Thursday, July 9, 2009

Ghosts


I have always loved the romantic notion of ghosts, but never had any
reason to believe in their existence, until we moved to Willow Manor
twenty one years ago. Now, I realize there are many readers who will
completely poo-poo this subject. There are even those who have gone
so far as to ridiculously suggest that demons are trying to possess
me. This, in my opinion, is stretching it just a tad. All I can advise, is
for you to spend a night or two at the manor and you might be willing
to change your mind.

Since the house was built in 1927, there have been at least two
deaths, that we know of, which occurred at the manor; an elderly
woman in the late 1970's and a man in his early 40's, who committed
suicide by hanging himself on a tree, in the early 1980's. We do,
however, consider the manor's ghostly visitors to be friendly ones;
we have never felt threatened or put in harm's way.

All three of my grown children have seen a small woman, hunched
over, dressed in white, who wanders the manor at night. She has
been known to whisper unintelligibly in your ear, late at night or can
be heard descending the front staircase around 4:30 a.m. Many
overnight guests have asked, the next morning, who was up in the
night, leaving the house around 4:00.

The most recent occurrence was when we had a couple spend the
night here in May. We were eating breakfast the following morning,
and I asked if they slept well. The woman's hands started to tremble
slightly and she said, "Well, since you asked, I might as well tell you.
In the middle of the night, I felt someone sit down on the edge of the
bed. I thought it was ___, but when I sat up and looked, no one was
there. And ___ was sound asleep beside me."

I am the only one who has seen the male ghost, and it happened just
once. About 17 years ago, one summer day in June, as I stood in the
kitchen, cupboard doors open, looking into the shelves, I got the
distinct feeling someone was looking at me. Thinking it was my
daughter, who was about eight at the time, I shut the doors, and
turned to look down at her, but she was not there. Instead, a very
tall, transparent, stern looking man, was standing to my left, looking
out the kitchen window. He turned his head and looked down, over
his shoulder at me. The hair on the back of my neck and head stood
on end and I screamed like bloody murder! He vaporized within
seconds.

Since then, I have done quite a bit of research and found a picture
online of the man who killed himself at Willow Manor. I immediately
recognized him as the tall man I saw in my kitchen that summer day,
gazing out at the huge old pines. I also found that he died in June.



*For additional manor ghost stories click on the "ghosts" label at
the bottom of this post.
*If you are interesting in participating in
Theme Thursday, click
on the link and join in the fun.

photo: Front Staircase at Willow Manor

104 comments:

  1. My daughter has been having a terrible time with psychic phenomena lately. She finally did a "cleanse". Her home is 96 years old. You can read about it here:

    http://jenacide.blogspot.com/2009/06/stop-knocking-knock-it-off.html

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  2. I rather envy you, although I am not sure what my reaction would be if I witnessed your "houseguests". Too many rational people have seen ghosts for me to doubt them. I do feel sorry for them though...sort of caught between worlds like that. For some reason, ghostly children scare me more than the grown-up versions.

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  3. I have had these sensations now and then, but never seen fully formed people. I do believe there are presences out there seen only now and then.

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  4. Hmmm... Well, I have my own take on the matter. You'll get to read about it tomorrow. Heh, heh!

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  5. Those sound like extremely powerful experiences-- tho I'm neither a believer or disbeliever specifically about ghosts I do believe "there are more things on heaven & earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

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  6. Whoopee and I did this a couple weeks ago, there are quite a few, more than you might think, that have a story or two to tell. I still haven't written the stories I had promised, I got side tracked.

    You simply MUST go to Whoopee and read her favorite ghost story. You will laugh like never before, and never forget it. Promise.

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  7. John, I use that same quote from Hamlet quite often!

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  8. That is really kind of cool...although I doubt I'd feel that way if I actually saw one!!!

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  9. I do believe in ghosts. I did have a spirit experience once but the 'person' I saw wasn't transparent and looked as 'real' as you and me. I love your ghost stories from Willow Manor and I think you should do a book on them! Either fiction or non-fiction, 'The Ghost at Willow Manor' I'd buy it, Willow so that's one sale! xx

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  10. ps Your new header looks so European! It reminds me of the Paris Metro or some old classic film. xx

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  11. No poo, poo from here...just oooooooooooohhhhhhhhh.......

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  12. Once, seen, was afraid to look away. Felt very powerfull other stuff though.

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  13. Oh Willow! That is SO cool!Ghosts have always kept their distance from probably knowing that the shock would make me join them...but I have a sensitivity that will force me to exit certain places quickly with no explaination. Your manor- your ghosts- your experience- SO COOL!

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  14. And I can attest that I have seen the shadow of one of your ghosts walking in the upstairs hall! I'm glad they are friendly! :)

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  15. Willow, you know I AM a believer having had a few of my own encounters! Cass, @ This Old House, also has a presence and I suggested she call Ghost Hunters but she said if she got proof, she'd have to move!It might be fun to get them there and see what they find!

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  16. oh! I forgot! The new header is awesome!

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  17. Too cool!

    My husband built our house in 1975 and it stand atop what used to be a hillside tobacco patch. One evening, some years ago, while drowsing on the sofa, I saw, very briefly, a young girl in an ankle-length homespun skirt, standing in the middle of our living room, hoe in hand.

    The apparition ended up being a character in my first novel.

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  18. hi willow, i've never experienced a ghost. i've always wondered why they're scary and why in films they're portrayed as bad. my own sense of the spirit world is that it exists alongside this world and that it's terms are likely very different to ours. perhaps because i have no experiencing of them i expect something non-physical and without all the emotional referents. have a peaceful day. steven

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  19. wow, love these stories and that photo is awesome

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  20. Willow:

    I have never seen a ghost, but I've felt that somebody has sat on the side of my bed several times. It's a eerie experience.

    Yep, I believe ghosts do exist and I wonder what they're after.

    Omar.-

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  21. I love this! Okay, I'm waiting for Scully and Mulder to drive into your driveway. Cue the fog.

    I'm not sure if I ever want to actually see a ghost. I've had my own unnerving events that make no sense if I linger in the logical part of my brain. In the illogical primal side of my brain I try to accept.

    Thanks for the wonderful post.

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  22. freaking me out willow !!
    our summer home in the carolina's was 'way out' haunted!!
    i too have seen ghosts.
    it is a feeling you NEVER forget.
    x

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  23. I still do not believe in ghosts! Unless Casper counts haha!

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  24. Your home is special. I wouldn't kick them out unless they make you too uncomfortable. :-)

    I've enjoyed your posts about your "fellow" residents.

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  25. I think I may have had an experience with a ghost. It's kind of a long story so I won't go into it here. I guess I think it's kinda cool, but scary too. Also very sad. I'd like to think we move onto something better, not hang around our old houses.
    Great post, lots to think about.

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  26. I would have screamed too! I live in a house that was built in 1769 with a 'new' addition in 1810. I haven't felt anything but happiness and peace here.

    Thank God!!

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  27. There's a novel lurking in all of your "ghostly" postings, Willow. As for me, I'd have screamed and ran and ran and ran...

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  28. I firmly believe there is more to fear in the flesh than from the shadows. I am very glad that I haven't ghosts while I was awake. I have heard them and that bothers me. Have you asked your ghosts to move on? It seems sad that they are stuck here.

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  29. Reading this kinda FREAKED me out! Yet, at the same time it is so cool! When your guest felt someone sit on the bed...oh my!!
    AWESOME STORY...even better since it is a TRUE story!

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  30. Willow, I meant to tell you, the iphone has an app that makes pictures of ghosts in the pictures one takes.

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  31. Willow, the hair stands up on my neck just reading about your encounter with the stem man!

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  32. Great post!

    I've had too many moments of synchronicity/coincidence to doubt what science cannot explain. You're a brave one to tell that story!

    I befriended a lovely young neighbor when I first moved into the village. He wasn't well supervised and as he entered his teen years, some less-than-savory companions took advantage of his unsupervised home.

    The neighbors (who didn't know him as a young boy) always dissed him, and I came to his defense.I would check on him from time to time, and I valued our friendship. He knew so much about cars and stereos and he would help me in a pinch.

    Then, just after he turned 18, he was shot in the head in his room by a friend with a stolen rifle.

    The only "visit" I've ever had was a sensation just days before his funeral that he was watching me as I tidied up my bedroom. That he had come to say goodbye.

    Just writing about it stirs up sadness I didn't realize was unresolved.

    Thank you for sharing this story.

    And apologies for the very long comment!

    Best,
    Kathleen

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  33. okay, I totally believe there is so much we don't know - I had visits from my dad and brother after they died, both within just hours, but I doubt I could take the whispering in the ear thing - that would pretty much undo me

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  34. Many are left here who are not of this world. Simply lost or unfinished, I believe.

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  35. I almost screamed along with you! ;-)

    I have never "seen" a ghost, but I feel every now and then the distinctive presence of either my sister or my father - I lost both way too early. When I turn, they are gone.

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  36. Whew! Spooky indeed! I've yet to see what Mom has seen. She can't identify features, just the shapes of the ghosts. Haven't done any research, as yet, so not sure if it's family or what. We're just not sure....and I too, was a skeptic, until I heard the sounds and had strange things happen( I posted about it for Auntie's Friday the 13th challenge )...

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  37. Whether they are a product of our subconscious minds or part of another dimension, ghost stories will be with us for a long time. Luckily your ghosts are friendly ones. I loved the story. Many thanks.

    Greetings from London.

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  38. I've never thought of the word 'ghost' as being negative. I believe it's just the shadow that all spirits cast when they come tramping around.
    Thanks for vicarious introduction.
    -Jayne

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  39. I've never actually seen a ghost but know many how have. I'm not sure what ghost are, but I believe you.

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  40. I saw a ghost once. My husband saw it too. My dog had just been put to sleep (old age). About a week later, my husband and I were standing in the kitchen, when we heard dog nails running across the floor. We looked up and saw my transparent dog run across and vanish.

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  41. I DO believe in them, but would not like to be in their presence.
    The incident in the kitchen may have had me upping sticks and moving out, I'm afraid. At least that's how I feel from this angle. (goose bumps still raised on my legs, of all places).

    Kat

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  42. I used to have a shop in a wonderfully restored old building and I was rarely alone in the store...my hair would be flicked and a fluttering sound would be heard, as witnessed by friends, doors would constantly open and shut, with no one present...and then there was the constant sound of boot steps on the hardwood floor, as no person walked the floors of this old button factory...I'm a believer...I know what I saw...and felt!

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  43. In my religious studies I got into Spiritualism, among other things beyond being a Baptist or Methodist or Catholic or Jewish, and discovered what some call the occult and there were ghosts galore. Since we moved into this house when it was new, there were no ghosts here but they came I guess when the door was opened to their world. Not by me but by those who wanted me to dwell in their darkness. My wife and family used to tell me that they saw dark forms walk down the hallway and go into my bedroom. Duh. That would scare the Bejesus out of most people my age, but it was almost ordinary then. When I finished my studies they all went away. So I think they are around when you are there to let them in.

    I used to have religious fanatics all around the world who were friends of mine and their beliefs ran the gauntlet of organized religion to sects. Some of the most knowledgeable archbishops and cardinals were eager to talk to anybody about their beliefs. I was eager to learn.

    I was even transported to Heaven and Back once by a group who lived in Portland, Oregon. Honest.

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  44. Hello Willow,

    I can have my bags packed in no time. When you would like to see me?! Not to see the ghosts specifically, just the manor (and you, of course)! Friendly or not, I'm not sure I would want such comapny around.

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  45. I do, I do believe! Also live in old house, 105 years old to be exact, but have thus far only experienced poltergeist activity.

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  46. That staircase is dead eerie. I am sure I saw a ghost, even just looking at the photograph, but you should be careful who you invite to spend the night, you know. Someone unsavoury might turn up. Gosh, even I might!

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  47. I was an open skeptic for a long time, allowing for the fact that I don't know everything and people I think of as rational scientific people had told me they believed in them. I had one experience with something similar to a ghost and now my opinion has shifted toward believing in spirits and ghosts. I think they are leftover energy patterns that people with strong wills leave or when something so strong happens it leaves an echo of what it was.
    You can always ask me what I saw but it's a long story. :)

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  48. True or not, I really enjoyed reading your story :)


    Happy TT
    xoxo

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  49. The poo-pooers are so arrogant, it blows my mind. People all over the world, from the north pole to the south pole, throughout history, have lived alongside ghosts. Now suddenly since the enlightenment, certain folks dismiss all that history because they've never experienced a ghost. For heaven's sake!

    Should you ever get in a mood to help the Manor ghosts cross over, let me know. Wait - I might have told you how to do it already, yes?

    Very cool. Tell the ghosts hello from me. A psychic once told me that "all of them" know me. Hmmmm....

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  50. Wooooooooooooo! Usually, our ghosts wind up being squirrels or raccoons who visit us with their antics at night! Great story, Willow. When you write your book, maybe you should make it a mystery. ;))

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  51. I believe...you bet I believe! I have had some experiences myself. Recently, I did a post regarding the "people" my MIL sees.

    hours after my Dad passed away, I smelled the distinct ordor of cigerettes. no one in my home smokes.

    That is just one of the incidents I have encountered.

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  52. Love the new header.

    I prefer my ghosts in my own stories, where I can control the li'l b@$t@rd$. I think that they could be comforting or frightening in real life, depending on whose ghosts they were.

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  53. A pity you screamed insted of offering help by conversing in thought with him. You may even have gleaned the reason why he killed himself.

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  54. Would like to stay at Willow Manor and meet your ghosts. Very interesting post

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  55. I am totally a believer in ghosts.
    Your story is fantastic...maybe you could post the photo you found of the man? Very cool.

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  56. Willow, saw your comment over at otin's. One of the girls I know from high school days...her birthday is October 31st!!!

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  57. I'm a believer!

    I'm glad the manor's ghosts are friendly.

    why is it that some spirits like to seem to enjoy watching us while we are sleeping? have had a couple occasions when I've woken in the middle of the night knowing that a presence has been watching me ...

    there is so much out there that we are unaware of....

    great post! thanks for the suggestions I've been working my way through the players!

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  58. Ah .. I saw this post's title, went and got a nice fresh cup of coffee and settled in to read .. I love ghosts ...

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  59. This reminds me of an episode of "This American Life" from last October...a family buys an old house and lots of strange things happen...including someone sitting on a bed if I remember correctly...I won't divulge the ending...you should give it a listen at...http://www.thisamericanlife.org/Radio_Episode.aspx?sched=1268

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  60. I just checked...and the story I remember happens in the first 5 min of the episode...

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  61. Interesting. I wonder why ghosts are always active at night? Do they have a day job?

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  62. ok, my hairs are standing on end! the male ghost...quite freaky! Wish you could make out what the old woman was saying. wonder what it is that keeps them there as well. spooky wilow~!

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  63. I thoroughly believe in ghost and sprits that have not made the journey to the other side yet. I wouldn't mind staying in a manor to witness such things, but I am promising I won't be afraid.

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  64. Nancy, your theory of leftover energy patterns is fascinating and also one of my personal theories. Perhaps the vision of the man, I saw at the window, was the energy of him standing there contemplating his death?

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  65. So, Abe, I'm curious, do you think you actually went to heaven or was it the Portland group who thought so?

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  66. Nancy, very interesting. I must read the post! Thank you.

    Oliag, thanks for the link. I'll go have a listen...

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  67. Did someone say Ghosts? I'm really taken with these tales..You are lucky to have an open door to these "transparencies". These souls that haunt are unable to move on..just like we who repeat our foolishness day after day..

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  68. Kathleen, I had a similar experience the night we came home after my grandmother's funeral when I was 13. I strongly felt her presence sitting by my bed.

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  69. Ah Willow,i totally believe you you know.I planned to visit a manor in Bretagne next year with my friend(cause she wants to go there on her birthday,she's as "insane" as me,lol)that is reputed to be haunted.She made her researches and feels drawed to that place and that woman who died there.I think it could be fun!We'll see,I will tell you!As long as they aren't nasty,it's fine.Have a nice day :)

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  70. Interesting stuff there. Sounds like a fun place to visit! :)

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  71. II would never dispute a ghost story willow - I think it is true that some people can see these things and others are not receptive. I have never seen anything but I do know people who have.

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  72. Fascinating subject! I remember you previously have told us a story about drawers being opened in your kitchen, right?

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  73. There is a very old building not far from our house which is now a dress shop. The owner is a family friend...a stable, sane woman.

    She related this story which happened 20 some odd years ago...

    She was steam pressing a wedding dress for a coming wedding and she felt a chill in the air and heard a female laughing behind her. She turned to look and there is an almost transparent woman dressed in an antibellum hoop skirt. This woman went downstairs and disappeared.

    She was there alone at night when this happened and since then there have been lots of sounds of closing doors and unexplained placements of things around the shop which employees had witness, including my seamstress mother-in-law.

    The strange occurences had stopped about 10 years ago and they've never happened since.

    The building is probably around 150years old.

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  74. Willow, I knew about the little lady but this was the first time you mentioned the man - that was sad. I still tell the story of your son getting her picture!

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  75. Hi! Willow,
    "Spooky" indeed!...to be honest with you, I'am not quite sure what to believe...I guess the
    verdict is still out! on the supernatural occurrence for me...but, I'am not talking about your occurence...because your experience sounds way to "vivid!"

    Willow said,"He turned his head and looked down, over
    his shoulder at me. The hair on the back of my neck and head stood
    on end and I screamed like bloody murder! He vaporized within
    seconds..."

    lol!!!!...I don't blame you, for screaming!

    Willow,
    just like Subby77, said, your header is very nice too!...I like it!
    Take care!
    DeeDee

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  76. wow, you rec'd a TON of posts. You have written a bit about this before. It is interesting to read more in-depth. I don't know what I'd do if I ever saw one. my feelings about ghosts are not unlike those of Ogden Nash towards the Purple Cow: "I'd rather see than be one!"

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  77. I've lived in two houses with ghosts and both were as friendly as can be. We're hoping this 1930 cottage we're moving into has one. The first time I walked through the house I got the sense of a newlywed woman for whom the house had been built. She loved her little cottage and kept it immaculate. This didn't feel like a ghost, however, just an impression, which I get all the time.

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  78. I remember your first ghost stories and have some of my own to tell....
    but not here.
    I totally believe you.

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  79. Your Theme Thursday idea was brilliant, Willow. It brought back some long-buried memories.

    And have I forgotten to mention your new banner? I love it.

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  80. Hi Willow,

    We were five of us,teenagers who wanted to call spirits(not aware that this could be dangerous)teenager,ya know..the glass moved really,almost like suspended above the wija that we had made,so no one'strick really.You could feel the energy.This was the spirit of a little girl,that what she said.Now i don't know because spirits can lie.But we really could feel a joyful sensation,the energy of a kid,she wanted to play with the glass more than talk or anything,if you had seen how fast it moved and then without any fingers,moved all by itself.We asked questions but she didn't say much.We asked questions about if there was an after life and how it was,she couldn't say much about it.She said it was beautiful and there was a lot of light and that she was with othr children and animals were there too.Apparently she had died in 1903 drowned in water.We asked if she was with her parents,she didn't answer this.We could feel sadness,we assumed that we shouldn't push further.She also said that people could chose their age over there.She was 9 now but when she died she was about 5.I don't know if that so strong spirit was one of a little girl but we felt right.That wasn't a nasty spirit at all.After that,I could feel her around my room(cause we did it in my room,lol)for days.A smell of sweet and at night when I would go to sleep,I was having a little plate with some stuffs in like necklaces,coins ect..someone,her,would play with it.It's when it started,playing little tricks,like objects moving places and lightning that would go on and off about the same time in the flat.That was cool actually,then we moved and nothing.Other things,many things happened all the time everywhere I go anyway,anywhere I have lived.And what abouut the place you live?So I know you know about the energies.

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  81. We have a ghost in our 1929 house. Things get moved around, we hear creaking on the steps, and strange things happen. Just the other night the TV in our upstairs studio came on but it was all white noise and the volume was turn up to the max. We could not even turn it off. We turned the volume down and it went back up again on its on. Finally the white noise screen went back to normal. Very intriguing.

    Our cats see dead mice.

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  82. Whoa! That is SCARY! Ghosts are scary whether or not they're hostile. Its being there is in some ways much worse than anything it might do to you.

    I believe in ghosts because I believe this universe was organized primarily around personhood, not matter. But much to my relief, I seem to be the kind of person to whom nothing uncanny ever happens. Perhaps because I've absorbed the materialistic assumptions of our society.

    I do agree with the comment that ghosts and other supernatural creatures come to people who are looking for them, especially to those involved in the occult. But you have to be very, very careful, because when that happens you have really no idea what you are dealing with.

    I also believe that the devil and "unclean spirits" exist, because Jesus talks about them in the Gospels. But some people who think about them a lot tend to cross into supersticious thinking, seeing demons everywhere and as an explanation for everything. I heard someone say that such people are "practicing the presence" of the devil, instead of "practicing the presence of God."

    OK, sermon over. Sorry about the long comment but this is such a fascinating subject.

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  83. I love a good ghost story. I am a total believer, but also a wimp.

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  84. I love your ghost stories!!! The hair on my neck stands up while I read them and I always have a hard time falling asleep after a ghost post. I try not to be afraid, but still, totally spooky.

    I bet the male ghost felt bad for frightening you and so he hasn't felt comfortable showing himself again. Poor guy.

    I love the history of your home!

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  85. The breezy fans kept her at bay from our meeting... I wanted to see her so badly!!! Maybe next time ;-}

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  86. Good grief, this one brought the commenters out. I've never seen therefor I remain a skeptic but . . you seem like a reasonably level headed sort of person . . I did once have a sensation of someone 'sitting' on my chest a few nights in a row but couldn't be sure if it was indeed a spectre or just a dream. I think some people are more open to the idea and perhaps therefore have a 'sense' that I don't. They're probably all around me getting really frustrated that I don't react.

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  87. hi willow - am just now reading this post - on my "travel journal" blog i've recounted but one of the many experiences that i personally have encountered - actually, i think i have two separate posts there on june 3 that are about the same house and spirits there - one in particular was a young woman wearing a yellow dress - in any event, please feel free to drop by and read about "the spirits of the bungalow" and "the girl in the yellow dress" - and have a great day - jenean

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  88. ooops - forgot the little story posted in my "travel journal" on june 10 - "wax and ouija" - peace - jenean

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  89. While I've never seen a ghost or felt the presense of one, I know many who've described in lots of detail about similar encounters. As long as they are friendly though, I'm sure most people would learn to live with them.

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  90. I totally believe you, Willow. I've been exposed to ghosts since I was a child. My best friend's grandmother's house was totally haunted with the spirits of his great-great grandparents. They never left!! I saw them so many times that even seeing an astray levitate in the parlor didn't even phase me. I also lived in a haunted 1930 Colonial home in Maryland, that I still own, for twenty years. The ghost was the woman for whom the home was built. She liked me and was very friendly until I started packing to move out. Then she retaliated by breaking some of my china and a clock flew off the wall and broke, also. I moved out and a family member has lived there, since.

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  91. Yeah, well tht totally freaks me out. goosebumps all over. Believe me, I have stories just like this from a house we lived in but won;t go into them. I think anything is possible as to what they are --even time warps. Who knows. I know I would not want to see one though.

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  92. this has been a great TT theme!

    not sure I'd like to live with your ghosts though

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  93. love the ghost stories. i got all deliciously goosebumps. i wish our house was haunted. we've only seen the ghost of our old cat a couple of times and even that not really since we got a new cat.

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  94. They're real, alright. No, I don't believe they're trying to possess everyone :) But oh, they're real....there is much information in eastern philosophical and scriptural texts about how the form of a ghost is created and why...very clear and well founded....

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  95. why is it that ghosts always wear white? the ghost that haunted my apartment was in a white dress...and had the obligatory black cat. creepy

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  96. I have seen several ghosts, most in white and only two that were dark. They are not out to possess anyone, but rather need to be going to the 'light'.

    The apartment complex I now live in has several sets of ghosts that come and go at odd times.

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  97. I never believed in ghosts, and then I moved to Mellerstain House.

    Any odd or strange occurrence is blamed on Lady Grisel Baillie, one time lady of the house which her husband commissioned way back in 1725.

    My eyes may have played tricks on me at one time; my ears also on another occasion. I don't know for sure, so now I don't totally pooh-pooh this 'ghost' thing. Let's say I'm a ghost agnostic.

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  98. I have a ghost that comes to tickle and tug on my toes at night. Sounds silly but I'm so used to it, I miss it when he doesn't come by... He also likes to blow on my forehead and massage my temples, and play in my hair, lol. Sounds crazy but I'm speaking the truth. He is very playful and has been with me for probably 5 or 6 years now. My daughter saw him standing at the foot of her bed, he was very tall with an amber glow. A very kind soul, protective nature.

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  99. I have a very normal little 50's ranch house, but my kids always swore there was a little girl in the closet of my daughter's bedroom. I have always laughed it off and never seen a thing, but now the grandkids are saying things. The other day my baby granddaughter pointed to the same closet and said, "There's something in there!" I enjoyed your Willow Manor ghost stories.

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