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Ghostly Encounter in the Hallway

Now it is the time of night
That the graves, all gaping wide,

Every one lets forth his sprite
In the church-way paths to glide. ~William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Nicole with Grandpap Chester We still have large picture window in front of the house c. 1974

With the release of summer blockbusters, Kyle and I have a list of movies we want to see.  While vacationing with my sister he saw Madagascar 3- Europe’s Most Wanted, The Amazing Spider-Man, Brave, and Ice Age- Continental Drift.  Naturally, when we see a commercial for Batman- The Dark Knight Rises or Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, we both want to see these movies as well.  Yes, Kyle wanted to see Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter except it’s rated R, so he’ll have to put that one on his future list.  Every once in a while we’ll see an advertisement for a scary horror flick.  I can’t help myself.  I always ask Kyle, “Do you want to go see that?”  Every time he rolls his eyes with a look of fear and ‘ya right’ and always sternly reply’s “NO!”  Ok I know I’m teasing him, but it does crack me up.  When the movie, The Woman In Black starring Daniel Radcliffe, Mr. Harry Potter himself, came out I asked Kyle if he wanted to see it.  Now Kyle is a big Harry Potter fan, but every time the movie trailer appeared, he almost always turned his head in fear and wouldn’t watch the advertisement.  Now this is probably the only aspect of Kyle’s existence that is not like my sister.  Nicole used to read Stephen King books and she loved to watch thrillers and scary movies.  Did I mention she goes ghost hunting periodically?  Yep scary thrillers are her thing.

I don’t mind suspenseful thrillers and scary movies but I’m not a die hard fan.  The other day I was thinking of childhood movies that I loved, and one that came to mind was The Watcher In The Woods.  A 1980’s movie starring Bette Davis.  I brought it up to mom, getting her opinion on renting it for Kyle to watch.  It was mutually agreed upon that if I do, I would never be able to get him back in the woods again!  That’s one of those thoughts that just should be deleted.

When did this fear of thrillers and suspense resonate with Kyle?  I’m not really sure.  Kyle was not always like that.  I’ve heard stories about children who hear and see more than adults, spiritually speaking.  Ironically, most adults don’t listen to children, assuming they know more than them or don’t have the time or whatever the reason.  But what’s amazing, I do believe their innocent ears and eyes pick up more than anyone.  Adults have a way of looking at something without truly seeing it.  Our minds are filled with so much crap we can’t sort it out and we can’t see what’s in front of us.  When I think like that, I remember the scene from the movie Where the Heart Is.  During the movie, Ashley Judd was referring to that horrible man who was very inappropriate with her children.  Now I’m going to paraphrase, but she said something along the lines of her children saw him for who he really was, all she saw was a Buick.  That really stuck with me!

My bible study teacher told us this really powerful story of a child in church.  It was during a silent mass, a child turned to her parent and commented on the beautiful music she heard.  First I’d like to explain that silent mass is the opposite of high mass, no singing, no music, just internal reflection and reverence.  You see, it’s said that during mass, heaven and earth join together, the sky opens up and all the deceased, the saints, and angels join us on earth for the celebration of mass, specifically during the Eucharist.  During this time heaven rolls out beautiful sounds.  It is also said that the music coming form heaven is the most glorious and spiritual tunes ever heard!  So maybe that’s what the child heard?  Now doesn’t that story give you chills?

Nicole coming out from the hallway 1974

Kyle has always loved music and dancing, as have I.  So guess what you get when you leave a toddler home alone with me on a Saturday night?  Yep, you get dance party!  When he was smaller, maybe two or three years old, we used to do ‘dance party’.  This didn’t happen too often because, well let’s face it my parents never go anywhere, but on the occasion there was something going on and I would have Kyle all to myself.  Just to shake things up a bit we used to turn off all the lights, decorate ourselves with glow sticks and turn on the music really loud, stand in the living-room and dance our butts off.  Kyle and I would totally bust a move!  It was a blast!  He would move his tiny bum left and right and would throw up his hands, mimicking my motions.  We would dance till we were so winded and covered in sweat that we had no choice but to take a break.  I’m sure anyone who looked in from the outside, through the picture window thought we were crazy, or there seriously was a major party going on.  But alas it was just the two of us having a good time. No wonder Kyle loves playing Just Dance and Michael Jackson on the Wii, of course so do I.

One time during ‘dance party’, we plopped ourselves down on the couch for a breather.  As we sat there pretty much in the dark, except for the glow of our light sticks, Kyle nonchalantly mentioned about the ghost watching us.  What?  I said, “Did you say you see a ghost?”  Very calmly he said, “Ya Aiya.”  Of course, I jump up and turned on the lights and moved my way back to Kyle’s side on the couch.  As I looked around, I saw NOTHING.  Then I started the questions,

“Do you see the ghost now?”
“Where is the ghost?”
“Over there” as he pointed to the door leading back to the hallway.
“Do you see it now?”
“Does the ghost see us?”
“I don’t know, I guess.”
“What does it look like?”
“I’m not sure.”
“Like a man?”
“Umm ya I guess.”
“What was it doing? Dancing?”
He laughed at that one and said, “I don’t know just standing there watching us.”
Have you seen it before?”
“Yep. I guess”

Ryan back by the hallway 1979

Well, I was a little uneasy, but very intrigued.  Treating it as if someone else was really in the house, I walked back the hallway to check, and to turn on a few more lights.  Kyle didn’t seemed alarmed, frightened or phased by his announcement.  I can’t say that I felt the same.  As I suspected, I saw nothing out of the ordinary, nor did I feel anything threatening or scary.  What was really funny, was me walking back the hallway whispering, “Ryan if this is you, you better not scare me!” and “Ryan it better be you and you better not show yourself!”  Not that I wouldn’t have wanted to see my brother, but at that moment if I did see him I would have needed a heart pacer.

Weeks later, I did bring this instance up to Kyle again and he didn’t seem to really remember what I was talking about.  He gave me a puzzled look and kind of remembered discussing the ghost but couldn’t give me any specifics.  I like to think it was Kyle’s dad checking in on him.  Maybe Ryan wanted to join our party!  Actually who am I kidding, Ryan was probably laughing at me and wondering why I was teaching his son to dance like that.  Or Ryan was going to finally get even with me for torturing him as a kid and scare the skin right off of me.  Now that I believe!

A year or two ago, I took Kyle to Gettysburg, one of my favorite weekend getaways.  Nicole was there following her alumni Paranormal State and Kyle and I just wanted to get away.  I must say I love taking ghost tours, not that I think I’m going to see a ghost, but usually those tours are so full of history and really fun stories that peek my interest.  They are enlightening and you always learn something.  While in Gettysburg, Kyle and I decided to take a ghost tour, which he insisted on.  Naturally it was at night and our tour guide was dressed in period attire.  At the very beginning of the tour, she started talking about the ghosts around the area.   She posed the question to the group, “How do you know you’re looking at a ghost?” with everyone just looking at each other waiting for her response of “They don’t have any feet.”  Just then Kyle, grabbed my arm and was gasping for air, while pointing to the lady’s feet.  The way her dress flared out cast a dark shadow under her skirt and made it look like she had no feet, just hovering over the ground.  I almost died laughing, yet I tried to bring rational thinking back to Kyle to calm his mind, so we could get through the tour without having him age ten years.  I had to ask the lady to pull up her skirt to show her feet.  That satisfied Kyle for the moment, although he never really did get too close to her during the tour and gave her a look like it was a trick.  In fact, he was pretty much up my butt the entire way, almost tripping me several times as we made our way past the campus.

One of the story’s our knowledgeable tour guide told us, involved spirits and an open closet door.  For the life of me I can’t remember the details, but the saga stuck with Kyle.  As the narration was being told, Kyle pulled on my arm and said, “Aunt Heather what am I going to do?  My closet doesn’t have a door yet?”  Kyle always picks the worst time to talk, because I was trying to the listen to the tour guide.  It didn’t even dawn on me that he was associating this story to himself and it was geeking him out.  I was too busy paying attention to the history lesson.  By the time we got back to the hotel, Kyle’s fear of the closet was very apparent.  He took one look at the closet, which happened to be right beside our bed and about crapped his pants.  He didn’t even want me to take a shower, for fear of being left along with the closet.  The night prior he slept on that side of the bed, closest to the closet, but on that night he switched with me and practically slept wedged under my body, to completely hide him.

As Kyle got older, I never heard of the ghost again and as far as I know he doesn’t have issues with closets.  Now-a-days Kyle is afraid of the dark, strange noises, the thought of something scarey and the list goes on and on.  Even if I would comment that there was a ghost in the hallway, Kyle would never go to his room again!  If I would bring up the closet story to him, he would instantly own a fear of it, even though I know he doesn’t remember.  I guess that’s just kids in general, they go through phases.  Some I’m glad he is done with, others I which I knew more about, particularly the ghost in the hallway.

Published inBooks, Movies, ShowsCommon SenseEducation & LearningFamilyMilestoneObservation & ImaginationReminiscing

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