The Ghost Chase

I had quite a few ghostly encounters during my years at the College of Mount Saint Vincent in Riverdale, NY.  Given the college was founded in the late 1800s, this was not extremely surprising and even somewhat expected when staying in the older buildings.  However, this time I was spooked in Alumnae Hall.  Alumnae Hall was built in 1965.  For most of my years at the Mount, it was the newest dormitory on campus.  So, I honestly didn’t expect to see a ghost there, especially since I had lived in that building in my freshman year and hadn’t experienced any paranormal phenomena.  There had been a few strange moments late at night, but never anything definitive that I could identify.

Now, it was the summer of 2005.  I had finished my sophomore year and I was an Orientation Leader.  Aside from decorating the bulletin boards, preparing Orientation packets for new students, and devising Ice Breaker activities, we had to help with getting the dorms ready for the incoming future students.  Just before everyone arrived, we were supposed to do a check of the rooms to make sure that they were ready.

The students were scheduled to come the next day.  I decided to make the rounds early to get it out of the way.  I started down my side of the floor, peeking into each of the rooms.  Everything seemed in order.  Then I turned the corner.

A young woman stood with her back facing toward me.  Her wavy, auburn hair fell to about her waistline.  I noted her bell bottom jeans, which had made a comeback at the time.  “Excuse me,” I called out.  “Who are you?”  She didn’t answer me, but instead started walking briskly away.  I followed behind, calling for her to stop.  No matter how fast I went, she always seemed to be a few feet ahead of me.

We reached the end of the hallway and she ducked into the last room across from the stairs.  “Hey, come back!  You can’t be in there!” I said knowing that I was going to have to confront this person now.

I entered the room.  “…And you’re not here,” I said aloud.

The room was completely empty.  I closed the door and checked every place that someone could hide.  No one was under the bed or in the closet.  I also looked out the window, even though they were closed and it was a far jump to the ground floor.  No one was there.  I had run in right behind her, so she hadn’t had any chance of getting out without me seeing her.

Standing there in that empty room, I thought back to the details of the young woman.  Long hair, bell bottom jeans, and I had never seen her face even when she turned into the room.  No one on staff fit that description.  I checked with security, but nobody like that had been admitted into the building either.  It was like she had appeared out of thin air and just as quickly vanished again.  She is still one of the most detailed apparitions that I have ever witnessed.

If you have a real ghost story that you would like to share with The Ghost Post, send an email with your contact information to Tara Theresa Hill at theghostpostreporter@gmail.com to set up an interview. 

I’m always in the mood for a good ghost story! 

 

 

 

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Stay in Bed

Age eleven to thirteen was a time of great upheaval for me.  My maternal grandfather passed away and my parents separated shortly after.  I switched schools first for bullying issues and then because my mother and I moved to the Bronx so that we would be closer to her store.  That very same summer, my mother’s sister, Roseanne, was diagnosed with lung cancer.  My first week of Junior High school ended with her funeral.

Aunt Roseanne and I were always close.  She knew the type of clothes and toys that I liked.  She was one of the adults that actually listened to what I said when I talked.  She encouraged me in school, listened to my dreams, supported my love for imaginary play, and was always affectionate with me and my mother.  We were heartbroken when she died.

A few months after her passing, I was sitting in my room working on a short story when I suddenly caught the scent of her perfume.  This was not a flowery fragrance that can be mistaken for a scented candle or an air spray.  Aunt Roseanne always wore Chanel #5.  It was such a distinct aroma that I actually stopped what I was doing and spoke her name aloud.

Of course there was no answer, but it had broken through my concentration.  Now completely spooked and seeing how late it was, I decided to get ready for bed.  I didn’t mention the incident to my mom because this had happened to me before.

When my grandfather had first passed away a year earlier, I had smelt his cologne in the downstairs lobby of our apartment building when there was no one around.  The aroma had been centered around my person, not wafting through the hallway, as it would have been if someone wearing the cologne had passed by.  I had been so depressed over my grandfather’s death that mom had brought me to a grief counselor for a few sessions.  When I discussed this event with the counselor, she said that it was common for family members to experience this kind of phenomena after someone’s death.

Smell is one of the most powerful memory triggers.  A grieving person might believe that they smell a specific scent that they associate with their loved one because that soul could be trying to alert them to their presence.  However, some other schools of thought believe that it is actually the memory itself that is triggering the illusion of the aroma.  Growing up in a family that believes in the paranormal, I never discounted the possibility that my grandfather’s spirit could have been visiting me.  I was not consciously thinking of either my grandfather or my aunt at the time that I experienced these phenomena.  Each time the experience caught me off guard and happened when I was alone.

After I went to bed the night that I smelled Aunt Roseanne’s perfume, I felt anxious.  The event had been unsettling.  I sat up, ready to go get my mother, but something told me to stay in bed.  Lying back down, I tried to go to sleep, but couldn’t.  Again, I desired to get up.  This time, I thought I heard a soft voice say, “Stay in bed.”  Two seconds after closing my eyes, there was a loud crash.

Mom rushed into my room.  Pieces of my ceramic ceiling lamp littered the floor.  My desk chair was positioned directly under this lamp.  A half hour earlier, I had been sitting there when I had smelled my Aunt Roseanne’s perfume.  After the mess was cleaned up and I was back in bed, I told mom about the earlier phenomena and then the voice urging me to stay in bed.  Mom and I still believe that Aunt Roseanne’s spirit protected me that night.

If you have a real ghost story that you would like to share with The Ghost Post, send an email to Tara Theresa Hill at theghostpostreporter@gmail.com to set up an interview. 

I’m always in the mood for a good ghost story! 

The Girl in the Corner

Thanks to Stephanie and her sister, Liz, for this story!

One night, Stephanie woke up to see a little girl sitting by her closet door.  The apparition had straight black hair with one wisp covering part of her face.  She wore a homemade cotton dress and looked to be about seven years old.  The ghost girl sat staring motionless and silent in the corner of the room.  Figuring that she was dreaming, Stephanie turned over and went back to sleep.

When she was fifteen, Stephanie moved into another room in the house and her younger sister, Liz, took her old room.  Liz was about eight or nine years old then.  Stephanie didn’t say anything about the girl in the room because she thought it was just a strange reoccurring dream and didn’t want to frighten her sister over something silly.

Many years later when they were both adults, the two sisters were talking and Stephanie happened to mention the odd dreams that she used to have as a kid.  Liz turned to her sister.

“You mean you saw her too?”

No one knows who the little ghost girl is or where she came from.  She always appears in the same corner.  To the family’s knowledge, she has not shown up in any other room in the house. Perhaps she is a recording that is attached to that one area since Stephanie’s room is a part of the original building.  Or, maybe that is where she is able to draw the most energy to manifest.  One would hope that her spirit is not still trapped there alone, after all of these years.

 

The Terrifying Night Specter

Thanks to my friend, Gary, for this story!

When Gary was nineteen years old, he got a job bartending at a gay bar in Perth Amboy, New Jersey called The Other Half.  The owner, Jimmy, lived in a three-bedroom apartment above the bar.

One night, Gary stayed over after work.  Jimmy warned Gary that his apartment was haunted.  Gary wasn’t too surprised at this.  Jimmy had an impressive collection of 1920s and 1930s artwork.  It was possible that if the building itself wasn’t haunted, perhaps there was a spirit attached to one of the paintings.  Jimmy told Gary that he should keep a bowl of water next to the bed to help ward off any malevolent spirits.  Thinking it best to follow his boss’ advice just in case the house really did have ghosts, Gary filled a bowl with water and placed it on the table by his bed.

Sometime in the night, Gary opened his eyes to see a ghost standing at the foot of his bed.  Although fully awake, Gary was unable to move or make a sound.  The phantom radiated anger as it crept toward where Gary lay.  Gary’s heart thudded in his ears as it drew closer and closer.

Still unable to speak, Gary screamed inside of his head in desperation, “I HAVE THE WATER!” 

Instantly, the ghost changed direction.  Gary stared as the spirit went to his bedside table and vanished into the bowl of water.  Finally able to move, Gary leapt out of bed and left the room.  He never stayed over his boss’ house again.

 

Phantom Footsteps in the Chapel

Thanks to my husband, George, for this story about a haunted monastery in Connecticut!

Author’s Note: I have purposely not included the name of the monastery to protect the organization’s privacy.

Every fall, George goes to a professional conference that is held in a monastery in Connecticut.  Built in the 1950s, the monastery resides in a residential area on a property surrounded by woods.  It’s the type of place where you expect Big Foot to come lumbering out of the forest.  A labyrinth, statues of Mary, and the Stations of the Cross adorn the grounds.  All of his colleagues have reported odd sensations or strange experiences during their stays at the monastery.  Although a place of prayer that also rents out its rooms for various retreats, the monastery has a slightly unsettling atmosphere that can become eerie, especially after dark.

Most of the rooms in the monastery are small and include twin beds, a desk, and a crucifix adorning the wall.  George told me that one coworker had a spooky experience where she couldn’t sleep because she felt like someone was in her room watching her.  She has refused to stay overnight for the conference ever since.

One conference a few years back, George had arrived earlier than everyone else.  Like most Coed dormitories, the men and women’s rooms are kept separated from one another.  Being the only male that had arrived thus far, George was the sole occupant on his floor at the time.  He decided to set up his poster for the upcoming session that evening.

On the second floor is an old, masonic-style chapel with wooden chairs lining both sides of the room.  The chapel has two entrances that make it possible to use the room as a way to cut across to the other side of the building without having to go the long way around.  George carried his poster to the showroom without incident.  On the way back, he decided to take the short cut through the chapel.

It was a cloudy, rainy day.  The overhead electric lights were off and the illumination coming from the windows was dim at best.  As George was walking, he suddenly became aware of footsteps following him in the chapel.  “Click clack, click clack,” went the steps.  George was wearing sneakers, so he knew it wasn’t his shoes making the noise.  He paused and the sound of footsteps continued for a few seconds before fading away.  George had felt the presence of someone walking behind him, but turning around, saw that no one was there.  No one else had arrived for the conference yet.  After a few moments, George continued on his way, but thankfully didn’t hear the phantom footsteps again.

George is not one to spook easily and unlike me, he doesn’t purposely seek out ghosts, cemeteries, or haunted places.  He doesn’t have much interest in the paranormal.  Nevertheless, since this occurrence, George only uses the chapel as a shortcut when he is with a group of people.