*This is a reposting, from another site, of my real life experiences with a ghost…or two. Originally posted in six parts, I’ve just combined them all in one as I’m moving things over here. If you’ve read this before, somewhere else, I apologize. If you’re new to this series, I hope you get the shivers!
First of all, let me get one thing straight. I never believed in ghosts until I ended up living with them. There’s a logical explanation for everything, right? Unfortunately, I often could not come up with one to explain the happenings in the home that we shared with “Mrs. Greer”.
We don’t know if it was really Mrs. Greer who was visiting us or not. We just knew that the previous owner of our house was a Mrs. Greer who died in the living room of natural causes about five years before we moved in. She became our scapegoat.
The first time she made her presence known was really quite mild in light of what she did to us in later years. This is the story of her first visit.
Four of us lived in this house; my three children and myself. My oldest, Lisa, was about fifteen at the time of this particular incident. My younger two kids were off staying the weekend with friends. It was a Friday morning and Lisa was ordered into the task of cleaning her room while I ran some errands. She greeted me at the door on my return, quite pale. She then proceeded to tell me how, in the course of cleaning her room, a can of deodorant kept flipping upside down on her dresser. She’d set it right side up and when she looked back, it would be upside down again. Yeah. Right. I was sure that she was just looking for an excuse not to finish cleaning her room. Cleaning was not her strong point, after all. She was adamant that she wasn’t doing this and that it was happening on its own.
I knew by now that something was going on, because I’d never seen her so shaken. I figured that if what she said was true, it was due to us living in a very old house where the floors settle and things can appear to move when they are actually only shifting due to the natural order of things…in an old house. She wouldn’t go back into her room without me. I had to prove my point to her, so upstairs we went. Sure enough, there was a can of deodorant, upside down, on her dresser. I righted the container and wedged it very tightly between her purse and a pile of school books. I then locked the door and put the only key to the room in my pocket.
She followed me downstairs and was almost leech-like with her physical attachment to me. All I could think of was “For God’s sake, kid! You’re fifteen! Get a grip and get off my back!” I knew something was really up with her when she spent the next several hours cleaning the kitchen with me. Remember, cleaning wasn’t her bag, to put it mildly.
After about two hours of cleaning, I went upstairs to the bathroom and upon seeing her closed bedroom door, remembered the key in my pocket. I’m glad I’d emptied my bladder before entering that room, because otherwise I would have become incontinent, I’m sure. I turned the key and just peeked in…and there was the deodorant can, firmly lodged between the purse and the pile of books…and upside down. No way that happened because the house settled. Nosiree Bob. Unh unh. No chance. I remember feeling my stomach tighten and finding it hard to breathe. My heart started pounding. I locked the door again, without fixing the deodorant this time. What if it turned over, again, like Lisa said? I couldn’t deal with that.
So, Lisa went off to a girlfriend’s house for the weekend and I was left alone in this big, old haunted house for the first time ever. I remember clutching a crucifix to my chest at night while I was trying to fall asleep, with “trying” being the operative word, here. I couldn’t bring myself to go back into Lisa’s room all weekend.
This was really such a mild event compared to some of the things Mrs. Greer put us through over the next fifteen years or so. I’m glad I couldn’t see into the future; to the things that would scare the living daylights out of me and mine and those who hung out at our home. Stay tuned. It’s time to write Mrs. Greer out of my system.
Living with a ghost in the house presents unusual challenges. If you read Part 1 of this, you’ll remember my daughter Lisa was fifteen. She and I decided to keep our ghost a secret from the younger kids who were about seven and ten at the time. We were both scared enough for all of us, after all. We figured that if the little ones knew, we’d both end up with one or both of them in our beds at night, too. This was an easy task for awhile, as Mrs. Greer seemed to focus her energies on Lisa at first. Things would disappear and show up two or three months later, right where they should have been in the first place or in some highly unusual spot. We searched high and low for her make-up bag, only to have it reappear right on her dresser at a later date. One shoe turned up missing and was found several months later on a top shelf in the pantry. She’d wake up in the morning to find all of her stuffed animals (which were plentiful) had somehow worked their way from her dresser to join her in bed. Were we freaked? You better believe it. I began to think poltergeist. I had read somewhere that they focused and fed off of the energy of adolescence. Lisa certainly had plenty of that going on.
Eventually, Mrs. Greer started turning her mischief towards me. In retrospect, it was always when I was in a relationship that created bad energy, or bad vibes if you will. Maybe it was her way of telling me to get these guys the hell out of Dodge. Many of my boyfriends didn’t believe me when I told them there was a ghost in the house, but I guarantee they believed by the time we broke up. The brother of one boyfriend saw a stuffed animal jettison across the living room on its own before he’d even heard about us living with an apparition. My stuff began to disappear and turn up in the same fashion that Lisa’s stuff did. The spaghetti colander that was missing for three months turned up right in it’s original spot in the cupboard. A bottle of perfume gone and then back where it belonged. There were more things stolen and returned than I could ever remember. I wish I’d kept a journal.
I dated one guy that she disliked more than others, I think. I’d started smoking again with this guy, after having been quit for seven years. We were sitting on my bed one night, smoking, and the pack of cigarettes just vanished. Not right before our eyes, mind you. They were just gone. We tore the bed up, we looked under it. We looked in dresser drawers. Nowhere to be found. The next day I continued the search. It was just too odd. I finally lifted the mattress up and there they were. Right in the middle of the area between the mattress and the box springs. Somehow she’d been able to get them in there with us sitting on the bed. Freak out time again!
So, Lisa and I kept our secret from the little ones. At least until they were old enough to be told that some of the things they experienced in our home were due to a ghost. She and I would give them logical explanations for what they experienced, then we would go to each other and say “Mrs. Greer is at it again.”
All of this was still pretty mild stuff. We hadn’t even seen her…yet.
This is a reposting of a six part series about my real life experiences with ghosts. I’ll be posting two parts daily for three days. Every word is true. For those of you who have read this before, I apologize. For the rest of you, I hope you enjoy.
As I said, Lisa and I kept the secret from the younger two kids for quite awhile. It started to get more difficult as they experienced more and heard hushed whispers from the adults in the house. Faces drained of blood after some of these experiences were more difficult to conceal.
My bedroom in this house was the renovated third floor attic. I had my own set of stairs, right in my room. Mrs. Greer seemed to delight in walking down these stairs in front of men she didn’t care for. Several reported to me that they saw a woman in a long, white dress sort of “float” down the stairs. In retrospect, it was kind of funny to see some of these macho men melt down. A big, hulking construction worker, insisting I go to the bathroom with him. Men who couldn’t stay the night for fear of my ghost showing up again. I could always get a laugh out of this, but that was only because she had shown herself to them, not me. Anytime she did something to me, I was as terrified as the next person. I would spend several days looking over my shoulder and jumping at shadows until I could settle down. I had no choice. It was our home. I had kids to raise. I couldn’t afford to move.
Then I saw her for the first time.
To be honest, I couldn’t make out more than a white shape. But who else could it have been? I was sitting at my vanity table, putting on my make-up. I had leaned my left arm on the table as I hunkered in close to the mirror to put on my mascara. Out of the corner of my left eye, I saw a white form rush out of the wall behind the table. It went right through my left arm, from wrist to shoulder. It was everything you’ve heard about in the spooky movies, folks. Ice, ice cold! Just from the wrist to the shoulder. I’ll never forget it. My mascara went all over my face. I jumped out of my chair and started jumping around my bedroom, rubbing my left arm and screaming “No! Get out of my house, you bitch! I live here, now! Get the hell out and leave us alone!” I don’t know how long I carried on in that manner. I’ve never been so shook up in my whole life! My left arm seemed to take on new meaning to me. It didn’t feel any different, but I knew it was. It had been passed through, without a doubt. It took more than just a few days to settle down from that one.
Of course, the younger kids had heard my uproar and came running. Time to lie, again. It was getting more difficult as Kristin was about twelve at this time and had had several experiences, herself. Things of hers had disappeared, also. A favorite shirt, hung in her closet, turned up a couple of months later, hanging in the basement, of all places. One of her regular sleep-over girlfriends started having experiences. The TV in her room would turn on in the middle of the night. They would wake up to Three’s Company at 4am and check the TV Guide the next day to make sure it was really on and they didn’t dream it. They’d turn it off, and it would turn back on to another station. Over and over again.
One night, Kristin had a bad cold. She was coughing very hard. I’d given her some cough syrup, but it wasn’t working very well. The way she tells the story, she was coughing and coughing and coughing. She had just gotten up to come upstairs to sleep with me when she heard a woman’s voice say “Awww. It’s ok.” She couldn’t make it up the stairs. Instead, she spent the rest of the night wide awake with the covers tightly over her head. We told her the truth the next day. She was just glad she wasn’t hallucinating.
Things continued to disappear and return. Things would move around the house. We dealt with it. We lived with it.
But wait…there’s more.
Mrs. Greer continued to steal our stuff and move our stuff and basically let her presence be known for many years. She was seen on one more memorable occasion, though.
It was a warm summer’s evening and my boyfriend and I had walked down to the corner store. We’d left my house unlocked as we were only going to be gone for a short while. We were about a block from the house on our return trip when we heard a dog putting up quite a fuss. As we got closer, I was able to identify it as my dog. It sounded like someone was pulling his leg off while sawing at his tailbone. I’d never heard a sound like that come from any animal. My heart started pounding. I thought maybe there was an intruder since we’d left the house unlocked.
We got to within visual distance of my house and I could see my Cosby in the window by the stairs in the living room. He was looking toward the middle of the room and visibly shaking while he continued to make that godawful noise. My boyfriend and I followed his gaze to the bay window where we both saw a figure walk into view of the window, bend over to do something, then vanish.
I was shaking. Having difficulty breathing. “There’s someone in my house.”
“There sure the hell is,” was the only thing my boyfriend could manage to squeak out.
We formulated a game plan. He’d go in the back door, I’d go in the front. We’d catch whoever was in there. We were too close to the house for him to have been able to escape. Somehow, someone knew that my daughter had paid me back on a loan that day and I’d foolishly left about $2000 cash in my purse to take to the bank the next day. I also had left two tennis bracelets sitting on my dining room table. What a fool I was for leaving the house unlocked! What was I thinking?
So, I went in the front and he went in the back. We met in the dining room. No one was there. We searched the house, high and low. Every cupboard, closet, floor. Nothing. No one. Cosby had settled down but was still shaking. He followed me from nook to cranny as I searched my home. My money was still in my purse. My tennis bracelets still sat on the dining room table.
That’s when we knew. It was Mrs. Greer, again. Because, you see, there was a loveseat in that bay window where the intruder was seen. No one could have been standing there. They would have had to have walked right through that couch to be seen where we saw “him”.
I started thinking about how the house was set up on my first tour through, prior to purchase. I remembered a TV set in the bay window. The kind you would have had to walk up to and bend over to change the channel or turn it off. That’s where the Greer’s had their TV. Yuppers. They sure did. And maybe a Greer ghost needed to change the station from Ed Sullivan to Bonanza.
Things started to slow down with Mrs. Greer around that time. A few signs of her presence were still found for a short time, then she just sort of left us. At least I thought that’s what happened.
Until the day my daughter Kristin, now all grown up, called me. She wanted to know if I thought ghosts moved. You see, she was living with a young man that none of us were quite crazy about. And it seems that certain gifts he’s given to her little boy have vanished. Things that would be too big to misplace. It just reminded me so much of how Mrs. Greer would let her dislike of the men I was seeing be known in just such a manner. I started thinking about how I’d also read that ghosts could be attached to a piece of furniture instead of a house. People could actually bring a ghost into their home in this way. I started thinking about that antique bedroom furniture that I’d used for so many years. The set that I’d inherited from the kids’ great-grandmother when she went into a nursing home. The great-grandmother who had died about the time Mrs. Greer had made her first appearance to us. The furniture that I’d given to Kristin when she moved into her new home. Maybe it was never Mrs. Greer, after all. Maybe it was Great-Grandma. We may never know, but now she’s Kristin’s to deal with.
You’d think my story would end here, wouldn’t you? Not a chance. Part 5, coming up.
So, I finally met and married the man of my dreams. I moved out of my house. Mrs. Greer (or Great-Grandma) appeared to have moved in with my middle child, Kristin. Kristin could handle it; Mrs. Greer had become something of a friend to all of us. You’d think my story could end here, right? Wrong. Look at the title. Living With Ghosts. Plural. How I ever got this lucky, I don’t know. Just two more tales to tell and I’ll leave you all alone.
My wonderful new husband, Kevin, suffered the loss of his first wife several years prior to our marriage. From all I’ve heard, she was a wonderful woman with whom I would have had a lot in common had we met on this planet. We were even both behavioral health nurses, for crying out loud.
Kevin has this great old century home, right near the shores of Lake Erie. He and his wife, Jane, raised their kids here. Before I moved in, he told me how she always said that she would come back as an egret when she died. Egrets are large, white birds that resemble a heron. They enjoy hanging out here, near the lake. He also told me how he would talk to Jane after she passed away to ask advice on things that were troubling him. On several of these occasions, a white egret would swoop near him. He always felt that was his answer from her.
So, back to when I moved in. I was re-doing her old bedroom, making it ready to be “ours”. The day I started, I felt very odd. I feel a woman’s bedroom is pretty personal. I was cleaning windows and painting trim. I started talking to her.
“Jane, thank you for the beautiful home and the wonderful family that you had to leave behind. I hope this is OK with you. I’m sorry you had to leave all of this and all of them.”
I went on this way several different times. I just wanted to make sure we had good mojo going on here.
Well, since I was painting in a new environment, I was quite disorganized. I’d made about six or seven trips up and down the stairs to get rags, tools, and what have you. On the last trip up, I saw it. Right at the top of the stairs. Right where I couldn’t possibly have missed it on any of my other trips up and down. A large, white, seagull feather. I freaked out. Shades of Mrs. Greer! I couldn’t touch it, but I had to live here with it all day until Kevin got home. All I could do for my sanity was throw a dropcloth over it.
When Kevin got home from work, I was shaken. (You’d think that I’d have been used to this kind of stuff by now, wouldn’t you? Nah. You never get used to it.) I told him how I’d been feeling while painting and how I’d talked to Jane. I grabbed him by the arm and pulled him up the stairs. He lifted the dropcloth and there it was. He said that he’d remembered looking in an old box several days before and seeing a seagull feather in it. Upon further inspection, it was now gone. Obviously it was the one laying at the top of the stairs for me. How it got out of that box, we have no clue.
He was actually able to laugh about this one. He said that would be just like something Jane would have done. He felt it was a little welcoming gift to me and she was giving her approval.
And with what she did next, I’m sure she approves. Stay tuned, one last time.
Well, I hope this is my final chapter in my experiences with ghosts. I would have thought moving thirty-five miles away would have stopped whatever was going on. Now, I know better. Sometimes I wonder if I’m not some kind of a conduit between the worlds. Two ghosts in two different houses? How special for me!
This last event took place just after completing my move. My moving into Kevin’s house was cause for a lot of physical changes here to accommodate my belongings. There were two old, built-in corner cabinets in the dining room. One of them had to go to make way for my curio cabinet. This cabinet is glass encased with mirrored backs. It holds all of my most precious belongings: my Swarovski crystal collection, my depression glass collection and dozens of little trinkets that have tremendous meaning to me. Kevin dutifully performed the task of removing one old cabinet and we then brought my cabinet over. With one small problem. My cabinet was about thirteen or fourteen inches shorter than the one we took out, resulting in some hideous wall deformities showing above the newly placed curio cabinet. Kevin came up with a plan to build a platform that would fit snugly under the cabinet, raising it to the height of the other one and covering the bad spots on the wall.
It was his birthday, but he spent the day in the shed, building and staining the new stand for my cabinet. We emptied it out, put the stand under it and checked it for stability. It was like a rock. I then refilled it with all of my treasures.
We spent the rest of the day doing whatever, then got ready to go out for dinner to celebrate his birthday. We had the door open and were just getting ready to step outside when we heard this tremendous crash. It sounded like all manner of glass breaking, so we both made a beeline back to the dining room. I was sure something happened to the curio cabinet and all of my precious belongings. A crash that loud had to be bad.
What we found in the dining room took our breath away. The cabinet was still upright. Everything was in it’s rightful place, except for the one thing in there that I really didn’t care much for. It was a glass dish on the bottom shelf, filled with colored glass beads. It meant nothing to me. It was just something to fill up an empty space. Now, it was outside of the cabinet and on the floor. Glass beads were scattered around, and the doors to the cabinet were closed tightly. Now, mind you, these are the kind of doors that lock shut by pushing firmly on little metal plates in the upper corners that connect with magnets. There was no way that these doors swung open with enough force to swing back hard enough to lock them. Not without shattering to smithereens.
With very little conversation, we emptied the cabinet again. He lifted it and I pulled the new stand out from under and we went out to dinner, as planned. We spent most of the meal unable to speak much. He said “That was Jane.” I agreed. He felt the cabinet had shifted just enough throughout the course of the day to pose a danger of it falling over at some point. I pointed out that it was his birthday and Jane was probably checking in on him and saw what was likely to happen. We both felt she did this to save my stuff. Kevin further believes she did this to pimp him out, as he said she loved to do when something he did went awry. Either way, that dish could never have come through those doors, leaving them unscathed and relocked, without some kind of supernatural intervention. Had that cabinet crashed forward…had all my treasures been smashed…that would have been an awful start to our new lives together. We both feel she protected us from that. She also got to pimp Kevin out one more time.
The next day, I came up with the brilliant idea to put the stand on top of the cabinet, thus insuring the stability of the bottom again. It looks great and has served the purpose well for several years, now.
Since that time, we’ve been ghost free. I certainly hope I don’t have to add another chapter to this tale someday. Enough’s enough, don’t you think?
The End (I hope)