Living with Spirits

Thanks to Toni from Virginia for sharing these stories with me!

Toni has had paranormal experiences her whole life.  Both sides of her family have psychic abilities, so she is used to regularly receiving communications from spirits.  Her earliest encounter happened when she was four years old.  At the time, she lived in a house on Long Island.  Built by a sea captain, it was always dark and creepy, no matter the weather.  One cloudy day, Toni was going up to the second floor via the staircase that led to the maid’s quarters when she heard a woman’s voice call out to her.

“Toni, Dear.  I need to talk to you.”

Toni paused on the stairs, searching for the woman.  The voice sounded like it came from close by, but there was no one around.  “What do you want to tell me?” Toni asked.

“Come upstairs to the attic,” the woman said.

Toni was not in the mood for this.  “Can we do this later?  I want to take a nap.”

The spirit of the woman did eventually come back to speak to Toni, but not until she was six years old.  Even as a young child, Toni was not afraid of spirits.  Her mother taught her to embrace her psychic abilities because it was a gift from God.

After her parents divorced, Toni went to live with her mother, Libby, in Cullowhee, North Carolina.  The house that they stayed in was built by Toni’s maternal grandfather, Joe.  A large house, it has an attic, four bedrooms, a parlor, dining room, living room, and a kitchen.  The house is located on Cherokee land and was constructed using the wood from her grandfather’s various lumber camps.  Over the years, many people have lived and died in this house, so it known to be haunted.

Sometimes Grandpa Joe’s spirit would drop by for a visit.  One time, Toni and her mother were sitting together in the living room.  Toni’s mother had been thinking about Grandpa Joe all day.  As she was sitting there, Toni distinctly heard a male voice inside her head say, “Tell Baby that I’m here, that I love her, and not to be worried.”

Toni said that Grandpa Joe had come through to her just then and that he had a message.  She then repeated the words back to her mother, who started crying.  “Baby” had been Libby’s childhood nickname.  Toni had not known that “Baby” was her grandfather’s nickname for her mother when she received the message.

Another day, Toni was sitting on the front steps having coffee when she heard her grandfather’s spirit calling for her mother from inside the house.  “Baby?  Baby?  Where are you?”

Toni answered him.  “Grandfather, it’s Toni.  Mom is out shopping.  She’ll be back later.”

“Okay.  Tell her that I was looking for her,” he said.  Then she felt his presence leave the house.  Toni let her mother know about Grandpa Joe’s visit when she got home.  Later that night, he came to visit her mother in a dream.

Toni liked to have sleepovers at her house when she was a teenager.  One night around nine o’clock, she and her girlfriends heard footsteps coming down the stairs.  No one else was home with them at the time and they didn’t see anyone standing there.  From the bottom of the steps they heard a female voice call out, “Toni, Dear.  It’s time to go to bed now.”  The spirit had a beautiful voice but did not make a physical manifestation.  The girls were so spooked that they were too afraid to stay inside the house.  Instead, they all went to sleep outside in their cars for the night.

During another sleepover, Toni and her friends decided to use a Ouija board.  Toni’s mother was not pleased with this, but she didn’t stop them from holding the séance.  She encouraged them to say prayers for protection though.  The spirit came through the board and told one girl that her boyfriend would have a car accident.  Later, the board flew off the bed and hit the window, breaking it.  Two months later, the girl’s boyfriend got into a terrible car accident just as the spirit had said.  Thankfully, he survived it.

Toni wasn’t the only one who had encounters with spirits in that house.  One evening, Toni’s mother, Libby, was relaxing in her bedroom.  Toni had left for a date and the house was quiet.  Libby could see the stairs from her bedroom.  She heard a woman in heels walking back up the stairs.

“Toni, is that you?” she called out, thinking her daughter had forgotten something.  When Toni didn’t answer, Libby knew that her daughter had left the house.  The footsteps continued up the stairs.  Even though Libby didn’t see anyone, she could smell lavender perfume in the hallway, which was not the kind of perfume that Toni wore.  The room grew cold and the family dog, Pepper, started barking.  It would seem that the female spirit walking around Toni’s grandfather’s house prefers to stay invisible.  Perhaps she is the one who opens the doors and windows, and messes with the lights, even when the house stands empty and the power has been shut off.

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Too Many Ghosts

Thanks to Jodee DeSimone from Grand Junction, Colorado for this story!  Jodee also shared some of the pictures that she had of her house and the surrounding neighborhood.

Old Dance Hall – Grand Junction, Colorado

There are many theories about what causes a haunting.  Some think a person’s immense unhappiness, unfinished business, or a refusal to detach from material objects can cause a soul to become earthbound.  Sometimes the circumstances surrounding the death, especially if it is sudden or particularly violent, may influence a spirit to stay behind.  In other cases, a spirit may not even be aware of the passage of time or that they have died.  Perhaps they may fear punishment for things that they have done or worry that they will be alone when they cross over.

Paranormal investigators, ghost hunters, Mediums, psychics, and other ghost fanatics are still trying to figure out what exactly causes a haunting and how to help spirits find peace.  Another answer they are seeking is why some places seem to attract more hauntings than others?  One possible reason is that certain areas may be portals for spirits to pass through during their travels.

Jodee DeSimone is a psychic Medium who lived in such a place for three years.  Built during the 1800s, the house was teeming with spirit activity.  It had three stories, but only two of them were accessible, as the entrance to the attic had been closed off by a previous owner.  All the bedrooms were located on one side of the house.  The house also had a creepy, unfinished basement where the family found a cat’s skeleton.

Possible Image of Little Girl Ghost, Anna

Two specific ghosts made their presence known to Jodee and her family.  One ghost was a little girl named Anna.  She liked to follow Jodee’s young granddaughter around.  The second ghost was a male who appeared as a tall, dark spirit wearing a top hat.  The little girl ghost, Anna, was afraid of him.  The tall man seemed to have some sort of control over the other spirits in the house as he would stop them from talking to Jodee whenever she tried to question them about why they were still there.

Things only became worse when the house next door to Jodee’s family was condemned and eventually knocked down.  The ghosts that were haunting that house moved into Jodee’s home.  Doors and cupboards would open and slam shut every night.  Lights would turn themselves on and off randomly.  The scents of coffee brewing, cigarette smoke, tobacco, and cooking would permeate the house at night, along with the echoes of ghostly conversations.  Sensing the spirits, the family dog would growl and bark throughout the night.

Close Up of Apparition by Christmas Tree

During their time in the house, the family was sick or got injured often.  Jodee even once felt someone push her off a chair while she was trying to hang a screen.  The house never stays rented for long.  Jodee has tried doing research on the house’s history, but is unable to find anything about its background.  For now, the reason for the hauntings remains a mystery.


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

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