Friday, May 30, 2014

A cowboy, the shadow person and the sound of a child's voice (The Haunted Story)

For my friends and neighbors in Heber. In response to a question posted on Ask Heber.
I knew this would be longer than a post should be on Facebook. So I'll post it here.

Two years ago we purchased an older cottage style home in Heber's old town. We've been told it was originally built and lived in by one of the towns doctors.  

Within days of living here, my wife Pepper, started to tell me about ghostly sightings and happenings. The first and most notable was when she walked into the basement and was greeted by an old, kindly gentleman cowboy. He was sitting in a rocking chair, smiling at her. Startled, she turned around and went right back upstairs. There he was again, now in the kitchen. Just standing and smiling. She said it wasn't freighting. Each sighting was a clear flash- there and gone in an instant. "It felt more like a welcome." She said.

Since then we'd hear creaks and footsteps and chalked it up the settling of an old house. 

A few months later, our two children were exploring the basement. Pepper heard them scream and run upstairs. That kind of thing happens ten times a day. Pretty normal really. What wasn't normal was when our four year old asked, "Mom, who was the shadow person we saw in the basement? How did they get in?" And then, "We're going to try and find them." 

Pepper did her best to remain composed and asked for more information. The kids then told her that while they were downstairs, they saw a shadow person walk down the stairs past their door and into the laundry room. This experience seems to only be a mild curiosity to them. 

Pepper and I would joke with friends from time to time about how our home was haunted. I always found the idea of it interesting but wasn't really a believer. I had often thought, why would the dead spend any time doing the things people so often say they do? It just didn't seem sensible. For instance, why would a ghost bother to knock a stapler off a filing cabinet over and over? (This used to happen at Pepper's old job.) Or why would a ghost appear if you drove a round a graveyard statue, then honked your horn and flashed your lights three times? (Something like that was part of local folklore in Ogden, where I grew up.) Why would that be the ghosts key or call sign? And who figured that out? 

My turn came a few months after the shadow person incident.

I was sitting in our living room at 2 am, catching up on some work. On the other side of the wall, is our bedroom. I heard our daughter start in on that late night, half asleep kind of whiny-cry. Then I heard Pepper get up and start walking around. Upon hearing this, I thought I should go help. So I packed up my things and went to see what I could do.  When I walked into our room I was greeted by a most unexpected sight. My wife was dead asleep. I then checked the bed and the space by the bed looking for our daughter. She was not in the room. I found here also peacefully sleeping in her own bed. 

As strange as that was, what could I do?

I got ready for bed and went to sleep.

The next day when I spoke to Pepper about it, I started our morning conversation with, "You know I don't believe in ghosts." 

After that it was consistently irregular. Footsteps here and there. Room doors and cabinet doors opening and slamming shut. Pots and pans rattling around. That sort of thing. One night, it was just too much. It was frequent enough, I suppose, that I wanted it to come to an end. So I stood up out of my bed, and with no fear and full confidence, I told them what we were doing and what I wanted them to do. I said something like, "We mean you no harm. We want to help you. We live here now. We are taking care of the home. We love it here. Your time to inhabit this space has come and gone. It's time for you to move on. Find the light and go toward it. We wish you well."

And they immediately left. We felt it. The footsteps have stopped. The "house creeks" have stopped. The doors slamming has stopped. 

The house felt like ours. 

Then, on Monday, over a year since we asked them to leave, Pepper sent me a text, "While we were all together in the study, a lamp fixture was hurtled down the stairs and shattered in the basement... Are they back?"

We'll see.

(As a courtesy, if you run into us, and we are with our children, please don't bring this up. We don't want them to be worried about the home they live in. If the kids are around, this is a conversation ender. If they aren't, we would both be happy to talk about it. Thank you.)

1 comment: