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Tell me a ghost story

On that survey I filled out two days ago, there was a question about whether I believe in ghosts. My answer basically is that I haven't ever seen one, but some part of my mind thinks they're possible. Or, rather, hopes they're possible, because it would suggest life after death and all kinds of interesting physics-related things.

When ten_fifteen filled out the survey, she alluded to a few experiences she couldn't quite explain away. She and her husband (alltimeqb) are rational, reliable people, as far as I know, so I prodded her into relating some of these experiences, and they are genuinely creepy and pretty difficult to account for.

So, the rest of you: do you have any such encounters? Let's do a forum on this. I want only first-hand ghost stories, stuff you personally experienced, not a tale handed down from your grandfather or your mother-in-law (even though those may be cool). Also, feel free to do your best at explaining it - e.g., "But then, I was looking through a pane of glass, so I suppose it could have been a reflection..." - just to make this as scientific as possible.

Banshees, poltergeist, telekinesis, and other strange earthly phenomena are fair game, too; it doesn't have to be an actual visible "ghost." But let's leave Bigfoot and UFO's out of it. We'll do that another time.

P.S. Kev or Kim, say the word and I'll remove that link (and/or your names). You needn't be an exhibit if you don't want to be. :)


( 35 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 15th, 2003 06:23 pm (UTC)
Yeah I know I'm not on your friends list, but here you go...
I used to live in this house in Corvallis. My bedroom was in an addition that was put on with the garage connecting the rest of the house. The garage was converted into a room.

My room never had anything happen, but that garage....

My dog refused to go in there, it was a chore to get her thru. I swear one day (and it was out of the corner of my eye, so there is the burden of doubt) that I saw a white shape swoop out of the upper corner back behind a dresser in that room.

Other things that happened while I lived there:

- My roommate was locked out of the house although I was inside and she went outside leaving all three doors unlocked. When she tried to come in, they were all locked.
- Kitchen items (knives, spagetti sauce and an egg timer) went missing on occasion only to be found in odd places later on.

I can't explain any of it, and my roommate was not the type to believe...a scientist type she was, but she did.
May. 15th, 2003 10:08 pm (UTC)
Re: Yeah I know I'm not on your friends list, but here you go...
Hey, I grew up in Corvallis. Good to know they've got their poltergeists, too.

Actually, there's a bed and breakfast just south of OSU that's supposed to be haunted - the Hanson Country Inn, I think it's called. There was an article about it in the Gazette-Times; my mom sent it to me. Unplugged phones ringing, CD's drifting off the shelves and hovering in the air; lots of strange goings-on.
(no subject) - mollyringle - May. 19th, 2003 10:16 am (UTC) - Expand
May. 15th, 2003 06:24 pm (UTC)
Re: He asked....
Mm...I'm not sure I have anything TOO concrete to offer. I've been working in with Wicca magick for a while now, and more of my experiences are more of the "something's here" sense perking up. There have been a few incidents of my friends getting possessed, but as I never have, I feel I can't say that they absolutely happened.

The only instance I can really offer is this one:
Myself and two of my friends were up in Fall Creek (a high-spirit-concentration-type forest near our school) and, after some instances of feeling like we were being tugged around, we settled onto some logs that stretch over a small creek-type-thing. It's hard to explain if you've never been there. Anyways, Dan asks me to recite some Shakespeare -- so I start on the Ghost's monologue (from Hamlet), which I had recently memorized. And then he, and he's very intellectual, atheist, and agnostic, suddenly started spouting out "Jesus is the lord" and "Women are the original sin" ideas in a southern accent, and wanting to know where "Main Street" is (there IS no Main St. in this area) and yeaaah. Then I slipped on a log and almost fell into the creek -- and he was normal again, and didn't remember a thing. His memory goes from me reciting Shakespeare to me falling from the log.

...and that's the only one I can offer because I was directly involved in it -- I wasn't just shielding or emotionally supporting someone else.

I say I strongly believe in ghosts/spirits/etc. because I can feel them. But... that's not very scientific. XD
May. 15th, 2003 10:06 pm (UTC)
Re: He asked....

Always hard to evaluate when it's a case of "possession," of course, because it could be the brain pulling some sort of strange self-hypnosis on its owner. The brain seems capable of just about anything. Similarly, if people are actually out looking for ghosts or spirits, then maybe they've subconsciously tricked themselves into seeing or experiencing something. Always the trouble...you have to be there to have any idea what happened, and I've never been there. :)
(no subject) - mira_fastfire - May. 15th, 2003 10:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 15th, 2003 06:56 pm (UTC)
Haven't told this story in a long time.
Most of my childhood was spent living with the ghostly figure of a woman in a long white gown. My mom had seen her many times over the years, but I had just heard about her secondhand and couldn't really believe it since I hadn't seen it for myself. She referred to the woman as "Gloria".. Not sure how she came upon that name, but since I considered her a figment of my mom's imagination, I just accepted it.

One night when I was about 15 or 16, I was laying in bed with my bedroom door open. My cat, who was normally one of those "fuck you I'm laying here you go around me" type of cats, came running full speed into the room, jumped over my bed, and cowered wide-eyed in the corner. I decided to get up to find out what the hell scared him so bad, and went out to the living room. I saw what I assumed to be my mom sitting in the recliner, watching TV. She had that eerie blue glow about her, as one is covered in when watching TV at night with no room lights on. From halfway down the hall, I asked her in a loud whisper why she was still up. When she didn't answer, I asked again. When she didn't answer the second time, I assumed she had fallen asleep as she so often would, and left her sitting there. She'd get up and go to bed soon. I walked back to my bedroom, the bathroom being right next door. My mom stepped out of the bathroom, and asked me what I was doing up. I looked at her confused for a moment, and asked how she got to the bathroom so quickly. She said she had just come from her bedroom, across from my own on the other side of bathroom. I turned back toward the living room to see the woman crossing the living room into the kitchen. I turned back to my mom, who knowingly looked at me and said, "It was Gloria, wasn't it?" and went back into her room.

I never slept with my bedroom door open again.
May. 15th, 2003 10:11 pm (UTC)
Re: Haven't told this story in a long time.
Now, that's what I'm after! Actual apparition, unlooked-for, unexpected, clearly not the other person in the house. Totally unnerving.

Heh; now you've got me looking uneasily over my shoulder. Think I'll turn on some more lights.

I'd keep the bedroom door closed too, but...what makes us think that would keep out a ghost?
May. 15th, 2003 07:27 pm (UTC)
Well, not your typical "ghost story", but here's my contribution...

My brother Michael passed in 1990. I always felt especially close to him, though he was 21 years older than me.

At many times over the nearly thirteen years since his death, I've felt that he was very near by in a physical sense.

One rainy April evening in 1997, I was leaving work. At that point in time, I will admit that wearing my seatbelt was something I rarely did - just couldn't be arsed to bother. As I sat in my car, watching my manager put hers on in the car across from mine, clear as anything, Michael's voice was in my ear, saying "You'd better put your seatbelt on, Toots. You never know what could happen." Toots was a pet name he used for me all the time, and one no other has ever called me by.

I put my seatbelt on and left the parking lot. In less than ten minutes, I was involved in a four car accident in which I was later explicitly told that, had I not been wearing my belt, I'd have gone through the windshield and been killed. As it was, I got some very ugly injuries, but I'm still here to talk about it.

May. 15th, 2003 10:19 pm (UTC)
Wow. If that's what ghosts do for us, then I definitely hope they hang around. I notice someone else (valarltd below) posted a similar theme of relatives watching out for us, though in a less dramatic situation. That's not spooky so much as sweet, if in a sad way. It's elements like this that make The Sixth Sense not only one of the scariest movies I've ever seen, but also one of the most poignant.

(In other news, hey, is that Sean Astin undressing in your icon? Sweet...)
(no subject) - ladydarkrose - May. 16th, 2003 04:51 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mollyringle - May. 16th, 2003 07:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 15th, 2003 07:53 pm (UTC)
I have several.

I lived in a very old house (as in working hand-pump in the yard, and servants' quarters) for the first 6 years of my marriage. I always had a sense of something not quite gone. Old houses have long memories, and not all are good. I had cats that stared at, chased and caught...nothing. Nothing visible.

Magick sensitive friends hated to visit.

My next place was a townhouse. Newer, but in a VERY bad part of town. (3 shootings in 9 mo) There was a dark patch at the top of the stairs. No matter how much light we shed in that hall and on the steps, that corner stayed gloomy. And there was a really bad vibe coming out of the kids' room closet. Just creeped me out. My mother got creeped too, even though I hadn't said anything. She thought i was cruel for making the kids sleep in there.

My grandfather died in 1984. He loved many people a great deal. My grandmother told me her story of how he reminded her where she'd lost her rings when I told her this one. It was 1994. My baby was just 2. She was sitting up in Grandpa's Chair (and it was always Grandpa's Chair, even 10 years after his death), and started to the edge. I bounced out of my chair, thinking to catch her. But I saw her overbalance and start to fall. The air in front of the chair shimmered, and she was back at the back of the seat.
My grandpa wasn't going to let his great-grandbaby fall out of his chair.

May. 15th, 2003 10:25 pm (UTC)
Neat! - see, the Grandpa/baby story, that's the kind of thing I want - the very laws of physics being defied. That's where it gets really hard to explain. Anyway, always preferable to have helpful ghosts rather than malevolent ones.
May. 15th, 2003 08:00 pm (UTC)
You've heard tale of the the avon lady in my former residence, no?
May. 15th, 2003 10:22 pm (UTC)
Hmm...you used to say there was an Avon lady in the basement, but I always thought you were trying to make me believe you'd killed someone and stashed their body down there. Even though I knew you were too gentlemanly to do such a thing. :) Not sure I heard there was a ghost story surrounding her.
(no subject) - raethe - May. 15th, 2003 11:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ladydragonspaw - May. 16th, 2003 09:29 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mollyringle - May. 16th, 2003 06:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 15th, 2003 08:26 pm (UTC)
Heh. ^_^;;;
Well, I've never seen anything for certain but...the basement of our house...whenever I'm down there I'm always seeing things out of the corner of my eye that disappear when I turn to look. They usually seem to be people, but I'm not sure.

The door from the stairs opens into a hallway, one end of which is always dark when the light isn't on. It always feels like something is watching from the shadows. And whenever I go up the stairs, I always feel scared, panicky, almost like I'm being chased. I always run up those stairs.

My sister had something happen. She was driving over by the freeway at night with her friend and they saw this mist around the car, about a foot high, which they ignored at first. They thought it was just some sort of condensation coming off the road, except it stayed about the same size and shape in a ring around the car. It only varied a little bit. They drove down by Holladay Library and the mist was still around the car. They heard a sound, like a little kid about to cry. They thought it must be the car at first but it didn't stop. My sister started driving towards our house and the noise didn't stop, and the mist seemed to be following the car. They were on a street that is usually busy at all hours but they were the only car on the road that night. There were no clouds except for the mist around the car, a totally cloudless, starry night. They got closer to our house and the mist got darker and thicker. They could still hear the crying, hiccuping noise, and they got to a couple streets before our house and my sister felt like there was someone else in the car. She looked at her friend and they looked into the back seat and there was a shadow, which looked like a little boy with "fair" hair. They couldn't really tell, it just "felt" like he had fair-colored hair. He looked to be about six years old. They looked back forward and continued driving. They pulled up our street, parked the car, and bolted into the house. They waited for about fifteen minutes, and her friend decided she wanted to go home, so they went out to the car, got in, and there was nothing there. The mist, sound, shadow...all gone. My sister dropped her friend off and started driving back and she turned down a residential steet completely lined with hedges. The hedges were full of the same mist she had seen earlier. She was almost home when the crying sound started again, louder than before. She got home and ran inside. And that was it. She says she's felt the same thing happen and seen the mist and the kid three more times, usually in the same general area in Holladay at the same general time, between midnight and three in the morning. It's not the same kid though. Two of those three times it was a little girl.

She had another experience. She was driving around with two of her friends at around two in the morning. They were by Sugarhouse. They were joking around, and they noticed the moon was full. They joked about that being the perfect time for vampires to fly in front of the moon, since there were no clouds. They drove around and parked by Sugarhouse Park, got out, and started running around on one of the fields there. They heard people laughing in the distance, so they went off in another direction so they wouldn't disturb whoever else was there. They sat on a hill by the lake and were just looking at the moon and stars when a big, black shadow came right over them. It was about ten feet wide and six feet long. One of her friends jumped up and turned around to see if anyone was behind them, but there was no one there. There was no cover nearby at all. There was just a shadow hovering over them. It didn't obscure their vision or anything, it was just there. They ran back to the car, got in, and started driving to one of the friend's house. They got to the house, but the shadow followed them there. They went in the house and the shadow disappeared.

So, yeah. This is all in Salt Lake City, which is a relatively young city, so it doesn't have as many hauntings as back east, but if you want any more stories from around my area go here for a community about hauntings in the state of Utah and stuff.
May. 16th, 2003 11:08 am (UTC)
Re: Heh. ^_^;;;
Definitely not what you want to see in the backseat when you're driving alone at night. It's so much creepier to have some child element in the ghost tales. Wonder why that is...
Re: Heh. ^_^;;; - hppire - May. 16th, 2003 01:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Heh. ^_^;;; - mollyringle - May. 16th, 2003 07:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 15th, 2003 09:59 pm (UTC)
My only experience was when I was a child, about 4 or 5 years of age.

I was visiting my grandmother's house in Foster City, and playing in the living room. I looked up to see the figure of a tall personage in a large black hat and black cloak FLYING around the ceiling. Of course, I ran and hid in my grandmother's lap. I said there was a "lady flying around the ceiling," and my grandmother instantly knew what I was talking about. This person was male, it turned out (being little, I figured anyone in long flowing garb was a woman), and had been sighted many times in that house, always searching for something. My grandmother immediately took me out of that room, and I never saw him again after that.

In her lifetime, my grandmother saw several ghosts...but as this is only a forum for personal experiences, I'd better leave those stories for another time. ^_^
May. 16th, 2003 11:27 am (UTC)
Yikes. That sounds disturbing. I'd prefer my ghosts not to go flying madly around the ceiling...*shiver*
Re: - celtic4 - May. 16th, 2003 11:58 am (UTC) - Expand
May. 15th, 2003 11:59 pm (UTC)
Ghosts, spirits...the Indian woman in my bedroom...
Hey there,
well I didn't do your survey, but thought I would share my experience with you.

My childhood home was in the mountains in a gold miner's cabin at 9.400 feet. The driveway is pretty much an old gold mine dump, and supposedly the house sits on a gold vein. It's said that the miner who lived in the cabin murdered his wife.
As an eleven year old child, this totally freaked me out. But it was fleeting.
My bedroom had it's own door that lead outside, but was very difficult to open and was rarely used.

One night I was jolted awake by the door being blown open. Wind and snow blew through my room, and in the chair beside the door sat a beautiful Indian woman (Native American, to be PC). She was sitting cross-legged, and wasn't really smiling, but looked serene.
And then she was gone. And there I stood, the door still thrown wide open, snow swirling around my feet, freezing wind blowing...
When I told my mother what had happened, she wigged out. She had seen her walking through the house once before.

There have been other little things, too. Not as significant, but it definitely makes me believe in spirits. Maybe some people call them ghosts.
But then again, when I was little I believed that there were little spirit friends inside of me that I called Nellies.
But that's another story......
May. 16th, 2003 07:00 pm (UTC)
Re: Ghosts, spirits...the Indian woman in my bedroom...
Gosh...another honest-to-goodness visible manifestation. These must happen to more people than I realized. Glad I asked this question...very interesting.

And...9,400 feet? You must have really good lungs. :)
May. 16th, 2003 02:23 am (UTC)
Middle of the night? Not the time to read these stories. Oh well.

This is not as good as the stories above, but it is firsthand. I once dated someone who grew up not far from Boston in a very old house, dating back to the early 18th Century at least. This is one of those houses literally built for a smaller generation of people, so the ceilings are all low and a couple of the rooms have a quaint, Colonial kind of doll-house feel about them. Over the mantlepiece in one of the front rooms is a handprint. And no matter how many times they paint over it, it always seems to stain through. I saw this more than 10 years ago and I think in the end they covered it with a picture frame, but the mark never goes away.
May. 16th, 2003 07:03 pm (UTC)
Yes, I'm finding these stories much less disturbing in the daylight hours...

Oooh. The handprint may be a subtle detail, but it's still quite spooky. There are some great elements for a ghost-story novel in these comments. I may have to rip off everyone's memories someday. :)
May. 16th, 2003 09:35 am (UTC)
The only experience I had was when I was in elementary school. Apparently my brothers also saw something the same evening (we all saw something different though). I was lying in my bed and I noticed that there was a man in the door way. I realized 2 strange things about him, the light from the hall came through him, and he was dressed kind of funny. He had one of those floppy golf/driving hats. I was actually very calm when I saw him, he started to take a step towards me- and I doubted that what I saw was real so I rubbed my eyes. After I rubbed my eyes for a good bit I didn't see anything in the room.

The only other things that have happened to me is that I've had a light turn on by itself in front of me, and sometimes I 'feel' like there's someone there.
May. 16th, 2003 07:10 pm (UTC)
A transparent stranger in the house...yeah, I'd say that counts. Heh. Thank you for the input!
May. 20th, 2003 12:56 pm (UTC)
I've been lurking around for a while, just thought I ought to contribute for once.
I'm also a little bit late to the topic, I hope you don't mind. I just can never turn down an opportunity to talk about the house where I grew up. I'm 24 in August and I still can't stay there alone after dark. We don't get on well, the house and I.

I can think of half a dozen or more weird things that I've seen there, but I don't want to clutter up this thread, so I'll just get to the root of it as best I can.

We first moved there in June of 1989, my parents and sister and I. It's a fairly new (it can't have been built before 1970) ranch house with a full basement. Most of the basement is taken up by the finished rec room, but there's a bedroom directly across from the foot of the stairs. Just to the left is the laundry room. When we first moved in, we were using the bedroom to store boxes and things that hadn't been unpacked yet. One day I went down there to find something, and I happened to look up at the mattress that was leaning against the wall near the door. There was some kind of thing on top of it, walking through the wall into the next room. I only saw the back half of it, but it was pure black and had a low, slinky body like a weasel or a jaguarundi, and a cat's long tail. I ran around the corner into the utility room, but there wasn't anything there. The thing that frightened me about it was that it gave off such a malevolent, evil feeling. I never saw the cat-thing again, but that room has always felt evil. To this day I will not go in there, and I have to close the bedroom door if I'm in the rec room for any length of time. Even the rooms that adjoin it, the landry room and the ones above the downstairs bedroom, I usually feel like I'm being watched by something angry if I'm in there alone.

I've also seen what appears to be a tall, pale young man in clothing from the mid-to-late 19th century on or near the basement stairs three or four times. Mostly I leave him alone and he leaves me alone. He's only ever been upset enough to try to frighten me once (and I'm not completely convinced I didn't dream that), but he seems to like to watch TV with me. If I'm watching a movie in the den above the basement rec room, he usually stands at the top of the stairs and looks at the TV until I notice him out of the corner of my eye and turn toward him. My computer at home is in the downstairs rec room, and once while I was working on it, I watched the guy (I don't know for sure what it/he is, so I'm hesitant to call him a ghost) come down the stairs and go into the bedroom. I don't know what connection he has to the angry thing in there, but I'm not entirely sure if I'd want to know what it was anyway.

When I was in the fifth grade, some friends and I held a "seance." We couldn't have been any less adept at it if we'd tried--we lit some candles and talked in spooky voices, and that was the extent of it--but on the third try to reach something, the candles flared up and started to flicker. Our house is very drafty, and we were sitting in front of the sliding glass patio door which lets the slightest bit of wind into the house. And I'd been seeing things before that. But there's always been some corner of my mind that wonders, though, if we might have let something in that should have stayed out.
May. 21st, 2003 06:06 pm (UTC)
Re: I've been lurking around for a while, just thought I ought to contribute for once.
That's the first ghost-animal anyone has mentioned. I was wondering if there were such encounters out there. I'd heard of ghost dogs or the occasional ghost horse (accompanied by rider) in stories, but not from real life.

The guy on the stairs, or behind you during TV-watching, would get quite unnerving too. Glad he doesn't usually seem malevolent...
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