My mother’s college roommate and best friend was living in Michigan working at a library in a small town. She would frequently call her and tell her of the eery happenings her coworker, Darlene experienced. Below are the experiences my mother’s friend held on to most.
“Closer to home, part of our library building in Wyandotte was a large historic home which housed offices and special collections and storage while most of the library activities took place in a big brick box that was added to the back of the home in the 60’s. Darlene experienced interactions with ghosts while in the house. Mostly she saw a young girl and boy dressed from around the turn of the last century. Sometimes she just heard them running about above on a floor above here. She never got any bad or scary feelings from them, they were slightly mischievous but not intent on any harm. But one evening, she was in the main library by herself late at night. She was our tech person and there were a number of computer updates that needed to be done while the library was closed, so this was not uncommon for her. This one particular night she was sitting at a bank of computers when suddenly she felt her chair lift off the ground and she was dumped, quite jarringly, on to the floor. That certainly woke her up!
I didn’t have the ghostly interactions she did, but the house was definitely spooky to be in by yourself. The only weird experience I ever had there was one night when we were leaving and locking up the back door, we could see there had been a light left on in the basement. I went back in, turned off the alarm, and went down to the basement- but there were no lights on! When I got back outside again, the light was shining out the window once more – but I wasn’t going back in!”
This story is intriguing because it plays upon the mecurial nature of many ghosts in stories. It also ties into the gothic themes we find in many stories – a crumbling old mansion, old aristocracy, etc. We see these children dressed in Victorian clothing running around, much like Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw. Although this story is scary, it is very paradigmatic when it comes to ghost stories, which illustrates the tie that runs through all our stories.
The informant told me of an accident that occurred only a few years previous but still haunts his small, secluded neighborhood in St. Louis. A family friend of his threw a birthday party for their daughter. A pool party to be exact since the family recently re-did their pool. Their pool was deep, but he said when you tried to look at the bottom you couldn’t see anything because of how dark the pebbling was in the pool.
The parents told all the kids not to jump in until the lifeguard came, but some kids starting jumping in immediately. The informant’s friend starts swimming and sees a body at the bottom. She wasn’t sure if it was just her vision, but she dove deeper and grabbed the body of a girl. One of the kids at the party drowned when everyone dove in. The party ended immediately.
Now the family still hears sounds by the pool and experiences indescribable things – lights turning on inexplicably. The worst part is that family re-pebbled the bottom of the pool to a lighter color, yet around the time of the year when the accident occurred it begins to become ever so slightly darker.
This story is typical of ghost stories dealing with death. Supposedly, the girl’s spirit still haunts this pool and the family as if to constantly remind them and the town of this terrible time. Like many of our ghost stories, people who have died unexpectedly or too early continue to roam this world.