It’s that time of year when the shadows grow long and the leaves tremble in the breeze. Ghosties and goblins are showing up in front yards all around the metro area and spooky tales are whispered making spines shiver. Here at Bill Smith Plumbing we have an impressive combined Two Hundred and Fourty-Five years of plumbing experience and have experienced or heard some pretty spooky tales ourselves along the way. Here’s one that was shared with us several years ago.


I followed my father’s footsteps into the plumbing and mechanical trade and can’t remember a time when it wasn’t part of my life. My dad would come home with some very interesting tales of his day. I remember as a kid hearing stories about run-ins with “beasts”, some of them being what you might expect like vicious dog attacks and animals gone amuck in packing plants. And then there were some of the more exotic versions involving huge pythons laying in wait to no doubt squeeze the poor plumber to death (I really kind of doubted this one). As I entered the trade and went about my way, I experienced for myself dogs that loved shiny things (my tools) and liked to steal them, the cats who were curious about my work and tool bag, and a Cockatiel who mocked me as I was trying to explain the invoice to the customer. Eventually, I learned to bring treats along to offer to the pets of our clients (with their approval) to keep the peace. I am a pet lover myself, except of course for the occasional 3am “feed me” wake up call from my cat. But I will never forget the day that I had a run in with a beast of my own…

One day while in Denver, I was working on a Kohler toilet in a downstairs bathroom and space was tight so I had to kneel down and hug the toilet to get the work done of changing the ballcock and adding a quarter turn stop on the toilet. My shoulder practically touched the vanity on my right. Every once in a while I could hear a scratching sound coming from what I thought was inside the cupboard of the vanity. It would scratch and I would stop working to hear but it would stop. It kept up like that for a while and my growing concern forced me to keep a watchful sideways gaze at the cupboard door.

Suddenly, from underneath the cupboard a furry looking creature came darting out and ran straight up the back of my leg! I jumped up and could feel claws digging into my leg! My mind was going wild with thoughts, was it a rat, an unexplained thing, what kind of beast was on my leg?! I decided to run out of the bathroom incase I was going to be in a fight for my life, as by this time the beast had now started to claw at my back. Holy cow, was it after my jugular? My brain? What did it want from me? After running down the hall and up the stairs, waving my pipe wrench like a madman, the beast finally released its death grip on me and ran the opposite way. I stopped and turned around to see what it was. Not the terrible beast of my imagination but a cute little ferret looking up at me with his own terrified eyes.

After what felt like a life-or-death struggle I realized it was the homeowner’s pet ferret that they allowed to run free in the house. Luckily neither the ferret nor myself were harmed in the melee. After I recovered from my near heart attack experience I finished the work and got the heck out of there. I’ll never look at basement bathrooms the same and I’m kind of reconsidering the python story.

Happy Halloween from all of us at Bill Smith Plumbing.