Surviving Teenagers: How I Know Our House Is Haunted


Our house is haunted. I'm convinced of it.

"Where are my nail clippers?" says my husband.

"In the cupboard in the bathroom," I say.

He gives me a long-suffering look. "No, they're not," he says. "I've already looked."

Nothing stays where it should be. There are no pens in the pot by the phone. There are no teaspoons in the cutlery drawer. The TV guide could be anywhere - on the stairs, by the cat bowl, in the hall.

In the icy cold of a recent June evening, I decided I needed a hot water bottle. They normally live in a bag on the back of the kitchen door. But when I go to look, it's empty.

So what's going on? Why are objects moving from place to place in an apparently random fashion?

My teenagers assume that vital stuff goes missing because I've tidied it away. Or washed it.

But there are limits to my desire for a clean and orderly house.

And the places where stuff ends up - the nail clippers under my daughter's bed, for example, or the TV guide under a damp towel in the bathroom - aren't very logical.

I don't think I'm that creative when it comes to tidying up. I don't normally stand in the middle of the living room holding French homework and think, "I know - I'll file this under the sofa."

So if it's not me losing all this crucially important stuff, and it's not my teenagers (which it isn't, because I've asked them), there's only one answer left.

We must have a poltergeist.


There must be a malevolent spirit throwing favourite T-shirts behind the curtains, and lining up dirty coffee cups on the bookcase, and leaving the house keys in the front door as an open invitation to London burglars.


I try this theory out on my 17-year-old daughter. She narrows her eyes. She says, "Well, all I know is that all my hair clips have disappeared. And I think I know the culprit."

She looks meaningfully at our small black cat who, it's true, often dribbles shiny objects down the hall with all the brilliance of a young Wayne Rooney.

But I'm not convinced. I mean, I've never seen the kitten drag a cup of mouldy old coffee dregs up the stairs.

I think I should arrange an exorcism.

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