Welcome to the 2011 edition of True Spooks: True Ghost Stories
What are ghost stories doing on a travel blog? Simple! With Halloween right around the corner, I thought I’d let some masterful storytellers take us for a spooky trip to the world’s most haunted places, from tiny Italian villages, to middle class American neighborhoods. Sometimes the creepiest place of all is your own backyard.
Whether or not you actually believe in ghosts, a well-told ghost story can be a lot of fun. So get cozy, grab a snack, and read on for this year’s collection of true ghost stories:
Photo of a ghost?
Let’s start with a ghostly photo. I snapped this picture during a tea party at a historic Victorian home in Port Townsend, Washington. No one was smoking, but I had a new digital camera and was excited to experiment. I was especially interested in seeing how well it could work in low-light situations, so I didn’t use a flash at all. Most of the shots came out normal, or just plain blurry. This one, however, caught my eye because of the strange misty shape in it.
What do you think? Do you see a ghost in the photo above? Many people tell me they see a ghostly form, but interpretations vary. Some see a woman in a gown. Others tell me they see a woman’s face peering out from beneath a veil. Depending on which monitor I view the photo on, I see different things, too.
1. “Cleanliness is next to Ghostliness” by Tui Snider
Tui Snider (hey – that’s me!) presents True Ghost Stories: Cleanliness is next to Ghostliness posted at Mental Mosaic (You are here!), saying,
“Here are two strange experiences I’ve had, experiences that I can’t quite explain away. Both of them have to do with money appearing out of nowhere. I wish I could say pots of gold magically appeared on my doorstep, but that’s not the case. While that’s probably what would happen in a movie; in real life, odd experiences tend to be much more subtle.”
2. “Tales of a Fourth Grade Haunting” by Slade Roberson
Since I mentioned Slade Roberson in my ghost post, we’ll let him go next with his story, Tales of a Fourth Grade Haunting posted at Shift Your Spirits. Slade grew up in a really creepy haunted house, but kept his strange experiences to himself. Years later, Slade learned that his brother had also experienced weird things in their childhood home.
“To this day, my brother and I need only say three words — The Green House — and they speak of a very specific time and place of paranormal phenomena we experienced together as children.”
Even though Slade’s ghost story is high on the creep-factor, his writing style is so funny and engaging that I had a big grin on my face while reading it. Take this passage, for example:
“The Green House was guilty of aesthetic violations more than any other abnormal energy — it was supernaturally ugly. Scary ugly. A previous owner had gone to serious trouble to introduce fuglier than necessary elements into this split-level collision of styles and space.”
3. “Look For It, Baby” by Shelly Tucker
Shelly Tucker presents Look For It, Baby posted at This Eclectic Life. Shelly is a professional storyteller who even has a Mostly Ghostly section on her blog dedicated to her encounters with the supernatural. While she often travels to haunted places, what I love about this particular story is that it happened right in her own home.
“Some people do not believe in ghosts. I am not one of them. I don’t believe in aliens, but then I’ve never seen one of them. Show me one, and I might change my mind. Ghosts I have seen, and heard, and felt. On the occasion that I’m sharing with you, I heard one … the ghost of my own father.”
If you are in north Texas, you can catch Shelly at the Jupiter House Coffee (106 N. Locust. on the Square) in Denton, where she will be telling ghost stories from 8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. on October 22, 2011. But be warned:
“Don’t worry about drinking coffee so late at night … the stories I plan to tell will make you too afraid to sleep.”
4. “Ghost Stories… Grab a Flashlight!” by Michelle Fabio
Michelle Fabio presents Ghost Stories… Grab a Flashlight! posted at Bleeding Espresso. Michelle is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer living in her family’s ancestral village in Calabria, Italy and savoring simplicity one sip at a time. Michelle shares three ghostly encounters, the first of which takes place in her bedroom:
“When I was a teenager, I used to joke with my family that there was a man living in my closet, which was really a cubby hole that ran the length of the top floor of the house on either side of the upstairs bedrooms. I used to hear strange noises, things shuffling, falling, just weird stuff that I was always a bit too afraid to investigate in the moment…Well it was all a funny joke until one day…”
5. “Here’s Johnny!” by Vickie Heully
Vickie Heully presents Here’s Johnny! A Ghost Blog posted at vickieheully.com. No one wants to be mocked, accused of lying or thought to be crazy, so choosing to speak up after a mysterious encounter takes courage. In fact, the first few times Vickie saw “Johnny,” she wasn’t sure whether or not to tell her husband:
“I didn’t mention it to Adam at first. When I eventually did, I laughed nervously. I just knew he was going to laugh and tell me I need to lay off the horror movies. But he didn’t. “No, I believe you,” he said, “cause… um… I saw it too.”
6. “The Mystery of the Roses” by Lisa Butler
Lisa Butler presents The Mystery of the Roses posted at Association TransCommunication. Although the idea of a disembodied artist creating a physical painting is new to me, dozens of these were created in the early 1900’s at spiritualist séances.
“The people attending the séance sat in total darkness, continuously singing until a loud clap was heard. The clap signaled that the painting was complete.”
Tom and Lisa Butler of Association TransCommunication (ATransC) share a series of coincidences surrounding one such spirit painting, in a post that also includes links to some EVP’s they have captured:
“While we were there, we recorded for EVP around the painting. We feel that we possibly heard from the woman’s mother, who via EVP, reassured the daughter that she was pleased with what she had done to the home through renovations”
EVP stands for “electronic voice phenomena,” basically, it’s a recording of a ghost, or other disembodied entity.
7. “Accidental Astral Projection Experience” by Fred Tracy
Fred Tracy presents Accidental Astral Projection Experience posted at Personal Development with Fred Tracy. Fred’s experience is not quite a ghost story, but I’m including it since sleep paralysis and out-of-body experiences have long been confused with ghosts.
“If you’re rolling your eyes at this point, I don’t really blame you. I’m open minded, but I’m also logical and practical minded. I have what can only be described as a “primal reflex” to castigate and dismiss anyone who is spouting off a bunch of nonsense they got from some esoteric book or learned from a “holy” teacher they pay $100 an hour. Nevertheless, my experience was SO vivid and unique that I can’t relate it to anything else.”
As I wrote earlier, it takes guts to share your strange experiences with others. As he says:
If anything, take this article as proof that perhaps some of that airy fairy nonsense people go on about may be true. I never would have believed it had I not experienced it first hand.
8. “Encounters with Ghosts” by Anna Conlan
Anna Conlan presents Encounters with Ghosts posted at Psychic but Sane. Now that you’re pleasantly creeped out and just a wee bit jumpy, let’s end this blog carnival with some practical advice about hauntings, from Anna Conlan, a professional psychic.
“I was both fascinated and terrified by ghosts growing up. My first brush with a ghost was when I was about five or six years old, in our family home. The more I developed my intuitive abilities in my early twenties, the more I perceived ghosts.”
Eventually, she overcame her fear of ghosts:
I realized that there was nothing necessarily negative about ghosts – treating ghosts as if they are negative doesn’t particularly help them to cross over.
On the other hand, she warns people who attempt to contact the deceased:
There is no point asking for advice from disembodied entities who have no more (or even a lot less) perspective than you do on your own life…Because if you are willing to open up to whoever comes through, you may actually be channelling the emotional body of a ghost who was the neighbourhood alcoholic (as an example). That’s the earthly equivalent of marching up to an addict on the street and asking them for advice on your latest life issue.
UPDATE: Two More Ghost Stories
Consider these next two stories, which came in shortly after I’d posted this carnival, to be a couple of encores:
We were sleeping relatively soundly, when I awoke with a start and thought I saw something, transparent and white, move past me. I wasn’t sure if I was dreaming or awake – I was in one of those “in-between” states.
I don’t want to give anything away, but the strangeness Tina experienced continues to escalate from here – check it out!
I’d say I was between 8 and 10 years old, when this happened to me.
I wouldn’t call it a ‘ghost sighting’ but more an encounter with the other side.
We had moved into a 100-year-old home on Elm Street in a small quaint town in Massachusetts.
The house was HUGE and had lots of nooks and crannies to explore,
especially as a curious young kid.
Spider webs, bugs, critters, mud, nothing deterred the inquisitive spirit.
Read on to find out just what Arieel encountered in that big, old house!
What do you think about ghosts?
What do you think? Have you ever had a ghostly encounter? Let us know what you think in the comment box below.
Did you enjoy True Spooks 2011?
If you enjoyed these true ghost stories, please share this post with your friends and family via Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon, the Ouija board and any other mode of communication you prefer. The more the merrier! Oh, and Happy Halloween to all y’all! :)
Tui Snider is an author, speaker, and photographer who specializes in North Texas travel, cemetery symbols, and haunted lore. As she puts it, “I used to write fiction – but then, I moved to Texas!”
Snider’s best-selling books include Paranormal Texas , Understanding Cemetery Symbols, and 100 Things to Do in Dallas - Fort Worth Before You Die.