Ghost Raccoons

For about a year we have been hearing raccoons in our chimney.  Of course we didn’t know it was raccoons in the chimney, if we did it would have been much easier to solve.  What actually happened was my darling 5 year-old daughter, Lydia, could hear noises coming from her closet (that backs up to the chimney).  I can’t even count how many nights she ran into my room sobbing, terrified of the monsters in her closet.  It was kind of my fault, she only connected the sounds to monsters after I let her watch Monsters Inc. Before that, she thought it was Santa’s elves making sure she was being nice.

The problem was that whenever she heard sounds, I would go into her room, check the closet, and not hear anything.  At first I played along and told her I would stand watch for the monsters until she fell asleep, but that only lasted for about a month.  After that I told her to stop playing silly games and to go back to bed, monsters didn’t exist (I know I’m a horrible mom but there are only so many hours of sleep you can lose watching for imaginary things!).  What I think is odd is that I didn’t hear the raccoons in the chimney once during that month, I didn’t hear them at all until about two weeks ago!

My encounter with the “monsters”, was much less terrifying for me than poor Lydia.  I was putting her laundry away while she was at school and my husband was at work, and I heard small chirping sounds coming from behind the wall.  I pressed my ear to it but couldn’t hear anything.  That was until I tucked Liddy in for bed that night and heard them again, this time coupled with loud scratching sounds.  When I told Glenn, my husband, he went out with a camera and threaded it down through a hole in the roof that used to be a chimney.  Sure enough there they were, five baby raccoons in the chimney.

After calling a local wildlife specialist, he confirmed what we saw.  A mother and her five kits had taken up residence in the old chimney that had been closed off for years.  He also helped us remove them from the chimney and clean up any contaminants that were left behind.  My poor baby girl, for a year she thought there were monsters in her closet and it was only raccoons in the chimney!

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