One day, when my children were still small, I walked into the bathroom to find a mountain of (clean) toilet paper piled on the vanity. Horrified by their lack of frugality, I tracked down my children, in turn, for an explanation. Very sincerely, each child informed me that he or she had had nothing to do with this incident. Additionally, they all assured me that they had absolutely no idea how a roll of toilet paper unwound itself and jumped three-or-so feet to rest on the elegant faux-marble surface.
My husband proffered the only feasible explanation. “It must have been The Toilet Paper Phantom,” he explained. Over the ensuing years, The Toilet Paper Phantom visited our home, always unobserved and undetected. His visits were random and unexpected and always accompanied by some type of unexplainable occurrence. Sometimes he hid things, sometimes he broke things. He was always, if anything, unpredictable.
After extensive research, I determined that The Toilet Paper Phantom was most likely a poltergeist. A poltergeist, I discovered, is a mischievous spirit who manifests his/her presence by making noises, moving objects, and sometimes assaulting people or animals. Poltergeists are sometimes accompanied by vile smells, and they seem to have adapted to technology, damaging telephones and other electronic equipment, turning on lights and appliances, such as TVs, and failing to turn them off. One of my most interesting discoveries was that instances of poltergeist activity often occur in the presence of children.
Now, some people might be terrified by this type of unexplained phenomena, yet my husband and I were brave. But if The Toilet Paper Phantom follows us into the empty nest, we’re calling the Ghost Busters.