Haunted houses and hotels are a popular phenomenon. Reality television provides a variety of shows devoted to ghost hunting for our viewing pleasure.
My love of the unknown first peeked its scary head at me when I was nine. My family moved into a hundred-year-old haunted farm house. Things happened in the house. Unexplainable things. (My fascination with extraterrestrials came later.)
My family credits me with having the ability to sense those spirits who still linger in the present. They seem to find me or follow me, I’m not sure which.
The Colorado House
My husband and I moved to Colorado ten years ago. We bought a house from a couple, experiencing financial and personal problems. It was fairly new. I didn’t expect ghosts. However, soon after moving in an antique sideboard and mirror, I sensed something strange. Flickering lights. Eerie sounds. Electrical devices going dead for no reason.
I sought the advice of a shamanic healer, and he believed the mirror opened a doorway, allowing the spirit to enter. The antique buffet is a relatively new purchase, not a family heirloom from which one might suspect an encounter with a deceased relative.
This was my fourth haunted house to live in and makes me wonder: is IT the same ghost?
I don’t sense that she is. In the past, the ghosts were always male. My new ghost seems to be female. And she gets most upset when we leave home for any period of time. Like when we returned from our last camping trip, I found my Wi-Fi modem and my printer dead. I can’t work without Wifi. Power outage, you say. Perhaps. But it affected nothing else in the house. And all the digital clocks in the house still showed the correct time. A time delay would have indicated a power outage.
My printer should give me an error code to tell me what’s wrong. It’s just dead. Nothing. Except for the occasional flicker of a code that is all zeroes. The printer repair guys and the makers of the printer have no clue what the code means.
I read a novel about a haunted beach house by Michael McDowell titled The Elementals. It’s a fantastic read, and what makes it so captivating is its chilling perspective with all the subtleties of a haunting.
Those things you sense are not quite right, but explaining them to someone makes you sound crazy.
Since my blog is all about weird, and since ghosts seem to be an intricate part of my life, I figured it was time to do a little Ghost Hunting on The Probe.
My Hauntings: First Contact
From the time I woke from a nightmare about witches and whales, and found thousands of tiny white snakes slithering around my feet, I’ve feared the dark. My mom cleared out a small closet of a room to create a bedroom for me. I’d turned school age, and she decided I needed a room of my own.
On those nights the night terrors came to visit me, and something grabbed my hand, or laughed in my ear, or screamed, or lifted the blankets and crawled in beside me, I’d creep into my parents’ room. My mom would wake to find me standing over her in my white nightgown — a frightening experience for her as well as me. After several times of Mom being almost scared to death by my presence, she gave up and placed my dad’s old army cot in the boys’ room for me to sleep on. I wanted no part of my own bedroom.
Then Came the Farm
Three years later, we moved from Austin, Texas into a dilapidated two-story farmhouse near Fort Worth. It was at least a century old. Every board in the house was loose. Every joint and brace moaned with age, and the old barn loft had once housed the now dead owners pack of angry dogs.
When my parents cleaned the barn loft — which reeked of dog urine and was littered with feces — they found a large assortment of gnawed bones. Some … human in appearance. They invited the sheriff out. He took a look and a whiff. And told my parents about the bat-crap crazy owners who — before axing each other to death — released their near rabid dogs into the wild.
The dogs gorged themselves on our flock of sheep. They ripped open the stomachs of the ewes, feasted upon their unborn, and left the mother torn to shreds, but alive. My dad — or older brother if my dad was out of town — had to put the sheep out of its misery.
No Protection from Ghosts
To protect the ewes, my parents built a pen near the house for those who were due to lamb. It was my sheep’s, Lambkin, time to deliver. In the middle of the night I heard her bleating. I tiptoed down the stairs to the first landing. A door leading into the attic nested there. As I passed in front of the door, I felt a slight breeze. I pivoted around. The moonlight filtered up the stairs and provided enough illumination for me to see the door open, though my dad had installed a bolt lock after my urgings.
An icy hand reached out from the attic darkness, wrapped around my arm, and pulled me toward the opening. I screamed and fell backwards down the stairs to the bottom floor.
Of course my parents came running. I told them I heard Lambkin crying and was going to check on her when the hand grabbed me. They checked the attic door. The bolt was still tightly in place.
However, my sheep was missing, though she was in a completely enclosed pen with a locked gate. The gate and pen showed no evidence of tampering. We never found her or her remains.
On following nights, I heard Lambkin. I knew it was her because she had an unusual bleat. It was more a baa with a cough at the end, like an old person. Her cry came from the attic — from behind the bolted door. Dogs howled all night. I’d feel a slight breeze and then hear the attic door creak open and slam shut. I pulled the covers over my head and trembled in the dark.
My parents and brothers heard the howling dogs, but said they heard nothing else. My dad said the baa was the wind. Luckily, we moved after living in the house for less than a year.
Do you believe in ghosts?
Having first-hand experience, I believe.
The above is just one ghostly occurrences from my past. Over the next few weeks, I will offer more of mine and add other people’s paranormal encounters. Please share if you have one.
I hesitate to post photos, because non-believers are so quick to judge and criticize. But below is an example of a ghost posted on America’s Most Haunted Hotel website. While visiting the notorious Crescent Hotel in Arkansas, Joni Moseng captured this shot and shared it.
(ProbeNote: After posting the photo below, I returned to the page to read more about it and I couldn’t find this particular photo anywhere. Let me know if you find it.)
Facebook comments went something like this:
- Kid playing on an iPad.
- Looks like someone on a laptop.
BUT then someone else asked:
It almost looks as if it’s on the outside of the window. What is on the ledge to the right?
AND someone, who had visited the hotel, replied:
I thought that too. Its def on this side of the curtain and if u have ever visited the Crescent you know the windows from inside have no casing on which to sit. Just a window seal about 1 inch thick. This child looks to be outside the window where there is a place to sit. Also the 4th floor is haunted by a child and I believe a little boy has been seen bouncing a ball on the 2nd floor. We were told that blue flashes of light in the form of orbs, streaks, and mists can be seen on camera because they are the energy that the spirit needs to show itself. Who knows???? Creepy though.
Photos offer a visual and are spellbinding in a could-this-be-real way like WTFrak is that. So I will be offering photos as well. Please share if you have some. And please, if you are a non-believer, no need to comment. We’ve heard all the rational explanations.
And what fun is being rational? It leads to a shriveled-up imagination or no imagination at all.
The Probe’s Mission Statement
The Probe is devoted to:
- the exploration of the unexplainable,
- finding the truth in occurrences that resemble science fiction,
- researching and reporting on topics that could be flung upon the wall of weird.