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?


Cloudia said...

Thank you for a tasty slice of your Chesapeake life.
Aloha from Waikiki!

Bear Naked said...

Trick or Treat.

CBW--the Ghost Whisperer.

One day I will post a story and maybe a photo of my ghost encounter a few years ago.
I have to find the photo first.

Bear((( )))

Grandma J said...

It was Santa. A headless Santa in a nightgown.
Now, I'm going to bed...with the light on.

BTW, I believe in ghosts.

nativedevil said...

I once looked out of the window of my parent's home in Mathews and saw my neighbor walk out of his house, get into his white car, back up and drive away. There was only one problem: he had been DEAD for five years. No joke, it really happened.
Mathews is full of ghosts. I myself have had experiences near Old House Woods.
I believe in ghosts, because I have seen them.

Mental P Mama said...

I have had many encounters with other folks. Ironically, never in Connecticut, but all in Tennessee. I really cannot wait to come down there for our blogout!

big hair envy said...

"Near the small crossroads town of Cohoke in King William, a ghost train appears to visitors more times than it doesn't. Looking down the tracks towards the west, a light will come like a train, but with no noise. It will get closer and closer and then just disappear. Also occasionally this light will be preceded by the apparition of a confederate soldier holding a lantern."

I got this info from a "haunted places" website. I believe my entire family has seen this ghost at least once. We'll have to make this one of our little "fieldtrips" when we host the East Coast Blogapalooza!!! Any takers?

Anonymous said...

Um, I pick "freak."

Never seen a ghost myself but I say, that's what you get for peeking under the Christmas tree before the sanctioned hour arrives!

It was rumored that you could hear ghosts moaning in an abandoned former country store/post office building that I could see from my bedroom growing up... we used to go over there late at night... but never did hear anything. Now, a nice family has fixed it up and lives there.

tj said...

...MPM said a blogout...who's having a blogout? And what in tarnation is a blogout? Is that like a blogapalooza? Are you having one CBW? Can I come? Please? I'll be good and I'll bring cookies. Lots of 'em. Oh, and wine. Lots o' wine. lol... Oh please, oh please, oh please, oh please, can I come? (can you tell I o.d.'d on the coffee a little already?) :oD

...Yeah, I believe in ghosts too. We have a strange thing that just kinda "blurs" in a corner of our livingroom. It always looks the same and it's always in the same corner. Rumor has it that our place is haunted but it comes from a fellow who was a caretaker on the original farm and he lived in our place but was told he had to leave because the farm was sold to a developer. People think he made it up to scare folks off. Who knows?

...When I'm upstairs in my sewing room which is above our kitchen which was the stables back in the 1800's you can hear what sounds like something coming up the steps. It always happens long after I've been up there but my husband claims it's just the steps "groaning" from my weight after going up the steps. Isn't he precious? "Groaning"?:o/ I say it's probably the ghost of a dead horse or somethin'

..."Season's Screamings" CBFamily! WHOA-HA-HA-HA-HAAAAA...

...Blessings too... :o)

tj said...

...Good thing Blogger doesn't have character limits on their comments section...look at the length of that comment up there... Geez a lou! ;o)

Grandma J said...

Blogapalooza? Blogfest? Blogananny? When is this going down? I need to know because I have to make arrangements ....because I'm not sleeping in that chicken coop.

There I go again, inviting myself..I have no manners.

big hair envy said...

The pressure to gather is on my dear. We'll have to do some serious wine drinking, um, in-depth planning next week at the OFest:) It looks like we may have several out-of-town guests!!

Anonymous said...

I believe in them but have never seen one and really don't want to.
Did someone say Blogapalooza? East Coast?

Anonymous said...

Yep. We really saw that gowned figure staring at us. It silenced was so strange. It was weird that you couldn't make out the face. I didn't feel like it was something that was out to get us, though.

Our property definitely has a lot of character....and many stories. I have another good one, but it's too long for the blog comment. Maybe I'll be a guest blogger sometime and share my other "communication from beyond" story!

-Middle Sis

bellalately said...

"Why can't my dirty laundry disappear into thin air?"

~A big "AMEN!" to that- lol!

What a creepily delicious ghost story just in time for Halloween. I've never seen anything, but I get distinct impressions of places. For instance, we stayed at Warner Hall for my b-day last year and I got the distinct impression that Augustine Warner does not like people in his house! (I will swear up and down that I was pushed down the stairs by unseen hands).

How's that for freaky! ;) LOL!

MommyTime said...

This is a great story. I have never seen a ghost, though for a while my upstairs neighbors in college swore there was one haunting our house. They said they heard voices and walking in the attic all the time. Since they were complete stoners, it was a little hard to believe they were right. But I'd believe it was really a ghost if I saw something that looked like one. And I have friends who have told me their ghost stories that I totally believe.

Anonymous said...

Well, I can tell you who it was in the was your baby sister who, apparently, is invisible and never really existed or so it would seem due to lack of recognition in your stories...I"m just throwin' that out there.
Baby Sis

Anonymous said...

And by the way, I think I've seen a skeleton running through a small town and it had a rose in it's mouth. But that doesn't really count because it was my first year of college ( Grateful Dead posters!! )and I guess it wasn't really a ghost.
Baby Sis

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Baby Sister - If you feel so neglected I'll be happy to share some Baby Sis stories. Are you absolutely sure you want me to?

Also, with 5 1/2 years separating us, and Middle Sis being so much closer in age to me(and such an easy target), there are more stories to tell that involve her.

Middle Sister and you hung out more than you and I did (a dynamic that changed in adulthood, assuming we've reached adulthood, it's hard to tell sometimes).

Middle Sis should do some guest blogging and tell some Baby Sister stories, because I'm quite sure she has many. Many.

To everyone else I am pleasantly surprised at all the ghostly encounters. Thank you all for sharing.

Now, I'm going to start getting my outfit ready for tonight: She Devil. Baby Sis has already so kindly pointed out that I won't really be dressing up at all.

Happy Halloween!

Margaret Cloud said...

You might as well join the thousands that have seen a ghost or something out of the norm. Maybe like in poltergeist the dead does not like you living perhaps over their graves. I have never seen anything like you did, but I have heard different noises in the house that can't be explained.

Rivergirl said...

Ok, no ghosts here but I always wanted my house to be haunted. And if you've ever been to my house, you'd swear it SHOULD be haunted- three floors, several people have died there, found weird stuff under the know, all the ingredients for a ghost or a murder. But, alas, nothing.

I think we should go on a run on North River Road and PRETEND we didn't see the No Trespassing signs on Snow Hill and find out what's going on there. I think there is some weird stuff at the end of that lane. And if we're running, Juana, we can pretend that we were just using the lane to stay off the main road....could be an adventure. Like the time we all spent the night at Teresa Ellen's and visited her neighbor's house which was SUPPOSED to be haunted!! Or the time Angela Ashberry and I rode horses through the woods and came upon an abandoned house with the kitchen table STILL SET for a long time ago breakfast! I LOVE a good adventure...I'll be Nancy Drew, you can be George, and Alda can be the third chum that I can't remember....

TSannie said...

It irritates the hell out of me to admit I've never had a ghostly encounter...I'm waiting!

BTW - whatever happened to tj's blog??? It's suddenly gone, and I miss it!

Cloudia said...

You inspired me! today's post on my blog is "Ghosts of Honolulu"

foolery said...

I've never seen a ghost. But I have a story I could ascribe to a ghost if I wanted to.

My baby brother and I had moved back into the family home (also my current home) as 20-somethings and both worked at the family restaurant. I came home from a waitress shift to a blaring stereo -- I mean BLARING -- at 2:30 in the afternoon and no one around. I went to turn down the stereo and noticed the Wolford oil lamps, usually on top of the TV/stereo cabinet, sitting on the carpet in the doorway.

Just then my brother came out of the master bedroom where he'd been using our parents' shower. He'd turned up the stereo so he could hear it.

"Why'd you put the oil lamps on the floor?" I asked. He turned white. He hadn't touched them.

Pretty sure it was a burglar after the TV and stereo, although a ghost is ALMOST more logical considering the time of day, the blaring stereo, and someone home, plus the fact that the only door not locked was at the extreme end of the house.

Maybe it WAS a ghost . . . who was trying to steal the stereo.