Here's something you may not know about me. At one time I worked for the local bishop's office of a national church. As part of my job, I traveled to other bishops' offices throughout the region to assist the office staff in setting up their computers.
The Duluth, Minnesota office was at that time located in a beautiful old mansion right on Lake Superior. Instead of paying for a hotel room for me, they offered to let me stay in the house. I agreed, but a couple of the staff warned me the house was haunted.
I laughed it off, but these mature, conservative people (lay and cleric) swore that it was true, and told me about many of the strange happenings in the house. The worst had always occured when someone stayed overnight.
So, I asked if I could bring my hubby and teenage son along, The staff all thought that would be a very good idea.
The house was amazing. Old and dignified, it boasted hardwood floors, dark wood paneling, mega-fireplaces, and a fantastic view of the big lake they call Gitchi Gummi (Yes, I'm a Gordon Lightfoot fan.)
We stayed two nights without incident, even though we remained alert, oversensitive to paranormal activity. I've always said, those who believe in spirits, see them. Those who don't believe, usually don't. I'm a skeptic. If a book falls off a shelf in another room, it's just a book falling off a shelf. It's not Herman Melville reminding me I'd never finished reading his book.
The next morning, I'd just stepped out of one of the upstairs showers and began dressing when my son's voice from the hallway asked, "Can I get the shampoo?"
"Sure," I said, and pulled on my robe. When I opened the door, he wasn't there. I shouted for him, but there was no answer. I walked back into the bathroom to put the shampoo back in the shower, and glanced out the window.
There on the lawn, one floor down and about fifty yards away, my husband and son walked back toward the house from the lake. There was no possible way he could have been in the house just seconds before.
I remember screaming, turning in circles, looking out the window, then screaming somemore. I dressed extremely quickly and ran out of the house barefoot. It took a while for the guys to get me calmed down. As we packed to go home, I made sure one or the other of my men stayed right beside me.
What I heard – I don't know. It was my son's voice. We'd only brought one bottle of shampoo, so it made sense that he'd ask for it to use in his bathroom. But why would a spirit ask for shampoo? Was he playing a joke? And do spirits take on other people's voices?
An even spookier occurrence rattled me a few years later. I worked in the business office of a long-term care facility. One of my favorite job duties was to talk with the residents about their financial concerns regarding their rent.
I loved chatting with these lovely folks, walking with them around the facility, and dancing with them on Friday afternoons when the polka band played. Some of the residents and I became very close. It felt almost as if I had a half-dozen grandmas and grandpas.
One winter evening, I worked late. Isolated in my basement office, I had all the lights on and the hall door open, but the place remained deadly silent. Suddenly feeling the creeps, I turned on my radio and took a moment to watch the snow flutter down in the darknes outside my window.