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True Spooks 2011: True Ghost Stories

Ghostly photo taken in a Victorian home in Port Townsend, WA. (photo by Tui Snider)
Ghostly photo taken in a Victorian home in Port Townsend, WA. (photo by Tui Snider)

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 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:

Tina presents Ready for a spooky story? posted at Tina Tangos. Her story begins thusly:

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!

Arieel presents Egads, Ghosts? posted at Gardener’s Roost, saying:

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
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Published inTravel Photo Essays


  1. Good post. I had been checking out frequently this site and i’m impressed! Helpful info specifically the rest of the sections :) I contend with such details significantly. I became in search of this unique details for the incredibly long time frame. Thank you and finest associated with good luck.

  2. Daniel Daniel

    The entity in the photo is simply the photographer’s hand. This is a common thing with digital cameras when pictures are taken in less than brightly lit conditions.

  3. I’m not sure. It looks like a fire to me. I think my next novel is going to be a ghost story. They are so much fun!

    Please “Catch My Words”

    • mentalmosaic mentalmosaic

      Hi Joyce,

      It’s like a Rorschach ink blot test, isn’t it? We all see something different in that photo.

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.


  4. Serena Serena

    Wow, awesome blog layout! How long have you ever been blogging for? you make running a blog look easy.

  5. Ken Ken

    My brother recommended I might like this blog. He like the ghost picture lots. I am not so sure, but it kinda give me the creeps when I watch it. I do not want to believe in ghosts… but I kinda do anyways.

  6. ronald e martin ronald e martin

    look at the left bottom side of the clock,you can see a man face with a looks like jesus to me

  7. ronald e martin ronald e martin

    looks like a man with a beard,could it be him?it looks like it to me

  8. kit kit

    the woman on the right is the one they came to see!
    She must have some ability of communicating.
    She’s looking right at the centerpiece entity.
    theres the chubby kid reading the book facing her to her right. and the faces on her right arm.

  9. Freddy Freddy

    If you look in the center of the haze, you’ll see a clear alien face. Large eyes, tiny nose and mouth with an elongated head.

  10. boowho boowho

    I see an alien in the middle of the “ghost” …..look closely and you can make out the eyes, nose, mouth and torso…

  11. Bryan Bryan

    They are all around us. Every now and than they need a little attention. What better way than to sneak in to one of our photos.

  12. John John

    And there appears to be a figure of a woman near the clock in between the two women sitting down. I can see what looks to be a pearl necklace around her neck of course! She appears to be starring at the ghost that’s in the photo!

  13. John John

    I,being a Ghost Investigator. I can say there are two views of this! #1Photoshopped…#2 This could be a woman with long flowing hair..brown in color! Unless I’m there,kinda hard to express what was captured. Have there been other pix of this at other times? How many times has there been reports of this Apperition roaming in that home? Are there reports of more Apperitions in that same home? If this is a real ghost,it appears to be a good spirit,since you never stated anything bad happened!

  14. karen karen

    I played around with the pic on photoshop. Def an older woman sitting in a rocking chair with a long dress.

  15. John John

    The photo with the apparition (ghost)does look genuine. Ghost figure reveals a woman dressed in a dress. Her facial features shows her age between 35 to 45 years old.
    Thank you.

  16. Re: The photo above in the Victorian home: I see two faces. One of a young woman the clock frame is directly in the center of her face. It is a clear image once you see it. The other image is of an old woman’s face just above and to the left of the younger looking facial image. The older looking presence seems to be standing lovingly over the other image, perhaps wrapping her arms around her, although the inner arm looks like it belongs to the younger gal. They are trying to tell their story. Has the owner of this home conducted a historical records search? Perhaps a newspaper story, or information that can be obtained about owners through the earlier titles of this home? The attire and poise of these women, including their expressions are of another time. There is a great deal of love and broken-heartedness that is conveyed to me by this image. It would be interesting to know more.

  17. […] and I did not use a flash. What to you think? I describe the incident in more detail on my blog, Mental Mosaic. Please leave a comment if you have ideas about this photograph. […]

  18. Rick Rick

    Clearly looks like an African woman wearing some sort of gown with a design on it reminds me of the gowns they wear while they cary those baskets of goods on their heads. nice pic..def looks ligit to me “wtg” and Rock on with the Tea Party!!

  19. James James

    It looks like someones hand in front of the camera moving rapidly. You can make out the fingers. In low light with no flash this is a very easy feat to duplicate.

  20. Interesting shot. I took one, similiar to it, of my 12-year-old grandson, in July of this year. It’s got the same sort of “smoky” look to it, and the “smoke” seems to be all over him.

    It could be ghostly, I don’t know. But I’m sure glad that they invented digital cameras because before I had one, I never could get photos like this. I also seem to be able to take shots of orbs, which are just as fascinating.

    Maybe, your shot is showing that someone from the original revolution is joining the present one. A little insight from those on the other side, wouldn’t hurt!

  21. hunter hunter

    either a photoshop hoax or a double exposure.

  22. Sheryl Sheryl

    My comment is above.

  23. Sheryl Sheryl

    To me, the photo definitely looks like a pretty young woman with long light brown hair wearing a long wedding dress and long veil. She appears to be turned half way to her left standing in the middle of the room. It looks like a young girl, perhaps a flower girl, also in a white sheer dress standing in front of her as those hugging the bride. Sad!

  24. Holy crap. I just looked at the picture up top again.

    If you look in the middle, just left of the clock on the wall, it looks like an overstretched demonic female face with glowing eyes.


  25. I see two figures ,a black woman or man turned sideways,and a very pretty woman in a white bridal gown with her arms beside her,her right arm is along side the black womans face….very nice…



  27. anton anton

    It would be cool if we are surrounded by Spirts that we don’t see. Our brain and eyes are Limited. It would be a little suprising if the spirits are dressed in a white see through night gown. if there is a spirit life or other kind of life after ‘death’ of the body they mighr travel through time and dimenwhy does it look like sions and apear on electronic detector or Digital cameras – I believe that is possible. But could ne One pic layed over another. However, I think a lot of unexplained goast like images are apearing on Digital Pics. So, Question is why we see these goast images in dig Pics??

    Something is in the picture . If it has not been retouched – which I can except it was not – what are all of the connotations? It the spirt one of us that has passed or something else?

  28. Fuzzy Fuzzy

    Dear Lady…
    We can fantasize all day long about what we see in that twisting form, but somebody has to consider the simpler possibilities. Note the low lighting in the room, and the relaxed, inert poses of the people in the scene… the camera (digital, I assume) would have “chosen” a slower exposure to allow more light to enter the lens… during that longer exposure time, most of the subjects in view would not have moved enough to cause a blur, but one person, abruptly standing up right in front of the camera at that exact instant, could/would have generated that swirling, rising, ghostly dancer, based on an entirely earthly coincidental event. Or, not.

  29. Jim Petit Jim Petit

    Tui….most definitely a ghost…I see white dress, veil, and exposed arms on either side of picture and possibly a reddish flower to the left when looking at the picture…a GOOD psychic/medium like Helene Olsen could tell you in a New York second if this depicts a true ghost or not….I believe it does….in my humble opinion…jim :)

  30. danternquist danternquist

    I am seeing two figures posing together.

  31. John John

    I’ve seen this type of apparition before. It’s called a “drive web traffic to my blog” ghost.

    It manifests itself in low-light photos when everyone sits really still except the person in the middle, who ducks down after the shutter opens and creates a spooky trail on the picture.

  32. […] and I did not use a flash. What to you think? I describe the incident in more detail on my blog, Mental Mosaic. Please leave a comment if you have ideas about this photograph. […]


    Having 8 dogs, 2 cats, 2 birds in the house GASP! I’d have to say it’s pet dander … I’ve swept this same “figure” off the floor more times than I can count!

  34. Hey Tui,
    Sorry for the late submission! But is it ever really too late for a good ghost story? Bwahh-ha-ha-haaaa. I hope not. ;)
    I’m enjoying reading all the spooky stories the others have posted.
    Thanks for hosting this!

  35. Rick Saldana Rick Saldana

    I hate to be the naysayer in the comments section but to me it looks like someone’s left hand that was quickly swung in front of the camera as the photo was snapped. Look closely at the upper left part of the ghostly image and you’ll see what appear to be fingers. Just follow the image down … do you see what I see? Fingers, wrist and and arm. Just my opinion.

  36. Hi Tui,

    Thanks for including my article.

    I enjoyed reading about your experiences and that ghost photo is more than a bit creepy!

    To me it looks like a man’s torso and arm sideways on. I can see that in there. Or maybe I’m seeing through the weird mist and seeing the people behind it.

    • mentalmosaic mentalmosaic

      You bet, Fred. I think this carnival includes an interesting combo of tales, kinda like the Chex Party Mix of ghost stories. See ya ’round the interwebs! ~Tui

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