Sparking PJs

Orpheum Theatre, Flagstaff, AZ

Ask Karen about her sparking PJs last night.

I  couldn’t fall asleep because of my many and varied emotions having just seen a hauntingly beautiful and likely last of a physically frail and bent over Bruce Cockburn in concert, as well from feeling the fear of my own oncoming mortality.

I had just slightly slipped into sleep when all off a sudden, Karen cried out in a frightened voice, “Mark, MARK! There’s sparking. THERE’S SPARKING!”

Karen was sitting up in our bed and patting at the bed covers in the dark as I rolled over on my side and could see that there was indeed sparks of light flashing in the bed clothes as if someone had left a child’s carnival toy underneath our covers or that there were several such small toys in the jumble of bed clothes by the way the small lights flashed first here and then there!

Now we were both up standing beside our bed feeling with our hands in the pitch blackness for whatever small object or objects were in our bed with us! 

“WHAT THE HELL!  Turn on a light for CRYING OUT LOUD!” I exclaimed, quietly enough so that our hotel neighbors couldn’t hear but loudly enough to convey my great displeasure with being suddenly startled awake by Karen like I had just experienced. “I had JUST FALLEN ASLEEP!”  

I said all this while simultaneously mindful that my beautiful bride of soon to be forty-two years was frightened and that she should be comforted in this moment and protected by me, as well as the fact that anyone who calls himself a man and hopes to be a good husband should not be sounding like he was trying to blame his bride for some sudden, mysterious sparking going off in their bed.

“DON’T YELL AT ME!” Karen now yelled at me.

“You just yelled at me!” I retorted, still mindful of the aforementioned thoughts that I had been thinking of what “a good husband” SHOULD be doing in this situation, “AND you just woke me out of a sound sleep, DAMMIT!”

I just couldn’t help myself in that moment it seemed.  Lumbering old battleships just can’t turn on a dime, ya know. 

Anyway, I had two thoughts about the sparking in our bed, one of which I couldn’t share with Karen unless I absolutely felt that I had to do so.

“I think it’s static electricity from off your flannel pajamas,” I said. Then I added because I can’t control what comes out of my mouth sometimes, ”I told you that I HATE those pajamas!”

What I left unsaid was, ”Or it MIGHT BE GHOSTS!”

We had, after all, just spent the night before on Friday the 13th of May, in Jerome, Arizona, in the Jerome Grand Hotel, a hotel that was well known to be haunted, which is located on the hill overlooking this old mining town from territorial days that’s just chock full of the ghosts of dead miners, cowboys, gamblers, gunslingers, and whores. Who the hell knew, maybe we’d brought along one or two of the ghosts in our luggage like metaphysical bed bugs or something!

I delayed mentioning my ghost theory to Karen because my beautiful bride is afraid of ghosts.

“I only wear the flannel pajamas because they move with my body in bed unlike those silk or satin PJs you keep buying me even though I keep telling you that I can’t sleep comfortably in them because they DON’T move.,” Karen said.

“Well the silk or satin PJs DO move me,” I thought to myself. ”And the flannel ones sure as hell DON’T!” I continued thinking but wisely not voicing my thoughts.

We turned out the lights again to test the static electricity theory and sure enough the sparking started again in the covers in the dark. However, it was more like lights flashing than sparking and it made no snap, crackle, or pop when it did “spark.” It was more like the silent, momentary luminescence of fire flies. Therefore, we concluded that it couldn’t be static electricity, because THAT would surely make some tell-tale sound, wouldn’t it?

“It might be ghosts,” I now offered once we’d turned the light back on, now throwing my previous caution and care for Karen’s childlike fears to the wind.

To my surprise, my bride didn’t offer any protest, which made me think that she was already thinking along these lines from the start when she first called out my name in the dark. This would also account for her fear. I mean, who’s afraid of some fun little silent static electricity, huh? No one. That’s who. One might get annoyed by static electricity, but NOT be afraid of it.

“Let’s pray,” I said, and Karen again said nothing in response.

“Lord Jesus, if these are ghosts,” I prayed, ”then please drive them out of our bed and from this room. But if this is only static electricity, please help us to confirm that fact so that we can get back to bed. In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen!”

“Amen,” said Karen.

Karen then said that she was going to change into another pair of pajamas to see if there were still lights in the bed from those.

”Are they silk or satin?” I asked helpfully.

”No,” she said. ”I already told you that I didn’t bring those.”

”Why don’t you just wear nothing?” I again asked, trying even harder to be helpful.

”I DON’T sleep without PJs!” she said with an insistence that was clearly intended to END that possibility.

”You USED to,” I thought but again was wise enough to keep my thoughts to myself.

While Karen was changing her pajamas, I took that opportunity to look up if sparking lights could be a sign of ghosts. My quick research turned up nothing.

However, when I looked up if flannel pajamas can cause sparks of static electricity, I struck the motherlode!

There are entire websites devoted to this subject of flannel pajamas and static electricity. It’s most certain to occur when the air is dry, like it was in our room in Flagstaff, Arizona, last night.

Almost all the articles are questions and answers from concerned mothers who noticed this particular phenomenon when tucking their toddlers into bed. My favorite anecdote was from one such young mother who wrote that her husband had turned out their bedroom lights and then dragged their cat across their bed leaving a trail of sparks in the wake of the cat which she said had just purred and came back to her husband for more such seemingly rough treatment!

When Karen returned, I told her about my research, and she seemed reassured. We turned out the lights and got back into bed, now somewhat charmed to observe my beautiful bride’s friendly “ghost sparks” in the covers.

”I just hope I don’t set our bed on fire,” Karen said as we settled back into our pillows

”I wish!” I thought, but said only, ”I’m sure you won’t, Sweetie. G’nite. I love you!”

”Goodnight, Sweetie,” she softly said, ”I love you too!”

2 responses to “Sparking PJs”

  1. That’s what you get d
    For drying at haunted hotels 🤣the one in Flagstaff is supposedly haunted also ! Glad you made it through the night ❤️❤️

    1. Suzi Q, WHO KNEW that ghosts could travel in your luggage like bedbugs!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: