Wednesday, May 5, 2010

My True, Personal Ghost Story

Cindy Maher and I were exchanging emails about the sad loss of pets and sometimes feeling their spirits were still around.  I mentioned I had lived with a human ghost and she asked to hear about it.  Once I sent her the following story, she suggested I post it here.  So, on the proviso that she will also share her story with us, here it is.

My True, Personal Ghost Story

My former husband and I were looking for a house to rent.  From the moment I saw the turn-of-the-century, Craftsman-style house sitting on a hill--literally before I’d even stepped from the car--I knew I had to live there.  Almost from the day we moved in, I would find kitchen cabinet doors open and hear the open and close of the door to the outside side deck which connected the breakfast room to the back bedroom.  I would often sense someone in the kitchen.  I told Richard, we had a ghost.  Happily, he didn’t immediately send me to therapy.  After about a week, Richard came to me and said “we have a ghost.” 

I was in the kitchen one day and felt him--somehow, I knew it was a him. I just said “okay, here’s the deal.  I don’t mind you being here, but no funny stuff.  No more cupboards being left open, no knives floating around, nothing moving.  When I know you are here, I’m happy to say hello. I’ve no problem with you being here.”  After that, the movement stopped and when I felt him there, I’d chat with him.

One day, Richard and I were out in toward the back of our very deep yard.  We were picking plums when we saw our neighbor.  Richard commented that the property must have been beautiful once as you could see where there had been planting beds, paths, and water faucets.  He told us it had been previously owned by an elderly English couple; Fred and Edith Pfeiffer.  They absolutely loved to garden but they fought all the time; yelled at each other constantly.  One Christmas Day, Fred went out under the apple tree in the far back corner of the lot and killed himself with a shotgun.  Richard and I looked at each other; we just knew our ghost was Fred. 

Learning about Fred explained two things.  I only sensed him in the kitchen/breakfast room and the back bedroom.   I never sensed him any further out into the house.  I surmised the back bedroom was where he slept.  He could get to the kitchen via the deck without having to go through the house, which explained hearing the deck door.  We also learned they were very Catholic, so my guess was that he was afraid to cross over having taken his own life.

Richard sometimes had an explosive temper—never physical, just loud and rather frightening.  He would occasionally go off over seemingly small things that were accidental; his brother's girlfriend accidentally chipping the edge of an antique bowl and not telling me, my trying to carry too many items from the car and dropping an expensive bottle of wine; to me, dumb things not worth the extent of his reaction.

Even so, when Richard left me, I didn’t see it coming. The night 3 months after he'd moved out and in spite of our going for counseling, he announced he was filing for divorce and I was devastated.  I went to a friend’s house, sobbed my heart out, came home, and cried some more. Because I had become so physically overheated, I decided to take a shower before going to bed.  The house was so old, poorly insulated, and drafty, so I always kept the door closed to the back bedroom.  When I came out of the bathroom, situated between the two bedrooms, the door to the back bedroom was open.  This was not something Fred had ever done before.

I went to bed and sleep, but during the night awakened and was in that floating state where you know you’re not asleep but you’re not quite awake either.  I sensed someone standing by my bed and a stream of bright energy circling from him to me. I had a sense that I would be okay; the worst pain would be over and although it would still hurt, I would get through it. 

You know that difference you feel between when someone else is in the house but you can’t see or hear them and when you are absolutely alone in a house?  When I woke up in the morning, I knew I was alone and that Fred had left.  My theory is that by helping me with my pain, it allowed him to move on past his. 

It is odd how empty the house felt and how much I missed him as I always felt, during the two years I sensed he was there, that he was looking after me.  A few days later, my landlord’s gardener was there and called to me to see what he had found.  He had been working under the apple tree and found a completely intact green glass hip flask with a metal flip top, indicating how old it was.  He gave it to me, I cleaned it up and have had it ever since.  I figure it was Fred’s way of saying good-bye.

I ended up living in the house for 21 years until the landlord announced he was moving his college-aged kids in.  It was felt to be my safe place and I loved it.  Before I left, but after the house was empty, I went through with burning sage blessing the house, and thanking it for all the years it took care of me. 

I have had other brief experiences with the supernatural; heard the footsteps of one residual ghost and did not enter the hall where a less-than-welcoming presence seemed to exist, but nothing such as my experience with Fred.  Time and my life have moved on but I still have Fred's flask and think of him often. 

So there you are.  Just so I know I'm not alone, please do come and share your personal ghost experiences with me.

ADDENDUM from October 31st, 2020:  This has been a hell of a year, and tonight is not only Halloween, but there is a rare Blue Moon--they only occur approximately every 2.5 years, but it will be 2039 before another appears on Halloween.  In honor of that, my friend, author Brendan DuBois, posted his real-life ghost stories on Facebook, and others followed suit.  With their permission, I have added these to the comments.  Please feel free to add your stories, too.  Enjoy.

41 comments:

  1. When I was a young child in New York City, I lived in a house formerly owned by the famous Broadway impresario, David Belasco.

    David had kept the brownstone for his showgirls and would often stand outside to watch them through the large living room windows. My father bought the house from his estate and quickly realized David was a presence there. One night after my father married my mother, there was a terrible rattling at the front door. My father apparently didn't want to get out of bed to find out so my mother went, opened the door and there was no one there. She opened the door wide, introduced herself and welcomed David into her new home. The rattling stopped. That night.

    We often heard footsteps and other noises not attributable to live individuals. David was a jolly presence and I still think of him very often.

    He is also said to hang around his theater, The Belasco at 111 West 44th Street.

    Robin

    www.robinoneillebooks.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. How very cool! I am so glad you shared that. I love hearing other people's ghost stories. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  3. L.J., I have so many ghost stories to tell I should write a book. I wouldn't know where to start for a blog. But I loved your story, and just want you to know you are not alone in being so receptive to ghosts. They are always with us. I suspect the very room where I'm sitting right now is wall to wall with the caring, curious and helpful spirits of those people who made my life what it was and is today. And that includes a beloved old orange cat -- a story in itself. All the best,
    Pat Browning

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you, Pat. I do know my grandmother, in particular, is always around me and Shadow, the cat who started this entire conversation. I should love to hear some of your stories sometime.

    Take care,
    LJ

    ReplyDelete
  5. We bought our split level home 18 years ago this week from the estate of a man named Bob who was a local volunteer firefighter. He had died of cancer in the house and from what we understand was quite a character. He was also a life long smoker, not stopping even when he was in the final stages of his disease and was on oxygen.

    Not long after we moved in I was alone in the house, working in my office, which used to be his study, and reportedly his favorite room in the house. All of a sudden I began smelling the very strong odor of cigarette smoke. It wasn't visible, but it seemed to come out of the far right corner behind my computer and move over me and then past me out of the office and down the hall, down the stairs and into the living room, where it eventually dispersed.

    I was surprised, but not scared. At the time it just seemed odd, especially considering neither my husband or I smoked, or allowed visitor to smoke and we had cleaned the walls, washed the curtains, etc when we had moved in.

    The cigarette smoke smell would appear from time to time over the next 9 years and it got to the point where we would just call out "Hi Bob, love the house!" whenever we smelled it. There were no other manifestations, no noises, no tricks, no apparitions and Bob never seemed to want anything more than to just move from my office to the living room and hang out for a bit.

    The last time I smelled the smoke was Sept. 11, 2001. I was alone in the living room watching the news coverage of the towers and all those fire fighters, police and EMS people who had been lost and I smelled the smoke move into the room and hover on the other end of the couch from where I was sitting. It stayed for awhile and I talked to him, probably crying as I did, telling him I knew how upset he must be at the loss of fellow firefighters, as I was by the loss of fellow EMS workers. I don't know how long we sat there watching the TV, but when I got up to go to bed, the smell was gone and I haven't smelled it since. And to tell you the truth, I miss him.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you so much for such a wonderful story. It made me laugh and brought tears to my eyes. How lovely.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I was once staying over at a girlfriends house. The house had belonged to her family since the early twenties. Or so I had been told.
    She said several times she had awoken to find herself being pressed into the bed as if there was a hand on her chest.
    Being the disbeliever I am I found a sleeping disorder that matched what was happening to her.
    Then one night I stayed over and was just falling a sleep when there was a huge bang in the house and the curtains fell off the clips that hold the rods and all the taps in all the sinks and tub turned on full.
    We made short work of putting everything back in order and my explaination was simple.....
    The house was located on the side of the Niagara Escarpment and everyone knew it was slowly sliding down the escarpment. So what had happened was simular to our very own earthquake.
    She went to sleep five minutes later. Me. I just layed there not fully believing my own story. LOL

    ReplyDelete
  8. Okay, Don, I am very happy never to have had an experience similar to that. That would freak me out. You're still wondering, aren't you. Thanks for sharing your story.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I was 15 when my dad died. A year later, my mother, brother and I moved to a different town. We'd probably been there a couple months when one night I was sitting in the living room listening to the radio. From where I was sitting, I could look down a hallway to the far end of the house. As I did, I saw my dad come out of my mother's bedroom and cross the hall into my bedroom. A few minutes later, while I was still trying to decide whether to believe what I had just seen, he came back out of my room, stopped and looked directly at me, and then went on into my mother's room. I always felt that he was letting us know that even though we had moved, he was still looking out for us.

    I've never seen anyone else, but over the years I have been able to smell my mother, my grandfather and my brother at the same time as I felt their presence. Well, I could smell my mother's own scent. My Papa came across as the smell of his pipe tobacco. And my brother came across as Jack Daniels. lol

    Julie

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thank you, Julie. That is lovely. I do absolutely believe our loved ones are always with us.

    ReplyDelete
  11. We have lived in our lakeside cottage for almost a year, and I have felt a presence here almost since day one.

    The house is almost 80 years old, as near as we can determine, and we don't know much about the history of it, but we do know that it was once a weekend/summer cottage, and I get the distinct feeling that it was a place that that saw lots of laughter, good times, and memories. The house has obviously been well-loved and impeccably cared for.

    I have heard footsteps on the stairs, voices, knocks and bumps upstairs, and the occasional "brush" of someone touching my shoulder or moving behind me -- in fact, the first few times that happened, I thought it was my husband or son. But when I turned around, there was no one there. Now when it happens, I usually respond with "Good morning" or "Good evening", whatever the case may be.

    It is actually a very comforting, positive feeling. I have always dreamed of living in a cottage, and perhaps whatever energy is here knows that we are continuing to love and care for the place that once was theirs. At least, that's what I like to think.

    ReplyDelete
  12. How lovely. It sounds as though your spirits are residual as it doesn't seem as though they are interacting with you; just going on doing what they had done. I think they loved it there so much, they just don't want to leave. Party on!

    ReplyDelete
  13. LJ, I'm enjoying reading everyone's comments. I've had several experiences but the one that stands out most in my mind happened in July of 2005. My mother had passed in March of 2004 and we'd always told one another that whichever one of us went first would try to contact the other. I'd felt her presence in the time since she passed but never as much as this time.

    My husband & I had been shopping & running errands. I was putting things away and had this sudden, horrid pain in my head that felt as if my head would explode. I felt my mother as strongly as if she'd been physically present in the room with me. I knew that someone important to one of us was either dying or in terrible trouble.

    I called my daughter to see if she & her family were okay and they were. I then checked on husband's family and they were okay as well.

    I kept feeling worse, began running a high fever and was so dizzy I could only walk with assistance. My husband took me to our doctor who couldn't find a reason for my illness but said my heart rate was too fast. He put me on antibiotics as a precaution & sent me home. The next day I was even more ill and could barely even eat or drink. The doctor had to even call in additional medication for me.

    Later that day,I received an email from an old friend telling me that my first love was desperately ill and not expected to live. He'd suffered a massive stroke and could barely speak & was only able to move his eyes.

    I knew immediately that this was what my mom was trying to let me know. This man was my first love, my parents had hated that he was older than I and seen to it that we had broken up, feeling that I was too young to know what was best. In later years my mom had felt badly about that as she realized we had truly loved one another and I'd been through some terrible experiences after she & my dad had insisted my love & I part. Mom told me before she died that they should've left us alone and perhaps I'd have been happier.

    My former love passed the next day and two nights after that I saw him in my hall looking young & healthy. I believe it was his way of letting me know he'd been thinking of me in his final hours and would be watching over me. I still feel his presence at times, speak to him, and it is a comfort to me.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thank you, Kay. It is unfortunate that sometimes our families, through what they feel are good intentions, force us down a path different from what we feel is right. I've been there myself. It is nice that your mom acknowledged their error before she passed and that you know your former love is looking over you

    ReplyDelete
  15. When we were first talking about cats I had a short ghost story to tell LJ, then a slightly longer one. I'll start with the short one first.

    Back in the early 80's I had a cat named Rusty who was my little buddy. Of all our cats, he was my favorite always there for me. One night when my then husband was working late I could hear all sorts of noise in our garage and went out there in time to see my scumbag neighbor pulling his pit bull out of the garage. There under the car was Rusty, dead, by the jaws of the nasty pit bull.

    Fast forward a few months. I was sitting on the floor in the dining room going through photo albums while my then husband was in the kitchen. The other cats were eating and in my line of sight. Then all of a sudden I felt a cat rub against my back. It had to be Rusty. My husband didn't doubt that I felt Rusty's spirit. I think he just wanted to let me know one last time that he loved me.

    Now for the slightly longer story:

    The first house I ever owned in downtown Watsonville, well there was a 'secret' drinker who lived there once. In the living room there was a built in china cabinet (so cool how those older houses had things like that) and for some reason we had to remove one of the drawers. My then husband found an empty bottle of whiskey. It was OLD! We probably should have kept it for its 'antique collectible' value but it ended up getting pitched. Now that house, I swear it had a ghost in it. There was a cabinet door thin one, about 1 foot wide between the kitchen and living room that at one time was where the furnace was. The former owner of the house said there was a floor furnace originally (remember those, how you had to avoid stepping on them in order to not get burned?) and it was replaced with a wall furnace. Anyway, We had been at work all day and we come home to find that two of our cats (in fact, one of them was Rusty, the little guy who was killed by the pit bull) and his sister were locked inside that cabinet. Now how could they have done that on their own? I always swore to my then husband that the house had a ghost. There was one other incident that made me think that and it involved cats. My thought is the ghost didn't like cats.

    There used to be a product, maybe there still is, called Petromalt for hairballs. It came in a tube like toothpaste and you'd give them about a 1/4 - 1/2 inch 'dose' at a time. Anyway I remember going to get the petromalt for the cats, to take it out of the box and instead of petromalt inside the box was toothpaste! So I go into the cabinet where the 'new toothpaste' was and inside *that* box was the petromalt. It just HAD to be a ghost! Either that or else my then husband sleep walked and did weird stuff like changing items and as far as I knew he never did sleepwalk.

    ****I really loved reading all the stories above. The one about the firefighter and 9/11 really touched my heart.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi Cindy,

    I am so glad you got this ball rolling, and am grateful to all those who have contributed their stories. They are fascinating.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I was in the Air National Guard in Seattle during college and would pull my 2 weeks duty during Christmas break. Generally there were only a few full-timers around during those 2 weeks and I often had the building to myself.

    My desk was situated so that my back was to the door. I never much liked this arrangement because military men like to "tease" the women (I don't know if this is still the case, this was during the 70s). One day I was sitting there going over some spread sheets when I heard the door behind me open and close and footsteps walk up behind me and stop. I turned to see who it was and no one was there and the door was open not closed. Hmm, I thought and went back to work. Pretty soon I heard the door open and close and footsteps come up behind me and stop. Again I looked and again there was no one there and the door was still open.

    A third time I heard the door open and close and the footsteps. I'm not looking, I'm not looking, I'm no...I'm looking. There was no one there and door was open.

    I gathered up my reports and went over the the other building to work in the conference room. My boss was there when I came in and after a few minutes of working I casually said that there must be a ghost in the other building. He was surprised. He knew there were ghosts in the main building but hadn't heard about any in the maintenance building.

    Turns out that during the war a plane had crashed on take off and it was believed that the crew still hung out at the base. In the main building you could hear footsteps in the hallways and the sound of people talking and eating in the former chow hall.

    I never heard anything in the main building but I know what I heard in the other office. Like I said, military men like to tease military women.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I'd have picked up my papers and left too. Thank you, Catherine, for sharing your story.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Like others, I've had my own "visitations". Two were particularly wonderful - one was seeing my brother driving his beloved yellow VW beatle next to my car on the freeway - he didn't look at me but it was clearly him. My brother had died by his own hand several months before this. I was very comforted at seeing him and felt he wanted his baby sister to know he was okay.

    The other 'visitation' was during the night of the afternoon that my mother died. I have always been the child who wears emotions on the outside and everyone knows how I am feeling. I cry at funny, sad, happy...whatever! I was having a hard time finding a comfy postition to fall asleep and kept thinking about Mom. At one point I was laying on my stomach and trying to still my brain...all of a sudden I felt a warm and loving hand rest in the middle of my back for a few seconds and knew it was Mom saying I'm okay, out of pain and all the rest and you will also be okay. I became very relaxed at her silent touch and don't think it took much more time to really relax and fall asleep.

    I'm sure I've had other visitations by people I love and pets as well but not all have been as vibrant as these.

    It's wonderful to read the other stories...I hope more will share.

    ReplyDelete
  20. When I was a VISTA volunteer in the early 70s I rented a house in Benton, Arkansas. My roommate and I often heard footsteps in the rear bedroom and back porch. We tried to convince ourselves it was the house "settling," but after they day I heard steps in the hall as I took a bath and the night I saw a light shining under the door, we kept those rooms locked.
    One afternoon, however, I'd taken something to the back porch and left the door open to cool the house. Later, while reading in the living room, I had a strong sense of being watched and looked up to see a woman in a bonnet and long dress standing in the kitchen. Paralyzed with fear and curiosity both, I watched her fade.
    The next day my roommate was called away in the middle of sweeping the kitchen floor. When she returned, the floor was clean and the broom and dustpan back in their corner. After that we left the door to the porch unlocked. A neat ghost deserves the run of the house.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Carol and Carolyn,

    Thank you so much for your stories. I was very touched by the first and amused by the second. Carol, how lovely of your family to let you know they are fine. Carolyn, a residual ghost who cleans house is always welcome.

    ReplyDelete
  22. The following was send to me by Susanne Williams (author Suzanne Adair)

    I used to be a Doubting Thomas about ghosts. Then I had a personal experience with one at the Kinard House, a beautiful Victorian Bed &
    Breakfast in Ninety Six, South Carolina.

    I'd stayed there twice before while conducting research for my Revolutionary War era mysteries. Those visits, I stayed in the guest
    room on the bottom floor. The third time, an elderly couple was already in that first-floor room, so the owner preceded me to the upstairs bedroom.

    I'd never been upstairs before. When I reached the second floor, sunlight streaming over the lovely wallpaper and furniture beyond the
    top step, I felt as if someone put an arm around my shoulders and said, "Welcome. I'm so glad you're here." Since I heard no actual
    words spoken, I chalked up the sensation to the interior decorating talent of the owner creating a sense of welcome.

    The next morning at breakfast, the elderly woman engaged the owner in a lighthearted conversation about whether the house was haunted. The owner adopted a sober expression and admitted that yes, the kindly ghost of Henry Kinard still inhabited the house. Henry usually manifested himself on the second floor, since that floor had been so little disturbed by remodeling. The experience was that of having a friendly arm wrapped about the shoulders, and message of welcome spoken in the ear.

    Of course, I about fell out of my chair.

    Henry Kinard received an acknowledgment in my first novel, PAPER WOMAN.

    ReplyDelete
  23. This is a great ghost story. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Marilyn (M.E. Kemp) asked that I post her story for her:

    I was spending my first night in a friend's house, an 1813 Victorian farmhouse in the country in Upstate New York. It had been a very HOT and STICKY day and evening. I tossed and turned and couldn't get to sleep -- I even slept up-side-down on the bed so my head would be near the one screen in the room.

    All of the sudden a woman walked into the room and I thought to myself with some indignation, "What's Jenny doing coming in here?". Only it wasn't Jenny. It was a woman in a cape who walked over to the window and stood there looking out at the wreck of an old resort hotel next door. The temperature dropped suddenly and it felt so good, I fell right to sleep!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Wow, I don't have one of my own, but these certainly gave me chills...

    ReplyDelete
  26. The following was sent to me from Gaye DeWitt:

    I've never had a visitation, but I did have an experience of sorts. I was looking with a realtor for a house to rent in Tacoma, Washington. The house she took me to see was built in the 1930s.

    One step inside the house and I had to leave. I could not go back in there.

    There was such a feeling of despair that I starting crying and refused to go back in. I know she thought I was crazy, but I could not make myself go back into that house.

    Some places hold despair, evil and malice. This was one of the time.

    ReplyDelete
  27. My Ghost Story, for LJ From Dianne Day - Part I

    About twenty years ago, I was working as the lone paid employee of the local preservation society in a Southern college town. Our headquarters was in a historic house we had restored; I knew the house well, even before its restoration, and had never heard it was haunted. But about a week after I began to work there, as I was locking one of the three outside doors, I heard a man call my name: “Dianne.” Clear as a bell. I thought someone was at the back door because it sounded as if it had come from that direction, so I went to that door, but there was no one there. No one at any of the other doors either, and that was when it started.

    Often things were moved around in my office, little things that didn’t much matter, and for a long time I thought I was misplacing them or misremembering where I’d put something … but after a while I got suspicious and paid close attention. By then, I was noticing that I felt odd in certain parts of that house, especially when I was alone and it was still and quiet. My observations proved to me that somebody or something was moving my stuff, and one day I just said, “OK now, you knock it off. If you’re who I think you are, then you can see I’m taking excellent care of your house so stop bothering me.”

    The annoying little stuff stopped after that, at least for a while, but other things did not. Such as pictures on the wall in my office being found on the floor when I arrived in the mornings. Such as pictures that had been hung for art exhibits, likewise sometimes found on the floor, with broken glass in their frames, as if they’d been knocked down with a lot of energy. Knocking down one of the exhibited pictures required a lot of effort, because they were hung, professionally (at some expense to the house art budget), on clear fishing wire from a picture railing near the high ceilings.

    This happened often enough that it became of concern to the art committee, and I tried talking to the spirit in the house – because by then I definitely knew there was one – the same way I’d done in the office, but where the exhibit pictures were concerned, talking to him did no good. He just took a great dislike to certain art works, and that was that. One time, his dislike was so great that the same piece, a collage, was knocked to the floor twice and the second time, a dagger-shaped shard of glass was embedded in the floor about ten feet from the wall. The artist and the art committee agreed not to rehang that collage, but so far as I know no one ever said “a ghost did it.”

    These things always happened at night, and the very oddest thing perhaps was that we had a series of caretakers, always a college student, who stayed in a sort of basement room (that part of the house was on a slope so it was not really underground) overnight in return for free rent, and he never heard anything. But the caretaker(s) did often find the door to the stairs that led down to his room open in the mornings, when it had always been locked at night, either by me or by him if he’d come up into the main house for some reason.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Part II of Diane's Story:

    The house had been built, actually you might say put together, in three stages. The first structure, built before 1850, was a simple, four-room Greek revival style house with a porch all across one whole side, and doors opening onto that porch from both rooms. My office was in one of those rooms, which had been a bedroom, and the room that was the kitchen was right behind my office. The second structure was an octagonal shaped free-standing building with a lot of windows, used for professors to meet with students in the early years and used by us as our main gallery space; this is the part that was built up against a slope, and it was originally open underneath, with a gravity-fed shower there – and that was built most likely around 1880.

    Then at the turn of the 19th to 20th century, along came a professor who was also an administrator at the college, who had some more serious money, and he built a connector to unify the octagonal room with the farmhouse. The connecting part was like a great hall with a peaked ceiling of exceptionally beautiful woodwork, and a big fireplace, and off of that was a fancy parlor also with a fireplace; and a front porch with Victorian touches, and a real bathroom. The bathroom location, however, had been modified during the restoration and I was never quite sure where the original one was. I only knew that for some reason I did not like to be in the bathroom as it was when I was working there, nor in the short hall just outside the bathroom, the one that had the door to the stairway down to the room under the octagon (that room having been enclosed at a time I was also unsure about).

    The house had had four owners, one for each stage of its life and plus more during the 1880-1900 period. The last owner was a philosophy professor, famous both for his irascible nature and the Socratic method he used to teach his students. He lived a long life, his wife having predeceased him. They had no children and when he died he left the house to the college. This was ironic, since in his later years he had been its worst critic and the campus curmudgeon. He is the one I expected was my ghost. The most frequent type of experience I had there was a residual verbal haunting that I decided, after I’d done research on it, was from that professor’s meetings with his students, which he’d often conducted in that central entrance room.

    The curmudgeonly professor was not the only ghost in that house, however. I worked there for a little over five years, and eventually I encountered a more quiet, gentle spirit that I thought must have been his wife. Anyway it was a female for sure, who was most frequently on that porch outside my office side door. Sometimes in the late summer afternoons I’d go out there when a thunderstorm was brewing, just to sit and catch the change in the air, and she would either be out there already or I would feel her join me. I think I might even have seen her once – it was warm weather and I had that side door open but the screen door closed, and something made me look up, and there was a tiny woman, no bigger than a child but with white hair, standing there. However, she disappeared almost the very minute I saw her, so that I doubted my own eyes. I did a lot of doubting during those years.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Final portion of Diane's Story:

    And, finally, there was a third spirit that was not so nice. Actually the main guy was not that nice either, he was pesky, but he wasn’t malevolent.
    This third one might have been. I don’t know. I just know there was something in that house that felt different, felt dark and bad. That was what I felt in that little hall and the bathroom, and around the stairs down to the room under the octagon. One night when I was going around turning out lights before locking up, I looked over toward that door to the stairway … and there was a dark mass there where the door should have been. No shape to it. Just a big blob of total black, that I didn’t like a bit. I did not lock that door that night, I just hurried up with the rest of the doors and left. We did have one caretaker who resigned because he kept hearing someone walking on those stairs at night, and he found the door unlocked so often when he knew he’d locked it; he was an ex-marine at the college on a scholarship and he needed the free rent, but he left the job because he was convinced the house was haunted.

    I didn’t blame him. Myself, I would not have stayed there overnight for anything.

    A final note: During my years of working there, I never mentioned any of this to anyone. This is the first time I’ve told the story outside of an extremely small circle of friends.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Wow, Dianne's story is great. She's a braver woman than I am. I wouldn't have lasted 5 minutes working there, let alone 5 years.

    As for Gaye's story about the realtor and the rental. Been there, done that. I've owned many properties and as a result have walked through even more with realtor's. I've experienced that same thing, a feeling of dread and my great desire to GET OUT of a couple of houses that wild horses couldn't convince me to buy or live in.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Brenda, a fellow member of CrimeThruTime.com read my ghost story and was touched enough to send me hers, which she asked me to edit. I hope I've done her justice. The following is from Brenda:

    After I got married, we lived in a house that was haunted by more than one ghost. They liked to use the kitchen at night whch would get very noisy and sound like a family dinner.

    One liked to play my husband's guitar. I can tell you I was quite surprised to turn around and see my husband wasn't even in the room.The guitar playing was very gentle but the music stopped as I turned.

    One night a large orb came out of the bedroom and I thought okay, now their
    showing themselves;it's time to move. We moved that week.

    We had rented the house from the daughter of the couple that passed away. The daughter mentioned her parents went to the nursing home together, but all they talked about was going home. I guess they did.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Brenda sent me an addendum to her story:

    Oh, I forgot to tell you the house was fully furnished when we moved in. All their furniture, dishes, etc. were still there.

    Thank you, Brenda.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Hi LJ--love your stories and the ones in the comments! I have a family history of hauntings--sometime I'll send you the links to blog posts I've written about them. Nothing startling or actually scary, just odd things mostly--

    ReplyDelete
  34. Thanks, Kathryn. I was delighted to have so many people share their experiences with me. Much better than telling me they thought I was crazy. :-) I still have Fred's flask on my shelf and wish him well.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I'll update this. My precious cat, Tigger, died this past June. He was a HUGE, 33 lb orange, tiger cat, who used to love to sleep on the bed, on top of me. As he grew old and arthritic, he stopped coming up on the bed, even though I had stairs for him.

    The night before I let him go, he wanted to come up, so I picked him up and brought him on the bed. He climbed on top of me and stayed for several hours. Even though he'd now lost a lot of weight, he was still heavy, so I finally set him off me, and he went down to the bottom of the bed, where my other cat, T.S. Elliot joined him and put his head next to Tigger's. The next morning, it was very clear that it was his time to go.

    Each night, ever since then, when I get into bed, I feel Tigger come up on the bed and walk up near me, even though not even T.S. is in the bed. I know it's his spirit, and that he will always be with me. And T.S. and I shall always miss him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. An addendum to my story of Tigger: It is now September, 2020. Happily, I do still have T.S. Elliot, but he never comes to bed until after I've fallen asleep. However, there is still many a night when I'm lying in bed reading, when I feel still feel Tigger come up. Even more, I hear him snoring. At 33.5 lbs, that cat could snore.

      Delete
  36. From author and friend Brendan DuBois, here is the first of his true ghost experiences:

    "When I was a young lad of about six or seven or so, I was asleep in the family home in Dover. Mom and Dad raised five (and later six) boys in a small Cape home. Their bedroom was on the ground floor. We boys made do with two tiny bedrooms upstairs, three in one room (bunkbeds!) and two in the other.

    I was in one bedroom with my oldest brother Mike. One night I woke up and there was a dark shape there, leaning over, looking out the window. I thought it was my brother Mike, but I could see him sleeping in his bed. I looked for a few seconds, terrified, and then I slooowwwly rolled over and faced the wall, because I didn't want to see the shape, and I figured if I couldn't see It, It couldn't see me.

    And to this day I can only sleep facing in that direction.

    A few years ago I posted this story, and a while later, my younger brother Dennis DuBois posted a reply: he had seen the very same thing as a young boy in our house, in his bedroom.
    But neither one of us had told each other at the time.

    One hundred percent true.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Brendan's second story:

    "For the past 20 years, me and the missus have had a small cottage on a lake in northern N.H. It's winterized so we can visit it year round.
    We don't know much about it, except it was built in the mid-1960s or so, and started off life as a chicken coop! It's been renovated, built upon, and there's even a front porch that was lifted up to the second floor and renovated.

    In one corner of the second floor is a closet, about chest-high. Not a walk-in closet, but a crawl-in closet, where we store various things like Christmas decorations and other stuff.
    For some years, at night, just before I go to sleep, I've heard the cabinet doors upstairs opening and closing. At first I thought it was the cat having fun, but a couple of years ago, he was sleeping in bed with us when I heard the doors open and shut.

    Okay, then. And it only happens once or twice, and that's it.

    A few years ago a car came down our dirt road with Massachusetts license plates, turned around and came back up. I was outside and thought they were lost, but they weren't.

    The woman rolled down the window and said, "I just wanted to see if this was still here. Years ago, we used to rent this cottage for the summer. Our son loved to play in the closet on the second floor. He pretended it was his fort."
    Pause as her eyes filled up. "He died a while ago."
    My first thought was to invite her and her husband --- the driver --- in for a visit, but the look on his face was that of a guy who just wanted to go away.

    I expressed my sympathy and they drove away, and now I wonder if the sound I'm hearing at night isn't the cabinet doors opening and closing, but the door to the little closet, from the spirit of a boy who used to have fun here."

    ReplyDelete
  38. And Brendan's third story:

    "One last Halloween story... back to our haunted cottage.

    A couple of years ago I was alone in the cottage, and on the second-floor porch, I was working through papers and receipts for tax season. I was working on the dining table, which resembled a picnic table: six long boards with a gap between them.

    At one point, I dropped a large paperclip between the cracks of two boards, where it rested on a plank underneath. I couldn't reach it with my fingers or a pen, so I got up and went to the kitchen to get a knife to pry the paperclip out.

    I came back to the porch and the table.

    The paperclip was resting on top of the table.

    I checked... nothing on the floor. And there was nothing in the crack where the paper clip was a few seconds ago.

    I froze.

    Then I said aloud, "Thank you!"

    And went back to work.

    ReplyDelete
  39. The next story is from Matthew S Gore:

    Four friends in college lived in a house that was haunted. They’d walk out of the kitchen, turn around, walk back in and find all the cupboards open a la The Sixth Sense.

    Lisa and I experienced a haunting in that old house she shared with two roommates. About to go to sleep at night. Sierra started wagging her tail at the door as if she recognized whatever was out there. We both clearly heard four distinct, wood creaking footsteps walk from right to left on the other side of the wall right before the hallway door slammed shut. No one else was home. We got up to check the house. All doors and windows were locked, including the front door which was chained from the inside. There’s no explanation for what we heard.

    ReplyDelete
  40. And this experience from T.K. Kess Eldridge:

    I was the first great grandchild for my Grampa Harry and Nana Hazel. They were excited for my arrival, and had already bought toys, books, etc. Grampa Harry had a heart attack in March, and died instantly on the steps of his office building. I was born in May.

    I was about six or so when I asked my mom who the guy in the overcoat and funny hat (fedora) was that would watch me play in the yard, or sit in the rocker in my room at night.
    When I described him, she showed me a picture she had tucked away - of my great-grandfather, Harry. I'd never seen a picture of him because my great-grandma came to visit and photos of him caused her pain, so all of the photos with him in them had been packed away. It was him, without a doubt. I even could identify the way he walked - his son, my uncle came to visit and when he walked away, I said "He walks like Grampa."

    He wanted to see me, watch over me, and keep me safe. I never felt afraid, just protected.

    ReplyDelete