Tuesday, October 27, 2009

overheard at the manor

There's been an incredible number of daily hits on the manor ghosts
link on my sidebar, and since it's Halloween week, I thought you
might enjoy some of the latest ghoulish happenings at the manor.

Recently, when WT was traveling, my sister came to spend the
weekend and keep me company. In the early evening, just the two
of us were alone in the house, in the sitting room off the kitchen,
pleasantly chatting away, talking over each other, as we often do,
about something really important, like face cream. Suddenly, the
hardware on the door of the landing, that leads to the garage, started
to rattle. We both jerked to attention and froze, facing each other,
mouths open. Then, to our amazement and horror, the door opened
with a loud, slow c-r-e-a-k. (No, there were no open windows, and
the garage doors were completely closed.)

"Oh, my gosh! Did you hear the doorknob rattling, before the door
actually opened?"

"I know. This kind of stuff happens all the time. You'd think I'd be
used to it by now."

The next morning, she came downstairs first and was in the little
powder room off the kitchen. As I rounded the back staircase, I was
shocked to see one of the large kitchen light fixtures (yes, one of
those lovely "boob lights", as I fondly call them) dangling on a wire,
four feet from the ceiling.

"Was the light hanging like this, when you came down?"


"It just missed hitting your head by about 30 seconds!"

After we turned off the electricity, taped the live wires, and put the
fixture in the garage, for the man of the house to repair on his return,
I asked how she slept.

"Fine. Except, what was that dark shadow that kept moving from
left to right, in the hallway at the top of the front staircase?"

"You noticed it, too? I've always felt a presence in the hall at night,
but thought the dark movements were just my tired eyes playing
tricks on me."

"Well, it sure wasn't your eyes playing the tricks."
(for more on manor ghosts, click on "ghosts" in label section of this post)


  1. Love this spooky stuff. I don't think I'd love it if I were living it, but I sure don't mind the retelling!

  2. CG, I can't believe your place isn't haunted, as old as it is!

  3. oh, love this willow! working on another family grave yard story for thursday myself...

  4. Oh how exciting. Are you sure it is safe for you to stay there. Be on the look out.

  5. QMM, we've lived here since 1988 and although we've experienced constant ghostly occurences, we've never been physically harmed in any way.

  6. Fantastic. I grew up in a very old Brooklyn house with all sorts of presences and strangenesses...unfortunately, our present house, though equally old and with an even more fraught history, seems supernaturally silent...

  7. Oh dear, the boob lights are trying to commit suicide.

  8. I love reading about this Willow. You must have friendly ghosts. Have you ever tried talking out loud to them? I grew up in a 200 yr old cottage in England and nothing ever happened to us. Booo. Funny thing is when we were first married we lived in a 1970s mobilehome and we would have weird experiences all of the time. The strangest was walking into like an electric field under a doorway and seeing a shadow in the livingroom..We were told by a man that someone had died on the front steps of our home! Glad we moved out of that one~!

  9. I hope I'm in time; here's a warning for you Willow-the-Wisp:

    Fog is likely to descend later on. whatever you do and no matter how loud the door-knocker is hit, do NOT, repeat NOT, open that door.

    Oh, I do so hope I'm in time ... in time... (quieter yet)... in time......

  10. I am going to the launch of a collection of ghost stories on Saturday. Now that should be fun!

  11. Mr. Philip, that fog warning gave me the absolute willies! (and not the Nelson kind, either)


  12. I hate sagging boob lights! hahaha!


  13. Just curious - check the portrait in the main hallway and see if the old man STILL has one eye looking at you, and one eye looking over there.

  14. i love a good ghost story...

    much love

  15. Phil, oh, yeah, that's where I saw the guy with one eye looking at me and the other eye looking over there. Heehee, and I thought it was down at the DMV!

  16. The spirits must be in agreement with you about the boob lights!

  17. Perfect story...a little breeze has been passing me in the hall for a couple of weeks..waiting for Halloween?

  18. I think I'd have to say, "sorry sis, but it's time for me to go home." You two are fearless.

  19. ....umm, you are very brave. I would be scared ****less to be alone in that house at night. For sure i wouldn't watch the Exorcist there.

  20. Willow,
    have mercy on our souls.

  21. OK, now I'm afraid to be alone in my own, as far as I know, ghostless house. Dr. M better get home soon!

  22. Love this story. Do you ever just feel a "presence" in the house or next to you?

  23. I would have had my doubts about the door, thinking maybe a breeze blew it open, if we hadn't heard the door knob twist open before the door moved! Eeeek!

    The shadow in the upstairs hallway walking past your door in the night was the most convincing thing to me. We were the only ones in the house!

  24. You just gave me an idea. I wonder whether I could fit my own Edwardian underwear-clad ghost into my NaNoWriMo story somewhere. Hmmmmm.

  25. Farmchick, yes, quite often.

  26. willow,
    i am freaked out reading this...and i am down in florida.


  27. I enjoyed reading about your ghost/ghosts Willow. Like you, I didn't think much about them or really believe in them until I moved into a house that had one. (Incidentally, built around the same time as the manor.) Funny how the otherworldly beings make themselves real to us real quick.

  28. OhMygosh, I would be freaked out. Don't think I could handle that very well. I left a few of the ghost stories from younger days on another blog your sister read. You can ask her about that. I've had plenty my share of ghosts to last me a lifetime, thak you very much!

    Glad your ghost is safe overall.

  29. You must have at least five little ghosts! ;-)

    Btw, that "little
    power room off the kitchen" does sound interesting too! ;-)

  30. Oh, you have all kinds of spooky things happening at the Manor. How do you cope?

  31. These spooky events should be republished as a collection for Halloween. Reckon there is any money int that????

  32. I am always fascinated by your ghostly visitors. If I had witnessed that garage door movement I would have hit the ceiling, explaining the damage to your "boob lighting." (Yep. Call 'em the same thing around here. Ha ha)Do you think the ghosts are planning something special for Halloween?

  33. Och, I love your wee ghosties Willow, nice to have a bit of spooky company, especially at this time of the year.
    My preferred means of transport has always been my trusty Birch besom...durable twigs, finer than Willow and with an oaken shaft that lasts a lifetime. It flies straight and true and displays no tricks...well at least not for the owner...

  34. Heh-heh, thanks, Merisi, I added the "d" to power! :P

  35. Willow

    Spooky stuff.

    We once lived in a house where we witnessed the door handles turning, apparently of their own volition.

    The weirdest event was one evening when hundreds of tiny, pin-prick lights seemed to emanate from the ceiling before drifting all around us.

    We never felt afraid though, even when there was absolutely no logical explanation.

  36. Betsy will take some time to think about the next trip out to Willow Manor...

    Mercy. Well things like that happen and it inspired a program, "Ghost Hunters," on television that one of my daughters is thoroughly hooked on. You need to call the producer and tell them to come on out to your place.

    Your hits would skyrocket then. lol

    Patty has her 73rd birthday today. My wife for the past 54 years has a blog. If you have time, take a look and say hi. Old Lady Lincoln

  37. Willow,
    You must pay special attention this Halloween weekend. I hope
    WT will be their with you!!!
    Keep the candle lights burning
    bright and keep looking over your
    shoulder and listen carefully for
    hints of the ghosts that live in
    another demension at Willow Manor.
    I love to hear your stories. Any
    bats flying around Willow Manor these days?
    The Bach

  38. Abe, my son actually did contact one of the ghost hunting TV programs. I had two 30 minute phone interviews with the producers. We didn't make the cut because we didn't feel physically threatened by our ghosts, who obviously weren't sensational enough for their program ratings. That's okay. I don't mind nice spirits.

  39. I just love hearing your stories about your ghosts! I am glad that I do not have them here though!! I am a sissy!!!

    Is that photo of YOUR door??? The hardware is FANTASTIC!

    I am glad Betsy was there to share that little HAPPENING with you!

  40. You guys have so much fun that the ghosts want to join in. You know most of the time when they dislodge light fixtures or whatever, it's just a mistake. Most of them they mean no harm.

    One good thing to keep in mind is that ghosts are not any smarter than the living. Know what I mean??

  41. Jill, aren't the old pewter door levers great? The oldest parts of the manor are full of them.

  42. How wonderful to have ghosts in your house. Our house was built in 1929. Not one ghost lives here. Perhaps I should put out a sign that reads, "Ghost wanted. One. Must be fun-loving."

    I did encounter a ghost at a mansion I was shooting out a few weeks ago. I was in he back yard in what to serve as the tea house. I had taken my large camera and lens and sat it on top of my camera bag which was on the floor. A few minutes later everyone, including me, heard a crash. I looked around and saw that my camera, which was firmly in place, was on the floor. I figured a ghost was trying to take a photo and became frustrated when it could not figure out how to use a digital.

    Love your costume.

  43. I lived in a 100 year old house at the edge of a forest in NH when I was about 10. The perfect dark place for spirits, but alas I was too young to notice!

  44. Really creepy Willow. Great stuff and you live in the perfect place for ghost spottings.

  45. Oh spooky must be the manor at night!OMG!

  46. Oh holy crow, you should give tours or something! I wonder who lived there before and what the heck happened to have all of these things occur....too neat :)

  47. Meghann, well one death and one suicide, that we know of, for starters.

  48. I love your ghost stories and I surely enjoyed reading this one. Many thanks.

    Greetings from London.

  49. Creepy stuff, willow.

    I've got boob lights too :)

  50. I do love a good ghost story. :) I have to say, Willow, much as I love them in writing, I don't think I could deal with one of my own. I'd have moved out a long time ago. I scare far too easily...

  51. Oh Spooky! Doors , lights and shadows...so spooky!

  52. Fun now .. then well I am sure it was less

  53. You know what's weird? I just finished writing about what was wrong with my hallway as a child.


    I'm so glad that light did not hit your sister, and btw- what's the best face cream, do you think? lol

  54. Oh willow - are you trying to scare the living daylights out of us in the run up to Hallowe/en?

  55. Thanks for sharing this!-a perfect post for October:-)

  56. I'm afraid I would get very scared
    and run away!

  57. OY VEY! I love your haunted house (I'm jealous...I only write about the ectoplasmic critters in stories I make up)...but I am thankful that our old farmhouse is full of peace and well-being since the moment we met it. It has its own "personality" that structures usually do. Although, I do swear, every time I'm in the garden weeding, I'm visited by the playful spirit our little cat Molly, she always loved pouncing on my hands while I pulled weeds...she'd always scare me witless...now, I just say "Hi, Molly-Molly!"

  58. spooky but delightfully fun!!!!

  59. delightfully spooky, as long as you know they aren't gonna lop your head off. Or Betsy's. I kinda like her (thanks for the intro, fyi, at the Ball)
    So when I come visit, I get to snuggle next to someone who knows what's going on, and is big, and can take care of big spooky ghosts... deal? Oh, let's put him in a kilt just for fun. Really. I like that.

  60. I just loved this spooky story. Gave me chills. Be careful over there!

  61. I think it is so nice of your spirits to share their space with you. After all they were there first.

  62. I believe this. My parents once had a four hundred + year old cottage in the depths of the English countryside. We named our regular visitor "George". He wasn't aggressive but 'he' certainly made his presence felt at times.Turned the music on and off, turned lights on and off, closed doors, opened doors, lifted the bed covers, smashed a limited edition crystal glass that I'd received from an ex boss when we fell out.............. drove our dog mad at times!

    Good stuff!

  63. Bee, our ghost, or at least one of them, is definitely female. She messes with the electrical stuff. When we had two labs, we drove them crazy, as well.

    There were several times when a toddler in the house, waved up the back stairway and smiled when no one else was in the house!

  64. You seem to have too many ghosts. Would you mind shipping one or two of the nicer ones to Massachusetts? It's kinda boring in my apartment sometimes -- I stress "sometimes" -- plus my cat (Orson) could use someone else to talk to when I'm away.

  65. Oh, Mr. Fox, sorry I can't look you in the eyes. You look so much like my heart throb Sir Anthony, these days. ((swoon))

    Sure, I'll be glad to FedEx you a ghost or two to keep Orson company.

  66. "Oh, Mr. Fox, sorry I can't look you in the eyes."

    Yeah, me, too. You know that I have a weakness for the married ones... especially in your family. ;-)

    "You look so much like my heart throb Sir Anthony, these days."

    I get that a lot. Heh, heh.

  67. Willow

    Didn't you say in some post a while back that a man completed suicide there? I could be mistaken, if I am not -- do you happen to know what time or date it was? Just curious about such event timings-- So glad you live in Willow Manor- for you really appreciate this quirky/fabulous homestead,

  68. Joanny, yes, it was June 12, 1982.

  69. wait a minute.... the door handle to the garage rattled, then the door opened, and then when the boob light fell and you disconnected it, you PUT IT INTO THE GARAGE?

    Was that wise?

    Is it still there?

  70. Goodness, the ghosts must know it is THEIR week. They do seem to be all stirred up.

    p.s. Do you know much about the previous inhabitants of your house? Have you ever written about that topic?

  71. Bee, yes and yes. For more posts on this subject, click on the "ghost" label under this post.

  72. *shiver* I love reading ghost stories, especially the real ones. I have had several experiences and I'm always interested to read about "happenings". Honestly, the door opening by itself would spook me more than the light fixture, but the dark shadow in the hallway takes the cake!


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