by Kassandra Lamb (on behalf of the whole group)
For once, we’re not letting our imaginations write the stories. These are “true” ghost stories we have heard that have happened to real people whose judgement, for the most part, is usually sound.
I’ll let our newest author, Gilian Baker, go first, with a story from her daughter’s college…
When our daughter announced she wanted to go to Ohio University, we didn’t realize we were sending her off to one of the most haunted campuses in the world! OU is located in Athens, Ohio, and there are many stories of hauntings in the small college town. But the one I’m going to share occurred (or should I say occurs) right on campus—in one of the dorm buildings.
The story goes that, in the 1970s, a girl living in Wilson Hall, room 428, died violently after practicing various forms of the occult, including attempting to contact the dead. Those who knew her said she tapped into the energy of the room to practice astral projection and that she was enthralled by sorcery.
The college continued to assign students to room 428 in Wilson Hall after her death, but they were forced to declare it “uninhabitable” after a series of them complained of hearing strange noises and footsteps, not to mention seeing objects move by themselves and fly across the room to smash against the wall. To this day, the room is the only one on campus that is sealed off and goes unused, even for storage. Students and residents of the town continue to witness sightings of a girl standing at the window of room 428.
The building is located in an auspicious location. It’s in the dead center (pun intended) of a huge pentagram that is made up of five cemeteries situated throughout the town. You can see the pentagram for yourself on maps of the area. If that weren’t enough, it was built on top of an early cemetery of the Athens Lunatic Asylum, itself haunted.
“Let’s build a dorm on top of a cemetery,” they said. “It’ll be fun,” they said.
Next up is Kirsten Weiss, our resident expert on all things occult, with a story from her sister…
My sister Alice, who doesn’t believe in ghosts, seems to constantly attract them. One took a nap with her last August, and she lived in a college apartment which was stuffed with spooks.
Human-shaped shadows were often spotted climbing the stairs. And once, while she was alone in the apartment and about to take a shower, a white, child-sized hand holding a purple mirror reached under the bathroom door. She spent the next thirty minutes perched like a Notre Dame gargoyle atop the toilet seat, waiting for one of her roommate to return. No hand – child-sized or otherwise – could have fit between the door and the floor.
One Halloween, she and a friend sat around a table, a pumpkin centerpiece between them. A shadow flitted across the pumpkin, and the pumpkin rolled over.
“That didn’t just happen,” her non-believer friend said.
“But did you see—”
“It didn’t happen!”
In 2015, I visited California and was able to meet up with Kirsten and Vinnie Hansen for lunch at the Moss Beach Distillery. Turns out they have a resident ghost. Sadly, we didn’t catch sight of her but here’s her story…
In the 1940’s, a young married woman fell in love with a handsome ladies’ man (some versions of the story say that he was a piano player in the bar). Always dressed in blue, she came to the restaurant many times to meet her lover. One day, while walking with her lover on the beach below, they were assaulted. He was injured but survived; she was killed.
She has haunted the restaurant ever since, looking for her lover. Although most actual sightings have been by children (their filters are so much less critical), she is mostly known for her pranks, such as levitating checkbooks off the table, locking empty rooms from the inside, and stealing one earring each from female patrons and then they all show up in one place a week or so later. (I did lose an earring that day, but I’m not sure it was at the restaurant.)
The Blue Lady has been featured on Unsolved Mysteries and Ghost Hunters.
Which brings us to our greatest ghost story enthusiast, Shannon Esposito, who loves shows like Ghost Hunters. Her story comes from her mother…
This photo was taken at the Nemacolin Castle in Brownsville, Pa. by my mom, Carol. They only let eight people go through the tour at one time, so there were only a few people in the room with her when she snapped this shot.
When Carol looked at her photos later and spotted the man in the mirror in this one, she didn’t believe what she was seeing. She called the castle and asked if they had a mannequin in a period costume in that room. They said they didn’t and asked her to bring her camera in to see the photo for themselves.
After viewing the photo, they did a recreation and had Carol stand in the spot she was when she took that particular shot. She was standing in the doorway of the room at that time. The weirdest part was the team tried to take photos from that spot and their batteries drained twice before they could get a photo.
Finally, they were able to take several photos with people of different heights to determine how tall he was. Their conclusion was, by the angle and reflection of the man, he had to have been standing in the doorway next to Carol… and looking right at her.
And last but not least, I have a ghost story of my own.
My grandmother died when I was sixteen. She was very loving to both of us, but my older brother was her favorite. I knew this and was not particularly jealous since I adored him as well (still great friends today).
Shortly after she died, my brother and his first wife broke up. He moved into my grandmother’s house, which was sitting vacant. A year later, he let his girlfriend move into the house with him.
I was not that fond of Sally (not her real name) partly because she was a bit of a flake. But I believed this story when she told it because she herself didn’t even realize the significance of it at the time.
A little background info: My grandmother grew up in an era when women did not admit they were sexually attracted to any man, not even their husbands. But she had a huge crush on Clark Gable. Whenever she would see him in a movie, she would sigh and say, “That man can put his slippers under my bed any day of the week.” This was quite a risque statement for her.
So Sally moves into Grandma’s house, and a few weeks afterward she says to my brother, “Why do you keep moving my slippers across the room at night?”
“What do you mean?” he said. “I haven’t touched them.”
“You must have. I put my slippers under the edge of the bed every night, and every morning they are over by the door.”
There were a few other odd things reported while Sally lived there, and she said she actually saw my grandmother in the attic one day.
We weren’t sure we believed that, but there was no denying that Grandma was showing her disapproval by moving Sally’s slippers.
Sally moved out, and a year after that, my brother married someone else. They lived in my grandmother’s house for a few years, but we never “heard” from Grandma again. We assumed she was pleased with her new granddaughter-in-law and was able to move on.
How about you? Do you know any “true” ghost stories? Please share!
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