The following story freaks out a lot of people. See what it does for you.

Often with stories like this, you can't source the original person. Somebody knows somebody who knows somebody else who the event happened to, but you seldom get to talk to the original players.

Not so this time. I know the family, I spoke with the mom Monday night.

Here's how the events unfolded, a year or so ago, in a small town in southwestern Manitoba. The family has since moved to Alberta because of employment opportunities.

One day, Shannon, then 22, is watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on TV with her son Rhys, then four years of age.

She says to him, "I used to watch this when I was a little girl."

Rhys replies, "I know. I used to be your daddy. I remember the shows you liked."

"Pardon???" Shannon's thinking. "Where the heck did that come from?"

She lets it pass as just a little kid comment, forgetting about it until a day or two later when she's snuggling with Rhys, tucking him in for the night, and he says, "One, two, three, four, five, six, and then I wasn't your dad anymore."

That really sends a chill down her spine, because she knows something Rhys doesn't.

Shannon was six years of age when her father disappeared on a canoe trip, his body never found. The canoe and all his belongings were discovered along the shoreline, but no trace of him. An extensive search turned up nothing. His disappearance remains a mystery to this day.

Rhys knows nothing of him. The grandpa he knows on his mom's side is John, his step-grandpa. There is no way he should know anything about Shannon's real dad, what television shows Shannon watched as a kid, or how old she was when her father died.

"One, two, three, four, five, six, and then I wasn't your dad anymore."

A couple nights later, Shannon -- trying to make light of the situation -- joked with her sister Melaine, "Do you mind tucking 'Dad' in for me? He's freaking me out."

In the months since, Rhys has done nothing quite as overt as those original declarations, but still says, "I know," when being introduced to things Shannon is telling him about.

Often she'll catch herself saying, "What do you mean you know? You don't know. How could you know?" then it all comes back.

Rhys wouldn't know, but Daddy would. Who am I really talking to here?

"It's definitely creepy," says Shannon, "but I'm getting used to it."

And it's not like Rhys just said what he did and forgot about it. A few days after it happened, Shannon's sister Melaine questioned him about the things he'd said, and he confirmed everything again, then just carried on playing.

So what do you think? Has Shannon's dad come back to be with her and the family again, having been taken from them at such an early age?

"Then I wasn't your daddy any more."

Yikes. Definitely a Halloween column if ever there was one. My thanks to Shannon and Rhys (and Dad?) for sharing their story with us.


Breaking news! Got a call from a happy reader this morning, Anna, who recognized her Halloween decorations in yesterday's column. She's totally ticked with the crooks, but extremely thankful to Charity for making an effort to find the rightful owner. All's well that ends well.


"Dad" is going out as an owl, a wise old owl -- a costume he picked out himself at a garage sale this summer.

Hey Mommy, guess "WHO?"