Freelining with Mike Freeman: Voices in the dark.

Here’s a simple question: how did the binder holding up the blinds for this window in Mike Freeman’s computer room manage to come off the slots holding it in place? (Photo by Michael Freeman).

It can now be stated with the utmost certainty. I officially live in a haunted house.
I know this for two reasons. First, from what happened to me last night, around midnight, as I was lying in bed in the pitch darkness.
And second, the fact that a friend and colleague here at Freeline Media witnessed the ghost in action with me, in broad daylight.
Ghosts at night, ghosts in the day – what more proof do you want?
For a long time, I didn’t believe the house I live at in Orlando’s Colonialtown neighborhood was haunted. For one thing, this is the second time I’ve lived in a haunted house, and in the first one, there was such a constant stream of odd occurrences that I even kept a ghostly diary of every incident. That house was in Swansea, Massachusetts, had been built in the 1880s, and was right across the street from a graveyard. It was an extremely spooky two-floor home.
My current house is smaller, with just one floor, and is not, by Massachusetts standards, an “old house.” It dates back to the 1940s – although I suppose that qualifies as “old” by Florida’s recent standards of rapid development.
In any case, I’ve been in this house for four years now, and for the most part, I rarely noticed anything odd happening in here – until recently, that is.
It was my friend and colleague “Alpha Male” Ryan who first suggested there was something eerie about the home.
“Your house is haunted,” he stated rather bluntly.
Ryan had spent a couple of nights at my home while I was away, house sitting, and he told me afterwards that at night, things got a bit odd. He heard strange noises that couldn’t be explained, in a house where he was completely alone. Ryan is a night bird, who doesn’t get to sleep until close to dawn. Maybe it’s because I have the exact opposite sleeping schedule, and fall asleep rather early, that I’d never noticed anything peculiar before.
But on the nights he was not only in my home, but wide awake, he insisted that he heard things, and no one else was there.
I suggested it could have been my cat, Squeaky, but Ryan shrugged off that notion. Squeaky could be found quietly asleep on a chair when the sounds were coming from another room, he said.
Then one afternoon recently, Ryan and I were sitting outside on my lanai. It was a mild day following a heavy rainstorm, and we had the windows of the house open.
And that was when, as we were both sitting there talking, we heard it: the loud crash from my computer room.
We both froze, and looked over at the window of that room, which looks out onto the lanai. Then we looked at one another. The crash was so loud that we knew something had been knocked over.
Ryan’s first instinct was that maybe someone had come into the house – a robber? We bolted inside, dashed into that empty house, and then went straight into that computer room. And that was when we found it: the binder that holds the blinds for the window. Somehow, mysteriously, it had been removed from the slots that hold the binder securely in place, and it landed right next to the sofa by the window – only it was not lying flat on the floor, but leaning up against the sofa.
It looked like someone had strategically placed it there.
Okay, we both said to one another – This is weird.
Again, our first instinct was that it could have been done by my cat Squeaky — although how exactly a cat manages to climb up a window with no curtains on it, and dislodge the binder at the top of the window, wasn’t immediately clear. And that’s when something else occurred to me. I went to the front door, opened it, and looked out onto my front porch – and sure enough, there was Squeaky, relaxing in the afternoon sun.
When Ryan saw that the cat had been locked outside when the crashed happened, he smiled.
“Your house is haunted,” he said.
A few nights later, when we had dinner guests over, Ryan vividly described the eerie way it all happened, and why it convinced him that it could only be one thing: a ghost.
If a tough guy like Alpha Male Ryan is ready to believe my home is haunted, well, so am I.
Ryan noticed something else: a memorial dedication that had been engraved in the cement deck of my pool. It read: “Dedicated to the Loving Memory of our beloved Angel,” and then the name of the child and his date of birth — April 5, 1994 — and date of death, which was July 13, 1994. A three-month-old boy had died here years ago.

A memorial to a three-month-old boy who died in 1994 is inscribed on the pool deck at Freeline Media editor Mike Freeman’s home. (Photo by Michael Freeman).

And then … last night.
I was alone in my house, fast asleep, when I suddenly woke up. I’m not sure why, but I opened my eyes to a pitch dark bedroom. I glanced over at the clock on my nightstand. It was a little past midnight.
I laid there in bed for a few minutes, waiting to drift back to sleep … when I first noticed it, very faintly.
It was voices.
I listened.
I heard it again, more clearly now. Someone was talking. The voice wasn’t loud enough that I could make out what was being said, but I didn’t care — I was suddenly in a near-panic.
I got up and went into the hallway. I moved nervously down the hall, flicking on every light switch I could find.
As light flooded my home, it was instantly clear: my house was empty, save for me and, as Ryan had noted, a cat I found fast asleep on a chair.
I heard the voices again. It sounded like it was coming from outside.
I live in a very quiet neighborood at night. There are no other sounds — cars driving by, music from nearby houses, barking dogs — to obscure any noise within the house.
I went to a window and opened it, then glanced out, fully expecting to find some neighbors outside, chatting.
But I didn’t. Everywhere I looked, I saw empty streets, and peace and quiet.
Except for inside that house, where, in a dark room or a well lit one, I could still make out the soft voice of someone speaking …. somewhere.
Ryan was right.
For the second time, I chose a house that was haunted.
Maybe I’ll sleep with the lights on from now on.
Are the Ghost Hunters still on the air?

Contact Mike Freeman at

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About Michael W Freeman

Michael W. Freeman is a veteran journalist, playwright and author. Born and raised in Fall River, Massachusetts, he has lived in Orlando since 2002. Michael has worked for some of Florida's largest newspapers, including The Orlando Sentinel. His original plays have draw strong audiences at the Orlando Fringe Festival. He is the author of the novels "Bloody Rabbit" and "Koby's New Home."

2 Responses to Freelining with Mike Freeman: Voices in the dark.

  1. april says:

    Hey Mike, You of all folks know I can truly relate. It seems us sensitives (and possibly sensitive types) are plagued lifelong, though it also took three or so years for me to encounter the entities within. I still am. As you and Ryan found, cats did/do not react … not until it reaches, dare I say, sanity threatening circumstances. While the stars of Ghost Hunters, Ghost Adventures and The Dead Files have remained oblivious to my needs while still inhabiting the tube (celebrities, gotta love ’em), I’ve done their high-paying jobs for them with some torrid taunts and vehement vocalizations, a la “GET OUT NOWWW!” Seems to work, along with staying up all night. P.S. My newest cat growls.

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