Eclectic and Eccentric, Spiritual and Sublime
H. A. O'Connor

About the author : Earth to Ethereal: Eclectic and Eccentric, Spiritual and Sublime When it comes right down to it, I guess I just really enjoy sharing the human experience, whether through writing stories and poems which, hopefully, resonate with readers or by following the path to a simpler, more earth-friendly lifestyle. Thanks for sharing the experience with me!

Feel the Chill…

Ethereal, Searching for Inspiration No Comment

Fine, so maybe you won’t get the chills from these ghost stories, but I will tell you I’m presenting them as factually as I possibly can. Whether they’re based on some otherworldly occurrence or just some strange coincidence is up to you to decide…

As I mentioned in my last post, my family and I live in a house where things sometimes do go bump in the night (or day). Doors have opened on their own a handful of times–twice right in front of our eyes, and there are occasionally weird sounds: footsteps, drawers and cabinets opening, door handles being turned, various knocks and bangs. Other things have happened, as well…suffice it to say that among these occurrences, a shadow in the shape of a man was apparently once seen walking across my kitchen. I didn’t witness it, so I’ll leave the details up to your imagination.

Image via pixabay/SuperHerftigGeneral

I know how weird this all sounds and I’d have a hard time believing any of it myself if I hadn’t been witnessing (some of) it for years. Seriously, I have a hard time believing it despite my witnessing. My point being: I remain skeptical about all of this, but it’s not easy at times.

I’ll start off with a couple of borrowed ghost stories…

Here’s a brief one that was passed down through my family: apparently, my great-grandfather chose to stay in a boarding home one night while traveling. When he came downstairs the next morning, the woman who operated the home asked how he’d slept. “Not very well,” he said, “the poor guy in the next room paced and moaned all night long. Someone really ought to check on him.” Imagine his surprise when the woman revealed that not only had the room beside my grandfather’s been unoccupied, but a man had died in there some time before.

Image via Unsplash/Jesse Bowser

Another story was told to me by my mother, as experienced by a friend of hers. The woman in the story was alone in her house one cold, winter night. Her husband was out of town, so she decided to retire to bed early, taking her cat upstairs with her. Since the steps leading to her bedroom were accessed via the living room, she supposed closing the living room’s three pocket doors would direct heat up to the second floor.  Though these pocket doors hadn’t been used since they’d moved into the home, the woman struggled to drag them closed, believing the effort was worth the promise of warmth.

Soon after settling in for a quiet night upstairs, the woman was shocked to hear a strange noise coming from the lower floor.  The cat heard it, too, and reacted in fear, arching its back while its hair stood on end. When the strange sound stopped and began again–and then again–the woman realized what she was hearing: the heavy living room doors were slowly being forced back into their wall pockets, one after the other.

The woman immediately telephoned her brother, believing an intruder might be in the house. She asked him to wait on the phone while she crept down the stairs and confirmed that the doors had, in fact, been opened.  The police were called and, after arriving and searching the entire house, they returned with their report: there were no signs of forced entry and every door and window remained locked.

It seemed there would be no explanation for the events of that evening, until the couple researched the history of their home and discovered it had been used as a hospital during the Revolutionary War.  The living room would have been the center of medical activity and the pocket doors must have been kept open, out of necessity.  Though these doors never again moved on their own, voices and other inexplicable sounds were occasionally heard within the home.  The couple accepted such things as part of their life there, but the cat required some convincing: after the pocket doors opened themselves, he refused to leave the bedroom for a full two weeks.

Image via Unsplash/Erik Müller

My third and final story came out of my own childhood. Like the county in which I currently live, I grew up in an area that had seen action during the Revolutionary War. While visiting a friend, I went on a tour of her very old home and its grounds. She pointed out an area of her property in which two soldiers were said to have been buried and, later, showed me a grave marker that had been pressed into the foundation of her home. She and her family had done a rubbing on the marker in order to read its details, and my friend shared the name they’d found on the grave. I was overwhelmed by its utter familiarity. Though I said I knew the name, my friend insisted I couldn’t: the girl had died at age 12 and was most likely a servant; her name wouldn’t have been recorded in any history book. Though I still felt certain about the name’s familiarity, I waited until I got home to bring up the topic again. After sharing the story and name with my mother, she reacted strangely. “I’m not sure,” she said, “but I think, when you were little, you had an imaginary friend with that name.”

Well, I don’t claim to see dead people, but it’s fun to imagine I might have played with one for a while as a kid. Eh, I’m sure stranger things have happened.

Image via pixabay/pedrofigueras

I love hearing ghost stories, so if any of you have one or two or a whole bunch you’d like to share, I’m all ears (and goosebumps)!

Happy Almost-Halloween! Hope your weekend is wicked fun!

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