Past tense or present tense?

maramecI wanted a short story–something I could whip out before I start working on the third draft of the WIP. I’ve got a novella. Dang it. Why? It’s going to require a good bit more work, and not only is it 14,000 words, more or less, this unwieldy ghost story is now telling me I need to put the current first-person narration in present tense instead of past.

Aaaagghh.

Maybe it doesn’t need to go into present tense?

I know I should stick with one tense or the other, but here’s the thing. I’ve got a narrator who is dealing with otherworldly events in the present that can only be understood properly by said narrator explaining to the reader what happened in the past. This should not be so difficult to figure out, but it is.

Advice?

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