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Witness: Susan Kramss
Location: Essex, Connecticut
Date of Encounter: 2002

Our family, from my mother on down, has always had a sensitivity for the paranormal. Now it was my son's turn, a confirmed non-believer.

He had taken a temporary job a few buildings down from the Essex Steam Train. It was his duty to work alone in the basement sorting boxed files and setting them up systematically in filing cabinets. It was going to be a long haul.

The first day, however, he noticed a ball of white light hovering in mid-air. Skeptic that he was, he called his dad the scientist. They discussed all possible things that could cause such a phenomena: light from a window or a reflection, but nothing explained it. It seemed to have a life of its own. Next thing was to ask Mom. "Wow! You've got yourself an orb which is the first stage of the manifestation of a spirit," I said. He was less than impressed and shrugged it off. The orb continued to show up daily for about a week at different times on and off when he least expected it in different parts of the room.

Then one day it didn't appear. Instead a black, shadowy figure came out of the wall in front of him and hovered in space. This sent him flying up the stairs to the receptionist. 

“What’s with you, you look like you’ve seen a ghost," she said. 

As he caught his breath he replied, "No, don’t mind me. I was just wondering how old this house is?” 

“Oh it dates back to the early 1900’s,” she answered. 

“Has anything strange ever happened around here," he pressed on. 

“Why, did you see or hear anything strange in the basement?” she inquired. 

"Maybe," he nervously replied. 

She went on to tell how according to historical records in town, back when the house was new, a couple owned the home. “Somehow or another, the man ended up either falling or being pushed down the stairs, resulting in his death. It's been reputed as being haunted ever since. We constantly have doors mysteriously opening and closing, things being moved, and our office machines turn on and off on their own. And as far as the basement is concerned, no one likes it down there. We've had so much trouble keeping temps. I hope were not going to lose you too," she told him. 

"No” he replied, "I don't believe in that stuff." He then went back downstairs, still a little bit unnerved by the whole experience.

He called me to help keep his mind off his new friend. I said, "Way cool! A shadowy apparition! You've got yourself a ghost!" He was less than thrilled. This thing kept coming back and was making him very nervous. I told him, "As long as you plan to stay with the job, you might as well get used to it and remember ghosts used to be people. Talk to him. He might not be able to talk back but I'm sure he'll appreciate the company." Soon Bryant stopped complaining about it. I wasn't sure if the ghost was gone, or if he had grown accustomed to him.

By chance I landed a temp position across the street. I offered to take my son to lunch. I walked over to meet him and they directed me downstairs. The office was extremely hot that day, but you could feel the temperature drop as soon as you hit the stairs. When I got to the bottom, Bryant took one look at me and blew his top. "What are you doing down here?" 

“I’m here to go to lunch with you.” But I admit I was curious about my impressions of the basement, which indeed I could feel a strong presence. 

With that Bryant chided me saying, "You're just trying to exploit him!" Maybe those two were getting too friendly.

A few days later he called me excitedly, “Mom, I just walked to the back of the building to get some boxes. I turned around and saw someone come down the stairs then begin walking toward me. It was an older man. I didn’t recognize him. He was dressed sort of strange. He then stopped, turned, and disappeared into the wall.” 

When I heard this I admit I was outright jealous. “Wow. A full-body apparition; now that's rare! You’re ghost must really like you.”

When he told his father about this it made a believer even out of him. So it looks like my mother's and my genes for sensitivity for the paranormal have been passed down to another yet another generation. Atheist and believer in ghosts. I just don’t get it.

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