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From ghoulies and ghosties, and long-leggedy beasties, And things that go bump in the night, Good Lord, deliver us! – Old Scottish poem

Summer 1989. It was almost too hot to sleep, but the ceiling fan was one saving grace.

Something woke me, and I found myself trying to blink the sleep from my mind to determine if the cartoon scene before me was fact or fiction. The room was dimly lit by the streetlights peeking around the blinds. In addition to the constant whirring of the ceiling fan overhead, there was an unusual flapping sound, then a rhythmic thump, before the flapping resumed. Overhead, the fan continued to spin but there was also a black, round stringy blur that swirled around the edges of the blades.  Every 4 seconds it would veer off in another direction, smack against the wall, start to slide down, then resume it’s swirling orbit the ceiling fan again. It’s so – wait! What?!?! There’s a black flapping tumbleweed rolling around my ceiling fan, smacking into the wall and sliding down…?

bat swirl


Evidently the ceiling fan had totally destroyed the bat’s echolocation senses.  I screamed, a long, blood-curdling scream. Then I rolled out of bed (an old bed that was a good 2′ from the floor) with a thunk and crawled to the door. The black tumbleweed continued it’s nauseating swish and thump overhead. I cautionsly reached up to open the door, and crawled out. Slamming the door behind me. I proceeded to crawl into my parents’ room across the hall.

Dad sighed heavily as I sobbed my tale, and set off to catch the cuprit. A long battled ensued. Things crashed noisily around the room; Dad muttered and hissed. It was a long time before he emerged from behind the closed door of my bedroom, holding a squirming pillowcase. The tumblewood was gently set free.

I spent the next 2 weeks camping out in my parent’s bedroom floor. It was over a year before I stopped obsessively checking behind the blinds before I went to sleep…but it was only days after I returned to my room that I was savagely attacked in the bathroom, but that’s another story.

To this day, I can’t sleep in a room with a running ceiling fan. I wake up kicking and screaming, thinking it’s falling on me…or “something” is falling on me. Can you blame me?