Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Outside San Francisco

It is funny how different people can be important in our lives at the same time, yet never meet. A woman from outside San Francisco told me that one day her housekeeper, who was part of the family and had been for many years, took her aside and told her a man had been in the house while everyone was away. He had walked into the hallway from the bathroom, then went back in, then out again and into the family room. The housekeeper had seen him from the top of the stairs. When the woman asked her to describe the man, she described a tall man in a Pendleton shirt with suspenders, jeans, work boots and a hat. It was the exact description of the woman’s ex-father-in-law who had passed. Although the father-in-law and the housekeeper were both close to the family, they had never met.

Plattsburgh, New York

Some people have one ghost story to their name, while others have more than they can count. Recently I met a couple with a lot of stories to tell. They were from Plattsburgh, New York, close to Montreal. The first member of the woman’s family to come to the US from Poland was a great aunt. The family knew the graveyard where she was buried, but they could not find her grave. Three generations they had been looking for it until one night she was in bed, not really asleep, when a man in a turn of the century suit and a bowler hat appeared at the foot of her bed. He told her the grave was by a big tree, and pushed over and that was why no one had found it. Her husband went to the graveyard, following the instructions and sure enough, found the tomb stone.

Before the couple was married, he lived in an old house converted by a friend into apartments. He moved in, unpacked the TV and a few other things, but still had a room full of unopened boxes. One day he could not find the remote. He was sure that he had unpacked it, but it was nowhere to be found. Later he went into the room full of unopened boxes to look for something else. He found the remote at the bottom of an unopened box. Hey, he figured that he was mistaken and the remote had been there all the time. A few weeks later the remote was gone again. He found it at the bottom of a different box in that room.

On another occasion he had a vivid dream that there was a stairwell where his bedroom closet was and there where workmen building the house. One of them turned directly to him and called him by name. The workman said that if the guy ever needed help to call his name, Paul M…?? and he would help. The workmen were stuffing hay and mud into the walls. Much later the couple was vacationing with the friend who renovated the house. The man shared this dream over dinner. His friend was befuddled. When he renovated the house he closed up the stairway and removed the hay and mud, never mentioning any of those things to his friend.

Bubbles in Milwaukee

I have seen a lot of orbs in my time, most in photos, a few live and in person, but recently a woman shared something about orbs that was new to me. She was from outside Milwaukee and had a seven year old daughter. Her daughter would often talk about seeing "bubbles." Sometimes they showed up in her closet and she would talk to them; other times she would come into her parents’ bed, complaining she couldn't sleep because the bubbles were keeping her up. The mother never saw a thing. 

Until a recently, when she was in a room with her daughter and thought she saw a ball of light by a ceiling fan. She decided to go into her daughter's room to take a picture and see if anything showed up. The room was empty and there was nothing. Later she took a photo with her daughter in the room and the orb showed up.

The part of this story that I have never heard before is that her daughter plays with the "bubbles," moving them around in the air with her hands. Why not? I guess a childlike innocence goes a long way.

Friday, October 25, 2013

A hotel room in Minnesota

Who knows why some places make for ghost stories for some people, when other people will not have an experience in the same place. A few weeks back a few ladies from Iowa and Ohio joined me on a tour. One of them had visited a hotel in Minnesota in April. Around 11 o'clock at night she was in bed and woke up to someone softly stroking the top of her hand. She was too afraid to open her eyes because she was sure that someone was standing beside her bed. After a moment the person walked around the foot of the bed to the opposite side and lay down beside her. She was still too terrified to open her eyes. Then, just as strangely as it had begun, the person seemed to disappear and she was alone in bed.

Oklahoma

I'm not sure that I should call this a "ghost" story, but it is certainly one hell of a story. A group from Oklahoma, a man and two women, came on my tour this past month. The man said that years back he'd been hanging out with some friends, three teenage boys talking about going to Oklahoma City to party, they were going on an on till one said, "enough talking, let's go." As soon as they stood up the bedroom door slammed shut, the window closed, the ceiling fan turned on so fast that all the papers in the room were rising and falling, the volume on the old dial stereo was going up and down repeatedly, the AC unit in the ceiling fell out so hard that is bounced off the floor three times. The friend's father who the house belonged too was a paraplegic and he was trying to open the door from the outside while they were trying to push it from the inside, hopelessly. The bedroom had two twin beds and a Buddha statue behind the door. After a few moments of this a shadowy skeletal figure rose from the foot of the bed. Its head hit the eight foot ceiling. It walked across the room and into the closet. As soon as it was gone the door opened and everything else stopped.

I told my tour participant that it sounded like his friend needed a serious exorcism. He said the family had tried a few things but there wasn't much family left anymore. His friend had lost his paraplegic father and every other member of his family in the years since.

Phoenix to L.A.

Often people see orbs in photos, and every so often live and in person. A young man from LA shared just such a story with me. Roughly ten years ago, when he was around fifteen, he lived in Phoenix, Arizona. Once he and few guys were staying at a friend's house over night and around 2-3 o'clock in the morning he and one of the guys got up to play a prank on one of their sleeping friends. As they went through the living room he stopped. Orbs were floating in the hall. His friend disappeared, but he stood there frozen in place unable to look away. He watched as the orbs moved down the hall. The bathroom door was open and they floated into the room. Once they were inside, he could see the bathroom mirror-- an old man's face looked back at him.

When he asked his friend if he'd seen anything, his friend said no. But he had gotten a chill and felt, just, frightened and sprinted as far away as he could.

Monday, August 26, 2013

French Canada to the US

Most people I meet want some sort of proof that they are having a ghostly experience and not simply imagining things. This past summer a woman who was living in Houston presently, but had been in different cities in the US shared a ghost story from her French Canadian grandparents.

Her grandfather died when she was born and her mother kept a set of family photos on a table near her crib. The photos were arranged in a certain order and one day, after putting the baby to bed, the mother came back to check on the baby and found all the photos rearranged. Thinking that she must have been confused, she arranged them again, as she wanted them to be. The baby was still asleep so she left. When she came back again later the photos were again rearranged. She took this to be a sign from the deceased grandfather.

Years later after the woman had reached adulthood her grandmother got breast cancer. The grandmother had remarried and seen her grandchildren grow up and move away. When she got sick and it seemed she wouldn't make it, they all came to see her. A big family, everyone came to express their love and say their goodbyes. The grandmother made a point of telling them that if they couldn't make it to her funeral that was okay, she had seen them while she was still alive.

After the grandmother passed the woman had been in a partially asleep, partially awake state and saw her grandmother. They talked, her grandmother was there with her grandfather and told her that her step-grandfather would be joining them soon. But the woman wasn't convinced this wasn't just a dream, so she told her grandmother, "if this isn't a dream squeeze my hand." At that point a numb feeling started in her fingers and moved up her arm.

When she told her mother this, she found out that one of her sisters had a similar visit from the grandmother, and a numb arm. A cousin had also seen her, all of them around the same time, in completely different parts of the country.

A few months later their step-grandfather died.