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Thursday, January 25, 2018


I’m a believer that there is life after death and that sometimes those who die come back as ghosts. I believe it because of events that members of my family have experienced and to a lesser extent that I have experienced, too.

Grandma Jones wasn’t afraid of much. In fact, when Grandpa was on a fishing trip in Canada, she noticed someone peeking in her window one night, picked up a broom and chased him away. Another winter night after my grandfather was in a nursing home because of Parkinson disease and dementia; someone tried to get in the door to the small room off her living room where she slept. She could see and hear the door knob moving. She got up and looked at the porch covered with snow and no foot prints. After grandpa died, she suddenly became afraid of living alone so some family members came to spend the night with her and a woman was hired to take care of the house for her. I think now it was because the house became haunted.

When my grandmother died, my Uncle Bill inherited the house. He rented it to my cousin Linda and her husband. Before they moved in, her husband and her father worked on the house evenings fixing some things that needed fixed. One night when my Uncle John left early, Linda’s husband Rick heard someone yell from the basement steps. He got out of there fast and when he told his wife about it and how the shout sounded, she told him it sounded just like her grandfather.

Well, they went ahead and moved in. They had a baby son about a year old and Linda was pregnant with another. When she went in labor a few months later, her mother, my Aunt Millie came to stay with the baby while Rick took Linda to the hospital. Sometime in the night the baby woke up a little and started fussing. Aunt Millie lay there listening and wondered whether the baby would go back to sleep or if she’d have to get up and change him. Then she heard the backdoor open and footsteps coming across the kitchen. She called out “Rick what did Linda have - a boy or girl?” There was no answer and when she got up to investigate, there was no one there and the kitchen door was still locked.

Let’s move on to the death of my 18- year- old son John from cancer at home in my arms. A few days after the funeral my 16-year-old son was lying on the bed in my husband’s and my bedroom when close to the bed John appeared smiling. Joe stared for a short while and then turned over and looked away. When he turned back John was still there smiling at him and gradually faded away. My daughters would sometime hear John come in at nights with the chain attached to his belt and his wallet in his pocket jingling when he walked.
About a month after he died I had a dream in which he was lying on a couch somewhere and then woke up and sat up. In my dream, I said, “You’re alive.” And then I was nervous about telling him that we had given his car to his brother. I asked him how he was doing and he smiled and said, “I’m having a good time. I’m taking a train into the Colorado Mountains,” and then he faded away.
I never told anyone about that dream not even a girl named Martha, who called me when she found out John had died. She’d met him at the Cleveland Clinic when she was visiting a friend of hers. They dated for a while when he was home, but then he stopped and told me it was because she lived so far away like 30 miles south of us. I think it was because he knew he was dying even though I refused to face that.
The following summer one of my nieces went to a 4H camp for a week and she ended up in the same cabin as Martha. Martha told her about the boy she’d dated and cared so much about and Maria told her about her cousin and then they realized they were talking about the same boy. Martha told Maria about a dream she had after she found out John had died in which he called her on the phone and told her not to grieve because he was taking a train to the mountains and was enjoying himself. It was months later that my sister-in-law had Maria tell me this story so like what I dreamed, yet I had never told anyone about my dream.

Nine years later my husband left me and I bought a farm with a nice old barn for my horses and chickens and a house is such bad shape that only my mother said she liked it. The roof leaked badly, three basement walls were collapsed. My son, Joe started fixing up the house. I helped my son break out the old walls with an axe so he could rewire the electric wires which went back to 1917.  One evening when he was working in the basement putting in the new wiring with another guy he was paying to help, they heard footsteps across the upstairs. He called out and there was no answer so he went upstairs and no one was there. The man who had bought that farm in 1938 – the year I was born – had lived in it until he died in 1987 two days after he had been taken out in an ambulance when he’d collapsed from his cancer.

My daughter Mary and I moved in to the house in September 1990. Sometimes I had a feeling I was being watched and I’d turn around but nobody was there. Mary worked midnight turns so I usually left for the school where I was teaching shortly after she got home. One evening she told me that while she was eating her cereal for breakfast she saw a white form at the foot of the steps going to the second floor and there was a dark band where a belt could be.
Although I never saw anything, she had several more experiences. In one,  when she was lying on the living room couch about ready to doze off with the TV on when she heard two men talking where the backdoor had been before my son moved it. One man said he couldn’t come and fix the guys tractor then because he had something else to do that day.
Another day she heard someone riding a horse through the living room past the couch. Chick Niedler was the guy who had lived there in the house for a good fifty years had ponies and a palomino, Pal O Gold, A neighbor told me once he’d been offered something like a huge sum of money for him reportedly by some important person like Roy Rogers or Gene Autry. A month later the horse died and is buried somewhere on my property.
Except for some men murmuring low in the room beyond my bathroom when I was lying in the tub relaxing, I could never pick out a specific word said.  Over the years that went away, too.
After I saw her pictures I went out and posed for a picture, too.

Mary became a travel nurse and eventually settled in California. One evening she and Hugo, a guy she dated for a while went to a little town park close to her apartment and on the edge of a drop off that went down to the Pacific Ocean. Anyone on the beach below wasn’t much bigger than an ant. There was a fence with signs that warned not to go over the fence. They laid out a blanket and brought some wine and snacks. Mary went over to the fence by the cliff and the warning signs and gave her camera to him to take pictures of her trying to climb over the fence. When she downloaded the pictures to her computer and enlarged them she found instead of the white sign with red lettering there was a picture of a man, woman and baby dressed in clothing from the 1800s instead.

They tried it again another night. This time when she downloaded it, there was a different family a father, mother and three or four children. I saw those pictures when I visited Mary, and the only thing we could come up with is that maybe a buggy horse ran away with the family and went over the cliff. I asked her to mail those pictures to me, but she said she’d had so many computers since then and so many backup pictures she didn’t know where they could be.

My brother Jerry died in 2010. He had survived three bouts of cancer but during rehabilitation of the third one, he caught one of those viruses that float around in hospitals and died. He donated his body to N.E. Ohio Medical College years before. When they had the body donation service, I went with my niece, a sister and my younger brother. His daughter Maria received his ashes then.

Jerry had a cigar box he loved. He wanted his ashes put in that, and he’d wanted to be buried in a little grove of trees on their farm near the road. My sister-in-law Joanne had already sold their beautiful farm because she couldn’t bear living their alone so isolated. She got permission from the new owner, and on a cloudy dreary day in March that threatened rain, Joanne, her two daughters, their husbands and the four grandchildren buried his ashes in the cigar box. Then they stood in a circle around where they buried him and prayed. When they left, one of them looked back and saw a ray of sun break through the clouds and highlight only his grave in that grove of trees that didn’t yet have their spring leaves.

Note: The ghost pictures I downloaded by going to ghosts on Google and there must have been close to 100 pictures taken of ghosts. Some of them didn’t look like ghosts. If you have time, I’d go there and look at all those pictures.

Have you ever had any experiences or know of others who have had experiences like this?


Kait said...

Spooky, Gloria! Mary sounds like she has a sensitivity for this. Would love an explanation of the families in the photos. Your home had a rich history. What fun.

The ghost photos are interesting, especially the similarity in the apparition. The one with the whatever it is under the stair is downright disturbing!

Gloria Alden said...

Kait, I didn't have room to tell one more thing about Mary. When her long time friend from third grade that had a great sense of humor and they would talk on the phone for a long time laughing when Mary was in California and she was still at home died of cancer. Mary grieved when she heard the news. That evening the faucet in her kitchen sink suddenly went on when Mary was in the living room in her apartment. Then she noticed her cat staring at a bare wall fascinated by something. The next day when she was at work caring for a patient, suddenly something fastened to the wall having to do with the patients in each room fell off the wall. Mary is sure it was her friend Tracy letting her know she was there. The old woman in my blog was my grandmother who chased off a peeping Tom with a broom. The man was my brother Jerry. You can find the other ghost pictures by Googling ghosts.

Anonymous said...

Hi Gloria, loved reading the stories you have shared with me over the years. Very interesting. I especially love dream messages and visitations. Laura

Grace Topping said...

Thankfully, I've never seen anything that could have been a spirit. But I have been in places that raised the hackles on the back of my neck. Once we visited a Greek monastery on a remote plateau. I walked into one of the chapels and immediately had a sense that I had to get out of there. I waited outside for my husband. Another time we stayed in a cottage that was several hundred years old. Again I sensed something and at night pulled the covers over my head.

Margaret S. Hamilton said...

I had a ghostly encounter on a visit to The Myrtles Plantation in Louisiana. And several incidents while I was cleaning out my parents' house, the most bizarre of which was the garage door continuously running up and down.

What a rich family history you have, Gloria!

Gloria Alden said...

Laura, that meant a lot to me, too.

Grace, I do believe that some people hang around after they die, maybe because they haven't been able to go to Heaven. After those events with my son and brother there have been no more and there were never any when my parents died.

Thanks, Margaret. I have heard that there are many spirits on the plantations in the south, and as for cleaning out your parent's house, I think one or both of your parents were trying in someway to communicate with you. Spooky, but nice, I think.

Warren Bull said...

I know of other instances where it appeared that someone who died contacted someone living to help or reassure the living,

KM Rockwood said...

I think there's a lot out there we don't understand, and that our life forces don't just dissipate when we die.

For a few years, we lived in a house that was later featured in a book on haunted houses in Michigan. While we did encounter numerous unexplained incidents, like lost objects reappearing in places we were sure we had looked, and my husband having recurring dreams about needing to solve a murder, ghosts just never really occurred to us. When I asked my youngest daughter about her experiences as a small child in the house, she said, "Don't you remember? Angels came to visit me at night, and you thought it was imaginary friends. But they weren't imaginary."

Gloria Alden said...

Warren, I'm glad to hear that my family isn't the only one who has had those experiences.

That is so interesting, Kathleen. My oldest son got up one night to use the bathroom and he woke us up to tell us he saw a man walking down the hall. We checked and there was no one there, so we thought maybe he was dreaming, but I wondered if it was someone who had been killed in a car wreck nearby sometime in he past since my husband had built the house and no one except us had lived here. Maybe it was someone who died from a gunshot wound while hunting since that area was wooded and still pretty much was before a dead end road was put in with a few houses down towards the end where we lived.

Shari Randall said...

I've had a few of these experiences, Gloria. I definitely think there is a lot that we don't understand about the human mind and spirit.
I remember one time my husband and I stayed in a Civil War era guest house. He loved it and I hated every minute - I felt watched, and not by someone pleasant. I threw my clothes in the suitcase and practically ran out the next morning!
I knew when my aunt passed away - she told me in a dream. I think all people are bonded together very deeply, but only some of us can pick up on the connections, which explains why many pooh pooh stories like ours.

Gloria Alden said...

Shari, your story is so interesting. I agr with your last comment. There's an old house in Hiram, Ohio that I've heard is haunted, too. When my extended family, parents, siblings, husband and children visited Gettysburg and the ground where so many died, I felt like the vibes there were very sad. I didn't want to stay there long.