In honor of Catie Rhodes’ new release, FOREVER ROAD, we’re telling real-life ghost stories this weekend. Why? Because Catie’s main character sees ghosts, and isn’t all that happy about possessing that particular talent. But here, I’ll let Peri Jean tell you about it herself:
My name’s Peri Jean Mace, and I’ve seen ghosts ever since I can remember. Don’t get too excited. Seeing across the veil branded me as a loony during my growing up years, and I learned to keep my yap shut about it.
Now I’m not sure I can anymore.
See, my cousin up and got herself killed the very same day I promised her a favor. Now she’s back in spirit form and determined to make me pay. If I don’t solve her murder, she’s going to haunt me forever. Talk about the debt collector from hell.
That’s not my only problem. An obnoxiously hot cop wants to arrest my best friend for the murder. My bigmouthed archenemy holds a clue to the killer’s identity. And there’s this mean—and ugly—woman who wants to beat me up.
None of this can turn out good.
I just love Peri Jean!
And now for the real-life ghost stories. Yesterday we had three short tales of ghosties or other strange ghost-related events. Today we have a longer and more poignant tale to tell. You might want to have a tissue handy.
From Stacy Green:
After five years of trying to have a child, and a miscarriage that had left me deeply depressed for weeks, I had finally reached the 12th week of pregnancy. But due to a genetic issue, my baby was at high risk of being born with Downs Syndrome. On June 7, 2005, my husband and I went to the University of Iowa for prenatal testing. That day my brother, Kevin, called my mom to see how I was doing and ask when we’d get the results. He told her he was worried about me.
He died in a car accident that night.
I rushed to my parents’ home two hours away and went with them and my sister-in-law to the funeral home to make arrangements. You can imagine the rest of that day. I went to bed in my parents’ guest room–exhausted, empty, and feeling guilty that I was worrying about my test results when my brother had just died.
I became trapped in a horrible dream. My brother stood at the foot of my bed staring at me with an expression I’ve never been able to fully describe. I knew it was him, even though his face was swollen and his mustache was missing. He kept trying to tell me something. In the dream, I jumped out of bed and ran out of the room. He followed me from room to room, the same pleading expression on his face. I’ve never been so scared in my life!
An alert on the weather radio, signaling an upcoming storm, woke me. It also woke my mother. We went down to the kitchen and I told her about the dream. It had been so vivid, so real. It was like nothing I’d ever experienced. I told her that he didn’t look like himself and that he was wearing the burgundy shirt and khaki pants he had worn at Christmas.
My mother turned white. “That’s what he’s going to be buried in.”
After an hour of talking, I explained it away as coincidence. The last time I’d seen him he’d been wearing that shirt. My mind just filled in the blanks. Still, I couldn’t shake the realness of it all.
The next day was the viewing. I looked in the casket and nearly collapsed. Not only was Kevin wearing those clothes, but his face was swollen and puffy from the trauma, and he didn’t have a mustache.
Kevin was eighteen years older than me, and I’d never seen him without a mustache. Ever. Barely able to stand, I asked his poor wife about it. “He was trimming it a few days ago and messed up,” she said. “I told him to shave it off.”
There’s no way I could have known that. The mustache sealed the deal for me. Kevin had come to me the night before. I was convinced he was trying to tell me something, but what?
I got my answer later that day when the call came from the University of Iowa. Our tests results were back. It wasn’t absolute, but the screening indicated that our baby was very likely fine.
And then it hit me: that’s what Kevin had been trying to tell me. The day he was killed, he’d told Mom how worried he was that I wouldn’t be able to handle it if the test results were bad news. In the dream, he was trying to let me know that everything was going to be okay. I know this in my gut. The clothes, the mustache, the test results—too many things to be a coincidence.
My family will never get over my brother’s loss, but I am so grateful to him for coming to me the way he did. I’m not sure I would have believed in the test results if he hadn’t visited me in my dream. After that experience, I believed it would be okay. My anxiety about the baby went down, and I was able to relax and enjoy my pregnancy.
My daughter, Grace, was born on December 26, 2005, and she is perfect!
I told you to get tissues!
Stacy’s going to have her own new release in just a couple more days! Stay tuned for Tin God, and come on back tomorrow for one more ghost story, with an honest-to-god picture of a ghost!
Do you have any ghost stories? Please share them in the comments.
And don’t forget to check out FOREVER ROAD. You will love this book!
Posted by Kassandra Lamb. Kassandra is a retired psychotherapist turned mystery writer. She writes the Kate Huntington mystery series.
We blog here at misterio press once a week about more serious topics, usually on Monday or Tuesday. Sometimes we blog again, on Friday or the weekend, with something just for fun.
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Catie RhodesApril 6, 2013 at 12:27 pm
You’ve told me this story probably half a dozen times, but I still love hearing it.
Stacy GreenApril 6, 2013 at 1:12 pm
Thanks. It’s still chilling every time I think of it. Congrats on the release!
Running from Hell with ElApril 6, 2013 at 12:41 pm
Ooooo I got chills. Great story. So glad your Grace turned out okay. And I’m sorry for your loss.
Stacy GreenApril 6, 2013 at 7:37 pm
Thanks so much, El. It’s been almost 8 years and is still like a dream.
Kassandra LambApril 6, 2013 at 9:02 pm
I was so touched by your story, Stacy, and honored that you were willing to share it with the rest of us.
Grace is such a cutie!
Stacy GreenApril 7, 2013 at 11:40 am
Thanks, Kass. She is a handful:)
Christine LondonApril 6, 2013 at 11:04 pm
Thank you for sharing your touching story. I lost my only sibling–a brother, in 2008 the day of his first grandchild’s birth. These things that people call coincidences do make one wonder.
I have never felt him as a ghost, but pray he is resting in peace.
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Stacy GreenApril 7, 2013 at 11:41 am
Thanks so much, Christine. I never dreamed something like that would happen to me, and as tough as it was, his visit really helped me get through my pregnancy.
I’m sorry about the loss of your brother. I’d like to say it gets easier (I lost a second brother to cancer last year) but I’m not sure it really does. I think we just learn to cope.
Kassandra LambApril 7, 2013 at 1:09 am
I’m so sorry for your loss, Christine! My only sibling, my brother, is also one of my best friends. I can’t even imagine losing him.
And as one of the characters in my books likes to say, I’m allergic to coincidences! When things are a little too coincidental, like in Stacy’s story, one definitely has to wonder.
Shannon EspositoApril 8, 2013 at 10:26 am
Oh wow. So sorry for your loss, Stacy. I can’t even imagine the stress of dealing with that and worrying about your pregnancy. I imagine your brother is enjoying watching Grace grow up.
When my dad was little, he told the neighbors that his sister died in a car accident. He got beat for saying it, but then they got a call that she had indeed died in a car accident. She was alot older than him and lived in a different state. I don’t believe our connections are severed by physical death.
Stacy GreenApril 8, 2013 at 10:28 am
Thanks so much, Shannon. And your story is something else. Like you, I don’t believe they are, either. I’m sorry your dad was treated badly, but what an amazing connection they must have had. So sad.
Lee J TylerJune 8, 2013 at 1:20 pm
I just found this site from Kassandra Lamb’s post on Debra Eve’s site (whom I adore). Talk about a link party 😉
I am well too acquainted with ghosts and their stories as I’ve grown up with them since I was a small child living alone in a centuries old home.
This story blew me away. As my training is in science (until I began to write), I always try and fine a logical loophole to ground us back into reality. And I’m always thrilled when none cane is found.
I will remember you story for a long time. And your daughter looks so much like you! Thank you for this.
Kassandra LambJune 8, 2013 at 10:27 pm
Hi, Lee. Stacy is traveling this weekend, to see her folks I believe. I sent her an e-mail to check out your comment when she gets back. Her story is very powerful, isn’t it? I had the same reaction as you did. There really isn’t any way to explain her dream away.