Native Texan and sommelier Michele witnessed real life ghosts and a chilling monster visitation at a haunted house she and her sister lived in. As you listen to this episode, close your eyes, swirl your beverage, and inhale deeply. Can you detect the earthy notes of an interred swimming pool? What about the vegetative must of an inexplicably damp patch of carpeting? Is it just the intense crimson color convincing you it might smell a little of…anger?
Do monsters eat negative energy? We know many children are able to see ghosts, but Michele and her sister held onto that ability well into adulthood. Which is why it’s so apropos that she lived in a house where a recently deceased former resident made her presence known through bizarre plumbing glitches. One night, after an angry, unresolved fight with her then partner, Michele’s sister went to bed in the guest room with Michele for solidarity. And it’s a good thing they were sharing that bed and not alone that night, considering there was suddenly, terrifyingly, something else in the room. Something that thought her sister smelled…tasty?
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Other links to check out
The Pink House
Check out The Pink House, a touching memoir of triumph and sisterhood written by Michele’s mother.
A winery you should look into
Michele is a pilot, a writer and a sommelier. A sommelier, as far as we understand it, is a professional drinker who helps us philistines figure out how to wine. Not like in a course for credit, but usually on-the-fly, tableside. Michele tells us that the North-Central Texas climate is perfect for growing Tempranillo, a Spanish varietal red wine grape. As a sommelier, she might might tell us that Tempranillo grapes make “medium- to full-bodied reds of moderate to high levels of tannins and acidity,” taste like “a mix of red and dark fruits, including cherry and plum, as well as earth and herbal notes;” that “its acidity can sometimes be citrusy and orange peel–like,” and that its traditional oak aging is what causes the vanilla and cocoa flavors in the final product.
We, as novices, had to get that info from Wine Spectator. It would be too embarrassing to try to look this up on our phones while we’re trying to choose a wine to pair with our red meat and roasted root veggies. The sommelier saves the day and saves our face by educating us in a way that we could nod along to. “Yes, orange-peely, that’s exactly what I was thinking.”
Could the filled-in pool in the backyard cause occurrences of real life ghosts?
Would filling an in-ground pool with cement cause the type of weird plumbing issues Michele experienced in the bathrooms of her sister’s haunted house? There is actually a wikiHow for the appropriate way to fill in your unwanted in-ground concrete pool. Note that filling it with cement is not the advisable way. Recommendations include busting holes in the bottom of the concrete pool for drainage (otherwise the empty pool might float up out of the ground when the water table rises) and filling it with dirt, sand, or crushed rocks.
Even with proper drainage and filled with dirt, the structure may continue to settle for a long time. This makes it against building code to build a structure on top of the filled-in pool. We’re guessing that means if you neglected poking drainage holes and filled the pool with concrete, it’s going to settle quite a bit more, just due to the massive weight of a solid block of concrete buried in dirt. That type of settling might cause some havoc with the pipes buried under the yard. Although you would think that whoever put the pool there in the first place would have avoided putting it directly over plumbing, you never know.
But some of the plumbing issues at Michele’s sister’s house feel completely inexplicable by citing damage to the outside plumbing. For example, how did those wet footprints get up the stairs? How did the water suddenly turn colder than the tap water gets in a Texas Summer? The argument that the tragedy that occurred in this pool caused some paranormal activity to ensue seems equally worth entertaining. Especially considering how it all culminated.
We hope this monster mashup got you in the spirit of Halloween!
Have you ever seen anything as weird as what Michele saw? What on earth could that have been? Join us on social to weigh in on these important questions. And, if you do have your own haunted bathroom, it’s pretty guaranteed you’ll have a spooky day!