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Haunted from Within

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Can people speak to those relatives who’ve “crossed over”? I believe them somewhat, but a tiny voice in me asks, “Really”?  I have connected with something I believe links with the paranormal. I can’t explain these bizarre events and don’t tell many people because who would believe me? And before you ask, I definitely can’t contact your departed Aunt Martha for you.

My first haunting occurred in 1967 when my husband Ted came to the Hospital to visit and admire our newborn. About an hour before visiting hours were over, Ted told me his office manager was on the next floor up, hospitalized that morning with a terrible stomach ache and was taken to the hospital. Ted thought he’d run up and say hello. I blurted out that I wouldn’t go up there. “I don’t think he’s going to make it and I wouldn’t go up.” I said. Ted didn’t appreciate me talking like that, but with my insistence, he didn’t go.

The next morning when Ted climbed the stairs leading to his office on second floor, a co-worker stopped him and asked if he’d heard about John, the office manager.  John had passed away the night before.

Haunting number two occurred when we were relocating to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in the ’70s. Ted and I were looking for houses with a realtor. She was explaining something to Ted in the kitchen and I felt called to the front room where an overwhelming sadness hit me. Tears filled my eyes. I knew my cat Lucy was going to die before I got home. I composed myself and told myself this was just crazy. Lucy would be OK. Late that evening when we got home, there was Lucy, alive. I let her out the patio door to explore as usual. We never saw Lucy again.

The most bizarre haunting happened next. I kept having a wonderful warm and fuzzy dream. It took place in a large home that warmed every part of my soul to be there, even though it was a dream. There were four kids, about thirteen years old and we loved to play in the attic. I never saw their faces.  To access the attic, we went into a cedar-lined closet that was round shaped with a pull-chain light dangling from above and a wooden ladder we climbed up to get through the square opening with a trap door. We had to crawl on our knees in the attic because of the low ceiling. We laughed and laughed up there and had a great time.

I was always sad when I awoke from this dream because there were no words to describe the warmth and good feeling it put me in the rest of the day, like a blessing of sorts. Mother was coming to visit in a week or two so I decided to ask whose house it was. I knew I had visited it, but on the other hand, it seemed we lived there. And whose kids were I playing with?

Mother and I visited long after my family had turned in. I remembered to ask about my dream.  I explained about the warm and fuzzy, large home, four kids and before I got to the closet, to my disbelief, Mother smiled and took over describing every detail of my dream. Not only did she cover the cedar-lined closet, she remembered the outside of the house too and told me there was a trap door on the other side of the attic that we exited through onto stairs that went down into the kitchen. “Yes, Yes”, I said, eager to unravel the mystery, “Whose house was it?” “I don’t know, she replied, but I was one of the kids playing in the attic and I’ve had that same dream since I was a child.” Neither of us knew what to say. I never had that lovely dream again, it won’t visit me in my sleep anymore. Another unexplainable haunting.

In 1999, Mother was informed she didn’t have long to live because of cancer. She tried desperately to get one of us five kids committed to taking her Australian Sheppard, Patches. We told her we would find a nice home for it, but none of us wanted a dog. After Mother passed away, no siblings took responsibility for Patches, left alone on the farm. I felt obligated to oversee her relocation to a new home as a favor to Mother and I was sure the neighbor would soon tire of tending to her daily care until her relocation. Ted and I got a dog cage from the porch and tried to coax her into it or the back seat to transport her home. No way. She wouldn’t allow us to get near her. This dog wasn’t going to budge from the country property; it was waiting for Mother’s return. It was a four hour roundtrip drive each weekend to our home so we always left adequate food and water. I let the neighbor know I would try again next weekend to take her home.

After about the fourth weekend trip, I was at my wits end. I tried every trick in the book to get Patches cooperation and I was almost in tears. Exhausted and ready to wash my hands of Patches, I told Ted, “Let’s go, she’s not going to budge”. To my amazement, Patches walked into her cage and lay down. My co-worker’s Mother had a good home to offer her and would treat her like royalty.

Years passed. One night Ted and I were awakened at about two in the morning by clanging noises and a bedside light that went on. We sat up like we were shot. The light we brought from Mother’s house, that went on or off by touching it. The VCR had a tape in it that repeatedly went in and out, over and over. Was someone in the house playing tricks on us? I got up, turned everything off and went back to bed. This happened two more times. After the last occurrence, Ted looked at Mother’s light and said “I think your Mother is trying to tell us something”. I was resigned to the same thought and decided that I should check on my brother and sisters in the morning. There wasn’t another occurrence after Ted spoke those words.

I pushed the urgency to check on my siblings aside the next day. When I arrived at work, my friend and co-worker whose Mother took Patches came into my workstation and put her arm on my shoulder. “I have some bad news for you.” Before she could get out the news that Patches had died the night before, I began to smile. I knew Mother was sending us a message last night that she had Patches or appreciated what we had done for her.

At one point Ted was stern with me and said he’d had enough of my wild stories and predictions and thought I should stop making stuff up. Now that Ted has lived with me forty five years he’s witnessed haunted events too much to not believe me when I tell him I could feel Mother’s presence at work this morning, or when my friend Jennifer alarmingly witnessed my coffee cup slide two inches across the table and numerous other stories.

The title for this story I’m telling relates to severe haunting of my soul that occurred when I spotted a perfectly healthy looking baby resting it’s head on its Grandmother’s shoulder as I was going up the escalator at a local department store.  As with Lucy, I knew the baby was going to die soon. The feeling was so strong I became overwhelmed with sadness and stood beside a column for a few moments wondering whether I should tell the Grandmother to get the baby to a doctor and risk Security escorting me to my car. Of course I couldn’t say anything, what if I was wrong? Even though I knew I wasn’t.  Thinking of it still haunts me today with a feeling of sadness.

I admit this story is bizarre, but, I can’t deny that the paranormal resides within me and haunts me from within. Life sure isn’t dull.

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