Mommy Wants Vodka

…Or A Mail-Order Bride

…And Still Insists She Sees The Ghosts


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From the ages of, oh, I don’t know, 3 to 24, my brother hated me. Unresolved issues, a sprinkling of jealousy and a (now ex) wife who fanned the flames of contention with her equally fcuked-up relationship with her own little brother made for a gigantic cluster-fuck of a relationship. For years I was baffled, then sullenly resentful, then I got over it.

You can’t make people (even family) like you. Period. End of story. Fin as those wily French say. Or is it the Eye-Tal-Ians? I can’t be sure.

(Years later, thanks to my sister-in-law, we get along just fine, thankyouverymuch, to the shock, I think, of us both)

But back then, when I was a teenager and he was my current age (28), he and his shrew of a (then) wife who shared my name (first, then last) bought a house in St. Charles, not too far–maybe 5 blocks–from where I live now. The only difference is, my house is in a 70’s construction subdivision, and his house was one of the original in the town. And, because he has a penchant for the dramatic and macabre, the old house he bought wasn’t any old house.

No, not a bit. Not MY brother.

It was built in 1837 in the heart of what was then downtown St. Charles, by a builder whose wife was a member of the spiritualist movement. Her name was Caroline and she believed that she could send and receive messages from the dead. As a famous medium of her time, she held many seances in her home, including one for Mary Todd Lincoln, who came to St. Charles in hopes of communicating with her deceased husband Abe.

But no, the macabre doesn’t stop there.

Once Caroline passed away, one of her daughters picked up right where her mother had left off, conducting seances in the same house. Her daughter later married a man who was an undertaker. The house was then used as a funeral home with one of the basement rooms used as an embalming and viewing room. The name of the undertaker is still etched into the glass on the front door, my brother happily pointed out when we came to tour the house.

(To think I was happy that my own home had central air.)


My brother and his then wife bought this home in the later 1990’s when I was a teenager. Shortly after this, my brother began to travel for business, leaving the country for weeks at a time. Also around this time, my former sister-in-law asked for a divorce. Even less reason for Aaron to be home.

So, when he was gone, I was occasionally asked to house sit, which confounded me: here I was, 18 with a boyfriend, and I was asked to stay in a house ALONE without parents, by my brother who hated me? Surely, there was a catch.

Turns out there was.

For someone like me, who firmly didn’t believe in ghosts, I wasn’t scared by the rumors that the house was haunted. Sure, the chalk painting on the wall in the basement (later, I learned, was the embalming room) of a wide-eyed girl with the phrase “JUST A PURE GIRL” underneath it was a little creepy. But St. Charles is an old town and between the houses I’d been to that had passages for the escaped slaves on the Underground Railroad and all the other old weirdness, I chalked it up to nerves.

He’d bought a creepy house.

End of the ever-loving story.

But no.

One night, after I’d promised my mother that I would pop over there to water the plants and hang out so that it looked occupied and lived in, I dragged my then-boyfriend over with me. Figured we’d listen to some music, hang out without any interruptions and maybe get a chance to have The Sex.

But no.

We pulled up, parked and walked in after I unlocked the door. It was like walking into a wall of unease. All merriment, all joy, all laughter was suddenly just gone. Sucked out of the both of us, like we’d entered The Vortex of The Fun-Free Zone. I eyed him and he eyed me back. The disenchantment was mutual, but we were going to power through it. Maybe it was just nerves or something.

But no.

We walked around the house and if we’d been actors on a stage, the directions would have read “The couple walks about, trying their best to act normal.” Very awkward and highly unexpected for the both of us. I went to the CD rack to pick out a CD as I knew my brother’s collection was far better than my own, hoping, I guess that a little familiar music would still the feeling of disquiet.

But no.

We sat down on the rug in front of the stereo and began to listen to some Mazzy Star. Okay, I thought, maybe it was just a case of The Nerves. Then the phone rang. Startled beyond anything, I jumped up, my heart thudding unhappily in my chest as I realized I was sweating profusely. Better answer that, I thought as I went for the handset in the kitchen. Give the illusion that someone is home, yeah, that’s the ticket.

(my brother hates to talk on the phone, so in hindsight, this was NOT what he’d have done)

Having been somewhat of a phone aficionado for most of my life, I was shocked that I couldn’t answer it. I tried to answer it, I pushed the right buttons on his new-agey looking phone, but no one was there. On and on it rang, Tim and I looking frantically at each other like answering this fucking phone won us the right to live or die. I couldn’t manage to answer it. No way, no how.

Then, just as the phone stopped ringing, the sirens downtown began to go off. The house wasn’t super close to the police or fire department, but the sirens were loud and close. All of a sudden, I got a vision of a car wreck somewhere close where people I loved had died. Popped into my head out of the clear blue sky. My whole body was covered head to toe in goosebumps and I began to shiver uncontrollably in the warm summer air.

It was then that I knew we had to get the fuck out of there before something Really Bad happened.

I took one look at Tim who looked back at me, both of us ashen under our summer tan, and we ran. We fucking bolted from that house as quick as we fucking could, panting and breathless. I called my mom to beg her to come and lock up after me because I couldn’t do it. My hands were too shaky to work the key into the lock.

Aaron sold the house several years later, had a couple of good laughs at my experience with the ghost, whom he claimed “hated women.” My mother, conversely, loved the ghost in that house who, apparently, loved her back. So the ghost, just like anyone else, had preferences.

It sounds so flimsy when I retell it here, because I can’t inject terror into your body like it was injected into mine. The analytical side of me says that what happened was just a stress response to being in the house of someone who didn’t like me particularly. It says it that I was feeding off the emotions of my surroundings and letting it overtake me. It says that there’s no such thing as ghosts.

The irrational, emotional side of me, though, doesn’t agree. The emotional side of me calls bullshit.


Do you believe in ghosts? Have you had anything like that happen to you?

79 Comments to

“…And Still Insists She Sees The Ghosts”

  1. On March 4th, 2010 at 10:47 am a Says:

    I see Smuckers is paying attention, as there is a coupon available for your readers!

    I don’t believe in ghosts, and nothing creepy has ever happened to me. Booooo-ring!

  2. On March 4th, 2010 at 10:48 am Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] Says:

    I think it was just the teenage boy peen giving you the willies.

    …oh i crack myself up…

  3. On March 4th, 2010 at 12:50 pm Your Aunt Becky Says:

    Ah, but he had a NICE peen.

  4. On March 4th, 2010 at 10:49 am Anna Says:

    It was in highschool in NE Ohio and I was home alone, sitting at the counter working on my Trig homework. I heard a funny noise and got up to look for the source – 2 magnets had flipped themself off of the fridge. Thinking it was weird, I slapped them back on and went back to homework. Not more than a minute later, a bag of Twizzlers plopped on the floor from the edge of the counter where it had been since my dad left it there. Needless to say, I packed up and did the rest of my homework on the porch until the family came back!

  5. On March 4th, 2010 at 10:51 am melanie Says:

    Yes i believe but will the ghosts come visit me……..NOOOOOOO

  6. On March 4th, 2010 at 10:52 am melanie Says:

    oh and I even went on a ghost “tour” in a supposedly haunted old hotel, not even so much as a goosebump!

  7. On March 4th, 2010 at 10:54 am Becky Mochaface Says:

    I think it’s possible for ghosts to exist. There are certainly things that can’t be explained rationally. I’ve never experienced anything like that though. I would probably be peeing on myself.

  8. On March 4th, 2010 at 11:03 am Brooke Says:

    Good god, thanks for freaking me out at work. I used to hate house-sitting because I could dream up all sorts of scenarios. I don’t think I believe in ghosts. But it’s funny you mention this – I wrote a post about today being my deceased friend’s birthday. After he died, I had an incredibly vivid dream where he came to me, kissed my cheek, and told me he was okay. I felt (bold, underline) his presence. That’s the only thing that has ever made me doubt that ghosts are a figment of the imagination.

  9. On March 4th, 2010 at 11:06 am eringirl Says:

    I would have died from terror. I commend you on staying alive.

    My family claims that my grandparents’ house is haunted. My grandfather says that the ghost plays the piano in the living room in the middle of the night and my parents claim that when I was a baby that I would talk “to no one”– a behavior that I didn’t do anywhere except in their living room. Like you, the intellectual side of me says it is not possible, but deep down I am terrified they do!

  10. On March 4th, 2010 at 11:15 am Sabreena Says:

    When I was about 12 I had a sleepover where we decided to play with a Oija board. During our interrogation of said board a fire started in my back yard though no one was out there (my dad put it out before any damage was done). It could not have been a prank since we lived in the boonies back then and our closest neighbors were 2 lesbian teachers that lived over 5 miles away. This was my closest and only encounter but it was enough to make me believe (and swear off Ouija boards. Fucking Parker Brothers.) What you experienced was some really scary shit and I would have run like hell too.

  11. On March 4th, 2010 at 11:16 am Jen Says:

    My mom & I were at my grandma’s house. I was tucked in for the night in my mom’s childhood room, the door to the hallway open. I looked up and saw something. It was just there, in the doorway. I don’t really know what it was. I told my mom about it years later and all the emotion dropped from her face. She had seen the same thing as a teenager and told my grandma about it a few years before I was born. My grandma said she had seen it too, at a different time, all in the same spot. Weird.

    My husband, who is a Marine, was stationed in Okinawa, Japan and while standing duty at his work building which just happened to be a WWII hospital, his arm went cold. He looked over and saw a “nurse” taking his blood pressure. Creepy!!

  12. On March 4th, 2010 at 11:18 am Jodee Says:

    When my husband and I had only been married for a few years.. We lived in a house that was built around 1908. I have always been “sensitive” to other things. But one night in this house I had a very “vivid” dream that two little kids a boy and a girl came around the edge of our bed and were saying, ” mommy” What really freaked me out was when they crawled up on the bed and I felt the weight of them on the bed.. Talk about scaring the crap out of me I was scared to even tell my husband about it the next morning but when I finally did. He totally did not believe me. He does not believe in such things at all. But I know what happened and I know what I felt and it scared me.. We moved not to long after that and I was glad to leave that creepy little house.

  13. On March 4th, 2010 at 11:19 am Jennifer Says:

    (As you may have guessed by now) I was raised in a spiritual belief system where admitting you DIDN’T KNOW the truth of all things unknowable was considered a weakness and a sign of unworthiness. It creates all kinds of mental issues …

    It was not easy to rewire my brain and work through the mindfuck. The day I woke up and said, “I don’t know. And THAT’S COOL!” the weight of the world was lifted off my shoulders. I felt like I was being completely honest with myself for the first time. It felt great.

    As a result I’m fairly skeptical now, and that goes for people on both sides of both extremes — those who claim they know something unknowable is true, and those who claim they know something unknowable is not true.

    The reality is experiences like yours are personal and can’t be externally validated or invalidated.

    The end.

  14. On March 4th, 2010 at 11:35 am carissajade Says:

    Geez! This just gave me goosebumps. I do believe in ghosts and have had a few creepy things happen to me. I believed I was a medium of sorts when i was a kid and even started a “ghost club.” My best friend’s mom wouldn’t let her hang out with me when she found out.

  15. On March 4th, 2010 at 11:42 am Beth Says:

    First off, I’m DYING to know what house that is! I had another friend who owned a haunted house in STC. She swore she had Colonel Baker strolling through her upstairs hallway. We also lived in an old house on 2nd Ave across from Pottawotomie Park but it wasn’t haunted but a couple of our neighbors claimed theirs were.

    I want to believe but I’ve never had an experience. We used to own a vacation house over near Mt. Carroll that my daughters swore was haunted. It was a new house but they tell of two times when they were sleeping in the living room and saw an old fashioned dressed woman walking down the hall toward the bedrooms. They never wanted to sleep in their bedroom there, preferring the couches in the basement. Which was weird because the bedroom was directly across from our room on the upper floor. I remember getting funny feelings when outside with my dog at night but I never saw anything. Steve took a photo of the living room right before we sold it and there was a huge orb “sitting” on the couch. I’m not sure I buy the orb theories but it was weird.

  16. On March 4th, 2010 at 11:47 am kbrients Says:

    I believe. and your story creeps me the fuck out.

  17. On March 4th, 2010 at 11:52 am MommaKiss Says:

    I absofuckinglutely believe in ghosts and always love a good ghost story. One of them involved me jumping like seventeen feet into the air and screaming like a banshee while tears streamed down my cheeks. Yah – from the TELLING of a story…I’m to distraught to actually get into my own experiences. I need a moment.

  18. On March 4th, 2010 at 11:53 am MommaKiss Says:

    that’s TOO distraught.
    I need a moment!!

  19. On March 4th, 2010 at 11:55 am Mary Says:

    I believe in some sort of paranormal happenings. I think the majority of ghost sightings/experiences are chalked up to paranoia and overactive imaginations, but there are some out there that I just can’t in good conscience refute. I’ve never really had my own experience though. The closest would be at my grandfather’s funeral, I swear I felt someone (who wasn’t there) wipe my tears.

  20. On March 4th, 2010 at 11:57 am Elly Lou Says:

    “Fade into you….Strange you never knew…”

    Like Hope Sandoval doesn’t make a gal believe in the occult on a sunny day in Arizona. I can’t imagine her crooning in a haunted house. Shiver me timbers.

  21. On March 4th, 2010 at 11:59 am Rebecca Says:

    I need to ask my aunt to tell me her story again. It is ‘raise the hair on the back of your neck’ scary!! Yours made me feel uneasy. I get that you were frightened as I’m now a bit creeped out.

    If you ever go into that house again, you need to get yourself an ‘earth bone’. Even the mightiest and scariest ghosts are terrified of people carrying earth bones.

  22. On March 4th, 2010 at 12:27 pm Your Aunt Becky Says:

    Oooh! I want to hear your aunt’s story!

  23. On March 4th, 2010 at 1:11 pm Stephanie Says:

    Me too! And what’s an ‘earth bone’?

  24. On March 4th, 2010 at 12:05 pm Paul Says:

    I’ve never personally had an episdoe like that, but my wife has.

    She was about 4 at the time and they were living in a house that used to be an old german school. Unbeknownst to her mom, her dad had started seeing Matilda shortly after they moved in, she would walk in circles around the house, as if patrolling the classroom. My wife was in her room taking a nap one day and saw Matilda at the end of the bed watching her sleep. When she walked downstairs and asked her mom and dad who the lady was in her room the gig was up. They stayed there for a while afterwards, Matilda was harmless, though she would occassionally start a rocking chair going. Her dad would yell down “Knock it off Matilda” and she would.

    Eventually they sold the house because her mom wasn’t comfortable with having Matilda and a four year old in the same house. Her dad cornered the real estate agent after all the papers were signed and asked him to tell him about the ghost…the agent confirmed that he knew about it. Apparently one of the previous tenants were a group of girls from the local college and Matilda didn’t like them a bit and would throw their cloths all over their rooms when they were out of the house.

    The house is still frequently on the market, and my wife will get an odd sense about certain homes she walks into.

    I didn’t ever believe in ghosts before…

  25. On March 4th, 2010 at 12:09 pm Your Aunt Becky Says:

    No, I didn’t either. But after my experience, I do.

  26. On March 4th, 2010 at 12:14 pm heather Says:

    yes i definitely believe. and i’ve had a few strange situations without rational explanations. thankfully none as creepy as the experience you just shared.

    my husband does not believe in ghosts or anything of the sort.

    however, he will admit that he does not believe “our house” likes him. i get the feeling the house “is lonely”. don’t know how to explain these feelings. it’s not an old creepy house, though it did have an owner who passed away. it was my batchelorette pad, now our too small family home. we’ve moved and rented it out and now are back. and we have the worst luck while we’re here. especially my husband. we also hear things, that aren’t there-most notably a baby crying. we have no little babies anymore. and every night that i lay my head down on my pillow i hear music. not quite loud enough to make out the song, but definitely music almost like someone’s play list is always playing. i lift my head and can’t hear it. i don’t know if my husband has that problem or not. so yes, i guess the house is a bit odd.

  27. On March 4th, 2010 at 12:22 pm Tibbar_deGniw Says:

    Blasted time zones… I speak as someone who is reading this in the wee hours of the morning: don’t read this if you are alone late at night and you are very suggestible. I have goosebumps all over and am tearing up in fear.

    I wouldn’t really say I don’t believe in ghosts, though I tend to disdain the paranormal. It just seems better to not decide to believe or not, as I continue to read or listen to ghost stories, clutching at people or blankets, trembling, getting goosebumps, with frightened tears.

    I suppose I’m a bit of a masochist.

    Also? I would totally not want to go near anywhere haunted at night.

  28. On March 4th, 2010 at 12:24 pm Heather (qtberryhead) Says:

    I was onboard with the house until you got to the funeral parlor part. Umm, no.
    Yes, I believe in ghosts. I have a house that is haunted by a party of laughing ghost children. There are also ghosts here that didn’t like my ex-husband, or an ex-boyfriend.
    Ghosts with great taste!
    I have experienced some similar things to what you encountered (not in my house though).

  29. On March 4th, 2010 at 12:29 pm Momma Lioness Michele Says:

    We live in a house built in 1906. I definitely feel a “presence” in our unfinished basement. If we are down there after midnight, things fall, the radio turns on, etc. We take it as a sign to leave it the hell alone after 12. Also, when I’m down there doing laundry, I hear running feet in the kitchen above. I was freaked out at first but we’ve gotten used to it.
    I totally understand the feelings you had. The vision you had bugs me out the most. Glad you and your guy ran out of there when you did!

  30. On March 4th, 2010 at 12:33 pm Andrea Says:

    I lived in a haunted apartment once. It was one of the old Hollywood houses converted into apartments and I could always feel someone else there when I walked down the hallway. I swear I didn’t imagine it and my roommate never felt it (probably because she never shut up for 3 seconds straight). But you know the feeling when someone walks in a room and you haven’t seen them, but you can feel they’re there? THAT’S what it felt like.

  31. On March 4th, 2010 at 12:35 pm Intrepid Eddie Says:

    I personally haven’t ever had any ghostly encounters, and consider myself a mild skeptic.

    HOWEVER, the scariest place on earth (that I’ve been to, anyway) is the Separate Prison at Port Arthur in Tasmania. Even during broad daylight, the place freaked me the fuck out. Almost shit myself on the midnight tour. No ghosts or anything “paranormal”… just raw, unfounded fear.

  32. On March 4th, 2010 at 12:37 pm Amber Says:

    I totally believe in ghosts. I’ve never seen one but that’s a good thing. I’m incredibly jumpy so if one appeared in front of me, I’d scream the house down.

  33. On March 4th, 2010 at 12:44 pm bianca Says:

    I’ve seen ghosts…I swear to it; I may have been loaded but I maintain that they exist.

  34. On March 4th, 2010 at 12:47 pm Patty Punker Says:

    i love love love seances and think i’ll plan one with my GFs now. i kinda like a dose of the heebie jeebies now and again.

    ps: i know descedents of mary todd lincoln and they’re bat shit crazy. the only diff is mary’s mental instability was understandable.

  35. On March 4th, 2010 at 12:53 pm Jessica Says:

    I believe in ghosts & have had several experiences with them. In college, I was woken up one morning by what I thought was my roommate trying to get back in (we had separate rooms & shared a common closet area & sink). The door was actually moving slightly & banging like someone pulling from the outside. When I went to open the door, I couldn’t. I pushed & pushed & it didn’t move. I looked out the peephole & no one was there. It was then that I stepped back & realized that my roommate was still in her bedroom asleep. A few seconds later the banging stopped & I was able to open the door.

    We bought our house from an estate sale. The old couple that had lived here had done so for 40+ years, though they thankfully didn’t actually die in the house. By the time we moved in, the house had been vacant for almost two years. One of our friends was here late one night before we moved in refinishing the hardwood. He says he looked up at one point to see the old man watching him work. While I have never “seen” either of them, strange smells used to come on suddenly, especially the smell of Ben-Gay. Luckily they seem to have moved on (as I asked them to do, just like in those haunting TV shows) because it’s been a long time since anything unusual has happened.

    My husband has even crazier stories about a duplex he lived in. And, yes, “logic” tells us that ghosts are not possible. We are both very educated people (master’s degrees) in science fields. Yet, based on our experiences, we believe!

  36. On March 4th, 2010 at 1:08 pm Sam Says:

    Our last house was new construction, but behind us was, wait for it, a cemetery. I may blog about this. Someday. When I take enough xanax and uncurl from my safe place. (kidding!) But seriously. We had enough weird shit go down to go from SUPER skeptical of such things to uncomfortably dark humor. Like, when electronics would freak out, I’d yell “Go into the LIGHT! Get the fuck out of my kitchen already!” Like that. But yeah. That house needed a good cleansin’.

  37. On March 4th, 2010 at 1:09 pm Stephanie Says:

    Bex, seriously? Freaking me the fuck out, man. I’m a total believer. There are only two places that I’ve ever lived that didn’t/don’t give off some weird vibe: my grandparents’ home (still alive) and my current house (built in the 1870s).

    I actually saw something in an apartment that my mom and sister and I lived in when I was about twelve. Was sitting on the floor in our room, doing homework. Sister was in living room playing, and out of the corner of my eye, I saw something walk down the hall to the kitchen. I got up, thinking it was my sister, and saw the kitchen door swing shut. I got in there to help her, and she wasn’t there. Called her name and heard her answer from the living room. Couple days later, I saw it again at the end of the hall as I was coming up the stairs – a kid about my age. He smiled and waved at me, and walked through the closed kitchen door without making it move. He didn’t creep me out (but the closet by the stairs did – always felt that if I opened it, they’d eventually find me between the walls).

    Great…I’m sitting at work, the hairs on the back of my neck and arms standing up, and the two windows behind me look like eye reflections in my computer screen. Fuck, Bex…fuck. *shivers*

  38. On March 4th, 2010 at 1:14 pm existentialwaitress Says:

    I was riveted by this story b/c I really DO believe in ghosts – for reals. When my mom was preggo with me, she and my dad swear they lived in a haunted apartment briefly – I say briefly b/c after just three weeks they high-tailed it out of there after a few terrifying experiences (this apartment even had closets with locks on the OUTSIDE). My mom said this is one of the scariest places she’s ever been.

  39. On March 4th, 2010 at 1:22 pm Laura Says:

    Oh yes, I do believe in ghosts and have seen one at Christmas. I blogged about it of course.

    If I saw a ghost that was a stranger i would move out of here in a nanosecond!!!!!!!!!!!

  40. On March 4th, 2010 at 1:23 pm Anna Says:

    This is so weird that you write about this and I read it today. Last night my boyfriend apparently had a “bad dream”. I didn’t even know he was capable of dreaming… He said he felt like a ghost entered his body and he woke up freezing. Creepy.

    I also had a moment in an old aircraft carrier in Alameda, CA. Turned the corner into some room and immediately got the creeps, then I realized it was the infirmary and got the hell out of there!

    I always assume I’m just a ‘fraidy cat…I hate thinking about ghosts!

  41. On March 4th, 2010 at 1:29 pm amber Says:

    I’m a believer. Never seen anything, but my house in Michigan had these weird cold spots that would come and go, and when you stepped in them, you’d get the most creeped out feeling…

  42. On March 4th, 2010 at 1:35 pm Miss Spoken Says:

    Yes. I lived in a house when I was a kid that was … unsettling. Creepy brick fireplace in the backyard. Cold bedroom with a hatch to the attic. Flies. And while living there, I started sleepwalking.

  43. On March 4th, 2010 at 1:58 pm Cody Says:

    I have had too many experiences to list. I was beginning to think I had an uncanny knack for finding and moving into “haunted” houses, but then I got to thinking it was me, maybe they ( as in ghosties) just like me! I don’t mind, most have been cool, once you get used to them being there.
    One night ( I was 17) I was trying to sleep but I felt like someone was sitting in the rocking chair (how creepy are rocking chairs?), staring at me and I said “Would you fuck off! I’m trying to sleep!” I had this sensation of someone holding my head down on the bed and shaking it, very rough. Very effing scary. I was nothing if not polite to that ghost after that! There was also a pervy ghost! Maybe the poor soul ended up doomed to haunt a bathroom for all eternity and was trying to make the most out of it!
    I heart your blog, Aunt Becky, I’m a new fan and I swear, I snort, chortle (snortle?!) with laughter every day, thanks to you!!

  44. On March 4th, 2010 at 2:19 pm statia Says:

    I believe in ghosts, but I’m not the type of person that can see or feel them. I WANT to, but I don’t generally get that weird feeling associated with them.

    That said, when I was living in my apartment right before I moved to California, I was POSITIVE I had some sort of ghost or something that lived there. It was an older house, split into two apartments. I lived on the top floor. I always felt weird in the kitchen, and there was always fog on the kitchen window. And it would always steal shit from me and hide it whenever I had somewhere “important” to be. Usually my cell phone and my keys. I remember one time I said out loud to give my shit back and my stuff appeared on my bed, which to anyone sounds like I came home and threw my shit on the bed without remembering, but I NEVER did that. Ever. I always put it on the chair in the living room. I’m if nothing, a creature of habit. It also would scare the shit out of my dog. He’d be sleeping behind me while I sat at my desk, and all of a sudden he’d jump up out of a sound sleep, something he had never done before, or since.

    The funniest thing about this ghost was the day I moved, it took my keys AGAIN. And I looked for those keys for hours. Thankfully I found a spare set, but I had this bag of food that literally dumped out three or four times with no keys inside. When we got to California, I emptied the bag out, and in the bottom? My keys.

    You got the last laugh, ghost. I kind of miss the old chap.

  45. On March 4th, 2010 at 2:22 pm Krissa Says:

    Wow. I believe in, well, something like that. Just not too sure what you’d call it. Maybe “ghosts” is too generic for what I’m thinking.

  46. On March 4th, 2010 at 2:56 pm Mama Says:

    I also believe in ghosts. My dad has a ghost at his house that likes to move shit around on him and knock stuff over when my dad is in the other room. I have also lived in an apartment and been in houses where I see “shadows”. I don’t know how else to explain it other than shadows or shades. I don’t usually see features just the shade of a person or like seeing a shadow on a wall, and sometimes can just feel when someone is there. Don’t usually feel creeped out or anything, I have always been able to feel/see this so it never seemed weird to me or seemed like something I should freak out over.

  47. On March 4th, 2010 at 3:05 pm tobasco Says:

    My stories are too long to post here, but I have experienced ghosts on two separate occasions. I never really thought much of it before then, but I ab-so-lutely believe they were real. Thankfully I haven’t run in with any in my 110 year old house though. Although I have to admit, I’m just waiting to hear some random ghost-y noises over the baby monitor.

  48. On March 4th, 2010 at 3:09 pm Trista Says:

    You know what freaked me out more than reading your story? Reading all the creepy stories in the comments! I don’t think I’ve had any sort of unusual experience (nice euphemism, eh?) myself, but two close relatives are firm believers and one in particular has had some experiences. Pretty creepy stuff – I’d like to find this comforting, somehow, to think that we don’t just go *poof* and disappear when we die, but it just freaks me the fuck out.

    Oh, and I’m gonna go sign up for your book now, I know I’m tardy!

  49. On March 4th, 2010 at 3:14 pm The Drama Mama Says:

    Oh yes, I believe in ghosts. I have had many encounters with them, from a place that I worked at, to old homes that I have visited, to the very house I live in now. of course, I live in a civil war town with several cemetaries and along a river which has claimed many lives, so….

  50. On March 4th, 2010 at 3:39 pm arglebargle » emmanation Says:

    […] and behold, today Your Aunt Becky told a story about when she was in a haunted house! AND I have a story that is sort of about […]

  51. On March 4th, 2010 at 4:15 pm Amy Mayfield Says:

    When I was very young, I often stayed with my grandparents over the weekends in a house that several generations of the family had lived in.
    Between the ages of 4 and 6ish, I would always tell my grandmother that I kept seeing this lady standing on the stairs watching me. and my grandmother insisted I was just imaginative, which was true.
    BUT one of my older cousins heard me tell the story and she pulled a picture out of the back of a closet and wanted to know if anyone looked familiar. I immediately pointed to a lady in the back. Turns out it was my grandfather’s first wife who had lived and died in the house. Almost all of my cousins had seen her-and there are about twenty of us.
    Generally, I don’t believe in ghosts but I still remember seeing her.

  52. On March 4th, 2010 at 4:43 pm Melissa Says:

    I voted for your hot sparkly ass!

    I have never had anything creepy happen to me by anyone that was dead. I am kinda jealous. I watch the Ghost Whisperer every night on ION, and I know how to cross them over by now. I am totally an expert. And yet, they dont come. I also dont have huge boobs.

  53. On March 4th, 2010 at 4:56 pm Wombat Central Says:

    Girl, I was over here all screaming, “Aunt Becky! Get OUT OF THE HOUSE!!” Very creepy.

  54. On March 4th, 2010 at 5:07 pm karrah Says:

    i dont know if i do .. if i do im not scared of them (yet) .. occasionally i will see someone out the corner of my eye and then look and they’re gone. apparently these are ghosts.

  55. On March 4th, 2010 at 5:33 pm Mary Sue Says:

    I was a janitor with several accounts, and one of them was a Victorian that had been converted into a couple dozen offices with a massive security system. I cleaned it on weekends, and would come in, turn off the entire alarm system, bring in my equipment, turn on the doors/windows section of the alarm, and proceed to Go To Work.

    There was a basement door that was padlocked shut, and there were no other entries, not even windows to that basement. There was also a good two inch gap between the basement door and the floor. And I’d walk by the basement door and it’d be dark, then I’d walk by again and there’d be a light on.

    Then I’d haul my vacuum upstairs and come back down to find SOMEONE had moved my broom and cleaning caddy to another room.

    I come from a culture that acknowledges ghosts and spirits, and so I’d just yell at the ghost to quit messing with my stuff.

    Which was amusing when my not-of-my-culture boss showed up one day to check on me and found me standing in the foyer yelling at nothing.

  56. On March 4th, 2010 at 6:03 pm Randa Says:

    The most significant experience I had with ghost was:
    I was sleeping on the edge of the bed at my friend’s house before I moved into our new place and I swore I heard in a Japanese accent, my name yelled at me and then someone BLOWING in my face. I sat straight up, turned on all the lights, and never slept in that room again.
    Less significant, was at my uncles apartment where I swore that someone was always sitting on my bed when I slept. I just told myself it was one of the cats. And then one night I woke up to someone stroking my face. That was creepy.
    I LOVE ghost stores. I have fallen out of love with Ghost Hunting shows on TV though. They’re getting lame.

  57. On March 4th, 2010 at 7:20 pm MommyNamedApril Says:

    um, no. except when i do. which is generally at night when it gets dark out.

  58. On March 4th, 2010 at 7:38 pm Clair Jordan Says:

    When I was about 14 I was at my grandmothers house in England. The bedroom I was sleeping in this particular night had one of those old fashioned wardrobes in it with a mirror on the inside of the door.

    Keep in mind, my grandmother lived down the street from me at the time and I spent most of my childhood running around that house. I was completely comfortable there – never once up until that point had I ever had so much as the heebie jeebies.

    Anyway, off I go to bed. I’m lying there and the wardrobe door swings open. I’m still not freaked out but debating to myself whether I should get up on a very cold night and close that darn thing. As I decide to get up and close it, I look at it and notice a silhouette in the mirror. It looks like a girl with long hair, rocking in a rocking chair.

    I run downstairs to the various adults in the living room and tell them the story. Everyone is quiet but my dad tells me it was probably just shadows from the tree outside.

    Next day I tell my grandfather and aunt about it and they told me a story of this girl who used to live next door. She was apparently in love with one of my uncles and he her. Her family life was not good. They were moving way and the girl and my uncle were devastated. My grandmother said she could live with them, but her mother refused. The day they were supposed to move she was hit by a car and killed right in front of the house.

    My grandfather said he would often come down, really early in the morning and see the rocking chair swaying.

    I guess the difference for me was, that after hearing the story, I wasn’t scared anymore. It did convince me that ghosts/spirits exist however!

  59. On March 4th, 2010 at 8:29 pm Mary Says:

    My uncle’s family recently bought H.H. Holmes childhood home. He’d be America’s first serial killer, who later moved to Chicago built a “Murder Hotel”, and killed a still unknown number of women.

    Yeah, I’m super excited to go visit! (not!)

  60. On March 4th, 2010 at 8:36 pm Cass Says:

    I’m a believer, but I haven’t had any experiences – ok sometimes I hear people walking around when there’s no-one there.. My boyfriend however is a finely tuned ghost magnet. He’s had several scary experiences which led to a deep-seated fear of the dark up until the age of 15, but the best one by far was when we first got together and I used to dog-sit for this couple in a fairly large and old two storey house. The lights would regularly turn themselves on and off, which I always put down to overheating, but there was a man hit by a car and killed out the front of the house many years before. Anyway, this early morning he wakes me up to tell me he saw a dead man standing at the foot of the bed, trying to tell him something. He thought it was a dream… the next day his mum told us that an old schoolmate of his had passed away at that same time that morning. Yeesh.

  61. On March 4th, 2010 at 8:41 pm Brae Says:

    Okay- so, I’m here, alone, in the dark, and my kids are asleep….thanks for creeping me out! LOL! Good story!

  62. On March 4th, 2010 at 10:28 pm Ash Says:

    Once upon a time, I was staying at a mate’s house. She warned me that ‘some sort of ghostie’ was in their rented place, but wasn’t much bother, mostly messing about with the stereo and the lights, etc.

    Cut to that evening when I was sleeping on the sofa. I woke up to *something* strangling the crap out of me. Tried shouting, no go. It got to the point of me almost passing out, then suddenly stopped and they were gone. Guess they didn’t like other sleeping in ‘their’ room.

    I’ve also had multiple appearances of figures sitting on my bed before, but this always seems to happen when I’m particularly scared or upset about something i.e. a friend passing away etc.

    So yes, I’d say I TOTALLY believe.

  63. On March 5th, 2010 at 1:10 am Matt Nelson Says:

    I’ve never had anything like that happen to me personally, but I did have a friend who briefly lived in a house where it was known the previous residents had expired in. For the longest time, he would wake up every morning at exactly 3:15 a.m. for no reason at all. Sometimes he would hear noises, like a chair scraping the floor. It really freaked him out, especially when he found out his cousin, who he bought the house from, had had similar experiences while living there with his girlfriend at the time. It was an isolated home, middle of nowhere, and they would wake up in the middle of the night hearing noises. While they always worried about a break-in, no one was ever at the door.

    Also, a little less than a year ago, I went with a ghosthunting team on one of their hunts to do a news story on it. Check them out — they’ve documented some interesting stuff. ( I didn’t see anything too dramatic, but I did experience some odd temp changes.

  64. On March 5th, 2010 at 1:17 am Matt Nelson Says:

    By the way, nice literary reference with the title of this post.

  65. On March 5th, 2010 at 4:06 am Ami Says:

    I’ve actually had experiences like that twice in my life. I’m not a nervous person by any means. I don’t scare easy. I laugh my way through most horror movies. I’m just not that type. But these two times… I have no rational, logical reason for my reactions.

    The first was when I was 8 years old. My sister and I had come to visit our parents who were a few states away getting a bone marrow transplant for my mom (she kicked leukemias butt). We were staying with Dad at some “cancer patients family” housing thing and I was being susie-q-home-maker-in-training and cleaning the apartment for my Dad. I’d gone out to sweep the front porch and all of the sudden I just STOPPED.

    I swear it felt like somebody had dumped a bucket of ice water on me. I grabbed my broom and RAN inside. My Dad took one look at me and since I was NOT a skittish child, he was up grabbing a gun (he used to be a cop therefore he ALWAYS has a gun handy) and asking me what was wrong. He searched outside and didn’t see anything.

    A couple days later they found a little girl about my age and description murdered and dumped behind a dumpster a few blocks a way. Coincidence? Maybe. Premonition? Inspiration? Fluke? All possible.

    Experience #2 was actually when I was serving a missionary in North Carolina when I was 22. And generally as a missionary I had that whole “doin-the-work-o-the-lord” vibe going and I went fearlessly places that I would have probably wanted a bullet proof vest to go before I was a missionary. But one day we were in the Projects (and I mean the PRAWWWWW-JECTS), we were walking up a path to knock on a door to see somebody who hadn’t been to church in a while and all of the sudden it was that same bucket of cold water experience.

    At first I thought it was just me so I did the sideways glance at my companion and saw that she was white as a sheet as well. Our eyes met, we nodded, turned right around and dang near RAN back to the car and drove away as fast as we could.

    To this day I don’t know why that happened. We visited that particular person before and after that event with out incident but that day…. for a million dollars I would not have kept going up that path.

    I’m not sure you’d call those “ghost” stories but both times I sure had the willies.

  66. On March 5th, 2010 at 8:45 am Chris in PHX Says:

    This kinda stuff creeps me the hell out! Where I live now I keep seeing a cat walking down the hallway, my dog has even seen it and growled. Told my roommate about it and he laughs at me, but his previous roommate has said he has seen it too….evil pussys!

  67. On March 5th, 2010 at 9:56 am Melissa the Librarian Says:

    I’m sitting in my library, freaked the fuck out now. Thanks guys.

    I do believe, and I have had several experiences, though nothing terrifying beyond the heebie jeebie level.

    Every library is haunted. Every library I’ve ever been in or worked with. Something about the books, the history, the stories seems to attract them. When I work alone at night, I can hear the books move off shelves, or someone walking along an aisle. Occasionally there is murmuring, like someone talking.

    The house my husband and I used to live in was thoroughly haunted. We would go to bed at night, and hear someone running through our kitchen, and there was always the sound of a music box playing – always, but especially noticeable at night. And once, we had a group of friends come over, and we were gathered in the kitchen. All of a sudden, all our chips and snack-foods were swept off the shelf that held them. Everyone got quiet, stared at each other for a moment, then suddenly remembered they all had other places to go. Typically, this one would quiet down if I told it to just shut the fuck up already please.

    But the most interesting experience I have is an ongoing one – and it makes me smile rather than scare me. About eleven years ago my husband and my best friend died in a fire – and he was not lucky enough to have died from smoke inhalation. Every couple of months I see him – in a mirror behind me, or walking down a hallway. But once, when I was incredibly upset and driving, crying like a jackass – i look over, and there he was, sitting in the passenger seat, smiling at me.

    I guess, so far, I’ve been lucky that the ghosties I’ve met have been of the friendly sort.

  68. On March 5th, 2010 at 10:06 am cathyjoy Says:

    no ghosts for me but my dead grampa came to visit me in a dream to tell me he loved me. does that count?

    anyway…voted for blog, entered for book…

  69. On March 5th, 2010 at 10:17 am V Says:


    I have ABSOLUTELY had that happen. In the house I lived in last year, I had two different occasions that scared me to the point of paralysis… First, I heard a voice from my own bedroom while I was in the bathroom down the hall, and then the next day I heard… I don’t know, it’s hard to describe, a breath, right near the foot of my bed. It was absolutely the most terrifying thing I have ever faced.

    The funny thing is that I do believe in ghosts and regularly watch Ghost Hunters have “A Road Guide to Haunted Places in Iowa” and go to cemeteries and ghost towns and am totally into history and the most haunted places, etc etc., but I did try and figure out what I had heard, and there was nothing there.


  70. On March 5th, 2010 at 10:51 am Ms. Anne Says:

    I had a good ghost experience. I was 8, and my parents had tucked me into bed at night. I was falling asleep when the phone rang and woke me up. I listened to try to hear what was going on, but then my door opened and my Grandfather came in (it wasn’t all that surprising, since he lived close to us). He gave me a hug and kiss and told me that he loved me a lot. He then told me to be a good girl and go back to sleep, and I did. The next morning my mom woke me up…..the phone call that I heard the night before was my grandmother calling from the hospital to say that my Grandfather had died. I was confused, but then we went to wake up my 6-year old sister (who slept in another room) and when Mom told my sister what had happened my sister said “That’s not true, PapPap came to see me last night and gave me a hug and a kiss”. It had to be a ghost…..I mean, I hadn’t even had time to tell anyone about him visiting me the night before, and my sister experienced the same thing in a different room. The memory of him visiting me has always brought me comfort, and sadly when my Grandmother died I was disappointed that she didn’t visit me as well.

  71. On March 5th, 2010 at 10:53 am Rory Says:

    We used to rent an older house, even considered buying it. It was once the maids quarters/laundry house for an old boarding school in our town. There were many times that we saw shadows, especially around the stairs/kitchen area.

    We lived there a couple of years. On Christmas Day one year, we left to go to my parents just before lunch. As we were pulling out of the drive, I thought wouldn’t it be horrible to come home on Christmas Day and find your house burned down, then dismissed the thought, because fire has/had always been a fear of mine since childhood. We came home later in the afternoon, played with the kids and tucked them in bed. We were watching tv around 11 and thought we heard a noise. Hubs went to check and next thing I hear is him yelling to me to get the kids out as our bedroom was on fire. I got the kids, called 9-1-1. During that time, he got the fire out, the firemen checked that it wasn’t still burning in the walls and eventually left. The kids went to a neighbor’s and we slept in the living room.
    The next day, we go upstairs to take a look at the damage. The fire had started on our dresser and on the wall behind it was a scorch mark. It looked like it was in the shape of an angel. There was a long, narrow body with a round head-like mark at the top. Out from the sides, the scorches looked like wings. We didn’t loose much in the fire and the damage was minimal, so yeah, we have always felt like someone/thing was looking out for us that night, because the smoke detector which hung in the hall outside our room never went off. If we hadn’t heard the noise and went to check, it would have been much worse, as our room was the first at the top of the stairs and the kid’s rooms were beyond that.

    The place we live in now, we have both heard footsteps when no one is in the area we hear the steps in. Our 4 yo has also freaked me out on occasion over the last 4 years by looking at random empty corners (as a baby) and babbling and since he has gotten older/verbal, saying he sees things in his room. I know a lot of that is just normal baby/child things, but I sometimes wonder what he sees. Sorry I ate up so much room here. I love ghost stories, and yeah, I guess I believe.

  72. On March 5th, 2010 at 2:11 pm Kathy Scovill Says:

    My son Aidan is nearly six now, but when he was in his younger years (from 2-4) he talked about freaky shit all the time. He wouldn’t come in my room for weeks because it was “too green”, he asked why the purple cloud was following us to preschool in our car. He stated matter-of-factly at the breakfast table that there was a girl standing at the top of the stairs with a blue skirt on her legs and she had a letter “A” and a letter “C”. I’ve had old men standing near me in the kitchen. And quite a bit more. My bestie Sandie said I needed to get in touch with Gary Spivey.

    Because this happened all the time, we were used to it and we always wondered if it was an attention getting thing, because he never seemed really frightened. We wondered until the time he asked why a dog was playing behind me.

    I asked detailed questions about the dog and acted interested but unalarmed. He continued to pursue the dog issue, until I finally gave him the satisfaction of turning to look at this imaginary ghost dog living it up behind me. There through the glass door that leads out to our deck was a small-ish dog running in and out of the legs of our deck furniture having the time of his life.

    My 4 year old future SNL star winks at me and says. “Gotcha.”

  73. On March 5th, 2010 at 2:17 pm MrsLaLa Says:

    Yes, yes, and YES! Every once in a while I’ll experience something, although I’ve never “seen” one per se. I have too many stories to post them all here, but I’ll give you two brief snippits.

    The first happened in Pompeii (Italy). I’ve always been obsessed with the place and when I finally got there I ditched the tour and went way (WAY) off the beaten path. I got lost. It was getting dark. I could hear wild dogs (there are a lot of them around there) in the tall brush around me. I thought I was a gonner. For some reason I started taking pictures of everything around me – I guess I figured if I was going to die I might as well use up the rest of my film! lol Anyhow, when I got them developed (obviously I found my way out and made it back to my tour bus eventually) there was very cearly the outline (of a shadow) of a person standing not to far away from me. Obviously, if any place in the world was going to be haunted, Pompeii would be it, eh?

    The other was just a few years ago right after my great grandmother died. We have always had an agreement that after she passed she would come and let me know that there was life on the other side, if she could. I was pregnant with triplets and the time and I was on bedrest watching TV in my room. All of a sudden I was thinking about my grandmother (I hadn’t been, but it just poped into my head) and then the picture I had of her on the dresser fell over HARD (with a slam) and the TV turned off and then back on. And that was it. She just let me know. =)

  74. On March 5th, 2010 at 2:32 pm Mommy on the Spot Says:

    Yes, I believe in ghosts. I have had things like that (although not quite that scary) happen to me since I was a little girl. Guess I am just lucky!

  75. On March 5th, 2010 at 2:51 pm mumma boo Says:

    After college (a million years ago), I worked in a haunted musical theatre hall. I’d be there late at night, working in the box office, and I’d hear the piano playing upstairs in the theatre. When I went up to investigate, it would stop, but as soon as I started down the stairs again, it would start. After a couple nights I got used to it, and would start yelling goodbye to the ghost when I locked up for the night. I’d hear a few more notes on the piano as I closed the door and then nothing. I think she was there to keep me company. Or to make me look crazy to any potential thugs who might have happened by so they’d leave me alone.

  76. On March 5th, 2010 at 3:37 pm Suzy Voices Says:

    Yes, I have a ghost in my house. Everyone in the house has experienced it in one way or another, mostly when we’re in bed. It will shake the foot of the bed, or by my pillow, like it’s trying to wake me up. I’ve also felt it by my head and lying across my body. I always think it’s my husband, but then I look and no one is there. It doesn’t scare me, though. I think it’s a nice ghost.

  77. On March 5th, 2010 at 7:03 pm Sadie at heyMamas Says:

    My husband and I watch like every paranormal show on TV and hells yeah, I believe in ghosts. More so I believe in spirits that haven’t been able to move on and energies that are stuck in this world and haven’t crossed over yet because of some unresolved issue.

    By the way the sceanrio you described above is exactly like The Haunting of Connecticut. CRAZY!!!

    Sadie at heyMamas

  78. On March 6th, 2010 at 2:19 am Melisa Says:

    Yes, I believe. I was 28 years old before I would go into a dark room or outside by myself at night. I remember being terrified of the dark when I was a kid, but my one brush with the dead was not at all scary.

    I was sleeping, and in my dream my mother’s grandma (my great-grandma) came to me. She woke me up, asked if I knew who she was, and told me that she had a very important message for my mother. She told me that mom needed to go to a doctor and have her “chest” looked at. She made me promise not to forget, then she was gone.

    First thing the next morning (I mean, 6am-ish) I’m on the phone calling my very skeptical mom. (And, no, this is not normal for me because I scarcely talk to anyone before noon if I can help it, lest I offend…) Mom does nothing with the information I believe came from a family source in Heaven. I nag and nag, but she doesn’t go to the doctor, stating he’d think she was crazy to go there healthy and ask for a chest examination. She was a pretty heavy smoker, so I assumed it would be lung related.

    I was so wrong. Several years later, she was diagnosed with Breast Cancer, (and she kicked it’s ass!!!). When she told me, I reminded her of the conversation with her (deceased) grandma, and she said, “Yeah, that was the first thing I thought of.”

    Anyway, now the family jokes that if something comes to me in a dream, they’ll believe me. I hope I can be a messenger again, only this time, I’ll drive them straight to the ER, even if I have to hog-tie them. I don’t really care if the docs think I’m crazy! (Mom was in stage 4 when the cancer was discovered. I’m so lucky she’s so tough.) I’m also glad that I told everyone in the family about that dream before mom was ever diagnosed. They thought I was crazy at the time, but now they believe.

  79. On March 8th, 2010 at 3:30 pm Beth Says:

    I admit that I do indeed believe in ghosts, mostly because I’ve experienced some things that I flat out can’t explain any other way.

    …and is it wrong that I think it’s sort of awesome that your brother’s house used to belong to an undertaker?

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