Author Archive
general

Dreaming of Spirits

Informant: At my house, before I moved, whenever I went to sleep I had a lot of weird dreams of stuffed animals that were possessed. There was one where I would be in my mother’s room and stuffed animals would be holding me back from my mother.  I never watched anything related to that, except when I watched Chucky when I was like 4 and  then I stopped watching ghost stories related to dolls. It wasn’t anything related to that. Once we moved from the house I never had those dreams again.

Collector: How old were you?

Informant: I lived there from age 7 to 16 and I sporadically would have the dreams while I lived there, but the feeling of a presence in the house never went away.

 

Collector’s thoughts: While this may just be a case of a reoccurring nightmare, the fact that the informant never experienced these dreams again after moving is unsettling. She also mentioned to me that she would often feel as though someone were under her bed or peaking in her windows. Having these dreams and the feeling of a presence within the house for 9 years is a very long time, and often these experiences shape our beliefs in the future. The informant is still clearly shaken up over the experience as she would repeatedly mention how creepy and unsettling it was. This experience leads me to think that maybe the spirit world is not that far away, like the Celtics believed. In many movies and books spirits return to people through dreams, and maybe that happened to the informant.

general

The Transparent Woman

*The informant has had multiple ghost encounters and has heard many stories regarding spirits. She says that she had recently moved into this house as it was her her step-father’s house. She currently lives in the same house and has not experienced anything within the house since this story.

Informant: This happened when I was probably 15 years old. I was studying one evening in my bedroom and I had the door shut and then all of a sudden there was a knock on my door so I said “Come in,” and they didn’t come in. After 3 more knocks and no response I sort of got aggravated, so I opened up the door and here is this figure of a woman in the hall outside my door looking at me and I can see right through her. All of a sudden she turns around and walks down the hall a little bit and turned into the bathroom. And so my curiosity got the best of me so I walked down the hall to the bathroom, and no-one was in there– the bathroom was empty. I thought “Oh my god who was that woman?”, and she appeared to be in her late 50s or so I’d say. My stepdad had been married before, and so had my mother- my father died of leukemia, and my stepfather’s previous wife had died of cancer. I had never seen a picture of her, so I asked to see one and it was the lady I saw in the hall!

Collector: And she had lived in that house before with your stepfather?

Informant: Yeah! Then I was worried so I read up on it and I read that if you take a bundle of sage, either leaves or branches, and you make a smudge out of it and light it and go to the lowest part of your house and go the whole perimeter of your house with that sage smoke, and then you come up to the next floor higher and in every room you go the perimeter of the room with that sage smoke., and that is supposed to calm the spirits or make them go away. There were never any telltale signs of ghosts after that… it’s funny because she obviously looked at me. I’ve read about time being a tricky thing and so maybe there’s a parallel dimension where it’s a different time in that dimension, so she’s living in this house at a different time frame in this other dimension. So maybe we just kinda crossed. Or she came back in spirit as a ghost and wanted to see what happened to her house.

 

Collector’s Thoughts: This informant gave me many stories about ghostly encounters she has had and many spiritual stories she has heard. This informant has been surrounded by death, her father dying when she was a child and her mother and step father dying when she was an adult, and her open-mindedness to spirits may be why she has encountered so much and has heard many stories. The home was older and the fact that her step-father’s previous wifehood lived there and died may be why she saw her- like she said, maybe she was checking up on the house. It was very interesting listening to her and her stories and many ghostly motifs were involved in the story.

 

Folk Beliefs
Narrative
Old age

Great Grandmother from Across the Country

*The informant is a grandmother, a wife, has a degree in Art, and has heard, and been involved with, many ghost stories.

 

Informant: I was born in San Diego, California, and Mum’s family was living back here in Maine. Mum always thought that she was her grandmother’s favorite, although her grandmother probably didn’t have a favorite. In my parents bedroom there was a little alcove where they kept my crib so they could keep an eye on me to make sure I was alright. I remember as a toddler standing up in my crib and seeing this white figure of a older woman walk into the room and it was like she was glowing. She was white, but I could see she was an old woman, and she went to the bed and my mother sat up and they were talking to each other. As I got older I thought it was a dream that I had had, so I never really said anything about it. When I got to be an adult Mum told me about her grandmother that she had loved so much and how when we were in California she woke up one night an there was her grandmother standing by the side of the bed. Mum was talking to her and she said “Grammy, what are you doing here in California? You’re supposed to be in Maine.” And she said, “Well, I wanted to come and see you before I left so that you didn’t worry about me or be sad, and so I could say goodbye.” Then the next morning my parents got a phone call and my great grandmother had died that night– a little bit before Mum saw the figure and talked to her. Mum told me this story and described what she looked like and I went “OH MY GOD! [laughs] I thought that was a dream!”. I described what I thought she looked like and she was said “Well yeah, that was my Grandmother”.

Collector: Was your great-grandmother sick? Was her death expected at all?

Informant: She was quite elderly, but I don’t think she had a lingering illness or anything. We knew it was coming soon but it wasn’t expected. And Mum always thought she was the favorite so she wasn’t really surprised that her grandmother came to say goodbye.

 

Collector’s Thoughts: I’ve collected many interesting stories from this informant, and although it may not sound the most reliable as it was recorded as a young child, many believe that children are able to see and experience spirits more than adults can. The validation from her mother that this experience really happened helps make the story more believable. I’ve heard many other stories where spirits visit to say goodbye and the fact that her favorite grandchild was not able to say goodbye to her in person may be the reason why she returned- to tie up loose ends. Many ghost stories revolve around that idea of a ghost returning to do something they were unable to do while they were living.

Folk Beliefs

The Clear Footsteps

*The informant is a resident of Maine, a wife of 20 years, a mother of three, and has a college education. She has an open mind to spirits and the paranormal, but is a bit skeptical.

**The house where this story occurred had been said to be haunted. The story occurred around 9pm in the summertime.

Informant: It was at my grandparent’s home in Cherryfield, Maine. The house was built in 1790, but it was built with timbre that was marked with the King’s Lumber. I was 16 at the time. I was upstairs in the bedroom that I had used growing up, it was my room at my grandparents house, and it was not directly above the dining room but really close to the dining room. I was up there and the whole family was gathered [in the dining room] and I was just getting over a breakup so I was spending a lot of time by myself and reading books. I heard somebody walking down the hallway and they stopped in front of the bedroom door. I said “What do you want?” and there was no response. I got up off the bed and opened the door and there was nobody there. I get back in the bed and I keep reading and a little while later I hear the walking resume in front of the door. I thought “I’m getting annoyed” and I get up off the bed normally, walking over to the door loud and ripping the door open and nothing. So then I started to get up really really quietly and would walk to the door. I could hear everybody downstairs chatting because the sound carries up, so then after like going really quietly and opening the door and there was still nobody there, I closed the door and I moved my feet like I was walking away but I was really just standing there. I was waiting and then I heard the steps start again, right in front of the door, and I ripped the door open and there was no one there. I ran out of the room and ran down the stairs and everybody was in the dining room. There’s no way it was them,because that’s the closest stairwell to the dining room and they wouldn’t be able to attempt to trick me upstairs and be able to get back there before I did. And there’s no way that they would have been able to leave the front of the door because I was standing on the other side of the door and as soon as I heard those steps stop in front of the door I yanked the door open. There was nobody there. It was clear footsteps, it wasn’t like a squeaky floor board. It was clear footsteps.

 

Collector’s Thought: The informant whole-heartedly believes she was in the presence of a ghost. Through her storytelling she tells it as if it happened yesterday, and at some parts she was more excited to tell the story and at others she seemed lost for words. I have visited this house before and while it is a beautiful home, you can definitely tell it is older and that many people have lived there. The informant was in a very emotional state when the occurrence happened. The fact that this story occurred in an older home, late at night, while the informant was alone and emotional seems to follow many of the ghostly motifs we have encountered in stories.

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