Wednesday, April 04, 2012


So, now my house is haunted.  I don't know, maybe there's a rational explanation for loud noises on the staircase, heard on separate occasions by Grace, then Jon, that also frightened the dogs.  Then the dryer door slammed, all by itself.   This was the night of our most recent earthquake, as I pointed out to Grace, who'd seen the dryer door slam, but the earthquake wasn't strong enough to slam doors, and in any case, had happened nearly two hours earlier.

Jon went after the ghost with his incense and beads and the rest of his arsenal of Tibetan Buddhist spiritual weapons and the ghost made one last effort by making a broomstick on the porch move about in a way that can't be explained by nature, and causing the dogs to bristle and bark at nothing.  Now all is quiet, but I do feel a little apprehension when I walk down the stairs in the dark.

I don't know if I really believe in ghosts, but to me, it seems narrow-minded to absolutely discount the supernatural.  I've read some scary "true" ghost stories, and I always wondered about the people who claimed to live in haunted houses.  I felt like if it were me, I would move immediately, but my first reaction to our ghost was to think, "This is MY house.  Get out!"

All four of my children have seen ghosts in my mother-in-law's house, on different occasions.  The most vivid apparition was Seamus'--a baby that came floating up through the floor when he was in the bathroom.  A small child drowned in a fountain in the front yard, long before Jon's family bought the house.

There's an abandoned music school in Buffalo, sort of tucked under Elmwood Ave, on the grounds of the Historical Society.  Buffalo people, do you know the building I'm talking about?  Anyway, one summer years ago when we lived in Buffalo and the building was still abandoned, Jon and I took a twilight walk there.  I love poking around old buildings and walked ahead of Jon to explore on my own, and was suddenly overcome with the most intense feeling of fear.  I don't know what it was, but I knew I had to get away from that building right away, and did, rushing Jon off with me, back to the calm safety of the historical society.   A few years later, my sister had her wedding reception at the historical society and I did a little experimental walk around the building, which I think was in the process of renovation by then, and the terrifying vibe was gone, but it still felt a little creepy.

I had the same feeling of utter horror in the basement of St. Cecelia's church in Rome, where you pay one Euro to a little nun who sits at the top of the stairs and then you can go down and explore an excavation that was supposedly St. Cecilia's house, and the spot where her martyred body was found.  Brigid and I had a happy afternoon down there until I peeked into a stone tunnel in the wall and nearly had a heart attack from fright.  I didn't see anything, but I felt something indescribably evil emanating from that tunnel and had to get away immediately.  We didn't have to leave the basement itself, just stay away from the tunnel.

Do you believe in ghosts?  Have you ever lived in a haunted house?


  1. I'm a ghost seer myself though I find I try every possible explanation every time I remember a sighting. When it happens though, I'm dead certain. There's nothing quite like it. Of all the places I've lived, I expected this one to have the most potential, but 60 years hasn't given it any experience but happy, anti-ghost habitat ones :) Bravo for that. On the other hand, I've had the rare similar experience to the one you had at St. Cecilias and I never, ever want it to happen again. Ugh - shiver.

  2. I haven't lived in a haunted house, but I do believe in ghosts. I'm not superstitious by nature, but I've heard enough people tell me about their encounters to buy that they exist.

  3. You have more authority than any spirit. when you're alone in the house, say loudly "Listen, I know there's a ghost here, but we're staying, so you'd better make the best of it. You need to calm down and not be a bother, or move on to somewhere else". repeat as necessary

  4. I used to work at an old private school that had a 200+ year old farmhouse on the campus. Whenever I went into that house, I felt stressed, anxious, and completely unnerved. I didn't believe in ghosts before then, but then I became a believer.

    Also, when my husband's stepfather died, those of us who were close to him had unusual experiences that we couldn't explain. One relative was working in her office and clearly heard his voice say, "Well, BYE." 15 minutes later, she got the call that he'd died. As for us, after a lengthy attempt at getting pregnant, I got pregnant with my first daughter on the night he died. (And then she chose her own name in utero, but that's another story.)

  5. When anyone ask me about ghosts, I like to use the quite from Don Camillo.
    "Ghosts don't exist except in the minds of hysterical women!"

    Never seen one, never felt one.

  6. I would answer your question and reveal all, but my ghost will not let me.

  7. In college, I lived across the street from a graveyard. One afternoon, out of nowhere, the glorious plaster bust of Elvis I had just acquired mysteriously went flying across an empty room and shattered. We chalked it up to a ghost that didn't like Elvis and didn't bother replacing it.

  8. I've never seen a ghost, and not for lack of trying. There is enough family anecdata to suggest something odd occurs in the world, and that's enough for me. I'm a ghost agnostic.