It all started when sophomore Max Pinson and his sister, alumna Hannah Pinson, walked into their father’s new house.

“When he first got the house we went there and we noticed that in his basement there were these human-sized cages built into the wall,” Max Pinson said, “and we knew they were not dog cages because they were too big.”

It seemed like their worries were merely superstitious. Time went on and there was no sign of paranormal presence in the house. However, soon they found that perhaps it was not obscure for them to be so suspicious.

“[When he moved there in June] he had three or four sets of silverware, and by September he noticed he was down to one of each,” Pinson said. “He was super confused and figured he had lost it or accidentally taken his silverware to work and thrown it away.”

Nevertheless, an unsettling feeling arose at the sudden disappearance of an object that would be hard to lose in bulk. No matter the cause of the silverware shortage, he still needed more.

“My sister and I bought him some silverware and everything was fine, and then a couple of months later, probably around March, we were sitting at dinner and he was like ‘I found your guys’s joke…very funny,’” Pinson said.

Max and Hannah were confused by their father’s accusation, as they didn’t recall trying to pull any practical joke on him. When their father clarified his meaning, Max and Hannah became more sure that they had nothing to do with this so-called “joke.”

“[He said the joke was] something we had done in his basement, but we had not been in there since he moved in,” Pinson said.

It was in that moment when their superstition turned into fear.

“He said he went down there the other day and all the silverware was stacked inside the cages, and they were locked. He thought that we had done it … but we didn’t,” Pinson said.

Their father lives alone except for their weekend visits. He doesn’t have a pet, and if he did, it still wouldn’t have been able to get through the locked, grated cage, and leave the silverware organized in stacks.

Pinson can think of no rational explanation for this peculiar occurrence. Whether it was normal or paranormal is left for each individual to decide.

For now, keep a close eye on your silverware, especially your knives.