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A House Mystery

A puddle showed up underneath a kitchen chair.

The puddle wasn’t there when we exited the house.  It was there when we returned.  It was a clear liquid with a yellowish/brown tint.  Someone spilled something, right?  Except no one was in the house.  Still, I asked everyone in the house if they had spilled a perfect puddle of ginger ale underneath my chair with nary a drop anywhere else.

The liquid was under a chair.  The chair itself was not wet or stained — nothing had dripped on it and then continued to the floor.  There were no water stains on the ceiling or walls.  The tile was not buckled or damaged.

I cleaned it up and tucked it away in the back of my head.

*******

Days later, I walked out of the kitchen and stepped in something wet.  When I entered the kitchen, nothing was on the floor.  When I exited the kitchen 15 minutes later, there were suddenly several puddles.  One was in the doorway to the kitchen.  Another was about a foot away.  A third was a foot away from that.  There were a few drops of liquid here and there, but most of it was contained to these three main puddles in the hallway.

The puddles were maybe four feet away from the front door.  The space between the door and the puddles was dry.  The tile underneath the puddles was undamaged.  There were no water stains on the ceiling or walls.  The puddles were in the center of the tile — not on the seams.

The puddles were not there when we went to sleep.  They were not there when I woke up (and I was the only person to walk downstairs in the morning).  But they were there 15 minutes later.

*******

Days after that, a puddle showed up in the bedroom above the kitchen and hallway.  The puddle is maybe an inch or two in diameter.  When I press a paper towel into the carpet, it draws up water.  It’s not a small amount of water — we’ve gone through an entire roll of paper towels, and the puddle isn’t getting any smaller.

*******

The only other strange occurrence has been a leak from the basement ceiling; a single tiny hole that sometimes drips water when we’ve had a lot of rain.  The last time it leaked, it didn’t happen for the first 18 hours of rain, but it leaked sometime before the puddles appeared in the kitchen above.  There isn’t a pipe, and the no other space on the ceiling drips.  Just this single, tiny hole.

*******

So three rooms with water, one on top of the other, all in somewhat the same spot.  On the top floor, the water is on the carpet.  On the middle floor, the water is on the tile.  On the bottom floor, the water is coming from the ceiling.

Last facts to know: with all the puddles, there had been a storm.  In the first case, there was one big, quick rainstorm.  In the second case, it was after 24 hours of intense rain.  In the meantime, there have been other storms and no puddles.

The puddles are at least four feet away from external walls to the house.  They’ve appeared in different rooms, though all the rooms are one above the other.  The liquid has no scent, so while it could be ghost pee, it isn’t animal urine.  I trust that everyone in the house is telling me the truth about not spilling anything.

There are no water stains on the walls or ceiling.

Your thoughts?  Everyone who has looked at it is baffled.  We’re going to check that the gutters are clear and slope the dirt away from the house for better drainage.  But other than that, do you think it’s a ghost?  A ghost animal peeing on our floor?

7 comments

1 Beth { 08.01.17 at 7:24 am }

My parents had mystery puddles that were somehow related to a blockage in their air conditioning unit which led to condensation. This doesn’t sound exactly the same but figured I’d throw that out there in case it’s something related to an appliance. Hope you figure it out soon – these are not fun mysteries to have.

2 a { 08.01.17 at 7:51 am }

That’s really weird. Usually you can see where water is coming from. I found a puddle in our server room at work the other day, but it was clearly dripping from the a/c unit on the ceiling. (Note: I am a trained observer, so obviously I found the puddle because when I left the room my shoes were squeaking and slipping on the hallway floor, not because I noticed that it was dripping or that I was splashing in a puddle.) Maybe you have a mouse with a huge bladder?

We have a mystery puddle in our basement. It’s clearly coming from the vent pipe directly above it, but the pipe has no cracks or holes and is never wet. 12 years and we haven’t been able to track down a reason for when a puddle appears.

3 Cristy { 08.01.17 at 9:25 am }

I was going to ask about AC. Is it Central air? If yes, where are the vents in relationship to the wet spots? Cold air combined with humidity can lead to wet spots.

Usually with leaks there’s a path, meaning you can detect swelling over a larger area.

4 Raven { 08.01.17 at 9:49 am }

Weird. Did you get up and touch the ceiling? Sometimes you can’t SEE water marks as easily as you think you should be able to, but you can feel them. If you find another puddle, and check the ceiling with your/Josh’s hand. If still nothing…then something spooky is definitely going on at your house!

5 chris { 08.01.17 at 12:26 pm }

What about rooms on the other sides of these rooms? Any unusual water there? I ask because a couple years ago I kept noticing a wet spot in the very edge of the carpet of our great room. I assumed it was our male dog who has a marking issue. (yes he’s neutered, no it hasn’t helped) He goes through phases of just being a little pill. LOL. But, I could never catch him in the act which is unusual because he’s also just none too bright unlike his sister. Anyway, after watching it for days? weeks? and not being directly adjacent to a wall just to further stymie me I went digging around for something in my office which is the next room over, but at an angle, and found the faintest of wet spots on the carpet in there. I knew he hadn’t been in there in weeks so I had an aha moment! Turns out that the mutual wall the rooms share have a pipe in them that drains our upstairs laundry. We had an entertainment center built in the great room about 6-9 months prior and one tiny little nail had hit that pipe and so everytime I did laundry water was leaking out of a nail hole! Totally random and not being against a wall where the water showed up it took quite a while to figure out. But the people who built it were marvelous and fixed everything.

6 Lori Lavender Luz { 08.03.17 at 11:55 pm }

So strange. Have any plausible explanations come your way?

Poltergeist?

7 loribeth { 08.08.17 at 6:36 pm }

Have you solved the mystery yet??

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