Ghosts, Snickers and a Happy Halloween…

Last year my husband and I bought a one-hundred year old house. We expected the problems that come with that kind of home and we got ‘em all…the dying furnace, the unreliable appliances, and yes, God help us…the plumbing. What we didn’t expect to come along with our new purchase was a ghost.

But according to my seven-year old, we have one. Apparently, it’s purple and it tackles him late at night. While I am pretty damned sure, the kid is just trying to stay up later, this is a toughie for me because I’m a believer in all things ghostly. Yes, I’m the one who drags her husband on ghost tours around the country…San Francisco, Williamsburg…next week, we’ll be scouting for the Undead in Savannah. And while I’ve never actually seen a ghost on one of these tours, I still wonder if I should carry my portable proton-pack accelerator system. ‘Cause you never know.

But as I explained to my son, not all ghosts are scary poltergeists. Trust me, I won’t be wandering off into the bright, white light emanating from my television screen any time soon, but I have experienced a run-in with a gentle, ghostly spirit that changed my life. For reals.

In my early twenties, I moved in with my grandmother who was dying of cancer. She’d had a long struggle, much of it on her own, but she was a tough Italian broad and not willing to go out without a fight. While she sat in the hospital bed we’d ordered for a small, first floor room, I’d pull up a chair and we’d watch Matlock, eat Haagen Daz and flaunt our matching light-up troll rings. Anything to make life seem less dire. Sometimes the morphine might cause her to see a vision that needed to be chased away and I was happy to do battle with whatever creature popped into that small room. Of course, there were doctor appointments, laundry and home-health care workers, but we tried to make everything else feel…fun. Time is short. Together, we made every moment as full of love as possible.

Shortly after her death, I was sleeping in my corner bedroom upstairs, and her spirit came to me in a dream. I’ll never forget her wide gray eyes focusing on me as she whispered a secret into the air around me. I woke up unable to breathe, certain in the knowledge that my grandmother had come to say goodbye. The secret she told me…in her ghostly, unspoken way…gave me hope during a time in my life when I was struggling, and I will always believe she came that night to reassure me, to tell me everything was going to be okay. My own personal, prescient ghost.

Of course, tonight, I’ll be doling out candy to faux-specters and vampires, enjoying each one of their scary, shining faces as they choose between a glow-in-the-dark bag of Cheetos and a snack-sized Snickers. I don’t think any of them will whisper secrets to me or tackle me in a haze of purple, but each one will remind me, there’s still lots of reason to be a believer.

What do you think? Are you a ghost-hunter? Ever had an otherworldly experience? Or is it all about the candy, and if so, what kind of sweet will you be stealing from your kid’s treat or treat bag tonight?

12 thoughts on “Ghosts, Snickers and a Happy Halloween…

  1. Love this post, Maggie! Gettysburg is one of my favorite places on earth and feels so haunted to me it literally warms my body temperature. Also, your story reminds me of when my grandmother died while in-home hospice care. My cousin, who was in her late teens at the time and sleeping in the bedroom above Gram’s, woke out in the middle of the night to find a colorful orb hovering at the bottom of her bed. She found out a little later that it was the precise time my grandmother had died right below her. I have my own experiences, the most vivid being a vision of a woman in white while I was in an empty theatre. We all now how haunted those places are! I’m a big-time believer. I don’t understand how we can believe in something beyond this life without believing that energy crosses paths with us from time to time. Not sure I’ll see anything tonight, but I am heading out for drinks with friends. After enough wine, you never know. 🙂

    • Elley, I am going to have to add Gettysburg to my list…why did I not think of that? And yes, I marvel at the likelihood that there is something beyond this life…how can there not be, given that we all ultimately just energy? Of course, a few glasses of wine never hurt in the quest for otherworldly experiences! I’m off to buy some Bordeaux to mull for tonight…perhaps we should cross-check our stories tomorrow! Thanks for stopping by to comment. You are terrific!

  2. Love your post, Maggie. I do believe every word of it, too.Well, except maybe the purple ghost part 🙂 Have a happy Halloween!

  3. Happy Halloween, Maggie! Loved this post! I am a total believer in ghosts and your story about your grandmother gave me goosebumps. What a wonderful granddaughter you were, and I’m sure she’s still keeping an eye on you. I’ve never had an experience like yours, but I have caught sight of things – barely there things is the best way I can describe it – out of the corner of my eye that led me to believe I wasn’t exactly alone.

    Have a great night and weekend! ❤

    • “We are not alone”. What movie is that from? ET? No, Close Encounters. I’ve never found it to be a frightening thought. I’m kinda reassured by what I see if the corner of my eye. Thanks for posting, Robin!!!! ❤

  4. When I was seven I fell down the backstairs at my Gram’s. In my hand I had a milk bottle of water with suds to wash my uncle’s white walls (tires, how’s that for dating myself) when I reached the cement, the bottle broke and cur my wrist nicking an artery. There was blood everywhere and when I went into the house holding my wrist together my Gram fainted. Luckily my Uncle Paul kept his head, grabbed me with Aunt Fran manning some makeshift tourniquet and tires screeching, and much yelling out the windows at other cars, we got to the ER where the nurses took over and called our family doctor. A very few minutes later I was wheeled into the surgery and put to sleep with ether. As I breathed the ether through the nose cone, I saw a train on a seemingly endless track, picking up passengers and proceeding to this brilliant white light and dropping them off. This train continued the same routine over and over. When I woke up, I didn’t mention “the dream” to anyone. Later on in recovery I heard Dr. Morris telling my parents what a near thing it was for me with all the blood loss and artery repair. I continued, on occasion to have this same dream and when I got older, I wondered if I had indeed been on the train to heaven and somehow was spared. I still have this very same dream every once in a while and I am 74 now and wonder when the train will drop me off past the light.

  5. I think that was the hog warts train mum. 7 years old? That’s scary! I can remember the microphone cutting out at grandmas funeral, it was probably grandpa doing it.

    Lots of tricks tonight.

  6. Happy Halloween, Miz Maggie! Robin B. was just telling me she’s a believer in the ghostly presences, and then comes your blog along the same lines. What I know for sure is your grandmother was lucky to have such a loving, caring granddaughter. And my guess is she set a good example when it came to loving and caring, with her Matlock-watching, Haagen Daz eating, light-up troll ring wearing ways.

    As for ghosts, I have no evidence to support or refute, but if Paul Walker is looking to make contact from the other side, he is welcome to possess me.

    • LOL. Yes, Paul Walker…unfortunately none of the ghouls I know look anything like the man! Hope you guys took the ‘Bu by storm last night and scored enough of the good stuff to last all year long. 😉
      Thx for posting.

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