Personal Hauntings: My First Real Experiences With Ghosts
A Brush with Spirits in Marbury, MD
As a child, I most definitely believed in ghosts and the paranormal. Probably for the normal reasons that children believe in such stories, just as they believe in Santa and the Tooth Fairy. But there were other reasons why I believed in the paranormal, reasons that were justified by my experiences as a child and as an adolescent. Reasons that I have never once sat down to write about until now.
My first experience occurred when I was eleven years old. We moved into an one-hundred-year-old, three-story brick house in Marbury, Maryland. Before I get into the details of my experience, I have to describe to you the creepy, small town of Marbury. Marbury is a town that literally makes up a total of about 4 streets. Not very large, to say the least. The town has one post office and one gas station, but that is about it. When you first drive into Marbury, an overwhelming feeling of loneliness and dismay creeps into your mind, almost immediately, especially after you drive under the winding, old trees branching out over the roads. There is an old chimney standing erect and by itself in the woods with no house attached to it. Apparently the house had burned down years ago, leaving only the brick chimney and nothing was done to rebuild the home afterwards. And to add to this weird scenery, I almost always remember it being rainy or cloudy and overcast during our residency in Marbury.
There is a large area of forest behind the homes in Marbury, and if you follow a pathway behind that house into the oak and maple tree forest you will come to a beautiful and eerily quiet creek. Though it is beautiful, it still feels the same as the whole town of Marbury - cold and discomforting. I am still not sure why the town feels this way. So now I will describe the hundred-year-old creepy brick home complete with a dark cellar. The house was over a hundred years old when my mother, my brother and I moved into it. You walk into the front door and there is a staircase directly in front that goes up to the second floor. You can go to the left, where the living room was located or to the right, where there is a dining room and further to the right is the study. Once you are in the dining room, you can take a left and the kitchen is situated to the back of the house still holding it's original kitchen cabinets and farm-style, deep white sink. Even further to the back of the house, connected to the kitchen is the stairwell to the lowest level - the cellar. If you take the stairs up to the top level, you will see a room to the left and also a room directly to your right. Take a right and travel down the hallway, still beside the stairwell and there is the master bedroom to the left and fourth bedroom to the right. That fourth bedroom was mine and the bathroom was between those two rooms. The bedroom straight across from my room was my mother and stepfather's room. My brother was unfortunate and was stuck on the opposite end of the house in one of the back rooms on the upper level. He was stuck in the room opposite from the bedroom where I felt the most uncomfortable and had one of my many scary experiences.
After living in this house for about two years, my main bump-ins with spirits or energies would occur in the middle of the day and in the middle of the night. They were small and not terrifying occurrences, mainly just discomforting and gave me a creepy feeling that someone was watching me. I never felt fully comfortable and at ease in this house - it never felt like a home to me. The doors to the upstairs bedrooms would creak open and shut, without anyone being on that level. This would especially happen when I was reading or watching television in my bedroom. The cellar of the house was multi-functional and used for storage and as a laundry area. By this time I was expected to do my own laundry, so I had to brave the dark and cold basement on my own once a week. I remember running down the stairs to get to the laundry area of the basement always feeling like something was chasing me down the stairs. Then after I had slammed my laundry into the washer, I would jet back up the cellar stairs and fly into the kitchen. I absolutely loathed having to ever go into that cellar for any reason. Nothing in particular happened in the cellar, just that feeling of someone watching me or that someone was going to grab me.
All of these occurrences were nothing in comparison to what happened in that house when I had turned thirteen. I had two best friends, who were sisters, we will call them Jennifer & Theresa. Both girls were beautiful, curious and rebellious, and I wanted to be just like them. One day, while my two friends were visiting me in my house, Jennifer made mention that she had recently played a Ouija board with one of her other friends and found it to be quite exciting. We decided to make our own Ouija board, using a piece of cardboard for the text-board, a magic marker to write the letters, numbers and YES and NO, and a little shot glass as the planchette. To my dismay, the Ouija board experience turned out to be exciting and also terrifying. We used it about four times that day and each time we tried to communicate with a spirit, the same spirit would talk to us. The spirit called itself "Z". We thought that if we said goodbye to it and cleared out the board that we could get Z to go away and maybe speak to a nicer spirit. However, Z kept returning to talk to us. He only answered to questions - his name and how he died. The last time we used our makeshift Ouija board, it was the following day. By this point we all really thought we could use it again and that it was no big deal to play with the board. I have to be honest and say that I felt pretty reluctant and found myself trying to discourage the other girls from playing with it again. They decided to use the board one last time, and guess who showed up to talk to us? You guessed it, Z! The three of us were so freaked out by the experience that we ended up trashing the board and all of the items we used to make it. But this was not the end of the story.
Following our experience with the Ouija board and the unsettled spirit named Z, I started experiencing more and more paranormal presences. Doors were now opening and slamming louder than ever before, and my little brother became quite scared of the entire house. On one particular day, my mother, two friends and I were sitting in the dining room chatting about random things when we heard a loud POP! It sounded like a bomb had been shot inside of the house. We looked everywhere to try to find what made the noise and finally realized that the candy jar that was sitting on the table in front of all of us was cracked and shattered from the bottom up! Now I am sure someone can offer me a logical explanation for this but at that time, add this experience to everything that I was going through and it was just flat-out frightening. A few months later, my mother, brother, and I ended up moving out of the house, not particularly due to my paranormal experiences, but for other personal reasons. Though I was disappointed to have to leave this beautiful old home, I was very content to know that the next place we lived might not contain the same trapped spirits. No one ever confirmed that anyone had died in that house, but I would almost guarantee someone had. My grandmother told me years later that she believed the man that lived in the house years before us was into some sort of weird cult. She had seen a book that scared her during a visit, and I remembered seeing some very violent, disgusting magazines in the basement. There were some dark energies in that house. I'm not sure if we invited them in or just gave them a way to speak to us.
Me and Little Boy Blue
Little Boy Blue in Mechanicsville, MD
After moving out of Marbury, Maryland, my mother and I moved into our new home in Mechanicsville, Maryland. This home was located right on the main road in town and was originally built in the nineteen twenties. My stepfather's grandparents had built and resided there until they both passed away (I believe sometime in the eighties or nineties but I'm not sure). The house's exterior was painted a sky blue shade and the house consisted of two levels, plus a basement that had to be entered from the outside and back of the house. There are a few large trees that envelope the house, but it is really located in the middle of a field. The interior showed signs of age but was endearing, nonetheless. There were three bedrooms on the second level and one bedroom on the first level, along with the kitchen, living room, one bathroom and a study. The vibe that this home encompassed felt a lot more comforting and welcoming to me, in comparison to my previous home in Marbury. The first night I slept in my bedroom on the first level (everyone else slept on the second level), I heard sounds of toys coming from the living room area. I had my bedroom door shut, but I clearly heard a sound like that of a bell on a child's bicycle ring out from behind my bedroom door. It startled me, but it did not frighten me too much because I was able to fall back asleep almost immediately after I heard it. In the months to follow, I would continue to hear random noises like that of toys coming from the living room but they were almost enchanting. I wondered who was making the noises and why.
In addition to the random toy-sounds at night, my sister and I were chatting in the living room one sunny day when a horse figurine that was sitting on a shelf on the wall opposite of us seemed to just fly right off of the shelf and hit the floor at our feet! The strange thing was that no doors had been slammed and nothing had hit that wall to make the figurine fall off of the shelf, so we were baffled and our skin goosepimpled in light of this situation. The flying kamikaze horse figurine flew off the shelf two more times on separate occasions after the first incident, both times without logical reason. Another weird noise that my mother and I heard while sitting in my bedroom downstairs, was a loud BANG in her bedroom upstairs. It literally sounded as if someone was standing on her bed and decided to jump off. We darted up the steps to see if something had fallen but each time there was nothing out of the ordinary. We started the joke that there was a little boy ghost that lived in the house and that he liked to jump on our beds.
There was also a strange smell that sporadically enveloped my bedroom and the first level of the house. It was not a foul smell but a very sweet scent...like maple syrup on pancakes. My mother and I searched and searched each time to discover where the scent was coming from but could never find anything that smelled exactly like the maple syrup aroma. We checked to see if there were candles or perfumes or some type of food in the vicinity of the smell, but nothing of the sort would turn up. I secretly speculated that the little boy's favorite food was pancakes and syrup. Living in this house, we almost grew fond of the fact that there was a little boy residing along with us; however, we did feel a bit sad for him like he was looking for his mother. If you look at the picture above, you will notice that there is a red circle that I have drawn on it myself. Within the red circle is the image of what my mother and I believe is the little boy spirit. It seems as though he is peering out of the window, and you can just make out the outline of his ear and collar, as well as his hair. The grayish spectre in the front of me...well, we have no clue what that is. People that I show this picture to theorize that it is smoke, but my parents did not smoke in the house nor would they have around me at that time, as I was sick on Christmas that year. Whatever the theory is, the picture is real and I have never seen an effect such as this in any other picture although, I would love to hear your theories on the matter!
After these many occurrences within our house, my stepfather eventually told us that his great uncle had passed away from pneumonia while residing in the house. And supposedly his great uncle was just a little boy when he suffered this illness and fatality. He also told us that his grandmother became senile and lived in the house by herself for awhile after his grandfather had passed. She used to tell her relatives that "Little Boy Blue" would visit her bedside to keep her company from time to time and that she would hear him playing in the house on random occasions. She also told a tale about a man named "Mr. Brown" who would open and slam the second level bedroom doors.
Have you met a ghost? If so, Tell me about it!
Have you ever met a ghost or had a paranormal experience?
© 2010 Nicole Canfield