At first, the knocking would begin late when night was darkest and the whole world was asleep. It was an erratic noise as if someone were frantically trying to get someone’s attention … or just get in.
“Come in already!” Matt would shout, sound asleep, dreaming that it was a friend at the front door. But as the days went by, the knocking became more frequent. Eventually it came during the daylight.
“Who’s there?” asked Matt, and all too often. Surprisingly though, Matt never got frustrated. He was a patient and generous soul who loved people. Kind though he was, he was frequently fooled by the sounds.
This went on for days, until one day Matt was standing right in front of the door when the knocking began. He grasped the handle and jerked it open with a start. Noone was there. Instead, the knocking continued and Matt could feel the vibration in his hand. He swung the door open and closed quickly, looking at the outside of the door and then at the inside of the door. To his astonishment, he realized the knocking was coming from within the door itself!
He was puzzled why, or even how, a door would knock itself. What could cause such a thing? He pondered this for hours when out of the blue, it dawned on him. The door was haunted! As odd and unexplainable as it was, that had to be it.
As if in response to Matt’s thought, the door vibrated frantically, thunder pounded in Matt’s ears. This was the confirmation Matt needed, and he set about trying to rectify the matter.
The next day, Matt hired Franklin Stein, the neighborhood handyman, to come in and inspect the door. The visit was short though, because Frank found nothing to explain the sounds.
“You seem like a nice guy,” Frank said when he was finished. “I can’t charge you for something like this. Just give me some gas money and we’ll call it even, okay?” Franks reaction was so firm and matter of fact that Matt didn’t even bother with a second opinion. There was nothing physically wrong with the door. It had another problem.
A few days later, Matt came across a spiritualist in town whom he invited to his house for dinner. She was wary at first, but after dinner she had a long talk with the door.
Matt was embarrassed to watch this woman have a conversation with an inanimate object, but her chants and gyrations made things even worse. Matt couldn’t wait until her enigmatic mumbling and jangling jewelry fell silent.
When she was finished, she looked at Matt with a very serious gaze.
“Your door has definitely been haunted by the spirit of a person from decades ago,” she began in a low voice, thick from too many conversations with the dead.
“The spirit is a young man who says he died here one night when he was chased out by someone with very bad intentions. It seems there was money involved or something. It’s not clear what the argument was about, but what is clear is what he was told.”
Matt leaned forward to hear what the spiritualist had to say. He was deeply intrigued by this mystery and ready to gain some insight on how to solve it.
“I see, I see,” mumbled the spiritualist, with her fingers on her temples. Her jewelry rattled like maracas. She was headed for a trance. “It is very late at night and it is very dark. There is a commotion, an argument and then . . . and then . . . ” The spiritualist struggled with her next words. “And then, he was told, don’t let the door hit you! And that was the last thing he heard in this life.”
Matt smiled, thinking she was joking. But the spiritualist retorted. “Hey, don’t laugh,” she said frankly. “I just convey. I don’t make these things up!”
“Ever since that day,” she continued. “He’s been stuck in the door.”
Matt knew what to do. The next day, he took the door off its hinges and placed it in the front room of the house. He gave it a smart-looking paint job, then gave it a name.
The old door is now called Opportunity and is living out its existence with a purpose. It stands proudly in the living room, an interest piece for all who visit or pass by. It still knocks, but does so now with dignity and pride. All who hear it are impressed.
One thing Matt always says to visitors, friends and relatives, “When Opportunity knocks, you really should listen.”