When Peb's and I originally got hooked up, I was living in a spot we called The Loveshack. It got it's name from Wilma who said, "if you can live with him in that old shack, it must really be love." and it just stuck.
On 50 acres of property, the Loveshack was built back around the year 1717 to the best of my knowledge. I say that only because built into the last edge of the old 10" x 10" x 10' solid wood and hand carved beam wall at the back, was an axe handle with the date etched into it. By the design of the building itself, this definitely would have been the last feature added to complete the home. It makes some sense to me then, that the builder probably dated the handle of the axe he used and added it as part of the house, to give him that, 'it's really finished' feeling. The folks at the historical society seemed to agree so, I go with that date.
It was a small home, capable of having three bedrooms if desired, but the upper level was never used for anything but storage by the two of us. It had a small family room with a fireplace, a formal but small dining room complete with a 10" deep, full wall and floor to roof built in China Cabinet / Curio that was so period for the early 1700's and a kitchen and one bedroom on the main floor. There was also a bathroom on that level, but it had clearly been added way later than the dated construction of the main building itself. Read : The original house was basically a log cabin that had been framed around and had some siding added. The bathroom was actually framed in, similar to today's building habits. Definitely not to today's standards, but similar in style just the same.
We lived entirely on the one level for the entire time we were there. Just the shack, 3 acres of livable land to play around on and 47 acres of farming property, usually seeded with corn, soy bean or something else that took very little care to grow. It was a piece of heaven for certain and we always referred to it that way between the two of us, "Heaven!"
We frequently laughed about the unevenness of the building itself. Visible slants everywhere the eye would wander. The floors in every room were so slanted in fact, that our second favorite pastime,.. :) .. was indoor mini-putt. We'd create holes, decide on par and off we'd go. Two idiot kids, trying to get a golf ball to roll around door jams, hardwood steps etc.. etc... but the slants were obviously in far more areas than just the floors.
For drinks planned to be set on the table, had to be considered as you poured. Just so that the placement of the glass on the table, did not allow the glasses contents to spill over top of the 'downhill' lip. In fact, items on the Dining Room table such as a vase with flowers or the butter dish forgotten at Dinner, would often, "migrate" to one end of the table. Of course, this only ever happened over night. We chalked it up to what we called, "The 8 hour angle." Meaning that it took about an 8 hour good sleep for whatever was left out, to make the trek down to the South end of the table.
One morning something just wasn't right however. The object was way up at what would be considered the North, or high point of the table. "I wonder why that didn't slide down to the other end?" I said to Peb's.
"I wonder why you took it out of the China Cabinet at all?" she responded.
And this is where this story really begins dear reader. For you see, neither one of us took that figurine out of the cabinet. In fact between the two of us, that figurine had only ever been moved once. It was the day when we first found it, as I was originally moving in. I picked it up, dusted it off and wondered why someone would leave it behind, when it was so beautiful and unique. After cleaning out that area of the cabinet, I put it right back in it's place and there it sat.
Well, for about three months that is.
I woke up one warm and still Summer evening, to what sounded very much like a fire crackling in the family room. There was no fire I know, but the sound seemed as real as the air I was breathing. It was as I rounded through the Kitchen and was about to enter the Dining Room area, that I could smell the sweet smoke of a pipe. There again I know there was no pipe, but my nose was full of oddly enough, what smelled exactly like my Grandfathers Amphora Red Pouch from day's gone by.
It was a sensory overload of sorts as I made my way into the Family Room. For there leaning on the fireplace mantle, pipe in one hand and fire poker in the other, stood a man I did not recognize at all. Beside him on the mantle was that figurine. I tried to take in what I was seeing but in moments, he appeared to be transforming into an opaque man of sorts. The pipe was becoming difficult to smell and the fire seemed to be losing it's heat and it's voice. This man gave a look in my direction and with a very subtle and gentle nod of his head, I was suddenly standing alone in the room.
Despite the temperature being well on the plus side of 23 Celsius, I had a chill. A chill that has re-created itself every time I have thought of that night since and yes, that includes right now.
I never saw this...... whatever it was, again. I actually am of the mindset that I'd really like to, just to confirm to myself that it really happened that night. Our minds are incredibly tricky tools. Perhaps like old Ebenezer himself, this was simply the result of a bit of un-digested pork from dinner that night. Perhaps I merely dreamt the entire thing up, only to find myself waking up from a sleep walk into the Family Room that night.
For the record, the figurine was found on the table in that same spot three more times that year. Oh, and once more on the fireplace mantle after that night as well. Each time it was found outside of that cabinet it was in desperate need of dusting. So dusted off it was, only to be put back away until it's next trip. By the time we'd found our current residence and moved out of the Loveshack, one of us had put that figurine back where it belonged, a total of 14 times.
When we left the Loveshack, I felt it only proper to dust it off one last time and leave it behind. It didn't seem right to separate it from it's rightful owner, after everything we'd seen over the years. We were curious of course, but never felt any pain or harm was ever intended upon us. And since whatever it was seemed to be trying to send us a message by taking the figurine out of the cabinet, I placed it right back in there, hoping he'd try and send the same message to the new home owners as well. I only hope they get the message too. I keep saying that one day, I'll get the nuts to drop by the old house and ask them about that figurine and anything suspicious about it. But I haven't done it yet. It's been 8 years since we've been moved into our new home.
But unless something similar to this ever happens to me again, I don't think anyone can fully convince me that ghosts are actually among us. But I've thought about that night an awful lot more lately, since I've been running across stuff like the following. It's almost become an obsession with me.
All text in "quotes" is from a very well noted and respected expert on film and digital errors, and the faking or adjustment to any and all photography styles.
"This well known photo—and perhaps one of the oldest examples of a bonifide spirit photo—was taken in the Combermere Abbey Library in 1891 by Sybell Corbet. The exposure length was approximately one hour, and the figure of a man appears to be sitting in the armchair located in the foreground (it's difficult to make out, but a head and arm can just be discerned sitting in the chair). At the time this photograph was being taken, Lord Combermere (a top British cavalry commander) was being buried four miles away and the house was said to have been locked and empty at the time. One explanation frequently offered by skeptics is that during the lengthy exposure a servant inadvertently sat in the chair for a short time, noticed the camera, and hastily left, leaving what is effectively a fuzzy double exposure. What argues against this theory, however, aside from the fact that all members of the household were supposedly attending the funeral at the time, is the lack of lower torso. A servant caught in a timed photo should have left an image of the entire torso—particularly the waist and upper thigh—with only the arms and legs being subjected to motion blur. Additionally, those who knew Lord Combermere claim the figure looks exactly like the man, so we have to wonder if the old gentleman wasn't simply just visiting his old "haunt" one last time."
"This famous photo of a young girl looking out from a raging fire was taken during a 1995 structure fire at Wem town hall in Shropshire, England. Shot from across the street by a local photographer, nothing unusual was seen at the time but once the negative was developed he noticed what appeared to be a young girl standing in the doorway of the burning building."
"Firemen found the photo so disturbing that they sifted through the ashes afterwards searching for the remains of a body but found nothing, leaving everyone wondering who the girl may have been. Not surprisingly, there is a bit of local folklore which claims that a young girl named Jane Churm accidentally burned the town hall to the ground in 1677 when she dropped a candle, and her ghost has been reputed to haunt Wem town hall ever since. Once a firebug, always a firebug."
"Another classic and one of the better captures, this photograph from 1919, taken by retired RAF officer Sir Victor Goddard, shows his squadron from the Royal Navy vessel HMS Daedalus."
Notice the transparent face peering around the man in the upper left corner of the photo. Several men from this squadron identified the face as belonging to mechanic Freddy Jackson, who had been killed two days earlier when he accidentally walked into a spinning propeller blade. His funeral had taken place earlier that day. Apparently, Freddy didn't want to miss all the fun."
"My new favorite photo is this one, sent to me in November of 2008. The photo was taken by the little boy in the picture, who was snapping photos of himself when the face of the rather stern looking apparition of a woman appeared behind him in one shot. His mother wrote to tell me her son, who is four years old, claims that he has spoken with the woman as well as with the spirits of two other teens named Brian and Wolfie (one of whom apparently hung himself with a rope). The woman in the picture, then, may be a guardian spirit, or maybe just one of several spirits who inhabit the home (which has a history of paranormal activity). Picture was taken with a Kodiak EasyShare cx7430 on the afternoon of October 27th, 2008. There is no evidence of hoaxing, nor is it a double exposure. If authentic, it is certainly one of the most emotive ghosts I've ever seen!"
So though I'm not exactly a full believer, I think I have to call myself a serious considerer. What do you say? Do they, or don't they?
My sincerest thanks for dropping by....