I just love fall… the rustling of leaves, the cool breezes, the telling of a good ghost story. Since I shared my first ghost story with you last fall I’ve been told lots of interesting tales. Anyone can tell you a haunted house story, but I tell you ones about haunted objects.
We’ve all seen those early 20th century bedroom suites that are pretty scary looking on their own. Well, I’ll tell you a story of one that wasn’t just scary looking. A friend of mine has recently shared a story about the house his family moved into shortly after he left home as a young adult.
His younger sister was still living at home when the family moved into an old house in upstate Georgia. Many of the rooms were furnished. The house was built in the early 19th century, but much of the furniture was left by the last tenant. This sister’s room had some of the left-behind pieces – a bed and dresser from an old set. She noticed that things she left neatly on her bed would often be in a jumble when she returned to her room. Her older brothers would have been the natural ones to blame, but they were no longer around the house to play tricks on her. She asked her parents if they were moving her things, and they replied that, of course, they weren’t. Her father dismissed her worries as her own carelessness.
Other odd things began to happen around the bed, and she started asking questions. A neighbor remembered whispered talk about that room from the people who’d lived there before. The same people who’d left the furniture behind. Eventually the word “haunted” was brought into the discussion. Sister wasn’t overly worried, as nothing frightening had ever occurred. She was more curious than afraid. Her curler bag seemed to be a favorite of her roommate. Often, the drawstring on the bag would be pulled loose and the curlers tumbled around the bed. She was also frequently awakened by a gentle shaking of the bed in the middle of the night. She still wasn’t really afraid.
Less than a year after moving in, Sister left home for school. The room became the guest room used by the brothers’ young children. Grandmother often read stories to the children after they were tucked in the bed for the night. One night, story time had come late in the evening. As Grandmother read, the bed began a gentle but steady shaking. Grandmother looked up in alarm, but the children did not seem frightened, so she began to lower her eyes back to the story book. As she glanced away from the children’s faces her eyes swept past the window. There she saw a gentleman wearing a cape. He looked as if he were partially swallowed in fog. That misty look – and the fact that they were on the second floor! – added to her uneasiness. She realized she must have gasped when the older of the children looked up at her. Seeing her grandmother’s alarmed look at the window, she looked as well. “That’s Mister here for the story,” she said. “He always comes to hear your stories. He likes them as much as we do.” The other children nodded in agreement, so she simply started where she’d left off with the story. After she finished, she looked out the window to see that the apparition was gone and the children were asleep.
The parents continued to live in the house a few more years, and grandchildren would occasionally mention “Mister” or the shaking bed. Books left on the bed would be open when someone went in the room again. The family considered the odd occurrences around the old bed part of the charm of the house.
After the last of the family moved from the old Georgia home everyone, put thoughts of the bed and “Mister” out of their minds. Years later, one of the sons went back to visit his parents’ old house. While standing outside on the sidewalk, he noticed an old gentleman who had once been his neighbor calling to him from his porch. They chatted a while about the changes the years had brought to the two families. As the son was leaving, the old man said, “I sure have missed your family since you moved. No one else stayed there long enough to make friends with. They all complained about odd goings on. Funny that your Momma and Daddy never said anything.”
I hope all your objects stay inanimate (if they don’t, give me a call!), and that you have a safe and happy Halloween.
Libby Holloway is a Certified Appraiser of antiques and residential contents. She is a member of the International Society of Appraisers where she is currently serving as Secretary of the Board of Directors. Libby can be contacted at www.LibbyHollowayAppraisals.com
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