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Name Callers

February 2002

Back in the late 1970's, I was 19 years old and living in my family's home. One afternoon while everyone was at work, I decided to take a bath. The bathtub was always a very relaxing place for me, it was an old one that had glass block windows around the back an left side of it. As I lay there quietly I suddenly heard my name whispered very loudly in my left ear! This scared me to death, I jumped out of the tub as fast as I could and ran naked out of the bathroom and to the the opposite end of the house. I was alone in the house and terrified. The ear I heard the "whisper" in (it was really loud, almost not in the whisper category) was on the side by the window. That window was very thick glass block and was not made to open, in fact, it was a good sound insulator.

My mother returned home from work a few long hours later and I told her what had happened. She had a strange look on her face and then told me a story she had never told me before.

Back when she and my father first bought our house in the early 1950's, she had walked out to the rural mailbox to get the mail. The house sits back off the street in a neighborhood that was made up of horse pastures, woods, and homes on lots of an acre or larger.

They really hadn't developed relationships with any of the few neighbors they had yet. As she reached the mailbox, she heard someone calling her name. She looked around and saw no one. Her name continued to be called from some unknown source, and she could not determine if it was a man or woman calling her name. She thought someone was playing a trick on her, so she searched for the prankster without luck. After a while, the name calling stopped and she went into the house.

My mother never found out who was calling her name. She did say that whoever it was must have known her because they were calling her "Jo Ann". That is her middle name, and that is what family and friends have always called her. A stranger would have called her by her first name.

Another interesting tidbit about our bathroom. When my brother was about three, he was taking a bath and my mother had stepped out of the bathroom for a minute or two. When she returned, he was pointing at the corner opposite the bathtub saying "there was a lady there smiling at me". Surprised, my mother asked him what he had seen and he told her a lady was standing there looking at him and went away when my mother entered the room.

Our house was always full of strange noises, shadows, smells. I suppose it could be called mildly haunted. My mother still lives there and I still see shadows moving about on occasion. However, we haven't heard our name callers since.

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