Friday, October 31, 2008
I took this picture down Haven Beach earlier this year. Old House Woods is infamous for its ghost stories which are generally rooted in the notion that at some point pirates buried a treasure somewhere in the vicinity and then perished at sea. Some claim to have seen ships sailing through the air; others have seen pirates, skeletons, people digging for treasure or horses and cows that disappear into thin air.
Why can't my dirty laundry disappear into thin air?
The land my parents and I now live on was once a cemetery, part of which was a slave cemetery, or so we’ve been told. We have never seen any marked graves, but we have found chunks of stone and cement when we’d go digging around the fields, and I confess I was always hoping to find something substantial--like some bones or a casket. It was the young archaeologist in me. Or the freak. Take your pick.
One Christmas Eve, Middle Sister and I got up in the middle of the night (or rather, very early in the morning before sunrise) to see what awaited us under the Christmas tree. It was very dark and, not wanting to startle our parents, our grandmother (who was living with us at the time) or Baby Sister—all of whom were sleeping—we turned on just the lights of the tree. Very quietly we investigated what had been left for us.
All of a sudden, I got this really eerie sensation, the one where you feel like somebody’s watching you. Middle Sister and I, simultaneously and without saying a word, glanced in the direction of the doorway. There, standing in the dark, we saw someone in a white gown. There was no head, no feet, no arms or hands, just the gown suspended in mid air.
As quickly as it came, it disappeared. There were no footsteps.
I have successfully blocked out whatever happened next. (I find this is a helpful survival mechanism, particularly in this family of mine.) Perhaps Middle Sister can fill in the blanks. I know we both froze still as statues, and I think I asked her, whispering, whether she saw what I saw. Yep, she sure did.
Later that morning we asked everyone else in the house whether they’d come into the den earlier. All of them replied they had not. There was no history of anyone sleepwalking either. Middle Sister and I had been quiet as church mice. We didn’t wake anybody up because their bedrooms were at the opposite end of the house.
We maintain to this very day that what we saw was supernatural. We believe we saw a ghost.
I've seen many things I can't explain: fiddler crabs in my yard; ants on my countertops even in late October; laundry piles that never end; a praying mantis in my kitchen sink. But this particular episode takes the cake.
Have you ever seen a ghost?