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By David Andrew Dugle ~

October. Halloween. It's time to visit the haunted house I used to live in.

When I was five my dad was able to build a big modern house. Moving in before it was complete, my younger brother and I were sleeping in a large unfinished area directly under the living room. It should have been too new to be a haunted house, but now and then I would wake up in the tiny, dark hours and see the blurry image of a face, or at least what I took to be a face, glowing, faintly yellow, high up on the wall near the ceiling.

I'm not kidding!

Most nights it didn’t appear at all. But when it did show itself, at first I thought it was a ghost and it scared me like nothing else I’d ever seen. But the face never did anything; unmoving, it just stayed in that one spot. Turning on the lights would make it disappear, making my fears difficult to explain, so I never told anyone.

My Sunday School teachers had always told me to be good because God was just behind me, watching, and credulous kid that I was, I believed it without question. I even remember trying to turn around fast enough to catch God’s surveillance in that kindergarten year. Is it any wonder that I came to the conclusion that the image on the wall was The Face of God watching over me?

Okay, it's not exactly a scary Halloween story but it's true!

Perception and your belief in the rightness of your perceptions creates your reality. We'd like reality to be solid all the time so we can learn one set of rules and get on with playing the game. Some rules of reality are indeed solid enough to hold on to, but many are liquid that we can only cup for a moment or vapor we can't grasp at all. It’s only been made worse in this age of fake news and deliberate mendacity. Conmen and demagogues in cyberspace actually put forth that men never landed on the Moon and that the Holocaust never happened. Marshal McLuhan was right, the medium is the message, and some credulous numbskulls will always believe their messages just because the medium it came in on is flashy.

Okay, so the world is a tentative place full of fiction and most people can't live with that fact, but there is one at least one other thing I know FOR CERTAIN from experience. God's Face does not appear on that wall anymore. Why? Because carpet was put down in the living room.


Remember most nights I didn't see The Face? I didn't figure out why until years later. Most nights my mom was not up late reading! C'mon follow me on this! Her chair was positioned in the living room above me in the basement, along the edge of the wooden floor where it didn't quite match the rough Ohio limestone edge of a planter box. The reading light for her chair aimed down the wall almost vertically, hitting a small set of holes left open along the joint of the floor and the planter box and then leaking through the unfinished ceiling of the basement. The reading light projected a pattern of light through the holes that I took as a face upon the wall of my room, the same wall that held up the stone planter box above. When my folks put in carpeting years later, the light was blocked. For awhile in my life though, I was convinced of God's immediate presence. Now I know better. He/She/It is EVERYWHERE.

But that's another Thought Bubble. And on corroded, creaky Halloween hinges, we’ll close the door on this story.


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