What with all the hoopla going on about The Conjuring, (which I have yet to see, btw) and the myriad of ghost hunting shows out there, I figured it was time I shared my own ghostly experiences. It truly makes no difference to me whether others believe in this sort of thing or not. My boyfriend is a total non-believer and I still love him regardless.
The earliest true ghost story I was told came to me from my maternal grandmother, Angeline. She was visiting friends for the weekend and had been given the spare room to sleep in. This room was used by anyone who came to visit them, including numerous grandchildren. On her first night there, she was preparing for bed. As was her habit, she always read a bit before turning off the light for the night. She was doing just that when the door opened and a little girl entered the room already dressed in a simple, white nightgown. The child smiled at my grandmother and asked if she could sleep with her because there wasn’t any other place to sleep. Angeline, of course, didn’t hesitate to let the child hop into the big bed with her which the little girl did and wished her a good night. Gram finished her chapter shortly after, turned off the light and went to sleep herself. By the time morning came about, the child had already gotten up and left the room. Gram got herself up, dressed and headed out to the kitchen where coffee was brewing and breakfast was already starting to be made. As she got her coffee, she asked her friends which grandchild had come to visit. They shook their heads and denied that there were any grandchildren there at all for the weekend. Gram told them about her little night visitor. It was then that they both smiled and said, “Oh, that’s our ghost. She shows up sometimes.” Prior to this, they had never mentioned this presence to my grandmother.
My earliest personal experience I’d have to put around the age of 11-12. At the time my best friend, N., was living in a very large, very old house. Keep in mind the house had two staircases. There were the front stairs with a fancy carved, curved banister – lushly carpeted at the front of the house. At the top was her brother’s room, to the right was her parent’s room and her room was located through a doorway at the start of a long hallway. At the opposite end of this hallway, that was lined with doors, was the bathroom. There were at least three more bedrooms they didn’t used up there. Beyond the bathroom was the second staircase that lead to the back of the house and the kitchen.
As we sat up in her room talking and playing records we heard someone come running down the hall, knock on her bedroom door then run back down the hall. N. had an older brother and this sort of activity would be right up his alley so we didn’t really pay much attention. It happened again a few minutes later. The sounds were very clear and we both heard them. The second time she told him in true little sister fashion to “Knock it off!” as she pulled the door open. Of course, there was no one there but clearly he’d made his way down the front stairs quickly. N. closed the door and we went back to whatever we were doing but kept our ears open, determined to catch her brother in the act. Running footsteps, KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK… N. yanked the door open. The hallway was empty.
We went downstairs to where her parents and brother were sitting watching TV. N. said, “Mom, tell B. to stop coming upstairs and knocking on my door!” Her brother, who was sprawled on the sofa looked up, kinda confused, “Huh?” Her mother said, “He’s been sitting here watching TV with us for at least an hour.” N. and I looked at each other with surprise and retreated back upstairs to her room. The sounds did not happen again that night.
Many years later when I was newly married, my husband and I were searching for a house to buy for our new family. We wanted something old, with character and maybe a little bit out in the countryside. During our search we found a lovely house and prior to contacting the realtor we were having a look around the outside of the place. It needed work but it looked big enough and the location suited us. It was early Autumn and leaves were already changing and falling to the ground. The front yard was scattered with them and as you walked they made that lovely sound of rustling. I was on one end of the house, towards the front. My husband, R. was on the other side towards the back. As I stood looking up at the eaves and determining that a paint job would be in order, I heard the leaves moving as of someone coming back around to where I was standing. Assuming it was R. I didn’t pay too much attention. Movement caught my eye and I looked down to see a youngish woman in a white dress that dated around the turn of the century round the corner of the house. She had brown hair that was loosely pulled up into a ‘Gibson girl’ style. I looked right at her and she at me. Then she was gone. No fading away just suddenly not there. Startled and excited, but not scared, I went in search of R. and told him what had just happened. Though we did not go on to purchase this particular house, we did find one more in town and where I still live, that is also haunted.
We bought the place in January 1995 and the haunted stories are too numerous to get into here in any great detail. Our first indication was within weeks of moving in when the back kitchen door opened several time on its own until R. said, “Okay, we know you’re here and you are welcome to stay, just stop opening this door and waking us up.” It never happened again. The porch light turned on and off on its own a lot at first. The television did the same. Kids toys have rolled out of rooms in which there were no kids (or anyone for that matter) playing with them. Footsteps have been heard going up the stairs or walking across the dining room. I’ve heard the front door open and close thinking my son was coming home from work only to go say hello and find no one there. I’ve heard footsteps come up the stairs and a bedroom door close as if one of my kids had arrived home only to find myself still alone. We attribute all of this to a man named Hermann who – by his own daughter’s telling – died in the bedroom upstairs that we designated as the guest room. Over the past years, I’ve grown rather fond of Hermann’s visits. He’s never done any harm to anyone and as far as I’m concerned he can visit whenever he likes.
So, now you know why I’m A Believer. Other things have happened in other places. Not always pleasant things but each one has only solidified my belief that Spirit can and does return to this world and that we can interact with it.