12/07/2011 10:47 am ET Updated Feb 06, 2012

The Haunted Nursery

One dark and early morning of late, when the fog horns signaled low in the distance and the view of shrouded Victorian rooftops outside my kitchen window seemed particularly haunting, the ghost again made its presence known. This may sound like the opening to a short story but it is another installment in the real life saga of The Haunted Nursery. I was preparing something very pure and pureed for the Baby Ventura, who was gleefully playing in his little activity center near me in the kitchen when I heard the sound of one of his toys being jingled. My first thought was casual--I had grown used to hearing the baby shake toys and rattles while I was dashing into the kitchen to check the progress of the Sugar Skulls or pumpkin stew. And in the seconds that followed I realized that the baby was next to me, and that nothing at his chubby little fingertips was able to make that sound. As I was looking over at him to see if he'd snuck a little rattle in with him, I heard it again. This time it was unmistakable. It was the sound of a toy being rattled, it was coming from the other room, and there was no one else in our little attic apartment. There were no windows open, no drafts, no laundry whirring, no water dripping. It was just me, the little one, and something playing with a toy. I froze, looking at the baby (can babies detect ghosts the way dogs and cats do?) and felt some major chills rippling down my spine. I carefully looked into the living room where nothing seemed out of place. I stared down the hall, where some toys were strewn about. Could it have been the now infamous Woman in the Hallway? The one who seems to peek in on us, a shadow against the white walls as she flashes by?

And before you think my imagination is running away with me after watching Paranormal Activity 3
I should mention that this is not the first time I have had an incident in this flat. There have been knockings and whispers and The Haunted Toothbrush.
Maybe I should call this group of super hot Moms-Who-Hunt-Ghosts? This L.A. based troupe are near and dear to my new-mom/old-freak heart. All female, totally cute "real housewives" of the paranormal persuasion.

What I'd really like to do is sit down with some professionals and have a séance, a proper high-collared corseted Victorian parlor room séance. I recently stumbled upon this pamphlet
from the early 1900s about a series of séances in San Francisco around 1900 that the author (who wrote it anonymously) claimed involved many prominent citizens of the day, the least of whom was William Randolph Hearst, the mayor of San Francisco, and the chief of police. I wouldn't be able to convince such contemporaries -- Mr. Mayor and Mr. Trump? -- of theirs to come to my humble abode for a little psychic sleuthing of their own, but I've got some pretty freaky friends that just might join in. In the meantime it will be just me and the Baby Ventura, playing peek-a-boo with those that go bump-in-the-night.