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Your Scary Stories

Your Scary Stories
Post Tribune - Sun-Times News Group - Chicago, IL USA
October 31, 2006
By Post-Tribune Readers

NO MORE CEMETERIES: It all started back in 1961. I was just a kid of 18 years old. It was Halloween night with nothing to do, so we got in my buddy’s car and went to Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery.

We went looking for the unusual stuff. We saw a blue house but never could get near it ... noises that we couldn’t explain. So we started to leave when I saw a bunch of new flowers on a new grave and took some with me. My buddy freaked when I told him about the flowers and where I got them. I said it’s all right, they were for my mom.

Upon getting home and taking the flowers inside, I put them in the kitchen so my mother would see them in the morning and be surprised. It was about 10:30 p.m. and I went to bed.

When it seemed like I just went to sleep, I was being shaken in my bed and I awoke thinking it was my mother who got up in the night and saw the flowers on the table. Was I ever wrong. It was a gray old lady standing over me with the look of death on her face.

She was yelling, “I want my flowers back!” I started yelling and woke up my mother and father, telling them what happened.

The next day, I went back to the cemetery and put them back on the grave. I’m 63 years old and have not set foot in a cemetery since.

Jim Hooper, Hobart

UPKEEP UPSET: A home in disrepair overlooked Main Street, but at one time, it stood in grandeur.

When my sister-in-law took ownership, the exterior black paint was chipped and faded. With consideration, Sharon and her husband began the grueling work of restoration. Every simple project became more complicated, as if by merely removing a nail the entire structure became unhinged.

With every improvement, odd tales would unfold: candles shifting position on the mantle, an oversized handprint mysteriously appearing at the center of a clean dress shirt and ghosts startling those asleep.

I never believed the stories. I suspected Sharon and her husband were fabricating to make their home appear mystifying.

It wasn’t until my husband and I spent the night that I changed my tune. We were socializing in the main room near the fireplace when all of a sudden their dog Katie began to bark in a violent warning. It was curious the way Katie followed an invisible path along the dining room and stopped just before the French doors that led to an enclosed porch.

Sharon first presumed that pranksters were about. The dog did not let up in her agitation.

As Sharon neared the doorway, something slammed into the glass with bone-chilling force. The door rattled as we all experienced a similar reaction: terror. Upon this the dog fell silent.

My brother-in-law ran to the doors, thinking someone was on the other side, only to learn the porch was empty and the exterior door was bolted secure. There was no way to explain the unexplainable, but yet it happened and I would never question the existence of ghosts again.

By Jeanne Stevenson, Merrillville

BUSIA'S TIME: My story is a “revenge from beyond the grave” sort of story. Christmas 2000 was the first time in two years that my dad did not place flowers on my grandmother’s grave. That morning, I asked my father if he had, and just when he told me no, it wasn’t a big deal, a metal 3-D picture that had been hanging on the fireplace for 20-some years

suddenly fell straight down and broke my father’s favorite clock.

We joked that Busia (Grandma) had punished Dad for forgetting her on Christmas, of all days. The clock remained broken and on the mantle before my mother moved it to the study because she got sick of looking for the time on a broken clock.

We pretty much forgot about the clock until my brother walked into the front room and asked my folks when they got the clock fixed. My parents said they hadn’t and asked why. Frank said he could hear the clock chiming in the study. That would have been freaky enough as it was (no one had touched this clock in months), but the day it started to work again was Sept. 11, 2001. I figure Busia let Dad have his clock back on a day where everyone was forgiving and forgetting petty arguments.

Rhiannon Cizon, Highland

MOVING PICTURES: I think it was the year 1968. My parents were renting a house in Gary. The house always felt cold or cool. My parents just said it was because it’s built on a slab foundation. That sounded right to us kids, and we didn’t question it.

My sister and I shared the bedroom at the end of the hallway. One night I remember my sister hitting me in the side and saying, “Lisa, Lisa, wake up. I see something.” I was very angry because she woke me up. My sister had a history of seeing funny shapes and bugs on the walls. It was usually shadows on the walls. I told her to go back to sleep. We got up the next day, got dressed, went to school, and nothing was said about it.

That next night, I fell asleep but was awakened in the middle of the night. I looked over at my sister and she was sound asleep. All of a sudden, I looked straight ahead at what should have been a window, only it had turned into a picture in a frame of the street Broadway in Gary. I could see cars moving and people walking down the street. There was one old man in the picture who was walking down the street with his back to me. Then he turned around, stopped walking and looked at me. He motioned with his finger to me to follow him into the picture. This really freaked me out! I was so scared I could not move or scream. The only thing I could do was close my eyes and count to 10. When I opened my eyes the window was back and everything was back to normal.

The next morning, I told my sister that I saw something in the room. She asked me what it looked like. I told her, “He was an old man with a long white beard, dressed in a tuxedo and a hat, and he walked with a cane.” She looked at me like she could not believe me. Then she said, “That’s the same person I saw the night before walking past the end of our bed and into the closet!”

We didn’t stay long in that house after we told our parents. To this day, I wonder if the people in that house are seeing things.

Elisa Zon, Hobart

CLOTHES CONFUSION: We moved into this house in 1989 and almost immediately my daughter sensed something, a presence acting as if she was being invasive or intrusive. She noticed that after a night of sleep, her clothes that were hanging in the closet were in a pile on the floor. She was the oldest and thought the younger siblings were messing with her — entering her room while she slept and pulling her clothes off the hangers and onto the floor. Morning would break and she would see her clothes in a pile and come up the stairs asking if anyone came in and threw her clothes on the floor of her closet.

I didn’t really pay attention to any of this until the night she came upstairs and said she woke up and saw a figure sitting on her bed staring at her. She wasn’t afraid, just alarmed; it was at this time I took notice, and we went down the stairs to her room and I took over. I didn’t believe in ghosts or the hereafter but she was concerned and I am here to protect.

There was only one other family that lived here before us, and I told her it had to be the previous owner looking for something. She seemed to be the focal point of all this attention, and her room was the only room this was happening in and was the room the grandmother had slept in. We walked into her room and figured it had to be the spirit of the grandfather looking for the spirit of the grandmother, his wife. I had my daughter explain to her closet that the grandmother did not live here, we did. The atmosphere in the room changed almost immediately, and her clothing was never touched again.

The house was quiet for about seven years. My daughter moved out and my son moved into her room, but he never had an occurrence. Then my son moved out and another son had that room. He says he has woken up seeing a figure sitting on his bed.

I remember walking down the stairs to do a couple loads of laundry when I smelled something. All of you women who have boys that are 14 know of the smell that emanates from their room — this is not a pleasant smell. I crossed a section of the basement between the bathroom and the bar and could smell perfume; it was a specific perfume, Emeraude, the kind my late grandmother wore. I stood in that spot for about 10 minutes, just remembering the smell of my grandmother. I have not smelled it since, but one night while walking into my laundry room, the lights began to flicker. I had an eerie feeling I was not alone but I wasn’t afraid. Night after night the lights would flicker. I thought of that perfume scent in the basement and thought, “No way.” My brother-in-law, an electrician, came over with new circuit breakers to change them out; the lights continued to flicker. I wanted to believe, but I was still a skeptic.

I went to sleep that night wishing my grandmother was still around because I really needed to speak with her. This was not going to happen, and I fell asleep with her on my mind. The next day was a day like any other. I was driving my handicapped daughter to work when she looked over at me and said, “Grandma came in my room last night sat on my bed and said ‘hi.’ ” I kind of smiled at her and said, “Oh, she came in to say hi to you?” My daughter looked at me and said, “No, Mom, Grandma said to say hi to you and she loves you.” I just about wrecked the car. I looked at her and said, “What?” She again said to me, “Grandma told me to tell you she loves you very much.” A chill ran down my spine, and goose pimples were all over my body.

I don’t know if grandma is here or not. I do know that when my son was deployed I asked her to stay with him to be the eyes in the back of his head. It’s funny, the lights didn’t flicker while he was gone. He has since returned and every so often…

Renee Coughlin, Merrillville

GRANDPA'S VISIT: I used to work as a flight attendant and commuted from my base in Cleveland to Denver. Some days it was necessary to spend the night in a hotel in Cleveland in the event I couldn’t catch a flight home. Flight crews would often share the cost of a room with another commuter.

In January of 1989, I arrived at room 218 in a hotel near the airport. “Kate,” a woman with whom I intended to share the room, was already present. Immediately upon entering the room, I noticed the temperature was very cold. Kate commented on the chilliness and said she had turned the thermostat up to 90.

All night as we slept, the room remained freezing. I got up and felt the windows, but there was no draft. The heat continued to pour through the vents but, curiously, the room would not warm up. There were no extra blankets, so I just made the best of it.

I finally slipped into a deep sleep but then awoke to loud footsteps in the room. This very faint, silvery ghost paced by Kate’s bed up and down and would only stand still for a few seconds to stare at her head. The face wasn’t really visible, just the body. It had a powerful presence. My heart was pounding heavily, and I prayed this entity would not walk over to my bed. Thank God it didn’t! What seemed like a lifetime only occurred for about five minutes. During this entire event, Kate never woke!

In the morning I explained the frightening events to Kate, and she stated, “Oh that was just my grandpa — he’s visited me before.” She revealed that although she had never actually seen the ghost, she had heard his footsteps and felt his presence.

April Terry, Hobart

SLAMMING CABINETS: I grew up in a suburb of Chicago. When I was a child I would sometimes feel as if someone was watching me when I was alone watching TV or reading. It would give me an uneasy feeling, but nothing that I ever worried over.

One time, as a teenager, I was going to bed and I had an old cedar chest that my father and I redid and I used as a night stand. On that was my clock radio, light and other things that I can hardly remember any more.

I was just falling asleep, lying on my side when I felt that I was not alone. I opened my eyes to see a shadow

figure leaning over my cedar chest, as if it were looking

for something. Now I have

a brother, a few years older than me, and I thought it

was him. I yelled and asked what he was looking for,

and my brother came from

his bedroom and asked me what was going on. After I realized that it was not my brother, I felt very uneasy

and for the first time scared.

I should mention that my brother would not sleep in

his bedroom, EVER! He swears, to this day, that his room was haunted.

As I grew older, I learned to ignore those things, I guess, until one day I moved into a house in the region. I liked the house, it was enough room for my daughter and me and the rent was conceivable.

When we first moved in, all seemed quiet, except that I would come home in the afternoon to find my front door wide open. I would shut it and deadbolt it, only to find it open again. I called the landlord, knowing that he had things in the basement, and told him that I did not mind him coming in the house, but would he please make sure that the front door was closed. He fell silent and the next statement was a little disturbing. He said, “I have not been in that house since you moved in. You have the only keys to the house.” OK, I thought, no big deal, I will just put something big in front of the door, which I did — a few bricks.

Things were quiet for a while until one night, as I lay there sleeping, I heard the cabinet doors slamming shut. I got up to see what was going on but found nothing abnormal. My reaction was, I was dreaming, and I went back to bed. The next night it happened again, and it continued to happen on and off the entire four years that I lived there.

The most disturbing was when I was sleeping, especially if I fell asleep on the couch, I would be “shoved” awake, as if someone pushed and told me it was time to go to bed. That happened often, and almost every time I fell asleep on the couch.

I have moved out of the house and have not been there for two years. I wonder if the new tenants have any strange happenings.

Robin, Hebron

SUICIDE SHADOWS: In high school, I had a best friend who lived with her mom in the top floor of a house in Hammond. She had told me that a spirit would come out and walk down the hall. Of course, I did not believe it.

When I asked her why the spirit would do this, she told me the owners of the house had told her and her mom that the last renter committed suicide in the back bedroom, where my friend slept. I had visited her a few times and had never seen anything, so I figured that it was something her landlord made up.

One day I was in the bedroom with her and I saw something that looked like a shadow moving by the wall. When I mentioned it to my friend, she was like, “ Oh yeah, there he goes.” I don’t know what happened next, but I was out of there. I never went over there again. Whatever it was moved from the closet to the hall, and I wasn’t about to sit there and try to figure it out.

Caroline Washington, Gary

TRACK APPARITION: As a God-fearing person, I will tell you that I believe there is no such thing as a ghost. So with that stated, I will tell you about my experience and you can decide for yourself how to interpret the sighting.

First of all, I will acknowledge that my reading habits at the time were atrocious.

It was July 1971, and I was very pregnant with our second child. Maybe it was my hormones, because I developed an appetite for paranormal books. This was a new type

of reading material for me, and I never was interested again after giving birth. My husband fretted a little and thought maybe these books were not the best thing for me. Anyway. I had read “Rosemary’s Baby” and I think maybe “The Exorcist” by that time. So, granted, my imagination was on high alert.

It was a hot and humid night, and I was feeling very restless. My toddler had awakened and needed some comfort rocking. Being just a few days from delivering, I was uncomfortable and did not return to bed. It was then that I noticed something odd. The dog next door was unusually quiet. In fact, the night was so eerily quiet — no sirens, no crickets, nothing. Sammy was an alert dog and would bark at a falling leaf. I looked out the window to see if he was outside. The neighbors had a security light, and I could see Sammy was just sitting there, not moving.

Now mind you, this was our first home, so the location wasn’t necessarily prime real estate. Behind our house was a hill with a railroad track on top of it. Sammy was looking at the tracks. When I turned my head, it was obvious why the critter was struck dumb. Moving slowly and silently was an opaque human form floating above the tracks. This thing just glided along, moving not unlike our perception of spirits. I could even see that it resembled a female form and had longish hair. Because of all the trashy books I had read at that time, I knew NO ONE was going to believe me. So I reached over and shook my husband awake. I wanted proof that I was not crazy. He saw what I saw and right then and there, we made a pact: DO NOT tell anyone. Neither of us could sleep after that, so we just got up and started our day early.

Now remember, we were not going to tell anyone. We thought our friends and family would think we had jumped on the spooky-hype paranormal bandwagon that seemed to be so popular at the time.

Later that day, I took our daughter next door to see Sammy. I walked into the neighbor’s kitchen. She was making cherry pies. Darned if she wasn’t beating the (daylights) out of the pastry, and as any cook will tell you, that is not going to make good pie crust. Since Mama raised a polite kid, I didn’t want to question her baking skills. So, I just asked her if she was OK. Much to my surprise, she started crying and said she had seen a ghost the night before. Apparently, Sammy had been doing a soft whine and she had gotten up to see what was wrong. This poor woman was a nervous wreck, and I knew how she felt. So I shared with her about our night visitor. From that moment, she became a true spirit detective.

She and a friend combed the library looking for any information they could find about paranormal activity in our area. This woman was so driven that she contacted the university and talked to the professor that taught parapsychology. Yes, that class could give you a college credit.

I never really discussed this with her much after that because, as a busy mom, there was no room for spirit stuff in my life. Spiritual, yes, and no spirits. We moved not long after that to a larger home and put all that ghost stuff out of our minds.

So this is my story, and it really is true. Now that it is on my mind, I think Gammaw will tell her scary tale to the grandkids ... just in time for Halloween.

Connie Wells, Chesterton