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Issue 24: The Spiritual Knockers from Rochester

On March 31st, 1848, Kate and Margaretta “Maggie” Fox began tapping out messages to a ghost on the wa

Woman About the Internet

January 18 · Issue #24 · View online
I am a writer, mother, and decent human being living in Seattle, Washington. My monthly newsletter pairs perfectly with the everyday and the End of Days. I think you're swell.

On March 31st, 1848, Kate and Margaretta “Maggie” Fox began tapping out messages to a ghost on the walls of their bedroom. Their Hydesville, New York home was rumored to be haunted before the family moved in a few years prior, but now they had a code to communicate directly with the spirits.
The resident ghost responded, tapping the sisters’ ages (14 and 11), answering questions, and playing along with inquiring neighbors. It wasn’t until the “Spiritual Knockers from Rochester” had held seances, embarked on a nationwide tour, and essentially birthed the Spiritualist movement that Maggie cracked, confessing that the rappings and tappings were merely expert joint control. For decades they had popped their knuckles, hips, and toes in dark rooms to spell out messages from beyond, converting grieving skeptics into believers. 

Tap, Tap, Tap
I waited twenty weeks to feel the baby move. My tricky placenta created a punching bag between us. Now, six months into incubating this kid, she flutters up and down the walls of my uterus, tapping out dispatches I can’t quite understand. It mostly feels like an eyelid spasm after too much caffeine and too little sleep. But, you know, from inside my womb.
Jacob occasionally rests his hands on my belly trying to feel something, but so far I’m the one receiving all of the messages. This morning we yelled at each other from across the house and as I bellowed my first words of the day the baby began to flip. “She’s wondering why we’re being so loud so early in the morning,” I explained as if I knew how to decipher her code.
Can you anthropomorphize a human?
Last week I flew to Ohio for work. On the way to the airport, shouting over my persistent cough, the cab driver asked if I was having a boy or a girl. Foolishly, I answered. “Don’t worry,” he sighed, “you can have a boy next time.”
What do we know about this mysterious passenger? She’s the size of an Atlantic Puffin, a GI Joe doll, or a demi baguette, for starters. In a few weeks, she’ll begin practicing how to cry.
Meanwhile, I continue to cart her around, coughing, pushing against the edges of her container.
Tap, tap, tap. 
I love you and you are deserving of great things.
xo Drew
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