Tag Archive: Ghost



Nowadays there are paranormal investigators in just about every town!  There seems to be a wide-spread growing fascination for “the other side”.  It’s not so strange that so many of us are intrigued by such a thing…why wouldn’t we be interested in a “place” (more a sphere of existence than a place) where every single one of us will eventually end up?  Honestly, I don’t understand why there hasn’t been more widespread interest before now.  Interacting with the spirit world should be a NORMAL thing to do, not a PARAnormal freak thing!!  What better comfort are we going to get when we lose a loved one to “death” than to speak to them once they’ve “crossed over” (a common term used to describe the transition from physical to spiritual existence)?  What else is going to ease the pain of loss than KNOWING that our departed loved ones are “alive” and well and HAPPY?  Seriously!

My paranormal adventures began when I moved into a haunted house when I was seven.  It took us a while to figure out what was going on.  Being the oldest of five kids, I was often blamed for the lights being on when my parents specifically remembered turning them off, or for leaving the doors open when they were supposed to be closed.  Now, I have to tell you, no WAY would I have felt safe going to bed (in my tween years I was often the last one to go to bed) with the front, cellar and barn doors wide open!  Our house had a huge old barn attached to it (a great place to play during the day, terrifying at night).  As for the cellar…all of us kids were afraid of it.  There was a room down in that dark, dank place that looked just like a vaulted tomb!  I think bodies used to be put in there until they could be buried.  I tell you, for the first five years or so of living there (up until we realized that otherworldly entities were the culprits), the five of us kids got blamed for most of the ghosts’ shenanigans.  I can’t tell you how often we were called to the carpet because of something that had gone missing (Dad’s tools, mom’s things).  When you live in a haunted house…a LOT of things go missing.   I have to wonder about this. Why?  What use could a ghost have for our physical objects?  Where do the things go?  SOMETIMES we’d find them in some out-of-the-way place that wasn’t even logical for them to be and most times?  Never seen again.  Why, I remember one time when my parakeet (cage and all!) went missing for a whole freaking week!  Then one day, it just showed up…food and water dishes full, cage clean (do you know how messy a parakeet is?) and as for the bird, well he looked fat and happy.  What the heck?  Where on earth did he go for that week he went missing?

My father often got blamed for the times our poor terrorized dog went crazy.  Since we didn’t know about the ghosts, it seemed logical that it had to be his fault whenever we saw poor little Tippy go running off yelping in fear, tail between his legs, ears flat, and eyes flashing with terror.  As for the house, well the constant cold was blamed on the fact that it was an old building.  No matter that when it was 90 degrees outside (very hot for Maine!), the house would be cold enough to warrant a sweater!  The electric appliances going crazy…turning on or off at will…was blamed on the wiring.  Really, those first few years, there was a LOT of blaming going on.  It wasn’t a great situation for our family to endure.  The negative energy in that house was terrible.  I hated all seven years that I lived there.  The night we moved out, I had never felt so relieved in my life.  BUT (there’s always a “but”) that very same evening while my brother and I sat together in the living room watching television and enjoying the fearless feeling of being in a ghost-free house, the dang blender on the kitchen counter came on full blast!!  Dadgum ghosts…you can’t get rid of them.  They are literally everywhere!

Yet for all that…the fact that ghosts are everywhere, there are a good number of people in the world who have not encountered one!  Well, I’m willing to bet that a good majority of them have, in fact, encountered a ghost but they chalked it up to being something else.  We are great ones for rationalizing the unknown or unexplained away.  It’s the very thing my family did those first few years!  You want to meet a ghost?  Be open to meeting a ghost.  Invite them to interact with you.  Stop calling yourself silly names for doing it!  The fact is, interacting with the spirit world is not a joke so don’t treat it like one!  At the same time, don’t be so overly serious about it either…loosen up, have some fun!  When you are having fun, your inhibitions are lower and thus the resistance to allowing a supernatural experience is also lessened.  Fear is our worst inhibitor.  For everything.  Fear is the one emotion we all have to learn to conquer.  When we can finally live without fear, then I think our time here on Earth is done…maybe we can move on to bigger and better things in the next life!  One of the most profound quotes I’ve ever heard is “Be not afraid for I (the Lord) am with you” (Isaiah 41:10).   And yet we fear.  We doubt.  It seems to be part of our earthly nature to experience those two emotions.

Interestingly enough, last night I had a dream that I was on a ghost hunt.  As we entered the haunted house, I started feeling strange (almost like I had a pretty good buzz going!).  I KNEW that spirits were about and wanted to communicate with me.  I told myself to go with it, to allow whatever was happening within me to happen.  I was concerned about what the others would think but I told myself not to worry about it (something I have to wrestle with…worrying about what other people think).  It felt as if I was floating (not just my spiritual body but my physical body as well), though I couldn’t be sure for my focus was on all the spirits in that house that started talking to me.  I wasn’t scared, I was fascinated.  I tried to share with the others what was happening but they all looked at me as if I’d gone off the deep end.  When I finally snapped out of the trance-like state I was in, the others walked away from me with an attitude that I was to be avoided.  I just conversed with the ghosts they were there to hunt and no one was the least bit curious to know what had just happened to me or what I learned.  First thing I thought upon wakening was that if I were to truly experience something like that, anyone with me would probably respond as the people did in my dream!

I believe that dreams are messages to us, a way for our soul to converse with our earthly personality.  I think that dream was telling me that if I’d stop worrying about what other people think and stop being afraid of the spirits that want to talk to us, I’d probably have some pretty profound supernatural experiences!  You see, during the dream, I decided not to be scared of the feelings coming over me.  I’ve stopped myself in the past from experiencing something unusual because I was afraid.  It’s most frustrating for me because I don’t WANT to be afraid.  The good thing is, I’m better about conquering that dratted emotion.  I still have my fears but they number fewer than they used to!

I think we are more apt to be aware of ghosts and spirits when we let go of our fear and inhibitions.  Although people who go on ghost hunts are hoping to “find” a ghost, the fact is, deep inside, they also fear it.  Not all of them, of course, and those are the ones who DO experience something!  Another thing that keeps people from experiencing ghostly contact is their expectations and their egos.  The best thing to do if you are serious about contacting “the dead” is to let go of your fear (proper preparation will help ease fears…see my previous post 5 Steps to Spirit Contact), let go of your inhibitions – loosen up and have some fun…just “go with it” and try not to have any expectations.  It’s hard to experience something if you have it set in your mind what it is you are supposed to experience and HOW you’ll experience it!  Also…be sure your intentions are clear.  WHY are you wanting to make contact?  That’s an important question.  Simple curiosity is not going to cut it.  The spirits are not looking to connect with curiosity seekers…to them, making contact with us is a serious issue.  It’s as much a profound experience for them as it is for us.  Having fun with the experience doesn’t mean making jokes about it…it means enjoying the experience while at the same time taking it serious.

Because I am so fascinated with spirit contact and have had so many awesome experiences, I wanted to write a story that included these things.  That’s how “Be Still, My Love” and “Hidden Voices (the sequel to be released soon!) came to be! Many of my experiences show up in those two books!  Those are the best stories to write…the ones that you can relate to in some way.  They are also the best ones to read!!

Okay, that’s it for now.  If you have any questions, please ask away!  If you have anything to add to help others in their quest to meet ghosts…please do!!  Thanks for stopping by and until next time…blessings to all and Peace Out!


Scrooge's third visitor, from Charles Dickens:...

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I write what interests me.  Ghost interest me.  Why I have a fascination for dead people, I don’t know…but I do.  My first encounters with the paranormal scared the crap out of me.  I lived in fear.  Nightmares plagued my dreams.  The best way to conquer fear is knowledge.  It’s often the unknown that scares us.  But I have to say, knowing something is “there” and not being able to see it…that’s pretty freaky too!  I needed to understand hauntings and so I set out to learn what I could about this mysterious phenomena.  There are as many people who don’t believe in ghosts as there are people who do.  I say this…once you’ve encountered one, you believe.  No, you don’t just BELIEVE… you KNOW.

For seven years I lived in a haunted house.  I was pretty scared of the spirits who shared my home although they never hurt us or did anything harmful.  They took things, they played with the lights and other electrical equipment, they opened doors, they moved things, shook our bed, teased our dog, but they didn’t hurt us.  Given that, I’m not sure why I was so terrified of them.  Times have changed.  Now I go looking for them.  Yeah, I’ve done a complete “about face” on the whole thing.

I joined a Spiritualist church a few years ago.  For those that don’t know how Spiritualist services work, the first part is always a healing session, the second part of the service is the inspirational message of the day and the third part is messages from “the other side” as channeled by the visiting medium.  On my first visit to this church, my uncle came through via the medium conducting the messages that week (this very gifted medium also happened to be the church’s pastor and he’s since channeled several other family members from beyond!).  My uncle was described to me so specifically that the medium was either the best psychic ever or he was communicating with my uncle.  It was my uncle.  I KNOW it. The following week, my grandmother came through.  Same scenario.  The visiting medium was too specific about things concerning my grandmother to be “lucky”.  Nana was there.  I KNOW it.

I started experimenting with spirit communication many years ago.  First with a Ouija board, then automatic writing and finally on to channeling.  At first I did wonder if these communications were all coming from my imagination but then things came through that I couldn’t have possibly known.  That got my attention.  Suddenly I’m thinking this was the real deal and not just an interesting exercise.  It’s amazing what can come through from “beyond” when you put your ego aside and let go of your inhibitions.  Yeah, I know, its all hard to believe but that doesn’t mean it’s unbelievable.

I am also very interested in reincarnation and hope to have another book out based on this concept in the late summer.  I became even more interested in this subject when my 2-year old son started talking about when he was a man and asking where his wife was because he missed her!  I posted about this previously.  See: Reincarnation or Freaky Coincidence

I’ve been writing stories since I was old enough to put words together so it is only natural that I write stories that interest me.  Otherwise, I’m not going to write them.  Ghost stories interest me.  Not gory horror but honest to goodness ghosts needing help in some way or another.  Most ghost do, you know…need help.  It makes for great story telling!

I wrote Be Still, My Love because I started doing the “what if” game.  What if a medium suffered a horrible tragedy?  Would she be like “Oh darn, my loved one is in heaven now, guess I’ll have to communicate spiritually” or would she grieve?  Would she get mad and if she did would that anger interfere with her ability to talk to the dead?  How would she deal with it all?  Would she ever love again? Voila, a story is born.  Since I live in Maine, I decided to place the story where I knew best.  Besides, the rocky coast of Maine offers great backdrop to a spooky story!  I read an article a few years ago about a medium who liked to travel to inns and do readings and I thought, what if I had a medium go on vacation to a haunted resort?  The story just grew from there.  I didn’t plan it out, I just started writing and a story evolved.  The title came from a moment in the book where the medium tells her dead husband to “be still” and fret over her no more.  He, in turn, tells her the same thing. I truly wanted the hurt and anger my characters suffered to “be still” and bother them no longer.  In the end, I think I achieved that.  For the most part.

As I was nearing the end of Be Still, I found that my character had more to give.  I didn’t want her story to end.  I was curious to see what she’d do next and so a sequel began to form.  I grew up in Bucksport, Maine and we have a local legend there that our town’s founder Jonathan Buck was cursed by a witch and the proof of it showed up on his gravestone, see A Supernatural Mystery if you are curious about this interesting legend!  I thought to myself “I should have my character go to Bucksport and figure out that curse!”  And she did!  You can find that story in “Hidden Voices” which will be available next month.  I can’t wait to find out what she comes up with next but I’m pretty sure it has something to do with that ghost she met at the tomb!  Bucksport, it seems, is teeming with ghosts.  It’s a great place for a medium!

They say that life imitates art imitating life.  What a circle huh?  If you are going to be an author, you should write books that you love to read.  That’s what I’m doing.  I’m writing books I love to read.  After all, I’m the first reader of my own story.  If I don’t like it, it’s not going to get done and nor should it!  Luckily, I love Be Still, My Love and I love the sequel just as much, if not more.  Probably because I’m becoming pretty fond of my character and her gift.  I hope she stays with me for awhile and tells me more great stories!

So that’s my story.  And I’m sticking to it!  Blessings and Peace Out!


Keeping with the subject matter of my last three blog posts, it was only a matter of time before I told my own “shaking bed” story.  It seems to be a common occurrence in haunted houses to have the beds shake at some point. I could go into a long winded explanation of how this might happen and why, but I’ll leave it for a future blog post.  My purpose right now is to relate what my family and I experienced in that haunted old house without trying to analyze it to death.  Before I get to the shaking bed story, though, I want to share a few other strange occurrences.

One of the most annoying things we put up with was the constant blowing of light bulbs (I can’t tell you how many we went through during the seven years we lived in that haunted old farmhouse but I do know this, we should have bought stock in that company!).  I tell you, there is nothing worse than a blown bulb in a dark room and the creepy feeling that something is hovering over you!  The fact is, when you are living in a haunted house, you just can’t depend on the electrical equipment because they will, at some point, go haywire.  Of course, this only occurs when spirit activity is strong.

Another interesting fact is that haunted houses have cold spots (concentrated pockets of air within a room that are colder than the surrounding area).  Our house didn’t just have cold spots though, sometimes the entire house was cold, even in hot weather or when the heat was going full blast!

The first few years we lived in our house, my parents tried to explain all the weird occurrences away.  For instance, they blamed all the blown light bulbs on bad wiring.  Is that so?  Then why did we experience stretches of time where we didn’t lose a single bulb?  Bad wiring is bad all the time, not just sometimes.  The fact is, we had periods of blessed peace when, for whatever reason, the spirits left us alone.  During these peaceful periods, we had no problems with the wiring.  Just to give you an idea of how messed up things can get with the electricity (besides blown light bulbs), I’ll relate a few other things we experienced.  Since what happened with my father’s clock radio finally led him to believe the place was haunted, I’ll start there.

My dad used a clock radio as his morning alarm.  His favorite radio station came on the air at the time he needed to get up so he enjoyed waking to the sound of country music (the only type of music he’ll listen to I might add).  Well, it happens that my dad’s clock radio was a favorite item for the spirits to mess with.  Maybe they were just pulling silly pranks but if so, they did not amuse my father!  One of the things they did often was change radio stations on him.  Instead of waking up to country, Dad would wake up to the sounds of rock music.  Puzzling as that was for him, it was nothing compared to what happened to him one night while he lay listening to his music station as he drifted off to sleep.  The radio suddenly began to switch stations, going from one to several others in succession.  Though it didn’t make sense for a radio that required manual manipulation to change stations, dad decided the thing was malfunctioning and had nothing to do with spirit activity (he most emphatically did not believe in ghosts).  My mom, however, had no qualms about blaming it on ghosts for she was just as convinced that they did exist and that we were sharing our home with them.  I have to add here that she was quite comfortable with that idea.

The thing that sparked Dad’s acceptance of ghosts was the night the radio came on blaring rock music in the very early hours of the morning.  Dad turned the radio back to his usual station and went back to sleep.  A little while later he was wakened again, only this time to loud pop music.  Annoyed (probably a mild descriptive for what he actually was feeling), Dad put it back to his station.  Moments later it’s blaring classical music.  Fed up at this point, my dad pulled the cord out of the outlet and tossed the radio across the room.  “There ,” he says (as related later when telling his story) now try and play.”  Laying there on the floor, its electric cord tangled beside it, the radio switched from one station to another as if in scanning mode (and no, there was no such mode on that radio).  Finally something was happening that actually freaked him out.  What’s more, it freaked out my mom too and she liked the idea of living with ghosts!  Dad ended up getting a wind up alarm clock and that worked out just fine.  Guess the spirits can’t manipulate wind up clocks!

Messing with the clock radio was bad enough but this next prank of theirs was going too far.  My parents went through a tropical fish craze and at one time we had three aquariums.  Since the house was always cold and the fish required a moderate temperature, we had to keep aquarium heaters in all the tanks.  They were set to the desired temperature and left alone.  One night my parents decided it was time to add to our fish population and we all crowded into the car and headed off to the pet store.  We were gone for a couple of hours or so and when we returned home, we found all our fish dead (well, we did have one lone survivor and I still wonder about that!).  The heaters were turned all the way up on all three tanks and those poor fish had been cooked to death!  Now, I don’t know if any of you know much about aquarium heaters but I can tell you that they don’t get so hot that a 25 and 40 gallon tank will heat to the point of cooking fish.  And even if the heaters were capable of that, surely they couldn’t do it in a couple hours?   No longer was the spirit activity harmless.  It wasn’t long after that when my parents finally decided it was time to move.

And now, finally, we get to the bed shaking story.  Well, it happened around the time we were beginning to talk about the house being haunted.  I didn’t like the idea of ghosts inhabiting our house but I wasn’t terrified of them at this point.  The incident with my dog that I spoke about in “Another Brush With the Supernatural” hadn’t yet occurred.  I was about twelve at the time. One evening my parents had several family members and friends over for a musical gathering (my parents liked to get together with friends and family to play guitars and sing).  The five of us kids were relegated to the upstair bedrooms. Since I wanted to read a book, the quietest place to do that was my parents’ room.  I made myself comfortable on their big wrought iron bed and was soon lost in my reading while my brothers and sister raised ruckus in the other two bedrooms.

I’m not sure how long I was on the bed, maybe a half hour or so, when it began to shake.  At first I thought it was just vibration from the kids running around in the next room so I didn’t pay any attention to it.  But then it began to shake harder, to the point that I could no longer read.  I looked up from my book and focused my attention on my surroundings.  The feeling that I was no longer alone was really strong and I thought maybe one of my brothers had sneaked into the room.  I put the book down and the shaking stopped.  I called out a warning that if it was one of my brothers, they had better come out now or else.  Nothing.  I sat quietly and waited.  It wasn’t long before the bed shook again, hard.  Sure that it was one of my brothers, I started to lean over the edge to look when a spool of green thread went zipping across the floor.  It smacked into the wall to the right of me, bounced off and then rolled at a slow steady pace towards the bed (I couldn’t figure how it lost its momentum so fast and that kept me rooted in place).  The spool eventually disappeared under the bed.  I heard it continue its slow roll across the floor until it suddenly came shooting out the other side.  It crashed into the wall to the left of me and bounced off but instead of rolling away, it stopped still where it landed and didn’t move.  Neither did I.  After a few moments, it began to roll back across the room, disappearing from my sight as it reached the open floor space at the foot of the bed.  Silence ensued.

I just had to know where the spool was so I crawled down to the end of the bed and peeked through the wrought iron scrolls on the footboard.  The spool had come to a rest about a foot away from the bed.  Relieved that it was no longer moving, I finally yelled for help.  I did contemplate making a jump for the door and running like hell but was having a time getting up the nerve to do so.  After all, I still wasn’t sure what might be under the bed!  All thoughts of escape were immediately abandoned when the bed began to shake again.

Heart pounding, I grabbed the footboard to keep my balance and came to the unsettling decision that I couldn’t just sit there without checking under the bed.  I had to know if something (hopefully my brother if anything) was there or not.  I waited until the shaking stopped and then crawled to the edge of the bed.  It was time to look.  I imagined all sorts of horrifying scenarios (like being grabbed and pulled under the bed) as I leaned over the edge and lifted the blankets out of the way.  Nothing was there.  I was both relieved and frightened by this fact.  What then, was shaking the bed and moving that spool around the room?  Since I didn’t have an explanation for that, I did not dare step down onto the floor.  Instead, I yelled for help again and at the same moment, the spool of thread took off across the floor.  It crashed into the wall to my right, bounced off and rolled slowly back towards me,  just as it did before.  Then the bed started to shake again. The spool went whizzing off toward the wall to my left as if someone had suddenly given it a swift kick but then it did the strangest thing (as if what was occurring already wasn’t strange), it came to an abrupt halt about an inch away from the wall.  Now I start to yell in earnest.

Finally one of my brothers came to the open doorway to see what I wanted.  I tried to get him to come into the room with me but for some odd reason (he didn’t know what was going on after all) he would not budge from the doorway.  The spool remained right where it had stopped.  I hoped it would move while my brother was there to witness it but it did not.  I asked him to go pick it up.  He wouldn’t do it.  Frustrated with him, I then asked if he would please go get mom.  I think he must have heard the panic in my voice because he didn’t argue with me but did as I requested.  As he went running down the stairs, the spool started rolling crazily around the room.  It would go fast and slow, stop and go.  The bed started shaking again too but it was a gentle shaking which wasn’t so frightening.  I didn’t think I was in danger but I wasn’t going to get off that bed.  No way.

It seemed to take my mother forever to answer my brother’s summons but finally I heard her coming up the stairs.  The spool of thread rolled towards the door and stopped near the threshold.  My parent’s room was at the top of the stairs and straight ahead just a few feet so I could see some of the stairwell.  It sure was a welcome sight when my mom came into view! She stops in the doorway and asks me what is wrong.  I tell her the bed is shaking (which, of course, it wasn’t at that moment). She gives me a “you got me up here for that?” look and tells me that it’s probably vibration from the music causing it.  Really?  Then why wasn’t it shaking now when I could clearly hear the music playing?  Then I point to the spool of thread.  “That spool is rolling all over the floor by itself.”  My mom steps forward and picks it up.  “Well, that’s from the vibration of the music too.”  Funny how that spool of thread didn’t respond to the music vibration the first hour they were playing their music!  In any case, I skedaddled off that bed as fast as I could and followed my mom down the stairs.

I would never go lay on my parents’ bed anymore after that, especially when they both began to complain about the bed shaking.  And no, there was no music playing in the house.  Not even from the crazy clock radio!


As I prepare to wade into the exciting frontier of e-publishing, I figure people might want to know why I write the types of stories that I do.  Well, it’s because the paranormal, the supernatural and the mysterious fascinates me.  That doesn’t make me an evil or bad person in any way.  I just want to make that clear.  I am not a devil worshiper and I am not an atheist.  It boggles my mind when I get a horrified reaction from someone after revealing that I read palms and tarot cards.  “That’s the devil’s work!” they say.  No.  It’s not.  But, you can’t argue with someone whose belief is that all forms of divination and all things supernatural are evil.  So, obviously my books are not written with those people in mind.  Though some of them do, I am sure, read and watch horror.  Speaking of horror, I hesitate to classify my stories in that genre, but because of their content (ghosts, mediums, reincarnation, past lives, etc…) that is the genre under which they will most likely be filed.

So, why do I write stories that are focused on supernatural content?  Well, I love to write and I love to write about things that interest me and I’ve been interested in the supernatural since I was a very young kid.  And that was because I moved into a haunted house when I was seven years old.  Until we moved into the “farmhouse” as we called it, my life was pretty normal. Normal in the respect that I was not exposed to situations that generated fear and uncertainty.

The farmhouse was an old, two-story structure sitting not far off a quiet country road and surrounded by fields.  In the center of the field was a small grove of trees and located there was a tomb with eleven people buried in it. Supposedly, the people buried in that tomb all died either in the farmhouse or another structure on the property that no longer exists .  Their deaths dated back to the 1800s and early 1900s.  There were several young children included in their number.  How do I know this?  Their names, age, and the dates of their birth and death were chiseled in stone above the entrance to the tomb.  Eerie.  The farmhouse was in a sad state of disrepair when we moved in.  My parents didn’t have a lot of money.  They rented the house for a measly amount and in return agreed to fix it up at their own expense.  My parents thought it was a great deal.  Seven years later, they weren’t so inclined to believe that anymore and we left as quickly as they could manage it.

Although I was only seven when we moved in, I remember my first impressions of that house as being dark, depressing and spooky.  The one thing that excited me was all the neat stuff that had been left within it.  The place was full of junk and antique furniture.  Speaking of which, antique farm equipment lay about the surrounding yard in total neglect.  My three brothers, my sister and I (me being the oldest of five) gleefully played with those antiques until we unwittingly destroyed them or they became too rusty and old to bother with.  On the second floor there were three bedrooms and a small room we dubbed “the dark room”.  It was the size of a small walk-in closet and oddly enough, there was a small window in the wall that divided the dark room from my parents bedroom.  My mom put a large dresser against that wall and its large mirror covered the gaping hole.  There was no door to this room so my mom hung a curtain there.  The doorway was located in the bedroom where my three brothers slept.  Too bad for them.  All five of us kids were afraid of that room.  It gave me the willies just walking past it.  I still get the willies just thinking about it.  My parents used the room to store some of the antique furniture that had been left in the house.  A bummer that, because I loved the old dressers that sported lots of drawers and attached mirrors.

Soon as we moved in, I became afraid of the dark.  I don’t remember being afraid of the dark until we moved into that house.  I had a lot of nightmares while living there and most of them were about that house.  I remember that it was always cold.  Even in the summer when it was hot outside, the inside of the house always seemed gloomy and cool.  We didn’t have central heat and that may have been a contributing factor, but the chill in that house wasn’t just from the air, it was the kind of chill that seeped deep into your bones and made goosebumps break out on your arms even if you weren’t really cold.  The house was heated by an oil stove in the living room and a huge old cast iron stove in the kitchen.  There was no heat upstairs so in the winter time we all had to move downstairs.  A situation I liked because I felt safer having mom and dad close by (the five of us kids shared the one bedroom that was located downstairs and my parents converted the large entry hall into their room).  We used the barn door entrance during the winter.  A situation I did not like but you do what you have to do.  Right?

I have to mention the cellar.  Cellars are scary enough to young kids but the cellar in the farmhouse was especially spooky.  It had a dirt floor and granite blocks for walls.  It was damp and musty and there was just one hanging light bulb for the entire space.  This meant that there were lots of very dark corners.  There were two entrances to the cellar.  One from the door next to the kitchen and the other from the side of the house facing the driveway.  My parents didn’t have to lock these doors.  There was no way any of us kids were about to go down there to play or meddle.  We were terrified of the cellar. One feature that gave it and extra creep factor was the vaulted room made of brick.  It had an arched ceiling and a cement floor.  We learned later when researching the history of that house that bodies were kept in there until they could be transported to the tomb or buried.  Whether that was true or not, I don’t know but I can believe it just from the energy that emanated from that room.  It was the same sort of energy that emanated from the grove of trees surrounding the tomb.

The first few years of living there, things happened that really didn’t grab our notice enough to raise any flags.  Things came up missing quite often.  Lots of things disappeared while living there that have never been found.  Honestly, where did they go?  I still wonder about that.  Our dog acted very strange. He often whined and barked at, well nothing.  At least, that’s what we thought until we knew better.  In the early days, we figured he was a tad touched in the head.  He was a small dog, part poodle and part chihuahua.  We figured his crazy antics were part of the breed.  I must add here that I loved that dog.  His name was Tippy and when I later learned that dogs knew when ghosts were around, I used him to determine when I was safe and when I wasn’t.  Until we figured it out that our house was full of ghosts (yes there were several), we really did think poor Tippy was weird.  Once we knew why he acted like he did, he was looked at in a whole new light.  Tippy became our detector for the presence of ghosts and the gauge by which we determined if the ghost was bad or good.

The first really scary event that grabbed our attention happened about a year after moving into the house.  Up to this point, lights coming  on and doors being left open and things disappearing were all chocked up to the fault of us kids.  Though my dad tried his best to determine which of us was the culprit to these shenanigans, he rarely got a confession.  A fact that pitted the five of us kids against each other because we too believed that one of us must have done the deed.  If no one confessed, we all got punished.  Totally unfair.  It was an outrage to all of us to be punished for something we didn’t do and I was always sure my oldest brother, younger than me by three years, was the one responsible.  But I digress.

One evening the five of us kids were playing on the stairs while my dad chatted with a friend at the kitchen table.  My mom had gone out to play bingo with her friend whose husband had stayed to visit with my dad.  The stairs turned near the bottom and had two more steps that led down into the kitchen.  A small window was located in the stairwell.  As we kids were all small, we could only see out the window if we were about halfway up the stairs.  It was about four feet above the landing where the stairs turned right to the kitchen.  On this particular night, we were making a game of sliding down the stairs when my two year old sister froze in fear and started screaming.  My brothers were one behind her and a couple in front of her.  They looked at the window where my terrified sister was staring and they too began to scream and scramble back up the stairs.  I was standing on the step below the window and the hairs on my neck went up as shivers raced down my spine.  My dad didn’t know what was causing all the commotion but he told me to get my sister.  She sat on the step, rigid with fear and unable to do anything but scream.  I remember her eyes being wide and dark and unblinking as they stared transfixed at that stairwell window.  My heart pounding, I picked her up and turned to look.  Nothing.  By this time, my brothers were scrambling to get passed me on the stairs and run to the safety of our dad.  They claim they saw red eyes in the window.  They said it was a monster.  From the outside, the window is about six or seven feet above the ground.  That makes for a pretty big monster.  My dad grabbed a shotgun and a flashlight and he and my dad’s friend went outside to see what was out there.  I envisioned them being killed and the red-eyed monster coming after us.  But after what seemed an eternity, they came back in the house and said they didn’t see anything.  Subdued, the five of us went into the living room where we huddled on the couch together.  Dad didn’t believe they saw anything.  I believed them.  So we whispered quietly to each other as my young siblings told me what they saw.  I vowed to keep them safe and they calmed down.  But the fear in me grew.  Something was wrong with this house.  I just knew it.  But as I didn’t even know what a ghost was at that age, it took me a few years to figure it out.

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