Halloween is good fun. I really love it. I'm planning to go over to Marla's house tonight to see cute Jonah all dressed up in his Star Wars Clone Wars costume and do some trick-or-treating. I don't have a costume for myself. In fact, it's been years since I've done that. But still, I get a real kick out of seeing everyone else’s' costumes. There are some very clever people out there.
I thought I'd do something a bit different with the Week in Review in honor of Halloween. I have a few ghost stories, personal experiences, to share. I can't say that I believe in the traditional idea of ghosts - spirits who linger and haunt long after death. I believe strongly enough in heaven and in all that we've learned in church about the afterlife to think that a person's spirit wouldn't just hang around in limbo here on earth. But, I do think that the veil between their world and ours is at times very thin. In fact, I believe that just enough to be pretty freaked out by ghost stories. Remember that movie "The Sixth Sense"? It terrified me. The kid saw dead people! I felt like someone was standing behind me in the dark for months. Of course, that was my imagination running wild. The stories I'm going to tell you are actually real.
When on my mission, I served in a little town called Benicia, CA. We lived with an older lady named Charlene Brown. She had a two-story house, and we stayed in the upstairs bedrooms. Years earlier, she had a daughter who as an adult died from cancer. The daughter was a nurse before she got sick.
I was sick for a few weeks during the time that I lived with Sister Brown. In fact, I was sent to Santa Rosa, CA to stay with the mission president and his wife and see all kinds of doctors. I don't know that they ever really decided what was wrong. During all of this, I often had a hard time sleeping. One night, while at home in Benicia, I couldn't sleep so I got up and went into the second bedroom, which we used as a studying space, to read for a while. I was sitting on the couch facing the door to the room. The hallway was dark, everyone else was asleep. While reading, I saw someone go across the doorway toward the bathroom. I didn't see her distinctly, but still felt sure that someone was there and figured it was one of my companions (there were three of us together at the time). I watched the doorway for some time, looking for her to come out of the bathroom and to see who it was. Nothing. I finally got up and looked into the hallway. No one was there. The bathroom was dark, and both of my companions were asleep in our room. Very strange.
A few days later I mentioned this to Sister Brown. She gave me a knowing smile, and then asked if "she" scared me. I said no, that I really didn't feel scared. I just thought it was weird. Sister Brown said that she was glad, and that her daughter wouldn't want to scare me. What? Yes, her daughter. I wasn't the first sister missionary to be sick in that house to have had the same sort of thing happen. Sister Brown felt sure that her daughter, who had been a nurse, would at times come to keep an eye on us, especially if one of us wasn't well. And you know, even after hearing that I didn't feel scared. It was almost a comfort.
I eventually got well, and was transferred to another area, but that experience stayed with me - the night that the ghost of our land lady's daughter popped in to see if I was ok.
Living with Heather
Heather and I lived together for a few years in a house in Sandy. Heather had a large collection of holiday decorations, and some of them had voices or noises that would go off when you past over a sensor. One was a Halloween candy dish that would cackle and drop a fake hand down on your hand when you reached in for a piece of candy. It was Halloween night. The dish was at the front door waiting for trick-or-treaters, and we were in a back room watching tv. Every now and then we'd hear the dish cackle or talk. No reason, no one was in that room. It just went off all on its own. And when it did, we just looked at each other and laughed. I suppose there could be several explanations - something must have set off the sensor. Like a ghost.
She also had a Christmas decoration, a holiday lamppost with a face and a microphone that would sing a tune when you walked past it. This one had an on/off switch, so we could shut it off and keep it from singing all day. It was set up in the family room downstairs. One day, Sierra and I were at my house, Heather wasn't there, and we thought it would be kind of funny to turn the switch on the singing decor so that it would go off and startle Heather when she came home (real pranksters, I know). So we flipped the switch and went upstairs. A few minutes later, while we were in the kitchen, the holiday lamppost started to sing. Sierra looked at me very seriously, said, "Your house is haunted Angie", and headed for the door. We didn't mess with the decorations again after that.
It may come as a surprise to learn that the Church Office Building has a few spooks lurking about, mostly on the elevators. Nicole and I had a name for the ghost on the second floor, George McGillicuty. He likes to stop your elevator on the second floor, open the door and pause for a while before letting the door close again and send you on your way. We never know if he's getting off the elevator or on, but he's doing something. He also likes to hang out in the second floor bathroom, turning on the automatic faucets and the like (really, those faucets go off by themselves. Actually, not by themselves...). One day, I was in one of the bathroom stalls and heard someone breathing. Not unusual breathing, just enough to give me the sense that someone else was there. I came out of the stall and went to the sink to wash my hands, and while there just glanced over my shoulder. All of the stalls were empty. Every door was open and no one was there. I was shocked. I knew that I'd heard someone, and that I hadn't heard anyone leave. I even bent over and looked for feet under the stalls, that's how sure I was that someone had to be there. But no, nothing. Silly George. Now that I think about it, he really shouldn't be hanging out in the women's bathroom.
There they are, some of my own ghost stories. Not too chilling I suppose, not like some others. Still, they're fun to tell.
Happy hauntings to you all.
You are loved.