I love ghost stories! Not the woodland killer with a burlap sack over his head… but REAL ghost stories. Have you ever felt, heard, or seen something you couldn’t explain? Were you afraid or exhilarated? Do you believe ghosts to be evil or enchanting, demons or angels, lost souls or lost loved ones come back to comfort you? Whatever you believe, there are plenty of naysayers…what does the bible say?
I think it depends on how you want to interpret the scripture, as to whether or not you believe ghosts are demons or not… and I think fear of the unknown probably plays a big part of your decision as well.
Ghosts are generically classified as evil in mainstream Christian thought, yet are dealt with as a natural event in the course of human experience in the Bible. Death, itself, is described as “giving up the ghost” in many biblical verses such as: “Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people.” (Genesis 25:8)
It is no stretch of the imagination to consider that this biblical event is a classic description of an encounter with a “ghost”, which anyone could recognize: “Fear came upon me, and trembling, which made all my bones to shake. Then a spirit passed before my face; the hair of my flesh stood up: It stood still, but I could not discern the form thereof: an image was before mine eyes, there was silence, and I heard a voice, saying, Shall mortal man be more just than God? shall a man be more pure than his maker?” (Job 4:14-17) There is no evil associated with this apparition and it actually seems to be imparting wisdom to Job. (ie: Whether feeble or strong, man is not righteous before God.)
According to my father, my first ghost encounter occurred when I was around one year old. We were at the Thistle Hill (a mansion in Ft. Worth, built in 1901) for a wedding, and my father said he had taken me to a ‘nursery’ style room upstairs on the second floor and was sitting with me. He said I was just sitting down looking cute, when an older style song started wafting up from the ballroom below. A chill then rushed over him and the house seemed to “come alive,” as if groaning from some century long slumber. At that very moment, my father said my eyes shone as wide as saucers and that I shot up and started sprawling out my arms in a frenzy reaching for him. He said I didn’t cry… I just sat there in his arms with my awed stare in place as he whispered, “Did you feel that, Sara?”
Not minutes later the curator/manager of the mansion appeared in the doorway, and my dad asked him, “Did you just feel that? The strange ‘presence‘?”
If blood could drain out of a person, and leave someone pale white and listless, that would match my fathers description of the curator after he had asked the question. And then, without a word, he turned and went downstairs.
Over the years I kept clippings of articles from the Star Telegram about the Hauntings of Thistle Hill. One such article snippet gave me goosebumps as soon as I read it: “During renovations in the early 80’s workers often reported hearing music coming from the 3rd floor ballroom.” I was born in 1980.
My second ghostly encounter is a personal memory of my sister and I… one of many ‘ghost’ stories originating from the house we grew up in. Shadow Man, as we came to call him, was a shadowy figure of a tall man that we saw from our bedroom windows when the moon light would cast in shadows from the street. He always appeared to be standing in the road or close to the curb. Not moving, just standing. I was brave enough to go look out the window, and would be stunned to always find the street empty. It was a clear and distinct silhouette of a man, and yet, time and time again… no one was there. My sister would see the shadow from her bedroom window too, and would always come and crawl into my bed pleading, “Sara, can I sleep with you? I saw the Shadow Man again.”
Years later, after Peter and I had been dating for a few years we were all at my parents house (the very same house that I grew up in) and we were telling ghost stories. My parents told stories of how the radio in my room would start blaring in the middle of the day while I was at school, and how cutting boards would seem to flip over. And then my sister says to me, “Ooh, remember Shadow Man?”
Somehow the memories of him had drifted out of my mind the older I had become, and I had not thought of him since… until that very moment. The hair on the back of my neck stood up as soon as she said his name. And to my surprise Peter grew very pale as well, (even though he’s Asian; meaning he swears that he does not get pale… and that he is not scared of ghosts.) He then tells me that his ex-girlfriend lives in the same area and used to tell him the same stories. And when I googled: shadow man ghost north richland hills, the results sent the same shiver up my spine. Lots of reports of people in the area seeing the same things as we had. Shadows of people…shadows of men.
After Peter and I moved in together, we had another experience that is still unexplained. Our apartment was not always the tidiest, and one day while I was ironing behind the bar, Peter calls out to me from the couch where he was studying. There had been a half full (I’m an optimist) glass of water sitting on the table for who knows how long, and he’s pointing to it freaking out… because, ever so slowly, it was scooting towards the edge of the coffee table. I run out from behind the bar and lean over right by the cup. It’s still moving, in slow little jerks, and we’re still freaking out! We kept looking at each other and then back down to the cup, then at each other, then at the cup. We turned off the radio thinking possibly the noise was vibrating it off the table, but it was not that loud, and despite the music being off the cup continued on it’s path towards the edge. As it came to the side I lifted up my hand as if to catch it… and then it stopped. And, I kid you not, it stopped right there, half on the table half off. One more millimeter and it would have fallen. There was no condensation trail because the water was not cold… and we could think of no other explanation for why it would all of the sudden start moving. Peter still does not like to talk about it. He always makes me tell the story.
And my most recent story to date: One week ago, Peter, the boys, and I returned from a trip to Oklahoma and went to my parents house to pick up our little Chihuahua, Teddy. Unfortunately, we did not call ahead and my parents were not home, so I had to return the next night after work. My mom wanted to show me all the work they had done on the house and as we were walking from my sisters newly painted and floored game room, we walked past the laundry room. It was then that a hanger (the plastic kind with a metal hook) flew off of a door hook hanging from the top of the door and hit me on the shoulder. My mom’s eyes got wide, and she said, “Did that hanger just fly off the door at you?”
I was sort of shocked, and sort of not surprised at all. I immediately thought of the show ‘Ghost Hunters’ and decided to come up with a rational explanation. I put the hanger back on the hook and tried to see if there was any way I could knock it off, even though I knew EXACTLY what had happened. The bottom of the hanger was easily above my head and there was no way that I had touched it to make it fall on me. I know I had not moved the door, but even with a rigorous shaking we could not get the hanger to fall. At that moment, I threw my hands up and proclaimed, “Did you miss me?!”
I’ve had plenty of other personal experiences, some so personal that I would rather keep them to my closest friends and family… especially regarding Eric. If you want to know, ask me later.
Am I a believer? Yes.
Do I think ghost are evil? None that I’ve encountered. 🙂
If you have a good ghost story, leave it as a comment…
Like I said, I love a good ghost story.