Do you believe in ghosts?

Tis the season to freak yourself out. In my house, ghost stories were a family tradition. Every time we gathered with our grandparents we would beg to hear their accounts that they couldn’t quite explain. In fifth grade, when we were assigned our first research report on any subject, other kids in my class did dolphins, Tori Spelling, and the Philadelphia Phillies.

I did my research report on ghosts.

My interest in studying the supernatural has never puttered out and I continue to seek out interesting and terrifying stories. Below are a few I collected to share with you this season.

Happy Halloween!

Myself & two other friends snuck into a supposedly haunted local park one night after it had closed. We heard there had been sightings of a woman walking around the lake. We got there and walked around for awhile, walking around the lake, the houses and other small buildings. We got to the woods which are near the back of the park. My one friend and I were standing about ten feet away from the entrance to this wooded area and we thought we saw this black shadowy figure, at first it looked like a dog shape with glowing eyes. Neither of us was brave enough to walk closer to see what it really was. We kept staring at it, straining our eyes to see it better when then it appeared to change it’s shape. Meanwhile, our third friend was there saying he didn’t think he saw anything. We then heard a noise, I screamed and so did my second friend and we took off running! Our third friend stood there, still not scared, saying “Guys I’m still not seeing it??” All I know is, I know I saw some strange black shadowy figure in those woods that night!!

-C

They say that sometimes spirits attach themselves to babies, and I believe my son was one of them. One night when he was just a few weeks old, he was sleeping beside me in his bassinet. He woke up to eat and started to cry, and as I opened my eyes I heard a loud, distinct voice say “SHHHHHH” that came from right above his bed. My husband heard it, too, but thought it was me. It sounded like any mom trying to quiet her crying baby — soothing, not threatening, yet no one was there. I was too tired to be freaked out though, so I put it in the back of my mind and it didn’t happen again for a while.

The next time I heard “her,” I was working in our guest bedroom using the computer and my son was asleep in his crib across the hall. I thought to myself that he would probably be waking up soon, and not even a minute later I heard a low conversation coming from his room along with the whispered words “Awake, awake.” Just then, he made a sound and I knew he was up. This time it was in the middle of the day, so I knew it wasn’t some weird semi-dream brought on my pure exhaustion. Once again the presence didn’t seem menacing at all, but nevertheless my mama bear protective claws came out. I walked into his room, stood in front of the crib and said to whatever was there, “Listen. I’m really glad that you find my son awesome. I do too! But he’s MY baby, and I don’t need your help. Please leave us alone.”

I felt half crazy talking to nothing, but after I said those words to thin air, I never heard another sound.

-V

I had a band and we practiced in my parents basement. I’d collected a handful of experiences over the years in that house but they were usually easy to write off because I was alone when they happened. One night at practice, I put a glass down on a dollhouse, which was stored on the shelf behind me and after we played a loud song I turned to find it shattered on the floor beside me. Okay. So the reverberations must have vibrated the thing right off the shelf right?

My band mates say no. They had watched it slide right off the shelf while we were playing. And after they say that a pack of guitar strings also slide off the shelf. And while we’re just staring dumbly at this shelf, the dollhouse itself slides forward about five inches toward me.

After a few minutes and nothing else happening my bassist says, “We rock the underworld.”

Good times.

-L

 

We had moved into an older house, and were fixing it up for our family. during the summer there alone my father had worked hard to renovate. we all moved in that fall, and also began to paint and help.

One night my mother and sisters went out and left me alone in the house. I was relaxing in the dining area, reading a book as the rain picked up outside. my ears perked up to a faint sound coming through the falling rain, as did my two dogs; a woman was crying in a broken-hearted manner somewhere. this made me very uncomfortable, and I became uneasy.

My teenaged self told me perhaps the lady next door was crying. what else could it be?

I settled back down to read, the crying picked up and waned, then stopped.

then I felt someone looking at me. I glanced up at the kitchen and a tall black figure filled the door frame to the kitchen!

I jumped up and it was gone. I was really scared- to me it looked like the grim reaper!

Then I paced and worried till my mother came home. This house did not feel safe after that.

-P

 

A few years ago, at the last house we had, I used to get the worst feelings. Ive never been one of those “oh im so in touch with the spirits” people, but always had a healthy respect for the other side. The first time I ever walked into this house-before we even moved in- I immediately got the overwhelming feeling that there was someone in the room, who hated me and wanted me to leave, staring at me. I wasn’t even alone at the time, my current boyfriend was standing right next to me. I could never shake that feeling like someone was standing behind me.

When it was dead quiet and I was trying to go to sleep at night, I would hear what sounded like angry whispers in the other room. Like they were just barely loud enough to hear, but I couldn’t understand the words, just the tone. My daughter was between 1 and a half and 3 years old in the time we lived there. She would constantly look at the empty space next to, or behind, me. And then she would wave or laugh.

One night, as my parents and my daughter were sleeping upstairs (I had a mother in law suite with my own bathroom), I turned on the shower and brushed my teeth. By the time I went to get in the shower, the windows had steamed up. The word “SOON” was written in the steam, backwards. But not just spelled backwards, it was the actual mirrored reflection of the letters. Except that the mirror didn’t face that window. No one ever used that bathroom but me and my boyfriend (who isn’t into pranks like that). I was so petrified that I called my mom and begged her to come downstairs. She still says my brother or someone must’ve done it as a joke, but the condensation of the steam was dripping down the letters, like it had just been written.

-L.M

 

Ray and I had just bought this house from the Landis Family. We were still living in our rental, but fixing up this house. It was midnight and we were both here painting our bedroom. I came down to rinse the brushes in the kitchen sink and I felt Ray’s hand on my back, and I turned around and to my surprise no one was there. I said out loud to the previous owner “I hope you like what we are doing here. I love this house so much”. About a year later Ray was on his knees-grouting the kids bathroom and the bathroom door opened up-and he thought a cat was there. He shut it, turned around and went to work again. The closed door opened and Ray said “Mr. Landis I hope you like what I’m doing.” I haven’t felt their presence since after that first year. I guess they wanted to make sure we were the right family for their house!

-H

 

The house I grew up in was always in a state of half repair. My father was a knowledgeable craftsman and was always starting new projects but not always finishing them. One of the projects was my doorknob. I can’t recall whether I had gotten a new one to my room or whether it was just damaged by one of my sincere bouts of flailing as a rambunctious teen, but it was loose and it stayed that way for awhile. I remember one night waking up to a loud sound directly in my room. It scared the shit out of me, but I eventually went back to sleep. The next night, the same thing occurred- I had just slipped off when the loud noise happened again. It was my door. My door knob was rattling and no one was there. This happened for two weeks straight off and on.
It stopped after two weeks and it never happened again. Other weird things would happen, like someone shouting “No” directly in my ear as I lay in bed, but I think that shook me the most. Like it was taunting me
-A
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