In the summer of 1986, my family moved into a parsonage in Logan, where my father was to become the new minister of a church there. The previous minister, a Reverend Rush, had passed away. As a tall man, he was unable to go upstairs to use the bathroom in his last days, so another bathroom was installed next to the dining room on the first floor. The water heater was on the other side of the wall. All four bedrooms were upstairs, and the living and dining rooms and kitchen were downstairs. I was in college in Oklahoma at the time, but I visited my family during the holidays.
The first experience with the paranormal occurred one afternoon when I was away at school. My mother had gone upstairs to take a nap, while the rest of the family remained downstairs in the living room to watch TV. Several minutes later, my mother came downstairs and said, “Who keeps opening my door and looking in at me?” No one knew who she was talking about. The only description my mother gave of the intruder was that of a tall man. But no one had been upstairs.
My sister also had an encounter with something inexplicable. Night after night she complained to my father that someone was walking around in the overhead attic. My father, a non-believer when it came to the supernatural, dismissed my sister’s claim by explaining that she was probably hearing squirrels. My sister said, “Since when do squirrels walk on two feet?” Still, no investigation was made. Finally, one night my sister had enough. The walking was keeping her up, so she shouted for it to stop. It did.
During the summer of 1992, I taught an English composition class at the local community college. My father’s office was downstairs in the basement. One day I was down there by myself grading papers. My sister and my father had gone car-shopping together. No one else was home. While I was reading a student’s essay, I heard someone come through the back door on the first floor. Then I heard these heavy footsteps walking right over my head, which was where the dining room was located. Thinking my sister and my father had come back from car-shopping, I went upstairs to ask them if they’d found a car. But there was no one on the first floor. I called up the stairs but got no response. Then I looked through the kitchen window, which looked out on the car port. No car. That’s when I felt the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Apparently, I’d heard the heavy tread of the late Reverend Rush.
Things seemed to come to a head in October of that same year. I was away in California at the time. What happened can either be explained as normal or as paranormal, but it almost cost my family their lives. Apparently, something went wrong with the water heater. It overheated and exploded, taking about a third of the house with it. Luckily, my family was unharmed, but their lives were forever changed.
The parsonage went through extensive repairs, and although my family moved back into it, things were never the same. Why, after having been there for six years, did the water heater suddenly explode? Just the day before the explosion occurred, a parishioner from the church had inspected the water heater and told my father that everything was all right. I mean, we’re talking about the same water heater on the other side of the wall of the bathroom that had been built for Reverend Rush. Coincidence? Even today, I don’t know.
My parents have since moved into another house outside of Logan. Since they moved, I haven’t been by the old parsonage, and perhaps it’s for the best. I hope that whoever moves into that house won’t encounter the same kind of phenomena my family and I did. But until someone does move in, I’m curious to know if there’s already somebody inside, waiting.