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Act Natural -- There's Someone Sitting Right Behind You!



The Ghost's Name Is George
by Kathleen Sollenberger
(Reprinted by permission from Big Bear Lake Magazine)
Hailing From: Big Bear Lake, California
Where it Happened:
Captain's Anchorage Restaurant; Big Bear Lake, CA

The soft murmurs of an intimate conversation between a man and a woman drifted down the stairwell and whispered on the edge of our hearing. It was a windy, moonless Friday night at the CAPTAINS ANCHORAGE and we huddled next to the fireplace, straining our ears, watching the tape recorder weíd secreted on the stairs moments before. This was our third night staying after hours looking for evidence of a ghost.

There were only four of us in the building -- all female -- and we were all downstairs. Eventually we noticed that when we relaxed our vigil and resumed talking, the conversation upstairs would again become vaguely discernible; when we paid attention, there would be only silence. Pouring ourselves some fresh-brewed coffee, we decided to let the recorder do its work while we reviewed the events of our first night in the restaurant two weeks earlier.

Lorren Repton and I had spent the night with a few guests, assorted tape recorders, video and still cameras loaded with 400 AS and infrared film. We werenít entirely disappointed in our efforts; a door was summarily slammed shut and a radio turned itself off. The best thing, though, happened in the kitchen downstairs when only three of us were left and we had relaxed our guard. It was close to dawn and we went down to the waitress station to turn off the coffee machine. It was very quiet. We flipped the switch and then froze; a god-awful racket erupted from the kitchen, scratchy and full of static, echoing through the empty room. Stunned, we clutched our equipment and crept into the kitchen, past the dumbwaiter -- and the sound was suddenly gone.

Later, after a quick nap, I reviewed the audiotape and then called the restaurant to ask if there was a radio in the kitchen that could have produced the sound and had it been on. There was, but the power switch on the radio was in the off position. I was also told that a dark figure had been seen in the past, hovering exactly where the three of us had been standing when the racket had started.

Stories of the ghost seem to have their origin in events that may have occurred in the late 40íS and early 50ís, when Big Bear Valley had an approximate population of 7,300. A secluded sportsmanís paradise -- easily reached by air -- was a frequent destination for film crews and movie stars. Two gentlemen from an aerospace firm began constructing a two-story restaurant in Moonridge with all the amenities: Two kitchens with a dumbwaiter to connect them, a bar, a dance floor with piano, large stone fireplaces and cabins out back -- professional ladies included. The finishing touch was a bank of slot machines on rails or wheels that could conveniently vanish into an upstairs closet.

Apparently they ran out of money and a very well liked, popular film star stepped in. The establishment, THE SPORTSMANíS TAVERN, was opened in 1947, approximately two years after state laws prohibiting gambling were passed in California. Business was brisk and the books complicated. A man named ďGeorgeĒ was hired as an accountant, and itís probable that he had two separate books to balance -- one legal, and one for the extras.

Now the story gets confused. In one version, George was caught embezzling funds, probably from the extra books, and became so distraught that he hung himself in the upstairs office. Another version includes the embezzlement and adds that George had also discovered that his wife was having an affair with a local deliveryman. The combination being too much, he either hung or shot himself, once again in the upstairs office. The third version, and least explained, has it that George was assisted into the otherworld. In every version, the story ends with the same conclusion: George disappeared but never left the building.

Captains Anchorage picLocated at 42148 Moonridge Way, Captainís Anchorage a.k.a. the Sportsmanís Tavern (approximately 1946-1952) was originally owned by the Sportsmanís Village, Inc. Title was tentatively transferred to Actor Andy Devine in May of 1952 when a deed was prepared but left unrecorded until 1959. He held title until August of 1966. It is theorized (there is no proof) that Devine may have been a ďsilent partnerĒ in the affairs of the tavern up to 1959. It has also been suggested that he might have had a financial interest in it sooner (1947 forward). Everyone interviewed is adamant that Georgeís story took place while Devine was involved with the business (In fact, a descendent of the actor identified George in a photograph kept at the bar, and verified his employment as well -- although the date of the photo is unknown).

The most likely period for Georgeís unfortunate end is between 1952-1959; 1959-1966 is unlikely as by 1963 the Tavern was advertising as a family restaurant, and in the mid-sixties stood vacant. Using 1952-1959 as a guideline, I called the local sheriffís office but there doesn'tít appear to be a police report. I was told that if one had been filed, it was so long ago the document would be housed in the San Bernardino County archives and virtually inaccessible. Considering circumstances, there may never have been a public record at all -- no one even knows Georgeís last name, making it virtually impossible to track him down.

The Captainís Anchorage, haunted with the echoes of an unsolved mystery, is one place where the walls probably can talk if we could only figure out how to listen. If you want to try your luck, here are a few patterns and preferences we noticed in our visits there, and confirmed through the myriad amounts of narratives locals were kind enough to share with us. George appears to prefer females, and after hours, small groups between 3 and 6 people. Best time for activity seems to be between 10:30pm and 2am, but he also seems to like it when the house is really busy. Another thing to bear in mind is that George may have buddies with him, possibly one female and one other male. Activities donít seem to be localized to one room at all, and the downstairs area proved very busy for us. One last tip: as ridiculous as it sounds, try to relax. Nothing happened for us until we did.

(Special Thanks: To Lorraine Little and Sue Batiste for being so helpful and pleasant during the course of writing this article.)

(This feature article, The Ghost's Name Is George," reproduced on from the Big Bear Lake Magazine September, 1998 issue by permission from the Editor, Lorren Repton).

From all of us here at Ghostories, to the most wonderful people at the Captain's Anchorage and The Big Bear Magazine, thank you very much for allowing us the permission to reproduce George's story -- we really appreciate it. It was a real treat, and speaking of treats, I know they have great desserts up there at the Captain's Anchorage which makes me wonder (and I know I'm dangerous when I start wondering!): Maybe some night they could leave out a slice of angel's food cake and another of devil's food! With all his nightly conversing he must surely be hungry by now and if, just if George decided to sneak a nibble, it would be interesting to know which one he might choose! I mean if he's just hangin' around . . .

For reals, Loren, thanks for getting back to us so fast and letting us have Kathleen's story of the night time vigils at the "Anchorage." A big, big thank you to writer Kathleen Sollenberger.

Now, for those of you out there who do plan to visit this wonderful mountain community, please be sure to set aside an evening for dinner at the Captain's Anchorage -- they have the absolute best steaks, wine and seafood -- and grab a copy of the Big Bear Magazine. If you happen to see me when you're there, please send over a glass of their very best Cabernet. I'll be the one who looks like he's seated by himself, but I'll be talking to George!


by Dee
Hailing From: Landstuhl, Germany
Where it Happened:
Bronx, New York

After my experience in "Taps, Trains, and Bannisters" (see the Haunted Library), we ended up moving to California. I had an experience there but it is truly not connected with ghosts whatsoever. But after a few months (I was nine years old at the time), we ended up moving back to New York -- to the Bronx to be exact, where my grandmother lived and still lives.

Before I go on, let me give you a little background info: My grandfather ended up dying in the house before we moved to California -- and I remember one night in particular. I was by myself in the house, as my parents were at work and my grandmother was working in the doctor's office downstairs. I was sitting on the couch, watching TV when I got this overwhelming feeling of being watched. Now please understand, it was not your typical hair raising, someone is standing behind me type of feeling.

But, I could pinpoint exactly where the "individual" was standing --- right in front of me, to my left!

I stared and stared for the longest time until the feeling went away, but the sorrow that remained was impressive to say the least. I'm pretty sure that it was Papa watching over me, possibly thinking that he wouldn't be there physically to watch me grow up. It is overwhelming how love can make you feel.

My next experience occurred in the same house. Because of our situation (staying at Tata's house), my parents and I had no choice but to share the room where we slept. My parents slept on the floor on a full sized mattress while I slept on the twin sized bed. One night, while they slept, I was awakened by the sound of voices holding a conversation. I thought it was my parents whispering to each other, but as I called out to them, I realized that I was wrong. I got out of bed and walked out of the room towards the bedroom of my grandmother's live-in border, searching for the voices.

The farther I got from my own room, the lower the voices seemed -- so, as I discovered, it wasn't the border. I decided to go back and lie down. Still, the incoherent voices could be heard, strangely to my left. To my left was a wall. Behind that wall was an alley that no one could get into as there was no entrance whatsoever. The building next to us had no windows on that side from which the sound could emanate. I couldn't figure it out. But since I was young and tired, I chalked it up to (don't laugh!) aliens that had landed on the roof, and possibly they were deciding what they would do next.

All too tired, I fell asleep thinking that if the voice wanted to hurt me or my family, they would have done so already. I haven't heard them since and I have visited more times than I can count. I wonder who they were and what they were saying. Guess I'll never know.

Here is one of the lost stories from July! And, even weirder, when I wrote Dee to tell her it was found, I couldn't complete the Email -- it simply vanished! This happens RARELY here (and I mean rarely!), but it leads me to an observation that we have our own ghost here at Ghostories -- a poltergeist of sorts who likes to play when stories arrive!

Dee, I always love your stories and hope you continue to send them in as often as you like. You can "follow" our Ghostories voices any ol' time!



Remember Your First Encounter?
by Jerry P
Hailing From: Hollister
Where it Happened:
Cousins House

This is a story about my first ghostly experience. It happened during a summer visit at my cousins -- a usual summer. I went there to spend the week for 4th of July. As I arrived at their house, I saw everyone waiting outside for me. I arrived there the day before the 4th and we were all excited about the holiday weekend -- and that night we were telling ghost stories.

They had told me a 12 year old neighbor girl was killed recently in a Drive By Shooting. We finished with all of our stories, turned off the lights and fell asleep. It was now about 11:30 p.m. and we were all dead asleep. About 2:05, I woke up and went to get something to drink in the kitchen. I went to the kitchen, turned on the lights to got something to drink. Then I went back into the room and I felt a very cold feeling. I thought it was just a very cold night and went back to sleep -- but five minutes later I woke up to a very cold feeling.

That's when I heard a soft crying sound.

I looked straight forward and saw a figure of a young girl around 13 -- her figure was blue and white and glowing. She was holding a teddy bear. I was so sleepy I did not know if this was really happening! Then, about 10 seconds later she walked forward headed for the wall. I feel a very cold feeling and started shake -- and I could not move. I was freaked out!

Being so sleepy, though, I fell back to sleep. The next morning I woke up and told everyone about the experience -- and I described the girl I had seen the night before. They told me that was the same girl that had died next door. They also told me she was very fond of her teddy bear, and to this day I still think about that experience.

I love your site . . . keep up the good job!

Jerry, thank you very much for the nice comments! I appreciate it. It's a ghastly job buy hey, someone's gotta do it! Might as well be me, right! You bet!

Anyway, great story. I suppose it's not all that uncommon for people to fall fast asleep when they are scared stiff -- I've actually heard of that sort of thing happening . . . and it looks like that's exactly what happened to you. And the rest of it, the aura, the colors glowing -- sounds like you met up with the real McCoy! I just kinda wonder, though, why she made herself visible to you -- do you think your cousins ever saw her also?



Dry Cat, Long Coat
by Patricia L
Hailing From: Savannah, GA
Where it Happened:
Stanhope, NJ

Since my friend Krista sent in her story about events that happened in the house in New Jersey, I decided to send you the things that happened to me in the same house. It happened a little later in the year after the events in her story (see Wind Beneath My Wings in the Timid Library).

I had a sudden urge to have a cat again since my last cat had decided to become an outdoor cat while I was away during the summer -- so I went out the very next day and adopted Ninja. He got his name from his strange habits of walking on very high and thin railings all the time. Soon I found out my cat had even stranger abilities than that.

One night we were trying to find him and he wouldn't come out. So we rattled the food and Krista's cat "Troll" came running but there was no Ninja. We checked all the doors to make sure he wasn't locked in anywhere and still couldn't find him. When I went back into the studio downstairs I saw him looking at me through the window from the outside, standing knee deep in the snow on the windowsill. I went over and yanked open the door to let him in but he was no longer there.

I shut the door and went to go get some cat food figuring I had startled him. As I went back out with the cat food there was a flash of electric blue light from the snow where he had been standing. I decided that was enough for me and headed back into the house, only to see my cat curled up asleep on the couch, perfectly dry and warm.

Sometime afterwards, I was alone in the house one night because Krista had gone to a nearby pub and our other roommates had moved out. I was lying on my side in bed looking at the door, not really focusing on it, just letting my mind wander when the door opened and there was a dark man in a long coat and red shirt standing in the doorway looking at me. I flashed hot then ice cold as I gasped and sat up in bed, only for him to disappear as I watched. I ran around and checked all the doors after that but they were all shut and locked.

That's all for this time, but I'll be back to tell you about the haunted theaters and the house in New York.

Thanks for the story, Patricia! Any chance this man in the long coat could have been, or related to, Krista's boyfriend? I was wondering . . .

We'll be lookin' for the stories -- you know, we haven't received a theater story yet and I'll bet it is really good!

Oh, btw, I thought this story, since it essentially was about a cat, was perfectly suited to be in the "Catacombs" Library!! Doncha think?

Just for fun, I thought you might like this:

In a story on pet-friendly hotels, the Boston Globe in April reported that the Four Seasons lets pets stay free and offers a special menu (including room service) featuring "Rin Tin Tin Tartare" (tenderloin and egg yolk) and "Cat's Meow" (poached salmon with arborio rice), as well as special desserts and dishes for pets on a diet. (from News of the Weird, Copyright 1998 by Universal Press Syndicate).



Around the Horn
by Jason M

This story is not my own but my wife's. I have gotten permission to retell it.

She was nine years old, and their block was closed off for a block party. Kris (my wife) was across the street when her father asked her to go home for more barbecue sauce. When she got to the front of their house she saw a gentleman dressed in a brown pin striped three piece suit, A gold chain attached to a watch, a bowler hat, and spats. She looked up and asked, "Can I help you?" -- to which he looked right back at her and simply smiled. Then Kris turned to call her parents -- but when she turned back around, he was gone.

Her parents came and she described the man down to his "white covers on his shoes." Kris' parents told her not to tell anyone else about this. Kris felt terror in her parents room and also in the basement, but no where else in the house. (This was always the case, not just after the block party event).

When kris was 14 years her parents had bought a brand new 1984 Audi. During the first week of possession the car, its horn starting going off late at night and early in the morning while it was parked in their garage. Everytime Kris' dad went down to check, the horn stopped when he reached the door to the garage -- but when he returned to bed the horn started again. When he went back down to the garage, the horn stopped again.

Kris' dad checked the house, garage and exterior of the house to see if someone was playing a joke. He then went to the kitchen for a drink of water and the horn started once again. He went out (who knows where, this is really hard to relay) and the horn continued until he disconnected the wires to the horn.

He (Kris' dad) went back to bed, when he heard the horn start again. He took the car back to the dealer where they found nothing wrong with the car. Kris was 15 years when she was baby-sitting her younger brother who was sleeping in his room. She was downstairs watching TV and the chandelier in the dining room started swinging slightly. Kris thought it was the air vent, which she checked and it wasn't on.

The family Labrador, Sidney, came in from breezeway entering through the dining room barking at the chandelier and at the corner of the room. Kris told her to be quiet, but she kept barking. Kris went into the dining room and brought Sidney into the family room when she noticed the chandelier was swinging harder. The dog was going crazy and Kris was getting scared. She started running through the house and ended up running right through the through the window glass in the breezeway to get to her parents who where next door.

Her parents came next door and saw the glass, checked on Kris who didn't have a scratch on her.

Around the same time (give or take a couple months) Kris' dad went to bed one night and while he was brushing his teeth in their attached bath he asked a question to his wife who he saw was looking out the bedroom window Just outside the bathroom door. She responded from the bed, when he Looked again the person he saw was gone.

That was the last of their experiences in that house. Kris' parents divorced and her mom was forced to sell the house. The following was told to her mom from the neighbors later.

The new owners started remodeling and pulled up the white carpet in her parents old room. They found a brown stain (Kris's parents put that carpet in and there was no stain at installation).

The house had archways all through the house, and the new owners squared it all off. In the morning they found both front and back doors wide open after locking them the night before. (The front door was heavy and the handle had to be jiggled to open it.) This happened a just a couple of times.

This couple sold the house before a year of ownership. Since her mom sold the house in 1989, the house has changed hands six times. Out of curiosity, I went to the hall of records to see who in the past had owned the house. Kris and her family stayed in the house the longest since the records started approximately 1910 to 1920 (it has been awhile since I did the research). They stayed about 18 years.

As of this date 9/5/98 the house is up for sale again. I should note that the only other person that felt anything really bad in the house was her dad, who disliked the basement and, of course, their dog.



Mad Little Men in Hats
by Nev
Hailing From: Canada
Where it Happened:
Port Alberni, Brithish Columbia

This is a true story -- it happened to my mom and I while we were living in Port Alberni. Now for some reason my family has a history of people who have had more then there fair share of strange experiences, but this is the one that I find truly frightening.

Now up to this point in my life (I was 4 when we lived in the house) I had never had an imaginary friend, but while I was living in this particular house I did -- and I called him "THE LIL MAN."

Because I was an only child, I spent a lot of time entertaining myself and playing in my room. My mom often heard me speak of my friend, LIL MAN, and used to joke to her friends about it. But one particular night my mom was laying in bed reading as she often did after I went to sleep. She looked up and in her doorway and saw a short man with either an old miners hat or a bowler hat (she is not sure). He did not say anything but stood there looking in at her from her bedroom door.

Now the way my moms room was situated at the end of the hall there was no background light or windows so it could not have been a shadow from someone standing on the side walk. My mom closed her eyes and told him to "Go away." When opened her eyes he was gone. So, for the night, she decided to forget about it.

The next day (so the story goes) my mom was sitting in the kitchen talking to her friends and I walked in to the room and asked her to come to my bedroom. She asked me why, and I said, "Tthe lil man is mad and he wants to talk to you."

Well, she did not come to my room but we did move out of the house a week later. That was the only time in my whole life I had ever had a supposed imaginary friend.

I enjoyed the story, and thanks for sending it in! Although the title I picked out now reminds me of the perfect description for a Cal-Trans (freeway) worker!



Can I Buy a Vowel?
by Patricia L
Hailing From: Savanah, Georgia
Where it Happened:
Chico, California

Since Krista sent in the stories of the Carmike theater, I thought I would send in the stories from the first theater I worked at. It also happened to be the first of three haunted theaters where I have worked -- the Senator theater in downtown Chico.

This theater is a very old theater and had originally been a stage theater when it had first opened. But like all of them it had been chopped up into four different theaters to earn more money.

Behind the downstairs theaters there was the old backstage which still had all the equipment -- and this led to the basement where the old dressing rooms and the door to the stairs leading to organ loft.

When I first started working there they told me the stories of the people who had died there. Down in the dressing rooms an actress had died of burns when the trailing sleeve of her gown caught fire, and a youth had fallen to his death while cleaning the strange glass top of a tower that was part of the building. There was even a hand carved memorial to the boy on the roof to mark the spot he fell from.

I hadn't been working there very long when the first strange thing happened. I was in the projector booth vacuuming and cleaning when a large metal vent cover that weighed ten or so pounds lifted up all by itself and dropped with a loud bang. This happened several more times as I stood there and watched. When I ran to tell my assistant manager he just grinned and told me it was the ghost.

Not long after the vent cover episode I started doing the weekly marquee. To get the letters you had to go down to the basement and into the old dressing rooms where the letters were stored on a shelf. There were lights near a boiler at the foot of the stairs but it was completely dark in the dressing rooms. I was trying to sort through the letters when I heard the sound of someone lighting a gas flame then felt a wave of hot air rush over my face. My eyes were wide open trying to see anything in the darkness. I had just gone back to trying to find the letters (and I didn't care a thing about keeping them neat anymore) when I could hear the dim sounds of a pipe organ. That was it I hot-tailed it out of there with whatever letters I had -- as far as I was concerned, someone else could go down there and get the rest of them!

Theaters, especially old ones with forgotten basements, organ rooms and dressing areas that were once filled with the sounds of nervous anticipation and excitement, are superb settings for a ghostly tale -- and, so it seems, this one is no exception. (By the way, I think the background music to this Library is perfectly suited for this story, doncha think?) It's really quite easy to see how Phantom of the Opera was constructed -- and why it is so timelessly popular!

I thank you very much for being a return contributing Visitor Writer at O'Neill's Ghostories. I truly appreciate it and love what you have spent the time to send in. If you have any more stories, by all means . . . !


Wake Up Screaming!
by Walter S
Hailing From: Anchorage, Ak
Where it Happened:
El Salvador

Back in El Salvador the rest rooms in the country are outside of the house. One day we were coming from a school dance at night and I went out to use the rest room, and as I was getting closer I saw somebody behind a tree. It was clear because there was a full moon out, and I could see there was somebody looking at me.

What I could make out was that it was sticking its head out and moving behind the tree -- but I could see no face just the surrounding figure of the head. I kept on looking and suddenly it changed from behind that tree to another one. The weirdest thing was that I saw no part of the upper body I saw only hips and legs moving from one tree to the other.

It must have just taken two steps to move five-meters to the far tree!

This was when I got so scared that I could not move, I could not close my eyes, I could not scream and I definitely did not want to stay there. I could see that thing was still looking at me. At this point I could not feel my body any more and I was too scared to even think how to run. I knew that I was trapped immovable -- as if I were trapped in a spell.

The next thing I thought I remembered was that my brother was moving me, but that part is very hard to remember. What I do remember is looking at it moving closer and closer each time behind another tree . . . and then everything went black.

I woke up in the hospital sweating with a high fever. I still could not talk, and I was locked in a trance and all too scared. I was scared at everything after I got out of the hospital and it took me two years to get back to normal. I still donít know what it was I donít know if it was a ghost, creature, spectral, or what? I still have nightmares and still wake up screaming and sweating with the lights on. I still feel like I'm being watched!

There's a certain mystique about the more remote places in foreign countries. Great examples are the moors of England, the thick forests in romantic countries -- and yes even the bayous of the Great South, the dark edges of the two-lane roads in the Pochanos and the gator swamps in the Florida Everglades. The shrouded moons are somehow different there and legends run deep -- replete with soulless creatures, apparitions and spirits. It is as if the other world is intended to always be kept separate when we consider their snarling wolves who serve out their existence as their fearsome caretakers. But it is when their worlds and our world collide that the deepest chill sets in . . . and sometimes it is truly impossibly hard to shake. I would recommend an extended cruise -- time spent over water might have a healing affect.



Whisper In My Ear
by S.
Hailing From: Wichita, Kansas
Where it Happened:
My Boyfriend's Parent's House

It all began when my boyfriend's parents went out of town and I decided to stay over for the weekend.

J and I had gone to bed around 1:00 a.m. and about 3:30 J had to go to the bathroom. After he returned, I decided that I had better go. To get to the bathroom you have to go through a dark hall. On my way back, I opened the bathroom door and of course the hall light was off, so I ran to the bedroom, shut the door and flew back into to bed.

No sooner had I laid down did the door that I had just previously closed open by itself and slam shut. I actually did not see this happen but J did and of course, we both heard it. No other persons were in the house at the time so no one else could have done it. When I laid back down (still somewhat freaked out by what had just happened) I heard someone whisper into my ear "good night."

I was not afraid in the least, but I actually calmed down and J did not hear this. Since then we have named the ghost or spirit "Casper" because we feel that he is not malevolent but rather he's a friendly ghost for the most part.

Since the first happening buzzers on the stove have gone off, lights and the TV will come on and off, plates that I have had sitting on the table have flown at me as if trying to hit me in the head.

Casper is not very active though, he just does a lot of little things. One night when J's parents were out of town again the smoke alarm went off so I went and took the batteries out of it. Two more times during the night the smoke alarm went off with no batteries and after I had smashed it a few times (I'm not too friendly when awakened suddenly).

I don't know if there's a logical explanation for all this I just don't see any other reason for it. Anymore, whenever his parents do go out of town I am afraid to stay there because that is the only time any type of activity such as this occurs and only when I am around. J thinks Casper may have some connection with me, but if there is I haven't figured it out yet! Thanks for listening!

Whatever I say is going to date me, for sure! We should take a moment . . .

Now, let's see, I'd have to say it's one of two things: either you two have a dearly departed relative who, shall we say, hails from more Victorian leanings concerning "coed sleepovers" (hey, not that I was an angel, I came of age in late '60's) -- or J's parents have a funny way trying to keep you two from spending the night together. If it's the latter, then they are masters of creating the appearance of ghosts! And if it IS the latter, I would definitely heed their intentions (anyone who would resort to those kind of tactics has to be truly desperate indeed). Possibly there are other places you could go, say, you two might take a stab at camping? Cross country backpacking? River rafting? Traveling through Europe and staying at hostels? Anywhere but "there." :-)

Oh, if is it the former, there's basically nowhere to run to, nowhere to hide (sounds like a song, Martha!) -- it's probably one instance that ghosts have a funny way of going wherever you go once they get THAT kind of idea in their heads. If that is the case, they have these little chapels in Vegas that can perform perfunctory ceremonies on a moments notice . . . cute little places, all decorated . . .



If They Had Told Me
by Al V.
Hailing From: Augusta, GA
Where it Happened:
West Virginia

When I lived in Maryland my best friend, David, invited me to his family house in West Virginia. If they would have told me what they told me on the car trip there instead of at home, I would never have gone with them.

The house was is located in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains just about 30 miles from the Virginia border. It has been in my friend's family for the last 150 or so years. As the story goes, way back in the days of the civil war my friends aunt met and fell in love with a young man. The war began and he left to fight. Two years past and she (my friend's aunt) became depressed. She started seeing another man, and the man moved in with her.

But right about that time, the soldier was granted leave and came home only to find that his girlfriend had been cheating on him. At that moment, he simply snapped and shot the two lovers with his rifle in the downstairs bedroom.

To this day (and I have seen it) there remains a bloodstain on the wallboard in the room. If you try to paint over it (I used whiteout) the stain is back the next day.

Another instance happened on the anniversary of the killing when my friend's mother and grandmother were driving back home from being in town. There is a long road leading up to the house and at one point on it you can see a clear view of the kitchen. They saw caskets laid out on the table and the local constable outside next to a horse drawn hearse. Thinking that a older family member had died, they rushed to the house to find everyone in the living room watching TV.

When my friend's mother was a little girl she was playing around the family plot and saw a man and a woman in old fashion clothes come out of the woods. Being that the house is miles away from any other house she ran in to get her mother. When they returned outside they found nothing. Later that day while cleaning the downstairs room for a new baby they found a photo of the aunt with a man standing by the woods at the family plot. My friends mother then recognized them from earlier in the day, and insisted this until her mother told her that they had been killed in the civil war by her old boy friend. It was later that she realized she was standing near the grave of the aunt when she saw the couple.

It is also said that if sleep in the murder room on the anniversary the aunt will wake you up and scream in your face.

Yikes! Now there's a really nasty way to be awakened! I hope she never does that to the reader in the last story who pulverizes smoke alarms!




One Bridge Fell
by Ron
Hailing From: Corona, CA
Where it Happened:
In Corona

A few years ago, I was visited by a demon.

Let me give you some background. It was about four months before my "visitation" that I had been baptized and had accepted Christ as my savior. I had researched the bible extensively for about a year prior to my being convinced that this was indeed the truth and the story that is behind all that I will relate below.

The reason I started doing my research was not a matter of soul-searching or anything particularly introspective or earth-shattering. What happened was a friend of mine, Sharon, showed me a book called, "The Greater Key of Solomon." The book dealt with calling out demons, performing witchcraft, and other demonic practices. She wanted to know, specifically, if the book had any validity or whether it was just a bunch of propaganda cooked up by a bunch of Satan worshipping cultists.

So, I read the "Greater Key" and used the Holy Bible as my "cross-reference" -- so to speak. It turned out that the book was indeed scripturally sound. This, to be quite honest, really scared me . . . .

Sharon had originally asked me to look into it because she knew that I have certain abilities of precognition which I believe was God's way of making me spiritually aware.

Six months before it happened, I predicted the San Francisco Earthquake. I had told Sharon that it was to come, and have all that documented in a journal which my Mom still keeps to this day. What's more, I awoke out of a sound sleep to hear a voice outside my window speak these words:

"Those on the bridge shall perish."

I didn't understand what that meant at the time -- but after the news showed the collapse of the San Francisco Bay Bridge, it became very clear -- and a short time after that I told Sharon that this book, "The Greater Key of Solomon," was not something to mess around with.

Shortly after the San Francisco earthquake, I was visiting a few of Sharon's friends with her at a party. I was playing a game of chess and some of the people there started surrounding me -- five of them in all, including my opponent. One sat on the kitchen floor behind me -- he was alone and it was not exactly a normal place for someone to sit. Three others gathered around me in a circle to make five.

I started getting extremely "bad vibes", and put my "feelers" up . . . trying to tune in on what was exactly going on -- I knew I wasn't imagining this, I was sure -- it felt evil. Then a voice from the living room which came from the host of the party, a gal named Nana said loudly, "Yeah, Ron, we're feeling you too!" And I had not voiced a thing! I freaked and immediately wiped the pieces from the chessboard and said, "I don't play these kind of games," and sat down on the living room couch. A young boy who was about 15 said to me, "I felt the same way the first time it happened to me too." This shook me up even more.

That was the only game of chess I had ever conceded as I am an avid player and have seldom been defeated.

Days later, Sharon told me that they were trying to use me as the center of what they called a "Cone of Power" -- five people surrounding with me as the "center." I knew that according to the "Key of Solomon," which I had just researched, that this was a way for "witches" to use a spiritually aware person as their source of power, to channel demonic spirits.

Sharon admitted to me that she had told those at the party, all of whom were into witchcraft, about the earthquake prediction -- and this was their reason for having a particular (and peculiar) interest in me. I never again went back to that house.

About a month after that I accepted Christ and was baptized. Four months later I was asleep in bed and was visited by a demonic spirit. I awoke, but I found that I was paralyzed and could not move. The back of my head vibrated so that I could hear a voice speaking to me, from which seemed to be the very inner part of my being. When the voice spoke, my entire head resounded like a vibrator had been placed at the base of my skull, and the vibrations formed words which spoke to me. The spirit introduced himself as "Lord Rucchi." He told me that any time I had a need, all I had to do was call on his name and he would come to my assistance. Knowing that there was only one Lord in my life, I tried to call out and rebuke this evil spirit. I cried, "In the name of J-J-J-J-J-J" -- but try as I might, I could not speak the name of Jesus Christ -- my voice was paralyzed as well. I fought and fought to utter the words, "In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I rebuke you Satan and command you to depart." The Bible tells us that we have the keys to Heaven and Hell, and the authority to use His name to command demonic and angelic spirits. This I knew, but struggled to utter the words. Finally, I was able to speak the name of the Lord, and upon doing so, was instantly released from my paralysis, and the spirit of peace flowed through me.

In the years that have passed, I have felt other such presences, yet none have been as strong as the one I have just described. I still need to struggle to utter the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, but I have been successful -- and, just like before -- I am released from their bonds. I realize this is not a ghost story, per se, but I believe it has a place here.

I do believe that there is a pot-holed bridge between heaven and hell and the great beyond. It's span is far and it is certainly wide, forming an arch that displays different meanings and symbolisms for all who encounter or find themselves predisposed to cross it. For many, it is a piviotal on-ramp -- a transitional zone of sorts -- and while I personally have never been sure how or where it's precise boundaries must begin and end, yours is truly a tale that underscores such vivid perceptions.

For some very odd reason though, it does make me wonder if we should have a "counter" area for Angel sightings -- a request I received for consideration some time ago -- to post as part of our libraries in Ghostories -- and of course, I would be most pleased to do so if such a tale were ever submitted.

There might be a sign-post up ahead . . .

PostScript: Ron is the very talented musician who did the midi music for this page. And not a bad midi after all, whattya think?

Hey, anyone have a cheeseburger? Suddenly, I have the, and the urge to drive over the Golden Gate Bridge! Maybe we need some ParrotHeads here to help us out!



My Imaginary Friend Returns!
by Nerissa
Hailing From: Tearose, Illinois
Where it Happened:

When I was a very little girl, starting at the age of about three, I had an imaginary friend. At least, that's what (or who) I thought it was.

His name was Marty, short for Martin Mc something (I can't seem to remember his last name). Anyhow, Marty was who I talked to up until the time I started kindergarten.

Marty was a young man, about twenty I'd say after recalling how he looked. He was tall with sandy hair, grayish eyes, and a couple of freckles scattered across the bridge of his nose. He always wore brown suspenders over a white shirt -- and he was very, VERY pale, although I don't think I noticed that much back then.

I used to talk to Marty about many things. In fact, I'd pour my heart out to him since I was very shy and did not possess all that many friends. Marty would listen, nod his head and smile, shake his head and frown, but he never ever said a word.

After the first week of kindergarten, I'd made many friends, and as the months passed, I gradually saw him less and less until I didn't see him at all. By then I had somewhat forgotten about Marty and what I did remember of him I convinced myself I created out of my own imagination.

A couple of years later, when my mother told me I used to have an imaginary friend named Marty, I burst out laughing even though I just vaguely remembered him.


A couple of years later, after my family and I had moved out of our beach house in Maine to a different state, a friend of mine gave me a Ouija board for my thirteenth birthday - an ordinary Parker Brothers board. At my birthday slumber party my friends and I tried it out. All of my friends had a chance of being the question-asker, but each time nothing happened at all. After my fifth friend had given it a try, everyone had become restless and my older sister, who is a year older than me, started to blow out the candles, stop the incense from burning, and flipped on the light, completely ruining the mysterious atmosphere.

Then my best friend insisted that I give it a try before we called it quits.

Everyone groaned, but after all I was the birthday girl, so everyone halfheartedly placed their hands lightly on the planchette thinga-ma-bobber while I asked if there were any spirits present. Suddenly, the lights flickered off. A flame appeared on the candle and began to dance. The aroma of watermelon incense filled the air. My friends screamed, my sister snorted, and my heart pounded faster. Then the planchette began to move slowly to "Yes" in answer to my our question. When I asked its name, the letters spelled "Martin Mc (something)." (I still can't remember his darned last name!!!)

Then after a long pause, it spelled out "Marty."

My friends screamed again, and snatched their hands away from the planchette. My sister snorted again, claiming that I had been the one spelling out the words, although I knew better. The candle flame disappeared, the incense stopped burning, and the lights came back on. My friends ran out of my room after my sister, who was walking out of my room to watch some romance movie for some "real excitement." And I snorted. Some birthday, huh?

The next day I walked into the garage and pulled a heavy box off of a dusty shelf and carried into my room, not knowing exactly why. Then I realized that this was the box my mother kept memories of my sister and me in -- old photos, awards, good report cards, and pictures we drew. I dug my hand inside the box, not knowing exactly what I was looking for. I pulled out a leaf of paper that was dated the Christmas Eve when I was four and 1/2. It was a not-so-good scribbly crayon drawing of Marty wearing red suspenders over a green shirt. If I remember correctly, he really wasn't wearing that - because he could never change his clothes -- I just drew him that way, and he seemed to have been pleased. I studied the picture hard after finding it, then cried. (I swear, it must've been hormones or something since I'm NOT a crier). Then I framed the picture with red and green construction paper and kept it under my bed.

Well that's it. I never heard from Marty again, not through my Ouija board or some other weird force. Oh . . . wait! I remember his last name now! I KNEW it would come to me! It was . . . Van Learmuc. I have no clue where that "Mc" came from. Oh well . . .

I like the way you tell a story -- it's fun to read and very inspiring. I swear, though, I kept wanting to fill-in, "Mc Fly!" every time you couldn't remember Marty's name. And, I felt a very bittersweet parallel with "Puff, the Magic Dragon" when you described how you went off to school and forgot about your imaginary friend.

"Then one day it happened, Johnny Paper came no more . . . "

I wonder if you'll ever find out if Marty ever existed in real-life -- maybe not, I suppose. And then, who knows, you may just find a box in the garage someday that contains an old family tree . . . probably that one up there on that high and hard to reach shelf . . .



Lasting Impressions
by Debbie
Hailing From: Portage, Michigan
Where it Happened:
Oshtemo, Michigan
Favorite Author: Stephen King
Favorite Music: Classical

I used to work for a terrific photographer here in town. The studio was in an old farm house dated back to the 1800's. I never had a problem there until one hot summer day.

I came into the studio on a steamy hot Sunday to do some cleaning. The air hadn't been working so by the time I started to vacuum up the staircase to the studio I was sweating bullets. I had reached just a few steps from the top when I suddenly had a very cold feeling. I stood up and looked up the steps and thought, fantastic the air is working again.

But then I left the step to go upstairs and the coldness was gone.

The hair on the back of my neck stood straight up. Needless to say I tore out of that place and left the vacuum to fend for itself. The next time I had an encounter I was working alone late at the studio putting together a wedding album when I heard footsteps. I was in the back of the studio which used to be the kitchen. There is a bathroom there, and then a wall, and on the other side of the wall is a hall that leads to the staircase. I heard those footsteps plain as day run up the back steps go through the kitchen into the bathroom through the hall and up the staircase. Well, I have to tell you, that bride had to wait an extra day for her album.

I told the photographer the next day about both of the events I witnessed. He, who is rarely serious, stopped dead in his tracks grabbed a seat and made me swear it was true what I said. I said I swore and he dropped his jaw and told me this story. He said he hears those same footsteps every now and then when he is alone in the back studio at night -- and he told me that he was told a young girl had been gunned down in the street out front while trying to run into the house.

Very chilling indeed, Debbie! Thanks for the story. Here's a couple of little something's to ponder: Old farm houses are great settings for ghostly occurrences, and photographers work in a field where saving the likeness of others is what they do -- even after death. When you think about it that way, it sets a scene which all seems a little foreboding doesn't it?

I'm reminded of something I heard recently from a friend of mine. He told me that we all leave a little something behind no matter where we go. We are all made up of energy and spirit, and he used a great example: When we look into a mirror, especially old ones, we are looking past a glass plate and into some shiny metallic substance on the interior -- and that's what makes it possible for us to see our reflection. Any good photo-man can tell you that with the right light some of that image might well be saved on the metallic backgrounds of every mirror we have ever looked into. Just think, if you find an old mirror in an attic, it may well contain 1000's of images of people who have gone beyond hundreds of years ago!

Immortality is an amazing thing. I just wonder if that little girl is still running into the farm house for more reasons that we have, up to now, credited to her.


Did you know: Our GhosTees are now being printed with Glow in the Dark Ink? Buy one for a friend and see them really light up!



Just For the Thrill of It
by Juan F
Hailing From: Donna, Texas
Where it Happened:
At Our Old Campus
Favorite Author: Stephen King
Favorite Music: Classical

I was working in the computer lab with my assistant beside me (he was working on another computer). At about 11:00 in the morning we started talking about caring for and maintaining citrus trees (this is South Texas you know). While I was drawing some tree examples on a piece of computer paper -- it happened.

It happened so quickly, yet it happened in front of both of us -- and within arms reach!

I had finished a Diet Coke and the can was between our computers just sitting there. While I was explaining the procedure for caring for citrus trees, the coke can lifted into the air -- slowly and very steady. It rose about 15 inches, turned slightly and dropped suddenly as if some unseen hand had just let it go.

I continued talking but started stuttering and came to a complete stop and finally told my aid,"Did you see that."

He said, "Yes Mr. felix how did you do that?"

Ii told him that I had not done anything and we both looked under the table to figure out how this could have happened -- but there was nothing. I considered maybe some kind of electrical freak event might have cause some kind of magnetic something. But then after all, the can was aluminum!

We pondered about the incident all morning relaying what had happened to fellow teachers. Not a good idea! Boy did they have a field day with us.

This was several years ago but I remember it as if it had happened recently. We've gone separate paths now, but whenever I bump into Raman I always ask him, "Hey, do you still remember that freaky floating can?"

It was scary when it happened but we find a little bit of humor in it nowadays. Incidentally, this was just one incident of about five that happened in that very, very old room number seven. This honestly is a true story.

I'll probably catch some heat for this too, but I actually believe you! Thanks for sending it in, I do appreciate it. I guess I could have responded it was an "uplifting" experience, or that since it was a "diet" drink, it might have been losing calories at an alarming rate! But, all in all, what really caught my eye was the opening line of your story -- I thought I had heard it before when I was a boy in a song called, "The Monster Mash." Maybe I should take a moment . . .

My advice: Always keep the lid on your cooler latched tight when you go on any company picnics.



Candle in the Rain
by Liz
Hailing From: New Jersey
Where it Happened:
New Jersey
Favorite Author: Stephen King
Favorite Music: Eerie

One night me and my two friends were coming home from the movies it was pouring down rain. We decided to go for a drive. My friend, "A" was driving and he noticed this little red light coming from a graveyard ahead. He slowed down and pointed it out. It was a light alright and it appeared to be a candle. I told him to stop the car. I wanted to see what it was. He told me that I was crazy but he would stop anyway.

Me and "K" got out of the car and began to walk toward the grave with what seemed to be a lit candle. As we got nearer to the mound we could see that was exactly what it was. It was a small red candle placed next to a grave stone.

Now this story wouldn't be scary at all except for the fact that this candle was uncovered (open to the sky and the elements) and it had been raining for two hours prior to us getting there.

Nothing like a stroll through a graveyard in the rain to make a soul feel inspired, I always say. The wind in your hair, rain dripping down your nose and that neat little squishy sound of your shoes in the freshly turned mud. Ahhh, yes. Makes a soul come alive. And, apparently, gives a little juice to specially placed candles too, I can see. I wonder what kind of wick that little illuminator had? One thing for sure, when you found it, it's wax hadn't waned . . . even though it was "waning."

Thanks for the story Liz-- it's almost time to pry open that door over there to the new library -- but let's wait just a few more minutes while I run and find a crowbar -- and we'll read the next tale (to be placed here this Sunday night October 11. I think it has something to do with Bloody Mary's and campers . . .


Did you know that the hotel in Stephen King's novel, "The Shining," is not really called "The Overlook?" What is it's real name?



Bloody Maria
by Daniel S
Hailing From: Texas
Where it Happened:
A Town Outside Mexico City
Favorite Author: Stephen King
Favorite Music: Eerie

About ten years ago my family and I decided to drive down to Mexico City to visit family. I was thirteen then. When we got there an uncle of mine decided to take us to a ranch about 50 miles outside the city -- it was out in the mountains heavily wooded and almost deserted. There were no street lights and the nearest paved road was five miles from the house.

So, that night my brother, two cousin's and I decided to spend the night outside in a truck with a camper over the bed of the truck. Anyway, just before everyone went to bed we started talking about "Bloody Mary" and cracking jokes about seeing her.

(An old legend says that she drowned her kids and was punished by God to roam the earth searching for them. Many claim to have seen her near rivers.)

My cousin made a comment, "If we see her tonight, we'll make room for her in the camper and have her spend the night!" Everyone laughed and continued to joke about the whole thing.

So, we all went to bed and camped out for the night. Well, sort of . . .

That night the only source of light was the moon light. I remember it being about 12 midnight when my brother needed to use the bathroom and asked if anyone else needed to go. No one did.

So as we talked -- "THUMP!"

"What was that?" My cousin asked.

I told them to quit playing and we stayed quiet. Then there was a sound as if someone was tapping on the window. But no one was there. So, as all four of us laid there we all agreed to sit up and look towards the front of the truck to see if we could see anything -- and on the count of three we agreed.

One . . . two . . . three!

My brother and cousin were the only one's to look. I was freaking out. Bang! they got down in a hurry. I asked what was out there and they were shaking.

Oh $%&%!!!!

"It's her!"

"It's . . . really . . . her!"

I was under the covers and was afraid to even look at the window. They were really scared. Thinking I was getting suckered I SAT UP QUICKLY TO LOOK AND IT HIT ME LIKE A SLAP IN THE FACE!

What I saw was the most pale looking face starring me dead in the eyes. She looked like a reflection on glass and had no boundaries -- almost like smoke. My heart was pounding so fast that it hurt. She began moving towards us and before I knew it my cousin's and brother began screaming!

I was in shock and almost in a dream like state. My uncle ran out with a shotgun and claims he saw her too.

Then, like smoke, she faded into the wind.

I remained in a daze for the entire night asking myself if I really saw what I saw out there. To this day I still think about it and try to think of ways to explain it. I can't -- so I'm getting some of my friends together and going back.

The last real bloody Mary I saw had wayyyy too much Tobasco!

But seriously, this was a real ghost story, and a great one too! Thanks for sending it in, Daniel. Everyone here at Ghostories really liked it and hopes that when your crew goes back to the site, you'll post a message in our GhostNewsletter (t'is easy, just send me e-mail and I'll post it for you) to let us know when and where -- you might even bag a few errant writers to go with you! And, to be sure that you are fully protected, we always recommend that on that fateful night, you all wear Glow-in-the-Dark GhosTees to protect yourself from whatever might drift your way!


Good night! Time to release the hounds? Hmmm, how about doing "one better?" Follow me, down this hall. That's good. Here's a match, watch where you step and look out for those loose beams! Now, hold this steady and let's pry open that rusted door to our next Ghostly Library and have some real fun (Grand Opening of "Corridors" coming Tuesday night, October 13th, 1998). Be there and "unlatch" an unworldly chill!




No other world is so far removed
And misunderstood,
As those hidden tunnels
Nobody talks about
In your neighborhood.

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