Here’s my latest installment of stories from when I lived in a haunted house…
My Life with Ghosts, cont.
Angels, Whisperers, and Other Events
These vintage objects which we found in “The House” most likely came from Cuba (cigar cutter), China (matchbox), and Japan (two disappearing coin magic trick boxes). I’m not sure of the origin of the bottom center wood box, but it contained several vintage pen points which I believed belonged to a Mrs. Warner, a dear friend of my husband’s grandparents. Mrs. Warner traveled around the world from the 1910’s on, and all of these items probably came from her travels, for I know that along with many other destinations, she visited Cuba, China, and Japan. And I’m assuming that the pen points were used to write her travel diaries, for they were found together in a wicker carrying case up in our attic. Stories about Mrs. Warner coming soon…
Mid January, 2007: Female angels?
We had put the kids asleep. Lee wanted to stay up and watch a movie but I was too tired so we went to bed at 9:30. For some reason, I had ended up on Lee’s side of the bed so he crawled in on my side, something that never happens. Things felt backwards.
We live not too far from a major road in Atlanta called Ponce de Leon. Sometimes in the night, when things are still, you can hear the sounds of distant city life coming from that busy thoroughfare. Or perhaps it originates from an expressway that’s a bit further away. I’m not sure. Either way, I like to imagine that it is the roar of the ocean I’m hearing, and on this particular night, I let the soothing sound put me to sleep.
I had a dream. And in my dream state, the sound grew very intense, almost to the point of being painful. It was as if my hearing abilities had been magnified many times over and I was now in possession of some kind of super human powers.
Then, over the sound of the traffic, I began to hear faint voices. I could not make out what they were saying but they sounded feminine. And these voices were not of this world. No, they seemed as if they were from another time or another place and I, for a few brief moments, was privy to hearing them. Their voices formed a kind of celestial chord as if I were hearing the sound of earth and heaven at work.
Suddenly, I felt a couple of presences hovering over us. For the first time since living in this house, these presences felt like female beings. And as we slept, they moved in a slow circular pattern directly over our bodies. They were glowing and light and warmed my face. It was not a malevolent force. Rather, it seemed to be a caring one. Somehow, I sensed that they were there to make sure that we were all right.
All while this was occurring–the intense sounds along with the presence of these beings–I felt as though I was rising towards awakedness.
When I actually did wake up and opened my eyes, I saw in that briefest of moments a bright streak of light at the foot of our bed. It rushed up towards the ceiling, then disappeared with a bright flash. It was as if the beings had traveled up and away through the stream of light.
I was left feeling scared. Not because I felt threatened, but because perhaps yet another inexplicable incident had just occurred.
I had put the kids to sleep and then fell asleep myself. I once again sensed the approach of the “female angels” that had visited recently. The sound was at first very distant. It gained in momentum and built towards the “celestial chord” music, the same music which I had heard before. The presences moved close and began to circle above me. It was a very pleasant and happy feeling.
Suddenly, a noise from real life awakened me and the “angels” quickly dissipated.
March 19, 2007: The Whisperers
Other than the “angels,” the paranormal activity in our house had finally diminished to the point where I actually felt a sense of relief. We had not experienced anything out of the ordinary for quite some time. I began to be hopeful that it was all over.
Lee and I were asleep. I had been in a deep sleep for what seemed like a while when I begin to hear what sounded like whispering. The whispers hovered, sometimes over us, sometimes to either side of us. I had the impression that two or more “presences” were having a discussion, maybe even a disagreement. Their whispers grew louder. They now sounded angry but I could not tell if the anger was directed towards us, or if the anger was between themselves. I interpreted it as a squabble as to how to approach or think about something.
I woke up. My first thought was that it had been Lee talking in his sleep. It was not. He lay beside me, quiet. Once again, I had that unpleasant feeling of the air being heavy and thick. I was disturbed enough by my dream to go in the other room and sleep with my children.
The next morning, Lee told me that he had had the most amazing dream. I said: “Tell me, because I had something strange happen to me too.”
Lee’s dream went something like this…
We had opened the door to the attic and looked up. The attic was full of junk and furniture, just as it in real life. But in his dream, it was greatly exaggerated. The stairs were as if from a carnival’s crazy house, and the junk was packed to the rafters. As Lee walked around, he recognized some of the items, such as a red over-stuffed chair, from his childhood.
There were two canvas straps hanging from above. Lee pulled on one. To our horror, a dead body fell down and landed near our feet. Lee pulled on the other strap. Another body came tumbling down. The bodies had indistinct features and were unrecognizable. Suddenly, a cousin of Lee’s (who in real life, is still living and who is one of Lee’s few living links to his past) appeared at the top of the steps. “It’s O.K.,” she said. “We’ve got them all up here.” We go up into the attic and there everyone was, all of Lee’s deceased family members, sitting around having a good time. Narrow paths had been cleared between the mountains of junk and in the small clearings, furniture and lamps from the 1930’s had been set up. There were other people there as well, but like the two bodies that fell from the attic, their faces were indistinct and Lee did not know who they were.
Did the whisperings which I had heard in my sleep have anything to do with Lee’s dream? Or was it simply a coincidence, after a near drought of otherworldly events, that we would both dream on the very same night about presences in our home?
My son wakes up early on a Sunday morning. It is still dark. He calls out for me. Luc tells me that he saw a ghost by his bed. He described it as a shadowy figure with a light coming from inside. He is afraid. I am tired of this. I want to live in a normal house.
May 28, 2007:
My son cried out in the night. When I arrived at his bedside, I asked: “Did you have a nightmare?” He replied: “I heard creepy voices.” I was frightened by my son’s words. So frightened that I could not sleep. When I finally did fall asleep, I dreamed awful nightmares. In one, I was standing in the corner of my bedroom, the same corner where I once “saw” the light whoosh up and out through the ceiling. In my dream, I took these stories that I am working on and placed them inside a manila folder. As I did so, I was suddenly enveloped by a dark, ghostly cloud. I was scared and woke up.
June 2007: Happiness and the smell of coffee
My daughter called out for me during the night. She told me that she saw a white shape. She thought it was a ghost. I explained to her that the color white reflects light and that it was probably the side of her white bookcase that she saw. I comforted her but I am disturbed the rest of the night.
The next day, my daughter tried to rationalize her fears from the previous night. She believed that her imagination had been carried away when she thought she had seen the white shape moving. Still, she remained uneasy and that night, I had to sleep with her. I was awakened by the sound of her laughing in her sleep. After everything we’d been through, the sound was like heaven.
Later that night, I had a dream…I was wandering through an upscale grocery store which was packed with people whom I don’t know. For a brief time, an old lady followed me. Is she death? I wondered. She disappeared. I came to an aisle packed with all kinds of coffee. Suddenly, I smelled the incredible aroma of freshly ground coffee. I was overcome by a simple, pure, deep, uncomplicated happiness. I was completely satisfied. I woke up and wondered, is this what all my soul searching and questioning of life and death had led me to? That happiness is simply the smell of freshly ground coffee?
August 30, 2007:
Two small incidents in one day… I was doing around the house during the late afternoon when I walked into my bedroom. I paused in the corner near the bathroom door. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a blackish, grainy, flat shape pass by. I thought at first that someone, a child or my husband, had just stepped into the room. I glanced in the direction of the shape. There was nothing.
During the same time period, late afternoon to evening, I was standing near the computer in the breakfast room. I saw for just a fraction of a moment two spiraling, blackish wisps of shapes. The wispy shapes disappeared before it even registered that I had seen something.
The next day, I sat down at the computer to document these occurrences. Emma, our dog, sat close by. Suddenly, I heard three, distinct steps. They were heavy and tired sounding, like those of an older, heavy-set man. For some reason, I immediately thought of Barney (Lee’s deceased grandfather). They sounded like they were coming either from the hall, which was right behind where I was sitting, or from the attic stairs, which were close by. Emma heard it too. She jumped up. I had her follow me as I searched the house. Nothing. I doubted that I would sleep well that night.
October 4, 2007:
Katie is alone in the living room, playing the piano. She hears someone clap at the end of her performance.
October 5, 2007:
Luc hears someone call his name. This is not the first time that this has happened to him since living here.
March 29, 2008: The Breathing
On this particular night, it had been over five months since my last entry concerning our encounters of the inexplicable kind. I had settled into a feeling of comfort in our home, even during that dreaded time of two to five in the morning, believing that the house was finally ours and ours alone. So when Lee went wandering off in the middle of the night to put our son back to sleep, I was not too concerned. I actually welcomed the rare chance to stretch out and enjoy not having to contort my body next to my husband’s, who’s large frame is too big for our antique bed forcing him, and me, to sleep diagonally.
It was close to the first light of the morning when I was awakened to the sound of breathing. The sound was slow, steady, and quiet. But it did not sound like the breathing of one at rest. Rather, it was as if someone were standing nearby, waiting quietly, at the ready. I opened my eyes slightly and turned to see if my husband had returned. He had not. I looked to the foot of the bed–our dog was not there.
There were three possibilities, I later concluded. One, I had been dreaming; two, my own breathing had awakened me; or three, “it” had started again.
When I told my husband about the incident, he pointed out to me that we had made a few recent excursions to the attic. And I think it is possible that once again, we had roused the souls guarding the vestiges of their past existences.
If there are ghosts (emphasis on the word “if” for I remain reluctant to believe), I hope that they are not angry with us. Rather, I’d like to imagine that they are trying to direct us to something of great importance, whether it be of the materialistic kind or of the spiritual kind. If this is the case, then why not simply speak out? They have breathed on us, tugged our hair, poked us, turned on T.V.’s, and rung the phone. But beyond calling out our names, their voices seem to be paralyzed. And I wonder, if they could, what would they say?
April 19, 2008: The Dream of Resolution
I had a dream that brought me nearer to the end of my nine year journey of writing these stories of life in “The House”…
I dreamed that Lee and I were sleeping in a cottage by the ocean. In my dream, I wake up early in the morning. I tell my half-asleep husband that I wanted to feel better and needed to get away from the sad sound of the ocean waves. Lee mumbles something and goes back to sleep.
I get into a car and began driving inland. I have only a gone short distance when I find myself in a mountain valley very much like the valleys found in the Rabun Gap of North Georgia of my youth. With the exception of slight dips in the road, it is a straight shot ahead. It is a beautiful day and the light feels as if it is alive–very much like when, following Harold’s death, that beautiful “wind” came through and rushed around me and my sleeping children.
It is an scene full of rustic houses, barns, and farmland. Ahead in the distance are mountains, but unlike the gentle hills of North Georgia, these mountains are much more dramatic and reach far higher up into the sky than any I have ever seen. I wonder if the mountains are heaven.
Immediately after I enter the valley, I see a man standing to the right of the road. He is an older man dressed in overalls. Smiling, he proudly holds up a fish that he has just caught. And to my left, a middle-aged man stands by a pond; at his side is his faithful dog. There is obviously not a lot of money in this place but it is full of simple, pure pleasures and a sense of great happiness. I somehow now know that the road ahead of me is the path to heaven.
But before I can travel any further into this magical world, I wake up. I am sorry when I realize that it was just a dream.
The meaning of my dream seemed obvious to me. The ocean is a symbol for my sadness over the gradual loss of my parents as I’ve always associated them with our many trips to the beach together. And it is clear that I am finally moving away from my grief over the loss of my grandparents. It is time for this journey, the journey of looking back, to be done. I am hopeful that I can now move forward along a path where happiness can be found.
(to be cont.)