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True Ghost Stories
By Michael  Moorhouse

It seems that my family has always had experiences with ghosts, and I like to remember the ghostly tales they have shared with me over the years. As a little girl in England, My mother would see white apparitions dancing along the rock wall that surrounded the centuries old family home. The ghosts would begin to appear at dusk and sometimes dance late into the night. They were little human like figures, white and wispy. She remembers how her sisters and her would watch them from the window and how they would always have to come in the house early before it would start to get dark. 

Many years went by and my family moved into another ancient English home. The ghostly experiences began happening again. One day, not long after my sister's 10th birthday, she had an encounter that turned her white. She was playing in her room, when she saw an enormous hooded apparition coming through the wall. This ghost was so large that it's head passed through the ceiling as it walked. When she could finally speak, she kept repeating that it had no face! She still looks uncomfortable when we discuss it. 

Years passed with very little ghostly activity until a couple nights before I was born. 
The winters in England are bitterly cold and my mother would spend the evenings warming herself in front of the large stone fireplace. One evening as she was knitting by the fire, she noticed a movement out of the corner of her eye. She looked up at what she first thought was smoke in the hall. It was like a whirling vortex, a cloud undulating into itself. It was like a powerful thundercloud, yet miniature and restrained, as if by an invisible border. At first my mother couldn't quite grasp what she was seeing and then was filled with an awful terror. She began praying with all the faith she could gather in the situation. The awful ghost instantly vanished, but not for long. The next night it was back and again the fierce praying made the terrible ghost vanish. The third night the ghost appeared even closer and again my mother's powerful prayers vanquished it. Thank goodness it never reappeared!
One of the reasons this event was especially terrifying to my mother was that she was the only adult in the house at the time, my father was working in America and only came home once a month for a weekend. 
This story is the most frightening of the lot from my perspective, because it directly involves me. When I was older she told me that she actually had a strong feeling it had come for me! I have always wondered if I'd experienced something horrible while I was unattended and was just too young to be able to remember it. 

A couple of months later my mom's sister and her two children came to live with us. Her youngest soon became ill and the doctor was called. The doctor gave her a thorough check up, but he couldn't find anything wrong with her besides her pale appearance and obvious lethargy. She said she just felt terrible and was soon unable to get out of bed. Several days past without change until the local medium came to visit. She took one look at her and yelled, "get that girl away from that area or she's going to die!" They moved the bed and within a very short period of time the girl was fine. 

On another occasion a friend of the family was almost pushed down the stairs by an invisible force that was extremely hard to resist. The next morning after relating the experience to a neighbor, my mom was told that an old man had been found dead at the bottom of the same stairs. Later, after the old house was torn down, an apartment building was put up in the same location. After we moved to America, my mom's sister sent her an newspaper article (still looking so I can post it here) with a photo of a father and daughter who had a terrifying encounter with a supernatural force in the apartment building. The daughter was on the balcony of the apartment when her father rescued her from being pushed over the side by an invisible ghost! He could actually see her fighting for her life and felt that she would have died had he not been there. 

It's been many years since our ghostly experiences in England. If I told of all paranormal encounters that happened over there, it would just be impossible to believe!

We still have many encounters with ghosts here in America, but none quite as terrifying or dramatic as the encounters in England. Still, I thought I would share some of the most notable here. The earliest that I personally remember is the hauntings in Ohio. It was the first place we moved to when we came to America. It was one of the oldest neighborhoods and we moved into one of the largest old houses around.  Lovely old trees lined the street. The house was beautiful with a tremendous backyard to play in, but it had it's dark side. It wasn't long before we heard crying upstairs during supper, when all of us were at the kitchen table eating. That was quickly followed by footsteps and sounds in the closets upstairs. We would often hear the rocking chair creaking by itself in an empty room and if we were quick and sneaky enough, we would catch it in the act, rocking by itself and then slowly coming to a stop. None of us were really that worried about it though. It became like a fun family game. We really enjoyed huddling by the fireplace when it was cold and windy outside, talking about the latest ghostly happenings. 
We lived in that wonderful old house for years had many ghost stories to tell each other.

We next moved into a modest house in California. It wasn't gigantic, but convenient for my father who was close to work and the schools were an easy walk. We all had some real scares in this place!  Not one of us were spared the creepy sounds in the middle of the night. The first time I heard the sounds was when I was sick with a bad cold. I woke myself up coughing and when I stopped coughing I heard it. It sounded like somebody was dragging something heavy and bumping it into things that were in the way. It started downstairs and after a while it came up the stairs. I was now the one praying with all the believing and faith and prayers I could remember. I even tried to breath really quiet so as to not attract it's attention. Breathing quiet was especially hard because of my cold. Still it came in the room and after moving around for awhile came to a rest by my bed. I was terrified!! I just kept trying to breath really quiet and kept praying and making vows to be good. Finally I fell asleep. The next morning I was really eager to go to school. My mom thought this was really strange and new something had happened. When I told her, she said that she had had the same experience, but it had not actually touched her if that was what I was afraid of. We all had similar experiences but none us of  liked to talk it, because it was just too scary. Many times my father woke us up in the middle of the night with his flashlight shining around. He just found it hard to believe it wasn't one of us kids. Of course he never did see anyone, but he heard the dragging, just as we did.
Another problem in this house was the strange nightmares that plagued us. Nightmares of unseen beings that followed us and meant us harm. Everyone has bad dreams, but not so consistent with the theme and dark atmosphere, like these dreams.
As time went by we had many other  happenings here, like doorknobs turning by themselves and objects coming off the walls right in front of us. We took it all as normal life. Eventually we moved into a newer home and the events that went on for so long died down and we lived a more typical life at last.

As the years go by and we all have our own homes, ghostly activity is infrequent but not altogether absent. Everyone in the family talks of ghosts often (including me) and always asking my mother if she has had any new encounters. We all have an occasional story to tell and love telling them. 

It's strange how something that at times can be so scary can also be so fascinating and fun.  I hope you like exploring ghosts as much as I do and have enjoyed these stories.

      Happy ghost hunting!

                       Michael

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