Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Two Questions Answered.

 Replying to comments is fun. 

Margaret said she'd like to see the tub. Well. It's packed away in storage, but if you google Kohler cast iron Mendota 60 x 32, you'll see the tub. 

Anonymous had a question: "With all your home renovations of older homes, have you ever experienced anything 'paranormal'? I guess if you don't believe in it, it's a moot point. I've talked with flippers and people that renovate older homes who didn't believe...until things happened they couldn't explain. I guess we're all looking for that rational thought."

It is an interesting question. I am of the opinion that there are things that I don't understand. I'm also completely comfortable accepting that I don't understand. I have no curiosity to be poking around in the paranormal. 

That being said, there are three instances in my life that stand out to me. The first time I was walking out of Gunston Hall in Virginia, which was the home of George Mason, who was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. I love historical homes. I did the home tour. I headed out the back to see the gardens, and there was the strangest feeling: I just felt very strongly that I knew this place. I felt like I belonged. I actually felt dizzy. 

It was shocking, and...

...that was it. I continued on my merry way wondering what that was all about. (Years later, I was talking to an old man who'd spent his life in the Merchant Marines and he had gone vacation and did a tour of Dodge City, Kansas, and described suddenly feeling as if he knew the place, as if he belonged there. I recognized the feeling he was trying to describe right away.) 

The next time, was early morning, and it was at the Chippewa Nature Center. By that time I was the mother of three children. I was taking one of them to Nature Camp. They had to be dropped off early in the morning, and I had to drive down a dirt road to the camper drop off. You went through an area that had an old log cabin school house that had been dismantled, the logs numbered, and brought back and reassembled at the CNC. As I came upon this building, approaching it from the end, I caught a glimpse of a woman in the window. The glass was the old very wavy distorting sort of glass, but as I glanced over, I saw a woman in the window. The nature center proper was not yet open and wouldn't be for another couple of hours, so there were no volunteers. The buildings would have been locked. But I caught that glimpse of a woman, and the only thing that I remember plainly was that she wore her hair up, and her blouse had a high collar. I hit the brakes in surprise and she just wasn't there when I looked again. 

The final thing happened in my own house, the house in the header. 

I was getting ready for work. I worked third shift in a group setting for developmentally disabled adults. My work partner watched a ghost hunter show. I will admit that those things bother me because I do believe that there are things I don't understand, and I would like to keep it that way. But I'd be folding laundry and she'd be watching her show, and I'd always try to logic through what was happening.

On one very dumb episode, a woman hired ghost hunters. She felt uneasy in her house. She didn't know why. The ghost hunters came in, went to a local library, and found a newspaper clipping that told the story of a death in her house. Triumphantly, they took that to her. The death happened in the room she claimed she felt uneasy in, and she exclaimed. 'I knew it! I could feel it.' 

So I was brushing my teeth and walking between the bathroom and the front of the foyer to the french doors where Tim sat on the couch as I got ready for work. I was telling him how stupid the show was. "It proved nothing!" I said. "We know of at least four deaths in this house, so based on that, OUR house is haunted." As soon as I uttered the words there was a thud. Standing in the foyer, I felt that thud in my feet. 

Tim leaped of the couch, blew by me and headed up stairs saying "What was that?" 

I said, "Where are you going?" 

He said, "Upstairs to see what that was." 

I said, "But it came from the basement," and I stood there holding my toothbrush quite sure that I was not going to the basement. I felt like the Cowardly Lion in the Wizard of Oz, wringing my tail and repeating 'I do believe in spooks, I do, I do, I DO.' 

The source of the noise was not discovered. Our house is a friendly place, and no one has ever claimed to feel uncomfortable in it. including me. Well. Once one of William's toys started by itself and shut off when I walked into the living room. It was not a wind up toy, it was battery operated. It was in the middle of the livingroom rug and William was still sound asleep on the couch having his afternoon nap.

11 years later, I can tell you one thing that I understand the least about that thud. Tim does not remember it. We talked about it, because I can assure you that it absolutely did happen, and I could not believe that he didn't remember it. All I can tell you is that he is a very practical man. If he doesn't understand something that he feels uncomfortable with, he tucks it away and never thinks on it again. A preacher's kid, he does not care to look through that mirror darkly. 




45 comments:

  1. My MIL has claimed to see a ghost from time to time but I’ve never experienced anything nor seen anything. But I consider myself pretty practical like Tim.

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    1. You know, the two Filipinas that I worked with also believed in ghosts and spirits. It was a little surprising. You know that boy who was so sick? After many inconclusive medical tests and two hospitalizations, they spoke with an old man "who knows" and he came down to the house. He put a rock into a glass of water, and it slowly raised up and floated. He said that was a sign of spirits at work. He came back and did a ceremony that involved three chickens, a white, a black and a red one. (I didn't ask questions about the chickens.) The boy felt something leave him. The old man said it was a spirit from the river. He has had no further episodes. When one of our crew died of covid, the other Filipina said that she knew that Millie had died. She came to say good bye to her in the morning when she went into her garage.

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  2. What wonderful experiences! Hmm, the battery toy could be static electricity on the carpet. The thud IS mysterious. Maybe something leaning in storage in the basement fell over but wasn't noticed amongst everything else. A more fun movie about old adventures is "Somewhere in Time" with Christopher Reeve (before he was SuperMan,) and Jane Seymour. It's about traveling back in time, not about ghosts, but fairly believable, based on Mackinac Island in Michigan. It's a romantic drama, so hubby might be asleep before the end. Linda in Kansas

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    1. I have seen that movie before. (No. Tim was not there). Have you ever read the Time Traveler's Wife? I enjoyed that. I've never seen the movie, but I loved the book so much that invariably, the movie winds up to be a disappointment, so I left it alone.

      The toy? I'm sure that was some sort of glitchy thing.

      The thud has always puzzled me because it was not a thud like something falling over. The house shook. It was very strange. Out of all of the things, that is the thing that I will always hold up as a possible true paranormal event. The house has never shook before or since. Things fall and you hear the sound, but the house doesn't shake. We had a tree branch come through a library window during a storm. It hit the house. It made noise. But the house did not shake.

      The woman? Possible distortion of the wavy glass in the sunlight. I only saw a glimpse.

      The garden? It was a hot day, I was large and pregnant.

      Things can be explained, That thud, though.

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    2. I’m not one for romantic movies and haven’t read the book but enjoyed the movie “The Time Traveler’s Wife.”

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  3. I've never had a paranormal experience unless you count a few experiences of deja vu. (which many claim are from photographs) Thank you for the tub info; I'm off to look at it!

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    1. I think that many people have a tendency to turn strange occurrences into paranormal experiences. Most strange things can be explained in other ways.

      The tub is going to be disappointing. I can't figure why anyone would pay that money for a bath tub. You can get cast iron ones for much less. This one looks quite ordinary to me. Perhaps slightly more stylized.

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    2. I have seen ghosts and had paranormal experiences Debby. There is definitely residual energy and life after death.

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    3. I would stand before you not to pooh-pooh them but to say that I don't disbelieve you. Gettysburg and New Orleans both have a lot of stories that have come down through a lot of years. I guess my take on it is that I am a practical woman who has had strange experiences in my life, but tend to explain them away using the concepts I am most comfortable with. You sound as if you would look at those same events and explain them another way.

      I accept that you see things differently than me. If we ever met, I'd listen to those stories. In the end, if you talked as a sensible and rational sort, I would not disbelieve you. There are plenty of occurrences that would validate your beliefs. I just am not going to investigate. Let the unknown stay unknown.

      Some folks are of a far more emotional nature, and every tale they tell is embroidered with fanciful details. I don't want to give details, because invariably someone will be offended and say something to the effect of "Cardinals ARE signs of our dead ones coming back to visit us." I would disbelieve their stories, but I would never argue with them.

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  4. I lived in a 100+ years old house that started it’s life as a school and was later owned by the Catholic Church. There were several little recurring things that just made you shrug and say, “ well, maybe there is something else living here.” But the one thing most prominent was in a back hall that led to the master bedroom, There was an intersecting hall with a door that led out to a sun porch. The door had a window in the upper half. When I walked down the hall toward the bedroom, I could see (in my peripheral vision) the image of a young girl looking in thru the window. But when I turned my head to look, she was not there. This happened daily.

    The house flooded very badly during Hurricane Katrina. We were displaced for 18 months while it was repaired and remodeled extensively. When we moved back in, I never saw her again.

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    1. I heard a lot of ghost stories when I visited New Orleans. See my reply to Northsider, above. I neither believe nor disbelieve. I just leave well enough alone.

      I will say that if I had your experience, I would see things in a completely different way.

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  5. It is a good thing that I am not a person who is prone to ghostly fears, given that I live in a graveyard!

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    1. I love walking through old cemeteries. I have never met a ghost there, but I am always find myself pondering life, and beginnings and ends, and how someone stood at the edge of this grave weeping, their lives irrevocably changed. It always touches me to think that they probably felt as if the world was ending...yet it didn't.

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  6. About 6 years ago I was sitting here at the computer, the house was quiet, and I was startled by a crash from the room behind me. I went through and 3 family photographs had fallen onto the floor from the sideboard...all of them face down, 2 at the front and one off the side. They were not right near the edge initially, and we have no cats. Never been able to explain it, but my husband had various ideas, none of which worked for me. ( He is cynical/dismissive about everything). I would like to say that it happened not long before my son's wife unexpectedly left him ,but I am not sure of the timings!

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    1. Psychic energy is a whole 'nuther arena. Curious things can happen during times of strong emotions, be it negative or positive. I had an experience with a music box when my mother was dying.

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  7. My mother claimed to see ghosts and experience odd things. I am not sure and like to keep it that way! The thud would have been very disconcerting. The Time Traveler's Wife was a fabulous book, wasn't it? I can't see how they could make it into a movie and do the book justice.

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    1. Exactly how I felt, Merlot. We did not have television as a child, and I was a big reader. I cannot tell you the number of times that I read books I really loved, sometimes over and over and years after saw the movie and was profoundly disappointed. Gone with the Wind was one of them.

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  8. Aside from a strange familiar feeling on the Strand in London of this is where my people came from, I've had no other experiences and I am not a believer in any paranormal matters (hocus pukus).

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    1. Your response is more Tim's style. He dismisses it all as hocus pocus and never looks at the event again. Not wrong. It's just the person that you are. You are shaped by your own experiences just as everyone is.

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  9. I am a naturalist and believe that there is always a rational explanation. We just don't always know what it is.

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    1. LOL. AC, Fair enough. Although sometimes if I can't find a rational reason, I accept the fact that I don't always know what it is.

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  10. I heard the Twilight Zone music playing in my head while I read about your spooky experiences!

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  11. I liked your last sentence, Debby.

    *For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face:
    now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.*

    Tyndale's translation which Harold Bloom thought superior to the Authorized Version was:
    *Now we see in a glass even in a dark speaking.*
    Bloom would have liked the Shakespearian ring to that *dark speaking*.

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    1. Okay, my wandering albatross! What happened to your brother. My inner optimist wants to believe you and your brother had a pint just yesterday and laughed heartily at doctors who believe they are soothsayers!

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    2. I left Brian's story on Neil's blog and it should appear this evening (British Time) Debby.
      Brian's death affected me more than any other, possibly because of the tragic nature of his life, and it makes me think of the lives of so many people I will never know.
      My older brother George who lived in Los Angeles for thirty years is also gone, passing away in north London.
      There are good hauntings as well as bad, and our dear happy ghosts are worth celebrating, though George was as troubled as Brian, and as outgoing as Brian was introverted.
      As James Joyce used to say *Ach, life's strange.*

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    3. Oh, Haggerty. I am sorry and I hope that it didn't seem as if I am making light by my comment. Mental illness is such a struggle and painful to watch. I have been trying to save someone for many years now. I have finally accepted that I can't. I suppose that it will save me frustration but the grief will never change.

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    4. I did not think for a minute you were making light, Debby.
      Brian would have laughed, a pleasant laugh: Dostoevsky said that when he was in prison, he learned to judge a man by whether he liked his laugh.

      Maybe I made him out to be too reclusive in Neil's blog.
      Brian went jogging in south London streets as long as he could, and talked to people if they talked to him, but Glasgow spooked him, he found it too loud and in your face, which indeed it is.

      He appears in my dreams quite a lot.
      When he was about 12, I took him to London and then Glastonbury Tor (YouTube) which he talked about till the end of his life as he did his trip to Israel in his youth.
      When we were in a cafe in Devon, Ted Hughes the poet came over and asked if he could borrow my Daily Mirror, but I could see he was studying Brian's face.
      Brian had the face I see in Roman Vishniac's photos of boys in the Jewish ghetto. My sister Joan agrees.
      I did not let Ted know that I recognised him or liked his poetry.
      He had just published Crow.

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  12. Onetime we had a toy with a spinning bar that played music go off in the middle of the night. I check the next morning and it was definitely turned off. Besides, it hadn't been used in years and the batteries should have been dead.

    I've always been fascinated by the idea of time slip (as opposed to time travel). It makes more sense to me (if anything like that makes sense at all.) - Kelly

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    1. I used to long to wake up in different times. Now I am old enough to realize that I was reading some pretty romanticized tales of those days.

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    2. I think Dostoevsky was on to something. Laughter is a telling thing, and I think that there is way too much cruel and mocking laughter in these strange times.

      I hope that your dreams of your brother are happy ones. He sounds as if perhaps he was a quiet man looking for a quiet place to live a quiet life.

      I am glad that you did not take offense. That's the worst thing about online communications, I think. Sometimes the written word can pick up an assumed inflection or tone. That has bitten me before. I've learned that leaving a humorous comment is a dangerous thing.

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    3. You can tell a cruel laugh, Debby.
      In men it has a braying tone, in women a cackle.
      Inflection in language or in voice interests me.
      *William McIlvanney - Living With Words/ GFF/ 2015/ The Skinny Magazine.* YouTube.
      He died of lung cancer and had lost his looks by 2015, but the humanity in Willie's laugh is still there.
      McIlvanney was a Kilmarnock man but adored Glasgow from the time he came to study at the university.
      This was in the 1950s when Glasgow was a very different city, we still had our industries and our civic pride.
      My brother George thought he looked like Robert Ryan in his younger days.

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    4. William McIlvanney, the author? If so, I loved his mysteries as did my late father whose paternal side was from Glasgow.

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    5. I'm always kind of impressed by Haggerty. I picture his mind to be a lot like a giant rolodex. He walks in a far different world than most, I think, and the names are often unfamiliar to me. I always like to look up the names and read further into the background of his comments.

      Haggerty! You are ever educational to me!

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  13. I used to work nights a lot and one night when I glance down the hallway on a unit, I saw a patient standing there. When I looked back he was gone. The hallway was a dead end and all of the patients down that hall were asleep in their beds. I'd forgotten about that.

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    1. It seems like every night shift nurse has had an experience that left them with questions.

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  14. Thank you so much for your very interesting stories with things that are a little hard to explain away. I appreciate you responding to my question. I'm a big fan of true haunted house stories (real) but am very skeptical. I've only had one experience when working in an old psych hospital on the 3-11 shift. I was passing meds and went to the patient's room at the end of a long hallway. I knocked and got no answer, so I opened the door a little. There was only one patient currently in the room (though it was a 4-bed unit.) The door immediately slammed back and knocked the meds out of my hand. It really slammed my hand hard and hurt like hell. Another nurse at the other end of the hall came flying down the hall wondering why I yelled. I told her (the patients name) just slammed the door on my hand. She said....no, I just passed her and she's sitting in the TV room. We both went in and there was no one there. We looked under the beds and in the closets. The windows were closed
    and there was a metal screen over the windows, locked. There was neither heat nor air-conditioning on. No breeze. We were both
    left looking at each other. Couldn't explain that one away. I never hand any further experiences at the hospital, and I worked there
    25 years. Sorry to be so long winded. Anyway, thank you for your response. Those were interesting stories.

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  15. I live near an old "mental hospital" from the 1800s. It is largely empty. I worked there for a time for the county who were renting offices there. Many people claimed to have had experiences there. I never did though.

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  16. I did some of my psych training at a huge, old, gothic style state 'asylum' back in the 70's. There were tunnels that connected all the outlying buildings and they were creepy as you can imagine. The students were never allowed there without staff. I was only through them once on our tour. This place was out of a horror movie. Thankfully we were only there half days and no evenings or nights were required. We were always with our instructor or staff ;person and not allowed to be left alone on units. There wasn't much contact with the patients as so many were heavily medicated and the ones up and about were in their own world. It was still 'an experience never to be forgotten. One Few Over the Cuckoos Nest, indeed! I never experienced anything I'd consider paranormal during my time there. Just a lot of sadness and hopelessness. Within a couple years they phased out the facility and many of these folks went into group homes. It's been torn down since. I heard a lot of 'horror stories' but they had nothing to do with the paranormal. If ever a place was haunted, I'd think this place would tick all the boxes!

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    1. How funny Anonymous. I wonder where you are from. Our state hospital is largely defunct, and the old buildings are leased out as office space. We have the tunnels too. What always made me sad was the underground entrances, In the late 1800s, if a man got tired of his wife, he could have her committed for any manner of "mental illness". Reading too much fiction was a valid reason for having a woman put away! The women were locked away on the basis of their husbands' sayso, and the incarceration was usually permanent. The underground entrance was so that the carriages could pull up and the women forced into the asylum free from the public eye.

      The building that I worked in was said to be haunted by a doctor. It was said that if you went there are night you could hear his shoes up and down the corridor. There were also claims of lights being turned on after they were turned off. There was one window in particular in another building where a woman's anguished face sometimes appeared.

      I never experienced any of this, but the more that I read about the asylum, the sadder it seemed to me. Women with no choice. Children locked away for being 'simple' when they were merely deaf or epileptic. So many sad stories. And the lobotomy experiments! There is a cemetery up on a hillside with the graves of these poor unfortunates. The saddest thing is tiny graves of the babies of the women who gave birth inside the walls of the asylums. They have no names. Their stories are untold. You are right. These asylums tick all the boxes.

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  17. http://www.asylumprojects.org/index.php?title=Columbus_State_Hospital#:~:text=The%20%22Lunatic%20Asylum%20of%20Ohio%22%20was%20organized%20by,the%20State%20House%2C%20in%20Columbus%2C%20comprising%20thirty%20acres.

    This was in Columbus, Ohio. Yep, you're right on the mark with those poor souls wrongly admitted and many spent the rest of their lives in these horrid places. I think originally the intentions were good, but massive overcrowding and lack of qualified staff
    changed the dynamics of these institutions. There are some really good books written on the subject. I saw a traveling exhibit called
    "What They Brought". An old psych hospital found all these suitcases from patients in their attic. They had people go through them and preserve them, eventually turning it into a traveling. exhibit. So many stories from what they found in those suitcases.
    I'll try and find the article and post it for you and the readers.
    Having worked in the psych arena for a couple of decades, it was
    very emotional and certainly very sad. Again, so many untold stories.

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  18. The exhibit was called "The Lives They Left Behind"...suitcases
    found in a state hospital attic.
    It was very moving. Now I see it's on-line.

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    1. I will sit back with that this evening. It sounds interesting.

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  19. To look it up, it's www.suitcaseexhibit.org

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    1. Anonymous, I saw that it was a book. I just bought it and will have it in a week. Thanks for calling this to my attention!

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