The Lady By the Window

I woke up in the middle of the night and there was a woman standing in my room by the window. I remember seeing her legs through the transparent dress she wore. It seems that maybe the moon light was shining through the blinds. I was too afraid to shout out. I thought the woman was there to kidnap me or even kill me. I pretended to be asleep but watched my door to see if she would leave. She never did, at least not through the bedroom door. I later found out that during this time period, in this particular house in Asmara, Ethiopia, odd things would happen most nights. I would wake my parents telling them someone was breathing in my room (which I do not remember). My parents would hear something unseen bumping around the house, disturbing the dogs and knocking things to the floor. I was five years old when this was happening. I never thought of ghosts until several years later. At five, a ghost is a floating sheet or Casper.

Growing up, odd things continued to happen in the houses we lived in, whether California or Hawaii. Phantom cigarette smoke, lights going off and on, and unexplained noises. My friend Tim was the paperboy in Hawaii. He would slam the mailbox that was attached to the wall outside my bedroom. It woke me up so often, I was usually awake and waiting for the noise so I could go back to sleep. I threatened to wait for him one morning and shoot him with a water gun. He thought I was doing just that one morning when he saw a female at my bedroom window. He then realized the figure was “both in and out at the same time”. There was no light on in my bedroom and the windows where bubbly slats, so it would have been hard to someone inside the room. He realized it wasn’t me and it wasn’t normal and he was leery of delivering our paper after that.

I left home and joined the Navy. My first duty station was Atsugi, Japan. Our dorm rooms were set in quads, four rooms attached to a centrally located lounge with sofa, television, and card table with chairs. A group of us were sitting out in the lounge and listening to music from the stereo in my room, which meant my door was opened. Cecelia, one of my quad mates, was sitting in a chair across from my room and could see inside. She asked me “Who is in your room?”. I looked around and everyone was accounted for. She turned an odd color pale and insisted she had just seen a woman cross from my bed to the bathroom. She had long brown hair and looked to be wearing a white dress! I had to tell the story of the woman I saw in Africa, who I believe my friend saw in Hawaii, and now seemed to have followed me to Japan. I also told them I had been having issues in the past week with my stereo turning on and off by itself.

For many years, I didn’t seem to have any paranormal experiences in my homes, until my oldest daughter was born. We were living in Pensacola, Florida and Annika was 3. I had just finished reading her a story before bed when she looked at me and asked who the lady was standing by her closet. A few months later, my husband woke up and was wondering why I was up and standing by the bedroom window. Then he realized I was still asleep at his side.

When Annika was 4, the Navy stationed my husband in the Azores. Our sponsors had set us up a second story apartment and our first night moving in, Annika asked who the lady was standing at the kitchen window. There was no where for a person to stand outside and look in and we were alone in the kitchen, so my only conclusion was my spirit woman was following me and checking in on my family. I am not sure if the addition of my children caused her to be more active or if we just noticed things more, but our paranormal activity had seemed to increase, and sometimes it seems as if there were more than one ghost involved.

In the Azores, we moved from the apartment to a house closer to base. In the three years there, we had several unexplained things happen. One night the radio in the girls’ room turned on by itself and was blasting loud enough to startle Les and me out of sleep but my daughters didn’t budge. By this time, we were used to stereos and televisions turning off and on, or smoke detectors being “tested”. What we were not used to was things moving on their own. Annika was on the way to her bedroom one night when she came running out of the kitchen with the look of terror on her face. She told us that a package of crackers, now setting on the counter, were floating in the air!

Near the same spot, my three year old son was standing one morning. I was watching him because I knew he was bored and wanted to play with his two year old sister. He was thinking about waking her up. Before I could say something to him I heard a slapping sound. He came running out of the kitchen because “someone” had just smacked him in the back!

Later on, we moved to West Virginia into an old farm house. We had to deal with the television turning off and on while we were watching it. Again the smoke detectors going off. One night a Christmas tree ornament went flying across the room. The kids saw a phantom figure going down the stairs. We figure most of the experiences were the lady who seems to follow us. Annika was woken up one night hearing what sounded like a battle outside in our yard. We lived in an area that saw skirmishes during the Revolutionary War, the Indian wars, and the Civil War.

In 2002, we moved from West Virginia to Broadway, Virginia into an older farmhouse. This house is well over a hundred years old. My children and a two year old granddaughter moved with us. The two year old, Sky, walked into her room our first night there and asked who the lady was by the window. We knew then that she moved with us once again.

I have done family research and there is no one I can pinpoint that this woman might be. Maybe she was an American who died in Ethiopia and didn’t want to stay there so moved on with us. She still lets us know she is around by playing with radios and smoke detectors. She may have been the one who threw some books to the floor one evening, but we have come to realize there is a little girl ghost in this farm house also.

I have seen the child as a shadow person running through the house. I have also heard her giggling on the front porch. My children have heard her giggling and talking in the middle of the night. I have a young man who sleeps on my sofa on evenings when he stays late watching movies with my daughter. He has been woken up by someone playing with his feet or from the sense of someone intently watching him. I think she really likes James.

Update: I had written this story several years ago. My children are all grown and living out of the home. My husband is deceased, and I live in Colorado. I have no hauntings in this house, which is fine. The woman who had followed me for so many years, is no longer with me. My children have not told me any stories, so I am not sure if she is with them or not. I can’t help but wonder if she moved on when my husband died.

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