Marla Cooper

It’s October — Bring on the Ghosties!

A couple of weeks ago, at the launch party for Cynthia’s latest release, THE SPIRIT IN QUESTION, the moderator asked the following question on my behalf:

Marla loves a good ghost story, and she wants to know if you’ve ever seen a ghost! If not, what’s the scariest thing that’s ever happened to you?

I got some really great answers — but realized what I should have had her ask was, “What’s the scariest thing that’s ever happened to you and GIVE ME ALL THE DETAILS!”

photo-1030-2015-ghost-cemetery.pngI love a good ghost story. I’ve always wanted a great gather-round-the-campfire story of my own. One time my stepsister told me a terrifying story that was my go-to because it really seriously happened to someone I knew. Years later, after dragging it out at every slumber party ever, I mentioned it to her. She crinkled her nose and laughed and said, “I told you that? That’s hilarious.”

Womp-womp.

Like I said, I really want a ghost story of my own. And this year, I’m holding out hope for a Halloween miracle. In a couple of weeks, I’m going with my writing group to stay several nights at a 150-year-old farmhouse in New York’s Hudson Valley. And when I hear “old farmhouse” I immediately think: HAUNTED!

Here’s why: My BFF’s sister owned an old farmhouse in Virginia, and it was super haunted. So by the transitive property, combined with a little bit of wishful thinking, I have decided that I will almost certainly be shacking up with a ghost in a couple of weeks.

Until then, I don’t have my own ghost stories to share, so I thought I’d share some from the haunted farmhouse in Virginia, as told by my friend. This is my favorite:

download.jpg“[My sister and her husband] were sitting in the living room reading on a Saturday afternoon, and they heard something in the kitchen. They went to inspect the cabinets, nothing amiss. Forgot about it. Later, when they were cleaning up dinner dishes, they opened the dishwasher and it was full of BROKEN CHINA THEY HAD NEVER SEEN BEFORE!!!”

Another time, her sister came home from work and heard something in the dining room. No big deal, just the credenza jumping up and down (!!!). So of course, she locked herself in her bedroom. When her husband got home he said, “Maybe an animal got in it?” After all, they had a bag of cat foot stored in there. They went to check, and they found the cat food removed from the bag and neatly stacked in a pyramid shape on an antique plate. You know, just typical raccoon behavior.

One other detail my BFF added: “Sometimes she would wake up, walk into the kitchen, and find her cappuccino maker taken apart and the pieces scattered around her kitchen.”

So, yeah, she had a full and proper poltergeist.

Most of the stories are fun, but this one is more ghost-y than poltergeist-y:

“One night, she was lying in bed reading. She leaned over to set her book down and turn out the light, and she felt the comforter lift, the weight of someone sit down — springs creaked and everything. Her husband was out of town. She turned and looked, expecting the worst, and there WAS NO ONE THERE!!!!!”

Which, if you think about it, is preferable to someone being there? I think?

I’m not sure.

Anyway, I’m holding out hope that my guest room in Hyde Park will come with a ghost so I have some ghost stories of my own to tell soon. But in the meantime, let’s hear some of your stories. Tell me something scary — and don’t leave out the details!

35 thoughts on “It’s October — Bring on the Ghosties!

  1. That is so freaky. I don’t have any ghost stories myself, and after reading these I don’t think I want one. But I will keep my fingers crossed that you finally get your own personal story during your trip to New York!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Fingers crossed! My only story so far, which I originally had in this post but it just paled in comparison, was from Key West. The ghost tour stopped outside my B&B and said there was a mischievous spirit who liked to move electronics. The next morning, I found my iPod out on the patio! Not sure if it was really the ghost or not, but even if it was, it’s not particularly spooky…

      Liked by 3 people

  2. That broken china story is truly wonderful. (Gotta figure out a way to get it into a future book…) I, alas, have no ghost stories, either–not that I really WANT to have one. But I sincerely hope you get your story out in Hyde Park, Marla. Maybe one of the Roosevelt ghosts will come to visit you!

    Liked by 3 people

    • True, LOL. Maybe I should be more specific. My criteria: I want it to be while I’m on vacation so it’s not something I have to live with ongoing; I want it to be spooky (like the vacuum cleaner!) but not dangerous; and I want it to make a good story!

      Liked by 3 people

  3. OMG, what great stories. And I’m super jealous about that Hudson Valley retreat. One of my favorite parts of the world. Stop off in Croton/Ossining and say hi to my mom!

    Here’s my story. I was at the Dorset Writers Colony in Dorset, VT. I woke up at 4:15 in the morning and there was a strobe-y apparition of a young guy, late teens, early twenties, at the foot of my bed. He had straight blonde hair that hung over one eye. He was wearing pants, but holding his shirt over his arm. it freaked me out but I was paralyzed. Couldn’t move. I went back to sleep, but for two nights, I’d wake up at that exact time. I finally asked to change rooms. I learned that years ago, a young man had died in the house.

    Not long after that, I read a book that debunked Elvis sightings, giving a logical explanation for each one. An explanation for one was that you can find yourself in a state between sleeping and waking where you feel paralyzed. I figured that’s what happened to me because I don’t remember if I heard about the death in the house before or after the “apparition.”

    It was more fun to think I actually did see a ghost.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Okay, a couple of weeks ago, I told you about the ghost on my hotel room. I know it was a ghost, else security was flat out lying to me and my two friends (I redpfused to be alone in that room until I talked to security).
    Here’s another one from the same place, that happened to a friend of mine that month.
    Picture it. 12 of us planned on going to a karaoke bar to blow off steam. We were to meet in the lobby. Tennille was running late, so a couple of us went to grab her. We get to the elevator for the South Tower, and there is the manager, security, maintenance, the concierge. All standing around, looking at each other in confusion.
    Tennille is in the elevator. It is going between the top and bottom floor, not stopping at any floor. The door was not opening. Just going up and down. Hit the bottom, pause for a couple of seconds and go back to the top and pause. Repeat sequence. This went on for almost 30 minutes before the door finally opened, and Tennille ran out, right into the arms of Noreen, crying like I’d never seen before, except at a funeral.
    They never did find anything wrong with the elevator.
    I don’t know if it is still there, but unless your constitution can handle it, DO NOT stay at the Adamsmark hotel in downtown Dallas.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. When we moved into our house in Tennessee. I would hear voices sometimes in the bedroom. I couldn’t make out words, just mumbling. When I was home alone, sometimes it creeped me out a little. I never mentioned to hubs. A guy came out to fix our phone (landline) and had to go in the attic (we rarely did). He told us we had some old wires up there forming an antenna. Off and on, it was faintly picking up a talk radio station! Those were the voices I was hearing. Turns out hubs had heard, too, and never mentioned. I thought maybe the house was a little haunted, hubs thought he was going crazy. Turns out we were just oddly wired!

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s hilarious! Nice detail for a novel. I had a friend who thought she had a ghost because of the strange “tinkling” noise she heard in the middle of the night, and it turned out to be a woman digging through their recycling! 😆

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hope you get your wish, Marla, but I hope it’s a friendly ghost because I don’t want anything to happen to you!

    I’m saving my stories for a future Chicks post, though I did tell one (not scary, really, just disconcerting) at Mysteristas last Friday and there’s a short description coming up here on the 22nd and another coming up at Jungle Reds on Nov 9. I don’t know why I keep listing them, like you’re all going to run and mark your calendars, ha ha.

    ANYWAY, I’m shivering at all the stories you’re telling here!!

    Liked by 2 people

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