Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Abbie sees a ghost

Shortly before I retired from the Police Bureau I was working in the Personnel Division and had a college intern helping me complete personnel background investigations while earning college credits.  She was 19 years old and studying criminal justice.  I will call her Abbie.

Abbie came to work on Monday morning looking ashen white and ill.  I inquired how she was feeling and her response was the socially acceptable; “OK, fine, thank you.”  I could tell she wasn’t fine so about 30 minutes later I inquired again how she was feeling and let her know that if she needed to go home that was OK.  She started to cry softly.  We sat down and while I was trying to find out what was wrong I noticed she was trembling and speaking with a shaky voice.
Abbie told me a young couple from her church was going to Europe for two weeks and offered to pay her to live in their home while they were gone and feed their pet cat and dog.  Needing some extra money, like most college kids, she accepted their offer. Also, there was free food, a hot tub, and a big home to live in.

These friends were leaving on Friday evening so Abbie went to their home just prior to their departure to receive final instructions on how to care for their pets and home.  After saying goodbye to her friends, they departed for the airport and Abbie settled in, ate dinner, watched TV for a couple of hours, then played the piano.  It was now time to feed the cat in the kitchen.
As Abbie was walking from the piano room through the front room to the kitchen she passed by a large picture window.  In the reflection of the window she saw a man and a woman standing behind her on a staircase.
Abbie was startled and very frightened as she now realized she was looking at a man in a military uniform and a young woman next to him.  Abbie whirled around to confront them and all she saw was a bare wall with a couple of small pictures on it.  She looked back into the window and again saw their reflection but this time they smiled at her.  She was so scared she could barely speak to ask them, “May I help you?” When they didn’t answer she again looked behind her only to see a bare wall and no staircase.

Too frightened to stay in the house she went outside and the pet dog began to howl.  While she was outside she looked around to see if some of her college friends were trying to scare her.  There was no one outside nor was there any evidence of someone trying to trick her.
Abbie went directly home too afraid to return inside the house.  After sharing this ghost story with her parents they assured her she had just spooked herself and then became too scared to stay alone in a strange house.  They told her she had just imagined these ghosts in her mind, so they became real to her.

On Saturday, Abbie invited a friend to spend the night with her and warned her about what she had seen the night before.  The friend thought this was great adventure.  When it was time to feed the cat they both walked through the front room together and were shocked and startled to see the same reflections in the window of a man in a military uniform with the young woman standing next to him on a staircase.  It only took one sighting to end this sleepover for her friend. The friend was “out of there,” never to return. 

Again, Abbie left and went home, being too afraid to stay in the house.  On Sunday, she took her mother with her and they went in the back door to avoid the front room, fed the cat then immediately left the house.  Her mother was not going to have anything to do with ghosts.

By Monday morning, Abbie was an emotional wreck when she came to work. She was worried because she wasn’t keeping her commitment to care for her vacationing friend’s home and pets.
I inquired about the soldier’s uniform to try and determine what war he was affiliated with and what type of dress the young woman was wearing.  Abbie didn’t know uniforms of different wars so I did a Google search and found pictures and showed them to her.  She immediately picked the Confederate uniform of the Civil War.  Next, I showed her a picture of a Southern Bell dress and Abbie told me the dress worn by the young woman was the same style but different colors.  She also told me the woman looked like she young, maybe in her late 20’s.
Obtaining the address of the residence I next went to the Property Tax Division of the county and looked up the property’s ownership history.  I was shocked at what I found so I made copies of the records to show Abbie.  The first owners of this house had moved into it in 1880 about 15 years after the Civil War ended in 1865, and the soldier was a veteran of the Confederate Army.
Abbie ask me to go with her to feed the cat and dog that evening, so I called my wife to see if she would go with us since I didn’t think it would be appropriate to go alone with a young college coed to a haunted house.  My wife thought about it for a few minutes, then said she didn’t want to see any ghosts or get involved with someone else’s property without their knowledge or consent.
I was disappointed but it was getting late and the cat and dog needed fed so Abbie called her mother to meet her at the house.  They avoided going into the front room and for the rest of the two weeks they just fed the pets and left.
When the vacationing home owners got home Abbie told them what happened.  They dismissed her story because they had not experienced any similar events and suggested she had used this ghost sighting as an excuse not to stay in their home.  They only paid her for feeding the pets since she didn’t stay in their home as agreed.
Those hearing this story may rationalize this as an imagined event for Abbie and her girlfriend but it will always be a real ghost encounter for Abbie.  A year later, my wife and I attended Abbie’s wedding and we all had a good laugh together recalling this event that had frightened Abbie so badly.
Ghosts are people like you and me, but in spirit form without a body, like the Holy Ghost.  After Christ’s resurrection his disciples thought they had seen a ghost when He appeared to them.   Luke24: 37 “But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. 

As long as there has been recorded history there have been sightings of good and evil spirits. Many evil spirits never received a body and now desire to be a tenant in our body. We must be careful not to invite or allow them to share our body. One man allowed a legion of evil spirits to occupy his body and eventually he no longer had control of his body, they did.

Luke 8: 
27 And when he (Jesus) went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs.

28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesusthou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not. (note: the spirits that possessed this man did not have a veil put over their minds like we did when we were born.  We are to live by faith but they knew Jesus was the Son of God because they do not have a veil over their minds.)  
29 For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.
30 And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him.
31 And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep. (Outer darkness where bad guys live)
32 And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them. (These spirits wanted a body so bad they would live in the body of a pig.)
  33 Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked.
(The pigs would rather give up their body than share it with an evil spirit so they drown themselves in the lake)

It’s fun to tell ghost stories, but remember ghosts are real.  They may invite themselves to the party. 


  1. Fun story and good analogy Elder Watts.

  2. Are we gonna get more ghost stories in October, or shall we take your advice and stay away from such talk? ;)