Monday, May 9, 2011

Ghost Stories

The other day, my mom asked me if we had ghosts at our house because there used to be a TB hospital on the land where my house is.  I have always believed in spirits...or ghosts...or whatever you want to call them.  When I was 8 or 9, I read a book about a poltergiest and absolutely LOVED it.  I actually wished I could have a poltergiest in my house.  I'm sure my family is happy that wish didn't come true.  As I have grown, I've always been interested in the supernatural world and wished I had the ability to "tap into" that dimension. 

Well, I actually have had some experiences with spirits in the past 10 years and if you care to read on, I'll tell you about them.

I used to work at a school in Franklin, TN.  It's a private school that was originally housed in buildings built on the horse graveyard smack dab in the middle of where The Battle of Franklin was fought during the Civil War.  No, I never heard horse spirits, nor did I experience any spirits roaming this original campus.  However, in the building where the K-4 students were located, I did experience a ghost, as many other folks had done.  This house was used as a hospital during the Civil War.  The house itself housed the offices for some of the staff and the classrooms and gymnasium were added on to the back of the house and property, but were fully accessible through the house.  Most of the classrooms were not haunted, but the main house had at least 1 woman and 1 child who frequently made their presence known.  I was made aware of the woman's presence on my first day of work at the school.  I climbed the stairs to the 2nd floor of the house to meet one of my new co-workers.  As I stepped over the threshold of her office, the heavy metal fireplace grate slammed onto the floor.   Of course, we all jumped and then Bonnie said to me, "Well, she's welcomed you!" 
Other folks have witnessed the little girl playing in the front foyer of the house.  Stories abound about new cleaning crews leaving the building and locking up for the night, only to see a little girl at the window.  Of course, they think they need to go back in and get her, but when they go in, no one is really there.  This is not just a one-time occurance and often, it is the LAST time the cleaning crew works for the school.  :)
The facilites director received a phone call at 11pm one night from the security company that monitored the Lower School.  The security system had an alarm for doors, windows, and sounds inside the building and could actually listen to anything happening in the building.  The security company asked our facilities director, "Are you guys having a party at the school tonight?"  "No", he said.  "Well, listen to this" and the sounds of glasses and plates clinking along with some orchestra music was heard coming from inside the school.  Of course, when the facilities director arrived on site a few minutes later, the school was dark, empty, and completely secured. 

When Benjamin was 2 1/2 years old, I sold my house and had no place to live (let's not get into why please - ugh).  I moved in with a friend for a short time, but didn't want to outstay my welcome, so when the opportunity to stay at a friend's mom's house came up, I took it.  The house was fully furnished and all I had to do was pay utilities and take care of the house and yard.  I could not pass up that deal. 
The room Benjamin slept in always seemed a little cooler than the rest of the house, but I just thought that was part of the house.  Often, when I was tucking him in at night, I would get chilled in there, but again, just gave B another blanket in case he got cold - the door was open and the house was comfortable otherwise.  One evening, outside, I noticed, out of the corner of my eye, a white, wispy, smokey "thing" near the kitchen window. I thought nothing of it that night, nor the other 2 nights I had seen it.  I checked to be sure there wasn't something burning in the bushes, but that's all I thought about it.
Then, one night, after B was asleep, I heard footsteps in the hallway.  No, it wasn't "I thought I heard footsteps", I really heard footsteps, so I got up to check on B, but he was still asleep.  Again, I just didn't give it another thought.  The house wasn't very big, so I would have seen and heard someone if there was another person in the house. 
The next night, I realized that although the neighborhood was safe, the back door did not have a deadbolt lock.  I wasn't all that worried about someone breaking in, but I thought "better safe than sorry".  So, I took a small step ladder and wedged it under the door before bedtime.  Now, the living and kitchen area are together and both were floored with ceramic tile.  No rugs, no carpet...just tile.  So I was in bed reading and heard something clanging out in the kitchen area.  It sounded like a spoon had been dropped in the sink and was clanging around.  Well, I decided it was probably a mouse and I wasn't going to get up and deal with it at 10 at night.  So I went to sleep. 
The next morning, around 6:00, I got up, walked to the kitchen to make coffee, but before I got there I stopped dead in my tracks.  The small stepladder I had wedged under the doorknob was out in the middle of the living room, opened and standing there.  The back door was locked.  No footprints on the floor and no indication there had been a break-in.  I immediately called my friend (yes, at 6 am) and asked her if her mom's house was haunted.  She calmly replied, "Yes, it's MeeMaw" (her grandmother).  She said that her grandmother always watches over children and was making sure the Benjamin and I were safe.  My friend said that MeeMaw probably thought that the ladder should not be there in case we had a fire and needed to get out of the house quickly.  Arount the time this "ladder event" occurred, Benjamin had been acting a little afraid of the house, wanting to sleep in my room.  I decided that as much as I liked having MeeMaw watch over us, it would be better if B wasn't afraid.  One afternoon, I came home and talked to her, explaining that I liked having her around and she could stay as long as she liked, but if she could make her presence less known to Benjamin, it would make him less scared of the house.  We had no other strange issues after that conversation. 

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