The Curry Walk

I am telling this story against my better judgement.

But apparently, it wants to be told.    Special thanks to P for letting me tell it.


She heard from a colleague that it probably wasn’t a good idea for her to buy that house because he had heard that it was haunted.    Pish posh.    The house was gorgeous.   They bought it.

It was pretty soon after they moved into the house that their little boy was having trouble sleeping.   He mentioned the “grandfather” who was singing to him in his room.

He bounced early in the morning into his parents’ bed, talking about his dream of the singing.   His dad said, “oh, you mean ‘I’ve been working on the railroad’?”    Both father and little boy had heard the song in the night.

It was at a dinner party a few nights’ later that P told the story.   We all laughed…and I said to her, “hey, there is this thing I heard of years ago…and if you want, we can try it”.

Of course it was The Curry Walk.

I had heard this thing, when I lived in the South…that if you pour a bunch of curry powder into a soup pot of water, and boil it…and walk from room to room in a house with unwanted visitors…it will encourage the spirits to leave.

I usually don’t talk about this sort of thing.

In fact, I never do.

But P thought it was a great idea to try.

The next morning, a sunny, frozen winter Sunday, I was pouring curry powder into a pot in my kitchen.    I covered the pot, wrapped the whole thing in a blanket and drove the three blocks to P’s home.

As she opened the door, I said “we are never, ever talking about this, ever.”.

“No one will ever know that I did this.   Our secret.”

Ok, that lasted only two years.

Awkwardly but carefully (it was a pot of boiling water and I am a klutz), P and I walked from room to room.    We encouraged her invisible guest to leave.    We encouraged the curry steam to penetrate the walls, the corners.    She burned a little braid of sage for good measure.

We felt ridiculous.

And then, after twenty-five minutes, my curry pot and I returned home.

Apparently, their uninvited ghost never returned.

We were at their home for dinner two weeks ago and the story was told.

So I suppose the word is out.   But you didn’t hear it, originally, from me.


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