Location: Cheektowaga, New York
Date of Encounter: Ongoing
I've only told a few people this story but everyone in my family and a few friends have all experienced this.
My family has endured a lot of tragedy and death but our strong bonds have kept those departed from our family very, very close.
My grandfather's house is a depository of every family member that has passed with the dominant entity being my grandmother. It started when my Aunt Gloria passed away when she was 15 years old. I was 6 years old at the time and after the funeral they turned a small wall in the house into a type of shrine. I remember my grandparents looking at the picture every night and going through her items including locks of her hair. As young as I was, I remember "smelling" her in the house.
After a while, it got to where everyone would just say hello to the picture when they came in. My grandmother passed away next and that is when things started to kick in. I was 18 at the time and I was living with my grandparents to help my grandpa take care of grandma. She was very ill and the last time she left the house to go to the hospital she told me she wouldn't be back and to take care of things.
She was right. A few months after she passed I had let a friend from work spend the night. She slept on the couch downstairs. I came down the next morning and she was drinking a cup of coffee. She said that she found it perked already and asked who the lady was with red hair.
I didn't put two and two together until much later. My friend said she was wearing a white uniform and she was in the kitchen when she woke up. Well, I thought maybe one of her old nurses had come by — perhaps to pick up some equipment.
I went into the kitchen and all of the cupboards were open. I didn't think anything about it, I just closed them. I took my friend down into the cellar and she pointed out a picture of a woman and said, "that's the lady right there." She pointed out a picture of my grandmother on her wedding day! I kind of flipped out a bit and told her that the picture was almost 40 years old and she had passed on. I can see by the look on her face — she was sure that was the woman.
I talked with my grandfather that night and he (a devout Roman Catholic) pointed out that grandma has been in the house, he talks to her all the time and even now she still forgets to close the cupboard doors. My grandmother was a cook at a restaurant and that was the white uniform my friend saw her in.
A few weeks later, My grandfather went out of town and I had a party at the house. I invited a few friends and my cousin Michael. About two hours after the party started, Michael, who now owns this house, ran down the stairs, out the front door, and got in his car and took off. He didn't even put on his shoes and it was the middle of winter. He called me when he got home and told me to go upstairs. I did and was astonished to smell roses (but there were no flowers in the house) and the funeral incense all over the upstairs. My guests also smelled it — it was unbelievably strong. As soon as I cleared out the house, it went away. She obviously did not approve of my party!
Several years went by and then my mother passed away. Every time you went in the attic her Hope Chest would be opened up.
My grandfather remarried but his second wife was very uncomfortable in the house. In fact, I moved away to Houston and when I came back, the house had not been changed at all since my grandma passed away. When I commented to my grandfather that nothing had changed, he said, "she won't let it."
In succession, his two other daughters passed, a son-in-law passed, and then he passed all in an 8 month time period. In fact, we had three family funerals in 6 weeks. This was in 2003. The day we buried my grandpa his second wife hightailed out of the house and even left some of her clothes there.
She said she knew the house didn't want her there. It was always my grandmother's house.
My cousin Michael bought the house from the estate and he currently lives there. He said all kinds of things go on in there and his dog is always spooked. He'll never forget the day he ran out of the house. I go there all of the time and I can feel everyone in there, and to this day at least one of the cupboards is always open in the morning. My grandfather was the last to leave us and enter into spiritual residence there and he passed after he buried all of his daughters and his beloved first wife.
The love and bonds that held them all together in life is still holding them together now in the house that we celebrated our family. I miss them all very much but I feel like they are all in the house. Thanks for the chance to tell my story.