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Pull back the curtain and see how a suspense writer puts the thrills and chills together.

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This Friday is even more fun, because it’s the one before Halloween. So, let’s share some spooky stories! If you must delve into fiction, do so, but “based on a true story” is so much more intriguing, isn’t it?

Your twisted tale of terror isn’t limited to ghosts. UFOs, cryptozoology, demonology, witches, curses–it’s all good!

The story I’m about to share with you is one I usually only tell those closest to me. It’s so bizarre that it borders on the fantastical, but I swear that it’s true. I know because it happened to me.

In the summer after my high school graduation, I moved to a small mining town where I didn’t know anyone. I moved there for a boy who I thought I was in love with. It was scary, moving so far away from everyone who knew and loved me. I’d rarely been away from home before.

I lived in a one bedroom apartment furnished with some of the ugliest thrift store offerings you’ve ever seen. Imagine the ’70s threw up and died–that’s what my sofa looked like. I had a tiny galley-style kitchen, which was okay, because I didn’t make enough money to cook much. With the meager earnings from my part-time waitressing job, I survived on frozen chicken burgers and Kraft Dinner.

A year earlier, my best friend had died unexpectedly in an automobile accident. I missed her terribly, but I kept thinking about how all she’d wanted was to leave our town. While where I was living was far from glamorous, at least I’d moved away. I vowed to experience all the things she’d wanted to, hoping that she’d experience them through me somehow.

Feeling especially lonely one day, I put a mixed tape she’d made me into the ghetto blaster on my kitchen counter. My boyfriend had lent me the portable stereo, and I’d never had a problem with it. I began to play the tape, and as it reached the middle, it played her favorite song.

At the end of the song, the stereo did something it had never done before. It stopped, auto-reversed, fast-forwarded by itself, and then auto-reversed again. Once more it began to play my friend’s favorite song. I stopped what I was doing to listen. I had chills. The energy in the room was different, changed.

I whispered her name as a question.

Suddenly there was a furious knocking on all the kitchen cabinets, down to the end of the row and back again. It terrified me. I ran into my bedroom, threw myself on the bed, and asked my friend to go away. I told her I wasn’t ready for this. The knocking stopped.

Years later, a magazine hired me to write a story about what happens after we die. One of the people I interviewed was a medium. Without knowing my history, she told me the story of a client–a woman whose teenage son had committed suicide.

“Whenever she tried to play his favorite CD, it would only play the song he’d liked the most,” she said, and I instantly got the shivers.

I told her what had happened to me, and she wasn’t surprised. “When teenagers die, they most commonly come back through electronics,” she said. “Your friend was trying to tell you she’s okay.”

That’s my story, and I swear every word is true. Your turn!

And, no pressure, but I really hope my dear friend CeeBee will share hers, because she has the best creepy true story I’ve ever heard. It’s rumored my friend Rick has a good one as well. (Hint, hint.)

Happy Halloween!

PS – I need your help with my novel rewrites. Please check back for a special blog post tomorrow!

The weird white blob from Scott’s entry below.
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12 Comments

  1. kungfusinger

    The spookiest thing that has happened to me was when I worked in the Peace River centennial Museum. On the shifts that I was there alone, I would commonly hear the front door close, or I would hear footsteps in the gallery. I would routinely go to check on the patrons, and often there would be nobody there.

    One day, I was sitting in the curator’s office working on a spreadsheet on the museum’s only computer. The curator’s office had a small ticket window that looked out into the foyer. I heard the door opening, and out of the corner of my eye, I saw a middle aged man, wearing a knit sweater and a floppy fishing hat (like Wilson from Home Improvement).

    I immediately went out into the gallery to greet this new guest. Once again, the gallery was empty.

    A few weeks later, I was having a random conversation with the curator. She brought up one of the former curators of the museum. She described him as exactly like the man I had “seen”. I had never mentioned the experience or the strange sounds.

    Apparently the former curator loved the museum so much that when he passed away, he just stayed behind watching over things. Aside from questioning my sanity for a little while, I have never felt threatened in that building; just watched over.

    Reply
  2. Anonymous

    Hi Holi,

    Here’s one that happened to me just the other day.

    My sister has moved to B.C. leaving her beautifully re-modelled, country home, vacant. She called and told me she has decided that she will be remaining on the west coast, and that we should proceed with plans to sell her home.

    I went to her home on a beatiful fall day, to take pictures and room measurements.

    I made my way through the house, photographing the kitchen, living and dining rooms, all was well. The house was warm, sunny and inviting.

    Once I reached her youngest child’s room, I began taking pictures. After taking the first shot, I peeked at the viewfinder, and saw a white circle shaped smear on the wall. Thinking it was sunlight hitting the wall and creating an odd anomaly. I took another picture, smear still there.

    I walked towards the wall, where the smear was, thinking maybe my nephew had marked the wall with something before they left. I felt around the wall, looking for….somnething, anything. Nothing. Then my batteries dies.

    At this point, I wasn’t thinking anything strange was happening. My batteries had been in the camera for a while, so no surprise they had dies. The smear on the wall was odd, but I passed it off as a light anomaly. No big deal.

    So I walked back to the doorway, to change the angle of the picture, I changed the batteries, replacing them with brand new and took another picture. The smear, had now changed shape, and moved to the wall on the left hand side. Surprised, I took another picture, smear moved again, and my brand new batteries die.

    I take the batteries out, rub them around to give me more power, as I have many more photos to take before I’m done, and snap a few more. White, circlish shaped and in different locations in each. I then moved on to the other rooms. Take pictures in each, and nothing odd shows up in any more photos.

    I make my way to the basement, turn on the lights which half are on a dimmer switch and start taking photos. Slowly, the lights begin to dim, until they go off.

    That was the end of anything strange that day, but I did call my sister to ask if anything strange had ever happened in her house. She asked what I meant and I proceeded to tell her my story. Rather then sound surprised, she sounded pissed off. I remarked about her feelings and she admitted that her daughter had come to her one day and said that someone had poked her in her room, and that kids kept laughing at her in there.

    My sister who is a practicing Wiccan witch, marched into the bedroom, and told her “visitors” that they were allowed to stay, but they were to leave her children alone, and were to communicate with her rather then the children. And if they would note obey, then she would cast a banishment spell, and be rid of them.

    She told me that was the end of the issues, until she was packing to leave for B.C. and was in the basement, when the lights would dim on their own.

    Wierd, eh? I’ll email you the pictures.

    Scott

    Reply
  3. Story Teller

    @ kungfusinger – great post! I’ve had lots of strange stuff happen at the museum I work at too, but I’m saving that for next Halloween.

    @ Scott – that really *is* weird. Thanks for sending the photos. I added one to the blog post so other people can see it.

    Anyone else? It doesn’t have to be something you’ve personally experienced – stories from friends or family are good, too!

    Reply
  4. Kim

    I have many stories that I’ve heard of from other people but none directly of my own.

    My Dad’s best friend George who died in 1991 owned several businesses throughout his life and was always bringing home bags of change to count and roll (this would have been in the 80s when everyone paid by cash or cheque and nothing was electronic). As a result there would always be little piles of quarters and other miscellaneous change lying around his house and their cottage. After he died, his wife continued to find these piles of change around the house, inexplicably where none had been when she last passed. My mom told me recently that they were cleaning up the cottage and had wiped up the bar clean and went away and came back and a single dime was lying in the middle of the counter where none had been. Apparently finding money is a sign that you’ve had a visit from the dead.

    My Uncle George’s daughter had been involved in picking all the music for the funeral and one of the songs she picked was “The Rose” — She moved to BC not long after he died and was at an outdoor concert (not unlike Sunfest of the old days) and this old Aboriginal man kept staring at her. She found this a little creepy, naturally, but he just kept looking at her and eventually he waved her over. So she went to see what he wanted and all he said to her was, “I think these are for you,” and he handed her a couple of folded papers. When she unfolded and looked at them, they were sheet music for the song, “The Rose.”

    Our neighbour at the lake on the other side, his daughter-in-law is into Reikki and believes she has spiritual healing powers and that the dead talk to her. I’m not sure if she is for real or if she’s just a flake, because she comes across as a profoundly self-absorbed “ME” person most of the rest of the time. I don’t know if I believe it but I do believe that SHE believes it. This extra sensory perception she developed started sometime after she had bilateral cornea transplants for a rare eye disease. She’s written a book and published it (its interesting, I’ve read it) and we’ve heard many stories from her about talking to John, our neighbour, who died at the end of last summer. He apparently visited her and told her where to find some important legal documents of his.

    Those are the ones I can think of for now…..

    Reply
  5. Mystic_Mom

    When I was growing up we lived in a haunted house for a long time, and then built a new house next to it. There were two serious spirits that lived there and a protective ghost.

    The protective ghost was always near me, which I found very comforting even though I never actually got to see her face, just sensed her presence and protection.

    The other two spirits, however, were quite destructive and short tempered. There are two stories to share with you about them…

    One night our dog, a sweet and very territorial Doberman, jumped up and came to my bedroom. She didn’t make any sound but every hair on her body was standing straight up and she was staring at the hallway so intently she could have been made of stone. Every muscle was taut, every hair on end and she hardly blinked. Strangely though, she didn’t growl, bark or make a sound – just blocked our door way.

    Then as the sleep shook from my eyes I heard it, a scratching,clawing, wood tearing sound. The next day, high on the doors, were deep claw marks. High as a human hand but higher than any dog or cat. Deep gouges in 100 year old wood.

    Years later, in the new house, after discussing tearing down the old house and burning it my parents went to bed. Mom says she felt someone come in the room, and woke up to hear my dad being choked in the bed next to her. He was being lifted off the bed and literally throttled by invisible but very strong hands. She said, “Maybe we’ll leave the house the way it is” and the spirit left him alone. He did have a sore throat though and bruised neck.

    Hmmmmmmmmm…..true story! Boo!

    Reply
  6. Dianiewill

    Three female friends and I started a paranormal research group in late 2002. It begin because each of us had weird unexplainable experiences and were very frightened of the paranormal in general. We didnt want to be scared, and so we researched it and started putting ourselves in places that were said to be haunted or at least were “atmospherically” spooky. We are already genealogists and sometimes have to do research in cemeteries; after forming the group we actually go to them after dark to do investigations (as well as old barns, historic locations, private homes and business, and just about anywhere with claims.)

    One of my favorite stories was on day in late 2004 when my friend and I were just out running errands. We had dropped off my stepdaughter at a camp for the weekend, and were in a rural area. We passed a small cemetery on our way home, and decided to drive through. We had some recording equipment in the car so while we went through we turned on our tape, just out of habit and good investigation practices (to get base readings and to set a norm in case we came back later.) It was fall season, on a Friday afternoon and about 3 or 4 pm, and there were two of us in the car and we had the windows rolled up. There were some homes visible a couple of acres over, but other than that no other people were walking through or nearby at all.
    We drove through this small cemetery and began reading names out loud, and discussing the monuments and memorials. It was very active and many families had wind-chimes,fresh mums and grave blankets on their loved ones markers. We came to an area that had mostly children’s stones, and we saw one that really touched us. I said out loud- “Awww, look, a teddy bear shaped marker, so sad.” We drove over and saw the name across the center of the bear was “Drew.” He was an infant & had only lived a few days.
    As we drove on, we continued to read names and saw several we had problems pronouncing. we left and went to a fast food place and started listening to the tape. We heard us pull slowly over to the teddy bear marker, then we heard a whisper. The whisper sounded like a woman coughing, possibly saying Drew. Then we heard another cough and louder whisper, this time it was a male voice saying “Andrew.” Then, a loud and completely clear older male voice said: “Andrew Joseph W…” (and he also said a three syllable, somewhat specific last name that we keep to ourselves.)

    We freaked out. we called my friends mom and went home and picked her up. We gathered a few toys and some candy to leave for the baby, and we went back. We drove up and saw that there was a grave blanket with flowers covering the bottom of the teddy bear grave. We got out of the car, and walked over to it, and removed the grave blanket to reveal the baby’s full name. yep, you guessed it, Andrew Joseph W…
    We told whoever said the name that we heard them, and thanked them so much for their love of the baby, and we left the presents, which included a small stuffed animal, a ball and a candy. we also taped all of this. As we were leaving we noticed a row of stones near the exit that had the same last name as the baby. two of them were a married couple with pictures on the stone saying father, mother, husband, wife, grandparents, etc… they obviously the right age and last name to maybe be the baby’s grandparents perhaps?

    We left the place shaken but at peace with knowing the infant was loved. We got to the diner and listened to the tape and heard another voice. This time it was the tiny sweet voice of a child: “Ball?” and then, a giggle….
    Yep, all completely true. We still have the tapes to listen to. So many implications and possibilities came from this for us. We still “thank” that family for talking to us.
    Diane

    Reply
  7. Story Teller

    I loved all your stories. Very creepy! Thanks so much for participating. And @Diane – I’m glad I prompted you. That one is downright eerie.

    Reply
  8. Rick Caslake

    In late September, 1970, Al Bailie and I flew over to Scotland for a two week holiday. On our second day in Edinburgh, we went for a long walk along the Royal Mile from Edingurgh Castle to Holyrood House and back; then, across to Greyfriar’s Churchyard (made famous in the movie Greyfriar’s Bobby) and finished the day at the Greyfriar’s Bobby’s Bar. We raised a pint or two of Guinness with supper (no… we did not get sloshed) and then walked through a slowly descending fog, back along the Royal Mile. About two blocks up from the castle, we heard a piper playing a pibroch… a lonely and sorrowful sound, but at the same time, so beautiful. We were enthralled with the idyllic setting of Scotland, the fog and the sound of a lone piper; his lament fading into the night.

    Years went by, and we sometimes mentioned that experience; but, eventually, it became a misplaced memory… until 1995.

    One evening, in late September, I was watching a television special on the History Channel. During the Black Plague that devistated Europe, including England, Ireland and Scotland, and in particular, Edinburgh… whenever more people than could be dealt with, had died in a “close” (a courtyard enclosed apartment complex with only one entrance/exit from and to the street) the entrance was bricked up to prevent anyone from escaping to spread death to their neighbours. One famous “close”, stood just two blocks from the seat of power – Edinburgh Castle. In that place of sadness and misery, all of the inhabitants had died, save one. Shortly after stone masons closed off the entrance, that last survivor began to play… his pipes.

    Sometimes, very late at night, when the soft, white shroud of a Highland fog descends on Edinburgh Castle, he can still be heard… playing a pibroch, until his last breath wheezes from his pipes.

    Reply
  9. Story Teller

    Wow, Rick. Amazing story–I got goosebumps! Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  10. Mystic_Mom

    Oh wow…these are GREAT!

    Reply
  11. Diane

    OOOooooo! I loved reading these. Thanks for sharing everyone, and thanks for the prompt Hollie. Sometimes ghostie type stories are scary, sometimes kinda spooky & unexplainable, and sometimes:just plain weird. Fun!

    Reply
  12. Story Teller

    Thanks so much, guys. It did take some prompting, but I think this was the best Fun Friday yet! Thanks for sharing your eerie tales.

    Reply

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