Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Hudson River Valley

Mansions or big houses, one of my tour guests grew up in one in the Hudson River Valley. She and her daughter took the tour recently and despite growing up with the ever present feeling that she would see something paranormal, she never saw a thing. But her daughter, years ago at six years old, did. The family was visiting her grandmother and she and her sister were sleeping in the sun room adjacent to her grandmother's bedroom. It was pasted their bedtime and her sister was asleep, but she was awake playing with toys on the floor when she looked up and saw a girl standing in the doorway, blond, about fifteen, in a white nightgown. The image was foggy, but the girl was clearly looking at her playing on the floor. At six she was petrified, but still managed to run through the door, through the foggy girl and into her grandmother's bed.

It was the only time she saw anything at the house. But years later her uncle mentioned seeing the same image in the same doorway.

Southern Missouri

A couple on my tour had an old family ghost story to tell. One of the old men in their family, an uncle or grandfather, in his eighties, had told the same story for decades. When he was a boy there was an old abandoned farm house that the children were always told never to go into. One day he and a friend managed to sneak up to the house and went inside. They were looking around the front room when they turned and saw a man hovering behind them. He had a beard, a white robe, and sandals; the bearded figure was staring at his friend. After what felt like a long time the figure turned to him and before their eyes met he and his friend rain out of the house, down the hill, and never returned to the farmhouse again.

Monday, January 12, 2015

The sister-in-law of the previous women from Southern Indiana had a separate paranormal experience. In the late 1990s her sister died in a car accident. They had always promised one another that if anything happened to one, she would send the other a sign. Well the women had a music box that she had kept for many years and was very attached to but never played; she didn't even think that it worked.

One day she was milling around the house and she heard the music box, softly playing on the shelf.

Southern Indiana

Countless people insist to me, that they will believe in ghosts when they see one. Fair enough, but a lot of experiences are far more subtle than that.

A while back a women came on the tour with her sister-in-law. She did not believe in this sort of thing until about three years ago. Her father had fallen ill and passed away. For weeks she had been in and out of his house, back and forth to the doctor and then the funeral home. There was a stack of papers and mail on the dinning room table that she passed repeatedly, looking at it over and over again.

A few days into funeral planning, the funeral director asked if her father had served in the military. If she could produce his discharge papers, he could have the proper rites for the funeral. She knew her father had served in Korea at a desk. Her father had no combat stories and his service had been over fifty years ago. She told the director not to include the rites, there was no way she would find the papers, if they even existed.

Once she got home she went directly to the computer to continue going through his e-mail. After staring at the screen for a while she turned around and looked at the dinning room table behind her. She noticed a yellowed dusty sheet of paper lying flat on top of the pile of mail and paperwork. This was the table that she looked at constantly throughout the day and this paper was not there before. She got up and walked over; it was her father's discharge paper.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Little Rock, Arkansas

A couple from Little Rock, Arkansas joined me a few months back. The husband had grown up in Alton, Illinois and once during his childhood had woken from a bad dream and went looking for his mother. The bedrooms were on the second floor in a type of loft with a balcony allowing a view into the living room. The walls on either side of the fireplace were bookshelves. When he stepped out of his room he saw his mother, her back to him, moving along the bookshelves. He called out to her and behind him her bedroom light flipped on. He turned toward it to hear his mother's voice and when he turned back to the bookshelf the figure was gone.

Many years later in Arkansas he and his then wife were driving down a misty country road late at night. It was very hilly and rural; there was a small church ahead of them. As they got closer to the church he saw a couple in the road. They were older, dancing close together, eyes locked completely on one another. The car went straight through them. He turned to his wife, sure that he had imagined the whole thing. "Did you see that?" She did.

His wife had an animal story, and while I certainly have heard them before, I don't hear all that many in general. They had just moved into a new house and her project was to get the back yard in order. She spent a lot of time raking and pulling up weds. When she raked in one area of the yard, she would always feel something brush up against her, like a cat. Only when she turned, there was never anything there. She figured it was her imagination, or some especially soft plant. This went on for sometime. Later she met one of her new neighbors and mentioned that she was fixing up the back yard. Her neighbor replied that she was liable to dig up bones. The previous owner had buried her cat in the backyard. The neighbor described the specific area and sure enough it was the same place.

Manteca, California

The parent child bond can often stay with us long after our bodies have been separated. In June I had a woman on my tour from Manteca, California. Unfortunately, she had to leave early since her little girl was exhausted. But before she left, she told me that when she was young her mother had died. Her father later remarried and they moved to another house; it was a little too awkward for his new wife to live in the house where her mother had died. Shortly after they had moved her father and stepmother were gone for the night and some friends came to keep her company. The family had moved a large ornate mirror from the old house into the new one and mounted it in the hallway. At one point during that night she walked down the hallway past the mirror and one of her friends saw the wispy figure of a woman float behind her.

She had also had the opportunity to speak with the people who lived in her old house. They said that sometimes they saw a woman with a turban going from room to room as if she were looking for something. Her mother had died of cancer and wore a turban in her final days.

Boulder 1960

Just as I finished hearing that dark story about Berlin, another woman on my tour shared an equally unusual story with me. She called it her "pre-ghost" story.

In 1960 when she was 6 years old she lived in Boulder Colorado. Her mother was 6 months pregnant. One night at dusk she looked out the screen door into the back yard. They lived in a neighborhood with and alley behind the house and other houses beyond. As she looked out the door, she saw a baby, about one year old, walking down the alley, limping and dragging its leg along. The baby stopped and turned to her, waved, and continued to limp down the alley. The baby was clear to her, but she could see right through it.

The next day her mother had a miscarriage and the fetus had no ankle on one leg and the other leg was twisted around. It lived for about 30 minutes after it was born.