Ghosts, Spirits and Things that go Bump in the Night

Ghosts, Spirits and Things that go Bump in the Night

A Story by T. L. O'Neal

Some experiences I've had with the supernatural. True story.


Ghosts, Spirits and Things that go Bump in the Night

Written by T. L. O’Neal


   I don’t know how many of you believe in ghosts, spirits and whatnots. I used to didn’t but over the course of years I have become a believer and no I’m not crazy either. I’ve always wondered at times why some people see them and some just don’t. Maybe it’s because some people are more receptive than others are or it’s just the simple fact that ghosts prefer to pick on certain particular people more than they do others. Whatever the case, I’m sure that some ghosts do have a sense of humor. Just because they’re dead doesn’t mean that they can’t enjoy themselves…right?


  I never did have any experiences with ghosts or spirits growing up, my first was when I was eighteen in 1979. We had just moved into Grandma’s house after she passed away and Mama had inherited it. It was a few months later and I had gotten home from work and the phone rang. Now it wasn’t just any kind of ring either, it was a weak, funny sounding one but I didn’t think too much about it at the time. Anyways, I went ahead and answered it and there was the worse static on the line that I ever heard before.


I said, “Hello?”

And the voice on the other side said, “Terry, is that you?”


   It was an old feeble voice saying that through all that static and I felt like the hairs on the back of my neck was standing up. At this point this was starting to creep me out a bit, not so much by what she said, it was just more of the eerie feeling that I was getting. Besides, at this point and time I was pretty damn sure who I was but this person on the phone… I wasn’t sure of at all.


But I had to find out I guess, so I said,  “Yes it is, who is this?”

The voice on the other side said, “This is your Grandma.”

I said, “GRANDMA?”

Well sir, I knew I shouldn’t have asked who it was. But by this time I was scared shitless, but again I had to ask. “What do you want?”


   Damn, I’ve got to stop talking to these spooks; Grandma or not… a ghost is a ghost I thought.


So she or whatever it was replied, “ I just wanted to see how you are.”


That was it for me talking on a crackling phone with a bad connection to the other side of who knows where, to a dead Grandma scaring the s**t out of me.


I said, “I WAS FINE!”


Thinking as fast as I could muster under the circumstances, I did what anyone in this particular predicament would do… I hung up the phone as fast as I could.


   Thinking back on it I probably should have stayed on the line a bit longer but it did get the better of me, being eighteen and all you know. She might have been trying to tell me something important like there was money buried in the backyard or something else like that. More than likely it was to tell me to straighten my a*s up and not make a mess out of my life but I probably wouldn’t have listened anyways. You would think that they would have better phone services on the other side, but it is a long ways off, so I can understand the bad reception I suppose. But if the call were as clear as a bell, where would be the fun in that.


    After that I really never had any more experiences with the supernatural realm till 1996. I was back in the same house again after a failed relationship and trying to get my life back on track. Now I never took much stock in Ouija Boards or Tarot cards either or anything like that, I just didn’t believe in them and to tell you the truth I was scared to death of those types of things too. I did believe in the spiritual aspects of the universe however and when I saw this book on angels, I bought it. It was a neat book with all the names and symbols of all of the major angels in it. I didn’t even know that angels had symbols, some of them looked like that one Prince has but I’m pretty sure he’s not one of them, especially with that music that he plays. Anyways, I always supposed that they did have names but I’m just not sure how they found out what they were or how they got enough of them to fill a book. The book also had some chants or whatever they’re called for you to say to get some of those angels to help you out when you need them. That’s what I wanted and I certainly needed some help at the time, so I was going to try this out for myself.


     Well, I got everything set up like I needed it with the candles and music for ambiance you know, to get the mood just right. I put on Mozart’s Requiem to play as background music but in retrospect that probably wasn’t the best choice of music either, being that was what he was working on when he died. I guess you’ve seen the movie “Amadeus?” Well anyways, then I got that book out and found the angel that I wanted and who seemed to be the best one to help me out with my particular woes at the time. It was kind of like angel shopping without all of the lines and waiting.


     So I lit the candle and then I relaxed and tried to put myself into a meditative state of sorts. I was never much good at meditating or sitting still for that matter either but I tried. Mama always said that I was like a worm in hot ashes when I was a kid. Anyhow, after that I started to do this prayer/chant or whatever it was in the book and hoped for the best, because my life was in a sorry state to say the least and I was willing to try about anything at that point. Well, I was saying that chant over and over again and looking at that candle burning. When all of a sudden the flame on it started jumping, I’m not talking about a little bit either. That flame was jumping like a rabbit, up, down, up, down, and it just kept doing it. It was jumping so high that it was coming clear off of the candle. I though this was kind of neat being that I’ve never seen anything like that before but at the same time it was spooking me a bit too.


   I was pretty damn sure that this thing was going to work and I was waiting in great anticipation for that angel to pop in at any moment. There was a slight breeze starting to blow in the room, which in itself was strange because all the doors and windows were shut tight you know. The breeze got stronger and the flame on the candle kept jumping up and down; this time higher and higher. The whole time Mozart’s Requiem was playing in the background and seemed to be getting more intense and a little bit too much for my nerves to handle. Then I started to feel a presence in the room.


   About that time I had the worse feeling start to come over me, it was almost like a terror. I got the feeling that maybe I was calling the wrong angel by mistake or that the wrong one took its place. Whatever the mix-up was, I didn’t want to stick around for him to show up.  So I blew that jumping flame of a candle out and turned the music off and chunked that book up under the bed. I’ve had enough of this I thought, as screwed up as my life was at the time; I’d try to fix it the old-fashioned way… deal with it.


   I’m here to tell you that sure took a lot out of me and it was bedtime anyways so I went on off to bed. So as I laid there with my back to the outside of the bed, I went off to sleep. It wasn’t long and I was awakened by a large crash, and it scared the hell out of me too I tell you, I though I was going to see the angels for real then. I turned the light on and I was scared and amazed by what I saw. The TV was lying in the middle of the floor… screen side down. Now how it got there was a mystery to me. The table it was on was still in its place and the TV wasn’t even broken. Hell, it was still plugged in. To this day I don’t know how that happened but I do think I know why though. I believe it was a warning to me to not mess with such things and to this day I never have.


    I never had any more experiences after that till the year 2000 after I was married and my wife at the time had found a house that she wanted us to rent. It was about four-tenths of a mile off the road, and the path to the house went by an old cemetery that looked like it hadn’t been mowed in years and years. A lot of the tombstones were knocked over in it too. The house hadn’t been lived in for years and it needed a lot of work but she wanted it, so I made a deal with the owner to rent it to us if I remodeled it. He paid for the materials and we did the work; it was better than living in a trailer I guess.


   So we set to work on this old house with everything we had and we worked a solid month on it, day and night. At last it was finished and we moved into it with still some work to do and a little fanfare.


   Several months later in October as we were lying in the bed reading late one night, my wife and me that is, and it was around midnight or one o’clock best as I can remember. When all of a sudden we heard an old woman scream out, “Somebody… help me!”


   Which was pretty strange being that there weren’t any old women living with us at the time, but it sounded like it was right there in the hallway. I looked at my wife and she looked like she had seen a ghost or at least heard one, but I’m not sure what I looked like since there wasn’t a mirror handy. Anyways, I asked her if she heard that and she said that she did. Then I asked her if it was, “Somebody, help me!” She said that it was that too. I knew we had problems then if she heard the same thing that I did, so she told me to get up and look.


    My wife was a big, strong woman and I’d put her up against any man in the strength department. Hell, she even carried “me” over the threshold after we were married, but to see her all wrapped up in bed like that, and scared to death bothered me a little. Of course I wasn’t very happy about the idea of going to look either, it pure made the hairs on my neck stand up. More so on her because she had a hairier neck.


   Well, I got up and went looking through that house and didn’t see a thing. All the doors and windows were locked and the kids were all asleep. I even went outside and looked around with a flashlight but didn’t see anything out there either; there was nothing but open fields all away around. After all that I went back to bed and ensured her that I didn’t see anything and we started back to reading. About thirty minutes later we heard the unmistakable sound of someone running over the heater grate in the hallway. This time I jumped up as fast as I could and went to see. My side of the bed was right at the door going into the hallway so I was there quick, and again there was nothing.


    We had asked some of the family members who used to own the land earlier if it would be all right to clean up the cemetery. Since we had to drive by it each day to get onto the main road and had to look at it. They said they would do it but as the months ticked by they never touched it. After this run-in with the ghost lady, we said to hell with them doing it and set to work cleaning it up the next day. We got out there and stood the tombstones back up and pulled up the ironweeds as tall as your head. Then mowed it and trimmed it up so that it looked pretty decent for an old cemetery. It must of looked right decent to the old ghost lady too, because she never bothered us again. It was all right if she came back to the house but she would have to stop that damn screaming s**t. That was a bit nerve-racking.


    Then in 2004 after Mama passed, my wife, kids and me moved into her house. It was hard living there to start with for me because it held so many memories. We moved the rooms around to make things look different and feel like more of our own. My Grandfather built the house in the 1920’s using timbers that he cut off his land and had milled; he also died in this house by the way. My family had always occupied it and my wife was the first one in eighty some-odd years to live in the house that wasn’t a blood relative.


   We hadn’t been in the house too long before she started to see an old man looking at her through the bedroom door late at night. He was always staring directly at her, she told me. She saw him quite often too; it was always at around 1:30am. I don’t know what the importance of the time was but he was always a stickler for punctuality.


    The room next to our bedroom was the room that Granddaddy’s coffin was in during his wake in 1969. This room always creeped me out growing up and I could smell carnations and embalming fluid for the longest time in there when I was young.  But I now use it as my den and where I play on the computer is right were the coffin was then. Anyways, she sure saw him a lot and it unnerved her too, I guess he just didn’t like a Yankee living in his house. Being that he was born in the late 1800’s, so I guess I could see his point.


    I did see him once myself one night as he walked by the doorway going to the front door. He was wearing a black suit with a tie and I could see right thru him. I never did like wearing suits myself, so how in the world he could go around wearing one for the last 38 years is beyond me. Maybe that’s what they make you wear if you’re a ghost; it just makes it look more official I think. Anyhow, he didn’t notice me looking, which I was pretty glad of because it would have probably scared the begeebers out of me too. But it didn’t, it was kind of peaceful… so I went off to sleep. We did feel a couple of times like someone was sitting on the corner of the bed at night and we would always turn the light on but there was never nothing there.


    During that time I did see something in those early days back in the house that was a bit much even for me. I was lying there trying to go to sleep one night and over by the closet I saw this light. It was in sort of human form I guess you could say and glowing a pale yellow color. Now that scared me a bit so I shut my eyes for a minute or two and when I opened them back up it was hanging over my head. This really did scare me then, so I covered up in the blanket for a couple of more minutes and then opened my eyes again and it was still there. Geez, I waited the longest time before I was able to look again but I did, I had to… you know? This time it was gone. Thinking back I shouldn’t of been scared, it probably was just Mama coming to tuck me in one last time or Grandma but more than likely it was someone Mama had sent to just check up on me. After that time I never did see anything else but Granddaddy still always did come around to visit my wife from time to time. He always did enjoy going visiting.


    I have noticed through the years that the cats would see things from time to time that weren’t there in that house. Well, at least we couldn’t see whatever they were looking at. Sometimes they would be just looking off into space without a care in the world, and other times they would be hissing with their fur up at nothing anyone else could see. If there is a noise in the house and the cat doesn’t seem bothered by it, then it doesn’t bother me. But if he’s worried about it and looking out through the doorway, then that always gets my attention. I think that animals and kids too for that matter are just more perceptive to things like that than us adults are.


   My wife never did like the house; it always did give her the creeps and made her uncomfortable too. In July of 2006 she left me and moved back to Ohio; not having to live in the house anymore was just a bonus for her. I’ve never seen or heard anything anywhere else but at the home place, with the exception of the old screaming lady at that other old farmhouse.  I do however smell things every now and then that aren’t really there, for just a minute or too. Sometimes it’s flowers or perfume, or sometimes it’s something cooking.


   Then in the spring of 2007, I had a nice Southern woman move in with me and everything was peaceful in the house till the summertime. It was at that time we had a lot of outside stress and strife that came into our lives. Now whether this had anything to do with what I’m fixing to say, I’m not sure of. But we started to here some funny sounds coming from a part of the house, that we didn’t use. There was this door that led into some rooms that were shut off from the rest of the house but it would open up by itself. I tell you that there was no way that door could open on it’s own, you had to turn the doorknob all the way around to open it. Some nights it would open up by itself two or three times a night. So we decided to go in and investigate what was going on in there.


   Now I wasn’t too up on doing that, being that it was the room that Granddaddy died in 1969, or the fact that it was a suite of rooms that Mama always used, we just didn’t use those rooms anymore… ever. Anyway, we went in there on one of those nights and right behind the door, about two feet behind it to be exact, was a spot in the air about three feet in diameter that was as cold as ice. It had a very weird feeling to it and the hairs on my neck stood on end. It then felt as if someone wrapped their arms around us and gave a ghostly hug or something to that effect. The “Hug” felt warm and inviting to Judi, but to me it was just creepy and terrifying. 


I never liked such things like that so I said, “Mama, if that’s you; you talk to Judi… OK… BYE.”


   I got out of that room and went back to the part of the house that we lived in and away from the spirit or whatever it was. I was a bit chicken I guess, but having something like that happen is a bit unnerving. Now this didn’t seem to bother Judi one bit in the least, but it gave me the heebie-jeebies for sure. She was always better at handling these types of things… better than me anyways. So she went in there to those empty rooms and sat, they were empty except for a rocking chair that I had put in there earlier. I thought that it might help with appeasing what was in there and stop the opening of the door and such, but it just made it worse. Some ghosts just don’t appreciate gifts of furniture I guess.


    Like I said, Judi went in there and sat in that chair in the dark and just rocked away. That spirit must have liked her company because it stopped opening the door for a while after that. Every time the door would open, she would take a candle in there and rock in the chair and then everything would be fine for a while again. When the summer got to be too hot for us in the other rooms, we decided to move into those rooms and shut off the others because the air conditioner worked better in those rooms. I wasn’t too keen on the idea but I knew it was probably the best thing to do since it was the hottest summer on record here, comfort wise anyways.


   So we moved everything and sealed off the other rooms. It bothered me at first but not Judi, but I have to admit it was a lot cooler and more comfortable. And you know what, we never had any more problems with doors opening or bumps in the night either. Whoever that ghost or spirit was, I believe it was just lonely and wanted some company is all. I did have the blankets tucked in around my neck once by unseen hands while we were in the new rooms. I guess it was suppose to be comforting but it was a bit too snug for my taste. 


    Now that everything has settled back down into a peaceful existence, everything is great again. I also want you to know that none of the past haunting so to speak, has ever bothered Judi either. Judi feels a peaceful presence here and it feels like a sanctuary to her. Everyone always has said that when they come here that it’s the most comfortable and peaceful house that they’ve ever been in too. I guess it just depends on if the spirits like you or not and it probably doesn’t hurt if you’re from below the Mason-Dixon line either.


© 2010 T. L. O'Neal

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Featured Review

Wonderful read, my friend. As the saying goes: There are things between heaven and earth ...

Apart from the usual d�ja-vues and such, I had my own brush with the spirit world in the house we had and lived in for 20 odd years. It was (well is, but I�ve sold it since) a kinda shotgun house sitting on top of a hill and we had ripped out most of the doors from on room to the next. So you could look straight from the living room acorss the hall into the dining room.

At first I thought it was only me; because sometimes, on the periphery of my vision, I saw a shadow moving around in the dining room. Just a shadow, nothing more. Some time later, my husband told me the same thing. "THere are people moving around there", he said. And one fine evening, my dog, a black cocker spaniel girl called Wendy, sat on the couch next to me and stared down the hall into the dining room, intently, and gave a low, wary growl. She had seen the shadow, too ... Over the years, both my other dogs did the same from time to time, when they saw/felt the shadows in the other room.

I never felt threatened by whoever was evidently living there with us ... but I was sure he/she/they WERE there ...

Posted 13 Years Ago

25 of 25 people found this review constructive.


I guess that southern ghosts prefer other southerners this is a great story.made the hair on my neck stand up

Posted 9 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I miss ya T.

Posted 10 Years Ago

a wonderful story...i love should enter it into a contest called ghosts

Posted 12 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

i've never personally experienced anything like this, but i thought this had some really interesting and weird experiences in it. although it could use a little bit of polishing in grammar, mood, and flow, overall its good.

one thing i did notice right away, though:
in the second sentence you have "used to didn't" instead of "didn't use to," which isn't a bad mistake but it's a really bad way to start off as a reader.

Posted 12 Years Ago

Your writing style is inviting and down to earth, making your story a special one. I love the anecdotes you use within paragraphs to describe and amuse further. Your story topic is interesting and I really enjoyed the family ties and boundries expressed here. I got some great chuckles along the way with this and was also on the edge of my seat to see what would happen next. A nice mix of emotions denotes your well written story.

Posted 12 Years Ago

2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

"Of course I wasn't very happy about the idea either, it pure made the hairs on my neck stand up. More so on her because she had a hairier neck."
hahaha...this is very interesting
the story i mean

Posted 12 Years Ago

2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Sounds something familiar to the house I was living in...Except...I was three when I had my first haunting experience, and that was when the nightmares came to life. Chilling. Well written ^_^

Posted 12 Years Ago

2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

In 1992, while I was quite pregnant with my son, I was getting ready for bed; you know, washing my face, brushing my teeth and hair (not with the same brush, mind you), used the toilet. I left the bathroom and bout five steps into the hallway realized I'd forgotten something. I turned around, went back in--and mind you, there was only one way in--and found the toilet seat up. Creeped me out. Made my husband search the house high and low, although there was no way anyone could have been in the bathroom and made it out past me. And things vanish all the time, only to reappear once I don't need them anymore. Drives me nuts. LOL And my cats are always staring at things I can't see.

As usual the tone of this was warm and inviting, personable and friendly. Always a pleasure. ;-)

Posted 12 Years Ago

2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Other than that one least your spirit visitors are friendly....just taking a look around and visiting, as it were. I always say...I don't mind a ghost or two moving in...just as long as they are friendly and don't move things around too much, or make too much noise. So far, I've been lucky. An excellent story...made me laugh and that's always a good thing.


Posted 12 Years Ago

2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

The best stories are the ones that really happened.

Posted 12 Years Ago

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54 Reviews
Added on February 18, 2008
Last Updated on October 24, 2010


T. L. O'Neal
T. L. O'Neal

In the sticks, NC

I started writing as a way to work out my feelings and found that I enjoyed it very much. I enjoy humor and feel that you can find it in most things, even though it may be hard to find at the moment. .. more..


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