Saturday, March 28, 2009


I know where I'm starting but not where I'll end up with this subject. It certainly is one for the ages. When I visited my grandfather in his old 1830s house I was afraid to go upstairs to bed (in Dad's old room) for fear of ghosts. Grandpa told me that I shouldn't be afraid because "ghosts can't hurt you". I don't know that that was a great comfort, but I think he was right. Of course I was thinking about ghosts because telling ghost stories was a great past-time when sitting around with nothing else to do.

The subject often came up and and stories were told. I suppose I should relate a couple of those stories, as best I can. I'll add to it as I have the opportunity (or desire) to do so.

My grandfather told this story about HIS grandfather...

Grandpa lived in an old two story farmhouse down near ______ creek. There was a footbridge across the creek only about 50 feet from the kitchen stoop. He had bought the place from some folks who had admitted it was haunted. Grandpa didn't believe in ghosts though and as it was a good price he'd bought the place. Very shortly after they had moved in, the "trouble" started.

After dinner, the family would sit together, talk and do some indoor stuff. About 6 PM, they would hear footsteps come down the stairs turn, go out through the dining room and out the kitchen door, accompanied by the slamming of the screen door (without actual movement of the door) and people outside on the stoop would hear steps cross the stoop and then the footbridge. Once it started it happened every night.

Grandma told Grandpa that it had to stop so Grandpa made a plan. The next night, right after eating dinner, Grandpa went out and sat on the stoop with his shotgun. Presently, the steps came down the stairs and through the kitchen, they crossed the stoop and when Grandpa heard them on the footbridge...

He fired both barrels of his shotgun directly at the footbridge. That was the last time they ever heard those footsteps.

I always thought Great-great-grandpa's response was typical for our family, direct and effective.

In 1987 we moved into our current home. Sometime in our first week there my son woke up to find an old man looking down on him as if to check on him. He wasn't scared so he just went back to sleep. There was no old man in the house.

At least I wasn't old, THEN!

Several years later, Nana had been tutoring an elementary age girl. My oldest daughter was upstairs on her bed reading. She looked up to see a little blonde boy in a sailor suit run into our bedroom. She knew her mother wasn't upstairs so she got up and went into the bedroom to see what the boy was doing. There was no little boy. This bothered her a bit and she went downstairs and asked her mother who the little boy was and why he was running around the house. There was no little boy in the house at the time. Both the front and back doors were locked and Nana was able to see both doors and knew nobody had come in the house.

When I was still married to my first wife...

My brother was killed crossing the street in front of our house. After we had returned home from the funeral both my mother and wife heard Benjamin call "Mom" at the same time. They both reacted at the same time. Neither my father nor I, we were between them, heard anything.

My father told me they had heard music playing upstairs and furniture moving. There were no radios, TVs or people upstairs and all the furniture would be where it was supposed to be. This was in a house that my father had built.

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