Yes, yes . . . I know. Halloween isn't for another three months. But thanks to Judy and Funny, I've got ghosts on the brain!
Judy -- blogger extraordinaire at Life . . . Minute By Minute -- wrote about this new Syfy show called "Haunted Highway". I won't go into details and steal her thunder . . . go read her post yourself!
Then, Funny -- who is responsible for the gem that is In My Mind It's Always Funny -- wrote about her upcoming getaway and ghosts . . . go read her post!
Anyhoo, after reading Judy's post, I had ghosts on the brain, and I planned to write about it. After reading Funny's post, I knew I'd better write about it soon and get it off my brain, or I'd end up "seeing" ghosts everywhere.
Don't you just hate when that happens? I certainly do. It happens to me quite a lot, too. Not just regarding ghosts, of course, but about any subject matter that happens to get stuck in my noggin!
So . . . where was I?
Tale the FirstMy mom's mom (my Grandma) was one of 7 sisters, but only 2 of her sisters were local. One sister and her husband (my Great-Aunt Olga & Great-Uncle John) owned a house that they rented out; at one time, it was rented out to the other sister (my Great-Aunt Helen).
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Now, the man Helen married -- Theodore -- had two kids from a previous marriage. His first wife, who died, had been Helen's best friend . . . weird, right? Anyway, Theodore's son and daughter had spent lots of time at Helen's house when they were little, because their mom would bring them with her when she'd visit her best friend Helen.
Fast forward a few years . . . back to Helen moving out of the house, and the shoe that she found. They brought that shoe down from the attic, right? And Theodore's son, JJ, happens to see it.
JJ: "Hey! That shoe belongs to that little girl!"Needless to say, there was no little girl living in that house at any point during the time when Helen lived in there.
Helen: "What little girl?"
JJ: "The little girl who lived here when I was little. When Mom would come visit you, and bring us with her?"
JJ: "You know! I used to play with her upstairs all the time! She was always crying and worrying about her shoes! She couldn't get them on right. And that's one of her shoes!"
Okay . . . now, fast forward another few years. My mom and dad rented the house from Olga and John. I was five years old -- maybe six -- when we moved in, and my brother was two or three.
Keep in mind, I don't remember any of this. I'm telling you as it was told to me.
My mom said that she'd hear crying at night . . . a little kid crying. She'd come upstairs to check in on my brother and me in our room, and she'd find us fast asleep. But then, a bit later, she'd hear that crying child again.
Apparently, I would play with that crying child. I don't remember doing so, nor do I remember telling anyone about it. But according to my mom, I told her that I would play with a little girl upstairs in my room, and this little girl was sad and would cry a lot. When my mom asked why the little girl was sad and crying, I told my mom that it was because she couldn't find one of her shoes. When my mom asked about the shoes, I described the shoe that was found by Helen, Olga, and John when they cleaned out the attic. The same shoe that JJ claimed to belong to a little girl that he used to play with upstairs in that house.
The same shoe that was tossed out and never seen again when Helen moved.
Tale the SecondMy 13-yo daughter learned to talk when she was about 9 months old. I spent a lot of time at my mom's house when my oldest was a baby, and my mom was always babysitting her for me.
My mom kept a lot of the baby things in her front room, which leads right into the kitchen.
We always tend to congregate in the kitchen at my mom's.
One day, while my mom was babysitting, she was in the kitchen at the sink and my daughter was talking up a storm in the front room. My mom stuck her head in there, to check up my baby.
Mom: "Who are you talking to in there, Sweetie?"Now, at that age, my daughter's favorite color was purple. Everything was purple. So my mom smiled and didn't think too much of it.
My daughter: "The lady with the purple hair!"
However . . . my mom is a believer in the paranormal. And this was right around the time when that Bruce Willis movie came out . . . The Sixth Sense. Remember in that movie, when the mother notices all the weird orb-like things of light in every picture of her son? Well, my mom started noticing those same thingies in some of her pictures of my daughter.
Fast forward a bit . . . one day, my mom is outside in the back yard, and she's talking to her next-door neighbor, who was a sweet, spitfire of an old lady. My mom had just bought the house a couple years before, and she was asking the neighbor lady about the previous owner of her house, following up on her hunch regarding my daughter talking to people who aren't there and the orb-thingies present with her in pictures.
Mom: "What color was her hair? Because my granddaughter tells me she talks to a lady with purple hair in my front room!"Fast forward a few months . . . my Grandma died. A little over a month later, my daughter tells my mom that Grandma Eve (as the kids call her) came to her house to say goodbye.
Neighbor: "Oh, yes. That's her. She would have her hair done all the time. She'd get it dyed."
Neighbor: "Yes! She'd have this rinse put in, and I tell you, it was purple! She would look like she had purple hair!"
We're Russian Orthodox. We believe that on the 40th day after death, the soul receives its conditional judgement which remains in place until the Great Day of Judgement at the end of time.
So, my mom believes that her mom -- Grandma Eve to my kids -- came to say her final farewell before going up to Heaven, and my daughter witnessed it.
Tale the ThirdThe house that we live in now is not the original house that once stood on this property.
I know I've mentioned this in passing, but for anyone who isn't aware, we had a house fire back in 2007. It totally decimated the house, which was the first house on our road -- ever -- and over 100 years old.
The original house that we lost had a lot of character. It started off, originally, as a one-room building on a huge farm. After doing some research, I think that the one-room building was actually a schoolhouse. Then, towards the end of the 1800s, a railroad was built that ran right behind the schoolhouse. From what we've been told by neighbors, the one-room building was a cathouse -- a brothel! -- and that the train would stop out back.
Hopefully, if it was indeed a cathouse, it was no longer being used as a schoolhouse!
The one-room building had been added-on to over the years. An addition was added to the rear, which became the functional part of the kitchen (sink, storage, and stove). A room was added to the side, which was our living room. A porch was added, a second floor was added (three tiny bedrooms, a tiny bathroom, and a minuscule hallway at the top of the stairs in the middle of the 4 rooms), and finally, when my in-laws were living in the house many years later, my father-in-law added a small room off the living room addition, which became a bedroom for my sisters-in-law, and which I then used as a home office/computer room after my husband became my husband.
But, before my husband became my husband, and before my 12-yo, 13-yo, and I moved in with him, we'd have sleepovers whenever the kids were with my ex for the night. One night, when we happened to be staying at his house, I woke up to pee in the middle of the night. I sat up in his bed, which was across the room from the bedroom door, which was open, and I saw a man standing in the minuscule hallway. Foggy from sleep, and not really sure what time it was, I thought it was my husband's brother, who at that time, had only very recently moved out. I rubbed my eyes, and when I opened them again, the man had disappeared without a trace.
But I'm 100% sure that I saw that man . . . whoever or whatever he was.
When I told my husband about it all, he said that he'd always believed the house was haunted, and that was the first time he told me the history of the house as he'd heard it . . . which prompted my research into the whole thing.
Maybe the man I saw was the spirit of some long-dead customer, wandering around the now-unfamiliar house which he'd known as his favorite brothel, looking for his preferred prostitute?