Today is May 3rd and that means it’s National Paranormal Day. Now, I should state that I’m skeptical of all things supernatural. I tend to think that most things can be explained scientifically and rationally if we put our best minds to work, but I wasn’t always a rationalist.

When I was a child I was pretty convinced that ghosts, spirits, and hauntings were legitimate threats. In honor of National Paranormal Day, I’d like to share this amusing, and largely humiliating experience I had when I was about 7 years old. At the time I was obsessed with scary movies. I’m not sure why.

I enjoyed the adrenaline rush they gave me but I always ended up being paralyzed by fear for days afterwards. After binge watching several horror films in a row for weeks on end, I became convinced that my house was haunted. Every time I heard the wind howl or saw an ominous looking shadow I thought I was being stalked by ghosts.

My free spirited imagination started filling in the blanks when it came to my house’s “haunting.” I gave the ghost that was visiting me a name, and a background story, and pretty soon I had my mother scared out of her wits. My grandma decided to send us a state of the art ghost capturing device (which was nothing more than an empty Folgers coffee can with a balloon taped to the bottom.)

One day when I felt my ghost was paying me a visit, my mom dug out our little contraption and supposedly trapped the spirit inside. I opened the lid to the Folgers can and felt a breeze caress the back of my head. I was convinced that I felt the spirit move past my head and into the can.

Of course, I had to tell everyone I knew at school about this groundbreaking experience. For years I bragged about my superior spirit capturing skills. I was practically a professional ghost buster. It wasn’t until YEARS later (I was probably 14 or 15) that my mom broke the news to me that she had exhaled air on the back of my head during our ghost hunting adventure in order to fool me into thinking we caught said ghost, and that it wasn’t really a spirit of any kind.

Gee wiz! Talk about motherly love! I bragged about that experience on a semi-regular basis throughout my entire childhood only to realize it was all a hoax. I bet my classmates thought I was pretty loony. Oh well. That’s my “paranormal” experience. Happy National Paranormal Day!