One of my Facebook friends shared this story with me
“When mum was in the hospital, we looked after her dog Tasha. Tasha slept on our bed, as she had always slept with mum. At 6am one morning, Tasha got up and paced around, whining and being a general nuisance, which was unlike her. We got up to see what the matter was, but she then settled down again and went back to sleep.
Two hours later, the hospital phoned to tell us that mum had died at 6am. Her death was totally unexpected to us all, but we took comfort from the fact that we are sure she came to say goodbye to us and her beloved Tasha.”
The Black Cat
Jenny had a black cat named Fred. He was a loving cat and would sit on her lap, but his favorite thing was to sit on the fourth stair of the staircase that led to the second floor.
Jenny got married and had to move out of state to be with her new husband. She decided to leave Fred at her parent’s house until she could get resettled and make sure pets were allowed at her new home.
A few months later, she went to collect her cat. He was nowhere to be found. Her parents told her that he disappeared after she left. Jenny was heartbroken. A couple of days before she had to return back to her new home, she entered the house to see a black cat sitting on the fourth stair. She was so happy to see her beautiful cat, but when she started to go toward him, her father stopped her. He confessed that he had killed Fred after she left. He had never liked that cat and he was ruining the furniture and quit using the litter box after Jenny left. Her father apologized with tears and a touch of fear in his eyes. The black cat stood up and stretched. He looked at Jenny’s father with his intelligent yellow eyes, walked down the stairs and disappeared, never to be seen again.
Oscar the Cat
In Providence, Rhode Island there is a cat named Oscar that resides in the dementia unit of Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. Oscar was brought in to the center as a therapy animal, but he is not known to be friendly. Oscar roams the halls of the center, unchecked and unbothered.
The staff began to notice that Oscar has an uncanny talent. He is able to predict when one of the patients was nearing their death. Oscar would curl on the bed next to them until they passed. The patients are usually unaware of the cat’s presence, so they do not realize that he is bringing news of their death. The staff has learned after over 50 correct predictions that they are able to contact the family in a timely manner so they can be there when their loved one passes. No one dies on the 3rd floor of the center alone.
Folklore around the world include little, mythical people, such as pixies, brownies, and leprechauns. Hawaii has menehunes. They are believed to be shy and live deep in the rain forests. They are industrious, have super strength, and construct wonders overnight. They have been attributed to the building of shrines, temples and even a pond for their queen and her brother. Legend is that daylight would turn the menehunes into stone, so their tasks had to be completed in the night. The queen and her brother admired their pond so much that they lingered and were caught the sun’s rays. Their stone forms can be seen looking over their pond in Alakoki.
Some scholars now believe that the menehunes are not mythical but instead the descendants of settlers from Marquesas sometime around the sixth century. Later, immigrants from Tahiti, who arrived 600 years later, may have defeated the descendants from the original settlers and pushed them on to Kauai, where most of the menehune legends stem from. The Tahitians used the word “menehune” for slaves and lower class workers.
I heard stories of the menehune and their pranks the whole time I lived in Hawaii. To this day, if something comes up missing, we blame it on the menehune.
My parents kept horses at the stables of Wheeler Air Force Base outside of Wahiawa. There was land around the base that was not developed and riders would enjoy long rides out with their horses. They were warned about one section of land that had small piles of stones built in random places. These were reported to be shrines the menehunes built. Riders were told to leave bits of food if they came across any of these shrines. It was a lesson quickly learned. If you didn’t leave food, you would be tossed off your horse.
We had a librarian on the Navy base that I lived on. Helen told me her menehune story. She would have to drive to and from work on the Pali Highway. Pali Highway and the Old Pali Road are the locations for many “chicken skin” stories, including a figure of white, men hanging from trees, or jumping off into the valley below.
Helen would carry food in her car and throw a bit of it out the window as she crossed over the highway. If she didn’t do this, her car would stall. She blamed this on the menehunes, but I am wondering now how often she carried pork to work, maybe in the form of a ham sandwich?
There is an old legend that pork attracts spirits and upsets the relationship between Pele, the fire goddess, and Kamapuaa, the pig god. Traveling over Pali Highway with a pork product is taboo. Anyone who ignores this legend and travels with pork may experience car troubles or even an accident. It is advised to throw the pork out the window if you encounter trouble. It is believed that since it is a form of the pig god, the car trouble may be Pele’s way of keeping Kamapuaa from traveling into her domain.
When I get people to tell me their ghost stories, they usually have more than one. These are from a co-worker:
When Marsha was a young girl in Alabama, she used to go swimming with her older brother. The two kids would walk down to the fishing pier that led into the lake. Marsha would jump off one side where the water was shallow since she didn’t swim well, and her brother would go off the other side where it was deeper. This particular day, there were no other swimmers at the lake. Marsha stepped off the wrong side and went under. She knew she was drowning, but suddenly she felt hands under her arms and she was pulled back to the surface. She was sure it was her brother that saved her, but after rubbing the water from her eyes she saw that she was alone and her brother was at the other side of the lake, oblivious to her troubles. The incident frightened her so bad that for seventy years she never told anyone.
As an adult, Marsha lived in Manassas, Virginia. She rented an old house from a doctor who had moved to Florida. Her brother came to visit and they were sitting in the living room, watching television. Her brother looked towards the sliding glass door that led to the backyard. “Who’s the kid?” he asked. Marsha looked up and there was a little boy in pajamas and a robe looking in at them. He suddenly vanished before either of them could get up to find out where he came from. They looked around the house, but saw no sign of a child.
Marsha asked neighbors about the little boy. She found out that the doctor who owned the house had a five year old son that drowned in the pool that used to be set up in the backyard. Was that the little boy they saw?
Marsha had a friend who married a widower. This friend was having problems sleeping in bed with her new husband. In the middle of the night, a cold, invisible “something” would start pushing her off the bed. The bride persuaded the husband to sell the house and move. Marsha never did hear if the ex-wife moved with them or not.
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.
When my daughter was four years old, she had a “friend”. It took us a while to figure out that his name was Barnaby. She had a hard time saying this name and she would get very angry at us when we couldn’t say his name correctly. We weren’t bothered by her having an imaginary friend. She was the only child at the time, and she was too little to visit friends whenever she wanted to. However, sometimes he just seemed too real. He wasn’t always there when she wanted him to be. He had a strong love for Disney World and would visit there quite often. I need to mention, we lived a long way from Disney World and we were never able to take a trip there.
We went out to dinner one night after my son was born. All four spots at the table were taken by my family. A man and his wife came in and sat at the table next to ours. Annika began to scream like she was in pain! We finally figured out that the man sat on Barnaby! He was gracious and changed seats.
It was time for us to move. Les was being stationed in the Azores. As we were saying our goodbyes to friends and neighbors, Annika was asked if Barnaby was going with us. “No, he is staying here. It would be too far away from Disney World.”
That was the end of Barnaby.
The Mean Girl
For a short time, a family was having problems getting their little girl to go out and play with her friends. She would much rather play in her room with her toys. She would sit for hours and play and chatter to herself. The playground near their home would be loud with the laughter and hollering of the neighborhood children but Tia was content to sit and play on her own.
Her parents would ask her why she didn’t want to go outside and the answer was “Jenny doesn’t want me to”. Oh, ok. We have an invisible friend! There was no amount of persuasion that was getting the child to go out and play with other children. Her friend Jenny didn’t want her to have any other friends and she would be very angry with Tia.
Tommy decided his daughter needed some time away from her room and he forced Tia to go outside. She was adamant about how mad Jenny would be and seemed to be truly terrified. Once in the playground, Tia became physically ill and her father had to carry her back into the house. He didn’t force her again.
Eventually, Jenny went away and Tia was able to enjoy her friends once more. To this day, however, Tommy insists he saw a little girl ghost standing in the hallway.
Ava and Steve
It was the middle of summer. The weather was excessively hot for a July day in Virginia. Shannon and her family spent their weekends at her parents’ “getaway” home in the hills because it had a swimming pool.
Shannon’s three year old knew which part of the pool she that she was allowed in, but on this 4th of July, she decided to go into the deep end. Shannon’s sister pulled the little girl out of the water before any harm came to the child.
Later that day, Ava told her mother that Steve was mad at her. Shannon was unsure of who Steve was, but asked why Steve was mad. “Because I didn’t have sunscreen on.”
For several weeks, Ava would talk about Steve. She wanted her mommy to pick Steve up and bring him to the house so she could play with him. Some days he would already be at the house and she would be playing with him. When asked about him, sometimes the answer would be that he went home to be with his mommy and daddy. Shannon tried not to make a big deal out of the invisible friend, but she thought it was odd that Steve wouldn’t be there when Ava wanted him. Couldn’t she make believe that he was there when she needed a playmate? Shannon did ask Ava what he looked like. Ava said that he had dark hair and dark eyes. He was three like her but tall like her daddy.
Shannon was at a basket party one day with friends and family. She told the story about the invisible Steve. She mentioned that it started at the house in the hills after Ava had to be rescued from the swimming pool. That is when Shannon was told some history about the house.
The previous owners had a son named Steve. It was believed that he lived a rough life of abuse from his father. When he was a teenager, he tried to commit suicide, but later died in a car accident when he was in his twenties. A yearbook was found and he did have dark hair and dark eyes.
Steve seemed to only stay around for a few weeks. Maybe he had to relive some childhood moments. Maybe he just wanted to make sure Ava was fine and happy. Shannon is convinced that Steve was not the typical imaginary friend.
Update: Steve came back after being gone for a couple of months. Shannon’s daughters were playing in the backyard and Ava mentioned Steve was in the tree. Ava’s sister told Shannon that someone was throwing rocks from the tree, but there was no one up there. The dog was barking and growling at the tree.
When I posted an inquiry on my facebook group Western Slope Historical and Paranormal Society, I got quite a few responses from readers:
She was a little older when she had her imaginary friend. Her friend was with her until she was about eleven or twelve years old. She called her Diana. When she played or talked to her, she imagined her to be about the same age, fair skinned with long wavy hair. She never talked to anyone about Diana, but her stepfather had seen a little girl in the house with the same characteristics. When Brenda’s sister moved out, she thought she would be lonely, but she found comfort in Diana. When Brenda’s family moved, Diana was no longer around. Was it because she stayed at the house, or did Brenda just outgrow an imaginary friend?
She lives in Grand Junction, Colorado which used to be Ute Indian territory before they were pushed onto a reservation. Brittany had two Indian children “imaginary” friends. At her young age, they were her best friends and companions. They were rather mean, however. They would take her toys and pinch her. She was told later by her mother and aunt that she would have pinch marks, so they were convinced the Indian children were not imaginary but a little more sinister. When Brittany’s family moved, the two Indian children did not go with them.
She moved to Colorado when she was seven years old. The house they moved into was built in 1919, by a prominent family in Grand Junction. Casie made friends with an invisible boy. Her mother thought it was odd she didn’t make up a girl friend, but whatever kept her daughter happy. Living in a new area is always hard, especially when moving out into a rural area with few neighbors.
In her brothers room, there would be knocking on the window. Visitors would hear it, but her brother never did.
It was later found out that a little boy who once lived in that house, had died and that was his room. He was possibly buried somewhere in the land around the house.
When you collect stories of the paranormal, you always get some that make you say “Hmmmm”. A friend told me a story of a house she went to when she was looking to buy. She insists that it kept changing from modern to Victorian in décor when she went into a room. Do I believe her? I guess I have to if I expect people to believe me. After studying the paranormal, I have come to realize anything is possible.
One of my fellow investigators was telling us about a photograph in her mother’s possession. Lana’s aunt was an artist and painted a picture of what they call The Old Home Place. Generations of family were raised in this old farmhouse. Lana’s mother has a photo of the painting. After the aunt died, the photo changed. There is what appears to be a figure of a woman waving from the back porch. She is wearing a white dress, which is what Aunt Nancy was buried in. A small animal seems to be at her feet. Nancy was an animal rights activist. Within a years time, Lana lost a cousin, a sister, and her father. The photo kept changing. What appears to be a man is standing on the lower porch, in the spot where Lana’s father would stand and drink his morning coffee. A little girl with a bobbed haircut looks to be playing near the lilac bush where Lana and her sisters would play as children. On the upper porch seems to be a young man standing.
I saw this photo a few years ago and saw it again recently. In that time, more figures seem to be appearing. There is a bench which looks to hold a man and a child, with a woman standing behind, as well as a couple of other children playing. It is a fascinating photograph, and I have no explanation.
There are many stories told of spirits that seems to follow a favorite item. It may be purchased at an auction, a yard sale, inherited, or it might be an item on display at a museum. Here are some stories passed on to me:
The Haunted Furniture
Stephanie bought a sofa and a dresser at a used furniture store when she moved in with a roommate and her young daughter. Stephanie would come home from work and her room would be littered with clothing. Clean clothes were pulled from her dresser and dirty clothes pulled from the hamper. She placed the blame on her roomies daughter, but the little girl never owned up to it.
A few months later, Stephanie as able to move out on her own, and took the sofa and dresser to her new apartment. She was shocked to come home to clothes once again scattered all over the apartment. Then she was frightened when she saw a little girl standing in the room laughing at her. The girl disappeared before Stephanie got over the shock.
Stephanie has since moved, and she left the sofa and dresser behind. She has had no more activity of the paranormal kind.
Darlene’s husband was doing some home renovations in the Washington, DC area. The woman had died and left no will, had no known family, but had some photo albums, china, and many other personal items left in the house. The renovators were told to throw them all out. Darlene’s husband brought the photo albums to her, and they have had hopes of researching the woman and seeing if they can find someone close to her to pass them on to. Once the photo albums came to Darlene’s home, they starting having unexplained things happening. Lights would go on and off. Cabinets would open and shut, as would doors. Darlene’s son had bought a new cell phone and was talking to his girlfriend on it. He was playing with the video at the same time and caught a white mist in the shape of a woman walking in the hallway past his bedroom door. This activity occurred for only a few weeks, and then peace descended again in their home. Could the woman just be checking up on her photo album and making sure it was being taken care of?
The Pie Safe
Sarahs’ grandmother, Ferol, inherited a pie safe from her paternal grandmother, who was full-blooded Cherokee. Ferol and her husband, T.B., refinished it and used it in their kitchen as a china cabinet.
One day, Ferol and T.B. were getting ready to leave the house and noticed the door of the pie safe was opened. They didn’t know who would have left it opened, but they closed it and left. They came home to find that there was a fire in the kitchen. The burner of the stove had been left on.
Since that day, the pie safe has opened on its own when there is a death in the family.
When Ferol’s father Irvy passed away, his wife Sarah wore his watch. She also constantly wore a ruby ring that Ferol and T.B. had given her. After Sarah died, Ferol put the ring and watch in the back of a pie safe drawer. They came home one day to find the drawer opened and the jewelry placed in the front of the drawer. That same day, a sliding door in the hallway was opened and the bathroom door was closed. Sarah was always known for opening and closing doors and Ferol has always been known for everything being perfect in her house. Nothing is ever out of place. The family believes in the predictions of the pie safe, and that Sarah still visits.
The original, medieval tower house fortress stands in the center of the castle today, but renovations in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries have added wings and rooms around it. It has been the home of the Earls of Strathmore since 1372, when King Robert II of Scotland gave the castle to Sir John Lyon.
Glamis is the childhood home of the present Queen Elizabeth’s mother, her being the youngest daughter of the fourteenth Earl of Strathmore. Princess Margaret was born here in 1930. It is also the setting for Shakespeare’s Macbeth. It is believed that Duncan was murdered here by Macbeth.
The castle has a violent history. There have been murders, executions, witches, illness, and extreme sadness. Legends and myths have grown from these. There is a rumor of a secret room and all the uses it may have had. It is no wonder this is called the most haunted castle in Scotland.
The Chapel and the Grey Lady
On my visit to the castle, I had a strange, overwhelming sadness as soon as I entered the chapel. Then I learned about the Grey Lady. Over 400 years ago, the 6th Laird of Glamis married Janet Douglas. Lady Janet was born into the Douglas clan and her brother was the stepfather of King James V. James hated his stepfather and hated anyone of the Douglas Clan. After Laird Glamis died in 1528, Lady Janet no longer had his protection. She and her son, John, became the focus of King James’ hatred. He confiscated Glamis Castle for the crown and accused Lady Janet of practicing witchcraft. He accused her of making potions to kill him with. The Lady and her son were put into the dungeons of Edinburgh Castle.
Confiscating her home and throwing her in prison was easy for King James, but he found it difficult to convict Lady Janet of any crimes. Her reputation was impeccable and she was highly respected. He resorted to torture. He captured her clansmen and servants and put them to the rack. They were stretched until they screamed out lies against Lady Janet. On July 7, 1537, Lady Janet of Glamis was burned at the stake while her sixteen year old son watched in horror. After the death of King James V, John, the 7th Earl of Glamis, was released and returned to his home. He found all the family heirlooms and valuables were removed by the king. It is said that before James died, he confessed feeling remorse for his hatred and the murder of Lady Janet.
The ghost of the Lady can be seen in the chapel, kneeling in front of the alter as if in prayer. An overwhelming sadness surrounds her. She has also been seen above the clock tower looking over the lands that were once hers.
In the fifteenth century, Earl Beardie, the 2nd Laird of Glamis, was playing cards with the Earl of Crawford late one Saturday night. A servant came into the room to remind the Earls that it was nearing midnight and it was sacrilege to play cards on the Sabbath. Lord Glamis yelled at the servant to get out of the room and stated that he would play cards until Dooms Day if he so desired. A few minutes until midnight, the servant again entered with the same reminder. Again Earl Beardie yelled at the servant and stated that he would play with the Devil himself! At the stroke of midnight, a stranger dressed in black knocked on the door and asked to play cards with them. He threw a handful of rubies on the table, so of course the Earls let him sit in the game. A little while later, a loud argument between the Earls could be heard and when the servant went to check on them, they were engulfed in flames. It seems the Devil caused the Earl to play cards until Dooms Day. His ghost is said to roam the halls. Sounds of stomping feet, swearing and the rolling of dice can be heard from the tower where Earl Beardie cursed God and played cards with the Devil.
The Secret Room
There is a window on the front of the castle that is said to be from a secret room. No one seems to be able to find the entrance to this room. Rumor has it, that this room holds a horrible family secret. The Earls of Glamis are supposedly shown this room on their twenty-first birthday, but the secret is so horrible that they don’t talk about it.
With this room, there are several different legends. A deformed child was kept locked up as the family “monster”. A vampire is born to every generation and this room is where the vampire is kept. A true story is of the Ogilvies. They had hid from their enemies, the Lindsays, and were walled up and starved to death. Maybe this is the room that this occurred.
Throughout the years, there have been many reports of guests waking to faces looming over their beds, covers pulled off, faces being seen from windows and then disappearing, and apparitions running through the grounds. Where there is so much history, whether good or bad, there has to be ghosts.
Emory & Henry is a historical college in Emory, Virginia. It was founded in 1836 and is the oldest school in southwestern Virginia. The college is named after John Emory, a Methodist bishop and Patrick Henry a patriot and Virginia’s first governor. It is a Methodist faith based school with a small student population.
In April of 1861, the college had to shut its doors due to the War Between the States. Like many of the buildings in Virginia, the original Wiley Hall was turned into a hospital. (that building no longer stands and but there is a new Wiley Hall that stands in its place). The Battle of Saltville was partially fought on campus grounds. The school reopened after the war ended.
During World War II, E & H was one of the 131 schools that trained Naval Officers for their commission.
E & H has a lot of legends and ghost stories. My daughter was a four year student there and always had a new one to share.
Byars Building was at one time a courtroom. There is a story about a discussion that became quite heated and out of hand. One of the men got disgusted and left the room to get some air. He was leaning out a second story window when his opponent pushed him. He grabbed on to the hanging lamp outside the window but couldn’t hold on and fell to his death. This lamp can be seen swinging frequently even when there is no wind. My family was watching the lamp swing
when there was no breeze. A person stuck their head out of the offending window and we all jumped out of our shoes!
Katie told me that one evening she saw the lamp swinging without any force of wind, and thought she saw a man looking at her from the window. She cannot say that it was a ghost, but it spooked her.
Byars is supposedly one of the most haunted building on campus, the other being Wiley Hall. I have been grilling my daughter’s friends, trying to get them to tell me stories. Here is one I got:
Shane was assigned to create and stage a fight. He was having a hard time pinning his assigned partner down to get the job done. Being a graded project, Shane agreed to meet his classmate in the Greenroom, in the basement, at 2am. The Greenroom was a lounge/meeting area for the theater students. It had costume workshop and storage, bookshelves, and computers. Shane was alone, and waiting for the student who was in no hurry to show up and finish this project. He began drawing and planning out the scene to be at least somewhat ready for the rehearsal.
Shane began to hear odd banging and clanking noises. He looked out the door to make sure no one was in the hall. He determined he was alone so he went back to his drawings. It is an old building. They do tend to have odd noises, especially in a basement.
After a few more minutes, Shane started to hear a “low grumble”. He wasn’t sure what could be making that noise. The pipes? An animal stuck in the wall? Walking around the room, he traced it to the one of the bookshelves. He listened, trying to determine what could be making that sound. He started to pull out some books, and the sound became louder. It was no longer a grumble, but a growl. It became even louder and seemed to fill the room, and then it turned into a deep roar. Shane left the building.
He called his project partner and told him what happened. They decided to go back and try to determine what it was that made the noise. They couldn’t move the bookshelf and the noise was finished by that time, so they rehearsed.
They stopped rehearsal at one point because they heard the famous phantom piano music of the building. Deciding to check it out, they found a girl practicing. She left and the boys were alone again. Once back to the Greenroom, the piano starting playing again. They knew there was no one playing it that time.
Wiley Jackson Dormitory or MaWa (for Martha Washington)
This is an older, four story building that is the female dormitory. It resembles an old hospital or military barracks. The elevator is ancient, the rooms are tiny, and there were communal bathrooms. It was a creepy building with or without ghosts.
According to stories, there was a young woman that lived in this dorm who was stood up for a dance. In her despair, she hung herself from the middle shower in one of the bathrooms. Sometimes that shower head will spray water uncontrollably on its own. There has also been the sounds of high heels pacing the halls at night.
One of the rooms on the third floor has unusual electric issues. The television turns on to the Weather Channel, even when the television is not plugged in.
I have had two different stories of a girl hanging herself in the closet. One was on the fourth floor. Eileen and her roommate would hear scratching sounds coming from the closet.
The other story I read online about a room on the second floor. Items get pushed from the desk, the closet door opens on its own, the thermostat changes on its own, and choking sounds can be heard coming from the closet.
The building may not be original but there is horrible history on the spot where it sits. Not only was it the site of the hospital, but there were several people murdered there during the Civil War.
About 150 wounded Union soldiers were taken to the hospital after the Battle of Saltville. A few days later, three unknown men went in and shot and killed three African American men from the 5th United States Colored Calvary. The next day, Captain Champ Ferguson, a guerrilla Confederate soldier arrived looking for Lt E. C. Smith, a Union officer who supposedly did some unjust treatment to Fergusons family. Ferguson murdered Smith in the hospital.
Blood and bullet holes remained as a reminder. Students reported seeing the apparitions of soldier, items moving on their own, and the sounds of boots.
The new building has its own stories. “Freda” walks around, closes doors, and moves items. There have also been reports of a woman in white in and around the building.
The J. Stewart French Alumni House
This house was built in 1852 and is one of three buildings that are still set on their original foundations. From 1893 until 1964, it housed the College presidents. It was briefly student housing, and then an office building. In 1984, it became The Alumni House. The house is named for the 11th college president.
According to a story I was told by one of the students, an alum was spending the night. Something woke him up and he opened his eyes to a little girl, wearing 1800s era clothing, staring at him.
This house no longer exists, but it was once student housing. Shane was the RA in charge of this house and two others, all housing football players. The house was named for the couple who previously owned it, both deceased.
Emory & Henry, being a small campus, centered in a small community, did not have enough residential housing, so many of the houses in the village of Emory also belonged to the college. This house was one of them. It was a three bedroom home, with kitchen, living room and a basement apartment.
Shane had to go back to school early for RA training. He was at the house by himself. He was told the head RA and the area coordinators were going to do a walk through, so he was at his computer, expecting them anytime. He started hearing noises coming from the kitchen, which sounded like the cabinets opening and shutting. He figured his expected company had arrived so he went to talk to them. He was shocked to walk into the kitchen and find no one there, and all the cabinets standing open. He was more than a little spooked, but he shut all the cabinets and left the room.
All through the week, when Shane was alone, he would hear the slamming of kitchen cabinets and walk in to find them all open. He shared this story with the librarian one day while doing some studying. The librarian laughed and told him that old Mr. Fachilla was a prankster and was just messing with Shane. He pulled pranks on people all the time when he was alive. For the two years Shane spent in the house, the cabinet game was played several times. No one else in the house experienced it though. It only seemed to happen when Shane was alone One night when he was extremely tired and frustrated, he heard the cabinets begin to slam. Shane called out and asked Mr. Fachilla to stop. He did. When Shane passed by the kitchen later, all the cabinets were shut.
He was never frightened by the incidents. He knew nothing was out to hurt him. There was one night, however, that was different and Shane was afraid. He had to come back to the house from break early again, so he was alone. It was a dark night with heavy rain storms. It wasn’t a comfortable night. “Everything seemed heavy”. As he was watching tv in his room, the cabinets started slamming. It was different that time. They were being slammed harder and it sounded like they were alternating from one side to the other, which was not usual. When Shane left his room to check it out, the door that leads to the kitchen slammed shut. He ran back to his room, shut the door and locked it. He didn’t even try to leave that night. Eventually the slamming stopped. Shane wasn’t sure if that was Mr. Fachilla that night or not. Or maybe he was protecting him from something. Shane just knew he was not supposed to be in any other part of the house that night.
In 1628, the first tower of Braemar Castle was erected by John Erskine, 18th Earl of Mar and was used as a hunting lodge. Later, it was used as protection from the Farquharson Clan. In 1689, the castle was attacked and burned by John Farquharson, the Black Colonel of Inverey. In 1715, the castle was turned over to the Crown following the Earl of Mar’s leadership of the Jacobite Uprising. The castle and the land was then purchased by John Farquharson, 9th Laird of Invercauld, but it was left empty until 1748. The government then leased it to serve as a garrison for Hanoverian troops.
In 1831, the military moved out and the castle was returned to the Farquharsons. Queen Victoria would stay there when she attended the Braemar Highland Games, and John Louis Stephenson is reported to have written Treasure Island while staying at Braemar Castle.
There are many legends and ghost stories associated with this castle. Sightings of a young woman have been reported. According to legend, she was honeymooning in the castle and woke to find her new husband gone. She believed he had abandoned her and committed suicide. Her spirit usually appears to newlyweds.
A clashing of steel can be heard on the staircase and a piper has been seen roaming the halls. A baby is heard crying and legends say this child was murdered in the castle.
The Black Colonel of Inverey has been seen around the castle. An outline of a body appears on one of the beds and it is believed to be John Farquharson. The smell of tobacco lingers in many of the rooms.
I am particularly interested in Braemar Castle because of the experience I had there. My mother and grandmother came to Scotland to visit while I was stationed there with the Navy. We took a trip to the Highlands and Braemar was one of our stops. The inside was historically furnished with wonderful antiques. We listened to the stories the guide was telling us. We came to the room where we were told that they straightened the bed every night before closing, but every morning there would be a head print on the pillow. We were not sure the guide didn’t make the print every morning himself for effect, but my mother and I were startled when something unseen walked in between us, leaving our cheeks numb and cold. It wasn’t a comfortable experience and the sensation didn’t leave us until we were out in the sunlight once again.