"I have a very interesting history when it comes to
strange contacts and dealing with the unknown."
In the mid 70's I moved from southern California to Alaska. I was in my late 20's, single and in search of excitement. I was a banker and had obtained a job in Anchorage. At the time, Alaska was very much like the Wild West. The Alaska Pipeline was being built and there was a lot of people coming and going who were associated with the construction process. As a banker, I was transferred all over the state, but eventually after 10 years, I ended up back in Anchorage. In every town I lived in I was lucky enough to have been able to buy a home and sell it each time I was transferred. Therefore, by the time I returned to Anchorage, I had made enough money to buy a really nice home. After looking around for some period of time I decided to buy a lot, design my own home and have it built the way I wanted. I found a fabulous lot in an excellent area and in a matter of about 9 months, my dream house was done. Still single, I moved in to this large 3 story house with just me and my dog (a 7 year old chocolate lab) named "Little Girl". I designed this house for entertaining. The lot I bought had a slight slope going down behind it. So, the house from the street appeared to be one story with a daylight basement. But actually it had a higher loft area where my master bedroom was and a lower level below the daylight basement, which was where the laundry room and wine cellar was. The upper level was the formal living room, kitchen, bath and guest bedroom. The daylight basement is where the bar, TV room, pool room and sauna and hot tub area was. Also there was a 3rd bedroom and bath on this level as well. Anyway, I spent most evenings downstairs in the TV area. I guess it was about the 2nd week after moving in; while lying on the couch watching TV, with my dog sleeping at the foot of the couch, I hear what sounds to me like heavy footsteps walking on the floor above me, which would be in the living room and kitchen. Of course I suspected an intruder. Almost immediately I rush up the stairs right behind my dog who had heard it too and was barking and growling at whom or whatever it was. When I reached the landing, there was absolutely no one there. I checked all of the doors and windows and they were locked. So, assuming it was likely the settling or maybe expansion and contraction of the new wood, I just brushed it off. However, it began occurring not only nightly but often several times a night. And, if you listened, it sounded exactly like someone walking from one end of the main floor to the other. Of course I often rechecked to verify it was not an intruder, but there was never anyone there.
In Alaska, it is very common for people to gather at one person's home and enjoy themselves on weekends. So, me being single, having a nice new big house with a built in bar, pool table, hot tub and sauna, I was the new entertainment center for most parties. And, I really didn't mind, because I loved this house and was always happy to share it with my friends. It was maybe about 6 months after moving that I had the first of many dinner parties. This first time we all (6 couples) BBQ'd, had a great meal, and ended up downstairs to play pool and have a few drinks. Anyway, by now my dog and I had become use to the sound of the footsteps overhead and I had jokingly decided it was a ghost, that I fondly named Harry. After about 4 hours after dinner, the party was down to only me and my girlfriend and one other couple. So, about 10:30PM the four of us decide to take a hot tub together. The hot tub and sauna were on the same level, but actually in a separate room, that I designed just for these two activities. And, it was located directly below the kitchen. Anyway, after about 20 minutes of hot soaking, the two women get out and head upstairs for a shower and to get dressed. Meanwhile my male friend and I are still sitting in the tub, when we hear the footsteps. Which I recognize as the sound of Harry and I am sure it is him. However, my friend comments how loudly the women were walking around upstairs. I thought nothing of it until my friend's wife lets out a scream and the two women com running downstairs. They were very upset and claimed they saw something like a shadow in the kitchen and when spotted, it evaporated right into thin air. Of course my friend thinks the women just had too much to drink, but for me I am thinking maybe Harry is real.
About a year passes and I still continue to hear Harry walking around above. Although I actually have mixed feelings about whether or not he is real, I treat him like a real person. When I would hear him walking I would yell out and say "Hi Harry", or maybe "Come on down". Of course he (or it) never did.
In April of 1987 I married my girlfriend and she and her 8 year old son moved in permanently. And, for the many times she and her son spent overnight, Harry had never again made any appearance. However, when we got back from our Hawaii honeymoon, the first night after putting her boy to bed, we had our first hot tub as a married couple. I guess we must have soaked about 40 minutes and it was getting late. I decide to use the bathroom on that level to take a shower. I had no sooner got into the shower, when my wife screams out. I rush out of the bathroom and she was sitting on the edge of the tub crying. After a few seconds of my trying to find out what happened she said something pushed her head under water and held her there for several seconds before letting her up. Of course, I believed her and considered the shadowy sighting upstairs a year earlier and wonder if it was Harry. Maybe Harry didn't like the idea of sharing the house permanently with a woman and child. But, as yet I was afraid to tell my wife about Harry. And actually; after it passed, I think she really felt like it hadn't happened. She did comment that maybe she had actually fallen asleep in the tub, dreamed the whole thing and slid under the water. And since didn't want to give her any other reason to be afraid, I agreed with her.
About a month passes and all goes well. Then one night we are awaken by some of the hardest pounding you can imagine on our bedroom door. We both wake immediately, bolt to the door thinking it is our son. But, there was nothing there and our son is fast asleep in his lower bedroom. The next week, this happens two more times. Same result. Now, we are both spooked, and it is about this time I tell my wife about Harry. She of course is freaked out. However, I tell her I really find it difficult to believe that after more than 2 years living here, he would suddenly be angry at us, and maybe we should just let it be and try to live with it. Reluctantly we return to bed and now begin leaving our bedroom door open.
All is well for maybe the next 6 months. In fact several more parties, and BBQs and nothing happens. And, although Harry continues to be heard walking overhead, my wife has by now become accustomed to him. And, of course my son knows nothing of these activities.
Then one night we are asleep with our door remaining open, and something serious wakes me up pushing up and down on my chest. And, it continues after I am awake. I am unable to rise up while this is going on and I swear it felt like 2 people are pushing me up and down. After a few seconds the movement up and down wakes my wife and when she rose up to see what is happening. The pushing stops and a very loud swishing sound is heard. It was like something flying out of the room.
It was actually so unreal, after it was over; I really had a hard time believing it happened. It took us about an hour to go back to sleep. And, as soon as we did the phone rang. My wife answered and was informed by her father that her favorite grandmother had died earlier that evening. The next day was of course difficult and my wife spent a lot of time making funeral arrangements. But, when she did come home we talked about the previous night's event and my wife convinced herself maybe it was her grandma coming to us to say goodbye. And, what the heck, maybe it was.
Other than Harry walking daily nothing much more happened for the next 6 months. However, after a late night Christmas party my wife and I were upstairs cleaning up and loading the dishwasher when a favorite crystal salad bowl that was given to my wife by her deceased grandmother suddenly went sliding along the counter top and onto the tile kitchen floor, where it broke into many un-repairable pieces. Immediately, I was blamed for knocking it off. Well, of course I knew I had not done it, but better take the blame as to accuse Harry of doing it. So, as she finished up I could sense her anger at me, I venture down stairs to let the dog in and maybe watch some late night TV. Anyway, my dog had this favorite area in the room where she liked to sleep where I had folded up a piece of the carpet that was left over when my house was built. So, this became her in side bed. When I would let her in, she immediately went for that spot. I remember it was particularly cold that night and the snow was very deep around the house and in her yard area. So, I knew she was cold. I decided to sit down with her on the floor to rub her ears and talk to her. As I sat there, the pool table was directly between us and the wall on the other side where the stairs go down to the laundry room, where the door was usually left open. There was only one small light on in the basement and it was on very low. And, as I lie there relaxing on the floor and talking to the dog, I am looking under the bottom of the pool table and I see my wife coming up from the laundry room. She says nothing to me, as I assume she is still angry, but instead of turning right to head back upstairs, she goes left and turns into the hot tub room. I stay there for a few minutes, but noticing she didn't turn on the light in that room. Obviously, I am wondering what she was doing. So, I get up to investigate, there isn't anyone there. This is the first time I really ever felt spooked in that house, but this did affect me. I turned off the small light that was on down there and went upstairs to our bedroom. When I got there, my wife was fast asleep in bed. So, who or whatever I saw down there, it definitely wasn't her. Yet, it was something that looked very much like her. Same blonde hair, same shape and about the same height.
The next day, I was sitting downstairs watching television with my son while my wife was out grocery shopping, when I decided to casually ask him if he ever heard any noises at night, since his bedroom was down there and the door was normally left open when he slept. He said, "Oh yes, almost every night I am visited by (he said 2 names) who are children my age". He describes the 2 kids and says they always want to sleep with him in his bed, but their mother (who he also named) wouldn't let them. He said the mother was a real nice lady. When I asked him to describer her, he said she looked just like his own mother (my wife.)
At this point I really decided that there was more to this than what I could deal with. Maybe this was not the best atmosphere for any of us to be in. And, since I was contemplating returning to California, maybe now was the time to do it. So, a few months later, in February of1992 we moved to southern California. I sold my dream home and never looked back. And, what is really interesting, once we were out of that house, many of my Alaska friends who were often there confessed to me how uncomfortable they were at times in the daylight basement. One guest who spent the night on a couch in the TV room swears he was accosted by a female ghost when he tried to sleep down there. Who knows? But, the fact is, I have no idea whether Harry was real or not, a he or she, or whether he was alone in that house or not. And, above all, I remain puzzled as to how a new home that to my knowledge was not built on top of any cemetery or even a former home site, could have been haunted. But, that is my story, and it was enough to last me for a life time. And, I have no idea whether or not the people that bought my house ever experienced any of the things that we did.
"I believe in ghosts, spirits and demons."
"And, there are probably a lot of other things,
us mortals have no clue about."
My story begins in the late 50's and early 60's, around the time the TV show "The Twilight Zone", hosted by Rod Sterling was on. I actually began dreaming Twilight Zone stories. I would wake up and unlike many dreams people have, I remembered them. This occurred several times a week, month after month. Finally, I began writing the stories down. After about a year I began submitting them to Rod Sterling for him to have if he wanted to use them. After a year or two of doing this, it appeared they had no interest. However, one day I received a letter from Mr. Sterling thanking me for the submissions, but politely stating they could not accept stories that were unsolicited, and please stop sending them to him. It appeared to be signed by him personally. And, he did offer to meet with me as he was impressed with not only the stories, but how I created them (through dreams). He left a phone number and invited me to call him to set up a meeting. However, when I did call, I learned that he had died only that week. My dreams for this show immediately stopped thereafter.
It was about this time in my life that I experienced the first loss of a close family member. My father's dad died at the age of 88. However, the night this happened, I dreamed he died, and in my dream he visited me to say good-bye. I was about 16 at the time. However, I remember waking up sweating and very nervous. I couldn’t go back to sleep, and when I did finally get up, my mom and dad were already up. They said my uncle had just called to say Grandpa had died in his sleep last night. I didn’t know what to think. Had it been a dream or not? Whatever it was I never mentioned it to my parents.
Six months later, I had a similar dream, where my mother’s father died, and he too came to me to say goodbye. Again I couldn’t go back to sleep. But this time when I got up, there appeared to be no one dead. However, a week later my mother received word that her dad had been found dead in his home, an apparently heart attack victim. And, since he lived alone, his body was not discovered for a few days. Again, I didn’t feel it necessary to share this dream with anyone.
These two dreams and the Twilight Zone dreams made me curious, so I began to read about dreams. Why they occur and what they meant. But nothing I read answered any of my questions. So, I began reading about un-natural events, life after death and other books that lead me to reading about ghosts and spirits. This was all of course fascinating, but to me seemed really more fiction than anything else.
However, I had a close friend I confided in one night about my two my two dreams. He said he too had experienced similar things, and when he told his dad about them, the dad said he had encountered ghostly entities many times. This kid’s father was one of those types of parents that we kids considered to be “cool”. So, if he said so, we believed him. The father later related several stories to me about his own contacts, but even though I thought he was “cool”, I really was hesitant to believe everything he said. But, it did begin to open my mind to considering things.
It wasn’t long after this, that my friend and his sister (who I had a crush on) invited me and two other girls over to their house on Saturday night for a BBQ, which I quickly accepted. And, after we ate, Julie (the sister) suggested that the 5 of us play with their Ouija Board. I admit I had never heard of this game before. However Julie insisted it was fun and we would like it. Frankly, I would have preferred spin the bottle or even Monopoly, but Ouija was what everyone else wanted to do. The rules were explained, which I really thought sounded stupid. But, wishing to make a good impression, I went along with it. We played in their garage. Everyone took turns asking stupid questions and getting nowhere. Then, one of the other girls asked if there were any spirits present. All of a sudden the planchette began actually spelling out words. Of course I knew someone was moving it around to spell out what ever they wanted.
But when it identified itself as Charlie, I began paying closer attention. And, when my turn came around I asked it specific questions, such as what was its last name. When it spelled out my last name I about fell off my chair. This was the name of my grandfather who died. Other questions asked by the kids of Charlie were more personal and about their lives. None of it was meaningful, and there were no real responses. Again, my turn came around, when I asked if I had ever met this spirit, it quickly said yes. I then asked when. It immediately responded back by saying, "Stay out of the army" and then it was gone. Everyone laughed (except me) and we put the game away. Since everyone knew my last name, I assumed somebody made the game spell out my last name. But it did kind of freak me out. Especially since I would soon be 18 and I had to sign up for the draft. This was the time that the Vietnam conflict was beginning, and I was already worried about being drafted into the Army.
Upon graduating form high school, I began attending community college. I took only the necessary courses required to maintain my student deferment. However, several of my friends and classmates entered the armed forces right out of high school hoping to return later with GI benefits and get into a big college.
Again, one night I had a dream about a classmate who had joined the Navy and was already in Vietnam. He was a crewmember of one of those river gunboats that patrolled looking for contraband and smugglers. He and I were not very close, but we did play football together for 4 years and he worked for 2 years at my parent’s restaurant along with me, washing dishes. He was also the first kid from our class to join the military. Anyway, I had a dream about him being killed. Except this time I actually saw the entire event. I saw them being fired upon from a small boat passing their port side and being fired upon from their starboard side from shore. It was very graphic and real. Again, I woke sweaty and at this time knew it was real. And, sure enough we soon heard he had been killed. I never did inquire about how it happened, but I knew what I saw was likely what did happened.
I stumbled through two years of college. Trying hard to concentrate on getting a degree in something of value. But the constant threat of being drafted if you flunked out was a real constant distraction. Finally, when I graduated from community college, I said to hell with it. I contacted several recruiters, and listened to what each had to say. Back on my 16th birthday I obtained a private pilots license, as flying was my passion. So, when I interviewed with the Army recruiter, and he promised to get me into flight school to fly helicopters, I enlisted immediately. Of course my parents were very upset, and couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t want to continue with college. But the pressure of being drafted was something I could contend with, so off to training I went. First at Fort Ord California for basic training, then Dothan Alabama for flight school. Upon graduation from flight school we all received our orders for either additional training in larger aircraft, and some were sent directly to Vietnam to begin ferrying troops. I guess I wasn’t one of the lucky ones, because I was to report to Vietnam in 45 days to begin my tour.
The Army was kind enough to allow us a 30 day leave to go home, say good-bye and such before we were to be deployed. However, before we went home, we needed to spend a couple of days there to receive our warrant officer commissions, and to receive specific types of combat clothing as well as undergo a battery of shots designed to keep you healthy in a country riddled with disease.
I remember the first night after graduation. We all went out, drank way too much, tried to convince ourselves we were all invincible and how much fun it was going to be to fly in Nam. Of course we all knew the statistics were against such ideas, as the average life expectancy of a fresh, out of training helicopter pilot, was said to be about 6 minutes in the air. Anyway, during the night, I woke up and needed to go to the latrine, (bathroom). I got up, opened the door of my room to head down the hall, and standing right front of me, as bright as if it were daylight, stood my grandfather. He always wore bib overalls, and a train engineer’s hat. He stood right in my path, with both hands to his waist. He looked me straight in the eyes and said “God damn it, what did I tell you about not joining the Army?” Then, before I could respond he just disappeared, right in front of me. I went on to the latrine and then recalled the Ouija’s warning. I had totally forgotten about its comment. In the latrine I tried to rationalize what I just saw, and concluded it was only a dream, and it didn’t really happen. In fact, I assumed it was my sub-consciences that conjured up my grandfather and caused me to recall the Ouija Board experience. And, to be honest, I really didn’t think much more about the event. Three nights later, all is done, our shots completed and orders to be picked up in the morning, and then it would be off to California to see friends and family before going off to war.
I do not know what time of night it was, but I again had the most God awful dream. This time it was my dad. He shook my bed. I woke up to see him standing to my left side. I remember his face glowed, and in the dark of the room I could see he was wearing his old WWII Army uniform. Although by now he was far too heavy to get into it. But here he was, trim and fit and in uniform. He stood there silent at first. I remember sitting up, and asking him was I dreaming? What was going on? He stood there totally silent for what seemed like a very long time. He then said, “Son, I am going to go to war for you. Stay home and care for your mother. There is a lot of work for you to do.” He was then gone. Again, I awoke in a sweat. It was 4 AM and there was no way I could go back to sleep. I looked over at my two roommates and they were fast asleep. I laid in bed until sunup. I then dressed and went to mess call. I was worrying about my dad, so I tried several times to call home. But there was no answer. After breakfast I went on to pack by duffle bag. I then went to pickup my traveling orders. When I got there, the first sergeant said he was about to go look for me. He said there was a call from the Red Cross and I need e to call them. I immediately knew at that moment that my father had died. I was immediately granted emergency leave on top of my 30 day leave. My orders were changed. The company commander said I should take as much time as I needed and if extra time was necessary, I should call him personally. I though how odd it was for the Army to be so nice and understanding, but I had no time to think about it. I said goodbye to my fellow graduates and arrived in California 10 hours later.
Friends of my parents met me at the airport and explained my dad had died in his sleep of a massive heart attack. (He was only 44 years old.) They also said my mother had become seriously ill a week earlier with what was diagnosed as infectious hepatitis, apparently caused while seeing the dentist. Apparently she received a shot or something from a dirty needle. Anyway, the restaurant was operating without supervision and my mom was too sick to deal with it. And, as an only child, I had no one to rely on for help.
My dad had been seriously wounded in WW II and did have a small life insurance policy to help with the burial. I immediately put the restaurant up for sale. My mom was totally out of it from grief and her illness. Our family friends help to tend to her. And, as my dad was a Mason they took charge of his funeral and his burial service. Meanwhile, I worked and managed the restaurant the best I could.
At my dad’s service one of his American Legion buddies came up to me and said I was lucky in some respects. He said my dad had traded his life for mine. He said everyone in town feels you need to stay here and take care of business. What I didn’t know at the time was the friends of my family had all gotten together and petitioned the Red Cross to get me a Hardship Discharge. And, it wasn’t until I had to call my company commander to seek additional time, did I find this out. He said he understood my need to get separated from the Army, but his hands were tied. If I wanted out, I would need to talk to the base Adjacent General. I was dumbfounded. I told him I didn’t understand, why did he think I wanted out of the Army? He then told me about the Red Cross request. Frankly, I was angry and felt these “friends” had no business trying to tell me what to do. And, I told them so. But they all said they it was best not only for my mother but me too. I was granted an additional 2 weeks by the company commander, but he said I need to report at the end of that time. He said whatever I needed to do I should do there.
A week later I was able to lease out the restaurant with an agreement to sell it after a period of time. Also, during this week my dad’s life insurance policy was paid and I deposited the money into the bank, which provided my mom with enough money to keep everything current for at least 6 months. And, by now she was feeling better and able to get up and around a bit. That night I lay in bed still not sure what I should do. I felt that if I tried to get out of the Army I was a quitter and was letting my Army friends down. If they could risk their lives, I was certainly no better than them. I don’t know how long I lay there or when I went to sleep. But again I had a dream. This time in my dream my friend I spoke of earlier that was killed in the Navy River Boat appeared and told me my dad had died for me and that if I went back, his death would be for nothing. Plus, he said I too would die, leaving my mother totally alone. When I woke this time, I remembered the warning, and no longer had any choice. I returned to Ft. Rucker and met with the post A G. He immediately approved my release from active duty and assigned me to a reserve unit, which I had 6 months to locate, which was close to home.
When I returned home, I got a job in an aircraft machine shop, which I hated, and it only lasted long enough to allow me the opportunity to seek and obtain a job as a management trainee for a big California bank. While in training, one of my jobs was to handle consumer credit loans from various retail shops. One such shop sold washers, dryers and refrigerators. And, at this shop I became friends with one of the salesmen. This guy was older than me, but we had a lot in common. He had just obtained a divorce and received split custody of his two small children. Soon after meeting this guy, he asked me to help him restore an old Victorian home he had recently purchased in north Pomona (out 30 miles east of Los Angeles). This was a gorgeous old home. 3 stories, plus an attic. I do not remember the square footage, but it was big. Before he bought it, the former owner had turned it into a boarding house, renting out the bedrooms and actually sealing up walls to make small private apartments. Anyway, my friend wanted to remodel the existing living area and leave the 2 small apartments alone, maintaining them as rentals. So, for about 4 weekends I helped him paint and rebuild the baths and kitchen. For me, I thought this was a really neat place. But he told me how his 2 children hated the place and complained of strange noises in their bedrooms.
Let me digress a bit and talk about one of his children. I would say the child was maybe 8 and his daughter about 6 at the time. The boy was a genius, having been scientifically tested with an extremely high IQ. In fact, in the early 70s he was a participant on a short-run TV program called The Whiz Kids. The show was made up of kids (about 10 of them) who sat on a panel and fielded adult questions and show off their special powers and knowledge. As an example; at age 3 could play the piano fairly well, having never taken lessons. By 4 he could play the drums and even the electric guitar. So, by 8 he was very accomplished musician. The daughter was none of those things, but a very sweet little girl. However, he always needed to be the center of attention. And to attract attention he read constantly, to find topics to impress adults with. By 8, he had read the complete set of F & W encyclopedias. There was no doubt he was special. And, because of that he was always in your face trying to get your attention. So, this meant he also lied a lot to get attention. And, when he told his dad one morning about seeing ghosts in his room, no one really believed him. However, one night, the daughter had to sleep in his room, because we had painted her room earlier that day and the smell was quite bad. My friend and I had dates over, and we BBQ'd, then sat and watched TV. About 9:30Pm a loud scream came from the boy's room. We all rushed up to see what was wrong. When we opened the door and the room was extremely cold, while it was mid summer and likely in the 80s outside. The daughter was hiding under the covers and the boy was standing on top of his bed jumping up and down. When we entered the room he jumped off his bed and ran to his dad. The daughter looked out under the covers, and then she too got up and ran to her dad. The boy said nothing, but the girl said a cowboy came into the room and sat on the edge of the bed and began talking to her brother. He, himself even said he knew his name and he and several other friends who often came in to visit him too.
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