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Living with a ghost

ghostly image on stairs

In 2002 I bought a small house in the Beaver Lake community of Asheville. It was just what I had been searching for, and I quickly fell in love with my new home. Little did I know that buying and living in this house meant that I would enter a supernatural world I never dreamed of.

My first encounter with a “spirit” happened only a couple of weeks after I moved in. I was sound asleep when all of a sudden I woke up to see a woman staring down at me. I could see her face, neck, and shoulders that somehow morphed into transparent arms as she hovered directly above me. Her white hair was loosely pulled back from her face. I could feel her curiosity. She was there to check me out.

She lingered for only a couple of seconds, but it seemed like forever at the same time. I stared back at her, but there was no eye contact or moment of connection. When she vanished, just as quietly as she had appeared, my heart pounded as I lay motionless on my bed. I knew I had just seen a ghost. A real one.

I was afraid to move for a very long time. I didn’t know what to do because seriously, what do you do after you see a ghost? I stayed still and quiet until I finally calmed down and my heart rate returned to normal. I knew something extraordinary had just happened, something somewhat frightening, and something I absolutely did not understand. But somehow, after a while, I was able to fall back to sleep.

Staying true to my characteristically quiet, introverted, and private personality, I didn’t tell many people about my ghostly experience. However, the few friends with whom I did share my story, couldn’t understand why I didn’t run out of the house screaming.

In the weeks that followed, I continued to settle into my new home. Since this house was one-third the size of the house I had just moved from, I struggled to find a place for all of my belongings. But my organizational skills kicked in and I had everything in its place pretty quickly. I make this statement only to point out that the following stories are so significant because I tend to be rather meticulous about where I put things.

One day, I decided to wear my pearl earrings. When I went to get them from my jewelry box, one of the earrings was missing. They were small, so it would be easy to lose one. But like I said, I know where I put them, and I lived alone so I knew no one had moved them.

Weeks later, I had not forgotten about the missing earring, but I had mostly quit thinking about it. Until one day when I opened my refrigerator and found the earring—in the butter dish. Seeing the earring in such a strange and nonsensical place nearly took my breath away. There was no explanation. I assumed that my spirit-friend had returned, and was now moving my personal belongings.

In the following months there were two more earring incidences. A love-knot-shaped gold earring, that after being “lost” for several weeks, mysteriously appeared on my closet shelf in a cleared spot where I couldn’t miss seeing it. A missing diamond earring literally fell at my feet when I opened a door.

I never saw the spirit again, but I was frequently awakened by a very strange sound. The only way I can explain it is to say that it was a “sucking” sound. It was pretty loud and only happened at night while I was sleeping. This led me to wonder if it was real, a dream, or imagined. It was very scary. I would wake up startled and wonder if someone was breaking in, or if my house was breaking down.

The sound, that came from a localized point in the hallway, was followed by compete silence. I finally learned not to be afraid of the sound, to just accept the fact that there was more than I could see or understand about this little house of mine. I also accepted the fact that apparently I did not live alone.

I eventually came to the conclusion that my spirit-friend was female, and as girly-girl as I am. This was how I rationalized her fascination with my jewelry. I also believed she played with the silk flowers I carefully placed on my kitchen corner-cabinet.

Flowers on the floor

On many, many mornings, I would walk into my bright, sunny kitchen and find them scattered on the floor. I simply picked them up, placed them back where they belonged, and knew that she had been there the night before to play with them.

One of the strangest things that happened was when my brand new pair of black Antonio Melani heels went missing one night. The following morning, they mysteriously reappeared . . . in the exact place where they were missing. My spirit-friend often seemed mischievous, but never malicious. I mean, at least she returned everything.

I begin to realize that the frequent and unexplained sound was coming from a “portal,” and that my spirit-friend was either coming or going. Although, I often felt that maybe it was actually a different spirit, or that there was more than one.

I wasn’t ever afraid, but I admit feeling unsettled because I always wondered if I was alone, or not. And if not, who was there? As the years passed, the sound became more frequent, not only at night when I was sleeping, but also during daylight hours when I was awake.

Living with a ghost meant that I often had common, unexplained occurrences such as my CD player opening and pot handles moving without my touching them. There were also many instances where I felt that my spirit-friend helped me out.

She left a bill I had forgotten to pay on the floor right where I had to step over it. She placed a pink, heart-shaped rock in my flower garden. A lost key was found on top of a brick. These happenings became so frequent and ordinary, I came to expect them as a normal part of life. I often felt that my spirit-friend was glad I was there.

One night as I walked around the house to turn off the lights, I paused at the window to look at the blooming cherry tree in my front yard. It was chilly that night and the window was closed shut. Yet, as I stood there, the sheer curtain began to move as if it were blowing in the breeze. I know without a single doubt in my mind that my spirit-friend was there.

I never had a frightening experience until I decided to move. One night I woke from a deep sleep to the sound of scratching in my bathtub. It sounded exactly like an animal had gotten into my house, then into my bathtub, and was trying to get out. It was loud and it was scary. I was alone and I wondered what in the world was I going to do.

I knew I had to first determine what was in the tub, so I walked into the bathroom and flipped on the light. I stood in front of the closed shower curtain and imagined that I would open it to find a squirrel or some other small animal.

The scratching sound continued even though the light was on. I was wide awake now and pretty terrified, but I had no choice except to open the curtain to see what was in my tub, and then decide what to do. I summoned my courage, slid the curtain to the side and found . . . nothing. There was nothing there. The scratching sound stopped immediately.

I was stunned. I knew I wasn’t dreaming or imagining something that wasn’t real. I felt like my spirit-friend wasn’t so friendly anymore and I was really afraid. I wondered if there was some mystical symbolism about me wanting to move, and something trying to get out. On this night, there was a shift. I felt that my spirit-friend left and never returned. The portal became quiet and the extraordinary experiences came to an end.

I lived in that little house for ten years and felt her presence nearly every day. I still think of her and wonder why she was there. Did she die during the Civil War as one clairvoyant suggested? Was she searching for a lost love as another psychic believed? I wondered if she would follow me to my new home, but so far, I’ve not seen any flowers on the floor or had any missing earrings.

I also wonder logistically how these things happened. Did the pearl earring float through the air and through the refrigerator door, or did she open the door to place it in the butter dish? Where did my shoes go while they were missing overnight?

Of course, we’ll never know. We can speculate and we can believe what we want. I’ve always been open to the idea of spirits living among us, but now I know without a shadow of doubt that it’s true, because I lived with one. Happy Halloween! :)

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