My Favorite True Ghost Story

My Favorite Truly Ghostly Sky

Western sky after a close call with a tornado.
Western sky after a close call with a tornado. | Source

It seems that everyone has a ghost story. Some are so fantastic that they just don’t seem believable in the least. Some are intended to give you the creeps or to keep you awake at night. And of course there are the ghost stories that should be made into movies. I grew up in a family that scorned the notion of ghosts – or, at least, publicly we did so. I have no idea what my siblings think about the subject nowadays. Still, every now and then, along comes a story, a true event, that – even to someone who is basically very skeptical of ghosts – at the very least makes a person think; at most – well, I’ll leave it to you to decide what these stories do “at most.”

Setting the Stage for the Ghost Story

I was the designated driver – okay, I was the driver. It was my vehicle, and we had decided to carpool, because it only made sense. Our music club had taken a field trip to a destination an hour’s drive away. So two friends were in the car with me, and when we got back to our starting point Trina casually asked whether I were in a hurry to get anywhere.

My kids were at home with their Dad and I wanted to be polite, because obviously there was something on her mind, so I let her know that I could stay for a little while. She asked Yael the same thing – did she have a little time before she had to get home? – and asked her to tell me about her house. Trina hinted that something unusual had happened, and I was certainly curious to know what it was.

I had been inside Yael’s house once or twice. It was a lovely older home in the city – the long, narrow kind built between other long, narrow houses in a block where every inch of living space had been squeezed together as graciously as possible. Some Victorian style, I guess. I'm not sure what they’re called.

Yael and her husband were doing an excellent job of renovating the house, refinishing the beautiful floors and woodwork, painting the walls in those rich dark colors that were in vogue at the time. They clearly had good taste. I didn’t know much about the house; I didn’t even know at that time that they had only lived in it a relatively short period.

Slightly Unusual Happenings


So Yael began her narrative. I had no idea what to expect. She started first speaking in generalities, telling me that they had had some odd happenings there. Sometimes someone would be sitting in the family room downstairs, far away from the front door, and they would hear a sound as if someone had come in the house – but when they called out no one would answer. Sometimes it sounded like someone was walking out in the hall and the dog would start growling slightly, even though it was obvious that no one was there.

On at least one occasion – maybe more – when one of them was in the family room, the door from the hall into the room would open wider (sounds like the wind to me). That didn’t seem very significant until Yael mentioned that the door had always been difficult for anyone to push open because it would get hung up on the new deep-pile carpet. They really needed to shave a little wood off of the bottom of the door. On one of these occasions, the dog growled and hid behind the couch. The family started referring to this puzzling behavior as their “ghost.”

Big Deal. But the story was about to get more interesting.

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Ghostly Sounds at Night

From time to time there were noises at night. Sometimes Mr. or Mrs. PQ would wake up and hear someone playing pool in the attic upstairs above their bedroom. A pool table was up there, and the family did play occasionally, but not often. It seemed odd that one of them would play when everyone else was asleep.

Sometimes the sound even woke them up, or sometimes they would wake up for another reason and then hear it. It seemed usually to happen around two a.m. The parents figured that their kids had just had a late night and decided to relax a little bit before turning in, but they finally decided they had had enough and must confront the kids about it.

When they mentioned that it was just too noisy for the kids to play pool at 2:00 a.m. – and besides, they really should be in bed already! – the young people denied any knowledge of these events. Despite assurances that they were not in trouble and would not be punished for telling the truth, the kids insisted that they had nothing to do with the pool-playing sounds at 2:00 a.m. So everyone started paying attention to those sounds in a new way.


The Source of the Sounds?


Not too many days after the loudest pool incident, Yael was walking down one street in town, when she encountered the previous owner of the house, the widow who had sold it to them soon after her husband’s death. It was really just too much house for one person.

Mrs. X caught sight of Yael and they chatted. She asked how the family liked the house, and Yael told her that they really loved it. But she admitted there were occasionally some strange sounds and events they just couldn’t quite explain. She told about the door dragging across the carpet and the sounds of someone entering the house. And she told about the sounds of someone playing pool a little after 2:00 a.m. As she began to relate this, Mrs. X started to get a thoughtful, musing, pensive look on her face.

“That sounds like Horace,” she said. “Did you know that he owned the local pool parlor downtown, not terribly far from the house? They always closed at about 2:00 a.m. When he got home just a little bit after 2:00, he would often unwind by going up to the attic and shooting pool for a little while before he was ready to change clothes and turn in for the night.

“He absolutely loved that house. I was ready to sell it many times in the years before he died, but he simply refused; he told me he would never leave it. “ She shook her head. “I guess he was telling the literal truth!”

The Aftermath of the Meeting

The conversation lightened up somewhat after that, and Yael and Mrs. X went their separate ways. Not too many days afterward there was one more pool-playing incident, and then the sounds stopped altogether. Yael didn’t have any definitive explanation but, she said, she just imagined Mrs. X “talking” to her dead husband.

“She was a pretty imposing woman herself. Sort of a biker-gal, no-nonsense, take-it-or-leave-it type of person. I could just imagine her saying, ‘Horace, now you listen to me!! You’ve had your time in the house, and you got to enjoy it while you were here. But these people have bought the house now, and it is theirs. They have a right to enjoy it now, just the same as you did. It’s time for you to leave and stop bothering them! You get out of there, and go somewhere else!”

And Yael said, “If Mrs. X talked to me like that, I certainly would obey her!”

It was a great story, a fun story, and I have never known what to make of it. If I were the one reading this, I would enjoy the puzzle and wonder just exactly what happened. But I’m the one writing, and I was in that car while Yael was telling us her story. Out of all people on the earth that I would believe about this, she is probably at the top of the list. She’s one of the most level-headed, down-to-earth, intelligent people that I’ve known personally, and I would believe her first-hand report of her personal experience a lot sooner than I would believe many newspaper accounts, historical books, and scientific reports. That’s just the kind of person she is.

I still don’t know, and may never know, just how her experience fits in with the things I believe about life on earth, death, and the hereafter.

But I also have a ghost story of my own, which you can read here.

What do you believe?

Do you believe Yael's house was actually haunted by the ghost of the former owner?

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More: What do you believe?

Do you believe the former owner's widow was responsible for making the odd sounds stop?

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Comments 20 comments

Aficionada profile image

Aficionada 3 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

I'll watch for those hubs. They sound intriguing!


annart profile image

annart 3 years ago from SW England

Thanks Aficionada! I'm sorry you ended up with 3 comments roughly the same; I thought they hadn't registered as I was away and the signal there is iffy in the extreme; I wasn't impatient, just keen to make sure I'd left a comment! Yes, I'll think about writing a hub about the experiences. Ann


Aficionada profile image

Aficionada 3 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

Thanks for your comments, annart! I'm sorry for my delay in responding - I have been taking an extended leave of absence from Hubpages. I hope you have written down some of your parents' "interesting experiences"! This is a good time of year to share them. :) I'll be sure to check out your Hubs.


annart profile image

annart 3 years ago from SW England

I did leave a comment on this before but for some reason it didn't register! Great story. I love the wife coming back to tell him to stop pestering them and he obeyed! I believe in ghosts; my father and his mother had interesting experiences and I too have had a couple of incidents which are difficult to explain. Always keep an open mind, I say! If nothing else, the stories are always great to listen to and also wonderful for starting conversations. Up & interesting.


annart profile image

annart 3 years ago from SW England

I believe in having an open mind. I 've had a couple of weired experiences which lead me to believe in ghosts and I know my father and his mother have had experiences too; maybe it runs in families! I like the way the wife tells him off and he does as he's told! Great story. You're right that the fun is in listening to the stories and in the discussion they generate. (I actually left a comment here before but it obviously didn't register for some reason, sorry.)


annart profile image

annart 3 years ago from SW England

Great story! I do believe in ghosts; my father and his mother had a few weired experiences and they were down-to-earth, practical people. I, too, have experienced a few unexplained events so I remain open-minded. Besides, the stories are always wonderful even if they are sometimes creepy or downright scary!


Aficionada profile image

Aficionada 4 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

Thanks for reading, Surabhi Mandrekar! I find more and more unusual events that seem to point to some sort of ghostly existence, but I still don't know what to believe. It does provide a lot of interesting discussion to try to puzzle it out, though, doesn't it?


Surabhi Mandrekar 4 years ago

Yeah i belive in this story.................Its Quite Scary ..................................................................

And i deeply belivng in Ghost.......

GHOST ARE EXISTED AND I REALIZED THAT..................


Aficionada profile image

Aficionada 5 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

Thanks, AliciaC! I like your perspective - that we still have a lot to learn. It seems that every time we humans think we know it all, along comes something totally unexpected to open up our horizons even more.


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

I enjoyed your story! I like to keep a very open mind when reading about ghosts, because we still have a lot to learn about the universe and the nature of reality.


Aficionada profile image

Aficionada 5 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

Thanks, habee! This has been a favorite for me to retell, ever since I first heard it.


habee profile image

habee 5 years ago from Georgia

Very nicely done!


Aficionada profile image

Aficionada 6 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

Thanks, Camlo! I have enjoyed your writing too. Thanks for stopping by.


camlo profile image

camlo 6 years ago from Cologne, Germany

Hi Aficionada!

I enjoyed reading this. And it did make me shiver.

Yes, I believe this story, and you've told it very well.

All the best, Camlo


Aficionada profile image

Aficionada 6 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

What a nice thing to say, lorlie6! Thank you so much! I hope you were able to sleep okay (lol) after reading this. It is one of the most fascinating stories I have ever heard.


lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 6 years ago from Bishop, Ca

And I just HAD to read this just before hitting the sack! I really do believe in spirits of the deceased, so this doesn't sound at all 'out there' to me.

Aficionada, you write beautifully, by the way-this was a pleasure to read.


Aficionada profile image

Aficionada 6 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

Thank you for the compliment! I think my perspective is probably very similar to yours. For the most part, I really don't "believe in" ghosts, but I am curious. And then, along comes some situation that makes me think "I wonder.....," or maybe even just "HUH??"


De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK

Personally I don’t believe in ghosts. Except at night, when I am alone. And your story is quite pleasingly well written if I my say so.....:-)


Aficionada profile image

Aficionada 6 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

Thanks for reading, Wrath! I enjoyed hearing the story originally, and I've enjoyed sharing it with a number of people through the years.


Wrath Warbone profile image

Wrath Warbone 6 years ago from Cleveland, Ohio

Chilly. Funny too. Well written. Thanks much.

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