This story is lengthy but the details are necessary for you to understand what happened to me. I have only related what happened to a select few family members but after recently stumbling onto this website (thank goodness) and reading about other people's unexplained events, I've decided to share what happened to me with people who know the difference between what some would say is "imagination" or "dreams" and what is real.
I didn't "imagine" any of what transpired. I am a sensible, logical and "down to earth" person...and I don't lie. It was late autumn, 1978, we (my husband and two- year old son-"Daniel") had been living in Colorado as my husband was stationed there in the Army. After much discussion about whether to stay in the army (and make it a career as his father had done) or try something else, I finally convinced him to take us back "home" to Maine-he had served four years.
I am the eldest of six children and my entire family was back in Maine. I missed them terribly and I knew they wanted to be near my son (the first grandchild & nephew). His family also lived in Maine, not far from my parents. After making the decision to move home, we asked our families to start looking for a place we could rent when we got back. He was honorably discharged and we were headed home.
My in-laws lived in the country and it just so happened that their elderly neighbor ("Mrs. C") had recently died and her house was up for rent while her two daughters settled the estate - they would eventually sell it.
I had met "Mrs. C" on many occasions when we were visiting our in-laws. She was a kind, elderly woman who loved gardening. Her husband had died many years ago and her two daughters lived in Florida. She didn't get many visitors. After my son could walk, he would play on the huge lawn at my in-laws between their houses. She was very fond of my son "Daniel" and delighted in watching him play outside during the few visits we made back home while my husband was in the Army. The last time she saw "Daniel", it was a beautiful, warm spring day and he was running around on the lawn laughing and playing as children do. my husband was inside talking with his folks. "Mrs. C" came over to visit with us and asked me to take a tour of her garden to see all her spring flowers in bloom. So, "Daniel" and I walked with her through the garden admiring the Lilies of the Valley, tulips, etc. and enjoying her company. She then told me about the history of her home.
She and her husband bought the home as newly weds. It had been built by a ship's carpenter in the 1800's. She then took me inside. When you walked into the house, it was like being transported back in time. It was neat as a pin but the decor and furnishing were very, very old. The house was tiny, when you walked into the house from the driveway, you were in the huge (comparatively speaking) kitchen, straight ahead was the bathroom, off to the right was a doorway that led to a very small "front room" which had door to the outside that was never used. Off the kitchen to the left, was an extremely steep stairway (picture stairs to an attic) that led to a bedroom with a second smaller bedroom next to it. To get to the second bedroom, you would have to walk through the first. A tiny, compact home that had served her well. She loved that house. I thanked her for the visit and we said our goodbyes.
While still in Colorado, I heard from my in-laws later that year that "Mrs. C's" health was beginning to deteriorate and her daughters were constantly telling her that she must move to Florida to live with them or at the very least, she should move into an "assisted living facility". She had no intention of leaving her home and decided to prove to her daughters that she was physically and mentally fit enough to stay where she was - so, she purchased an exercycle. She set it up in the kitchen and began to use it. She apparently died of a heart attack while using the exercycle. She was found in the kitchen next to it.
We arrived back in Maine about a month after her death. We heard that "Mrs. C's" daughters had advertised that the house was for rent and at a very affordable rate; I thought, great! We would be next door to my in-laws, close to my family (within 10 miles) and close to where my husband had landed a job AND it was inexpensive. It was perfect! The rent was quite low because "Mrs. C's" daughters wanted someone who would move into the house "as is" - in other words, they had not removed anything from the house, not even the family bible, the only possessions they had taken was some jewelry and a few odds and ends - and the fact that they wanted to sell it soon, meant that the tenants would have to be willing to move out quickly. Needless to say, they had not been successful in renting the home under those terms until we came along.
Our furnishings were still in transit and we would put them into storage while we lived there. In the meantime, we would have an inexpensive place to live until it was sold! I wasn't a person who believed in ghosts or the paranormal, I didn't dismiss it either. I had never really given it a whole lot of thought one way or another. My family is religious and ghosts, paranormal activities, etc. were never really discussed. My limited knowledge about such things was about to change.
The first few days were uneventful. It was a bit eerie though, (even for me) to use the same dishes, silverware, towels, etc. that "Mrs. C" had used so recently but the house had a "warm and welcoming" feeling to it. Anyway, a few days after we had settled in, I had come downstairs to start making breakfast for my son who was still asleep. My husband was not yet home as he was working the midnight shift at a local paper mill. When I entered the kitchen, every single cupboard door and drawer were open! (The cupboards had an old-fashioned latch type lock to secure them closed.) I knew that my husband couldn't have done it because he had been at work all night, my son was too small to reach the cupboards and I would have heard him leave his bedroom even if he had gotten up during the night - which he didn't. He would have had to pass through my bedroom to get to the stairs and he had a great deal of difficulty navigating them because they were so steep - I would have heard him. I thought the house must be settling and dismissed it. I mentioned it to my husband when he got home that morning and he agreed the house was very old and must be settling. However, the next morning was exactly the same! Every cupboard and drawer was open! At this point, I didn't know what to think, so I decided to make sure that it couldn't be my son sneaking by me during the night to open the cupboards.
When I went to bed that evening, I closed and latched the door at the bottom of the stairs. There was no way my son would be able to unlock the door, it was near the top of the door and he would not be able to reach it. We went to bed as usual that night - with the door locked. Once again, I came down the stairs, unlocked and opened the door to the kitchen and everything was wide open. Now I was really stumped. I just decided that this was part of living in an old house, no big deal. But this was just the beginning...
The next day I was washing dishes. There was a small mirror hooked to the wall, right next to the sink that had an "accord ian" type arm on it. You could push it against the wall or pull it out on the long extended arm. I didn't know why she would have had it there as the bathroom was only a couple of steps away with a mirror but who knows... The little "accordian" mirror was at eye level when you stood at the sink. As I was washing dishes, I happened to look into the mirror and I saw the bottom half of a bright, white, flowing dress as someone walked by. I could only see the bottom half of this "person" as the mirror was small and was tilted down slightly. My son was upstairs napping, my husband was not home. As soon as I saw the gown pass by, I whipped around to see who it was but there was no one in the room! I know what I saw. It was a woman slowing walking past in a long, bright, white "old fashioned" dressing gown. I thought, I've just seen a ghost! Nah, impossible. I went back to doing the dishes when I "felt" that she was back in the room, I turned quickly and saw the rocking chair slowly rocking. There was a small rocking chair in the kitchen by a large window. I learned from my in-laws that "Mrs. C" used to enjoy looking out the window while rocking. This happened several times while we lived there and I just got used to it. I still didn't think much about what I was seeing but I knew I wasn't imagining it. It didn't bother me one way or the other and I certainly wasn't frightened. My husband didn't know what to say about my experiences as they only seemed to happen to me but he kept an open mind.
The following weekend my husband and I went to bed around 10:00 p.m. We had watched some television and even though he worked the midnight shift, he was tired enough that evening to go to up to bed for a while. We both instantly fell asleep. Suddenly, from a sound sleep, I found myself sitting up in bed at full attention. I was confused and anxious because I thought someone had said something to me - directly and urgently into my ear. I quickly looked around the room but saw nothing then I heard it again - a clear and concise message "Hurry, hurry, the baby needs you!! NOW!!!!!" I found myself leaping out of bed and running into "Daniel's" room, he was only a few steps away and I hadn't heard him in distress - I am a light sleeper. I ran into his room and turned on the bedside lamp, what I saw next terrified me. There was a HUGE, and I mean HUGE spider creeping slowing toward his ear - he was sound asleep. I have an unnatural fear of spiders even though I live in an area that has no poisonous spiders and the biggest spiders here (which most people would consider small) are usually dock spiders near the water. I quickly snatched him out of the bed and screamed for my husband. He came running in and couldn't believe the size of it. He quickly got rid of it and I held "Daniel" close to us in our bed for the rest of the night.
The next day, my husband asked me how I knew that the spider was there. When I told him that someone had awakened me with an urgent message to go into his room, he believed me. If I hadn't been told to go into his room, I don't know what would have happened to my son...perhaps nothing but I am certainly glad that I had been given the warning. It then began to dawn on me that we had someone watching out for us. I knew then that "Mrs. C" had not left her beloved home and she was still here. Her subtle "open cupboard" message, and image in the mirror now made sense. Her urgent message to me about the spider was undeniable. She obviously was happy that we were here and she was watching over my son. If we could have bought the house then and there, I would have. However, we had no hope of being able to afford a house in the near future and I knew we would only be here for a short while. That depressed me a bit because I had never had something like this happen to me or any member of my family and I wanted to have her help for as long as possible. I now considered her my son's "guardian".
There is more...
A couple of weeks later...it had started to snow and it was very dark, even for a winter night in Maine. My husband was at work. I had stayed up late reading, I just wasn't tired which was unusual for me. Around midnight, I finally decided to go up to bed and try to force myself to sleep. I checked on my son, got my pj's on, turned off the light and snuggled into the blankets. Within a couple of minutes, I heard her voice again. I wasn't sleeping this time and the urgency in her voice was so pronounced, she was nearly yelling at me. She told me to get my pistol and load it (I have always had a hand-gun nearby, just in case, but with a toddler around, we kept it up in a closet, unloaded, with the bullets in a separate area.) You can imagine my shock at hearing this but I trusted her and did as she said. Once the pistol was loaded, she told me to go downstairs and lock all the doors and windows, including the front door which is never used. Usually, I didn't lock the doors. Not only did she instruct me to lock the doors but she told me to take one of the kitchen chairs and turn it around with the back propped up against the doorknob. I had never done this before but she said it would be harder for "him" to get in if he broke the lock. I am now in full adrenaline mode, gun in hand and running for all I'm worth to secure the house. As soon as I had locked everything and propped the chair under the door knob, I ran back upstairs to put me between whoever was coming and my son. The only phone in the house was in the kitchen next to the now locked, bolted and chair-propped door. That door had a huge window with a "french door" type storm door beyond it, in other words, if you were in any part of the kitchen you could be seen from that door. I briefly thought of calling my father-in-law, who was just next door (next door meaning about 3 acres away-well out of earshot) but I hadn't seen anything yet. I couldn't call him to say that "Mrs. C" was warning me about an impending encounter - at midnight. Besides, their lights were off, I could see that far through the bathroom window, so I knew they were in bed. I had just reached my bedroom when I heard it... Someone was at the kitchen door, I heard breaking glass. Without being able to see into the kitchen, I knew "he" had broken one of the "french door" windows and was now working on the inside door. He was pounding the door with such force that I knew he had broken the lock. The only thing between him and me and my son was the propped up chair. He must have seen the chair because he became more violent once the lock was broken and he still couldn't get the door open. I knew I had to do something because he would eventually get in. I raced to the bottom of the stairs and edged the gun around the corner without showing myself. I screamed to him that I was armed and that if he came into my home, I was going to shoot him. I told him to look at the gun and decide if it was worth it. The banging and pounding stopped, he never said a word. I eventually gathered the courage to look around the corner and he was gone. I ran to the phone, gun still in my shaking hands and called my father-in-law. He instructed my mother-in-law to call the police and he came running across the lawn in his housecoat with a shot gun. He is former military and believes in protecting his family, too. He got to the house in minutes, the police arrived and were able to track "him" into the woods because he had been running through the fresh snow.
They lost him once they got into the deep woods but they said I had probably scared him away for good. Yeah, right. He was caught several months later when he broke into a neighbor's home less than a mile away. Anyway, I have no idea what would have happened to us if "Mrs. C" hadn't told me what to do. I have never been so frightened in my life. She instructed me through every step of the whole ordeal. After that episode, my husband got another job-a DAY job and we had to move. I hated to leave her protection, but we had to move closer to my husband's new job as the commute would have been rediculous. I now know that there is a form of life after death and I will be eternally grateful to "Mrs. C" for protecting my family. I secretly and selfishly hoped she would follow us, but she didn't. She told her daughters that she wouldn't leave her home...and she didn't.