Story Weekend: Ghosts
I’ve spent the last week with five of my writer friends at the beautiful Weymouth Mansion, where serious North Carolina writers are allowed to stay and work for up to two weeks each year. We try to come each spring and fall and we get so much done on our works-in-progress. The mansion has a long history and even though I don’t truly believe in ghosts, it’s hard for me to discount some of the things we’ve experienced here. This place is haunted, no doubt about it. It doesn’t help that one of our members, Alexandra Sokoloff, set one of her thrillers in this building and there are certain rooms I can’t walk through without remembering the scenes she described so well and so spookily.
How about you? Do you believe in ghosts? I hope you’ll share your experience during this Story Weekend. If you’re new to Story Weekend, here’s how it works: I pick a theme and you share something from your life that relates to that theme, however you interpret it. Thanks to all of you who’ve been contributing. I’ve loved reading your stories. As always, there are a few “rules”:
▪ The story must be true.
▪ Try to keep it under 100 words. Embrace the challenge! That’s about six or seven lines in the comment form. I want others to read your story, and most people tend to skip if it’s too long. I know how tough it is to “write tight” but I hope you’ll accept this as a challenge.
▪ Avoid offensive language.
I look forward to reading your stories!
One morning my kids were outside my bedroom door playing. I wasn’t ready to get out of bed yet, so I was laying quietly pretending I was still asleep. The covers were piled around me so that I couldn’t see out the doorway. I “felt” one of the kids coming in, so I closed my eyes. I “felt” them walk around the bed and stand at my side. Then I FELT two hands on me. One on my shoulder and another at my hip. It shook me like it was trying to wake me up. I opened my eyes expecting to see one of my kids standing there….and no one was there.
I decided someone was telling me it was time to get up!
My grandmother sat down wearily. She’d been nursing the local children through diphtheria and now her five year old had it. It didn’t look good. Too tired to move she watched as the man dressed in black walked in the front door and out the back of her railroad flat. Her first thought was that it was the Board of Health guy coming to quarantine the place, but in her heart she knew the truth. Finally she placed her hands on her knees and rose to her feet. Reluctantly she turned back to the bedroom, she didn’t hurry. She knew her daughter was gone.
Being in the business of death with dignity I have placed more candles into frail hands and opened more windows to ‘Let the light of this world go into the Light of the next’ then I care to remember. One dark fall night as the shift was ending my mostly European staff collectively huddled together white faced and breathless and pointed in the same direction. I saw a beautiful older woman whose feet did not touch the ground, sweeping silently from bed to bed tucking in my sleeping charges. They were terrified and I was honoured to have the opportunity to see love made manifest before my very eyes. We watched her until she vanished. It was soul restoring. On the other side of the story, I have also witnessed a priest try to cast out demons from a different unit in the same facility. Not all ghosts are benevolent but they sure all are interesting.
It is difficult to understand where lost things go. But, living in a house that had been home to a sweet old man named Matt, my parents weren’t entirely clueless. Small items would go missing frequently, mostly jewelry, and they would always be returned after a few days. Matt was a prankster.
When my mother’s wedding ring disappeared, my parents joked, ‘Matt’ll give it back in a few days, the bugger!’. However, when months passed by, then years, they were no longer laughing. Then while renovating the kitchen, my father pulled out our sink only to find the ring wedged into the wall…
I stayed at the Myrtles Plantation a few years ago by myself (in retrospect, not my brightest move). There are a ton of cats that live on the plantation and one took a liking to me so I let him come to bed with me since I’m a cat lover and another warm body was welcome. At 4AM though, he woke me up hissing and growling, he was still on me but looking at the door to the porch. After about 5 minutes, he started purring and went back to sleep. Needless to say, I didn’t. Later I Googled that room and it’s the only room where a confirmed murder took place at the plantation and a ghost is rumored to walk from the porch, through the room I was in and up the stairs…. yikes!
There are a few ghost experiences but when a dear friend is a psychic weird things happen. We were at a hotel doing a book writing weekend in Columbus Ohio. We took a break to let her girls go swimming. We all walked in to the vending machine area when the vending machine went crazy, making whomping noises. Rosa left and the sounds stopped, she returned and the noises continued.
Another weekend, we were in an outlet and down the aisle of baskets, baskets started to fall off the top shelves…I look at her and asked, “Which spirit did you tick off now?”
She laughed and continued along the aisle of falling baskets.
Did that really happen? The 2 women sat on the sofa that night, mourning the loss of their loved 1 who had passed away just a few hours earlier…as they chatted, cried and remembered the joys of the past, suddenly the TV came on with a loud noise and nothing but static and snow…the 2 women held their breath & looked at each other in shock. They turned the TV off but 2 hours later it happened again. They smiled and understood at that moment how we easily transcend to another dimension and ‘all is well’ as we move on.
When I was married, we rented turn-of-the-century, Craftsman-style house I immediately knew was haunted. From a neighbor, we learned that an English couple had lived there but they fought all the time. One Christmas Day, Fred killed himself with a shotgun.
When Richard left me, I was devastated. That night I had cried so much, I’d became physically overheated, so took a shower before going to bed. Because house was so drafty, so I always kept the back bedroom door closed. When I came out of the bathroom, the door was open. This was not something Fred had ever done before.
During the night, I 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 stream of bright energy circling from him to me. I had sense that I would be okay; the worst pain would be over and although it would still hurt, I would get through it. 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 called to me to see what he had found. Under the apple tree was an 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.
Staying under 300 words was as close as I could get. The fuller version of this story, which is completely true, is on my blog at http://booksaremagic.blogspot.com/2010/05/my-true-personal-ghost-story.html. I love people’s true ghost stories.
Our Cir 1766 real estate office was known for questionable occurrences but I had never been witness until early one morning when pulling into our lot. A little girl waved to me from a second floor window so I waved back.
I was surprised I had to use my key to gain entry so I immediately went up to see who she was. I am still wondering!
Under the staircase was a “wake” drawer where we laughingly kept our dead files. Quite often an unsuspecting soul would trip going up the stairs, directly above the drawer, saying it felt like someone had grabbed their ankle. A prankster spirit??? No doubt!!!
We moved into this home 22 years ago. My husband complaining that someone was messing with the water when he was in the shower when we were all just sitting in the front room. Water coming on in the kitchen while he was the only one home. The tv coming on in the bedroom when he was the only one home. I said my Ghost must be a woman and she likes to mess with my husband. She has moved things and then returned them. I have seen her out of the corner of my eye. That is my first Ghost story, but my second…well not so much a ghost, but my dad… I have a lighted China Cabinet. I was watching a show that a “medium” named Lisa starred in. She said to ask the spirits to give you a sign. I asked my Dad to show me a sign. The lights in my
China Cabinet would come on and go off by them selves. I checked these lights out to make sure there isn’t a short or loose wire…Nope…I am convinced it is my Dad. The anniversary of his death, he spent the whole day with me…Turning the lights on and off. The next day…nothing… I know he visits me often.
This isn’t a story, just wanted to comment on the picture of the mansion. It’s such a beautiful place, that it is hard to imagine anything scary going on there just to look at it. It looks relaxing and serene. Di: forgive me if I’ve missed it in recent blogs, but do you have a work in progress? Your plots all differ so much from novel to novel, just wondering what you’re thinking of now 🙂 I’ve gotten lax checking blogs, even FBook.