Here is the Second Guest Post from Gerry. If you have not read the first extract please go to Life Spirit.
This series of posts is from Gerry who, in his own words, sent these accounts to ensure they survive me, and are available for all to read and consider. They are true real life stories passed down by word of mouth from sincere people, investigated by me where possible, and my own personal experiences!
When my mother died we were sitting in the kitchen having a cup of tea after the funeral, when the front door opened and closed noisily. I got up to see who had come in but there was no one there.
A similar event happened following the funeral of my mother in law. We were sitting in the living room when the door got knocked, but no one had come up the path. Her husband said, “that’ll be ….,” referring to his deceased wife. He opened the door and as expected no one was there.
My dad was a pipe smoker, and when he died last year I put a full pouch of his favourite tobacco, his pipe and matches into the coffin. On several occasions, during the day, the smell of tobacco filled the house, and my brother who lives a few miles away had the same experience. It hasn’t happened recently so maybe he’s settled down in his new abode.
A Little Light Relief
Years ago, one of my brothers came home a bit worse for wear, and decided to make some chips, fell asleep and set fire to the kitchen. My mother had a dream where her mother and my dad’s mother were talking, and she said, I heard them saying, what are we going to do, when she woke up. The bedroom was full of smoke, so she raised the alarm, and my dad and my brother found the firebug unconscious in the kitchen and dragged him out. Three months later he did the same thing again, but fortunately I had fitted a smoke alarm, the next thing I did was dump the chip pan in the trash can!
And a Nice Turn of Phrase
An old woman popped her clogs some years ago. She was not well liked as she had a well deserved reputation of being hard hearted and selfish. Some thought her to be downright evil, including myself. Anyway, the religious folk were reciting the rosary when the bottles in the kitchen started moving and crashing to the floor, cupboard doors opened and shut, thuds could be heard upstairs. A few women evacuated the premises rapidly, and the reverend decided to drown all remaining with holy water. I know this to be true as my wife and a friend had stayed with the remains all night, and were in the kitchen when all the commotion began.
A Touch of Clairaudience
My aunt used to live in an old house when she was first married. I used to stay with her to keep her company when her husband was away working at night. At eleven o’clock every night we could hear footsteps coming up the stairs and stop on the landing. Then, at two o’clock the dog would bark, and then the sound of hob nail boots walking up the stony path were heard, but peeping out the window nothing would be seen.
Let’s Get Physical
A neighbour of ours had a room that was never used, and I remember my dad going up to take a look inside. I was about seven at the time and peeked in around the door post/ To my eyes the room was misty and intensely cold unlike the rest of the house. My dad reckoned it was imagination but, sometime later, as the lady of the house was preparing the room for new carpet something grabbed her by the hair and pulled her to the floor. After that experience the door was locked and sealed permanently never to be opened again.
I remember my grandfather on my dad’s side telling about a friend who brought a shrunken head home from Africa. Shortly thereafter strange noises were heard and household objects were falling for no apparent reason. In short, it seemed to be poltergeist activity. A priest was called and he could not lay the spirit, so another priest who had much experience came. After several hours he managed to lay the spirit into a bottle which was sealed and removed to be secured.
That priest went into the house with black hair and came out with white hair!
Beginning the Conversation
I love Gerry’s turn of phrase and I think most of us would agree that the tales are interesting. But are they real? Probably they are true – I’m guessing a lot of families would have lore like this that gets passed down through the generations. While these oral histories are not scientifically proven, they are none the less important.
At the risk of opening the flood gates I invite you to write part of your folk lore here too.