(Hat tip to Chris for making me think of this.)
In the summer of '65, my family moved from Hamden out toward Yale Heights, where my stepfather had gotten a job managing Mount Olivet Cemetery (the second-oldest cemetery in the city of Baltimore; you can see the slate roof and the bell tower in the center background of the picture). Needless to say, my new abode raised a few eyebrows among my contemporaries. All thru high school and beyond, I was known as the guy who lived in the graveyard.
I must admit, it had its advantages. For one thing, we had the quietest neighbors in town. :-) It was also a great place for a summer job. Not only did I start at the top, but it was a very responsible position -- I had thousands of men under me. Working outside in the fresh air and sunshine was a real plus, too.
But I digress.
The house itself sat on th eedge of the grounds, facing Frederick Avenue. There was a small "waiting room" connected to the main part of the house by an arch. At the top of the arch was a small room -- my bedroom. We had no air conditioning in those days, so the only way to cool the room in the hot weather was by opening all four windows -- two on the north side (facing into the cemetery) and two on the south side (facing Frederick Ave.). To help keep the bugs out, the windows were equipped with those old-fashioned removable sliding screens.
One particularly warm night, I had removed the screens in order to maximize the air flow. But it only helped a little. I sat up late that evening, watching some stupid vampire movie on TV until o-dark-thirty. (Possibly not the smartest thing to do when one lives in a cemetery, but I had not had nightmares since before we moved into that house.)
At any rate, the movie ended, I turned off the TV, and trudged off upstairs to my room, which was at the end of a long hallway and up three steps. I got to my room, opened the door, and switched on the light. And there, circling the light, was... a bat. I kid you not.
Without even switching off the light, I set a land speed record returning downstairs to the living room where I called the police, animal control, the fire department, and possibly even the Boy Scouts. No one wanted to come get that bat out of my room. I do believe some of them thought I was trying to prank them.
So, I spent the rest of the night on the sofa. Next morning (or, more accurately, later that morning), I took a stick and headed up to my room. With typical German thoroughness, I poked thru everything in that room until I was satisfied that the bat was gone.
Then I put the screens back in the windows and never took them out again.