions satisfactorily and I was convinced that she heard something that sounded like “Mama.” Was it a ghost? I wasn’t convinced about that part, just that she had heard something.
We discussed it a little further and ended up changing subjects, as husband and wife do when you have burned a conversation about one topic out. As we sat there talking, there was suddenly a loud bang in the direction of the bathroom, the bedroom, and my child’s playroom. We looked at each other, neither of us sure where exactly the noise came from. I must admit, even with having some extensive paranormal hunting under my belt, it startled me. It was quite a loud bang.
I first went to check the bedroom and make sure the little one was still asleep. He was. I then checked his playroom. Nothing was out of place. That left the bathroom. I pushed open the door and didn’t immediately notice anything out of the ordinary. Until I walked to the edge of the bathroom counter, that is. That’s when I noticed my son’s SpongeBob SquarePants shaving mirror laying in his potty seat.
Somehow, the shaving mirror, which attaches to the regular mirror by suction cups, had launched itself from where it was secured to the mirror into his potty seat which is approximately two and a half to three feet away. It was actually in his potty seat. Not near it. In it. This struck me as quite odd.
As the debunker, I sought an answer to why that had happened. I have yet to come up with one. To my way of thinking, there should have been no way for the mirror to shoot those few feet and score a basket in the potty seat. I have no explanation.
Since that one night, nothing more has happened in the apartment. There have been no more phantom voices calling for their “Mama.” The SpongeBob SquarePants shaving mirror has stayed firmly suctioned to the bathroom mirror. This begs the question: What actually caused these two events to occur in the same day in the same apartment, but never occur again? That query has bothered me for some time now. I have no answer.
As my wife and I pondered the events of that day and night, we sought some answers. We decided to run an EVP (electronic voice phenomenon) session in my son’s playroom. I have limited experience in EVP work, having only conducted them once before in a tale I will regale you with in the next chapter.
I chose the playroom as the setting for the session because of the strange feeling I get in that room. While it’s nothing tangible, I do get the feeling occasionally that there is something ‘off’ about the room. I have never noticed any temperature fluctuations; I have never noticed any unexplained shadows. I just get the ‘vibe’ at times. Due to my feelings, that was the room we chose.
After roughly 20 minutes in the darkened room, asking questions while a digital recorder ran, snapping pictures the entire time, we came away empty handed. I reviewed the digital recorder and scoured the pictures we took. There was nothing.
Soon thereafter, my wife and I were sitting on our porch talking to the next door neighbor. The conversation turned to spooks and hauntings and they told us that every night around 3 AM it would sound like their upstairs neighbor would be jumping on the floor, creating an awful racket. The problem? Their upstairs neighbor was an old woman who could barely walk, let alone jump on the floor at 3 AM. We never heard any of this in our apartment, either. I have thought about this strange tale many times over the year and a half since it occurred and have yet to come to any satisfying conclusions.