Happy Halloween, Entropy! Often, ghost stories run in families and are woven into the fabric of a neighborhood. For this Sunday’s List, we asked Entropy contributors to share their beliefs in the paranormal, family ghost stories, and neighborhood hauntings.
My mom was both a church lady and a big fan of bringing out the Ouija board when friends came over, and she got me intrigued about the possibility of the supernatural when I was a kid. We read tales about local ghosts and liked to go to graveyards and explore, the latter which I still like to do. We did also live in several historic houses when I was young that had crazy stories to them, as did some other folks we knew. In particular, we lived in a farmhouse in the country when I was in grade school that was haunted, seriously. It was infamous for this around the county, even before we bought the house. Supposedly the wife of the doctor who built it passed away there, and he also built the first hospital in the county too, the remains of which still stood on our land. So it was a pretty interesting place to be around and play as a girl. The story of the house was also sad because the doctor was a gifted physician who could not cure his wife’s illness, in the end. I’m on the fence about a lot of ghosty things as an adult, and I would understand anyone thinking this is a bunch of hooey, but I have to say that most of the spooky stuff we experienced in the farmhouse was just not explainable. Like doors slamming by themselves, soft voices whispering, sounds like a cocktail party was happening in the middle of the night, I could go on. People who visited us also experienced some of it at times. It did not seem scary to us so much as fascinating, however, and I have not had anything like it happen since.
I grew up across the road from an old country RSL hall. Think of them as a veterans halls meets community action. We had an old soldiers cemetery on my street, and a friend of mine moved into one of the other houses on our street. In his house was an old man who apparently only appeared to his nephew. My mother said lots of weird shit happened in our house when they just moved in but apparently it ‘settled down’.
I pray to Saint Anthony when I lose something and then I end up finding it: “Saint Anthony, Saint Anthony, please come around. Something’s been lost and needs to be found.”
I believe in ghosts. I believe that my Schizoaffective Disorder opens up my mind to be able to communicate with ghosts, but only ones that I am related to. I have communicated with my wife’s ghost, and three grandparents ghosts. Tarot provides many helpful spreads for ancestor and spirit guide communication. The house I am moving into soon in Reno has been in the family since it was built so I imagine and hope it will be haunted too. Looking forwards to ending up like the witch in American Horror Story: Roanoke, a happy solitary witch surrounded by ghosts.
In the house I grew up in there was a spare bedroom. At some point when I was a teenager we started finding the blankets from the bed in that room inexplicably pulled off of the bed and sometimes balled up in strange places like the shower. Everyone denied that they were doing this, and playing practical jokes would have been very out of character for any of my family members. It’s possible that there was some other reason someone was doing it, but there was a strange feeling to the occurrences. A few months after it started there was a death in my family, after which it happened more frequently for a while and then stopped. I always felt like someone/something was trying to be a housekeeper while deeply misunderstanding how housekeeping works.
Erin Hart Wisti
When I was around three, my mom sent me to bed one night and I saw the phantom figure of a little boy and his dog running into the wall in the back of my room. When I was home alone when I was 16, out of the corner of my eye, I saw the ghostly, pearly white figure of a man walk through the living room. I still don’t believe in ghosts. I attribute the incident when I was 3 to a faulty memory. There’s so much stuff I remember from movies and books as a kid, that I remember happening in an extremely specific/vivid way. Then, I find my memory is completely wrong when I re-watch or reread things from my childhood. Unfortunately, you can’t re-watch or re-read a moment in time, but I’m guessing it’s subject to the same kind of manipulation. The second incident I assume was some trick of the light. There’s an entire portion of our brain that’s only purpose is to recognize faces/figures, so if we see something unfamiliar it gets interpreted in a certain way and memory almost immediately begins filling in the gaps. The second after you see anything unfamiliar, you start remembering it in a manner that’s slightly different from reality. It’s impossible to remember the uncanny objectively. I saw a ghost because my brain was hardwired to detect a face/figure. There was a very large mirror in that room, and it was dark out and cars were driving by. I’m sure it was just an odd trick of the light.