Thursday, October 20, 2011

Ghostly Voices, Ghostly Touches

Laura Breck
Happy October 20!

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.

I jumped a foot when I felt the stroke of a hand on the back of my head. When I swung around to see which co-worker was brave enough to play a prank on me, I found… no one. No one in the office, no one outside the door in the long hallway.

It was hard for me to breathe, and my case of the creeps grew to epic proportions, rattling my knees and sending shivers through me.

Within seconds, I had shut down the computer, donned my coat and boots, and jogged out of the building. At home, I didn't tell my hubby about it, probably because I'd talked myself into believing it had just been my imagination.

The next morning, back at my desk, I printed the midnight reports. On there, I found the name of one of my "grandmas." Deceased. She'd passed away at nearly the same time I'd felt the touch of a hand, smoothing down my hair in a caring caress. I closed my eyes and took a moment to say goodbye.

Do spirits linger a while after leaving our bodies? Do they take a few minutes, hours, days, to say farewell to their friends and loved ones?

I hope you enjoyed my scary-but-true stories, and it was nice to revisit them after all these years. I still don't believe in ghosts, but I do believe these two incidents had to be some kind of supernatural phenomenon. Definitely not anything that can be explained away easily.

Have you ever heard disembodied voices, or felt a phantom touch? I'd love to hear about it!

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Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Laura,
That was spookey. Gave me goosebumps.



Elsie Love said...

I believe in ghosts. I've had plenty of "beyond the grave" messages as well. They come in dreams. While some might find it crazy, I believe it keeps me connected to my loved ones as the dreams tell me what's going on in the lives of the living...

Laura Breck said...

Margaret, I'm glad I could give you a chill!

Elsie, I think I'm just not in touch with beyond the grave. I'll try to be more intune with it - especially if I'm having "contact." Thanks for stopping by!

Barbara Edwards said...

Hi Laura,
That is really creepy. I've had a few experiences and wonder sometimes why me?

Jannine Gallant said...

Nope. Nadda. Zilch! In short, I'm jealous. I think it would be very interesting (and enlightening) to experience a ghost. Great stories, Laura!

Alison Henderson said...

I don't believe in ghosts, but I seem to encounter beloved spirits in my dreams. Twice I've dreamed about loved ones only to find out later that they died that very night. It should have been eerie, but it was actually kind of comforting - like they'd stopped by to say goodbye to me.

Laura Breck said...

Barbara, the spirits choose you because you're such an amazing writer, they're hoping you'll tell their life stories.

Jannine, sorry, some day you'll have an encounter. LOL If you really want to!

Alison, I've heard a lot of people say that same thing. I recently had a dream about a hockey player, and found out the next day he'd died. Another mystery!

Colleen Connally said...

Oh, I believe in ghost. When we moved into the house we live in now, it was known as the haunted house in the neighborhood. After a couple of months, we knew why...

Brenda Whiteside said...

I'm a believer. Fun blog.

Laura Breck said...

Jerri, I'd love to hear your stories!

Brenda, I love your confidence. Thanks for the compliment!

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Great post! Gave me the willies, especially the last episode. Wow!