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The Ghost in Bayonne
The true story of how one little girl's tales made believers out of her entire family
The true story of how one little girl's tales made believers out of her entire family
In my life, I have had many ghost sightings that began when I was six years old. I witnessed my grandfather and grandmother after they passed on, but unknowing they had, making themselves visible to me by sight, sound and even touch. There were many others who still visit, some I know, some I've never met. They all want something. But being raised a Catholic prevented me from saying anything to my parents, so I kept it a secret until I had children of my own.
My youngest child seemed to be as receptive as I was to the experience and accepted these visions without fear, happily sharing them with me. She was four years old and we all lived in a big house in Bayonne, New Jersey. My parents, sister, myself and my two children all shared this house, which by the accounts of a neighbor, had been haunted for many years. I didn't know what to think of that but we were never afraid, only curious. Although the basement where the washer and dryer sat, did have a very distinct presence and it was very negative, although I won't say evil.
One night we all sat around for dinner and my daughter excused herself to the restroom. A few minutes later, we heard a male voice coming from the bathroom. We could hear my daughter talking back and having a regular conversation, and even heard her giggling. The only other male in the house was my father and my son, who was only 8 at the time, so the deep voice coming from the bathroom must have been my father, who was sitting in his chair reading.
Instinctively, I sprung up as any mother would, with my sister and mother behind me, wondering what a man was doing in the bathroom with my little girl. I told them to stay back as I entered the bathroom, seeing my daughter just sitting there smiling at me, while I pushed the bathroom curtain out of the way to find nobody there.
I could hear my mother and sister behind the door, so I told them it was alright and they went back to dinner. But I felt something in that room with us and didn't want to alarm her until I was sure what it was, so I asked, "Who were you talking to just now?"
She looked up at me and said, "The old man." I said, "What old man?" And without hesitation, she replied, "The old man standing next to you, mommy."
I felt a chill and through my peripheral vision I could make out a tall shadow against the wall next to me. I asked, "Who is he?"
She said, "He used to live here." I turned around as if to face him and although I didn't see him, I knew he was there, so I smiled in his direction and my daughter just giggled the loudest laugh and told me he said I am very nice. I asked her what he wanted and she told me that he was looking for a train set that he hid in the house many years ago before he died; a Christmas gift for his grandson and he wanted her to help him find it. I told her to tell him that would be fine.
Later that night after I put the kids to bed in the room they shared and told my family what had happened. My mother was scared, my sister was curious and my father was a bit skeptical as he always was.
As we sat around drinking coffee that night talking about what we needed to do to find out who this old man was, we all heard my daughters keyboard playing from her room, and I was upset because I told her to sleep. The keyboard kept playing a very uneven tune and as soon as my foot hit the inside of that room, the music stopped and I could see both children asleep in their beds. Then I realized I had put the keyboard away so she wouldn't play it and sat high on top a cabinet she wouldn't be able to reach. I grabbed the keyboard and saw it was off and knowing what this meant, I spoke in a clear voice, "Whoever this is, you are welcome here as long as you don't harm my children."
I went out and told my family what had happened and they knew something was wrong because they all heard it too. My sister was becoming a strong ally in helping me find out what was going on and soon told me that the next door neighbor who told us the house was haunted, was actually the grandson of the man who lived in the house before us.
He told us that after his grandparents passed away, he and his parents moved in. He was a teen at the time and explained his grandmother died first in her sleep, in what was my children's bedroom. About a year later, the grandfather died of a heart attack on the steps, going down to the basement. He said after that, none of his friends would come over because they would be frightened by ghosts seen swirling in the ceilings and the basement door would sometimes lock them in when they went down there to play, so they sold the house and moved next door to "watch" like a sentinel.
Some days passed and my daughter was having a hard time sleeping. She would wake me up in the middle of the night to tell me there was a man in her room that won't let her sleep. But every time I went in, it was quiet. She told me this man was not the same one from the bathroom. He was younger, with a tee shirt like in old movies of Elvis. He had slick shiny black hair, cigarette pack under one sleeve and blue jeans and a leather jacket. She told me his name was Michael and he had blue eyes and "cute".
She told me this man would sit on the edge of her bed and wake her up, tell her not to tell me anything, that this was a secret and wanted to show her something. As my daughter described it, he would tell her to look at the floor and there she saw an tiny ambulance that would drive out from under her bed, sirens on. Two EMT's would come out pick up a body bag, throw it in the ambulance, then mop up blood and drive off, back under her bed. As she told the story, she looked under her bed and said, "It's not there now."
She told me this man told her he did not kill his girlfriend but everyone thinks he did. What disturbed me was that he didn't want her telling me about it, so I explained that any time someone tells her not to tell me or keep secrets from me, she has to tell me everything and not be afraid because we never keep secrets from our mommies. I told her next time she sees him to wake me up and tell him I want to help.
That very night, she ran into my room and told me the man was there again and the same scene played out with the ambulance as it had for a few nights in a row. But when she told him I would help, he said he won't be coming back. And just like that, he disappeared, never to be heard from again. I told her maybe he wasn't such a nice guy after all.
One night as we all sat around watching television, my daughter came into the living room and told us that the old man told her where the train set was; the basement. We decided to get the grandson from next door involved and called him in to help us. We all went downstairs together and she told us it was behind wires. As we looked around, we saw a corner of the floor was closed off with chicken wire. Knowing this is probably the wire she meant, the grandson cut the fence and noticed there was one floor board looser than the others. We all gasped in shock as he pulled out a green box of a train set covered in dust, still unwrapped. He cried in disbelief.
We all went upstairs and noticed my daughter standing there staring up as if listening to someone talk to her. She turned to us and told us the old man said thank you for finding it.
Sitting at the dinner table that night, we openly discussed what had just happened and how the house now seemed to feel different. There was no heaviness to the air, no thickness to the night, or presences felt. It was for the first time, clear. The grandson asked my daughter what the old man looked like and she told him he wore a brown suit and looked like Santa but skinny and that he walked funny holding a stick.
He looked at us, pulled out a picture from his wallet and asked her, "Is this him?" She smiled like a little girl that just opened a Christmas present, wide eyed and wide mouthed, "Yes!"
The grandson told us he had lost a leg before he died to Diabetes and had to use a cane and how he was buried in a brown suit; something she would have never known. That night he started looking at life a little bit differently.
To this day, my daughter is sensitive to the other realm many of us will never visit. I could fill a book with the experiences I've had and I may share some here. For whatever reason there is, some people will experience this at least once in their lives, while others will not. There is no reason for it, only that we are either open or closed. And regardless, one should never be too fast to judge unless one has experienced it firsthand.
After all, how can you not believe in something you have never seen, yet still believe in God?
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