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Guess Whats Coming to Dinner?

The entity that plagued the Jones family just didnt know how to mind its manners.

These days, insidious forces ranging from video games to incessant cell phone calls conspire to keep families from sitting down in the evening and enjoying a quiet meal together. But those distractions pale in comparison to the hassles endured by the Edgar Jones family of Baltimore, Ohio, just east of Columbus. The troubles began on January 14, 1960, as they all sat down to dinner. Before anyone could so much as lift a fork, a decorative pottery pitcher sitting on a long display shelf near the table inexplicably exploded, pelting the surprised family with splinters and shards. Joness wife leapt to her feet, shocked but heartsick. The piece had been part of her prized ceramics collection. Disconsolate (and more than a little puzzled), she started for the kitchen to get a broom. Little did she know that some unseen force had decided to put her out of the crockery-collecting business for good. Before she could leave the room, the other pitchers on the shelf exploded one by one, like targets in a shooting gallery. Within seconds, all

fifteen were reduced to piles of rubble. But this was just the opening scene in a frantic haunting that was as intense as it was short-lived. The strange visitations would peter out on February 8, but not before the familys nerves were shot and a lot more dishes smashed. Once, the Joneses watched in horror as a ceramic flowerpot lofted itself off a shelf and bowled through a glass window. Meals became a particular trial. During one sit-down, a sugar bowl wafted up to the ceiling, turned over, and emptied itself on the family. On another evening, as Mrs. Jones and her daughter gamely tried to fix something to eat, a case of soda pop bottles blew their tops, hosing down the kitchen. For good measure, a row of glasses then marched off a shelf and shattered on the floor. Soon, taking any sort of sustenance became problematic. Whenever the Joneses gathered in the dining room, the light above the table would swing back and forth as if an earthquake had struck. It got so unnerving that eventually the family started eating elsewhere in the house. When they could get a moments peace, that is. Often, in the midst of breakfast, lunch, or dinner, the utensils beside their plates would simply vanish, never to be seen again. Fortunately, the powerful being seemed to have it in only for ceramics and glassware; it didnt seem bent on physical violence. That sort of thing happened just once. When Mrs. Jones stooped to pick up a can of corn that had been knocked off a shelf, she was promptly brained with a can of sauerkraut. Though the entity seemed to particularly enjoy disrupting dinnertime, it didnt neglect its ghostly duties around the rest of the house. It knocked pictures off walls, moved chairs, and caused a small table on a stairway landing to dance back and forth before hurling it down the steps. At a loss as to what to do, the family

called the police. This accomplished little, other than freaking out the poor gumshoes who had to walk around the house watching the inexplicable events. The local crime lab was enlisted to look for signs of fraud, but found nothing. Everyone from plumbers to city workers to a radio repairman were called in to offer their two cents, but none could provide a logical explanation, let alone the vaguest idea of what to do about the problem. Even worse, the story got out to the papers. Soon reporters literally camped on the front lawn, rubbing elbows with various purported psychics and mediums, all of them jumping at a chance to investigate the case. Fortunately for the familys sanity, soon there was no case left to investigate. On February 8, the strangeness simply ceased. What could have been the cause? No one will ever know. But it was enough for the family that they could eat once againand enjoy their ceramic knickknacksin peace.

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