The Rumpus Book Club, Where I Live #4: Betsy Birdsall

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I live on 1.5 acres in the Santa Monica Mountains in a house that was built in the 1920s out of local stone.  Most of the original buildings in the area are made out of the same stone, from the old post office to a local biker hang-out.  I live among coyotes, rabbits, deer, snakes, woodpeckers, gophers, bobcats and bugs galore.  To me, it is the most beautiful mountain range in the world.

I do not believe in ghosts but I have seen the image of a young-to-middle-aged man standing in my bedroom in the middle of the night and have felt my bed covers lifting as something tugs at my arm.  I have never told anyone around the area about the apparition, but neighbors independently swear they have seen the exact same thing.  When we were in the process of fixing up the place prior to moving in, a woman in a red sports car drove up the driveway, uninvited.  She got out, walked up to my husband and told him she thinks she gave birth to her son in our house.  She wasn’t positive but she was pretty sure. Stories like that abound around here.


Betsy Birdsall has titanium plates in her head, love in her heart, and a dog in her car. She lives in California with her family and dog (the same one that is in the car). She was in a Devo music video ("Girl U Want") (see here at 2:09). More from this author →