One of the nicest things about my old farmhouse is the stonework around the property. I first moved in I started getting interested in learning to work with bluestone. I began to look at how the stone walls were constructed and how the walkways and patios had been done. I became obsessed with learning to do stonework. About this time I started to find cold chisels around the property, most were old and rusted and I just put them on a shelf.
I purchased some books telling me how to properly build a stonewall and I ordered a pallet of stone from the quarry that was once a part of my farm, but is now owned by someone else. The morning I decide to start the fixing the walls I go out to the barn and there sitting in the middle of the floor is a chisel, not new but not rusted either. I had been cleaning that barn for over a year, I swept the floor many times and never noticed a chisel. I went back to the house and there sitting on step up to the back porch is another chisel, also not rusted. It was not there when I walked out in the morning. The final event had a couple of days later when I decided to rearrange the old basement/root cellar and I tripped over something - I look down and there is a stone hammer, a real nice one with a hatchet head and rather worn handle. No way I could have missed it for over a year based on where it was lying.
I tell my findings to a neighbor whose been in his house for 65 years. He just laughed and said "that's Joseph's way of telling you to follow in his footsteps and keep his work alive". Joseph and his wife owned my house from the 1920's to 1980's - he was a stone mason by trade.
Guh-oood one, Green Witch. (How apropos)
One more from me:
It's a hot Sunday afternoon. I'm putting the aluminium storm windows back up after painting the house. I have a shirt pocket full of screws and a stack of windows. I get a window, climb the ladder, wiggle the frame into place, then reach in my pocket to get a few screws and one by one twist them into the holes in the frame and the corresponding holes in the wood. (Did I mention that I labeled the storm windows when I took them down? So that #8 bd is the eighth one from the left end of the bedroom, natch. Big house, lots of windows)
Things are going swimmingly. I am down to my last storm window. I check to see if I have enough screws in my pocket to secure it. There are two dozen screws per frame, five across the top, five on the bottom, and seven down each side. I count. "Yes, "I say out loud, "I have exactly twenty four."
My Irish mother would have been horrified. Things are always listening to such human pronouncements and lay in wait to take advantage.
I secure the top and the left side, I press the right side in tightly and taking one screw out of my pocket at a time, continue to work my way down the frame to the bottom. Relieved that I am about to finish, I take the last five screws out of my pocket and hold them in my left hand. The right side edge suddenly pops out a little and, when I reach over to press it in, I open my left hand a little and the screws drop. I hear them bounce off the ladder steps and then nothing.
I look down from the ladder and it's a miracle. They have not fallen into the Irises. I see them, glittering in the sunlight, right there on the sidewalk like a throw of jacks. "Whew," I say, " that was close." I climb down from the ladder.
They are gone. They are not glittering on the sidewalk like a throw of jacks, they are not there. They are gone.
I look for them carefully. They are gone. I climb back up the ladder to try and spot them where I saw them only moments before, they are gone. I get down on my hands and knees and go over the three slabs of sidewalk inch by inch. I paw through the edges of the Irises, I look on the steps of the ladder, I search my pocket just in case, I look on the narrow window sill edge. Gone.
Shucks. I go to the garage and look for replacements in the six mason jars of screws, everything is too long or too fat.
It's been a long day. I started putting up the windows at seven-thirty, thinking I might be done by three and now it's coming onto to five. Ohmigod, the hardware store closes at five on Sundays!!! I jump into the car and dash through the streets arriving just as the fellow flips the open/closed sign to CLOSED. He smiles, but gives me the 'cut across the throat sign' meaning tough luck.
I sit in the car for a minute, "Okay, you got me." I say out loud. "That was a good one."
I put the car in gear and head back to the house. I pull into the drive, walk around to where the ladder is waiting and there on the sidewalk, of course, looking like a throw of jacks, are the five shiny screws.
I finish the work. I put the ladder away. I tell no one.
Joe(I'm not too sure I should be telling you.)
I will dare to share this with you, guys. This is some of my encounters with some things that a lot of people would call "supernatural." I just call them "I don't know what they were." So, here goes
When I was nine years old, I went to the Caribbean to stay with my mother's relatives for about a year. A lot of weird things happened there. Some people attributed those events to ghosts or the dead or spirits. Next to my grandparents' property, there was a huge tilt house (similar to a19th century Louisiana design. it was painted with a fading light blue, I remember), and next to this house there was a huge warehouse used to store crops during harvest time. Around the house, strange things happened: orbs of light wanding about, and the accounts of a woman singing (with ethereal voice) very late at night. During my staying, I remember that I used to be afraid all the time, not during the day (during the day it was beautiful, like paradise), but at night. It was creepy, especially on that property.
I loved to go to the family farm to learn how to milk the cows with the help of arelative and do the wonderful, pleasant things that the locals would take for granted. At first I loved everything about that place. The trips to the river proved to be one of the many things I enjoyed tremendously. That year, I finally learned how to swim for the first time. In that same year, I had the great opportunity to learn how to plant crops in the soil where I watched them grow with so much love and dedication. At that early age, I felt like a father watching them grow tall and beautifully. It was new to me, the way of the farmer, a farm boy I became (well, sort of.)
But at night, when darkness fell, it was something different, something that would've given Goosebumps to the bravest person on the planet. Three of my relatives: one of my uncles, my aunt, and a cousin (I believe) went to the center of the town to run some errands. But they were not aware of the time. It was dark, spooky, around eleven o'clock, give or take. The entire area was cold and dark. They had to get back home.
Silence embraced the night, and it was a long way back home. The street was deserted. The stench of horror came from one specific house, from the house next to my grandparents' property. That house was perched next to the road
road that was mandatory for people who lived on the upper region to cross to get to their homes from the center of the town.
No lights, No sign of activity from within the house. Filled with tales of misfortune, torture and death, that house was assumed to be witness to one of the cruelest inhuman acts of mankind. The locals believe on the assumption that early in the coming of last century peasant workers, who worked for the owner of the house, were brutally murdered and buried around the premises (that's just some historical rumor, mind you).
My relatives were not conscious of what would occur to the three of them that night.
Striding in great haste, my uncle, aunt and cousin were having generic conversations while they approach the house. Their scary and unpleasant journey would've turned less scary if they had something to talk about while they came near the house. Or so they believed. From afar, on the road, just in front of the house, my uncle, my aunt and cousin noticed someone kneeling in the middle of the road. It was a young woman. She was wearing a long white dress. According to my relatives, she looked just like an aborigine, with long black, lustrous hair and dark complexion. They approached her and asked her if she was feeling all right. She didn't say a word. When they noticed that she wouldn't talk, they walked passed her. As they were walking, they looked back and saw nothing in place of where the young woman was. The young woman disappeared. They freaked out and ran like lunatics. I remember how they told this story
their faces, how scared they were.
There is another story that I find very fascinating because it happened to me personally.
The architectural structure of my grandparents' house was typical to almost all the houses in the region: the kitchen was located outside, apart from the main house where the living room and the bedrooms were. The kitchen was mainly made of wood and the roof was made of fined palm tree leaves. It was beautiful. We all used to go to sleep late at night. And I remember trying to go to sleep, and I unexpectedly heard people talk in the kitchen. I couldn't make out what they were saying, but they seemed to be arguing about something. They were somewhat whispering, lowing and raising their whisper in a fluctuating manner. All of a sudden I heard the dishware falling on the floor and breaking. I freaked out. Since my bedroom was closed to my grandparents' bedroom, I got off my bed and walked toward them. I asked them about the noises in the kitchen, and my grandfather told me that it was ok, that such thing "happened a lot [there]." My grandfather's voice seems exhausted, and he asked me to go back to sleep. I went back to sleep, alright
The next day I went to the kitchen to ask my grandparents about the previous night's incident. (My grandmother was fixing breakfast and my grandfather was preparing himself to work on the farm.) They told me that those people who were in the kitchen the previous night were spirits or ghosts. I don't remember in detail what they told me, but it was practically weird to experience something like that. But the weirdest thing was that there was not broken china in the kitchen the next morning. All the china was there.
There was another incident that took place about three weeks ago during my last trip to Europe. I was staying at my sister's apartment the whole time. Since my sister and I are very close since
forever, I, once in a while, slept in the same bed with my sister and her two year-old daughter, while my sister's husband worked the nightshift. Very often when my sister's husband came from work early in the morning, I used to get up and talk with him before my sister and her daughter woke up. But about three weeks ago, I remember waking up in bed. It was still dark. And the door to the living room was open (my sister leaves it open for the benefit of airflow). I remember staring at the ceiling, while suddenly I noticed that someone turned on the lights of the living room, left it on for about five seconds, and then turned it back off. I'm completely awake the whole time. And I became aware that I didn't hear any foot steps coming into the apartment, much less the front door being opened. Since the floor of my sister's apartment creaks just like in the hull of a ship, I became suspicious because I didn't hear such sound. Leaving my sister and niece sleeping, I got out of bed and walked to the living room. I checked the clock, and it was 4:48 AM. Everything was dark but not impossible to see. I called my sister's husband's name in a whisper like three time, expected him to answer me. Nobody answered. I freaked out. I thought that a break-in just took place, and that person was still probably there. I turned on all the lights and inspected every single room in that apartment, even the bathroom. I checked all the windows; they were closed shut. I checked the front door; it was locked. I checked the door in the kitchen that leads to the balcony; it was locked as well. I checked every corner of that apartment just in case someone heard me coming and decided to hide. Nothing. Later that morning, my sister's husband came in and told him about the incident. He opened his eyes like two full moon in astonishment. As I was explaining to him what happened, my sister got up and came toward us. She looked amazed, and I asked her if she noticed the lights of the living room being turned on while I was in bed. She told me she thought it was her husband who came from work, but since she was very tired, she decided to stay in bed. Nothing seemed to have been stolen. And that same day, we changed all the locks in that apartment.
Weird things happen if you believe in ghosts or not. I cannot explain the cause of such events. Sure, people can actually conclude that those episodes were the work of the super natural. But I will not affirm such thing. The only thing I know is that they happened. Do I know what caused them? No. What I know is that I can't explain them. But I am very open to any possibility.
Great stories, Jason, and beautifully, I was going to say written, but reading them made them sound like your own voice, so I will say beautifully spoken.
Joe(chills in the night)Nation