Ghosts, Haunting, and Legends
Home Encounters It Runs in My Family

Photo by Frank Grace
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Location: Lombard, Illinois
Date: various

A few years ago, my stepfather had a series of bad strokes. The last time I saw him before the strokes, I saw a strange superimposed vision of a gray skull over his face when I looked at him. After his strokes, my mother would sit at the kitchen table with him while he would have conversations with his long-dead relatives. His mother sat in one chair, his two sisters sat in two other chairs. One day he stopped in the middle of a conversation with his dead mother, looked up at the kitchen door, watched another person (not there) come into the room, sit down, and started talking with him. My mother asked him, “Who are you talking to now?” He said. “My brother, Lee.” My mother, frustrated as a caregiver can be, said, “Lee’s not Here.” My step-dad just continued to talk with his dead family. About two hours later, the phone rang. The call was from Florida. My step dad’s brother, Lee, had passed away, suddenly, about four hours before.

This got me thinking. As the human brain tries to “fix” itself after a stroke, does it connect new pathways from seldom used connections, and could those connections pass through and activate a dormant ability as an after effect?

In my 20s, I was a mailman in my town. I worked there for several years. After I quit I often wondered about the rest of the mail carriers. One day I was walking through town and was on George’s route. George was an older, grumpy guy, who had the same route for 20 years or more. I was sitting down on a park bench when I saw George go by. I said, “Hi,” and waved for him to come over and talk. He was much older than I remembered, and kind of an ashen gray with age (I thought). No mailman likes to stop moving, it breaks their stride, but he stopped, then kept going. But that was the way George always acted. A week or so later, I called a Letter Carrier that I knew in High School. We got to talking about the old days, and I mentioned my seeing George, and how I had expected him to have retired by then. My friend then told me that George had passed away a year or so before.

Sometimes you have to experience something yourself in order to believe it. I think George was a “repeater,” an entity that was in the same place for so many years, doing the same thing, that his spirit was imprinted in the ether of his route.

This stuff just seems to run in my family. Usually, my experiences have to do with death, or something bad that’s going to happen to a family member. When I was 8, the home phone rang, and I just blurted out “Terry-Lee is dead.” She was my cousin in Wisconsin. My folks answered the phone. It was my uncle saying his daughter, Terry-Lee had died about an hour before.

I collect antique eyeglasses. Around 1979, I had just purchased a pair from a private collector with rather nice cobalt blue lenses, with steel frames from 1725. One of the temple bars was broken. The seller told me that it was broken by a musket ball, killing the wearer. I cleaned them, and left them on my living room table and went to bed. I was awakened about 4:00 AM by being face slapped–right, left, right, left — real hard. I got up and found the cobalt blue eyeglasses sitting on my bedside table, right next to me. I locked them in my display case and never had a problem with them again.

A few years ago, my daughter and I were sitting in the dining room next to the kitchen. I forget what we were talking about, but we were the only ones in the house. Suddenly, we both noticed out of the corner of our eyes, something drop from the center of the kitchen ceiling straight down to the floor. It was a small plastic McDonald’s Happy Meal toy turtle. It kind of freaked us both out, as THAT particular toy was in a bag of other Happy Meal toys in the basement. Then other things started disappearing and re-appearing, for no rhyme or reason. I gave my daughter a set of 3 collectible swords. One went missing. We found it under her bed — which was impossible as the only way to put it there would be to lift up her bed, as it wouldn’t fit otherwise. I went looking for a DVD that I knew was on top of a stack of them. I couldn’t find it anywhere. I tore the house up looking for it. I went back to the stack to check again — it still wasn’t there. Next day it was sitting on the top of the stack again. I was the only one in the house for the whole time. One day I got up late for work. Rushing to get dressed, I dropped a handful of pennies and didn’t stop to pick them up. When I got home, the pennies were in the center of my bed in a nice, neat, straight-up stack. No one was in my house from when I left for work until I got home around 6:30. There are several more stories to tell. Maybe someday.

This might be interesting to you. It has been clinically proven by two sleep studies that I don’t, or cannot dream. It’s not that I don’t remember dreaming — all the brain wave patterns surprised the doctors. They kept asking me to come back for more tests, but my insurance company wouldn’t cover any more testing — so I didn’t. It was funny because I had told the doctors before the tests that I don’t dream, and they told me it was impossible, if I didn’t dream I should be dead. After the tests, they came into the room, and, acting like they were telling me something I didn’t know exclaimed, “You don’t DREAM.” I just shook my head and said, “I told you so.”

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