It was a summer day in the mid 1990s when a phone call resurrected my interest in ghosts. I was in the office meeting with a client when I was told there was a phone call for me. I answered the call and surprisingly heard my mother. She told me my brother was home and was badly shaken. He was just called to a church in Reigelsville. My parents spent a week helping him move into his home before returning to Summit Hill. That was the first night Jeffrey stayed in his new home. It was the first time he discovered he was not alone.
My parents were still in bed that morning after she left him to settle into his house and his new job. They heard the doorbell and a rapping on the door. My mom and dad went downstairs to see who was waking them. They discovered to their complete surprise, an extremely upset son was standing in front of them. His first words were, "I'm not going back there." He entered the house and told them of his encounter.
He went to bed around 11 p.m. the previous evening. He was sound asleep in the dark home when he became aware of footfalls on the floor above his bedroom. As Jeff woke, he realized the footsteps were in the attic. His heart began beating more rapidly as the steps headed toward the attic stairwell. All of a sudden he heard a loud noise like something being tossed down the stairwell. He bolted out of the bed, turned on the lights and ran for the door to the attic. Shaking, he opened the door and discovered nothing there.
Jeff was extremely anxious at that point, yet he summoned the courage to explore the upstairs to find no one there. In fact the attic was still empty because he never placed anything up there. Returning downstairs he searched the whole house systematically but found no one. He told my mom he couldn't sleep but waited for daybreak to drive home. That was why she called. I assured her I would come home as soon as I could and talk to him.
By the time I was home, Jeff already returned to his parsonage agreeing to meet with the former pastor. Being his older brother, I wanted to protect and reassure him. I knew dogs were reputed for being able to sense things like this so I took my beagle Rocket with me. I figured if anything was amiss he would be sensitive enough to alert us.
I arrived first and we walked Rocket through the house from the attic to the basement. The dog gave no reaction to any of the rooms which I think slightly relieved my brother. The former pastor arrived and we spent the evening in Jeff's study visiting and discussing the house. He told us of his encounters. Around midnight he went home and we finally settled down to rest in the bedrooms. Jeff decided to return to the room where he heard the noises and I slept with the dog in the front room adjacent to his. The only incident was around 3:10 a.m. when the dog roused me. I found him barking at the closet door. It was odd but not paranormal. I opened the door but nothing was there.
We saw no ghosts that night, but we did find something odd the next morning. All of the clocks in the house, both wind up and battery operated clocks stopped around 3:05 a.m. just about the time Rocket had woken me.
That was only the beginning of his experiences with ghosts. As I predicted to my parents, Jeff soon assumed control of the situation and did not allow the spirits to rule the roost. However, he also took the advice of some spiritualist friends of mine and adopted some cats and left some night lights on when going to bed at night. I believe the house has not been in total darkness since that first night he was there.
While I have yet to meet a spirit face-to-face when visiting, I have had other odd events occur from mild phenomena to a full encounter with energy. On three different instances, my wife and I have heard footsteps walking around in areas of the house devoid of people.
The scariest encounter I had was last Christmas when I felt a presence in their house. I went to wash my hands in the upstairs bathroom. As I crossed the threshold, I became aware of a lot a thickness in the atmosphere pressing on my body. I felt smothered and pressure throughout my being almost like a heart attack. I stepped away from that spot and felt immediate relief. It was not the first time I had that experience so I knew it wasn't a physical problem.
I decided not to say anything and returned downstairs. As I sat on the sofa with my back to the doorway, my brother and his wife looked at the entrance in shock. I asked what was wrong. They said they saw a shadow of a man leave the stairs a few seconds after me, turn at the bottom and flee out the back door. That was the closest I ever was to a ghost or spirit and while I didn't see him I did feel him.
Have a Happy and safe Halloween, and congratulations to my brother Jeff and his wife Stephanie on the birth of their son, Evan this week. Welcome to the family little one.
Til next time…