- Watch a Jane Austen movie. I am currently watching the newest BBC version of Emma since I’m reading that book and enjoying picking up on all the little things that bring the quirks of the townspeople to life.
- Cleaning my room of clutter. Not yet, too busy coughing on everything and carrying kleenex in my arms everywhere I go. Still on my to do list.
- Journaling for my own enjoyment. Yes. And still recounting five things to be grateful for each day.
- Finish writing the icy mausoleum scene in my story. Not yet, but I at least reread what I have so far and found some great things to edit. To inspire more graveyard goodness, I’ll share with you one of my favorite true life ghost stories below.
- Blog ahead at least 2 posts. When did I agree to do that? My readers love my pantser style. Ok, on the to do list.
You can believe in ghosts if you want to, you can choose to call me crazy too. I’m not sharing this story to change anyone’s opinion of the afterlife, I’m just sharing what happened to me as I recall it.
When I was in high school, I worked in a video store for several years. I had my suspicions at night that someone was in the building. I would hear the sound of tapes (yes, it was all VHS then) being picked off the shelves and put back down down. We had all metal racks in the store. The other clerks I worked with said they heard the same noises when they were alone in the store too, but our manager always denied hearing anything.
I would disregard the noises like the rest of us do when we hear creaks and cracks in our own home. But, there was more creepy happenings. My then neighbor worked out of town and enlisted me to take her dog for walks after school and I would often walk her up to the video store. Our store was family and pet friendly; we kept dog treats behind the counter for when people would come in with their pets. So little me would walk this giant white dog into the video store and head back to the comedy and drama racks or pick up my paycheck from the back office. The thing was this dog, who any other time would run up to people, chase squirrels, lick you to death, would get close to the back door of the office and would just sit down and halt to an abrupt stop. She would not budge. She’d stare at that door and I’d be pulling and pulling her leash to round the corner with me, and she’d be dragged across the carpet, and eventually bolt past the door and halfway down the next aisle before calming down. I’ve never seen her do this anywhere else.
My friends at the time were obsessed with ghost stories. And one night when I was closing, and it was quiet in the store, my two best friends and a coworker came over with a ouija board. I will tell you right now I will never use a ouija board again in my life. I agree with those of you who think it’s a scam and not real, and I agree with those of you who think it’s a doorway to the spirit world. Why both? I really believe it depends on the person using the board, and when we had just any friend use the board we would get gibberish answers, but when my best friend and I used the board, we who could finish each other’s sentences, we would get creepy real answers.
So, my two friends and coworker planted themselves in a back corner of the store in the action movies and asked the ouija board some questions about who worked in the store, what film title someone who wasn’t touching the board was looking at, and eventually who was it that lived in the video store. Amazed, they ran up to me at the counter and told me there was most certainly a ghost in the store, and he was 13 years old. He knew all the initials of the people that worked in the store. They had learned his family died in a fire years ago.
I had had enough. This was not appropriate at work, and I told them to pack up and get going. I walked home, went about my evening, got ready for bed as normal. My routine at night consisted of looping headphones over my bedpost and listening to one of the mixtapes I made while I fell asleep. That night, I remember waking up and thinking I had only been asleep a short while, but the music wasn’t playing. I reached up to my dresser top and picked up the tape player. I hit play. Nothing. I hit rewind, fast forward, play again. Nothing. “Huh, guess the tape player died. Weird. Normally I wake up cause it makes that slooooow, drooooning battery noise. Oh well, back to sleep.”
The next morning, I awoke and got ready for the day. On a whim, while waiting for my mom, I picked up the tape player and hit play. Billie Holiday crooned, “But I’ll be seeing you…” and the whole rest of the tape was erased.
I assure you I cannot explain how this happened. There is no record button on my player, so I didn’t accidentally tape over it. It was not placed next to anything electronic. Whatever, or whoever, it was, from then on, I closed the store very quickly. And my store manager, admitted to me after I left the store years later that she did think the store was haunted.
I think I have a healthy curiousity but a great respect for the spirit world. Have you ever worked or lived somewhere you thought was haunted?