Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Sep 5, 2022

Live 2022

Years ago, a cat we loved named Cotton walked out of our home and never came back.

Cotton would always get out and roam, but the next day or the day after, he'd hang on the screen door, meowing to be let back in. But one day, he got out somehow, and that was that; he never came back. A year later, I was asked to do a blessing at an un-named mental health facility because things began moving around on their own, and the staff, not the patients, were starting to see full-formed apparitions take shape right in front of them and then disappear. The last straw was the late-night staff making their rounds and claiming to hear the sound of shuffling feet behind them like they were being followed by a large group of people when there wasn't anyone there. I arrived at 11:45 am, fifteen minutes before noon, when the blessing would begin.

"Why," I asked the staff, "do you think these things are only happening to the staff and not the patients?"

The head of staff said nothing but motioned to me to follow her. We walked into a rec room where complete chaos was taking place. First, the patients were howling, screaming, and literally climbing the walls. Then, apparitions manifested and began moving toward the patients in a very menacing fashion. The head of staff calmly walked to the corner of the room and opened a small door to what looked like a cage. Emerging from the cage was a cat that hissed and went straight toward the apparitions, which disappeared entirely. "That's why," the head of staff pointed to the cat. "Before he wandered into this facility, it was pure pandemonium with our patients, but since he arrived, these spirits, or whatever, refuse to be in the same space as him."

"That's my cat," I laughed. "That's cotton,"

"Oh no," the head of staff was taken aback. "You don't want him back, do you?"

"No," I replied. "He's clearly needed here, but I'll do the blessing for you guys in the meantime."

Of course, this is where Cotton would end up, chasing ghosts and spirits away from people who had no cognitive ability to ward them off. Damned cat.

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