Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Ghost stories

Mel had posted a story of ghost guardians from his childhood. It got me thinking about my own ghost.

The house I have was built in 1913 and was owned by the grandmother of the woman from whom I purchased it. It was a rental for a time, then Marie and her husband Boyd inherited the house and raised their son there. Marie's father was a carpenter, so he did some work on it. It's a Craftsman house, solidly built, and haunted.

When I purchased the house, I had a month available before I needed to move in, so I set to work making improvements. The walls of most of the rooms were covered in icky wallpaper. Those were going to be painted. At the time I was working graveyard shift at the grocery store with weekends off. The weekends were spent at the house, stripping and painting walls and woodwork.

The first weekend I encountered nothing, but the second weekend I was half awake when I sensed there was someone in the room with me. When I opened my eyes, I saw this head of an old man the color of bright green grass staring at me. I became more fully awake and the head vanished, leaving a deep emptiness that creeped me out.

I asked Marie if there had been a murder in the house or any unusual occurrences, but she said she had encountered nothing. The more I thought about it, the more I thought it had to have been her father watching over the house. The third weekend, I asked a friend who I knew was sensitive to ghostly presences to come to the house and help me paint. While she was there, I asked her to sense the house to see what I had. She told me I had a ghost, that it was benign, and not to worry.

The first year I spent in the house had two strange occurrences. My answering machine, which had worked perfectly at the previous residence, became cantankerous. The doorbell decided it wouldn't work. After a while though, they started working without any problems. My eldest sister came to stay one weekend but after that she never stayed at my house. A friend stayed the night and told me she saw something green in my dining room. Another friend felt the presence but was too terrified to look.

My take is that the ghost is curious, sensing foreign presences and checking them out. I've talked to the ghost, which I think spends most of the time in the attic, and explained that I was there for some time and would try to take care of the house as best as I could. In the meantime, I've felt that the ghost is protecting me. I've never had a burglary or major breakdown. The first night I brought my cats from the old place to the house I found them huddled in the basement, terrified, and chewed out the ghost for frightening them. Since then, I've not seen him, but I know he's there. Watching.

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