Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Ghost Tale for Tuesday

Did you know that the number 13 is a lucky number for Colgate students and alumni? Our university was founded by 13 men with 13 dollars, back in 1819, according to the songs.
In honor of Lucky 13, I've asked my friend and fellow Colgate alumni Nancy Howland Walker to share a ghost tale this Tuesday the 13th.

I met Nancy the first day of freshman year, and we've stayed friends ever since, even becoming roommates for a few years when we were both living in the Boston area. After a stint at WFXT, Fox-Boston, and a stretch with ImprovBoston, Nancy moved out to Chicago, where she leads her own improv group: Chicago Improv Associates. She grew up in St. Louis, but spent her childhood summers on Nantucket. We all went out to visit her mom on Nantucket a few times over the years, but she neglected to share any of the spooky tales with us at the time - maybe for fear that we wouldn't want to make the trip with her!

Tell us your ghost tale, Nancy....

As I was growing up, my family spent the summers in a very old house (around 200 years old) in Nantucket. Because of the age, its design was odd by today's standards. I slept on the second floor at the top of the stairs; my parents' bedroom was kitty-corner from mine, and my little brother's room was in between the two. Because you could only get to his room through mine or my parents room, my brother moved to another available bedroom as soon as he could swing it.

I remember one time being woken from a deep sleep by someone rushing through my room to get into that middle room. It wasn't the footsteps which woke me up, but a huge bustling noise, as if a great deal of fabric was involved. I knew none of my brothers could make that sort of noise, but I sat up and looked into the dark middle room (I usually kept that door open for some reason) and called out. No one answered - the entire house was asleep.

Okay, that sounds kinda weird, Nancy, but not too scary. Did anything really spooky ever happen?
This one really got me. Late one night as I was falling asleep, I sensed someone standing over me. I was lying on my back, with my eyes shut, and I knew the person was right next to my head.

Whoever - whatever - was exuding an intensely malevolent energy. I was terrified and couldn't move, much less open my eyes. I could only repeat to myself, "Just pretend to be asleep, just pretend to be asleep!"

Without looking, I knew the person was bending closer to me - his or her face was right next to mine.

Then... I felt a finger touching my face, slightly under my mouth at my jawbone. I knew it wasn't the fleshy part of the finger, but felt like a cold, sharp fingernail. Slowly - very slowly - it moved up my face along my jawbone to up near my eye, and stayed there for a few more moments.

I was so scared.

Suddenly, the pressure from the finger was gone, as was the malevolent feeling. I opened my eyes and the room was dark. The house was silent.

Thanks for sharing, Nancy! Check out Nancy's websites at www.chicagoimprovassociates.com and www.songgifter.com
If you have a true-life ghost story you'd like to share, email me or send me a message on Facebook! And thanks to everyone who likes my ghost stories so much they've already purchased a copy of Unfolding the Shadows!


  1. I have to say, even tho' I get chills reading these stories, I am quite enjoying them!

  2. Thanks! I'm enjoying collecting them as well. Everyone has a ghostly encounter of some kind to share...


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