The haunted fountain revisited

7 02 2008

ObservationsYesterday I witnessed something strange: a water fountain on a path outside turning on and off for no apparent reason as I walked by. One could make the case that this was just a strange coincidence, that there is clearly something about the situation I don’t understand. However, just like yesterday when I reasoned that perceiving something with two senses implies that it actually occurred, witnessing the same coincidence twice means that there is no coincidence at all. And yes, it happened again.

It happened with similarity that nearly mirrored the first incident. I wasn’t paying attention when suddenly my ears are filled with the sound of trickling water. I look over and the same fountain is running again. I swear I would have stopped and checked it out, but I was in a hurry and kept walking. Just like last time, I took one final glance backward, and it was off. Creepy.

The next time I passed, I decided it was time to understand the workings of the fountain. I approached it and, as expected, nothing out of the ordinary happened. I pushed down the button. Moments later a spring of water shot out. I let go of the button. The water stopped. It’s amazing how a fountain doing something so ordinary can seem so odd.

Finally, I realized what I was supposed to do all along. The next time I passed the fountain, I drank from it. It was a quick drink, and the water tasted fairly normal, but it was a drink nonetheless. I have passed the drinking fountain multiple times since and nothing peculiar has happened. Hopefully this means I put the spirit attached to the fountain to rest, and it will no longer be there to haunt the passers-by. At the time, I was hoping for a “walking in to the light” moment like the ones on TV shows like “Ghost Whisperer,” but I suppose that was expecting too much. Perhaps I’ll simply never know what really happened.

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Springing in the rain

6 02 2008

ObservationsI was walking across my university’s campus today beneath cloudy skies and a slight drizzle. Suddenly I heard a trickling of water that definitely was not natural. The source was a drinking fountain, found unnaturally just off the path in the middle of the green area of campus. I always wondered why they put it there, but it never really bothered me. This time, however, it was running, causing a full spout of water to be flowing out. The button was not pushed at all. I thought about thinking that it was an awful waste of water, but remembered first that the university probably wastes thousands of times that amount of water constantly elsewhere on campus.

fountain

I knew I wasn’t imagining it due to perceiving it with two senses. When simply hearing, smelling, or feeling something, it can be difficult to discern whether or not the event actually occurred. When both hearing and seeing, as I did, one can be fairly confident it actually happened. And, of course, that is also the best time for yet another curveball to be thrown. Glancing back just for a moment because I had witnessed something unnatural, I saw that, lo and behold, the drinking fountain was not running anymore.

I have concluded that the drinking fountain, for whatever reason, wanted me to drink from it. It clearly had no motion detection device but found a way to turn on and off while I was near. If not the drinking fountain itself, then the spirit of the drinking fountain, a guardian ghost of the fountain wanted me to drink from it. Unfortunately, people tend not to drink from water fountains when it’s raining, maybe because it’s simply ironic to pull water up from the ground to drink when it is dumping in bucketloads on your head. Regardless, I will reflect on this event and decide whether or not I should venture near the possessed drinking fountain again.