Tuesday, October 14, 2008

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me---filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,
'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door,
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door.
This it is, and nothing more."

from The Raven, Edgar Allan Poe

Since it is the season for all things scary, Cynthia shared a few
favorite hair raising ghost stories and asked if anyone else had any
that they especially liked.

Well, as I have mentioned before, Willow Manor is haunted. We have
all heard, felt, smelled and actually seen ghosts at various times in
this old house. Every once in a while, the heavy scent of a woman's
perfume hangs in a certain place in the master bedroom, which was at
one time the guest room, and also the room where the former family's
funeral urns were stored in a window box. It is not a scent I, or anyone
I know, wears. It usually can be detected between the hours of 3:00
and 4:00 a.m. and Friday night WT noticed it again on his way to the
bathroom. It's very strong, very distinct and very unusual.
Sometimes it's so strong it wakes me. Our daughter also noticed the
scent in our dining room last Christmas Eve when we were up late
chatting in the living room and she passed through the dark room on
her way to the kitchen. One thing we do know is this lady ghost has
very classy taste in perfume.

Saturday night, WT and I were sitting in the family room, which is
an open area off the kitchen, watching Hitchcock's Rebecca on TCM.
We were chatting during the movie, and right after I mentioned
something, we both heard a loud shriek come from the landing area
between where we were sitting and the kitchen. We both jumped,
looked at each other and at the same time asked, "Who was that?"
It was definitely a female voice and a loud enough scream to be
heard by both of us over the TV volume, which was cranked up fairly
high, and our conversation. WT got up and looked around, but found
no clues.

Another thing she likes to do, is open my kitchen "junk drawer"
during the night, leave it open, take some of the contents out
and place them on the counter top. Once part of the drawer had
actually been cleaned out and organized. She must not like the
messy contents and state of my junky drawer. Sorry Mrs. G.

All three of our children have seen the form of a small older woman,
hunched over, in a white nightgown late at night, in various spots in
the house. And they still randomly see her when they come home to
visit on holidays. Our youngest son is convinced that she fell on the
steps leading up to the front door area from our dining room, because
he saw her curled up at the foot of the steps late one night this past
summer. We do know that an elderly lady died here in the summer
of 1976 at the age of 88.

All of us have been awakened in the night by the sound of a woman
whispering in our faces. This only happened once to me, and I could
actually feel the force of her breath on my face! The whispering is
always very fast and unintelligible. She can also be heard descending
the front staircase between 3:30 and 4:30 a.m. Many of our overnight
house guests have asked, the next morning, who it was walking down
the stairs late at night.

The most frightening lady ghost episode for me was one night last
spring when she actually turned the latch and opened my bedroom
door at precisely 3:30 a.m. That made me sit up and take note At
least it's not at 11:11. That would creep me out even more.

But, seriously, after living here for twenty years, we are all very used
to these occurrences and feel no harm or ill intent. If she intended to
inflict harm, she would certainly be doing more than just opening
doors, turning on lights and cleaning out kitchen drawers.

If you happen to enjoy reading these hair raising episodes, these are
just a few of our resident lady ghost. Stay tuned, I'll save the
experiences associated with the male ghost for a later post.


  1. You write beautifully of these strange occurrences.
    I think I would be a little frightened.
    Yes, I do think traces linger of people who have lived where we do now.
    The 500 year old house in Morocco was 'interesting' but only a little eerie.
    Yes, write more stories for us!

  2. Although I've heard these all before, they are still deliciously creepy! :) I'm sure you are glad she is a nice ghost!

  3. I'd love for you to set up a video camera on your staircase!

  4. You know, that is a good idea. Lady Em wanted me to set up an audio recorder, too! I should and report back with the results!

  5. "The Raven" is one of my favorite poems. I have a tape of one of my daughters reciting it (she started acting classes when she was five).

    I hardly find for surfing time these days, among other things I am leaving for Italy on Thursday.

  6. How fascinating! And spookie! Glad your ghost is a good one. If she ever organizes your junk drawer will you ask her if she's free on Thursdays? I could use some help with mine, and we have no resident ghosts. Great story!

  7. Willow! I am absolutely HOOKED on this line of story...I will wait expectantly for the next installment! I think the hair raised on my neck when you said you could feel the force of her breath on your face! OY!

  8. I've lived in 2 houses that had a ghost and both were very nice to my family. I love your stories; makes me think that I should tell my own for Halloween...

    You should call TAPS. Seriously!

  9. How exciting Willow. She sounds like a very helpful ghost. I had a friend who's house was haunted, the resident female ghost would apparently wash up when they went out! I don't know if that was actually true but i'd like to think it was :-)

  10. Steph, I'm going to have to google TAPS. Is it some kind of paranormal organization? I did email an Ohio based group that comes to your house and runs atmospheric test, etc. I didn't hear back from them, but would love to have them check things out.

  11. I love stories like this and can't wait to read more from you! I've only seen a ghost once - a little boy who I reached out to in the middle of the night, because I thought he was my son. He backed away and disappeared.

  12. That's pretty spooky and frightening. Eek!

  13. Brrr... I'm afraid Lady Willow...
    Bonne nuit...

  14. WOw, I am not sure how you can live with that. I would be absolutely spooked. And your kids... I guess when they grew up with it, maybe it doesn't seem strange but how are your guests able to cope? Seriously! I get it that you're not being harmed, but the first few years had to have been scary. Would like to know more!

    So glad you came by and hope you come back often, and check the other two blogs as well. I think you'd also like Jean Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast as well. A million people have "borrowed" from the images in this film, but it was done in this one first. Just beautiful, think you'd love it too.

  15. also, why do you all think ghosts only show up in the middle of the night?

  16. I don't know why the female shows up at only certain hours of the night. I saw the male ghost in the daytime. I used to watch a baby during the days when her mother worked. She would often look up the back staircase, smile and wave. No one was in the house but the two of us!

  17. Why is 11:11 scarier? My husband and I shout it out when we notice it on the clock, although I can't remember why.

  18. Crikey Willow, I think I would be scared too. Maybe if you live with it, you learn not to be. I'm shivering now!

  19. i love to hear your ghost stories!!! now that you and wt are empty-nesters you could charge money and take people on tours of your haunted manor. hee hee

  20. Willow, eeek!! I was once told often an elderly lonely person dies but doesnt know how to seek the other side so instead stays in the familiar home...your home. The perfume is fascinating...I have a nose like a bloodhound but too far away to help! Please continue these stories!!!
    Mary Ann

  21. Oh my this would seriously freak me out, whether or not there were ill intentions. Especially the feeling her breath on your face as she whispered. I'd have been packed the very next day!

  22. serious!? - willow, this is just amazing - I love how your family finds this all normal at the manor - I don't know about the whispering in my face though - that would probably creep me out! can't wait to hear about the male ghost!

  23. Often I smell frying pankes in the bedroom or my mother's favourite flowers to make me aware that she is near.
    One of th houses my daughter lived in was haunted in a most unpleasant way and I ended up clearing the ghosts. I must admit I was not at all at ease while doing so.
    I love your ghostly presences. Remember it was the guest room before, maybe she stealthily entered to whisper to her lover.
    I hope she comes back to tidy the rest of that drawer!

  24. Like I said yesterday at Muse's place....lalalalalalala(imagine my hands over my ears)....scary stories creep me out.

  25. TAPS (www.the-atlantic-paranormal-society.com) not only investigates paranormal activity, they televise it on their show, Ghosthunters. I have a friend who knows the team personally and she says they're 100% reputable and sincere.

    I love Ghosthunters and watch it every week.

  26. Blicky Kitty hisses and runs up the nearest tree, fur standing quite on end.

  27. Wonderful! I'd love to meet them... and identify the perfume. I think when you grow up with them around you and when you "accept" them as part of your surroundings, it becomes a part of daily life. I have had a few encounters as well... quite fascinating, isn't it? You and your sister are on a spooky bent today! Love Poe... Quoth the Raven "Nevermore."

  28. I loved your ghost story. I was wondering, maybe she came down to ask you to turn the volume of the telly down :-)? Just joking. I think that in old houses like yours we're already pre-conditioned to feel an alien presence. Although, primarily a pragmatic atheist, I, too, have had my paranormal experiences which have scared me and left me bewildered and confused.

    Excellent choice of poem to illustrate your column. I love Poe. And 'The Raven' leaves the reader with such an eerie, uneasy feeling. It's funny that Poe (or the narrator) actually welcomes the apparition (And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain/Thrilled me — filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before), and in doing so, accommodates the reader, cushions him or her in his own bosom. It's almost like reading a ghost story sitting on Grandma or Grandpa's legs. You freak out a bit, but you know that the warm hug is ever so close by, too, should you ever need it.

    Thanks for the post.

    Greetings from London

  29. A resident ghost must be rather fun to live with. At least you don't have to do his washing! Have a creepy day!

  30. Can I borrow your ghost? I have cupboards that need sorting out and our house is too new to have ghosts (unless you count the numerous birds, mice and lizards that had met with violent death here already and must haunt my cats).

  31. I can so relate to this, my guy smokes a pipe in the utility room. After speaking to the the daughter of the man who built the home we live in, we found out his wife wouldn't let him puff his pipe in the home so he would light up in the garden room (which is now the utility)..... Then there is my French nun, who has been with me since i was a child......... Great post Willow, if its ok with you and Musewings is Monday free I could really do with a de-clutter......

  32. Queenie, sure, I would be happy to lend them to you for a day. A French nun?! Intriguing! I would certainly like to hear more about her!!

  33. Good morning!
    You are a truly early bird,
    I hope you were greeted by sunshine and brilliant fall colors.

    No ghosts at my Viennese place,
    or are they hiding too well? ;-)

  34. Yes, had to take WT to the airport at 4:30 this morning. Actually, it is still dark!

  35. You might be surprised at what shows up in a video. Nice post.

  36. Willow,
    I wonder what it is that's holding her there. there's usually some unresolved issue that they are looking to put to rest, so to speak.

  37. I was going to read Hawathorne but The House of Willow Manor will do

  38. I frequently wake and wander about between the hours of 3 and 4:30 a.m. Perhaps I am destined to be a ghost someday, too.

  39. I wouldn't mind a ghost who cleaned house. I'd especially like one who would scrub my shower floor and walls clean. Do you know where I can find one who will do this?

  40. You covered so much ground since Friday. I nominate you Queen of the bloggers I know.

  41. Are you serious, and you have not moved out? I have goosebumps!

  42. Willow, I don't think I could remain as cool and as calm as you do with the goings on. I love hearing your stories though and look forward to the next batch. I'm also very interested in your experiments with the audio recorder. yes, yes, yes please try it!

  43. Wow, more ghost stories, please!

    I think I read too many scary books as a teenager to make me want my own ghost, even if she did clean out my sock drawer for me.

    But hearing about yours from a safe distance is thrilling! More please!

  44. Wondeful tales! I was waiting for some more posts about The Haunting of Willow Manor...Can't wait to read some more:-)....

  45. Just cam eback and read thru more comments and Willow, in your one to me about the baby waving -- that is seriously freak material. I admire you, I'm not made of the same stuff. I'd be off light lightening to some other manor, lol, lovely as yours is!

  46. This is the first time I travel your blog, I will come back on it, I like very much.
    I like ghosts, especially one that effleure me quietly shoulder when he feels that I'm sad or just tired.

  47. I loved your story and can hardly wait for more.

    Calif Jean

  48. I love your story, can hardly wait for more.

    Calif Jean

  49. "All of us have been awakened in the night by
    the sound of a woman whispering in our faces. This only happened
    once to me, and I could actually feel the force of her breath on my

    Ikes! that would definitely get my notice. Reminds me of our poltergeist type spirit we had for two decades.
    I'm with Britgal Sarah on this one! that picture of your house is the perfect setting.


Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)