So, I’m Jill, the one who “wo-mans” the store front most days between the luxurious hours of 12 and 4 pm, and the other half of the man-and-wife team that makes up Opidell’s Antiques, Vintage, and Forget-Me-Nots – my and Chad’s brilliant creation to fuel our treasure-seeking auction addiction whilst preventing ourselves from winding up on an episode of Hoarders…pretty smart, huh? Anyway, Chad is the innovative, inventive, positive type who writes with wit and genius. He is always coming up with the most creative ideas and is forever looking forward to the next adventure. Both genuinely positive and pretty level-headed in general, Chad’s creative side does have a way of getting him in trouble…but that’s another blog in itself. I, on the other hand, am a bit more reserved, introverted, and consider driving five miles over the speed limit adventurous. Slightly superstitious and paranoid, I read my horoscope daily, believe in ghosts, and consider anything inexplicable to be the result of some sort of paranormal, metaphysical, intra-dimensional anomaly to which, although feared, I am paradoxically drawn. Since childhood, I have suffered from insomnia, night terrors, sleep paralysis, and bouts of sleep walking as well. To this day, I rarely sleep all night and regularly wake up between 3 and 4 am with intense feeling of being watched as if a Presence I try to mentally ignore is looming in a far corner of the bedroom smirking at my discomfort and denial that the Witching Hour will have once again stricken me with dark under eyes and a foggy mind. While Chad hugs his pillow and sleeps soundly in the land of the Sand Man, I roll out of bed to turn on all the lights and wait for the comfort of dawn.
During this Godforsaken time of the early morn, I usually scour the Internet for the next best estate sale or auction to attend, considering this work time in order to make up for the banker’s hours I keep at the shop. Armed with a strong cup of coffee and wrapped in a vintage wool throw, I filter through hundreds of online pictures of eligible goodies for the shop, most discerningly, with hopes of finding that one perfect sale where I’ll make out like a bandit with lots of cool vintage quirks! It was during one of these early morning scrutinys that I came across a picture of a couch in someone’s living room that would be offered up for auction to the highest bidder on some future date, which caught my eye. No, it wasn’t the burnt orange polyester blend of the fabric, nor the cheap, faux wood trim that seized my attention. Even the shag green carpet and particle board paneling in the background were not the culprits for my interest, as impressionable as they were. It was, in fact, a very large glowing orb that hovered above the hideous couch that had me entranced.
Now for those of you who don’t know, skeptics, including Wikipedia, consider and orb an unexpected, typically circular artifact that occurs in flash photography—sometimes with trails indicating motion—especially common with modern digital cameras. However, others, like me, believe orbs can, in some instances, be interpreted as an occurrence of supernatural paranormal activity or energy caught on film. Fear-laden excitement rushed through my veins as I stared at the picture envisioning the orb to be the spirit of some former couch owner, grouchy and in denial of their passing, unwilling to leave the comfort of their once beloved sofa. Suddenly a series of disturbing thoughts popped into my paranoid mind, each one more chilling than the one before.
What if this individual’s spirit refuses to leave and travels with the couch to the home of the highest bidder? That bidder could have very well been me! Oh God! What if I’ve already inadvertently brought home some sort of spirit that refuses to leave an item I’ve purchased??? Shit! Maybe that’s why I can’t sleep anymore!!! Hurry, fast, CALL A PRIEST!!!
I’ll admit my slightly ill brain spiraled out of control into a sort of delusional, histrionic episode. The urge to throw away all my pre-owned loot and burn sage throughout the house came over me! I mean, what was I thinking? There were true accounts of haunted items purchased at auctions or passed down through time. For instance, there was the Hope Diamond, which according to legend, is a large blue 42 carat gem that, after stolen from an Indian Idol, was cursed foretelling bad luck and death not only for the owner of the diamond, but for all that touched it. A more recent account of a haunted collectible occurred in 2003 when a Dibbuk box, a haunted Jewish wine cabinet, was originally purchased at an estate sale and later sold on eBay several times subsequently when each purchaser suddenly incurred illness and misfortune after buying the box. The story was used as the inspiration for the 2012 horror film, The Possession.
Panic stricken, I darted from the soft glow of the computer screen bound for the dark and eerie, Entity-occupied bedroom. Chad had to learn of my recent discovery and hear my horrific epiphany immediately! Yet a funny thing happened as I scurried around the corner into the bedroom. The first beams of sunlight were beginning to peer through the blinds and the air was filled with the sounds of gentle snoring. Chad looked so peaceful and completely unaffected by the Malevolent Force I was so sure had come home with us. Suddenly, I felt a sense of calmness come over me and blushed when I imagined what Chad would think to be woken from silent slumber by his crazy wife ranting and raving that she could no longer buy and sell antiques and vintage collectibles due to the recently discovered occupational hazard of a Haunting.
I took a deep breath and resolved that I needed to pour out the rest of my coffee, having had enough already to stimulate myself into a fantastical frenzy. I decided it would be an awful shame to stop doing what I love because of this self-realized job risk of paranormal activity. Plus, I wasn’t quite too sure worker’s comp would cover a haunting. So for now, I’ll carry on with our love of treasure seeking and continue to bring fun old finds to the shop for all to enjoy…that is until they start flying of the shelves on their own :).