Reader Interview: Ghost Stories

Ghost Stories for Halloween
Ghost Stories for Halloween
In honor of Halloween, if you have a personal ghost story, tell it here.

And here’s mine: Dreaming The Dead

(Reprinted–Originally Posted on October 27, 2008 by Holly)

It was 1:37 AM when I woke up. It’s 1:48 AM right now, and I’m still shaky.

I dreamed I was visited by Jim Baen, and by someone speaking for him. I didn’t know his intermediary, but Jim Baen was my first publisher, and he taught me a huge amount about the business, and, frankly, I adored him. And then differences of opinion came between us, and I moved on. I tried to call him a few times–to find out how to make things right between us–but he would never take my calls.

And then he died, ending the chance that anything would ever be fixed between us.

I don’t dream the dead. In my memory, I spent some sleep time once with my grandmother after she died. And once, my Persian cat Fafhrd came to sit beside me in my dream. Neither of them did anything. Neither said anything. And in my entire life, those are the only two times before this has happened.

I dreamed Jim Baen. In my dream, Jim had come back to set things right between us. And he did it by telling his intermediary to tell me something to write, something “that you would love, that you would be passionate about.” Through his intermediary, he told me that if I wrote it, well, basically, we wouldn’t have to worry about money anymore.

The intermediary named Jim’s amount. It was big, but surprisingly plausible. I tried to ask Jim something, to speak to him directly, to make sure I understood.

The dead do not speak in my dreams. If approached directly, apparently they vanish. In the dream, I crashed to the ground while trying to talk to him.

And then I woke up.

And I’m sitting here typing at this ludicrous hour of the morning with my pulse pounding, with my skin prickled, with my hands shaking. I had the idea in my head. No. Let me restate that. I have the idea in my head, and it’s incredible. Even now that I am awake, even now that I am rational, it is so good it is sucking the air from the room, making it hard for me to breathe. It’s an idea that I want to write even if it isn’t a gift from Jim Baen, the publisher I adored but with whom I did not end well, making his own amends for the way things ended.

It is rich, it is workable, it builds on something that I’d plunked around with and loved and then put away because I was doing contracted novels. Because now, you see, I’m not. I’m done with every book of every contract I had, and I’m working my ass off to put together enough money so that I’ll be able to write a couple of novels on spec (yes, this is the reason I’ve been sinking my entire life into the How to Think Sideways course and willingly putting in 70-hour weeks while completely ignoring my fiction since June). I’m buying myself time to write the books I want to write. The books of my heart. I thought I knew what those books would be.

And now…

And now…

Now I have dreamed the dead, and have been offered a freaking brilliant publishing insight from someone I tried so hard to fix things with, and have dreamed that this was the olive branch between us, and dammit, the other thing I was writing was good. But this is better. This is SO much better, and it’s fantasy. And even if the amount of money his intermediary told me it would make was a dream, and even if the gesture of the olive branch was a dream, and even if …

Shit. Tears in my eyes. Tears running down my cheeks. And this incredible idea.

I do not dream the dead. But tonight I did. Tonight I did. And whether it was real or not, or whether it was a metaphor, or my subconscious mind trying to fix the thing that could not be fixed between me and a man who was a wonderful mentor before things went wrong, I think I’m going to listen.

The question has been asked, “Are you still going to write Dreaming the Dead?” (WORKING TITLE; I still don’t have a real one), and it seems prudent to answer it here.


I have to redo my writing/publishing schedule to make room for writing courses and workshops.

But yes. I am NOT going to waste this book, and already have about 50,000 words written on it (out of an estimated 250,000). Words written are subject to discards, and estimated length is subject to replotting and re-estimating.

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45 responses to “Reader Interview: Ghost Stories”

  1. Dennis Avatar

    Michael and his father walked to church every Sunday. Today was Sunday. Spring was bursting out all around them. The dandelions were blooming at the front gate of their old rickety and dessert house. He could see them from the dusty gravel road which they took to church. Dad enjoyed passing by the old home place. He could not forgive himself for having to sell it after mom had died, but he loved to walk by it. The new owners had let it go to ruin and the latest word was they planned to tear it down and make it into a cornfield.
    Dad always smiled when he walked past, his mind wondering back to a warm moment he must have shared with mom or maybe a moment from Michael childhood: a first step, a first word or some funny childhood antic.
    Michael didn’t like passing the house, however; in fact it was the most dreaded part of his week. He did so every Sunday with his head down and his eyes focused on his feet as they were moving swiftly on the hard concrete walk. He didn’t look up or glance sideways at the house for fear that she would be there, mom that is, and she was. Every Sunday she was there with her long hair flowing in the wind, her pale face and dark eyes longing for recognition, just a glance from him, but he wouldn’t. He would not acknowledge her, for if he did she became real and it meant something, it meant that something was wrong with him.
    Dad didn’t see her, but Michael did and he felt different today, not scared but angry…angry at dad for being alive and living and going on with his life. Sometime he wondered if it was all a dream. Maybe she wasn’t really dead, maybe she was still alive and she and dad had had a terrible fight, a fight that he couldn’t remember and dad being furious had taken him and moved out and now dad walked by every Sunday pretending not to see her on the porch as some cruel punishment toward her. But he did remember, and that was the problem, he knew there had been no fight. He remembered the cold rain that fell on the day they had laid her in the ground. He remembered the look of pity on the faces of strangers when they saw him…small and frail with big eyes like a war orphan. He hated them and their pity. He hated dad for living and mom for dying and he hated himself for being able to see her. Suddenly in his anger; he forgot and looked up. There she was, just like he knew she would be…standing there and looking at them the way she used to sometime when she was still alive, as if she was remembering every detail to save for a later memory.
    “What’s wrong son?” dad ask in a quiet voice, “you look so odd.”
    “Can’t you see her,” Michael asks with a bitter voice. “Can’t you see her standing over there, just over there on the porch?”
    “Who Michael, is it Mrs. Daughtry?” Dad was looking now, scanning the yard and porch for Mrs. Daughtry, the new owner’s wife.
    “It’s mom dad. She wants us to come into the yard.” “Michael father turned to him in slow motion, his face froze in a horrible mask of pain and disconcert. He stared at Michael for a long time. Michael finally took his hand and they walked through the creaking gate in through the coolness of the shaded yard toward the far end of the porch. “She’s over there dad,” he pointed, his voice desperate. “Can’t you see her dad, there on the porch?”
    His father began to cry silently and he shook his head, “no son. I can’t see her” his voice hesitant and broken. His dad had become religious since Michael mom’s death and he fell to his knees… praying silently.
    “What should I do dad? She keeps looking at us like she wants to say something?”
    “His dad looked at him through tears and then suddenly his eyes brightened as he had a wonderful thought. ”Go up to her son and say these words.”
    “What words dad?”
    “Say father, son and holy ghost and she will let us know what she wants.”
    “Will she talk; will mommy talk to me again?”
    “I don’t know Michael, but she might.”
    Michael slowly made his way closer to the porch to a point that he was almost looking straight up. He whispered the three words in reverence as his father watched in awe. He saw his son turn his head looking toward the end of the porch and nod. Then he heard him whisper ‘good bye’ in the softest sweetest voice that a child reserves for only their mother.
    “What happened Michael? What did Mommy say to you son, is she happy, is she out of pain?”
    “I don’t know daddy, she didn’t say anything, and she just pointed toward the old well.
    “Later that evening after Michael was safely home eating supper with his father, three men from church returned to the old home place and while dismantling the little rock wall that surrounded the well; they came across a small fortune and a note tucked inside a fruit jar, well hidden amongst the rock of the well. The note simply read: For Michael’s schooling.

  2. Jessica Keasler Avatar

    Figures in the Night
    By Jessica Keasler
    A true story.
    There is a tradition at Camp Powerfox. A rivalry between the boys and the girls that has been going on since the founding of the campgrounds has finally built up again. The tradition is that on the last night of camp, the boys and girls try to outdo each other by seeing who can raid the kitchen first. The tradition has been going on for so long that the cooks leave out the best goodies on the counters and leave the back entrance unlocked. The director of the camp tried to end this tradition many times only to wake up the next day with toilet paper strung up around his or her room, a slippery liquid just outside their door, and all their underwear hung from the flagpole. So, the director never interfered with the tradition again.
    I just happen to be one of the girls who think sneaking out and raiding the kitchen is a bad idea. There are snakes and God knows what other creatures slinking about in the dark with the woods only a hundred feet away from the dorms. Just getting from the girls’ dorm to the kitchen is a two minute walk. The boys are lucky because it takes less than a minute to get from their dorm to the kitchen. There are two ways to get to the building the kitchen is in. The first way is the gravel road that stops at the girls’ dorm and leads to a fork in the road. If you go left, you’ll find yourself at the kitchen. If you go right, you’ll go into the boys’ dorm parking lot. The second way to get to the kitchen is to cut through the grass where you can use the ditch to shield your figure, go through a small glade of trees, and sneak to the back entrance to the kitchen. All the girls but me had their mind set on using the second way to sneak in the kitchen since our feet wouldn’t crunch on the gravel and give up our position to the boys who would no doubt be preparing to sneak into the kitchen themselves. We have the upper hand on the boys because they only have one way to get to the kitchen and that is the gravel road. There isn’t any grass or trees to shield their figures.
    All the girls wear dark clothing including myself. All the lights are turned off before the leader opens the front door and leads us into the dark. I can’t help but feel nervous and scared. The hairs on my arms rise as I step out into the muggy summer night air. I cling to the flashlight I had been given and hunch over with the other girls into the grassy ditch which is dried up from the summer drought. There are probably fifteen of us girls, and we are split into smaller groups with different jobs. My group’s job is to hold the flashlights up once we get into the kitchen so the other girls can snatch the good food. I shake with fear as I turn my head from the left to the right, searching the ground for glittering eyes or deep dark holes.
    We reach the trees without being caught by the boys. I thought I just saw a boy peeking around the corner of the bathhouse, but he quickly disappeared. I tried to tell the leader of my small group, but she hushed me and told me to be quiet. One by one, each girl sneaks from the small glade of trees to the back door of the kitchen. The leader of the whole group slips inside, looks around, then motions for us to follow her. Since I’m in the back of the group and the last to get to the kitchen, I’m put on lookout duty, handing my flashlight over to the leader. I stand outside the kitchen, looking around anxiously from the boys’ dorm to the woods next to it.
    What is that? A white figure peeks out from behind a tree in the woods. At first I think, it’s a boy. We’ve been caught! I take a step back to grab the door handle to the kitchen. The figure emerges from the woods and stands there in a long white gown, almost see-through. Surely the boys wouldn’t be stupid enough to wear white in the dark of the night. I try to get a closer look, but the figure waves at me and disappears into the woods, evaporating from my sight as if it was never there at all. The door to the kitchen bursts open and several girls rush out with arms full of snacks and bags filled with food. The leader is holding a big silver tray with plastic wrap covering leftover pizza from today’s lunch. She shoves the flashlight into my hand and urges me to follow her since she is the last one out. I look from her to the woods by the boys’ dorm, hoping to see a glimpse of the white figure, but it is nowhere to be seen.
    We slip through the trees in the glade, rush down the ditch and through the grassy field, and just as we are about to make it to the girls’ dorm I hear the shout of a boy who must have seen us.
    “They’ve got food! Get them!” he shouts.
    He runs toward us from across the grassy lawn that has a bathhouse right in the middle of it, the checkpoint between the girls’ and boys’ dorms. The girls burst into a run for the dorm, me bringing up the rear. I slam the door behind us, just as the boys start throwing water balloons that smack into the door one after the other. I lock the door and flick on the lights to see all the girls staring at me in surprise. I’m not sure why but they clap their hands and start passing out food, chatting about our victory. As I sit on my bed with a cold pizza in my hand, I wonder what that white figure was and if I’ll ever see it again. I decide I don’t want to see it. Just thinking about it sets my teeth on edge. So, I pull my blanket up over my shoulders and eat my pizza quietly, deciding not to mention the scary white figure.

  3. Michael Polk Avatar
    Michael Polk

    Here’s my dilemma: I enjoy ghost stories, but as I do not believe in ghosts, I have none of my own. I guess I’m too Vulcan-like, driven my logic and scientific truths. All I ever have are mildly psychic dreams. Like one time, I had a dream about a tan dog, a mutt, all scruffy-like. Through most of the dream I was with my best friend. And then several days after the dream, in the waking world, I met the dog. And guess what: I was with my best friend at the time. I don’t think it’s scary, but it’s just cool. I have these moments frequently, but this is the earliest one to my memory.

  4. Ruth Avatar

    Oh my, I am so in awe. My son-in-law introduced me to the Baen books several years ago and while I knew him not, I cried when he passed away. I thought, “How silly of me,” even while water flowed. All I can say is that if you knew him, you are so blessed and no wonder your work is awesome. I’m still re-reading what books we have. Yes, I have claimed some of them as my own. They ARE on my bookcase, after all.

  5. Amazingrace Avatar

    MY GENTLEMAN GHOST (c) G. V. Robinette 2012

    I knew myself to be home alone. I’d packed the children off to school, and hubby had driven his back-end hoe away to work on some other farm.
    It was a really hot summer morning, with promises of furnace grade heat for the day. I finshed up the farmwork, hung washing out to dry, and even pulled weeds while promising to reward myself with a refreshing shower, and then to stay inside during the heat of the day.
    Our hall ran from front door to the back door in our turn of the centuary farm house. We’d moved in just two years before, in 1976. Evidence showed that cattle had sheltered in the back room; something must have spooked them, for the cattle had stampeded out through the side wall. The house gaped, a colostomy gone wrong, before we moved in.
    Never had a shower felt so good. Naked, I made my way down the hall, to get dressed in our bedroom. As I came abreast of the kitchen door, however, a man stepped out in front of me. I stepped back, and apologised for almost running into him.
    He stood still – with his back to me – for the longest minute, this man wearing a really old style suit with celluloid collar. Then he was gone.
    A knowledgable friend advised me to tell the ghost that his time here was finished, that it was time for him to move on, move into the light.
    So I did.
    Each day, when the house was quiet, I sat and spoke aloud to him, imparting this message.
    I also kept watch on our children, monitoring them for ay signs of upset. Their abusive father delighted in creating chaos and distress; it seemed to give him peace by unloading his inner demons onto us.
    Yet there was a surpising measure of peace. Calm ruled our home for these few days.
    Then that experience repeated itself. Only this time, I was fully clad. Walking up towards my bedroom, our gentleman ghost again stepped out of the kitchen in front of me. Again, he stood with his back to me. This time he was clad in a hessian habit, with a rope belt and wearing coarse sandals. Then he walked ahead of me as I continued to my bedroom. He walked ahead of me, yet on a steeply rising gradient, until he soared through the fanlight above our front door.
    Ever saw him again, but at least he did let me know that he’d heard me, and had taken my advice.

  6. Donald E. Allen Avatar
    Donald E. Allen

    My dad bought land in Pennsylvania back in 1972. The acreage was filled with tangled brush and a collection of standing and fallen timber. For the first summer we slept in a tent near the back edge of the property. The tent was pitched on top of a high mound of peat moss that provided a good view of the woods around us. It was truly isolated from the surrounding farms and we were far enough away from the road that even the rumble of the farm equipment was barely audible.

    We spent our days clearing brush, constructing fire pits, and preparing the land for construction of a small one-room cabin to replace the tent. One evening with the last rays of the summer sun piercing the tops of the evergreens, the quiet of the forest was broken by the playful laughter of little children. There in the sunken stream bed were two small children about 6 or 7 years old. A little girl and boy were gaily frolicking along the bank of the stream.

    “Hello. Who are you little guys?”

    “I’m Jackie. This is my brother Jack. He don’t say much.”

    “The sun is going down, don’t you think you should be getting home?”

    “Yeah. I guess.”

    “Where are you guys from?”

    Jackie pointed towards the dairy farm next door, turned and pushed her brother Jack, and the two of them resumed their laughing and giggling as they ran back up stream in the general direction of the road and the dairy farm.

    The sudden appearance of two unsupervised youngsters, deep in the woods and far from their parent’s farm was disconcerting. Underscore this by the fact that my Father and I were about to construct a backstop and firing position for our own private rifle range, and we had already been talking about hunting deer that coming fall. Guns, and uncontrolled kids is a BIG No-No to say the least.

    The next morning we hiked the 3 miles down the hill to the general store, slash gas station, slash post office, slash community center, to talk to Old Lester, the proprietor of this wondrous emporium. Old Lester is whom my dad purchased the property from. We wanted to know just who those two youngsters belonged to.

    Old Lester was visibly disturbed when we told him about our visitors. “Ya’ll, ya’ll seen them two already have ya? Dems the twins, Jack and Jackie Tyler. From up there on Tyler’s Dairy farm on top the hill. Jack Tyler and his wife Jacquelyn’s first born kids. Did ya’ll just see em runnin’ round, or did they stop to talk to ya?”

    “They popped up from the stream bed, said hello, and ran off towards the dairy farm laughing as soon as I told them to get on home. We were going to do some shooting back there, but not with two little kids running around.”

    Old Lester looked to the rear of the store where a local farmer was rummaging around looking for a bolt for his tractor. Then Old Lester leaned forward on his general store counter top, and he said in a hushed tone so the farmer would not overhear him; “Them twins ya’ll seen running in the woods, Jack and Jackie … Them twins died in a fire back in ’66. Alls Tyler got left is their son Jimmy. I seen them twins a lot right after the fire. If-in them twins ever comin’ round again, just tell ‘em to get.”

    My Dad and I were in shock, and a little spooked. These kids didn’t look like ghosts, they looked like kids. Was this some kind of local initiation joke? Needless to say, we did not tell my Mom about all this, and neither of us slept very well that night.

    About a month later, I was back up in PA helping my Dad. My Dad and I were walking up the road from the spring house with a jerry can filled with fresh water for camp, when a red pickup truck stopped and a feller introduced himself as Jack Tyler, our neighbor with the dairy farm. “Why don’t y’all come up the house after supper, round 7, have a snort, and get to know each other.”

    My Dad had an unopened bottle of Canadian Club at camp that we brought up the hill with us. What followed was an evening of good old fashioned conversation. We met their son Jimmy, who was busy in the barn washing down the milking equipment with disinfectant. Overall, the Tylers and the Allens hit it off pretty well. Mrs. Tyler must have noticed that I kept looking at the family pictures on the mantle. Pictures of Mr. and Mrs. Tyler, Jimmy, and the Twins.

    When we left, Mrs. Tyler flowed us a few steps out the door. Then she looked at me and whispered, “You kept looking at my twins all night. You’ve seen them, down in the woods, haven’t you?”

    I simply nodded and said; “Yes, they must have been very happy children.”

    Mrs. Tyler’s lips tried to smile as her eye shed a tear.

    In the 22 years that followed I only saw the twins 2 more times. Experts say that when a soul gets stuck between two different planes of existence they either gravitate to where they were the saddest, or to where they were the happiest. I guess romping through this small untouched patch of Pennsylvania forest, is where these little children were the happiest.

    Yes, this is a true story, every word of it.

  7. Alan Mills Avatar
    Alan Mills

    When I was about nine my dad and mom decided we needed a dog. I suspect he knew someone from the pound, and had heard about the dog we adopted because she is the only dog we looked at.

    To add to the fact that she is the only dog we considered, the pound had kept her almost a week past the time they normally keep dogs because they thought she might be pregnant. It turned out she was, so we saved the life of more than one dog by adopting her.

    I named her Heather, after a girl I had a crush on in kindergarten (strange way to honor someone I had a crush on, I know, but hey, I was just a kid.) She was supposed to be a family dog, but she and I spent a the majority of the next several years together. She even slept on my bed at night.

    My best memory of her took place a few years later, on a night that we (my sister and two brothers) were having a sleep out. We didn’t have a tent, we simply laid our sleeping bags out on the back lawn in a row.

    Later that night my dad let Heather out because she was making a fuss to go. He says she went right to the sleeping bags and sniffed the foot of each one until she found mine. Shortly after that I became aware of her presence. She came to the top of my sleeping bag, crawled inside, scooted down my back, and curled up by my feet her: usual place.

    Heather was kind of old when we got her. I hadn’t noticed it, but by this time she had started “defending” my mother and me.

    Shortly after the sleep out, my friends and I were playing in the yard. I don’t remember exactly what we were playing, we usually just made it up as we went along. The game ended when my friend chased me around the side of my house, shouting. Unfortunately, someone had left the door open and Heather thought I was being attacked. She ran out and bit my friend on the ankle. We wound up having to put her to sleep.

    Near midnight one night, several years later, I was awakened by the feeling of something jumping up on my bed. I used to sleep facing the wall, so whatever it was was behind me.

    I distinctly felt four legs pressing into the mattress about a foot away, near the middle of my back. It went up to the top of my bed, came right up next to me, went down my back, and stopped by my feet.

    I was afraid to turn over for a minute. I wasn’t afraid that something bad would be there, I just didn’t want to roll over and look because that would end it. Finally I did roll over, and there was nothing there that I could see.

    This is how Heather used to get on the bed to sleep by me. I firmly believe it was her coming back to say one last goodbye.

    1. Amazingrace Avatar

      Absolutely. My cat Fatso – not a nice name, but very discriptive, and this mature cat come to us thus named – with the passing of time he to died. Then for several years later, each time I was distressed, I’d go to bed and he’d jump up onto my bed, and curl up behind my knees as he always did in life.
      I miss Fatso.

      1. No1nptkulr Avatar

        My cat “Pete” died just a couple of months ago. He was a member of our household for almost 13 years. I still feel him jump up on the back of my lazyboy while I’m watching tv at night.

  8. Jean Marie Bauhaus Avatar

    Ooh, I love ghost stories. I’ve had some pretty freaky sleep paralysis episodes, and witnessed some apparent random demon/poltergeist activity in my mom’s house, but this is the weirdest thing that’s happened to me (re-posted from a blog post from last October):

    Back in the fall and winter of 2004-2005 I spent several months temping in this iconic downtown Tulsa building. It’s one of the oldest buildings downtown, built in 1917, and I believe it was considered Tulsa’s first skyscraper, although the tower section wasn’t added until 1929.

    I was working for the building management office at the time, as a shared receptionist and operator for several different businesses in the building. If I recall correctly, the management’s headquarters were on the 9th floor (it might have been the 7th; either way, it was in the oldest part of the building), and they had a big office suite with a private lounge where I would often go to grab a nap on my lunch hour. Back by the lounge was a large private bathroom. The whole area was pretty secluded.

    I should point out that although Tulsa has a pretty rich paranormal history, I’ve never heard any ghost stories centered around this building, either before or after this incident. Of course, most of the people renting office space in this building are lawyers and accountants, not the sort of people who typically like to share experiences that might cause people to look at them cock-eyed. But I also worked closely with the maintenance staff, and they liked to talk about the building, so I’m sure if they’d ever encountered anything strange, I’d have heard about it.

    Anyway, one day in either late December or early January, I had gone downstairs to the little convenience store on the first floor to buy some coffee, then took it up to the lounge to do some writing on my lunch break (I can’t remember if I’d already eaten lunch elsewhere or if I’d brought it from home–the important thing is, I had coffee). Afterwards, I went into the bathroom to freshen up before heading back upstairs to my reception desk.

    The bathroom was the type that has a little foyer/lounge area when you first walk in, and in this area was a large, lidded trash can, the kind with the flap on the front that you push in to dump your trash. Everything about it looked normal as I paused to throw away my coffee cup before heading into the toilet area. All of the stalls were empty, and I was alone in the bathroom. As I went about my business, I suddenly felt creeped out. I told myself that I’d seen too many scary movies and didn’t obey my inexplicable urge to get the hell out of there, but as I washed my hands the feeling that I needed to hurry up and leave just got stronger. So I gathered up my things and headed out of there–and stopped in my tracks in the foyer area, staring in slack-jawed wonder at the trash can as chills ran down my spine.

    I just want to make it clear that if someone had come in, I would have heard the door open. If someone had messed with the trash can, taking off the lid, rustling the bag and all the trash inside, I definitely would have heard that. But the entire time I was in there I never heard a sound that didn’t come from me.

    The trash can lid had been taken off and then set back on top of the can upside down, and right in the middle of it sat my coffee cup, as if someone had just set it down there for a minute.

    I got over my shock, and I ran. I ran out of the suite and hurried back up to my desk and I never went back to that lounge or used that bathroom again. I only worked there for about a month after that incident, and I never had any other unexplained occurrences in that building.

  9. AnneLB Avatar

    I’ve had many ghost encounters, but one I remember that still “haunts” me is when I actually walked into another dimension.

    I was in a hotel in Beijing, and I was walking down the corridor to the elevators. You know — the typical area in a small hotel where there are two elevators on one side, a sofa, end table and lamp on the opposite side. At the far end, a large window opened onto the city.

    As I turned into this area, I walked into a dimply lit room. Heavy drapes covered the window, and a large palm stood at the far end of the sofa.

    Two older Caucasian women sat on the sofa dressed in 1930-style print dresses, black pumps, little hats perched on their heads. They both held small handbags in their laps, and both women looked straight ahead at the elevators. A tall Chinese man in a large Fedora stood by the palm in front of the window, and he was smoking a cigar. As soon as I walked into this area, the man glanced up at me and the entire vision poofed!

    It didn’t scare me at all. I didn’t miss a beat. I just kept walking toward the elevator thinking, “Well, THAT’s something no one will believe!” It was several years later that I spoke about it, and I was looked at like, “The old girl has finally gone ’round the bend.” So, I never mentioned it again. I’ve had numerous ghost encounters, and I’ve dreamed the dead once, but walking into another dimension is one experience I’ll not forget!

  10. No1nptkulr Avatar

    I looked forward to my first apartment with my husband and child. We lived upstairs in a two story Victorian home in a little town, and we were all smiles because we finally had a place we could call home. Everything was good, and even my husband’s sister and her husband lived downstairs and we all were best friends. Being young, we looked forward to the many hours we could spend talking and planning the future.

    From the very first night, I felt coolness in only certain parts of the upstairs. Only the upstairs seemed to have the effect. It wasn’t a breeze, it was just extremely cold and sometimes the cold spot would move. I had no idea what it was and, at the time, did not believe in ghosts at all. In order for me to believe… a ghost would have had to sock me in the jaw, literally!

    My husband seemed fine with the house, but something made me uneasy. I lived at one time in a huge home with 21 rooms…large homes did not bother me. I knew how big buildings sometimes crack, and pop when they settle over time. And if it settles just right it would sound like someone walking up a flight of steps. Been there, heard it in my own ears. No, big homes don’t bother me, but something about this place gave me the creeps.

    My husband got up our first morning there and went to work. I knew my sister-in-law would not be up that early so I got a bottle ready for my son for when he woke, and went into what would be his bedroom and cleaned and fixed the room nicely. He would be ready to move in that day. The cleaning took a while because of the time the home had been empty and after I had completed it and fed my son I ran down the steps and knocked on my sis-in-law’s door and had her to come up and admire my hard work.

    When we turned the corner to look at what I had done, all we saw was the entire room torn completely up! My son’s clothing was strewn all over the room and the mattress for the baby bed had been flung against a wall. We didn’t hear anything happen. I was only gone like 20 seconds and I was standing at the bottom of our stairs inside the home not more than 15 steps away!

    I got my son we all went back downstairs to her home. I was scared. She thought I was playing a prank, but it was no prank as our whole family would soon find out.

    The heating system for the upstairs was large square vents about 8 inches by 8 inches. One sat in the hall upstairs, which was the kitchen one for the downstairs. As we sat downstairs freaking out over how the room was turned upside down, we heard stomping upstairs! We looked up through the vent to see if we could see anyone and a large boot covered the vent! I totally freaked out! My sister-in-law called her husband who immediately came home and went upstairs to investigate. I could hear him walking from room to room checking everywhere to see if someone had found a way to squat in the attic or something.

    When he returned back downstairs, he said that nothing was wrong with the baby’s room. My sister-in-law looked at me and I looked at her knowing that we had not gone up to straighten anything. We went upstairs to look and the room was “exactly” the way I had left it when I went downstairs to get my sister-in-law earlier that day.

    Nothing was out of place! There was no way something could happen like that! By gosh I know what I saw and the entire vent was covered by that giant boot! We both had heard the stomping! We both saw the room destroyed!

    And as my brother-in-law laughed at us saying we were messing with him and warned for us not to do it again because he couldn’t keep taking time off from work for fear of losing his job, the stomping began, again.

    This time it was really loud… as if someone were really angry and wanted us to know it.

    The stomping began in my living room, continued down the hall, turned left, and began to stomp slowly down the steps toward the door to my sister-in-law’s apartment!

    “You were saying?” I commented as his face became white with fear while the doorknob shook violently.

    My brother-in-law called the police but they found nothing and told us to lay off the funny cigarettes, then left us there feeling stupid for even having called them. We were so poor we couldn’t afford dope, and would not smoke it if it was handed to us free…but we didn’t argue with the local police. We knew them personally and they knew we would not have called if it were not called for.

    We all waited till my husband got off work and we went upstairs and straightened my son’s room back out. Everything seemed ok that night except for the cold spot seemed to move more.
    The next day both husbands were off and we decided to go on a ride. We locked up, took a ride and enjoyed ourselves tremendously. Feeling refreshed, we went back to our apartments.
    “Did you do this?” My husband asked.
    “Do what?” I answered.
    “Come here and look.” He sounded strange so I walked down the hall to the living room and in the middle of the floor…like a huge pyramid…was all the furniture in the room, some pieces of which was perilously perched upon others! The whole thing looked as if it would fall at any time! We both were terrified! We couldn’t move because we didn’t have the money, but as soon as a small apartment came open, we took it. My brother-in-law and his wife moved just a couple of months ahead of us. Sometimes I feel as if it has followed us even to this day. No stomping any more, but things are moved in my home, I miss stuff and miraculously it shows up in the exact spot I left it.
    My story is true, but to keep it short I left out a lot. Happy Halloween!

  11. Michelle Avatar

    My husband, our three children and I moved into a house that had been built in the late 1800’s. It was massive – three floors, five bedrooms, a living room that was twenty by twenty, a strange room that we used as a television room. It was twenty feet long but only eight feet wide with a wide doorway into the living room, a dining room that was twenty-eight feet long. The house was provided by my husband’s employer and not one we would have chosen but was the only drawback to an otherwise good job.
    Occasionally, I would feel as though I was not alone during the day but shrugged off the feeling as coming from an over-active imagination and go back to cooking or dusting or whatever. For some reason, when ‘the presence’ appeared to be in the room with me, I had the impression of blue velvet but not because I had seen anything. It was just an impression. I also realized that ‘the presence’ only appeared to be on the ground floor. I never felt it upstairs. After a few weeks of this, I mentioned the feeling to my husband, Doug, but said nothing about the blue velvet. He laughed at me and some days later asked if I was still experiencing the same sensation. I had to admit that I was and he laughed again. He named my ‘ghost’ George.
    There was a walk-in pantry off the kitchen and the door handle, which was made of white porcelain, required two hands to turn it was so stiff. One evening, the five of us were sitting around the table after dinner when the handle clicked loudly, the door swung open then closed. We were all surprised but no one was scared. Doug shrugged it off as being caused by the wind. (This was in January with five feet of snow on the ground and the windows were all closed.)
    My mother was visiting one afternoon and suggested that we prepare some meals to go into the freezer. She was a fantastic cook and I agreed readily but we were short a couple of ingredients. I left Mum to carry on and went to the store. I was surprised that she was sitting on the front steps, huddled into her coat, when I drove up the street. As soon as I was out of the car, she said, “You didn’t tell me that the house was haunted!”
    I asked what she had seen and she said, “Nothing but I felt that I was not alone in there. Someone wearing blue velvet was in the kitchen with me.”
    It was only then that I told her about ‘the presence’, the incident with the pantry door and Doug’s reaction to my ‘ghost’. She, who had a wonderful sense of humour, was not impressed.
    Throughout that winter, Doug would entertain our friends with stories of my ghost and everyone teased me about George.
    One evening in April, Doug was watching a deciding game leading up to the Stanley Cup and I went out to do some shopping. I had a fair number of items to carry into the house when I got back and parked the car at the front door, took the first load to the door and called to Doug for some help. Two loads later, no Doug although the lights were on and I could hear the television broadcasting game. I put the car in the garage, beside Doug’s car, and called him a second time when I went inside. No Doug. After I had sorted out my shopping, I turned off the television set and went upstairs. Doug was reading in bed.
    “I thought you wanted to watch the game,” I said.
    “I did,” was the very short response.
    “And?” I asked.
    “I was not (bleep) alone! George was sitting in the living room, in (bleep) blue velvet, watching me!”
    It was my turn to laugh.
    Four years later, Doug changed jobs and we left that monstrosity of a house. After another two years, we decided to drive past the place and it had been torn down,
    What happens to ghosts when they lose their haunts?

  12. Kathryn Kistner Avatar
    Kathryn Kistner

    OMG… reading through these has reminded me of incidents I haven’t remembered in DECADES!

    Disclaimer: I am not crazy, and do not take drugs. I do not read murder or ghost stories; they scare me; they are too real for me.

    I had my first “past life memory” at the age of five. I was afraid of dying in a fire “again”. My parents took me to a child guidance counselor. [rolling my eyes] When I was about 40 years old, the “specifics” of how it all happened became very clear to me; it played out like a movie. Since the early 1970’s, I’ve had many “memories” of “past lives”.
    Throughout my life I have dreamed of people before they show up in my life. If I dream them first, I know to pay attention.
    When I was 15, our family visited our cousins in Houston, TX. My one-year-older cousin, his girlfriend, a buddy of his, and I, were down by the creek right behind their house; it was somewhat of a thin forest near the water. While we were out talking, it had just grown dark, and we saw two glowing balls of white light come out of the forest, about the size of a cantaloupe, floating about 3-1/2 feet off the ground. One ball stayed further back in the trees, gently bobbing; one was coming toward us, slowly, moving more smoothly, but seemingly tentatively, with occasional pauses. We were all terrified. We all ran back to the house. We never talked about it again. Years later, someone told me that it was “ball lightening”. I just looked up pictures, and mine had no tails, like some of the pictures.
    When I was 16, a girlfriend spent the night with me. We decided that we would sneak out during the night and toilet-paper the teen-boy neighbor’s trees and yard. While waiting for my parents to go to sleep, we operated my sister’s Ouija Board. We asked, “Should we sneak out and paper Johnny’s yard?” Immediately it jumped to “NO!” We asked, “Why not?” It spelled out: “Two black men will force you into their car and rape you.” We laughed it off.

    Two hours later, when we got ready to sneak out, we looked out the screen door, and there was an unfamiliar car with two black men changing a tire directly across the street. We stayed home.
    When I was 17, in September, 1970, I attended an astrology class in an old church building in downtown Austin, TX; I rode with the instructor because he lived in my apt. complex. At the end of the evening we locked up. I stood at the open back door to let in some light; he turned off the light in the middle of the room and had to walk across the dark room to the door. When I looked back into the room, there was a GHOST standing in the now-dark room. I abandoned the door and RAN all the way around the house to the car. I was terrified.

    We went back to the instructor’s apartment and he “called” the ghost; it was the priest that he had known, and who had allowed him to hold the classes in his building. Carl had just died in July.

    He had Carl materialize his ghost-self, and had me move my hand into his “body”. There was a distinct temperature drop. When I moved my hand away, it was no longer cool.

    We continued to see Carl at each of the astrology meetings, until he “moved on” permanently. I don’t remember how long that was… just a few months.
    In 1971… maybe 1972… we met a lady who took us to an old 1880’s “haunted” hotel in Cotulla, Texas, on IH-35, Southwest of San Antonio. She wanted us to see if we could see the ghosts.

    Yes, we could, as a matter of fact. In the cellar under the kitchen, there were three cowboys… based on their clothing and pistols; they had mustaches. They were just “there”, like they were watching, but not interacting with us in any way. The men were threatening, in that their whole demeanor was angry, or hostile, or mean; they were bullies, using force to get their way. Just like with Carl, I could see them, but could also feel EXACTLY where they were because of the temperature difference.

    We went into one of the upstairs guest rooms where I saw two ghosts; a red-haired woman in a fancy bright emerald green late-1800’s or early-1900’s dress, and a man, dressed fancy, too (but not exactly formal wear); I remember a gray and black striped… shiny clothing item he was wearing, perhaps a vest. The couple got into a fight; I could hear them yelling at one another. (30 years ago I could have told you what they said; jealousy, as I recall.) He shot her, and instantly fell to the floor with her, regretting his deed. [Yes, the whole thing played out like a movie.] I was in tears. It was so sad.

    I understand that the hotel was torn down as road improvements were made.
    In early March, 1975, my recently-deceased (Dec. 1974) father-in-law visited our home that he had never visited when he was alive. I smelled him. I KNEW it was HIM, immediately, but I never saw him. He was a heavy smoker, and we had gotten into an argument over the years for him blowing smoke in my face. (What better way to let me know it was him… and get in the last word? LOL!)

    The house was still closed up tight in March. When I smelled the smoke, I knew it was him, but I immediately got up and checked outside to see if a meter-reader was on the property… or something; I didn’t want to jump to conclusions. Nobody was around. He never came back; I think he was checking in with us before moving on, permanently.
    In 1983, I was driving around town, and saw PHYSICAL words appear on my side mirror that said, “DO NOT DO IT!” (All caps.) I did a double-take when I saw it. I muddled over the message for years, but I never understood the message. (The letters did NOT say, “the images in the mirror are closer than they appear”, but they did have that same quality, but much larger print.)
    In 1991, I lived in CA for about a year. Several times (over several months) I felt “somebody” sit on my bed in the middle of the night. It moved the bed enough that I became aware of it. I felt that I couldn’t move if I wanted to; I felt drugged.

    A few weeks ago, a friend of ours admitted to seeing a UFO, and when I mentioned the bed sitting, he said it was something that happens when your mind is awake, but your body is not. The troubling thing was that it was happening to my boyfriend at the time, too. He had the same experience. (This shocked our friend; it would be unlikely that both parties would be having the same mind-body experience at the same time without talking about it – being unable to talk.) My boyfriend was distraught that he was unable to come to my rescue because of being incapacitated. I was just scared.

    I have had the bed sitting happen before (when I was a child) and since then, but did not take note of the events, since it had happened before, and nothing came of it.
    In May 1997, we moved from town onto 10 acres in the country. We had been moving items for a week, and the first night that we spent at the property, we brought another car load of items with us. DH was already “in” for the evening. I wanted to finish unpacking the car. It was just barely dark.

    I had made several trips, and with my last armload of items, I noticed a UFO hovering. Not directly above. Off a bit… my guess would be about a half-mile away, but it might have been more. I stood and watched it for over a minute, mulling over whether it was a hovering airplane; or if it really was moving, but it didn’t appear to be. I noticed a row of 6 or 7 lighted windows across the “ship”.

    It was so peculiar and fascinating that I wanted my DH to see it. I had turned to go into the house, and glanced back once more to “place it in the sky”, and it was gone. As if it had never existed. NOTHING could have moved that fast. I had an eerie impression that somehow “they” were reading my mind… that I wanted to show “them” to someone else… so they left, or cloaked themselves. I wasn’t afraid until it disappeared so suddenly.

    This is what my UFO looked like:
    From about 2003-2005, I experienced some INTENSE vertigo for several weeks; I walked around like a reeling drunk, but without alcohol. I also felt as if I were being “rewired” on the inside… or like heavy furniture was being moved around inside my physical body. Sometimes it felt like “worms” were crawling (mostly) up and down my spine and between my shoulders. (My DH went through the intense vertigo June 2011, for two months, but did not have my other symptoms.)

    Occasionally I found myself becoming completely disoriented while driving, not knowing where I was… in places I frequented all the time. After a few months everything was back to normal.

    Sometimes my feet did not touch the ground; somehow I was “displaced” in space. It was freaky. Again, this righted itself on its own.

    I had a few weeks of hearing conversations of other people (that were not present), like when flipping the radio dial; parts of conversations that immediately flip to another conversation, and then another, and another. I thought it was SO strange. It felt like eavesdropping; they were not talking to me.

    Then I began physically existing in two places at once, while walking around in my everyday life (NOT dreaming, or dozing, or relaxing). I flip-flopped from one “life” to another for only moments at a time. When I was there, I was completely there (“here” did not exist); when I was here, I was completely here (“there” did not exist). This is where I changed my idea of “past” lives… to the idea that maybe it’s more like all of our lives are concurrent… but in different “times” or spaces or “realities”. I still haven’t sorted this out. It does not make sense.
    In 2006, I “assisted” two men who had just died to the other side; I did not meet them in person; I “met” them in their old bodies, then they both became their youthful selves; they became the age of THEIR hey-day. For one man, it was in his 20’s; for the other, it was in his 40’s. It was the age at which they were MOST “themselves”… actually, most true TO themselves.
    March 10-11, 2011, (that evening and into the early morning) I could not go to sleep. For no reason, I was agitated, weepy, fidgety, nervous, walking back and forth across the living room, sitting down, standing up. As it turned out, just before, and at that exact time, the Japan Tsunami was unfolding. A VERY dear friend of mine lives there. She was visiting a friend nearer the tsunami than her own home, and there was no electricity or gas; very cold and dark. She said it was the worst experience of her life. I might have been picking up her fear.
    My whole life has been filled with “everyday miracles”; magical things that shouldn’t have happened, and did. It’s a fun way to live; I never know what’s going to show up.

    Disclaimer: I am still not crazy, and still do not take drugs, although I know it sounds like it. If I hadn’t lived through these fascinating experiences, I wouldn’t believe them myself.

  13. Sallie Loftin Avatar

    Ghosts: When I was 12 my class went on a field trip to Fort Chalmette (built near where the Battle of New Orleans was fought in 1814). It’s a pretty cool place. We wandered all over the place looking out at the overgrown moat through the gun slits and then into a room that was bricked off from the rest of the open areas of the fort. There was a sort of strange brick … ediface? we decided was a forge. Probably not, but we couldn’t figure out anything else. At the far end of the room was a bricked in arch. For just a moment, the arch was open, I could see the gunslits and there was a young man in a caped coat standing in the arch. Nobody else saw him. Creeped me out badly. Not much of a story. More recently, ghost cat that leaned on me to sleep. He comes and goes and I know who he is. Warm and cuddly, protective. Wow, boring ghost stories …

    1. Alan Mills Avatar
      Alan Mills

      I actually like your stories. They are not boring, just short and to the point 🙂

  14. Kathryn Carson Avatar
    Kathryn Carson

    I have too many ghost stories to get into specifics. I grew up in a haunted house. Not a nice one, either. For years, I dreamed about actual friends and relatives only if they were about to die; a friend of mine from high school broke the trend by surviving an aneurysm instead. Since then, I’ve never dreamed about anyone I know unless they’re already dead.

    In college, I met other people like me. People who see things, hear things, and yet aren’t at all crazy. Crazed, maybe, by having to act like I don’t see the dead guy riding around in the back seat of your car…but not crazy. I’d have thought my friends and I were all nuts except that we could describe each other’s dead relatives to a T. And we’d all freak out at the exact same moment, when we saw some stranger walk through a wall.

    Also in college, I learned to ignore the ability. Mostly. I learned the hard way that it doesn’t do anyone any good to know that their grandmother is worried about them. Much of the time I didn’t understand the messages clearly enough to make a difference. Or I paid attention to the wrong parts of the messages and offended the living instead. I also learned the hard way that the living lie like dogs in order to “unhear” a message that they obviously don’t want to receive. But the successes were by far the worst. I lost more than one friendship by being made into someone’s unwilling “high priestess,” instead of remaining their friend. And I torched a relationship by doing the same to someone else.

    It did others very little good to know what I saw, and it did me a profound amount of damage. My father still sometimes asks if I’m “…_okay_.”

    It follows me, though. Any ignored talent will always come back. My current house records sounds. They’re the sounds of our usual lives: my husband’s keys in the door, the popping of the deadbolt, his footsteps on the stairs. The recordings are often so loud and so pristinely replayed that my four-year-old daughter has learned to ignore them until she sees my husband physically arrive in her doorway. Only then does she shriek, “Daddy!”

    In the past few days, locked doors have begun to open on their own. And not just pop open, as ill-fitting doors will often do. The doors have unlocked themselves and opened without making a sound.

    I’d be afraid of what this might mean, except for one thing: I’ve almost hit the proverbial “10,000 hours” with my writing. Things are beginning to snowball. Serendipity is beginning to happen. It’s not lost on me that new (living) people are coming into my life, and new opportunities. My house is just telling me that this proto-career of mine isn’t the only thing that can open doors. 😉

  15. Joan Avatar

    Instead of telling my ghost story, I’d rather tell what my husband says about ghosts. He is a research meteorologist…a brain. He says that there are more dimensions than three. He thinks that TIME is the answer to reaching through dimensions. There may be people/ things going on/ activities happening in dimensions all around us but the time thing keeps us apart. For example: The Big Bang. He thinks that the big bang is more like a big rumble…going along in time…making things continuously…we just happen to be living in this particular time/space. My ghost story affected me profoundly, but my biggest interest is my wonder about what all is really going on around us that we don’t pick up on but by people who desire to help us along in our own time/space from their slightly different time’space.

  16. Krazee12 Avatar

    Whilst living in England, my wife and I went to a place called Robert’s Bridge. Whilst there we had lunch at the local pub, called the Red Monk. The pub building was obviously very old, some of the wooden posts showed signs of multiple fire damage. The part of the pub we were having our Sunday Roast in dated from the 1100s! As I was getting tucked into that hearty meal, I couldn’t but help think of what one of those fires must have been like. Whether it was the picture of the monk on the sign outside or something else – I had this vivid image of a someone in a red cassock in a long passageway telling people to get out as smoke filled the room. It turns out that this is reputed to be the oldest haunted building in England. The BBC were there filming the week before for some series on haunted places. And then I was told that there is a tunnel between the pub and the town hall, where local lore has it that the Red Monk has been sighted.

  17. Bec Avatar

    When I was a child I had what my parents called imaginary friends. They were real to me though.
    As I aged, these friends just seemed to not visit anymore, though I always felt like they were never far away.

    When I was 17 and I was in my first serious relationship, I remember waking at some ridiculous hour. My fine hairs on the back of my neck and shoulders were standing up like thousands of little soldiers and I felt a strange chill. I looked towards the end of the bed instinctively. There was a transparent apparition standing there. She was an elderly lady, wearing a long flowing nightgown. She was frowning at me and shaking her index finger side to side at me whilst shaking her head. At the time I thought I was dreaming her.
    I tried very hard to go back to sleep after that and I struggled until the first glints of daylight were breaking through past the edges of my blind, then I drifted off into a dead sleep – I don’t remember dreaming anything at all.

    A day or two later when I was talking to my boyfriend on the telephone I mentioned this strange occurrence to him. He laughed at me and told me I had most certainly dreamed it.

    I visited my boyfriend the following weekend. It was a 2 hour train journey to his house. The whole time I was sitting on the train I was unable to get the image of that apparition out of my head.

    Later that day while at my boyfriend’s house, his mother began reminiscing about her late mother. She was telling me how strict her mother had been and how she completely disapproved of relationships between protestant people and catholic people. (At the time, my boyfriend was catholic and I had been babtised protestant when I was a small child even though I didn’t really follow that religion)

    My boyfriend entered the room with two glasses of orange juice and his mother began scrumaging through old things looking for a photo album.

    There was a great deal of old photographs in the album once she found it. But one photo drained my face of colour and made me feel dizzy. It was the photo of her late mother. It was the same lady who’d appeared as an apparition at the end of my bed that night.

    My boyfriend looked at me and asked if I was alright.
    “I think I’ve seen a ghost.” I whispered to him so that his mother wouldn’t hear.

    He grabbed my hand and lead me out of the room.
    As we stood on the back patio he looked into my eyes.
    “You saw a ghost?” he asked me, confused.

    “Yes!” I replied, “that photograph of your grandmother – that was the very same person I saw when that apparition appeared to me that night.”

    “Nah! you’re making that up!” he laughed.

    My face remained as cold as stone. I could feel my colour draining very quickly and my feet felt heavy.

    My boyfriend looked at me again. “You’re not joking about this are you?” he said, somewhat more concerned now than when I had first told him about it.

    He lead me back into the house and over to the sofa. I sat down and tried to think about something else. He didn’t dare tell his mother. She was a bit of a nut-job and she would have freaked out!

  18. Vanessa Avatar

    I have a lot of secondhand “ghost” stories (witches in clouds, flying heads caught on camera, and probably more I can’t remember), but none of my own (well, my brother called my name and woke me up once – only he was not even close to being around; I live alone). I do have a surreal experience concerning my grandfather, similar to Jimena’s.

    About 8 years ago my grandfather was dying from cancer. At the end he went into a coma. While I was in my parents’ car, I had this strange feeling – I knew he had passed on. Sure enough, when we came home, he had passed away. I will never forget that feeling.

    It was very hard to watch my once strong, resilient grandfather succumb to cancer. He became very weak, skinny, and when he was in the coma I just couldn’t look at him without crying.

    Then, a few years ago, I had a dream. My grandfather was there. He went from looking sick to healthy and the way I remembered him before he got sick. He did not say anything to me – he was always a man of few words – and he simply smiled at me. I felt as if he were reassuring me that he was in a better place. He comes in my dreams every now and again, a great comfort to me whenever it happens – he often makes me feel like things will get better.

    Oh man, I’m crying now. I miss him so much. I love you tota <3

  19. Roger Lawrence Avatar

    I once used to be the manager of a leisure centre. On Thursdays I used to stay all day and do the paperwork between shifts. One day, I heard a noise in the balcony. The premises were an old cinema and the seats were always breaking. I looked up and saw a friend of mine who used to travel around the group fixing things before moving on to the next club. I said “Hi”. He waved and carried on while I went back to my work. It was only an hour later when I suddenly remember that my friend had been dead for three months.

  20. Karl Avatar

    It was when I was just about twelve years old. I and a friend were sitting watching television, I believe it was B-rated movie that was so bad that we were bored. Setting up a tent with a sheet, and two chairs, a couple cloths clips, and, a bucket of popcorn, we sat joking about school. I remember most of the jokes were about our English teacher who had the worse breath like rotten cabbage and wreaked of cigarette smoke.
    As the evening progressed, rain began to fall which was not that strange for Washington state, it always rained, but it brought with it a very strange feeling in the air, an electricity if you will.

    My sister was over at a friends house for a sleep over, and my mother was in a hospital because of some complication from her hips. We were used to this fact, so it was not strange for my father to go to work on an emergency and work late.
    That evening, my Father got the emergency call that he needed to work security during that night at the lumber mill.
    At about Eleven pm, some 2 hours after my father had left, the phone rang and suddenly I looked up, and my father was standing in the hallway the smell of cigarette smoke, and old spice aftershave.

    The phone continued to ring, and the wind blew harder pushing the rain against the side of the trailer making a terrible din within the trailer. My father then smiled, turned toward the small hallway connecting the livingroom and the back bedrooms. I rushed back to see if my dad was alright, but I could not see him anywhere. I rushed into the bedroom to answer the phone, and found it was my mom; my father had been in an accident at work, and he was just there in the E.R in a coma.

    Needless to say that I was completely confused, because how could my father be there in the hospital, but I just saw him. It wasn’t till later that I told my mom about it, and she believed that he was just saying goodbye in case he didn’t make it.

    My dad is as far as I know as of four months ago, still alive, but he is terminally ill with cancer. I have not really spoke with him because I can not deal with the memories which arise everytime I do talk to him.

    You see, my father was a good father up to this point of the accident, but after, he became dark a drunk and abusive. He used drugs to kill the pain, but he also abused them as well, and took his frustrations out on us kids. Physical, mental, and sexual abuse are the memories that haunt my mind, and it’s very hard to remember the good times without even thinking about the bad.

    Three years ago, I lost my mother to the fight she had with cancer and complicationd of diabetes. (I have type 2) and when she passed away, I had a vision of seeing her standing in front of me, she was dancing with her brother who had died a year before. When she died she was in a wheel chair, and now in this vision, she was dancing and happy, and she told me that I were to be happy, follow my dreams or writing, and to love my wife. She then faded out smiling.

    Thanks for letting us share our stories.

  21. Larry Brown Avatar

    This is not really a scary story, but a true strange event. In my mother-in-laws home a sound like a bell were reported several times over the years. Being a profound skeptic, I dismissed the tales until I sat in her kitchen one day and heard the bell, much like the two tone sound you hear when going into a store. It was very loud and came from the space over her stove. I checked the shelf above it found nothing to explain it. It came again while I was there. She was not scared since she had heard it many times. To me it was spooky, but I explained it away by telling them it was a sound that traveled from a store about a mile away and traveled through the old coal mines that were dug in the last century and ran under her house. I’ll never know the truth, but I know I have heard a noise that came from nowhere.

  22. Sandra Avatar

    I have had a great many small experiences I would term paranormal, from a man who haunted a friend’s South Pasadena house, to a teen boy ghost who haunted my last home in California, to singing for funerals and being thanked by the person being mourned, to the Halloween my late friend who loved guys in the military came to party and all the ghosts she invited showed up on photos, to an apartment in Georgia where my husband and I heard a couple arguing, he could hear the woman, I could hear the man. This story, though, isn’t really about a ghost, but I do know now the dead were definitely involved.

    I was out of work. My husband has bad insomnia. Frequently we’d go to bed around 4:00 a.m. This particular night I had a dream. I was floating in the air, my arms held out shoulder high, my feet apart as if standing, though I could not see or feel the ground. At first it was dark, but then I came to know I was in shadow and the bright sun of day was off to my right. It reflected on buildings with white plaster and mirrored windows. I saw another figure floating in air as if on the same level as I, with the same posture as I. To my left it was darker, smoky, and I could make out few details. However, I was certain I could feel someone there, again on the same level with the same posture an equal distance from me as the figure to my right. We all pointed to the right.

    It came to me we were guiding a whole heck of a lot of departed souls, some seen, some unseen, trying to give them a semblance of order so they could leave or at least advance on their journey. The muted sounds that came to me were of explosions, screams, with wailing and lamenting nearer. The sky had been thick, hazy, full of smoke and dust and papers and who knew what.

    I was stuck in that dream with all that going on, I believe, for at least half my sleep. When I rose, I did not feel rested, my head hurt and my usual verve upon waking did not come to me. I heard the TV on. My husband lay asleep, the only other person in our household had to start work at 7:00 a.m. and should not be home mid-day.

    My need was for the bathroom, but I looked into the living room, bleary eyed, dazzled by the sunlight reflecting bright through the picture window off of the water of our swimming pool. There sat my best friend on the edge of our sofa, eyes glued to the TV. I could barely make out the sound of what she watched.

    I had wanted to ask her what she was doing home. I made a sound and cleared my throat. She turned her head and saw me. I expected her usual, ‘Hi, honey,’ and her usual warm smile. She wasn’t smiling when she spoke.

    “Two planes hit the Twin Towers. They’re gone.”

  23. Marti Verlander Avatar

    I’m posting this for Carole because she’s on vacation AND HAS NO INTERNET ACCESS! Unbelievable, huh? It’s a great story, and it’s true:

    The Ghost Called Me by Name

    The original article was published in the Ottawa Times. I’ve taken the article and rewritten it as a short story. It is a true story recalled as I remember it. Hope you enjoy reading it.

    The Ghost Called Me by Name

    “See you later.” I gave my husband a quick, passionate kiss, closed the door behind him and moved to the window above the kitchen sink. Not that I could see much. Dark had already fallen on this late October evening. I watched the taillights on the car gleam red as he left the driveway.

    Third shift meant my husband wouldn’t get home until after midnight. I sighed and turned away from the window. A long, lonely evening stretched ahead of me. I reached down and scratched Hershe’s ears. At least I had a dog to keep me company.

    I missed Mom and my little sisters. At that moment, falling in love, speedy marriage, and relocating two states away from my family seemed an idiotic thing to do. I didn’t know, yet, how to build my own family. Right now, on a dark October night, alone in a house that wasn’t mine, loneliness washed over me.

    Hershe and I puttered around. Clicking through the channels on TV seemed pointless. No cable out here in the country; five channels to choose from and none of them remotely entertaining. I pulled the yarn and crochet hook out of the bag, and worked on the ripple pattern afghan for awhile, but boredom set in.

    “I give up.” I told the dog. “I’m going to bed. Time will fly and Hank will be home before I know it.” I put everything away. I let the dog out for the last time. Then moved through the house turning off lights, leaving the night light in the kitchen on so Hank could see when he got home.

    I’d lived here almost three months, but lying in bed, alone in the small house, felt very strange. As child number five out of eight children, I couldn’t remember ever being alone in my entire life. I didn’t like the feeling. I settled back against the pillow. Sleep didn’t come easy.

    Something woke me. I opened my eyes, and found myself in absolute darkness. No comforting glow from the kitchen night light. Pitch black night surrounded me. Even though I felt uneasy, I sank back into oblivion.

    Again, I awoke. Everything was normal. Soft glow from the nightlight. I puzzled about the contrast between dark and light. While I puzzled about the light, I slid back to sleep.

    Several more times I roused. Dark. Light. Back and forth. About the third time I woke to darkness, the strangeness of the night woke me completely. I lay in bed, feeling a chill clear to the bone.

    The air around me raised goose bumps on my entire body. And the darkness closed in around me.

    I lay there, more frightened than I could ever remember being. Why was it dark? Why was it cold? And then I heard a sound that raised every hair on my head. From the second bedroom, open to my room by a small hallway, I heard a whisper: a low voice that barely reached my ears.

    “Carol, Carol.” My throat closed and the scream inside me died. I stared through the darkness toward the doorway. Should I get up? Go investigate? I wanted to but I couldn’t move. Something else did.

    From the dark doorway, I sensed movement. I strained to see. Slowly, a round ball of fog appeared, hanging in the air about head height. Misty white, round as a bowling ball and about the same size, it hovered. Thank goodness, it didn’t make a sound.

    For one eternal moment, I stared, then it started to move again. Coming toward me. Again, I struggled to move. There was no way I wanted to come in contact with that moving ball of light. I remained frozen in my bed.

    I tried to speak. “Who….who…..who..” I stuttered, unable to form words from lips that wouldn’t move. I tried again. The thing was at the foot of my bed. “Whooo….” Desperation drove me and in a rush of fear, the words tumbled out. “Who are you?”

    That fast, the light returned. I could see again. I scrambled out of bed, wrapped myself in a warm robe. Turned every light in the house on and stayed awake until my husband got home. Dream? Maybe, but I’ve dreamed before and never, before or since, have I had anything as frightening happen as what happened that night.

    Dream or ghost? Logic tells me I dreamed it, but in my heart? I met a ghost. One that knew my name.

    (Sidenote) Years later the room the ghost floated out of was the room my mother-in-law passed away in. Was I visited by a ghost from the future? Whoever, or whatever, that ball of light was, it most definitely whispered my name. And I have never experienced anything as remotely frightening as what happened that night. I literally have no rational explanation. I am not given to panic. I am rock solid in an emergency. There is no reason this episode should have frightened me. As Halloween approaches, I always remember the only experience I’ve ever had that might possibly have been a ghost. And I have never been as frozen in fear, as chilled to the bone, and had every hair on my head stand up as I did the night this story happened.

    1. Carol Englehaupt Avatar

      Thank you, Marti, for posting this for me. I am back in the land of the internet. And I will never be without it again.

  24. Ria Avatar

    I don’t remember exactly when this happened but it occured somewhere in the last year:-

    I was tired that day and so went to sleep early, maybe around ten o’clock at night. Suddenly after what might have just been a minute I started to feel tremors shaking through my body. Tremors that had no rhyme or reason behind them, just plain old fear.

    I was still partially asleep because I didn’t open my eyes and tried to endure the ridiculous and utterly terrifying spasms that were rocking through me, as if there was a presence near me that had triggered my fight-or-flight response.

    Finally, unable to tolerate the fear anymore I cracked my eyes open a bit and was scared out of my mind when I saw something black swirling near the ceiling fan. Something utterly beautiful in a terrifying manner. And before I knew it I was out of the bed and flipping on the room lights.

    After the light had stopped blinding me I was really relieved when I saw there was nothing near the ceiling. Checking my watch then, I was astonished to find that it was around three at night (or morning), the time that is said to be rich in paranormal activities.

    Well, I tried to sleep again but the tremors returned, this time with greater force. But thankfully after I got up a second time and plucked up the little idol of a god I keep in my room and slept again with the statue clutched in my hand, the ghostly presence or whatever it was let me live in peace.

  25. Dean Avatar

    Years ago when I was a new employee in a warehouse, I met Nell. She worked in the record keeping department and due to our constant daily interactions, we became inseparable friends. Nell confided in me that she was being sexually harassed by her boss, not only at work, but at all hours of the night at home as well. I continually urged her to file a complaint but she refused for fear that the harassment would get worse. It did get worse, yet she did nothing. Nell died of a heart attack at the young age of forty five. I truly believe that it was due to the horrendous stress that she was under at the time. After Nell died, I was consumed with the plotting of revenge that I was going to exact upon her boss. Day and night, the thoughts of great bodily harm I was going to do to this man occupied my every waking moment. One morning while doing my usual work routine, I heard, “DEAN, DON’T DO IT!” It was so loud that it stopped me in my tracks. The voice was not in my head. It was actually Nell’s physical voice. I looked around but of course she wasn’t there. I truly believe that Nell did visit me and ultimately saved me from committing an awful tragedy. For a short time after this incident, I would hear footsteps in the warehouse when there was no one present but me. I think that Nell wanted me to know that it was really her and that I should heed the words that were spoken

  26. Yog-Sothoth Avatar

    I have never had any kind of ghostly encounter of my own. Someone I know lost her sister to cancer. I’ll call this person Q. to protect her privacy. Some months after her sister’s death, Q. was still grieving. Q. lay in bed one night, getting ready to go to sleep, when a music box on Q.’s dressing table began to play “You are my sunshine”. The song was her sister’s favourite song, and the music box had been a gift from her sister. On hearing this, Q. suddenly knew that her sister had passed on to a better place and a great feeling of peace washed over her. She no longer felt such intense grief for her sister. The strange, ghostly part was that the music box had been wound down for months, and that even if it had been wound up, it could only play when the lid was opened.

    Ghostly visitation? Maybe. My own hypothesis is that it was just her own brain finally processing her sisters death, rapidly changing from one state to another (as neural networks are wont to do), and causing an auditory and kinesthetic hallucination as it did so.

  27. Ruth Larsen RN Avatar
    Ruth Larsen RN

    Al was a private duty patient I took care of for many years. He and his wife, Karen, were in their sixties, but she’d been caring for him in their home since he was injured over thirty years before.
    I moved out of state three years before my ghost contact, but I’d heard that Karen had a stroke. Although she’d moved into a nursing home, Al’s workman’s comp insurance continued paying for his care at home.
    As I woke one morning, an inaudible inner voice told me, ”Call Al. I’ve gone home.” It was Karen. Clear as day.
    It made me pause and ponder a bit. I hadn’t given them a single thought for over two years. Why now? I thought, but didn’t pick up the phone. Daytime long distance calls were expensive and I was very short of money.
    Later that day, when I wasn’t thinking about anything in particular, I once again heard Karen say, ”Call Al. I’ve gone home.”
    Hmm. That’s nice, I thought to my self. If that’s true, I bet Al’s glad.
    I brushed it off again, though. Too expensive.
    After dinner, I plopped down in my recliner to watch some TV, but before I could get tuned into the program, Karen decided to bug me again.
    Okay, okay, okay, I grumbled to myself as I got up and reached for the phone.
    “Hello?” Al’s voice was weak as his nurse held the phone for him.
    “Hi, Al. “How’s Karen?” I heard myself ask. Not ‘How are you.’
    Before I could beat myself up for being so thoughtless about not inquiring about my former patient’s health, Al answered, “Karen died last night.”
    Oh. It was suddenly clear. She went to that other ‘home’.
    I said how sorry I was, and mumbled about feeling I needed to call. He thanked me and said, “Everybody’s been calling me all day. Even people I haven’t heard from for a long time.”
    “I think Karen’s been very busy,” I told him. “She knows how much you miss her, and need your friends to call.”
    There was a long moment of silence where I could only hear muffled tears blocking his voice. “Yeah,” he finally managed to choke out. “That’s Karen.”

    Ruth Larsen RN

  28. Colin Hayvice Avatar
    Colin Hayvice

    During 1978 I had an affair with a woman and we were considering running away together. As I was going on an eight week overseas business trip and had four young children I said I would think about us while I was away.
    Halfway through my trip I flew into New York and booked into my hotel at lunch time. I went down to the house bar to have a beer. When I walked into the bar, on the first stool sat a man with long grey hair dressed in jeans and a jean jacket.
    I walked to the middle of the long bar and sat up on a stool. I ordered my beer and sat there thinking about the business I had to do the next day. Out of the corner of my eye I saw the man get off his stool and walk down the bar towards me. He came and sat on the stool next to me and I turned my head to look at him. His face was only about two feet from mine, he had the bluest eyes I had ever seen. He
    said,”A man who deserts God is a fool, a man who deserts his children is a fool and a bastard.” I said why did you say that to me? He replied, “I thought you needed to know this at this time.” The hairs on the back of my neck stood up so I turned to have a drink of my beer, when I turned back he was gone! Disappeared! I called the barman over and asked him who was the grey haired man was who had been sitting at the end of the bar? He said, “What man, you are my only customer?”

  29. Daniel Sapp Avatar

    I have had one strange experience, but only one was enough and prompted a story, and I’m not going to post the story, just the core experience, and it is from the story ‘The Delrith Haunting’, and I tried to remember it from before I grew to manhood. It is from the only story I’ve ever written in the horror genre. I do not want to be capsulized within that genre, but this part is based on truth:

    We got up and ran as fast as we could around to the gate, and I felt someone watching us, and I remember turning back and that’s when I spotted a slender woman with long black hair, wearing a wide, pale straw hat with a red bow above the brim.

    She wore a white dress that went to her throat, full below the waist that disappeared into the high grass, with sleeves down to her wrists, and higher there were balloons of cloth at the shoulder. I was reminded of pictures I saw of an earlier time in old photos my mother kept of her family.

    She was standing in the field across from us, at the edge of a large cluster of oak trees and really too far away to be a worry, but again, I’d seen enough that day, and I wanted to leave before being caught.

    I turned back to Steven and David, and I pointed behind me. I was about to say “let’s get out of here,” but I wasn’t prepared for the pallor of their faces. They weren’t looking at me. I turned around, and the woman was right behind me, which was impossible. I knew that no one could move across that wide expanse of field, with its tall grass and reach us before we fled. I have run that through my head a thousand times.

    I remember this clearly. She looked just like a woman I’d pass in the mall, fair skinned, with large, deep blue eyes, and I would have thought that she was very pretty. Only her antique dress would have aroused curiosity. I saw her lips move, but I couldn’t hear her words, and I knew she was trying to tell me something. Then she turned and looked back across the field at the oak trees and pointed.

    Well that was a remembered, fictionalized account, and the core of the story because it happened. It was extremely unpleasant to remember….I didn’t sleep for several nights after writing that. I don’t think it would have bothered me if it hadn’t happened, and I left the really disturbing content out.

    Again, I don’t want to write horror fiction. Most of my writing is scifi/fantasy. Their are many haunted places in the state where I live. I won’t go visit these places. Once was enough for me.

    1. Sheryl Alexander Avatar
      Sheryl Alexander

      I know what you mean, Daniel! Horror fiction is not my cup of tea, either.

  30. Pamala Owldreamer Avatar
    Pamala Owldreamer

    I am a retired hospice R.N. and a believer in ghosts and other supernatural entities.Some twenty odd years ago I had just started woodcarving and was out in my workshop and all the hair on my arms stood up.I look up and the ghost of my long dead grandfather was standing in front of me(he had been a carpenter and woodworker)He looked down at my work,smiled,nodded his head in a silent approval and disappeared through the back wall of my garage.I have been visited by my deceased father,sister and my mother.I have the ghost of a large white cat that appears in every new place that I live.I think he chases away any negative energy and any harmful spirits.I always feel safer and better after he visits my new residence.I know from experience that there are harmful energies and I have learned how to send them on their way.

  31. Rebecca Fyfe Avatar

    Good luck with your new idea! 🙂

  32. Sheryl Alexander Avatar
    Sheryl Alexander

    Jimena I am eager to read the completed story, Holly!

    My scary story came in a dream I had this morning before I woke up. It reminded me of the movie, “The Shining.” My mom, my brother and I check into a hotel, and I spent most of the dream trying to convince them that we had to leave the hotel right away, because there were strange things happening (I don’t remember what all the strange things were; it took me too long to write them down). One of the things was that there was blood all over the floor, but when I’d take someone back to inspect the place I saw the blood, it was no longer there. So Mom and my brother were taking their own sweet time about vacating the premises. Then I became belligerent about leaving, and Mom said, she wanted to take a bath first. After she had finished, she called out to me that we could leave. She was sitting at a vanity dabbing something on her neck and throat. She smiled at me and asked me to smell the new perfume she’d dabbed on herself and to my horror, it smelled like rotting meat!

    1. Sheryl Alexander Avatar
      Sheryl Alexander

      Sorry! In the first part of this didn’t come through for some reason. Jimena, I was acknowledging that sometime we do have unexplained moments when we know something is going to happen, but we don’t know how we know. Once I saw an accident I was involved in a few seconds before it actually occurred. I also dreamed of my father’s death the night before he died.

      Holly, my comment to you was that I am eager to read your completed story.

  33. Jennifer Avatar

    This one didn’t happen to me, but rather it happened while Dad was at work.
    Not long ago, Dad worked graveyard shift and the company has their building apparently on a former church site. Well, we all know about funerals and such being performed in churches, especially in the 1800’s.
    I don’t know if Dad ever saw her, but she sure left quite a mess when she did appear. It was one of Dad’s co-workers that used his camera phone to get the image, but there’s no mistaking the little girl behind the mess in that office having no feet and being transparent since the wall, door and doorknob can clearly be seen through her body.
    I don’t have a copy of the photo – Dad does – but she wears a simple calico dress with a rope belt, like those worn in the mid to late 1800’s by young girls. My guess would be she was maybe 8-10 years of age when she died and apparently, she doesn’t like that particular office, because the mess was atrocious.
    She never hurt anyone, but did a magnificent job of causing housekeeping employees to quit just by following them around.
    I kid you not, and the image is most certainly not faked. It was sent directly to Dad’s email only a couple hours after it was taken and while there may have been computers available, they most certainly did not have anything like Photoshop on them.

    Dad might have known that reasonably friendly little girl ghost, but my personal encounter with a different spirit was some years ago and of a far more sinister nature.
    At the time, my parents managed a now-demolished motel and I was cleaning one of the rooms. While cleaning the mirror and dresser, I felt this cold knife go right through my shoulder I looked at the mirror and just like in the movies, it wasn’t my face looking back, but only for a split second. I turned around and… well, there’s just no words to describe this thing I saw, just know that I bolted from the room and refused to go in it ever again.

  34. Jimena Avatar

    That must have been very chilling to experience. My own personal ghost story isn’t about a visitation from the dead, but it’s still spooky and it sets my heart pounding just to think about it.
    Two years ago the whole family had gotten together for Christmas. There were more of us that year than in other years, and lots of little ones running around, which always brings a special joy to Christmas. As usual, I was in charge of the camera, and filmed the goings-on.
    My grandfather was very ill; over the past year his health had gone downhill quickly as his cancer resurfaced, and he could now hardly rise from his couch. He had a treatment scheduled for sometime after Christmas, though, and he seemed so happy then, and much better than usual.
    I’d planned to film everyone opening their presents, but when my camera landed on my grandparents I couldn’t tear it away. Little boys were being cute and all I could do was film my grandfather smiling. His family always made him so happy, and although he didn’t take much part in the commotion, he seemed content to simply sit there, taking it all in. And I filmed him, because all of a sudden I had the clear knowledge that I would never film or photograph him again.
    My parents and brother and I returned home after Christmas, and I tried to ignore the feeling I’d had. But less than two months later my grandfather fell and broke his hip, and despite a successful operation he would never get up from bed again. My mother and I did see him one last time, but I never took his picture again. He died a few days later.
    The rational part of my mind screams: “coincidence!” That’s the most likely explanation, of course. It wasn’t such a long shot. There’s nothing extraordinary about this ghost story, but I felt that certainty so strongly that I can’t just let it go or write it off as a coincidence. Maybe it was, but the feeling was still real, and very, very frightening.

  35. Benjamin Avatar

    Just wanted to say that this inspires me so much! Thanks for all you share, so valuable.

    I love learning of your journey in writing… or anyones for that matter but I do love yours. Thanks again for that.

  36. Bethany Avatar

    Wow, Holly, that was quite a profound experience. I’m glad you’re tuning in and moving with it – not many of us are blessed with a direct communication like that. I’ve had waking and sleeping visits with people no longer embodied alongside of us. Only a few, but they were memorable.

    Lovely to know that even if we can’t get it right on this plane, there are other options…

  37. Julian Adorney Avatar
    Julian Adorney

    Will you ever get back to writing DtD?

    1. Holly Avatar

      Yes. The idea still thrills me as much as it did. Actually, even more now, since it’s been cooking in the back of my mind for a few years, and the main character has gained some real depth.

      I’m going have to refigure my writing schedule, because I’ll be continuing to create writing courses, so I don’t have a date planned for it (actually, for anything) until after I finish the pub and promo for HTCB and WARPAINT.

      But…YES. I’m going to write the book. Hell, I already have about 50,000 words written, and I should be able to keep a lot of them.

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