Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Ghosts, Specters...and Things That Make You Go Hmmm...

Ghosts. Specters. Apparitions.
Some claim to have seen them.
Some claim to interact with them.
Some claim to live with them.
Obviously, some claim to whole-heartedly believe in them.
Of course, there are those who don't believe in ghosts, in any form, lingering on Earth for whatever reason, at all. Which, is totally okay. The Professor on Gilligan's Island was an extremely intelligent man. He didn't believe in all that hocus-pocus, nonsensical rubbish, either. But the guy could make a two-way radio out of some scooped out coconut shells and palm grass.
Then, of course, aside from the whole-hearted Believers and the No-Wayers, are the OTHERS: Those peoples who see-saw on the edge of believing/disbelieving. Some won't admit they see-saw. Some probably don't think about it until they're asked, or perhaps when that tingling sensation hits them again--you know, the sensation that makes your skin break out into goosebumps, and you look over your shoulder for no apparent reason? A rush of adrenaline that soars through your veins, makes you look this way and that when you're completely alone? Yeah. That sensation.
The photo above is of The Myrtles Plantation in Lousianna. It's one of the most highly-recognized haunted places in America. I've never been to it, but I'd love to go with a load of girlfriends to stay overnight at their B&B, which is located in the main house. A newlywed couple stayed there their first night as husband and wife. Although they had reservations to stay the entire weekend, by that next morning they were packing up and hauling BUTT. (and no, it wasn't the hysterical woman leading the way--it was her new husband!)
Why? They didn't actually see anything. It was because weird things, unexplained things, had happened all night long and into the morning. Water wouldn't turn off. The door locked on its own. An open closet door slammed shut during the middle of the night. The hot water in the bathroom sink turned on by itself and fogged up the mirror. And both reported they felt someone watching them.
Yep! I'd like to go visit the Myrtles Plantation!
I've experienced a few weird things over time. Nothing seriously concrete, but enough to make me go hmmm. When I'm not writing full time, I'm working as a critical care nurse part-time. I work in an old hospital. In Neuro-ICU, there have been multiple reports over the years from patients who have awakened from sedation and claimed to have seen a little girl in an "old-timey" dress and stockings playing jax in the corner of their rooms, or running around giggling, or bothering the IV pumps. They always question the nurses, since ICU is a No-Kids unit, why we would allow this girl to run around. Willies! There are other times, just as recent as last weekend, when "someone" bothers the IV pump, changes the rate by pushing buttons, etc. And you have to wonder, how do all these patients, admitted over different time periods, all say the same thing?
Of course, I don't work that particular unit. I'm a cardiac nurse, 4 floors down, but lo, the little old-timey girl has sought me out (sort of!). She's "most active" during the winter months, and apparently "travels" from unit to unit. Recently, the nurse I was sharing a hall with came out of her patient's room, white as a sheet. The patient had frantically asked her "who is that little girl over there in the corner? Could you ask her to leave, please? I"m trying to get some rest."
There were, of course, no little girls on the floor. EEK!
According to some very old records, now on microfilm, a little girl, name unknown, had died in that particular area of the hospital at the turn of the century after a long illness.
Another experience was one of those unexplained sensations. Some fellow writers and I stayed in a supposed haunted B&B in Ashville, North Carolina. We rented the top floor, which had been turned into a massive suite. A hundred years earlier, it had been two separate rooms. One of those rooms had been occupied by a party guest who'd had a run-in with the home owner's daughter over a fella. The daughter, in a rage, pushed the guest--a young woman now engaged to the daughter's ex-fiance fella--over the balcony where she fell to her death. Now, I didn't see anything, but there was definitely something there that gave me the complete willies! In particular, an armoire, situated in the main bedroom, along with a tall dormer window. Something about that area kept me awake all night. I constantly felt as though someone was looking at me through the armoire (did I mention this armoire's front was a tall mirror?), or that at any minute I'd see something at the dormer window. I was completely freaked out! (Yes, I DO write ghost stories!). I was skeered!!!
The next night--nothing. Zilch. Funny sensation GONE. Skeeriness, bye-bye. Over-active imagination? Maybe. Or, maybe not.
What makes some people see apparitions, and others not? Is there a plane of existance between time and place as we know it, and an alternate plane where spirits reside, and only certain people are privy to it?

There are those of the Believers status who would consider it.
There are those of the No-Wayers who would laugh at the notion.
And there are those of the Others status who might just go hmmm.


Ann Christopher said...

Creepy, Cindy!

I always wonder what would happen if you talk to the ghost. Like if someone asked the little girl who she is and what she wants. I wonder what she'd do?

Of course, I'd never be the questioner--I'd be waaaaay too busy getting the hell outta there!


Cindy Miles said...

Lol, Ann! It IS creepy, and fascinating all at once. It's funny--I'm the first one WANTING creepy, yet the first one with a pillow over my face!

Thanks for the post!

Wendy Roberts said...

I've been known to write scary stuff and, in the name of research, have talked to some pretty normal looking/sounding people who've told me about their paranormal stories.

I'd LOVE to visit that plantation!

Cindy Miles said...

Yep, Wendy, I agree. I mean, look at us. We, ahem, er, look relatively normal. Right? Lol!

Wouldn't the Myrtles be an AWESOME place for a writer's weekend??

Plenty of woo-woo stuff to found, I'm sure!

Thanks for the post, Wendy!

Eve Silver said...

Cindy...this place would definitely be a cool writer's weekend! We could all hold hands and cry, LOL!

Cindy Miles said...

Hey Eve--hold hands, cry, and SQUEAL! Lol!

It WOULD be a fun weekend, no doubt!


Jolie Mathis said...

I love spooky ghost stories -- especially the true ones! That story about the little girl at the hospital just gives me the heebie jeebies, but in a good way! Great post!

Cindy Miles said...

Thanks, Jolie! That little girl story IS creepy! It's even creepier being there when someone has "an encounter". Lol!

Thanks for the post!

Anonymous said...

Cindy: You always tell such good ghostie stories! Thanks for the creep out. I think I'll pass on staying in the haunted B&B though. Have fun!