I was deep in sleep when I saw the light. Through my closed eyelids the light was so bright that I thought it must be broad daylight. But then my tired body told me that it couldn’t be, I hadn’t had enough sleep yet. So with a bit of foreboding, I opened my eyes to see the ceiling fan light blaring down at me in its brightest setting. This has happened before, but usually it happens when my husband isn’t here. He knows my theory, but he is always trying to explain it away with a rational explanation. Maybe the remote touched something? Maybe it was the breeze from the fan . . . (really?)? Maybe I touched it without noticing? Maybe I left the light on when I went to sleep and didn’t remember? But this time, he was there so I woke him up. He got out of bed and walked over to the wall where the light switch is located. Beneath the light switch, in a plastic receptacle attached to the wall, is the remote control. Now when we went to bed, the light switch was indeed in the “on” position, as it still remained. But the remote was set to have the fan at low speed and the light off. He examined the remote and saw that nothing was touching the remote. Yet, somehow, the light had turned on by itself . . .
We bought this house ten years ago from a woman I will call “Anne.” Anne and her husband, “Ken,” had added a dormer on the upstairs when they were expecting their third child. The dormer consisted of two additional rooms, the master bedroom and a smaller bedroom. Ken was a handy guy and had done a lot of work on the house himself. The only thing that had not been finished when we bought it was the ceiling fan. In the master bedroom there was a hole in the ceiling with all of the wiring done for a ceiling fan, but there was no fan.
From what I have heard, Ken had a problem with drinking and that when he drank he got a bit rough with his wife. By the time we were buying the house, Ken was no longer living here. Instead he was living with his girlfriend about a half hour from here and he and Anne were going through a divorce. A month before we closed on the house, Ken got into a drunken fight with his girlfriend. He attempted to strangle her in her bedroom, she got away from him and ran to her kitchen where she picked up a knife. When he came after her in the kitchen, she stabbed him and killed him.
A few months after buying the house, we had a friend of ours, who is a licensed electrician, put in a ceiling fan/light in our master bedroom. The ceiling fan looked beautiful and finished off the room nicely. But it wasn’t long before strange things started to happen. I would be in the bed alone at night and all of a sudden the fan would go from its lowest speed to its highest speed without explanation. At other times, but less often than the fan speed changing, the light would come on in the middle of the night. Just last week, a friend of ours was staying at the house (in a different bedroom) while she watched our dog for a few days. We had left the fan in our bedroom on on the lowest speed. When we came home, we found the fan whipping around like it was a helicopter about to take off. But our friend hadn’t touched it.
My husband says that maybe one of our neighbors has a similar remote and that when they press their remote, our fan or light changes. I have my own theory . . . So Ken, if you’re listening, your wife doesn’t live here anymore.
http://www.theresadodaro.com Author of The Tin Box Trilogy