Crazy-ass family

You just can't make this stuff up

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Ghost Story Tuesday

When I was younger, I lived on a road that ended at the back gate to the government air-force base. It made for a nice quiet street (save for rush-hour times, of course). It was a beautiful place to live. The kids in the neighborhood ran wild as long as the weather was agreeable (meaning as long as there wasn't a torrential downpour or an uncharacteristically nasty blizzard). Our favorite haunts included the railroad tracks way back in the woods, a couple of choice spots by the river, and the cement pad. The cement pad was just that; a block of cement with a ramp leading up to the top, about 15 x 15 feet in size. It was at the very end of the street, in plain view of the gate and the buildings inside. Somehow, though, that gate acted as a barrier to a different world; we didn't understand it, and we ignored it for the most part. Our world ended at the gate.
There was something else at the end of our street, across the road from the cement pad. The ancient, run-down house was the subject of endless scrutiny and curiosity from us kids. Strangely, it was painted white on the side facing the air base, and rotting and gray on the other three sides. The house was lopsided and decrepit, and one of its upstairs windows broken. Some of the kids claimed that they saw shadows in that window, and the stories attracted even more attention from us.
The house was owned and lived in by the Grandfather of one of the kids that lived on the street...which is how I came to find myself paying a visit one day.
I rarely played with the boy, but that day there were three of us hanging around the place, and the boy claimed, for the first time, that it was his Grandfather who lived inside. We, of course, scoffed at this claim, which prompted the boy to knock on the door.
I remember the day exactly. It was overcast and I was chilly in my shorts and shirt. I was tired from the activities of the day, and the prospect of meeting the owner of this famous (at least in our little world) house was disturbing, especially as it had happened so spontaneously.
The man who answered the door looked as ancient as the house. His wiry gray hair stood at all angles on his head. He regarded us with suspicion, then greeted his Grandson. We were invited in, although somewhat reluctantly, and I was instantly taken aback at the condition of the interior of the place.
Before that visit, nobody was sure whether anyone lived in the house. No-one was ever seen coming or going, and activity around the house was minimal. If I had entered the house on my own that day, I still would not have been sure whether it was inhabited. The stove was, like the house and it's owner, ancient. The table was not much more than some thrown together planks of wood. I shyly asked the man where his fridge was, and he informed us (rather proudly) that there was no fridge; he kept his milk in a cool cupboard.
The three of us kids stood awkwardly in the dark kitchen. I wanted to run, and had since we entered the house. Though I was still in my years of shutting out my gifts, I had felt an undeniable presence as soon as we'd entered the house which had intensified as we'd passed the stairs leading to the second floor.
The old man seemed to be searching for a suitable topic of conversation. What he came up with was...interesting. He went to a cupboard, pulled out a large bag and showed us the contents. I was shocked (and my urge to run was reinforced with a vengeance) to observe that the bag was stuffed full of used needles. "What're those for?" I asked, unable to rein in my curiosity despite being appalled at the contents of the bag.
The man explained that he was diabetic and that he had to give himself needles every day. I remember him pulling up his shirt and tracing a pattern on his belly - the pattern he followed to be sure he didn't stick the same place too often and bruise himself.
Suddenly, the man looked up and his face went a deadly white. "DON'T GO NEAR THERE!" he yelled, and I jumped back a few feet, ending up against that old stove. The third kid with us, most likely made queasy with the whole charming needle story, had wandered over to the stairs and was peering up them. He jumped away at the shout of the old man.
"I don't go up there anymore. Nobody goes up there."
Those word turned my stomach and sent a chill up my spine. We hastily said our goodbyes and left.
His Grandson explained, after we left, that his Grandfather had gotten worse since his wife had died. He never left the house and, as he had said, had stopped going upstairs, which was where his and his wife's bedroom was. I asked why and my friend simply shook his head.
It was some time later that I was alone with the boy, and he told me more of the story. When he was young, he would visit his Grandparents. His Grandmother had an ancient record player and loved playing a certain song over and over again. She was a kind woman and he loved spending time with her. Some time after she died, his Grandfather was taking care of him, and he went to sleep upstairs. He woke up in the middle of the night, in pitch black, to a song so familiar that he instantly knew who was playing it for him. His Grandfather, he learned later, had heard her song many times, and eventually refused to make the climb to his bedroom anymore.
The story always made me sad, and year later when the old man died, I wondered if there was something somebody could have done for the man. Maybe he didn't have to be so alone...
When I visit home now, I always make a point to drive to the end of my old street, up to the back gate, and I feel a little hollow when I see the old lot where that house used to be. They've since torn the place down.
But that old feeling is still there. I've always felt that there was much more to the story of that old man and his dead wife, and I still feel that way. Something unsolved. The house is gone, but its' inhabitants...still linger.

11 Comments:

At 10:25 AM, Blogger Jennboree said...

What a sad story. I've often wondered about the connection a couple has who've been together so long and then one dies.

Do you believe entities reconnect with one another? Do they know each other or only see the living? Have you ever seen two entities communicate with one another?

One day I'd like to hear about your faith, if any, and what role your abilities have played in shaping that faith.

 
At 11:01 AM, Blogger Tree said...

Hehe I've been waiting for someone to ask where religion comes in. I'll write about it...next week, maybe.
Yep, we all travel around with the same people...in life, in death, and in life again. Time isn't the same when we die; waiting for someone isn't quite the same as it is here in this life.
You have raised a very interesting question...whether I've seen two entities communicate with one another...the answer is no. The only time I've seen something like it is when I see that an entity or some entities are waiting for someone on a different level ("the other side"). Even when I'm talking to more than one entity at once, it's like they're in...different places. Hard to explain.

 
At 12:09 PM, Blogger Margaret said...

whew!

The bag of needles was almost too much for me...

 
At 4:35 PM, Anonymous Jo said...

Oh! I do love Tuesdays. I'm left wanting to know more about this man and his wife. And if that's how I feel... how must you feel?! Are you tempted to see if you can find out any more?

 
At 8:06 PM, Blogger mama_tulip said...

Oh my goodness, Tree. I was so creeped out reading this! Such a sad story, yet so creepy! You told it so well.

 
At 9:23 PM, Blogger kris said...

Oh, Tree. This story makes my heart ache. That poor man. I do hope he and his wife found peace.

 
At 10:57 PM, Anonymous Jenn said...

Okay, it is Tuesday night, and I know WAY better now than to read this before bed. So I scrolled down to the comments just to say hi and tell you I will read it hungrily in the morning. Must. Tear. Myself. Away. But:

You are so fun and addictive. How neat for your kids to have a mama like you.

P.S. Chez Us is feeling suddenly calm again. Do ghosts act up during certain months? February seems to be the key month here. Maybe a jilted Valentine's suitor? Does it work that way?

 
At 11:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh memories my sister..man that house was......something else.
so dark and old and crooked, it just felt wierd! i remember when they tore it down i was SHOCKED! couldn't believe it! i was mad...although the house scared the crap out of me..it was a major part of our lives eh. the gate/base the house and the cement pad, and the train tracks! and the river!! it was so desolate out there..but really the base was right there but still it didn't feel like anything else was there, eh.
jen

 
At 1:53 PM, Anonymous sunshine said...

Found you from comments left on another blog...reading the ghost story posts...especially about the ghost in the basement of your cousin's home...and wanted to add that I lived in a home where I had to walk down a long narrow hallway to get to the bathroom from my bedroom. The switch for the light was right outside my bedroom door and when I would try to turn the light on in the middle of the night it almost NEVER worked. NEVER. Always worked in the daytime, though. Also, whatever/whoever was there would follow me into the bathroom. Never saw it, but I could smell it...kind of sulfur-y and it would get stronger the longer I stayed in the bathroom.

Okay, now that I've sufficiently freaked myself out - thanks for helping me know I'm not nuts!

 
At 3:19 AM, Anonymous Lisa said...

Wow, that is so so sad. What an interesting thing to read about. He sounds like he was so so lonely. I bet his grandson kept him going for much longer then he normally would have. Wow.

 
At 1:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very interesting story and very sad aswell. When you said that the cement block was like a gate way, did you mean like a vortex or opening to the other world?
I've had similar experiences while out around Lemoges in the woods. Went to explore the location of an abandoned house but when we got there the house was gone but the energy in the area was very off. We decided to go out in the woods a bit further but got a bit freaked out when an owl came out of no where and stood in our path, that's when we took it as a sign to get out of there. My friend sensed that the opening/vortex had moved from where the house was to further into the woods.

BTW, I enjoy reading your blogs, gives me some incentive to start writting about my experiences.

MIMI

 

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