The Paranormal & Supernatural
After writing the book, The Haunting of a Family, a friend told me a haunting story about her own angel collection. She has several different Seraphina Angel statues that she keeps in a cabinet and on shelves.
She was telling me that she believed her home to be haunted because, regularly, the angels get moved around. There’s nothing else that gets moved: just the angels. She’s adamant that it happens even when she’s been home alone for a few days at a time.
Just after telling me about this, she and her husband came home to find one of the large stone angel statues on their front porch turned completely around. She sent a picture of it to me so I could see.
My friend is right. The statue is too big and looks too heavy for some mischievous person to run up on the porch and turn it around. It would take them quite a while and they would probably need some help doing it, too. I’ve included a picture of the actual stone statue as it sits turned around facing the house instead of in its original position on the porch.
When I was around eight, we had moved into a small house on Greenwood Ave. It sat behind another house which shared the same address as ours and since we sat farther back, we were the ½ part of 808 Greenwood.
It was a three-bedroom house with two rooms upstairs and one downstairs. My two older brothers, Keith and Karl, shared one of the upstairs bedrooms. I had the larger of the two rooms that everyone had to walk through to get to theirs. Our mother had the third bedroom downstairs next to the bathroom.
I hated my room. I hated the upstairs. It’s because of that house that I also hate closets. I’ve always been able to sense the presence of ghosts and spirits and have never liked it. Being eight, I was just honing that ability at the time and I absolutely sensed a ghost upstairs. I was fine with the downstairs part of the house, though. It was as if she, the spirit, didn’t ever go downstairs.
Whenever it was time to go to bed, I almost always gave my mother a hard time. It became a nightly ritual and fight to get me to sleep in my own bed. Sometimes I’d win and be allowed to sleep downstairs with my mother.
I would tell her about the lady upstairs, but she didn’t believe me. Either that, or she did believe me and didn’t want to scare me more so than I already was about my bedroom and the closet.
One afternoon, my brothers had a friend over, Tom Wagenhauser (I loved his name). They were upstairs in Keith and Karl’s room when all of a sudden they came running down the stairs sounding like a herd of elephants.
“There’s a woman talking through the walls,” Karl stated.
I sat up and paid attention. I knew it was her. My mother asked, “What did she say?”
“She just asked for help,” Karl answered. “It was soft and quiet-like. She sounded so sad.”
I tried to tell my mother again and was shut down. One day, Keith and his friend Russ, whom we called Goober, was upstairs. Keith had come downstairs, leaving Goober alone in the room. Not long after, Goober came barreling down the stairs with the same complaint as Karl and Tom Wagenhauser (I still love that name).
“Some woman was talking through the wall and asking me for help,” he insisted. “She was real quiet, but there is no one up there except me!”
At this point, I was terrified to be alone upstairs, which only caused a bigger fight between my mother and me to let me sleep with her. Just as determined as I was not to sleep upstairs, she became even more determined to make me, to prove to me there were no ghosts upstairs.
I started having terrible nightmares that my mother was going to die. I’d wake up crying. Several were of her burning up in a fire; another was of my mother falling off the bow of a ship as she reached down to retrieve something. Every dream about her seemed to be ominous and full of peril and every time I woke up, I felt like someone was standing there watching me sleep.
My brothers had moved my bed closer to the staircase so I, at least, had the light from the downstairs as a nightlight. It provided little comfort, but I was glad to have it.
One night, I lost another fight and after threats of severe beatings, I made my way to my bedroom. I made sure the closet door was shut and in place before crawling into bed. I managed to fall asleep only to wake up sometime later.
With the moonlight pouring into the room and the downstairs light, I had good sight. I glanced at the closet door which was now ajar. I was so mad because I knew my brothers had come home and left it open on purpose.
I went downstairs pretending to need the bathroom when, in reality, I was going to say something to Keith and Karl about the closet. However, they were not home yet and according to our mother, they were not due home for quite some time. So if not one of them, who opened the closet door?
“Use the bathroom and then go back upstairs,” she instructed and with warning added, “I am not going to fight with you again tonight.”
As I got back into bed, I noticed the silhouette of a woman’s head. The hair was curled up at the ends like the actress, Marlo Thomas, wore. The shadow remained perfectly still. So still, in fact, I thought it was the mannequin head that sat on the headboard of the bed, but there was no wig on it. There was no wig in the house that matched that hair-do, either.
I moved the mannequin head anyway and the shadow remained next to the bed. I closed the curtain to the window and the shadow remained. I darted downstairs and told my mother “she” was upstairs watching me. I was so terrified that when my mother got up to spank me, I stood right there.
“I’m not sleeping upstairs,” I insisted through my tears. “You can spank me, but I’m not going back upstairs.”
I don’t know if it was my consent to spanking me, the determination I had about not going back upstairs, or the terror that was clearly on my face, but for whatever reason, I never had to sleep upstairs again.
We spent the evening watching a series of hauntings and ghost stories on TV one night. As we sat watching I was shaking my head in disbelief. I knew I would do things very differently making me an unusual kind of paranormal investigator. I could almost hear the responses coming from me.
The thing that amazed me the most was the investigators would call out the spirit and when they got a response they all acted surprised.
Me: Really? You told it to show itself and then you’re surprised when it does?
On one episode, they were investigating an abandoned asylum. The female investigator said she saw something on the camera they had positioned in the patient’s bathroom and was going to go check it out.
She got to the bathroom door and pushed it open. Tentatively, she stepped inside and immediately said, “Nope, I don’t see anything. Do you see anything on the camera?”
Her coworker denied seeing anything even when the woman insisted she “felt a presence.” She turned to go, pushed on the door, and then stopped. Suddenly, she started hollering, “Help! The door won’t open. What do I do?”
Me: Pull … pull the door, not push.
There were several shows that featured a haunted item. People who brought these things into their homes suddenly became victims of paranormal activity. The host of the show, “John,” would take his team in to investigate and try to locate the haunted item.
Just about every time something happened, the other investigators would say, “Go get John.”
John would show up and they’d tell him what happened and with a befuddled tone, John would say, “Okay…?”
He was probably thinking the same thing I was: You’re in a haunted house, what did you think was going to happen?
My favorite episode began with the investigators calling out the ghost. “Show yourself. Let us know you’re here.”
A sound off in the distance manifested. It sounded like a door opening and closing. The investigator that called out the ghost says to his partner, “What was that? Did you hear it?”
His partner’s response as he looks around was, “What in the hell is going on here?”
Me: … (blink, blink) Really?
I realize a lot of this is for show, but seriously, can’t they make it just a little more believable?
When I was a young girl of about twelve or thirteen years old, we moved into a two-story house on Glenwood Avenue. The Old West End of Toledo was reputed to have many homes that were haunted so I thought we were safe since we only lived on the West End and not the Old West End. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Although, I never saw her, I felt her presence throughout the house many times, especially near the attic door. I have caught glimpses of something out of the corner of my eye, like a sudden movement. I would glance up or turn my head quick to see what it was and nothing would be there or it would already be gone.
As an adult, I often wonder if possibly she had died in the attic which was located at the very end of the hallway. My room was across from the only bathroom and closest to the attic door.
She liked the kitchen area, too. There were countless times, I would be at the sink washing dishes and feel her in there with me. Whenever I felt her, it was always accompanied with a sense of sadness. She was sad.
Apparently, I was not the only one who noticed our female ghost. Our German Shepard would often suddenly lift his head and follow someone or something with his eyes as they went from room to room. Sometimes his haunches would be up and he’s bark or growl. He usually stayed close to us children and on guard protecting us from anything human or paranormal.
One of my father’s friends mentioned it to my dad one night. “You know you have a ghost,” he said quite casually.
“How do you know that?” my dad asked.
“I saw her last night,” he answered. “She was going from the dining room into the kitchen. I went in there to look, but she was gone.”
I was clearing the table and overheard their conversation. I stopped for a minute and said, “It’s true, Dad. She likes the upstairs attic the best.”
“Have you seen her?” my dad asked me. I shook my head that I hadn’t seen her. “Then how do you know it’s a woman or that we even have a ghost?”
I thought a minute and then answered, “I can just feel her. I call her Mildred.”
Usually Mildred did not bother me. I didn’t like feeling her presence, but it wasn’t threatening so I could handle her well. The place I hated more than anything was the basement. For years, whenever I thought about that house, I always wondered why Mildred did not like for anyone to be in the basement.
It was obvious this was not a place to be. The feeling was so ominous that my stepmother refused to step foot in the basement and forced me to go down there and wash their clothes or to get them out of the dryer for her.
The dog refused to go into the basement. Several times I tried to take him downstairs with me. He’d make it to the landing where the backdoor was, but that was as far as he was going. Like my stepmother, he was afraid of the basement, too, and hated it.
A few times, I took my little brother down there with me and he always stayed close to me. For a curious boy who liked to explore, he did no exploring during those times. He would stand with me and stare into the back of the basement as if he were looking for something in the darkness and then run up the stairs when I was finished with the laundry.
Years later, I realized it wasn’t Mildred down there. There was something else, something dark and malicious. Mildred was sad and unnerving, but she was not ominous.
We moved when my father and his wife came home one night and met Mildred face-to-face. They were coming up the stairs to go to bed when Mildred made her presence known.
“She was just standing there, by the attic door,” my father recounted. “She was looking right at us and then she turned and floated into the attic door.”
“What did she look like?” I asked.
He thought about it before he answered, “She wore a long white dressing gown. She must have been going to bed when she died.”
“She floated?” I asked referring to his previous statement.
Dad nodded his head and with a shudder added, “We moved right after that. I wasn’t living there with a ghost.”
We moved from that house to a house on Highland Street. That house was also haunted, but I didn’t bother to tell him that. That’s a story for another time anyway.
I worked in a nursing home that was once an old Civil War hospital. I’ve written before, that for me, it holds the number one spot for the most haunted places in South Carolina. There is so much I could say about this place even though I only worked there for about six months.
One of the more disturbing things was the elevator. Because there were two floors, sometimes the staff was required to use the elevator, especially the kitchen when taking or picking up meal trays from floor to floor.
The elevator would mysteriously “breakdown” on occasion trapping whomever inside for an undetermined amount of time. It could be for two minutes or for two hours. As a rule, no one was allowed to use it once maintenance was gone for the night as no one would be there to “work” on the elevator to get it running again should it breakdown.
In fact, there was an incident where one of the maintenance men used it to bring his cart down from the second floor and he was trapped for about two hours. Just as suddenly as it stopped, the elevator started up again and released him.
“Aren’t you afraid to use it?” I asked one of the kitchen workers one morning as she prepared to load the elevator with a cart full of breakfast trays.
“Naw, I’ve been stuck before,” she answered. “I just said out loud that I needed to get the food upstairs to the patients before it got cold and next thing I know, it started working again.”
While maintenance insisted the problem was something electrical, she was of the belief it were the ghostly wanderers that caused the mysterious breakdowns.
The last night I worked there was graveyard shift. I was walking to a patient’s room when I saw a man standing in the doorway of a room. He was looking right at me and followed me with his eyes the whole way past him. He was just standing there with his crutches watching me with a lot of curiosity, so I greeted him.
I felt something was out of place with this man when I stopped briefly and asked him, “Are you having a hard time sleeping?” He didn’t answer. Knowing that most of our patients have sleeping pills ordered, I offered, “Would you like me to bring you something for sleep?”
He was about three feet away from me, but he continued to stare at me and not answer. I promised I’d check in on him on my way back to the desk, however, while I was in the other room, it occurred to me what was out of place. The patient had no legs and not through amputation, either. There were no legs there only his upper torso from about the knees up! I shuddered when I went past his room back to the desk.
I asked the CNA. about it when she came up front. She laughed and said, “You must be talking about the soldier. Several have seen him standing in his doorway just watching everyone. He had crutches?”
“Yes, he was on crutches,” I answered numbly.
“That was him.”
I called the nurse, Hettie, from the nurse’s station down the hall. I guess I was visibly shaken because she came right away.
“Oh it happens all the time,” Hettie said. “You wouldn’t believe the things I’ve seen in this place, especially that second floor. It’s the worst floor in the place for ghosts and haunts.”
I agreed: the second floor was so terrible that I almost clocked out and went home one night because they tried to assign that floor to me and I refused. I reminded her of that night, as Hettie was the one who saved me and agreed to work the floor for me. Yeah, I knew.
She asked if I knew about “Pink Night” at the nursing home. Hettie explained that it happens whenever it rains. She chuckled when I said I had not heard of it before. That was about to change, though. Several minutes later, we heard the first indication of a thunderstorm coming and shortly after, we heard the rain as it poured down from the heavens.
Hettie, who was leaned at the desk-counter with her hand on her hip, stood straight and walked to where she could see the hallway in full view. With another light chuckle she said, “Michelle, come here. I want you to see Pink Night.”
I stood and walked to my co-worker who turned me around and pointed down the hallway. There had to have been twelve to fourteen different specters roaming around in the hall from that back stairwell all the way up to about five feet from where we stood.
Some were full-bodied apparitions, most were partial or just a head and neck. I don’t think any of them left the hallway other than to go in and out of the rooms. The most uncanny thing about them was the fact, they were all a transparent pink, hence the name “Pink Night.”