Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Haunting Memory by Vonnie Davis

I was ten when my paternal grandfather passed away. On the day of his funeral all the younger grandchildren were ensconced in the care of two neighbors at my grandparents’ home. These ladies cooked and readied a meal for the extended family, while we cousins, all around the age of ten, played hide-and-seek in the large house.

It was my turn to be “it” and after counting to ten, I went in search of my five cousins. I ran upstairs and looked in the bathroom. One was hiding behind the door draped in Grandma’s old chenille robe where it hung from a hook. Four more to go.

I opened the door to my grandparents’ bedroom and peeked inside. My shoes felt glued to the spot. My heart pounded in my ears, and heat flooded my body. There in front of the chest of drawers was my grandfather. He had the top drawer open and was rummaging through the contents as if hunting for something.

“Grandpa?” I whispered in disbelief at what I saw.

He turned to me and held a finger to his lips as if telling me to be quiet. When I say he, I mean someone the same height and size as Grandpa. He had the same facial features and yet he was transparent. Not see-through, but swirling pale-gray mists within the outline of his body.

As if he knew I wouldn’t start screaming, he turned his attention back to his task of searching for something in that top drawer.

I slowly stepped back into the hallway and closed the door. What had I seen? I’d heard vague references to ghosts in school, especially around Halloween. But my family was super religious and never spoke of such “pagan” things. Heck, we didn’t even own a television in 1958.

So, I did what any normal kid did in that era. I ran for the closest adult. I charged into the kitchen and told the neighbors that I’d seen Grandpa upstairs going through his things, hunting for something. One woman ushered me to the sofa in the parlor and made me lie down while the other made a cold compress with some foul smelling herbs to calm my overwrought sensibilities.

When the family returned to my grandparents, one of the neighbor ladies took my mother aside and told her what happened. My mother took my hand and marched me outside for a long heated discussion. I was not to embarrass her. I was not to create a scene. I was never to speak of this foolishness again. If I did she’d spank me there and again when we got home.


I’m no dummy; I kept my mouth shut.

Still, although I've rarely mentioned it since, I’ve often wondered about that incident over the years. Exactly what did I see?

What do you think?


Margaret Tanner said...

Ooh Vonnie, that has sent chills up my spine. I always say I don't believe in ghosts, but sometimes I tuly wonder when I read stories like yours.



Joanne Stewart said...

Excellent story, Vonnie! I'm a firm believer, so if you ask me, that was Grandpa. I had a similar experience around the time my father died. I had to travel across country to go to his funeral (he lived in a different state), so I stayed in his house with my stepmother and my half brother. The night before the funeral, I was laying in bed and I looked over and saw my father's face. Just like you described it, a gray-white mist, but the features were very clear. But it was just his head and it hovered about four feet off the floor. I wasn't afraid though. I felt this huge rush of peace.

Stacey said...

I think it was your grandpa in spirit form, Vonnie. He had unfinished business before moving on into the next world. I've heard many stories like this. There was a ghost in the house my husband and I lived in many years ago in the mountains of Virginia, so I'm a believer. One of my short ghost stories published on Kindle is based on that experience.

Alison Henderson said...

I've never believed in ghosts, but an experience like that would make you a believer quick!

Tommy/Melinda said...


I loved the story..I truly believe in spirits..That was your grandfather...I do not know if you have ever heard of ORBS but let me tell you they are for real...It is usually a round white spot but can come in other forms and different colors, white mist etc.
As you know I lost my precious Tommy on Oct 4 and it has devastated me and the kids.
Well one of my friends came and took us to the lake that Tommy loved. In one of the photos I took I notice a purple circle There were no flowers blooming or even around the area so looking closer at it my sweet husbands face is in it...You can see the photo of my Facebook page...It is the one with lone cactus and its in the bottom right hand corner..Since then I have been taking more photos around the house and sure enough there they are and he is in it..

So I do not know what others will think of this but it is true..My Tommy is here with us...There is a lady I know who has done research on ORBS and she confirmed that is was Tommy's face inside the circle

So thank you Vonnie for doing this post

Love ya bunches,

Jannine Gallant said...

Wow, I think that must have been a pretty traumatic experience for a ten-year-old! I'm with the others - your grandpa had something left to do.

The Word Place said...

No doubt in my mind you saw your Grandpa!

My parents died 9 weeks apart. At the time, I was working out of town but had kept my home fully-furnished and came back on holidays and for the summer. On the night after we buried Daddy, I was alone and sitting at the breakfast bar with my laptop when I became aware of some "presence" on the other side of the den in the hall between the bedrooms. I didn't feel afraid, so I decided that it was just my parents come back to check on me.

Then, the next year, when I came home for the summer, I was sitting in my recliner when I became aware that someone was standing beside me. No, I didn't SEE anyone, but she was there. I looked up and said, "Yes, Mother, I'm going to the cemetery tomorrow to change the flowers." Instantaneously, the presence was gone.

A third thing happened one Sunday several years ago when we were asked to come to the front to take communion. As I started down the aisle, I was grousing at always being the one who had to walk alone. At that moment, I felt someone take my hand--except, there was no one there. I felt God had let my husband come back for a few seconds to reassure me that I was never alone.

I think that ghosts/spirits get a bad rap sometimes.

Barbara Edwards said...

How nice that you weren't afraid. Not everyone sees anything out of the ordinary.

AJ Nuest said...

Creeeeepy. Okay, I'm going to share something here that's going to make me sound like a total loon, but I'm following your lead, Vonnie. :-) My dh and I have recently discussed several home improvement projects that are desperately needed on our old, dilapidated farm house. And no, I'm not being dramatic. This place is falling down around our ears. Since my dh works in the construction industy, it just so happens he's got a friend who was able to pay us a visit, listen to our ideas and then draw us up some plans to get the work done. He came over for a meeting, to present his drawings along with an estimate to get the work done. Ever since that meeting, I've been getting "visited" by a....ghost? I don't know what else to call him. He lives in mine and my dh's walk-in closet. He's a young man, shaggy dark hair, name of Jimmy...or Johnny...or something with a "J". He's nervous, rocking back and forth, pinches his bottom lip and doesn't like the idea of us working on the house AT ALL! Now, I know how all this sounds, but I'm telling you HE'S IN THERE! When I first saw him I literally had to stop myself from asking my husband when he got home, because I thought the person standing in my closet was my dh, and that he had somehow come in without my knowledge. The third time this happened, I finally admitted the truth. We have a ghost, and he's not so crazy about us knocking down any walls. I keep trying to reassure him, but so far, he's still in there, rocking away. Any body got any tips for me? You all think I'm nuts now, don't you?? Well, you wouldn't be the first...

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Thank you everyone for visiting and leaving a comment. I'll never know what I saw...just that I DID see something or someone.

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Thank you everyone for visiting and leaving a comment. I'll never know what I saw...just that I DID see something or someone.

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

AJ, I just read your comment. I'm glad you aren't freaked out TOO much about your closet visitor. I don't know that I could be so calm. I'd probably be thowing clothes in boxes, yelling, "I'm outta here!" Seriously, I wonder WHY he's upset at the house being worked on. This might prove interesting.

Colleen Connally said...

Great post, Vonnie. I'm a believer. Love the pictures on your post, too.

AJ Nuest said...

To be honest, Vonnie, I am TOTALLY freaked out. But what can I do? I live with two young kids. If they EVER find out he's here, oh boy. We'll be moving -- I've no doubt. Plus, my daughter will not sleep every again. I've got to keep this on the down low or it'll be all bad. And so far, he's stayed in one spot, so I just make sure the closet is CLOSED every night. Brrr...

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

And he's only appeared since you and DH got estimates for remodeling? Wow...wonder what's hidden in your walls. His drug stash maybe? Or...see, this is the downside of being a writer. Our imaginations love things like this. We can come up with the best ideas and maybe the scariest.

Calisa Rhose said...

I've no doubt it was your Grampa, Vonnie. Maybe he had a favorite shirt he wanted? A hat? Lucky underwear? The thing is- we never know what is important to the ghost of a person.

AJ- go read my blog and then email me.

Mona Risk said...

Vonnie, maybe it was the light playing dirty tricks on you?
AJ's experience is also puzzling. I don't believe in ghosts. The first house my DH and I bought was apparently the scene of a violent murder. The real estate agent never told us that, when she sold us the house in less than a week. I spent six months unable to go to the basement where the murder took place. But I never saw ghosts. Eventually my DH totally rebuilt the basement and we used it for playroom, until we moved five years later.

Loretta C. Rogers said...

Vonnie--my grandmother died when I was 12. I was so upset because I didn't get to say good-bye to her. Shortly after the funeral, she came to visit me. She sat on the bed and told me not to cry anymore, that she was in a better place. I told my other grandmother about this. She believed me, because, she, too, had seen ghosts.

Karen Michelle Nutt said...

What a story, Vonnie. I believe in spirits. Your grandfather wanted one last visit.

AJ, I've heard spirits don't like remodels. They want everything to remain the same. Would you want someone changing your house around. lol

I have a quite a few ghost stories. Must be why I love the paranormal so much—it feels like home. lol I've shared this story a few times on the loops, but there was two of us who felt or saw the presence and it's difficult to brush it away as nothing.

When I still lived at home (yes, that was eons ago) It was late and my mother and I were the only ones still up. (I’m the oldest of five.) I was working on a report for school in the kitchen and my mother was in the bathroom taking a bath. She kept the door slightly open so we could talk.

Every time there would be a ghostly appearance in the house, I get this prickly feeling on my neck and swear the hairs on my arm would stand up. I was having one of those feelings. My mother was running the water in the bathroom and she says to me, “Who’s up with you?”

Of course no one was up. I was in the kitchen alone or so I thought. “No one’s up, mom.”

“I said who’s up with you?” She couldn’t hear me because of the water running.

Now I’m freaked. She sees someone and I don’t. I run into the bathroom “No one is up with me.” I do believe I did a little dance of fright and my voice became shrill.

“What do you mean? I saw a hand reaching for you.”

My mom thought one of the little ones had slipped out of bed.

I'm convinced it was the little blonde girl who appeared off and on through the years. She still hangs out. She’s the only consistent resident ghost, but we’ve had other over the years. I sometimes wonder if she brings them over, telling them, “Hey they’re a cool family. Come hang out for a while.”

Mary Ricksen said...

Vonnie, you saw your beloved grandfather and you should treasure the gift of that memory. And someday, many, many, years from now, you might be able to ask him what he was looking for!

LaVerne Clark said...

Oh, Vonnie. That was your Grandfather, I'm sure of it. How sad you had to bottle it away rather than share his visit with the rest of your family. His death was obviously still painful and fresh to the adults.

I've been made 'aware' of spirits every now and then over my life. Some scary situations, like my bedroom closet doorhandle opening and the door moving while I was reading to my brother - being chased by a white-garbed figure who floated in the middle of the road (me and my friend that one - we'd snuck out to meet up with boys) - and then some nice ones like yours. Visits from my mother-in-law shortly after she'd passed away.

AJ - I would be seriously freaking out too! I don't mind knowing spirits are there, but I DON'T like seeing them - brrr is right! I hope you find out what this ghost wants and you can help him find peace, *hugs*

Excellet post Vonnie - but now the hairs on my arms are standing up! : )