My First Unknown Ghost
It is now 2012. With television shows like My Ghost Story and Celebrity Ghost Stories on the Biography Channel along with Ghost Hunters and Ghost Hunters International on the Syfy Channel folks seem to be a little more comfortable sharing their ghost experiences. (Or should I have said as comfortable as it gets when discussing ghosts?)
Specifically, I know I have been in contact with four ghosts so far during the course of my lifetime. Two were family members, one was a very close dear friend and today's story is about the only 'unknown ghost' I can currently recall having personally met.
MURPHY'S LAW ~ anything that can go wrong will go wrong ~ In the 1970's (thinkin' was middle 1970's ~ 1975ish) after receiving a job offer which I accepted I moved to Central Texas. Not only did anything that could go wrong did indeed go wrong, I was positive I was 'snakebit' or 'cursed' so to say. Believe me it's hard to dig deep into the recesses of this story to make sure I tell the facts and not simply the 'selective memory' facts because there was a powerful lot of emotions happening with me and anger was a primary emotion.
I showed up on my start date only to find my job had been pulled away from me, given to the nephew of one of the executive vice-presidents of the company. All was not lost, I was offered a new position as his secretary. Instinctual, despite my anger which I could not let show in either my voice, words or face I knew if I raised a big fuss, a ruckus ~ the proverbial "you'll never work in this town again" would in all likelihood happen to me. Plus, I knew enough at that time to know if I had any job, it would be easier for me to get another job with a little established time passage. Add into all that moving cross country is expensive, I knew I had to get cash flowing and that is earned income.
Trust me on this, it turned out to be a real 'bull manure' situation when I was already qualified for this job doing double duty as the brain stormer, and the secretary putting the actual planning and presentations together at which time my boss would "pitch" them to the next level up along with clients, then take/get all the credit for them and shine brighter than any brand spanking new penny. At the time, it never dawned upon me to maybe put a little sabotage or subterfuge in on it at all because .....
YOU CAN'T FIX STUPID ~ yes I was bright and I was smart and I was stupid PLUS additionally way too stupid to 'play dirty' at the time. In hindsight (now), after a mostly lived lifetime ~ I see where 'you can't fix stupid' ~ only 'stupid can fix stupid'.
YOU CAN OWN UP ~ So many times folks don't own up to their part in their poor outcome decision making. I was 'stupid' and this entire experience gave me a 'life lesson' which I must have needed to bring with me me into my own future. I fully own up to all my various 'stupid(s)' of then.
Needless to say my planned housing fell through because it was a bit more expensive than what my current secretarial position was going to allow me to upkeep. Thankfully, yes I had known where I wanted to move in to, but hadn't signed the lease. Thankfully, I had been staying with Mr. & Mrs. T in their spare bedroom. They were old timers. Mr. T had been a war buddy with a dear old timer family friend from back home.The dear old timer family friend from back home had helped me out by making this arrangement.
Double thankfully, Mr. and Mrs. T did validate and add to my thought process about keeping the secretarial position and trying not to make a fuss. Mr. and Mrs. T were both Texas born natives and they were aware of how the business culture worked in that area of Texas. I trusted them but I also knew I couldn't impose in the long-term, taking up space in their spare bedroom, so on and so forth. Also, I didn't entirely 'free-load' either, I was giving them $35 a week to help toward the groceries and I was also helping with the cooking, cleaning my own room, doing my own laundry. You have my permission to laugh because in this day and age $35 per week would be very close to a 'free-load'. Not back then! Thankfully, I had met my moving van and had my household goods put into a storage unit until I could get fully situated.
MISS BOBBIE ~ I don't think we spoke "Ms." in the 1970's quite yet ~ I believe it was "Miss". Bobbie was also a secretary in the firm, she was in her early thirties, very good looking, 'whip smart'. Miss Bobbie was actually a former "Mrs." ~ She was a divorced mother of one child. She practically adopted me immediately. Miss Bobbie knew everything about everybody and everything about everything mostly without being a 'smarty pants show off' about it.
Instinctual me knew being friends with Miss Bobbie could be a very two way information highway. Anything I told her, she could be prone to pass along. I made a mental note ~ "NEVER, NO MATTER WHAT COMPLAIN ABOUT WORK, MY ANGER OR SAY ANYTHING NEGATIVE ABOUT MY BOSS OR THE COMPANY ~ EVER."
Here's the thing, I am convinced Miss Bobbie never intended anyone harm, her knowledge was her power and she liked folks to know she had knowledge. (Perhaps, maybe, I don't really know ~ to show she had some empowerment??) Looking back to then from today, basically, I think Miss Bobbie was the very epitome of the Texas "Good Hearted Woman".
I am also convinced her reasons for adopting me (besides me being a fresh source of news and information to gather from) were several fold. Her ex-husband had money, had his own power and took their friends in the divorce. Her school friends other than reunions didn't want an attractive divorced school friend around their own husbands. Bobbie also had a genetically bad heart for which she had several operations. Medically her heart problems curtailed or quieted her social life activities. That is to say no adult beverages, no Texas dance halls, a limited time outside in any heat at barbecue functions or around a swimming pool or any of that. Miss Bobbie was lonesome to have a gal friend who could go to the movies, have lunches with her on some weekends, and maybe an hour of store shopping. Miss Bobbie was exceptionally lonely the weekends her child was with her ex-husband too.
SALADO, TEXAS ~ MISS BOBBIE GETS ME A RENTAL HOUSE ~ Often, Bobbie would take me to lunch at this lovely country club located in Salado. Sometimes we would go looking around some few shops they had there. At the time there seemed to be...oh how can I describe it? ~ a beginnings of an artistic colony, artists, artisans sort of combined with some pride of Texas history. It had promise as an ambiance of people who liked to think, converse, relate, interact...it felt like sort of a welcoming there. I would tell Bobbie how every time we come to Salado, I feel like I can 'breathe again' and how wonderful it would be to live in Salado.
Well, Miss Bobbie said she had some family folks (direct relatives or friends of relatives?) who had a house there, it hadn't been lived in for about 10 years. It was a very old house she said, it had originally been built probably around the late 1850's. We drove and wound around paved country roads until there was a turn off to a gravel road that wound in, felt like two good miles until we came upon a sweet old white house and met up with an older man from 'the family'. <---- I sorta recall many of the roads were 'stick straight' and then a person would come upon a sweeping banked curve. I believe it was in my nature to play just a little "A.J. Foyt" with that!
Off to the side of the house there was a grove of trees, some snarly, others less snarly, directly across the gravel driveway in front of the house was a kind of an overgrown bushy bushes place. Facing the house to the right side between the house and that stand of trees was an open space to look out to and see green meadows/pastures. It was really country. I love 'really country'. The inside of the home while dusty was actually very clean. It was like it had been freshly painted before having been vacated, with new kitchen linoleum and new kitchen counters. The house was tight as in no sign of critters (mice or spiders, other bugs) having been in the kitchen cupboards or drawers. The refrigerator was in like brand new condition although it appeared to be about 10 years old, the same for the stove, never used and about 10 years old. I have a very vague recollection of both the refrigerator and stove having some kind of Sears related appliance sticker.
The most significant thing would turn out to be cowboy boot (heels?) dents in the wooden floor throughout the rest of the home. I had asked what are those indentations? The wooden floor had lost any semblance of luster a long ways back. Thinking of today's day and age, I can tell you with no doubt, they were original wooden floors when wooden floors were really wooden floors and while I can't quite recall if the 'family man' said OAK or not, could very well have been.
The 'family man' asked me "Are you a big partyer?" ~
"Oh! No way am I a big partyer"
He said, "I tell you what, put the electric in your name and as long as you don't have any big parties out here, you can rent this house, for free."
I ask, "What exactly do you mean by big parties?"
He said, "We just don't want no teenagers, under age drinkers or of age drinkers partying and raising hell out here. And none of that marijuana stuff either, it is illegal."
I say "I understand that, but it is OK to have company, friends over to barbecue, for dinner that kind of stuff?"
"Oh sure" the 'family man' says.
" SO, for free, what's the catch?"
"No catch." says he.
"We got ourselves a deal." I reach my hand out and we shake on it. (Economically minded me, the ability to save money up was important.)
I tell the man "first things first, I got the paper, we have to sit down and draw me a map on how to get in and thereby back out of this place."
I get the electric hooked up in my name. I'm working on arrangements to get a telephone put in. There's some type of problem with the telephone company needing to check if they have the equipment in that area that carries a telephone line in. I tell the telephone company, at one time who knows back when, it looks to me there was telephone service because they is a way old looking remnant that says a phone was once hooked up.
I end up moving in on I am now thinking it was a Wednesday night. There's no telephone yet. While I was at work on Wednesday 'family man' had come and had checked and run all the water faucets, something about making sure the well was working and cleaning all the pipes??? The place sure wasn't on any city/village water if the city/village even had that kind of department. I did not know. <---- The 'family man' may have worked on that water thingy on Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday, I simply can't remember now! Also to the very best of my recollection, I don't recall this place being in the 'village proper' ~ it was 'OUT IN THE COUNTRY' close by to Salado, Texas.
I have my 'get by' suitcase. I have Miss Bobbie and a couple of her guy friends in a pick-up truck (she rounded them up) following behind me. In Texas guy friends are not referred to as 'the guys' ~ they are 'fellows' or 'the fellows'. We had stopped at my storage unit and picked up my sofa and some boxes of bathroom goods, pillows, blankets to get me by until the weekend. My bed also came because it was on top/around the sofa. I knew I wasn't going to get it put together until the weekend. Miss Bobbie had enlisted their help to move the rest of my household furniture on Saturday morning.
There's still some daylight, but when the daylight is gone, it's pitch blacker than any mine shaft has got to be....it is pure blackness. I had prepared with light bulbs even though I was shocked at how dark it was out there. The fellows had a ladder. I had the fellows putting in light bulbs, the very first one had to go on my porch. Miss Bobbie also put them to work doing the high dusting, as much high dusting as she could possibly cajole them into simultaneous with their light bulb duty. The fellows unloaded the sofa, the box springs, mattress, head & foot board, the few boxes and they all left.
The bath tub did have a shower, I took a quick refreshing shower, hung the towel up, located my pajamas, a pillow and a thin blanket headed for the sofa. The front door of the house was divided. It was glass window at the top, (about half of the door) and wood at the bottom. I left the porch light on for some comfort and conked out into a deep sleep. Thursday morning I took a quick shower, grabbed the towel I had hung up from the night before and promptly experienced a 'stinging situation'. I think I remember thinking or saying "What the hell is this?" It turned out to be five small stinging scorpions. I had no bad allergy or repercussions or ill affects from the stings other than they hurt like heck. I was way more simply just horrified! Miss Bobbie told me at work later they were probably drawn out because of the moisture in the towel. I recall Miss Bobbie putting some Aloe Vera on my stings in the office bathroom. All the stings were on my back. How lucky was that? However I don't recall Miss Bobbie having an answer on how I could make sure to get rid of them scorpions.
I remember I told Miss Bobbie I come from Southern people. While they are not Texas people, they tend to watch for signs as in birds, animals, reptiles, critters. They pay attention to nature. I told her these scorpions are in no way a good sign. "This can't be good, this can't be good."
THE GHOST ~ Thursday night, I stopped and got me some Church's fried chicken and headed home. I had made sure to leave that porch light on. Oh it was a welcome light, a welcome sight in the darkness. I ate my chicken, bedded down on the sofa, conked out again.
To work on Friday, I had Monday approved as a day off. This way I could get all my stuff Saturday morning, use the entire weekend to unpack, put away and 'nest'. I didn't have my kitchen things yet, so while I can't recall the name of the place, I ate at one of those 'all you can eat' buffet places. The porch light is another welcome greeting upon arrival home. I have a recollection of being very happy, very excited that I didn't have to go to work on Monday and I could get my 'moving and nesting' done. Once again, I conk out on the sofa ~ only this time something woke me up. I know it had to be well after midnight and well before daylight. I am feeling totally uneasy. I know something woke me up, I don't know what it is that woke me up....until.....
I see the man looking in the window of my front door. He is standing on my front porch. I am petrified as frozen with fear. He is not only a stranger, he looks very very strange. He has a smile that to me looks like a leer or an opened mouth sneer. That smile came across to me as being more menacing than friendly and he is on my porch. I can see the teeth in his mouth and plainly they look in bad shape, like he's chewed a lot of tobacco or snuff. He has a scruffy dark beard with a scruffy mustache. I can even tell underneath that scruffy beard, his cheekbones are what you would call 'gaunt' or 'sunk in'. He has dark eyes and dark bushy hairy eyebrows.
"What the hell is he wearing?" ~ He's wearing a Confederate Civil War Uniform, I recognize the hat, I recognize the coat. Where one of the buttons is supposed to be on the coat, it is absent with some kind of rip or tear in the fabric there. The first scream that only my mind hears is when I realize that up by his right shoulder I can see right through him. The second scream that only my mind hears because my vocal chords as well as my body are in a state of frozen is about four inches from the bottom of the window his coat, HE ends as in there is NOTHING THERE! ~ NOTHING AT ALL! ~ Even at this point, he is still standing right there leering/sneering/smiling at me. My brain finally kicked into gear. Over and over again I began to chant, "'you can't come in, you can't come in, you're not welcome here, the Lord is my Shepherd" ~ seriously, in all seriousness, I said that at least 10 times before he then vanished right before my very eyes.
I stay awake the entire rest of the night until there is bright daylight outside. I retrieve my watch from the bathroom, it's after 7:30 AM. I get into my car and I drive to Miss Bobbie's apartment. I tell her my story. She is wide eyed, big eyes. I tell her, "No, I can't live there anymore." ~ Miss Bobbie calls the fellows and they go out and pick up all my stuff and meet me back at my storage unit. I put my suitcase, blanket and pillow into my car. The rest of the stuff goes back into the unit. I tell Miss Bobbie, I need to find another place to live today and ask if 'the fellows' will be able to help me move it later in the evening or on Sunday if I can find a place. Oh I found a place that Saturday right near Belton, Texas. It had been recently remodeled. It was in a safe neighborhood where there was some street traffic and lighting. I got moved, I got settled, I went to bed about 4:00 PM Sunday afternoon and did not wake up until 9:30 Monday morning.
THE AFTERMATH ~ Whatever the situation, hold your head up and go about your business ~ I canceled the electric in my name on Monday. I canceled the order for telephone service. I called the 'family man' to let him know I wouldn't be living at his house in Salado. He was not 'unkind' ~ he didn't want to hear my story at all, so he kept it a short call, he didn't ask me any questions whatsoever probably because Miss Bobbie had already given him an earful or a couple ears full. Tuesday morning I got to the office. OH YES! Miss Bobbie had given the entire office some ears full. Did I ever get 'the looks'! In a couple of cases, truly I got both 'the looks' and 'the snorkels'. It was AWFUL! As a human being in some situations, all one can do is hold their head up and go about their business which is exactly what I did. IT WAS HARD, but I did it.
THE FURTHER AFTERMATH ~ Eventually, I found a better job and did move on. It was quite some distance away. Miss Bobbie cajoled me back to that country club in Salado to eat and see some Rolls Royce vehicles that had a special exhibit there that particular weekend. We'd stay a little bit in touch here and there, and eventually it declined unto a Christmas card once a year.
Some years passed (can't remember how many, thinking at least two years) ~ Miss Bobbie calls me out of the blue. "You will never guess what" she says.
"I'll never guess what about what?" I ask
"You aren't crazy, you probably really did see a ghost." chirps Miss Bobbie
"Bobbie, I love you ~ did I ever backpedal to you on what I saw? Now what's going on?"
"They are clearing that property, and they will be tearing down the house. They found a small graveyard, a cemetery right across the gravel drive in those bushes. There are some pretty old graves there, definitely some are back to the Civil War era or beyond that." <--- ( I believe Miss Bobbie said 'tearing down' ~ please do note that Salado, Texas is not known for 'tear downs' but saving any historical properties they can.)
"How could anybody forget about cemetery plots?"
"It happens sometimes, people die off before they have passed the information down to their relatives."
"Why are they clearing this property?"
"They are planning some kind of development there, I don't know if it's a housing subdivision or other development."
"Thanks for letting me know, this is really kind of you."
"You got to admit, it was pretty crazy sounding at the time wasn't it?"
"Yes it sure was except I knew I had seen a ghost and I sure wasn't sticking around for a second meeting, that is for sure."
OH SWEET VALIDATION ~ It is always helpful.
EXTRA INFORMATION ~ This personal ghost story is the only ghost story I have ever heard told about seeing an apparition so very clearly when a light was on. My porch light was on. I am positive of this.
Sadly Miss Bobbie had one final massive heart attack that took her away well before her 40th birthday.
I didn't keep or don't have any record of that house/property address in Salado, Texas where I had my first unknown ghost experience.
Personally, I do not 'ghost hunt' or 'seek out ghosts' nor do I berate folks who do. I'm convinced it's not a really good idea for teenagers specifically to go ghost seeking. I don't know what or how all this paranormal stuff works, but I do worry about whatever it takes for 'ghost seekers' to protect themselves from evil entities. I just think if I believe in Heaven and I believe in Hell and I believe in Angels, then I know there can be Demons too. I'm just thinking there is good and there is evil and there are ghosts who just like people who can be either/or. In most cases ghosts were once people.
I guess if it is important enough the ghosts will look me up, for all 'unknown to me' ~ 'stranger ghosts' out there ~ be specific as to what you want because while decades have passed, to this day I will 'shut you out' exactly like I did to my first unknown ghost. It feels good to have the freedom in 2012 to talk about my long ago ghost experience and not worry about what other folks think my mental status is or is not.
Obviously, I don't know what the correctly spelled written word for 'partyer' is.
THIS IS MY FIRST AND ONLY UNKNOWN GHOST STORY AND I'M STICKING TO IT!
History of Salado
Salado, Texas Wikipedia
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(edited/upgrade June 30, 2012)