Monday, October 24, 2016

Ghost stories for Halloween Week!

Greetings and welcome to my Ghost Story Corner! If you're coming from a Halloween Blog Hop, you're in the right place! Grab a cup of cider and let's share some spooky tales... I'm offering up a copy of my Wild Rose Press ghost story to one lucky commenter who shares a story with us.

Links back to the rest of the hop are in the sidebar - Happy Hauntings!

Like anywhere in America that was settled hundreds of years ago, Cape Cod has its share of ghosts and ghost stories. From sailors who lost their lives on the shoals right off the coastline to the flapper who died in a mobster-owned speakeasy during the height of the Prohibition era, the Cape has a ghost story for every occasion.

If you do an online search about ghosts on the Cape, you have your pick. There are books compiling local ghost stories, a haunted ghost tour in Hyannis, and historic cemetery tours across Cape Cod.

When we first moved into our Cape home, we even had a ghost of our very own. Ready for a ghost story?

Our home is not historic, or even old by Cape Cod standards. Built in 1958, the original owners summered here from their home in Maryland, and eventually retired to our quiet neighborhood. The husband, a noted scientist and horticulturalist, spent his retirement years developing winter-hearty strains of Camelia bushes, an evergreen similar to a rhododendron usually found from Virginia on southward. Before retirement, however, his work included the creation of powerful defoliant chemicals, including one you may have heard about. Agent Orange. His nickname? The "father of Agent Orange," as he was apparently the scientist working at Fort Detrick who recommended the cocktail of chemicals during the Vietnam conflict that would go on to affect so many lives.

But I digress.

When we purchased the home, no one lived here. The woman had a stroke that left her unable to care for herself, and her daughter moved her to assisted living. Several times a week, the daughter would drop her mother at the house while it was on the market. She'd drop her off after breakfast, and pick her up before dinner. The old woman wanted to spend some last days with her husband.

Her husband who died fifteen years earlier.

According to one neighbor, he died peacefully in his sleep.

But according other neighbors, his later years were troubled by protesters throwing orange tissue-paper flowers in his yard, picketing on the street and harassing him while he worked in his gardens. His own son succumbed to illness caused by exposure to the chemical, having been exposed while serving in Vietnam. He was a troubled soul, whose only legacy was a deadly defoliant that also was a debilitating and often fatal nerve agent for so many young soldiers.

The first time I felt a ghostly presence, I chalked it up to new mother nerves and lack of sleep. My daughter was less than a year old and teething that first summer in the house, not sleeping through the night. After calming her, I'd often grab a book to read in the living room. So often I felt like someone watched me. A few times I saw a shadow moving in the hallway, and jumped to flip on the hall lights, thinking it was one of the boys sneaking around out of bed. Nope.

No one was ever there.

Several times I'd be at the counter in our small kitchen, and see something moving in the den. From my stool, I could see the den's sliding glass doors out to the backyard, but the white form was reflected from inside the room, not outside.

And then there were the doors that would open and close.

My son came upstairs from the basement one day, white as a sheet. He said he was playing with Legos on the floor alone, and looked up when a door slowly swung open, stayed open for a minute, as if someone was peeking in at him, then slowly swung closed again. He wanted to know, was our new house haunted?

By the time the ghost "checked on" my son, I was pretty sure he meant us no harm. It felt like he was doing just that - checking on us, as if we were his family to watch over. The spirit definitely had a male presence, like a grandfather keeping an eye on his grandchildren.

It was the second or third summer when the old woman who sold us the house came back for a visit with her daughter. She wanted to get some cuttings from the prize camelias to plant at her daughter's new home. The daughter was a gruff, overweight, overbearing woman, but she seemed so pleased to see children playing wiffle ball in the yard with our dogs. "Dad would have loved this, right Mom? He always wanted grand kids to play here, right Mom?" The old woman nodded, a tear in her eye.

We got used to his presence. Sometimes house guests would feel him upstairs and ask questions. I'd tell them it was just our ghost, but he was friendly, not to worry.

And then one day, I realized I hadn't noticed the ghost in a while. Had he decided to leave us and haunt somewhere else? I did an online search, and found that his wife had finally passed away. Maybe that was what he was waiting for. He moved on after his wife joined him.

Now that the house has been renovated, I haven't felt even an inkling of ghostly presence. Everything is different now. And part of me misses him. 

Have you ever had a ghost in your house? Or felt a ghost when you visited somewhere? Share your own ghost story for a chance to win an e-copy of my ghost story from the Wild Rose Press, GHOSTS DON'T LIE.

And Happy Halloween to all !

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  1. I love scary stories and I love Halloween! And when the scary story is...true and personal, well, that's just a SCORE!!!!

  2. Love ghost stories. I've seen a few ghosts, but I'll share this one with you. I have quite a few ghost stories I could conjure up for Halloween. It must be why I love the paranormal so much—it feels like home.
    Everyone in my family has seen her one time or another and she isn’t shy about revealing herself to friends, too.

    This sighting took place when I was a teen. It was late at night and my mother and I were the only ones still up. At this time my father worked graveyard and wasn’t home. My siblings were sleeping.

    I was working on a report for school in the kitchen and my mother was in the bathroom taking a bath. She kept the door slightly ajar so we could chat.

    As the minutes ticked by, I began to get this prickly feeling at the base of my neck and I swear the fine hairs on my arm stood at attention. This happened every time the little girl would make her ghostly appearance and I knew it was about to happen again. I was standing near the table and my gaze was locked on the dark archway where our den is located.

    Any second, I’m sure she’ll materialize. Usually, she is a fleeing figure in a light colored dress. Her hair is a pale blonde and long and whips behind her as she darts away.
    While I’m concentrating on the endless black void that leads to our den, in the bathroom, my mother is running the water in the bathtub. “Who’s up with you?” she calls to me.

    Of course no one is with me or so I believe. “No one’s up, Mom,” I gladly inform her.

    “I said who’s up with you?” My mother repeats the question, but now her voice has an edge to it. She couldn’t hear that I answered her over the running water.

    If I wasn’t already freaked, I’m heading toward the panic mode now. My mother obviously sees that someone is with me, but I can’t. I backed up a few paces, before I sprint to the bathroom as if this ghostly presence is chasing me. “No one is up with me!” And I do believe I did a little dance of fright and my voice became a high-pitched shrill.

    My mother’s brows furrow in confusion. “What do you mean? I saw a hand reaching for you.”

    She had been sure that one of the little ones had slipped out of bed, but they were all fast asleep.

    Even though I didn’t see her, I believe it was our resident ghost girl, who had appeared off and on throughout the years. She still shows up now and again. She’s the only consistent resident ghost at my parents’ home, but we’ve had others over the years, too. I sometimes wonder if she invites them over, telling them, “Hey they’re a cool family. Come hang out with them for a while.”

    1. Oh my god, Karen! That's quite the scary experience, although it sounds like your ghost wasn't trying to harm anyone.

      A friend of mine who used to live on Nantucket has had ghosts run their fingers along her skin but she was sure they were mean spirits, and trying to scare her away...

      Hope you live in a less haunted place now! Happy Halloween!

  3. Yikes. Chills up my back. You are one brave woman. My mom grew up in a house that had a ghost, but he was rather friendly, too. I'm not a fan of the unexplained supernatural. I'm riding my broom out of here. :-)

    1. Thanks for flying by, Judy :-) Witches can be just as scary as ghosts, you know! Happy Halloween!

  4. Wow, that's a creepy story. My brother says our childhood house was haunted. He saw a shadow once and we heard lots of unexplained noises, but we believed the ghost to be friendly as it never tried to harm or scare us outright. I am now quite happy living in a non-ghostly house, lol!

    1. The house I grew up in was brand new, so not haunted, although my grandmother's house had a few spirits lurking in the basement. I'm kind of glad our ghosts moved on. Thanks for stopping by and happy halloween!

  5. That is heart-warming! Checking in on you and your family. A very sweet ghost! I lived with my grandmother when I was a kid in a house about 150 years old. I'd hear strange voices and see glimpses of things out of the corner of my eyes all the time. Also, I might have had a strange conversation with my dead grandfather. I was almost 3 when he died, so I'm not sure if my talk with him was real or a dream. I never felt alone in that house, even when no one else was in there but me. My grandmother told me about all of the family members who had died in the house. If there were ghosts, they were my family. So why should I be scared of my family? And I wasn't. It was comforting.

    Several houses later, my husband and I moved in to our current home. On the very first night, we heard footsteps. We would go downstairs to investigate, then hear the footsteps upstairs. We'd go back up and hear them again downstairs. Back and forth it went. After searching for some explanation and coming up with nothing, we just went to bed. That sort of thing became a common occurrence, but we got used to it. After growing up in a haunted house, I liked the idea of having more ghosts around.

    The best part was when my daughter was about 2 years-old. Her older brothers were in school and my husband was at work. I was eating breakfast with her in the kitchen when she suddenly looked up at something in the doorway to the dining room. She pointed and said, "Mama, who's that man?"

    The hair on the back of my neck stood up, but it was probably from excitement. I smiled and said we should say hello to the man and ask him if he wants breakfast. Being that he was a stranger to her, she didn't appear enthusiastic. I didn't want her to get scared, so I tried to make conversation and tried to get more information from her. I didn't get much more other than he was a man. She saw the man again in my bedroom a few months later. He walked into my closet and disappeared.

    Later, she began a friendship with an imaginary friend named Anna. At first, I thought it was just because she was lonely with her big brothers at school all day so she had no one to play with. But, I would ask her about Anna and she'd tell me all sorts of things about her dress and her house and the toys and games she liked to play. One day, she told me that Anna was dead. At that point, I did have my suspicions, but I told her that Anna was welcome to play here for as long as she wanted. And my daughter kept her as a playmate for several months, but now that she's in school, Anna hasn't made any recent appearances. My daughter barely remembers her which makes me a little sad. And our footsteps have faded. I think its because we got cats. Maybe our ghosts don't like cats? Or maybe I hear the noise and think it must be the cats. They make such a ruckus at night! Who knows?

    I have more to share, but I think that's enough for now! LOL However, I will add that after living here for several years, my husband and I were doing research on the property and discovered a grisly murder took place in our house in the 1940s. A man and his wife. There's also a rumor of a suicide that occurred in our attic on a different occasion, but we haven't found any documented proof.

    It does make me wonder about that man my daughter saw.

    1. Wow, Tricia! It sounds like you handled it well - quite nonchalant about your daughter's ghostly friend too! I'm not sure I ever felt that "easy" about having the ghost in the house, but at least I knew he meant no harm. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Thankfully no creepy ghost experiences here, but I've heard alot! Supernatural stuff freaks me out! Happy Halloween!

  7. We had a ghost when our kids were small.Things would drop and we'd hear footsteps.Sometimes a cupboard would open.We would hear it but never see it.We named him Hecter.If someone was over and heard anything the kids would tell them don't worry it's just our ghost Hecter.

    1. I love that you named your ghost - wish I'd thought of that with the kids!

  8. We had a ghost when our kids were small.Things would drop and we'd hear footsteps.Sometimes a cupboard would open.We would hear it but never see it.We named him Hecter.If someone was over and heard anything the kids would tell them don't worry it's just our ghost Hecter.

  9. I've never had an experience with a ghost, but I love ghost stories!

  10. BJ James I was sleeping. I dreamt of searching a mental map of the USA then narrowed it to NM, to the area where I live. I saw pathways, some were nice, but some were terrifying. Everything was energy. Good bad and neutral. I knew I was looking for something or someone. I was confused as to why I was searching where I lived for some unknown thing. I felt terrified and alone. I also felt angry. Why me? Why now? I was too young! All of a sudden, I felt a presence with me. I was so happy! I had found what I was looking for! I turned around...
    Then I woke up.
    I realized that In the dream, I had died. That in the dream I was searching desperately for something. Seeking through all of the paths for that thing that I needed. Not just wanted. Needed.
    I knew that if I had died, it would be okay. I have lived along and happy life. But, I was alive. Why did that so powerful and earth-shattering dream make me feel so sad, angry and devastated?
    The next day I was notified that my youngest daughter had died during the night...
    Thank you for being in the hop!

    1. That's such a sad tale - I'm so sorry for your loss.

  11. He sounds like a very friendly ghost, Katie. I don't think my current home is haunted at all, but the old cottage I used to live in, in Wales, probably was! Things were always disappearing and then reappearing in different places. A mischievous ghost perhaps?

    BJ - that is an incredible story, and so sad!

    1. You probably had a poltergeist - I've been told they're common in England and Wales.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing!

  12. When I was a teenager I woke up in the middle of the night. I opened my eyes and right in front of me was a man holding a wine glass trying to turn on my stereo. He was having a really hard time because his finger kept on going through the button. Being a scared teen I did what anyone in my situation would do... I threw the covers over my head. Yes I know that's a horror movie no no but I was scared and not thinking.Not even 30 seconds later my little sister burst through my door and pole vaults onto my bed right on top of me! Oh course I screamed bloody murder and maybe pee myself a little. She asked if she could sleep with me because she kept on hearing someone walking around her room but when she turned on the lights no one was there! We hated each other at the time but with both of our scary situations I forgive her for making me wet my pants and let her climb in bed. When I finally looked back at my stereo the man was gone. The next morning I asked my sister if she saw anything in my room when she burst in and she told me no. Throughout that whole ordeal my parents never woke up! I never seen that man again but every now and then when I was taking a shower I would see a man shaped shadow go across the shower curtain, when I looked out no on was there! That is my real life ghost story! I've seen a lot of weird things in my 30 something years but I will never forget that night!

    1. Hiding under the covers was always my go-to move when something scared me at night too! Happy Halloween!

  13. I've had experiences on and off since I was about 5. The first time my family was spending the night at my aunt's house. I woke up and went upstairs to the bathroom. When I came out I heard a voice yell "You better hold on to that railing, young lady, or you're going to fall." I screamed because there was a strange man standing at the bottom of the stairs shaking his finger at me. Everybody came running and I told them what I saw but it seemed like no one believed me. Years later my cousins told me that they heard their parents talking and that I described my uncle's dad who had passed many years before I was born, right down to him wearing his favorite shirt.

    When my family moved into the home that I grew up in (I was about 7), I used to wake up on the floor by the vent in my bedroom because I would fall asleep listening to the voices I used to hear down in the kitchen after everyone else was upstairs in bed.

    I was about 9 when my sister decided to try her hand at using a pendulum to answer questions. I told her that it made me uncomfortable when she did that but she didn't care. I'm pretty sure she let something in to our home. All of a sudden one day there was something very menacing and scary in the corner of our dining room. Nobody else noticed it. Every time I was in the DR I just felt freaked out and terrified. I literally used to run from the kitchen to the stairs when it was time for bed. If I had to go downstairs to the only bathroom in our house (off the kitchen), I would run from the stair landing and run as fast as I could to the kitchen so I could put the light on (leaving the light on for the mad dash back upstairs). As I got older, I sometimes would get frustrated and tell it to leave me alone. It got more and more menacing as I got older. One night when I was in my early 20's, I came home from a night out and realized I had left my cigarettes in my car. THe DR thing was really being annoying, just sending wave after wave or hatred and evil at me so I stopped in the DR and yelled "Get out of my house and leave me the f#&$ alone!". I turned on every light downstairs including the front porch light and opened the front door. I left the door opened so only the screen would close and I walked out to my car parked at the curb. I got my smokes and turned around to head back inside when every single light went out and the door slammed shut. I just stood there for few seconds trying to absorb what had just happened. I got back in my car, drove to a pay phone down the street (that's right, only very rich people had cell phones at that time) and called my house. My dad answered, rather upset that I had woken him and my mom up at 3AM. After much begging, he agreed to go downstairs, turn the lights on and wait for me at the front door before going back up to bed. I moved out soon after this.

    When I walk into a place where something bad has happened all the hair on my body will stand up. A friend of mine was having a house warming party. She, her husband and their young baby girl had only been in this house for a few weeks. My then boyfriend and I went to the party. At one point I needed to use the restroom so I started climbing the steps. As I got closer to the top I felt more and more uneasy. There was a sense of just plain evil coming from the back bedroom, it was so unbearable that I went right back downstairs and made my boyfriend drive me to the nearest gas station so I could use the restroom. I went to the library the next evening and researched the property. What I found out gave chilled my very soul. In the 70's a man killed his whole family while they were sleeping, including his twin little girls who slept in the back bedroom.

    1. Wow! Sounds like you have definite psychic connections... Thanks for sharing and making my Halloween a little spookier!

  14. Nothing as definite as all your stories! But my mom and I went to an estate sale held at an old hotel in town that's been closed for many years. I didn't see anything, but I definitely felt a cold spot and a presence. Apparently a little girl died there when the hotel was still open and drowned in the swimming pool downstairs.


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