by Ingrid Dean
Some police officers can never turn off their “light switch,” even while on vacation. They always notice peculiar things!
In 1997, my wife and I rented an old one-bedroom cottage for a month on the island of Boca Grande, which lies on the Gulf Coast north of Ft. Myers. My wife had written to the Chamber of Commerce on the island and learned about this cottage. The owner was contacted, and she explained that at one time it had been a fisherman’s cottage and later the caretaker’s cottage for a much larger home next door. The name of the cottage was Journey’s End.
When we arrived, the lessor greeted us and entertained us with some of the local lore. One story she told was of a murder that had occurred either in the cottage we rented or in the large house next door. I do not remember which, but it was rumored both of the houses were haunted.
The cottage was old but clean and the view of the Gulf was magnificent. We saw dolphins in the water in front of the cottage each morning. It was exactly the type of vacation we wanted.
After we had been there about a week, my wife and I went to bed one evening about eleven o’clock. Shortly after turning out the lights, the fire alarm above our bed rang very loudly! We nearly jumped out of our skins. It continued for a significant period of time, perhaps thirty seconds, then quit.
I quickly turned on the lights and looked for smoke. There was none. My wife and I are nonsmokers. I checked the house thoroughly for some sign of smoke or combustion, but there was none. I then decided to remove the battery so that the alarm would not sound again, as the noise was deafening.
I got a chair and stood on it to reach the alarm. When I opened the cover, I discovered there was no battery in the alarm! My wife also confirmed the fact that the alarm had no battery.
Did residual power cause the alarm to ring? We had been in the cottage for a week without the alarm sounding. Any residual current would have been dissipated. The alarm was connected to no other power source. There was no combustion or smoke present. It was the simple type of circular alarm with plastic housing that operated from a 9-volt battery. It never sounded again during our stay.
How could this have happened?
More like this and some of Ingrid’s other work can be found at www.spiritofthebadge.com.