Harber Lights: Ghosts or loss of memory?<BR>Could it be Halloween or just forgetting what's where

One of the employees of the hotel where I'm staying says most of the head-scratching, hmmm-type incidents that occur there are caused by a ghost that haunts the historic building.

"It's more of a mischievous ghost, not a mean ghost," she said of John, a spirit of a fellow who supposedly resides rent free at the Brunswick Hotel.

"He enjoys playing tricks on people."

Along with John — the aforementioned trickster ghost — there are others.

A female ghost sometimes known as Lilith likes to rearrange things around the building, including furniture, another hotel employee told me.

Angelina mostly just makes noise.

She was the little girl of one of the building's original owners and she tragically met her demise by falling down the hotel stairs while trying to ride her tricycle indoors.

The thumping noise in the stairwell that sounds like a bowling ball is the little apparition going through the motions, the second hotel employee also explained.

An unnamed boy ghost is also said to hang around the hotel.

I've never heard the thumping noise.

I have yet to meet any of the ghosts to determine whether they actually reside there.

And I've never met any ghosts, anywhere or anytime.

It's not as if I have something against Ghost-Americans.

It's just that I have never really thought much about them until now.

It seems as if they are a much-maligned minority group.

And they only receive attention when Halloween rolls around each year.

As an American with some Irish ancestors, for example, I'm told most non-Irish only think about the Irish occasionally.

The days reserved for the Irish in the U.S.

are St.

Patrick's (when it's easy being green and virtually everyone in America does it for the day) and when CNN reports on the never-ending political and religious troubles in Northern Ireland.

Some of my friends have told me they enjoy those commercials for Irish Spring soap, Lucky Charms cereal or Guinness Irish Stout beers on TV.

And they believe they're entertaining me with their bad Irish accent imitations.

Whatever.

Clueless though they are, I'll never be making any corned beef and cabbage dinners for those people.

Not even if they take me to a U2 concert.

Back to the Ghosts of Brunswick: I've had a few hmmm-type incidents that make me wonder if I have a secret roommate.

One recent morning I thought I had lost my wrist watch.

I had last looked at it while trying to make my hair look less like a fright wig.

I didn't succeed in creating a fright-free hairdo and, when I arrived at the office, I found that I was watch-free.

The watch reappeared that evening.

It had been made up in the middle of the bed.

My beautiful $19.99 Timex should have been in the bathroom, where I had last gazed upon it.

Not in the bed.

I ought to remember where I had last seen it, right?

I've also lost three containers of dental floss during my first week living there.

I have no idea where any of these little items might have gone.

Perhaps John is toying with me some more.

Maybe Lilith is putting them in a different place in the room.

Somewhere she believes is better suited.

Or perhaps the little boy hates the idea of clean teeth and is disposing of what he considers vile stuff.

At least he hasn't touched the toothbrush or toothpaste.

Or my soap or deodorant.

Most little boys dislike taking baths, too.

My sticky-fingered ghost probably wasn't a dentist, and that's a good thing.

I've read that they didn't use anesthesia back in those days.

And that could prove not only to be a scary haunting — it could be very painful!

I've been preparing for more ghostly activity tonight at the Brunswick because of it being Halloween and all.

I'd rather it be a ghost taking my stuff than what it most likely really is: Early middle age memory loss, which certainly is a trick and not a treat!

Terri Harber is the Miner's news editor.