Just because I don't believe in ghosts doesn't mean I can't be spooked.
Early this morning, some time between 5 and 6, I woke up when my wife returned to bed from getting an aspirin. As I lay there in the dark morning stupor of half-wakedness, I was jolted by the sound of someone rattling the doorknob to our bedroom.
Our house has 100-year-old bedroom door hardware which is somewhat loose and rattles at the slightest touch. This sound was like someone grabbing the thing and shaking it violently for a couple of seconds. I assumed that one of the girls had bumped into the door and that they were coming to crawl into bed with us, but as the seconds passed and no such thing happened, I got up to investigate. Maggie was alert, as she had heard the noise, too. We both agreed it sounded like a doorknob and that it was in the room. However, the girls were both still in bed.
I checked the whole house for intruders. I have two lame explanations for the sound I heard. A) A bubble in the heating system though that has never caused a noise so loud before. B) The ice maker in the refrigerator downstairs. But it's downstairs.
As I said, I don't believe in ghosts. But this was extremely spooky, especially considering the morbid dream I was having just prior. I was discussing with my family's parish priest the effects of death on the spirit. He was telling me "The dead don't remember we love them" and "The dead lose all of their music. All the melodies are forgotten." I was trying to reassure my grandmother that wherever we go, there will be new music. The whole scene rewound before my eyes and then I awoke with a sinking feeling. That was just before I heard the doorknob rattle...