Thursday, October 15, 2020

Here at the Library: Ghost Stories

Here at the Library

Here at the library we have books about ghosts. In folklore a ghost is the soul or spirit of a dead person or animal that can appear to the living. In ghostlore, descriptions of ghosts vary widely, from an invisible presence to translucent or barely visible wispy shapes, to realistic life-like forms. 
    Belief in the existence of an afterlife is widespread and dates back to pre-literate cultures. Certain religious practices, funeral rites, exorcisms- are specifically designed to put the spirits of the dead to rest.
    There is a lot of information available on ghosts and the paranormal. Some studies say 60% of people believe in ghosts, while others say it's only 18%. To me it doesn't matter. I'm open to possibilities. Our collection has quite a few books available on the topic, both fiction and non-fiction. Here are just a few:

Adult fiction and Non-fiction

Young Adult Fiction and Non-Fiction

Juvenile Fiction and Non-Fiction

Children's Books

    I spent some time on the internet looking for local paranormal tales to share along with this installment of 'Here at the Library'. I found a few, such as Clarion University's Hart Chapel and tales from Jeffrey Hollow, you can take a closer look at those tales here:
    I wanted something a bit more personal, so I went to Facebook and asked for stories- boy did I get them! Instead of the usual tutorial, I'll share your ghost stories. Be prepared, it's a long one.

First, I'll preface this by saying these first few tales are told by parents in regard to what their children said or did. Children, according to many spiritualists, are purer than adults, more open to possibilities, with no cultural filters: they haven't yet been told what to think or see. This is why they often surprise us with their intuition, sensing when we're sad or worried, or knowing you are sick or pregnant without it being announced. It's also why they may see spirits.

Jessie tells of her then four-year-old daughter:
    We lived in South Side (New Bethlehem), across from Bish Funeral Home. We got out of the car one day. My daughter said, "Mommy, why is that man looking at me?" I asked where? She said over by the tree. I said, "I don't know sweetie. Maybe he likes your shirt." There was no one standing there. I asked what does his shirt look like, and she told me it looked like a flag.

Janie tells of her son's experience:
    My husband and I are the parents of twins. We suffered a miscarriage before they were born. We've never talked to them about it, and they don't understand it. When T was about 3 or 4 he saw a baby twice at nighttime. It just sat beside his bed and watched it as it watched him. He told me he wasn't afraid of it. I refer to it as "it" he could never tell what the baby was, just a baby. Then about 3 months ago he was sitting at the table (11 years old now) and my husband was in the living room. T said a teenager stood beside him staring at him, all he can remember is that "it", had on tan pants and black shoes. He was scared this time and went to my husband and wouldn't let him out of his sight. We never found out what our miscarried baby was, this makes me think that possibly it's our baby.

Courtney explains about the hungry man:
    My daughter was about two when we moved into our house. One day while sitting at the table for supper with her, she looked over toward the corner and said, "Mommy, that big man is hungry too." It was just her and I in the kitchen. No big man anywhere.

Cold spots, creaking sounds, spooky figures. Whether or not the paranormal realm exists has been debated for centuries. The following tales are all told by adults who have experienced something creepy.

Courtney has another story:
    In the same house, several years later, everyone was in bed. I liked to stay up late and read so I was in the living room alone. The kids had one of those rubber/plastic balls that you used to be able to buy at Riverside. It was on one of those small kid sized recliner chairs that was leaned back. As I was laying on the couch reading, the ball rolled up and off of the chair and across the room and stopped right at the couch beside me. I hightailed it to bed without my feet touching the ground.

Lisa tells of a family rocking chair:
    Her brother has the rocking chair that once belonged to their great Aunt. The twins were three when they argued over who was going to sit in the chair. This was the night before they both died of pneumonia. My brother's wife's cousin stayed over one night and could hear kids laughing and it was their ghosts at that chair again. Some nights growing up you would hear what sounded like creaking or rocking of that chair in the attic above my grams bedroom which is now my brother's bedroom. 

Clyde tells of some local ghost houses:
    In Climax there is an old house with no power going to it but you can see lights go on. Another house on Distant road, that isn't really a house anymore, but you can see what looks like house lights where there is no house.

Belinda worked in hospice and tells:
    When I worked in the hospice house we had a spirit. I would be sitting at the kitchen table when I was on 3-11 shift. You would see the shadow go by the door and down the hall. You would hear it crumpling plastic bags. The pastor who came couldn't believe it. 

Tracy lives in an old Victorian style home:
    There is a little girl who resides in our house. It started right after we got the house. I would be working on something, and she would yell, 'Mommy!' Just like when a child needs something and I, of course, thinking it was one of my children answered, 'What?' No one was there. I would catch glimpses of her in a little girl's chiffon dress and long hair in curls tied back in a ribbon. She used to play games with the dog that she didn't like. When we would leave the house and come back she would always have the dog locked in the attic. He would be barking to be let out. We would leave the radio on for the dogs, so they wouldn't get lonely. When we would return, the radio was always turned to one particular country station. This continued for many years. She would always move things around and relocate them, it was a game for her. Unfortunately, there was also a mean old man in our home as well, and he did not like me. He wore a button down long sleeve shirt, dungarees with suspenders and a men's fashion type hat with a brim all the way around. One night while I was lying in bed, not quite asleep, he walked up alongside the bed. He placed his hands above my stomach in the shape of claws and lightning/current came out from his fingertips and went into me, shocking me and raising me off the bed a little. I wasn't asleep and it was so very painful. I just kept saying, "Jesus" over and over. After that experience, I had a pastor come and bless the house and things calmed down. When my husband left before he divorced me, the spirits all went with him. The ironic thing is, when I lived above the funeral home my ex would always run through the funeral home. When I asked why, he said because demons were chasing him. I just brushed it off as a joke. Though, the spirits left the house when he did, maybe he wasn't joking. I felt a peace come over the house when he left.

Misty works in a nursing home and has several stories I'm excited to share with you:

    Ok. First experience; my patient was in a vent and had a feeding tube. On his bedside table, there was a clipboard. I was luring his meds by gravity into his tube, using 2 hands. Something caught my eye, so I looked over and saw the top piece of paper standing straight up in the air! There was no breeze or air flow to make the paper blow, it was as if someone was holding the paper up to read the piece of paper behind the top sheet. I gasped and the paper fell like someone had just let it go.

    Another time I was pouring feeding into someone's feeding bag who had a g-tube. They had one of those old tv's that had the vcr combo. The pt was paralyzed and had no use of their extremities, so it wasn't like they hit the remote. But the tv made this weird noise, it was off by the way, and the screen made this funny thing happen, almost like a surge and the vhs tape flew out of the player, landing six feet in front of the tv.

    I have long hair. I went upstairs to use the bathroom. The upstairs is just a bunch of offices, and when I was done and walking down the long hallway, something pulled my hair!! I did a nonchalant fling of my hair back over my shoulder and look behind me but no one was there! It was a hard enough pull that it jerked my head back!

    I was coming back from break and thought one of our patients was sitting in her normal recliner as it was rocking pretty hard. I came up behind the chair and looked down over it and there was no one in it!!! It wasn't as if someone had just gotten up and it was slowly slowing down from them getting up. It was rocking hard and fast as if someone was in the chair!!

With all these stories, I was never scared. It was like, oh, ok, you're here with us...this next story happened a few months ago and still has me shook.

    I went outside on break with another nurse. We were in an enclosed courtyard, so no outside people have access to it. I was around midnight, and the unit on the other side had some lights on in their rooms. I thought I saw someone walk by a window, once it reaches the next window, I can really see its figure. The only way I can describe it is that it was a black figure. It was tall and skinny. It had long arms and a beer belly. It didn't walk like a normal person, it was a fluid-like flow with movement. I screamed and couldn't access my name tag quick enough to get back into the building. As a nurse, my job is to assess. So as I am walking down the units of the home, I'm always assessing the patients. Are they in bed? In a chair? Is their oxygen on? But that night, I watched the floor. I don't know what I saw that night, but I do know that it wasn't of this earth, or nice. Two nights later, I got called to the unit where I saw the thing. The patient whose room I saw the shadow man, rang his bell to tell the staff that there was something outside his window!!! When the staff asked him what it was, he said it was evil and that they didn't want to know

If you look on the internet there are a lot of sites that will try to explain away the existence of paranormal phenomenon. There are just as many sites that will make you question the psycological explanations. Whether there are ghosts, spirits, or creepy crawlies is not for me to say. I'll leave the decisions up to you.

On that note, join us next week for our weekly 'Here at the Library' post. Subscribe to our blog to have our goodies delivered to your inbox!


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