Witness: Barrett Ravenhurst Ph.D.
Location: Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania
Date of Encounter: 1987 to present
I have owned the largest New Age shop in northeastern Pennsylvania, The Emporium of Curious Goods, for the past 19 years. For 16 of those years I lived in an upstairs apartment until I bought a 22-room Victorian mansion in the next town. Quite frequently during the apartment living, and still to this day downstairs in the shop, I see a large gray cat! Usually out of the corner of your eye, but then it vanishes when you look directly at it. I'm not the only one to see it. Many customers over the years have said things like, "You know you're not alone in here," or they'll just outright tell me they saw a big, gray cat which vanished before their eyes! One lady recently told me she saw it lying on a counter and went over to pet it, thinking it was real, and it vanished before she reached it.
Just a few months ago I was behind the counter and four teenage boys were looking at books in the front of the shop. I heard the familiar cat call, "puss, puss, puss, puss," come from one of them. I looked up to see what was going on and they called back to me, "Hey, do you know you have a cat out here?" I asked them what it looked like and where it was. They told me it was a big, gray cat and had walked around the corner of the counter. Now, the counter in question is against the wall — so if it walked around the corner it had to vanish into the wall! When they looked for it again, they couldn't find it.
My partner once saw a curtain (hanging at a door in a passageway) flip up at the bottom and then lower again just as if an invisible animal had walked under it. Both one of my clerks and I have actually felt a cat rub up against our leg as we sit behind the counter.
We don't know where it came from, but we nicknamed it, "Spooky" and when we come in in the morning and find an item thrown off a shelf and broken on the floor, we always say, "Well, Spooky was on the prowl overnight again!"
One odd thing is the fact that the mansion I bought was the site of a suicide years ago. It belonged to a doctor and his wife committed suicide in the carriage house still on the property. She closed the door, turned the car on, and was found many hours later. There are many rumors I've heard as to why, but I do not know if any of them are true. But the ending of this story is that it is the most quiet house I've ever lived in. No activity at all, no feelings, no vibes, no nothing. I have five cats and at times they seem to follow with their eyes something moving across a room or up a wall, but at the same time I experience nothing.
The only odd thing concerning the cats is the fact that my oldest cat (which incidentally was gray) died of old age problems a few years ago in the house. I buried him under the kitchen window area outside in a large patch of ivy. This has now overgrown the grave site, but all the cats at various time sit on the kitchen windowsill and just stare down at the spot where Salazar is buried. Sometimes their tails twitch and their heads move back and forth as if they are following something outside. I've even gone out to look when this happens and there is never anything there (at least I can't see it)…..but they definitely see and watch something.
It seems strange to me that a house from 1895 which probably had many deaths there over 100 years, plus a suicide, only manifests a recently deceased cat.