Friday, February 26, 2010

Real Life Woo-Woo

Friday, February 26, 2010
Recently, a friend of mine approached me with an interesting mix of humor and angst. "You're going to think I'm crazy, but . . ."

She proceeded to tell me about these strange going-ons in her house. Hearing things. Seeing things. Sensing and feeling things. You see where I'm going. She (and her kids) were convinced their house was haunted.

"Do you believe in stuff like that?" she asked.

"Absolutely," I answered.

My skin got all tingly as she relayed several episodes. I could envision what she saw, imagine what she (and her kids) felt. I pointed out that the spirit was probably harmless. I made a few jokes, trying to ease her fear. Easy for me. I'm not the one living in a (possibly) haunted house.
Still, I truly did understand. I didn't think she was crazy, because, yeah, I believe in that sort of stuff. I've had a couple of experiences of my own.

When I was a kid, third grade maybe, I saw a scary movie, Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte. Scared the bejeebers out of me. I don't remember anything about it now except it was in black & white, starred Bette Davis (I think) and involved a decapitated head in a box. Yeah. Yuk. Anyhoo, not long after, a night or so later, I was laying in bed, facing the window. A storm raged outside as I tried to sleep. Thunder. Lightning. In a flash, I saw a man standing in my window. A man holding his head. Yes, yes. I know. It HAD to be my imagination. An image prompted by the movie. Except, I can still 'see' that image to this day. It was real. He was real. Whoever he was.

I never felt comfortable in that house again. A house I loved. A house we moved out of not long after. Perhaps I should research the history of that house. Maybe there was a freak farm accident. Maybe a murder occurred there. Who knows?

Fast forward to many years later. My early 30s. The first home my husband and I occupied as man and wife. I really loved that place. So much personality. So charming and homey, and yet... I had a terrible time sleeping. I always felt that someone, other than my husband, was there. It was eerie to think that an uneasy spirit lived there, too. I read up on the matter. I remember laying there at night, mentally telling the 'spirit' that it was okay to 'crossover'. In the end, we moved before he/she made that jump. Hmmm. I should research the history of that house, too

A few years later, the week after my stepfather passed away, I was performing on stage at a local casino, singing a country song. I glanced up to an upper level where people could look over and listen. I saw a short man with a beard and a cowboy hat. I could swear it was Tommy. The moment stole my breath away and gave me goosebumps. It's not the first time I thought I saw a friend or family member who'd died.

So, no. I don't think my friend's nuts. That would make me nuts because ... I believe. I know we've touched on topics like this before, but what about you? Do you believe? Any woo-woo stories to share?
SIS Beth


Elle J Rossi said...

Okay, thanks for making me cry. You never told me you saw Dad. I see him a lot, or at least I use to. Usually during our "dance parties" here at home. I miss seeing him, miss the comfort of that.

Bren has some excellent stories of paranormal activity. I hope she shares a few today. Matter of fact, so do BJ and Brandy. Perhaps we're paranormal magnets!

SIS Barb aka Elle J Rossi

Beth CIotta said...

Barb/Elle, I thought I told you that story about seeing Tommy. I could have swore. I'm telling you, it was so eerie and real, it took my breath away.

Looking forward to some ghostly tales from others! Please share!

SIS Beth

SIS Brandy said...

WOW!! I never knew you guys have seen dad. I"ve never seen him when I am awake. But I dream about him a lot. He commonly comes to my dreams when I am having a hard time. He tells me everything will be ok. Lately I've had lots of those dreams.

You all know that I think My house is haunted. It is to the point now that I don't feel comfortable at all at home. Whatever may be there has started bothering my 4 year old. She has seen things. She's heard a man and seen him. There has been nights that I have woken up to her screaming. I have found her sitting up in bed talking to "someone" and crying.

I have seen a figure also. So has my boyfriend and one of my friends. We have tvs come on by themselves, lights turn on and off, a faucet turn on, noises, etc. I get uncomfortable feelings often. All of these things creep me out, but now that whatever it is is bothering my baby I am really disturbed. I don't even like letting her sleep in her room anymore. Most of the time I let her make a bed in my room. I feel she is safer with me.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Oh, I definitely believe and run like hell the other way.

There were three houses in a row that were once inhabited by 3 siblings and their families--not mine. The houses had been neglected. My dad, being a construction dude, was given the job of updating them and in exchange we got to live in one free of rent. He chose the best of the three for us to live in. Big beautiful house. Right next door to the cementary.

Lot's of woo-woo there. I'll share one instance. The house was heated by wood burning fireplaces and a wood burning furnace. Dad had a couple of cords of wood delivered. We stored a week's supply of wood on the outside, enclosed porch.

One morning, Dad went out to get wood off the porch to start the fire in the fireplace--only there wasn't any wood. None, zero, zip. Mind you, we loaded in there the afternoon before. Dad tried to open the back porch door to go out and get wood off the outside wood pile. The door wouldn't open. Dad went out the front door and around to the back. There against all three walls of the outside of the porch was neatly stacked wood and right across the back door, 6 feet high.

this was one of many pranks they pulled on my dad. Another would be to hid thigs. And before you think these spirits were harmless pranksters, don't. They also had a dangerous edge to them. Needless to say, we moved out after one such instance.

Like I said, hauntedd houses? Yep, there are, would I ever knowingly live in one? Not on your life.

Anonymous said...

Great stories. I once lived in a Victorian house where several people had experiences--lights and radios going on and off, faucets turning themselves on, footsteps, doors opening and closing, and once, when a houseguest was telling her husband (in the privacy of their guest room) that she didn't believe in ghosts, the bed collapsed. Right when she said it.

In my new house (also a Victorian) we keep finding pieces of rug yarn--the kind that is cut to a pre-selected length for hooking rugs, and you buy them in packages. I haven't owned any of this yarn since I was about ten, and the house was completely empty when we moved in.

Yet we were finding two or three pieces of this yarn (pale green) on the floor every day. Then, very abruptly, it stopped.

Chris Behrens said...

I'm kind of in the middle here. While I definitely do believe in ghosts/spirits/hauntings, I also believe that there's a rational explanation for some experiences that people label as such. I've experienced a few minor experiences and two major ones (I have a picture of one of them), and I can honestly say that I wouldn't mind more. I can't help but wonder what it would be like to have a supernatural encounter like some of the ones depicted in movies and TV. Not the violent, gruesome kind, but eerie doesn't really bother me. No offense Beth, but I can't help but wonder what it would be like for me to actually see a loved one who has passed on. If it ever happens I might regret wanting it, but I don't know for sure.

Beth Ciotta said...

Brandy, that's creepy for sure. The thing that gets me is that your house was built very recently, right? Aren't you the first owners? It makes me wonder who that man could possibly be. Spooky.

SIS Beth

Beth Ciotta said...

Sia, that's a GREAT ghost story. Although I'm sure it was creepy as all get out having to live it. Also, it made me wonder... maybe Brandy's house was built on some sort of grave? Or.....

Brandy, maybe you're little one's imagination is working overtime? Maybe she saw a scary movie that spooked her (like me)? Has anyone else seen this 'man'?

SIS Beth

Beth Ciotta said...

Kara... two ghost stories! And good ones too. Thanks for sharing (and for stopping by!). I love this stuff! The 'yarn' incidents are interesting. Really interesting. How strange. Do you know the history of the house? How can things like that just materialize? Fascinating.

SIS Beth

Beth Ciotta said...

Chris, the logical part of me knows you're right. Often, there is a rational explantion. For instance, no doubt the headless man I saw in my window was a combo of that scary movie and my kid's imagination. But it seemed SO REAL!

That said, I think some 'supernatural' incidents are just that.

You have pictures??

As for seeing the spirit of someone you know... I've had it happen three times... three different people. Each time freaked me out. I'll share the other incidents later, if time permits. Crazy day!

Meanwhile keep those stories coming!

SIS Beth

Chris Behrens said...

Oh yeah, the picture! Let me start with the story...Whenever I go out of town on vacation or what not, I always like to visit old cemeteries or supposedly haunted places(Don't ask). This particular year my family and I were in the mountains of NC and happened across a cemetery. We all got out and started looking around and I snapped a few random pics, but saw or felt nothing out of the ordinary.

When I got home and had the pics developed, one of them showed a man standing at the edge of the cemetery grounds facing me. I've had the pic blown up and it's definitely the figure of a man, and I swear to you no one else was there and no one in my family saw him at the time. Just behind where he is standing there is a steep drop to a gully that's overgrown with brush, trees and the like. We have no idea how a person could have gotten into the shot and then disappeared. If you like I can send in the overall picture and the enlarged picture of the man.

As far as the second story goes, I don't think I'd be comfortable sharing it here, but if anyone would like to hear it I could E-mail you.

SIS Brandy said...


I don't think her imagination is to blame. Omar and I both saw a figure at the same time. What we saw was more of a shadow. We couldn't tell if it was a man or woman. I'd think I was going crazy if it weren't for the fact that many people have had experiences in my house.

I have wondered what could possible be there since the house is fairly new. It was built in 2005 by a couple that got a divorce before it was finished. They never moved in. The house sat empty for some time until a contractor bought it and finished it. He lived there for a few months before we moved in in 2008.

Chris Behrens said...


Perhaps it's not something connected with the house, but maybe the area where it stands?

Tori Lennox said...

I had the same thought as Chris, Brandy. There could have been a house previously on the same spot that something happened in.

I've never really had any experiences myself, though I do sometimes hear things in the house when I'm home alone. Nothing scary or serious, though. Sounds like somebody looking through the cabinets. If it is a ghost and it's that bored, I figured it may as well enjoy itself. *g*

But I watch a lot of the ghost hunting shows on TV and have become much less of a skeptic than I used to be.

Chris Behrens said...

Great minds think alike, Tori :) I used to watch quite a few ghost hunting shows, but most of them are too sensationalistic and willing to accept everything as supernatural (like 'orbs', for example) or waste an hour finding nothing while being as stupid as possible. I think "Ghost Hunters" and "Ghost Hunters International" come the closest to genuine scientific research of ghosts and the paranormal.

Sisters-in-Sync said...

Chris, I've got goose bumps just reading your story about the cemetery and the mysterious man in the picture! Cree-py. Thanks so much for sharing. Eek!

SIS Beth

Sisters-in-Sync said...

Brandy, for what it's worth and if it makes you feel any better--which it probably won't--I didn't sense, see or hear anything creepy when I was at your house. Granted it was just that once and for a limited time, still... I just thought, wow, what a beautiful home! *g*

That said, I don't discount what others, including you and Omar, have experienced. I'm with Chris and Tori. Maybe it's not the house that's haunted but the land. Was there a house on that land before yours? Maybe it was an ancient buriel ground. Hmmm.

SIS Beth

Sisters-in-Sync said...

Tori and Chris, I am fascinated by ghosts, spirits, polergeists... and such. Have several books on the subject. Co-wrote two books involving ghosts. :) I just know if I tuned in to one of those ghosthunter shows I'd be hooked. Creeped out and hooked. :-)

SIS Beth

Chris Behrens said...


I still get a little creeped out looking at the pic. I had it out today to scan it in to my computer and I can still remember that day.

Mary Stella said...

Beth, I've known you for how many years now and never knew about the ghost stories! Wow.

For those of you who dream about loved ones who have died, there are many who believe that dreams are one way that people appear to us after they're gone. (Talk to Heather Graham or Alexandra Sokoloff about Ghost, Ghouls and Things that go Bump in the Night.)

Beth, I think I've told you this ghost story before, so forgive the repeat.

When I was 18, I spent the night at a friend's house and we slept on two couches in her family room. I woke up a few minutes ahead of our alarm, rolled over to tell her we needed to get up for work and saw a man sitting on the floor next to her. He was dressed in clothing from maybe the 1930s or thereabouts -- khaki pants, a white shirt tucked in but that billowed just a little, loafers. He hair was a little slicked back. He was cutting pictures and headlines about a plane crash out of a newspaper.

I looked at him for awhile and did a mental head check, asking myself if I was really awake. Then I clearly remember thinking, "I guess he's supposed to be here." I then rolled over and went back to sleep for a few minutes. When I woke up again, the man was gone.'

I told the story to my friend. Far from being shocked or thinking I was crazy, she asked me to describe him again in detail. Then her mother got up and I had to describe him again. Her mother went into her bedroom and came out with a picture that had a couple different men in it. (I'd never seen this photograph.) She asked if the man I'd seen was in the picture and I pointed him out.

His name was Bill. He was a friend of my friend's father. After the father died, Bill became a long-time companion to the mother and a surrogate father to my friend.

Neither of them was surprised that I'd seen him because they'd both had sense of him watching over them and the house.

There dog used to run into the living room sometime and bark at Bill's favorite chair.

Sisters-in-Sync said...

Great stories everyone!

I've stayed at Brandy's house I think 3 times now, and two of those times I have experienced odd things.

Once I was lying in her daughter's bed just drifting off to sleep when suddenly the overhead light came on full blast all by itself. It's on a dimmer and I had dimmed it all the way and then off just before climbing into bed. Odd...

The second time, I was sleeping in the basement and I was hearing noises. I remembering thinking it was my boys in the other room, but when I checked, they were sound asleep. Now I know it's not uncommon to hear noises in houses, but given the odd things that have happened in her house, I wonder.

Probably one of my most memorable occurences happened while I was singing in Lowell, Massechusetts. I think it was a Marriott and I had a room there. Anywho, one night while I was sleeping, I got this odd feeling that someone was there in the room with me. I tried desperately to get out of my bed, but couldn't. Something or someone was holding me down. It was if I was being forcefully held down. I kept fighting it and eventually was able to sit up in bed. It really creeped me out and I wanted to change rooms ASAP!

I believe, I believe!
SIS Bren

Chris Behrens said...


I think I remember you telling me the hotel room story. I think if something like that happened to me I'd have to seriously reconsider my views about spooky things happening to me!

Brooks Conner said...

When I was very young, 3-5 years old, there was a sofa in the living room that I had to pass to get to the hallway to the bedrooms. Sometimes as I was following Mom to my room for a nap, I could hear distinct BREATHING coming from that sofa. It was as if someone was lying there sleeping. It was heavy and steady. If I mentioned it to my Mom she would say that it was OK and to just walk by quickly. I'm pretty sure that she could hear it too, although she never said so. Coincidence or not, this preceded my bout with severe asthma that plagued me for the next six or seven years.

In 1974, shortly after my Mom had died, I had moved into her house. One afternoon I was napping in the quest bedroom and felt a hand press on my back... a clearly defined five fingered hand and it was too real to ignore. I had some out-of-body experiences in that house, also. That's another story!

Here's one so creepy that your probably not going to believe it. 34 years old, wide awake, bright light... I'm looking in the bathroom mirror when, suddenly, my face changes into an entity that I've never imagined. I'm trying to avoid words like alien or demonic, but it had a rainbow of shifting colors and, frankly, startled the s**t out of me! I still wonder if I was getting a glimpse of my aura?

So, I'm a weird guy. My mother was psychic or very intuitive. I'm a believer.

Beth, I know you would enjoy The Ghost Hunters!

Elle J Rossi said...

If we're voting here, Brooks totally wins! Hands down. No doubt about it!

SIS Barb aka Elle J Rossi

Beth Ciotta said...

Awesome story, Mary! Love it. Creepy, but cool.

Brooks ... Holy Guacamoli! Barb's right. You win! Three awesome tales, one more spooky than the next. Yowza.

Brenda... I don't think I knew that story about the hotel room. I would've been spooked for sure.

Loved all these stories. So interesting. Wait'll tell my friend who inspired the initial post!!

SIS Beth

Tori Lennox said...

Chris, Ghost Hunters and Ghost Hunters International are my favorites for the reasons you said. I watch Ghost Adventures for the laughs. The guys on there are such drama queens. *g*

Chris Behrens said...

You've got that right, Tori. Talk about an overload of testosterone! Have you seen 'Paranormal State'? That one is a riot!

Linda Wisdom said...

We've had a dark fae in the back yard. Not fun and very scary. I was just glad that good friend Yasmine Galenorn knew I wasn't nuts and could tell me what I saw out there. I've blogged about that time. Shuddering here.

I hear Bogie's nails clicking on the floor when I'm in the garage. He loved to explore the garage.

We have our house ghost Frank. And my mom's seen my dad around the house.

Other things too I don't like to think about.

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