Thanks to all who responded to our request for true-life ghostly encounters. Below is Part I of our selections, Part II can be viewed here.
The Woman in Black
I am a mobile dog groomer. I went to a client's house to groom their 3 dogs. The owners were not home at the time but they left a note on the door to go on in and get the dogs. I walked into the kitchen and saw one of the dogs laying in the doorway between the kitchen and the living room and she was looking at something because she had her head cocked to the right with her ears perked up. I looked up to see what she was looking at and there in the archway of the dining room stood a hologram-type figure of a woman, dressed in all black Salvation Army type clothing.
She was standing there with her hands clasped in front of her, staring out the front window of the house with a worried look on her face. She had no awareness of my presence in the room. I felt my blood rush to my face and I grabbed the dog and ran out the door. I didn't really feel scared, in fact, I felt a peacefulness about this woman and no fear at all. I was more worried about my sanity than the woman.
I had to go back in to get the other two dogs and when I got there the woman was gone. I hurried out of the house and got the three dogs into my grooming van. I started to cry because I thought that maybe I was losing my mind or something, but, I know for sure that what I saw was real. The site of this woman has changed my life forever. I was a non-believer in spirits/ghosts before this day but I am a believer now!
It took me a year to get up the courage to tell the owners what I saw that day. I told them I had something to tell them. I said "You both know that I am not a crazy person, I own my own successful business and I am not a person that makes things up." They both said that they knew that. Then I said, "I think you have a ghost on your house." One of the owners said, "Was it a man or a woman?" I said, "A woman." The owner asked me if she was dressed in all black and I said yes. Then the owner said, "Oh, that's just Esther!" I thought I was going to have a heart attack right then and there. The owners said they have known about Esther for a long time and that there is a male spirit or ghost in their house also. They have done a lot of research about past owners of the house and found out that this woman named Esther lived there with her husband. One day her husband was killed by a rail car in front of their house. That is why Esther stands there looking out the window for her husband. She has also been felt and heard walking back and forth in their bedroom in front of the window. I am sure the owners of the house could give you more details about the history of the house. All I know is what I saw that day was real.
Minou, the Ghost-Busting Cat
My beloved Minou is in spirit now, but during the 20 years of her life, she showed me many times how a cat can be an invaluable companion for a hypersensitive medium. She had a great and gentle spirit.
There were only two times in that whole 20 years when Minou got angry to the point where she frightened me. One time, she spotted a workman installing an awning on our apartment window, and decided that his intrusion demanded a strong response. Lucky for the poor fellow, there was a strong window in her way. She gave him a fright though, and all of us were lucky he had a good strong grip on the awning!
Many years later, we moved into another "store-front" apartment, this time, on the ground floor of an old office, which I discovered quickly was haunted. Our spooky new roommate was a cranky old man in grubby overalls, whose unpleasant attitude and grimy appearance was a perfect match to the basement we almost never entered.
I was aware he did not want me going in what he saw as "his" space, but after many attempts at trying to get him to move on, I decided to give up on using the basement. Still, I stored a few nick-nacks in the basement, and went to get them one afternoon. As I reached the top of the stairs, I felt the spirit throwing himself at me in anger.
I immediately threw up my protective shields, but before I could take another step, Minou launched herself at me. She attached herself to my leg, howling, hissing and screeching, and as I hopped around in pain and shock (nick-nacks flying around the room), I could not shake or pull her off. Finally, the spirit retreated, terrified and confused, into the comfort of his dark basement.
As soon as he was gone, Minou dropped off neatly and calmly off my leg, and flipped over into her unmistakable "rub my tummy" pose. There was no sign that anything was ever wrong. I was bleeding quite profusely, though no stitches were needed. At first I was distressed that she had attacked me, but I quickly realized it was not me she had attacked. It was our nasty spirit roommate!
After I calmed down (which took a while), I once again tried to persuade the spirit to go into the light, but he was adamant that he was going to stay. So I made him a deal. I would not go into the basement, if he would not come upstairs. His response? "Keep that damned cat up there with you!"
From that day to the end of her very long life, Minou never again so much as hissed at me. I remain convinced that she drove this spirit away from me. I don’t know what he might have been able to do, if anything, but I am grateful for her love and protection. Years after she passed, she would often come back for visits. One time, she walked across my bed, and I could see the indentations where her little spirit-paws had passed, and as she walked under my arm, it lifted off the bed. I could smell her scent and feel her fur. It remains the most intense spirit encounter I have had - and as an empathic medium, I've had many.
Ghostly Boy Watches Over Us
My husband was sleeping and I was listening to Coast to Coast when I felt my little dog walk about my feet. I opened my eyes to see what she was up to only to see that she was snuggled up under my left arm. Now totally alert, I looked towards the bottom of the bed to see a small, perfectly clear ghostly figure. The child was clothed in a shirt, shorts and a cap and seemed to be about 2 feet tall. He was now seated on my husband's hip with his hands placed neatly on his knees. His blank, little face was staring at me . My heart started to race and my first instinct was to try and touch him , but my right hand went completely through the misty figure. At that point, the child ghost just turned his head slowly away from me and looked towards our bedroom door. My instincts told me to glance over to see what he was looking at when my heart almost stopped. There in the door stood several hooded and armed, shadow figures marching towards our bed. Yes, they were slowly and deliberately marching.
Immediately, I started chanting and waving my free arm for the demons to vanquish. I was shouting at the top of my lungs for them to leave us alone. I do remember that I was struggling for the right words but within a few seconds the shadow figures literally crumbled like dust and fell to the floor. I looked back to the emotionless ghostly boy as he stood up and walked up between my husband and I (over the dog) and walked right through the wall. Again I tried to touch him but my hand was stopped by the wall. At that point I felt complete peace. Someone then gently grabbed my arm, raised it to the ceiling and slowly lowered it down to touch my other hand on the bed. I believe the significance of lowering my hand was to place my hands in prayer. As soon as my hands touched I was asleep.
The next morning I told my husband what happened and we concluded that the boy had been there to protect us. Although initially I was afraid of this ghost I was quite thankful for his presence that night. That evening my husband blessed each and every corner of our house, as we remembered hearing that advice from a Coast to Coast guest just the night before, (synchronicity at its best!) and we have not had any new ghostly occurrences, but.....we have moved.
--Jan from Calgary, Alberta Canada
The Tulsa Mansion Ghost
My story takes place in the autumn of 1978. As I look back, I believe it was in October of that year. We had been restoring a 1920's era oil mansion just down the street from the famous William G. Skelly Mansion and around the corner from J. Paul Getty's first mansion. This ornate old mansion, built during Tulsa's golden oil boom days, still had all the trappings of success. The entire family estate had passed away. Fortunately it fell into the hands of a local architect who specialized in historical restoration.
We had completed the outside of the home and were just about finished with the interior so the crew was down to just me and Delbert, my foreman. At a little before 10 o'clock one morning, Deb decided to go get us a soda and snack for break time.
Meanwhile, I busied myself with the painting of the downstairs fireplace. It was no longer functional so we were just dusting it out and painting it to look good. So I wouldn't get dust in my paint, I placed my bucket and brush and a couple of hand tools on the bottom of a grand staircase that went upstairs. This is where it gets other worldly. When I finished dusting out the fireplace I went to get my paint and tools and they were gone.
I thought Delbert was trying to pull a fast one on me so I yelled out for him and asked him where my tools were. There was no answer. I kept calling his name all the way out the front door and on to this beautiful front porch you just don't see anymore and lo and behold his truck was gone. No Delbert, no truck, just me feeling stupid. I went back into the mansion and began retracing my steps, thinking I had misplaced them. I was 27 years old at the time so I know my memory wasn't going. I looked everywhere for those tools. I searched the basement, the kitchen, the dining room, formal living, sun room, closets, cabinets......well you get the picture.
Finally out of desperation I went upstairs and began looking around. I looked in all the bedrooms and to my shock, in the top of each bedroom closet was one of my hand tools. When I looked in the upstairs bathroom, there positioned in the middle of the original claw-toed tub sat my bucket of paint and my paint brush just like I left it.
The paint hadn't even moved around in the bucket. It was like it had never been touched. A very urgent sense of 'Oh dear Lord, please get me the hell out of here yesterday' came over me. The end of my story may be boring but believe me, it's my favorite part of the story. That was our last day on the job. On some weekend drives with my wife, especially near Halloween, I still drive by that beautiful old home and remember the day of the "tools that moved by themselves". Never could get'em to do that again.
--Bob in Tulsa, Oklahoma
The Laundry Ghost
About two years ago, I awoke in the middle of the night to see a man leaning over my laundry bin. He was dressed in black with black hair and seemed to be looking through my laundry basket at the foot of my bed! This apparition appeared solid as day, and I immediately concluded that my home was being broken in to. I let out an involuntary scream and to my surprise the being vanished instantaneously. The temperature was absolutely freezing and this entity left an electrical charge in the room that was palpable. It was like the hair on my arms and neck had been rubbed with static electricity. The apparition did not reappear, but needless to say I did not sleep well that night.
I did some research, and attempted to 'clear' the house of negative energy by carrying a bundle of burnt sage (similar to incense) around the rooms. Bad idea. As I got to the bedroom, things seemed to go okay, until I reached the corner and had a strong sensation of being watched, as I turned to investigate, the bowl holding the burning sage flew from my hands and hit the wall. I was sure something or someone had pushed it from my hands in an attempt to end the clearing ceremony.
My husband, who is generally skeptical, decided to attempt clearing the house again. As he reached the same corner of the bedroom, I stood and watched as the sage bowl flew from his hands and this time hit the wall with such force that it shattered on the carpet at his feet. It was obvious this was not a coincidence. This being was not prepared to leave quietly.
We continued to experience strange activity: glasses shattering, lights burning out, doors closing, cold pockets, orbs, being poked and pushed, and, yes, laundry frequently went missing. A few weeks later we managed to find a psychic who informed us that there was a massive vortex in the house which made the house similar to "a bus stop for the dead." Her recommendation was to pack up and leave ASAP. A few months later after persistent activity we did just that.
Ghost Goes on the 'Record'
When I was in college in San Luis Obispo, CA, I lived in a house that was haunted. Things would happen quite often- books flying off of shelves, glasses breaking in the kitchen, furniture moving around. My roommates and I always heard it happening, but it seemed to go on behind our backs, never in front of our faces. One evening, I was getting ready to leave to go to the radio station I worked at, and paranormal things were happening in the house all day. I was quite sick of it and finally, on my way out, said in a loud confidant voice, "Whatever you are, just show yourself to my face! I'm sick of it happening behind my back!" At that moment, a 7" record that was lying on top of my stereo flew out at me, hit my shins and landed at my feet. It was as if someone tossed it like a Frisbee.
I was quite satisfied after that, knowing that the ghost had finally done something that I could be a witness to! On reflection, I wonder if it was a being in a different dimension that was frightened by my presence as I materialized into their space- and their reaction was to throw something at me!
The Ghostly Carrier
One evening, about nine years ago, I was just barely asleep. I was awoken by someone speaking into my right ear telling me that "so and so" was here. A name was mentioned, but I do not remember it. This woke me up and as soon as I sat up in bed, a woman floated into my room. My bed was on the opposite wall from the doorway and she floated in through the door across the foot of my bed and down a short hallway to the ensuite bathroom where she then floated up higher and out the closed bathroom window. The entity did not look at me and for that I was very grateful.
I don’t think she was aware of my presence and I sat as still as could be so as not to bring any attention to myself. I was never more scared in my life. The entity wore a polka dot blouse and her hair was pulled back and held in what looked like a hair net of some sort. She struck me as though she were dressed in apparel from the 1940s. This woman did not have any legs – I noticed this immediately. She was just a floating torso and she was floating rather high in the air. Another strange thing that I noticed was that she had her arms crossed as if holding something to her chest.
Two days after witnessing this, I had a miscarriage. I was five months pregnant and I believe this woman was there to collect my unborn child. I do not think she was evil, perhaps she was an angel of some sort. Then two weeks after my miscarriage I had a near fatal car accident which I miraculously survived. We have since moved from that house and a part of the reason for the move was the paranormal events that I witnessed there. The floating torso woman was one of many.
Bolton Ontario Canada
Encounter at Lemp Mansion
It was January 2004 and I was in a wedding party. The festivities were taking place at facilities near the Lemp Mansion just south of downtown Saint Louis, Missouri. The Lemp Mansion was built by the Lemp beer-brewing family in the very early 20th Century. It was also the site of 2 of the 4 suicides in this tragic family. The last suicide occurring in the mansion in 1949. The mansion has been owned by several interests over the years and is now a restaurant and bed-and-breakfast. It is also reputed to be full of ghosts. I have always taken these things seriously as I have many friends and family who have experienced the paranormal. And I had always wanted to have a ghost encounter. I finally got my opportunity during this social occasion.
After the reception, around 1130PM, my wife and I entered the Mansion and were standing in the foyer, absorbing the surroundings before we were to proceed upstairs to our room. The Mansion was empty but for us, the employees having left for the evening… We had only paused for a moment and were enjoying the thrill of where we now were when it happened. Something caressed my face. An unseen hand with the consistency of cotton balls stroked my face from my brow back across my cheek to the back of my head. It was a gentle, almost affectionate caress and it lasted but 3 or 4 seconds. I was not a bit afraid, only mildly startled. There was no doubt in my mind what I had just felt, but I immediately examined my surroundings for any possible, logical explanation: Had I brushed against a hanging tapestry? Had a spider web fallen from the ceiling and landed upon me? A practical joke perhaps? None of these things was apparent. This thing had happened to me and its very nature was undeniable: I had been touched by something deliberate.
--Steve in Saint Louis
Location, Location, Location
This ghost story took place around 1985 in Glendora California. I was a real estate broker, and I was showing property to a lady who was looking for a executive type home in an upper class neighborhood. I had shown her several properties, and we came to this house. It was vacant, and had been completely re-furbished, and was immaculate. We started in the living room, and then the bedrooms. Everything seemed normal until we entered the kitchen. We couldn't see anything, but the presence in the room was overwhelming. It was like a vibration that went right through you. The lady looked at me, I looked at her and we both ran for the front door. Out on the front porch, we stopped to catch our breath, We couldn't believe what just happened.
I went to lock the front door and put the key back in the lock box, when I realized I had left my multiple listing book on the kitchen counter. A new rule had just been passed at the Board of Realtors, that if you lost your book you couldn't get a new one until the next edition, so I had to go back in and get it. I opened the door, looked inside, and made a mad dash for the kitchen. I ran in grabbed the book-- I still didn't see or hear anything, but that overwhelming, foreboding presence was still there. I ran out the front door again, locked it, and reported the incident to the Board. I never heard any more about it. I think someone must have died in the house and that is why it was for sale.
In the Driver's Seat
My husband decided to buy a newer model Lincoln from a wrecking yard. The car had minimal damage and he felt he could fix it for me to drive. The minute I saw the car in our driveway, I knew I didn't like the car at all. There was something wrong with it. My husband started working on the car and couldn't understand why I didn't like the car, but decided to finish it up and sell it. From the first day that car was at our home, I knew I was being watched and followed around my backyard whenever I worked in my garden or the greenhouse. Both of our daughters felt they were being followed whenever they went into the back yard. That car gave me the creeps and the one time I rode in it, I felt uncomfortable and ready to get out of the car immediately.
We only had one person who seemed interested in the car (a friend of one of our daughters) but he didn't have the money my husband wanted for the car. No one would drive it so it just sat there and every once and a while my husband would work on it. Finally one day we were in our family room watching TV and my husband jumped up and said that he had seen a man in our backyard walk by the sliding glass door. You have to realize that our backyard is inaccessible unless you go through the house. My husband even went outside to see who was in the backyard and found no one. A few days later my husband was out working on that car again, when he suddenly came into the house and sat down in front of the TV and never said a word. Finally, he said he would call up our daughters friend to see if he still wanted the car and would sell it to him for quite a bit lower that what he had originally said he would sell the car.
Our daughter's friend bought the car for the lower price and loved the car, but about 6 months later the car was finally totaled when the driver hit a patch of ice and slid into a telephone pole. Thank god that car finally went off with whoever was haunting it! About 2 years after the car had been finally wrecked my husband confessed to me that he had seen someone inside the car when he was working on it that day and that was why he decided to get rid of it.
In the mid seventies, I supplemented my income by working as the door man at a bar in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh. All employees had to show up on Monday nights after nine o'clock to pick up their pay envelopes. This Monday was no different. I didn't want to go out. I had to get up early in the morning for my regular job. I expected I would pick up my pay, have a beer and come back home. I arrived to find a typical Monday night crowd, just a handful of people and the Baron. The Baron was an Italian guy, kind of stocky with long curly hair and gold chains. It was because of the gold chains that we called him the Baron. He would arrive at four thirty in the afternoon when the bar opened and would assume his position at the U shaped bar.
My boss, Guzzy, would engage the Baron. Humorous banter would continue back and forth for hours. By 9pm the Baron would begin to turn nasty and sometimes evil, insulting other patrons. Guzzy would tell him, "OK Baron, it's time to go."
Then knowing he wouldn't be served anymore, he would leave. But not this Monday night! The obnoxious Baron continued. His anger increased. The profanity increased. He would not leave. Guzzy turned to me, "OK, get off your butt and do your job." "Job?," I said, "I'm not here to work tonight. I'm here to pick up my pay, have a beer and go home!" Guzzy replied in a matter of fact way, "Get him out of here!" I went to the Baron, "Common Baron, it's time to go." The Baron refused. He wanted to fight me! I didn't want to hurt him. I took him by the arm. When he resisted, I put him in a wrist lock and marched him out the door to the middle of the sidewalk. I patted him on the shoulder and bid him a good night.
The following Friday I arrived at the bar for my 10pm to 2am shift at the door. Guzzy called me over to the bar. He looked ill. He wasn't his jovial self. His face was ashen white, "There's someone in the kitchen who wants to speak to you." I looked toward the kitchen and saw an older gentleman dressed in a gray suit looking back at me. I went to the kitchen. He handed me his business card, Det. Bob McKay, Pittsburgh Homicide. He handed me a photo, "Do you recognize this guy?" The guy in the picture looked rather disheveled. It was a mug shot. "That's the Baron!" I replied. He asked, "When's the last time you saw him?" "Monday night, I wasn't here to work. I stopped in to pick up my pay. The Baron was acting up. So Guzzy made me put him out. I marched him out the door and told him to have a good night."
The detective yelled at me, pounding his fist on the counter, "It couldn't have been Monday night! Think again!" I raised my voice to him, "It WAS Monday night. It HAD to be Monday night. We all have to pick up our pay envelopes on MONDAY NIGHT after NINE O'CLOCK on MONDAY NIGHT. I wasn't here to work the door. I had picked up my pay and was hoping to enjoy a quiet beer at the bar when I was obliged by Guzzy to put him out!" Well," he said, "Guzzy told me the same think but it can't be." "Why couldn't it have been MONDAY NIGHT? You haven't told me WHY NOT!" "Because," he said. Now he was looking rather shaken and subdued. "Because he was murdered last Satruday night, probably after midnight, Sunday morning." When I returned from the kitchen Guzzy and I looked at each other and simultaneously uttered, "OH MY GOD!" He finished the rest of the night sitting at the bar, drink in hand. My drinks were delivered to me at the door. The Baron's murder remains unsolved to this day.