There are some people who seem to attract the paranormal. They have a lifetime of incidents both intriguing and sometimes terrifying that they can refer to on any given subject of the unexplained. Be it ghostly hauntings, demonic influence or oppression, UFO encounters, or even cryptozoological sightings.
Rachel was that type of girl, and she had a wide variety of experiences with various entities since a young child. I met her last year at a business meeting, when by chance I mentioned my appreciation for unexplained phenomena. She was a waitress who had overheard a conversation between a colleague and myself on the subject of local hauntings. She was serving our lunch and as she laid the last platter on the table she could not help but stand there and listen. After a few moments she weighted in on the subject.
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“You know I could tell you so many things.” She said haltingly, “must be because our town is built on an old Indian village or something but there are so many things I’ve seen around here. In fact there’s a ghost of a little girl that was harassing me, she was making my life miserable for months.” She was going to explain but as the restaurant was filled, duties called her away. When she came again to fill our coffee I handed her my business card and asked her to write me of her experiences. It took her a few months, but she did finally write and not only was it quite lengthy, the encounters that she related in the e-mail were quite dramatic and terrifying.
Her experiences with the paranormal began when she was a young child. She grew up in an old farmhouse in Elgin Pa. She would often wait for the school bus alone on the dirt road in front of her house, and one early twilight morning as she stood in the stacked snow that had just been plowed to the edge of the road she saw something across the field. At first it was just a dull dark shape that seemed to be shifting in the driven snow, but it grew in density and purpose as it seemed to make its way to her bus stop. As it neared the ridge of snow piled on the opposite side of the road the shape distinctly looked like that of an old lady trudging through the new deep snow, and young Rachel was just about to run across the street and offer her assistance when the shape just blinked out of existence. But before it did so, the young girl was sure it was an old lady- she even saw the polka dotted scarf that covered her hair and the tattered grey jacket very clearly. She remembers the sight to this day. As the bus came moments later, she sat on a seat facing where she last saw the old woman, but all she saw was flat snow covered farm fields without a person in sight as far as the eye could see.
The incident lever left the poor girls mind. She told her parents but they assured her that she has just been seeing things, but in the back of her mind she was sure that it was a real old lady out there wandering the field. She had the distinct impression that the woman was lost.
It was a few weeks later during an intense snow storm that Rachel was looking out at the falling snow from her second story bedroom window when once again she saw something move in the field. The small dark blob was barely visible but the child knew in her heart what it was, the old woman was once again roaming the field aimlessly. Quickly she put on her coat and boots and ran outside to the filed across the road. There a about a hundred feet from the roadside she did once again see the same old lady in the polka dot scarf and beaten grey jacket. She seemed to wearily tread with a hesitant gate as if about to collapse from exhaustion.
“Lady!” Rachel yelled to the figure loudly as she climbed the five foot high mound of snow at the edge of the road, “Are you lost? Do you need help to go home?”
The figure stopped for a while but the elderly woman did not turn to look.
“My mommy and daddy can help you find your way home! Come with me and we’ll get you home safe, ok?” She cried out as she stood on top of the plowed snow.
But the lady was gone.
She ran back up to where she had left her but there was no sign as to where she might have gone. Even after climbing the snow pile and having a panoramic view of the countryside she saw no hint of where the old woman. Confused and a bit frightened she ran home and told her parents of what had just transpired. They were very angry at her for going out alone in the storm without telling anyone but were worried about her story of the old lady as well.
The problem was that they knew all the neighbors in the nearby farms and none of them were elderly or had visiting relatives that they knew about. Nevertheless the mother called the neighbors to see if they knew anything about this wandering geriatric while the father went into the field to investigate. Neither of which turned up any clue as to who this elderly woman might be, or where she had ventured off to. In fact the father found no footprints of the woman in the freshly falling snow, but his little daughters were visible yet lightly covered. They were sure that Rachel was once again the victim of her own overactive imagination and dismissed it.
That is until unexplainable things began to happen around the house. One morning the mother awoke to find that all of the dishes had been rearranged in the cupboards. The doors were still locked and there was no sign of a forced entry, never mind the fact that it would be highly odd for anyone to break into a person’s house just to play such a weird practical joke. Stranger yet was that no one had heard anything, the dishes were in the right place the night before, but now they were arranged neatly in different positions without the slightest sound heard by anyone in the building.
One afternoon Rachel’s Mother had put a roast in the oven and went off to go shopping. On the way back home she picked up Rachel from school and when they arrived home she noticed the oven had been turned off. The range was still warm and the meat thermometer showed that the inside of the roast had started to cook, but something had turned off the oven. But no one had been home at the time.
Somewhere around this time when Rachel was downstairs she would catch a glimpse of something moving at the corner of her eye or shadows in the darkness. Her parents again dismissed it, but one night as she went into the kitchen to grab a cookie from the jar she saw the old lady standing at the sink, as if washing dishes. She froze in her tracks for a while and then slowly approached her. “What are you doing here?” she asked demanding an answer.The Old woman turned and Rachel saw that she was no longer the haggard old woman she had seen wandering the fields, instead she looked well rested and happy. With a smile the woman said, “Thank you so much for bringing me home.”
Confused and alarmed the child ran to the living room to fetch her mother, but once again when they came to the kitchen the lady was no longer there. Of course the family was alarmed and finally realized they had a haunting on their hands. The focal point seemed to be the kitchen. The unexplained incidents kept happening; rearrangement of items, lights turned off, water faucets turning themselves on, etc. The father mentioned it to a coworker one day and he was told a chilling story that would bring it all together. It seems that in the 1950’s a family had lived in the house where the Grandmother was in severe dementia. She would try to escape the confines of the house many times. Sometimes she would be found wandering the streets miles away trying to get to town to shop. One winter she simply disappeared in a very bad snow storm. They found her frozen body in the field across the house a few days later. She had died wandering aimlessly, just a few meters away from safety.
It seemed Rachel made contact with the grandmothers wayward spirit and invited it back to its home to rest. The activity continued in the old farm house, but the family just called it old Grandma Jones trying to do chores. It never went away in the years they lived there, but Rachel never saw the woman again.
While this experience with the paranormal was a bit alarming, it was nothing in comparison as to what she would endure as a young twenty something when she moved into a small country house with her boyfriend. It was a small two bedroom house just on the outskirts of Waterford Pennsylvania with a nicely groomed orchard in the backyard. Rachel and her boyfriend were engaged and hoped this snuggly cottage would be their perfect first house together. But soon Rachel found out something was terribly wrong with the place.
After a few day of living in the house Rachel was awoken in the middle of the night by the sound of a child crying. She got up from bed and checked the window to see if it was coming from outside, but the sound seemed to distinctly emanate from inside the building. There were a total of 7 rooms in the small house including the basement, but try as she might she could not pinpoint where the sound came from. After a time it grew fainter and fainter until she could no longer hear it.
Disturbed she tried to go back to sleep but it was to no avail, the memory of the agonized cry echoed in her mind. Within a few days there was another mysterious sound, she was alone in the house for a few hours and as she sat down to read in the late morning she once again heard the voice of a child. This time it was saying, ‘No’ repeatedly and with each utterance the voice seemed to become more desperate. Frantically Rachel once again searched the house but she found no child. The voice did seem to be localized in the spare room though, but she could not really tell for sure and within a few minutes the voice stopped its insistent protestations.
One of the most pronounced instance occurred when friends came to visit one night and they had brought along their pet German Shepard puppy. Sometime during the evening the dog had wandered into the spare room and within a few minutes the group heard it yelp in pain. They rushed in to find it writhing in pain on the floor with two horrible gashes cut across its abdomen. There was nothing or no one in the room that could have caused the injury. Their friends saw the wounds were deep and rushed it to the vet, who said it looked to have been made by a knife. But a knife wielded by whom? And why did it attack a small defenseless puppy. There were no other persons in the house at that time.
But Rachel knew something paranormal was happening and feared that the violence might not end with the dog. She called some friends who knew of a cleric who made blessings and removed curses from buildings. He was an independent Pastor of a loose group in the area. As soon as she was off the phone she went to the back door in order to do some yard work, but she froze with her hand on the door handle. Through the backdoor window she saw a figure in the backyard grimacing at her. It was a little girl with sharp pointed teeth, and no iris in her eyes. They were completely white and vacant. The girl walked in a hurried pace toward the house and Rachel screamed in terror and ducked around the hallway. Within seconds the house shook with a loud thump and as she looked back out the window the yard was empty.
The next day the Pastor came and made the blessings in every room of the house, and sprayed holy water and lit incense. As they pray, they all heard a small noise that Rachel thought sounded like the same ‘no’ that she had heard previously, but everyone else thought it might have just been the wind or another non descript noise. The blessings seemed to do the trick, for they never had any previous incidents in the house, although they only resided there for one year.
By Pastor Robin Swope, theparanormalpastor.blogspot.com