Saturday, June 20, 2009

Footsteps

By Ellen Ashe

The old farm house where I grew up is haunted.

Before I go on allow me to explain that there are those, including myself, who take great pains in rationalizing the odd goings-on. The midnight voice in the kitchen could be a radio inadvertently left on, the squeaking rocking chair, where there was no rocking chair, could be floorboards complaining about the wind, a long deceased pet cat sitting in the window could be a trick of the sunlight, and the few notes played on the piano when there was no one there, well…

Despite any and all explanation, my youth was spent terrified of the dark. I refused to spend a night alone there, in fear that the former residents we affectionately nicknamed ‘the old maids’, would suddenly decide to sweep down the attic steps, rattle the latch on the door, and call out for a cup of tea. But it’s not just the Grey Sisters who seem to take up a ghostly residence; over the years a death has often been followed by the throwing open a cupboard door, a muffled incomprehensible sentence, or a broken clock that suddenly chimes. True, it is an old house, built around 1848, as confirmed by the old maps of the county, and my family has been there since 1953. But try as I might I cannot blame every squeak, groan, whisper, or chime on the wind.

One of the most startling incidents occurred with my soon-to-be husband as the witness. Stuart and I had come home from England where we were both working, to marry in Nova Scotia during the summer of 1989. Two bedrooms share the upstairs. I happily reoccupied my former room, even though for only three weeks, the length of our happy vacation. About two in the morning I was certain I heard mother climbing the stairs, and I assumed, in my fuzzy half-sleeping brain, she was returning to bed after a visit to the washroom. Stuart shook me. “Wake up! There’s someone in the room!”

I immediately sensed the presence as well. The floorboards creaked with a shifting weight and at first I thought something was wrong with mother and she had stepped inside to speak to me. But loud snores from the other bedroom across the landing soon denoted this wasn’t a good theory at all. “Turn on the light,” I suggested as calmly as possible, and he did. In the split second it took for the light to brighten the surroundings it was evident someone was standing in the doorway, looking at us, saying nothing. Together we peered at the door but once the light was on, the willowy image vanished.

“Did you see that?” he asked. “Someone came right up the stairs, stood there,” he pointed to the landing, “and then sat on the edge of this bed!”

Somehow I had missed that last part, but I did remember hearing the steady footsteps and sensed that I was being firmly stared upon. Yet, not once had I become frightened. Perhaps years of eerie happenings had finally forced me to be somewhat blasé. And, whoever had visited us certainly hadn’t done so in malice. My future husband however, was shaken. I went right back to sleep; he didn’t. Funny though, because the next morning he refused to talk about our late night visitor. “I don’t believe in ghosts,” he said decisively, and the topic was closed.

Those who know the old farmhouse, however, were far from surprised at my retelling of our late-night ‘incident’. It was one of many, many tales of odd goings-on. How exactly my husband rationalized what had happened, he’s never said. Me, I think it was his presence in the house that was the object of curiosity, especially since he, an unknown person, was sharing my bed!

Stuart’s never been troubled with ghostly stares since the wedding twenty years ago. Having said that, he’s never again slept in the old farm house!

Ellen Ashe

http://ellenashe.blogspot.com/



Love Not Forgotten

Kirkland Hall is haunted. Kate Daniels, part inheritor to the Scottish estate, knows nothing of its history- that a bloody scene four hundred years ago between rival clans saw two lovers separated by murder- and that these tortured spirits have spent the centuries searching for each other. Nor does she know anything about the dark and moody ‘caretaker’, Alex MacTavish.

No sooner does Kate arrive when she feels the house whispering its welcome and pleading for her help. And as her relationship with Alex begins to deepen, Kate discovers the name Daniels is interlinked with the home's violent history of betrayal and murder. So too, is the name MacTavish. Together the haunted lovers must reach beyond an evil that lurks in the estate’s underground crypt, destroy its malicious hold on not only the Clansman’s past but their own future.

Purchase or read an excerpt here

11 comments:

  1. Ellen,

    When I chose the topic of ghosts, I immediately thought of you as our guest blogger. You have wonderful ghost stories to share. The real ones are amazing, and what you do with them in your works of fiction is a joy to read.

    Thanks so much for sharing with our readers today at the grip!

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  2. I love the blog. I lived in a house where there was a mirror in the entrance hallway just past the door to the living room. At night no one in my family but me would walk past the mirror. They would go out of their way to go through the living room to get to the rooms off the hall.

    My mother-in-law who did not believe in ghosts felt odd when passing the mirror. My wifes aunts would not pass the mirror even in the daytime.

    I never experienced the feelings they had until I decided to try to clean what looked like rust from the face of the mirror. The damp rag came away looking as if it contained blood.

    The owner of the house used to wander the property at inapropriate times. He would stare at the house when we caught him. We thought of him as a creep. Even though the house is now a gift shop at the beginning of a hiking trail we still call it the Creep House.

    I love a good haunted house. Thanks for the blog.

    Ray

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  3. Halloween is my fav holiday. The Witch New Year. I also design Haunted Houses so I just LOVE a good haunt story.

    Thank you for sharing yours and I wish you well on your release.

    Best,
    Allure Van Sanz

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  4. Wonderful post, Ellen!

    And what an amazing story. I think a great many people, like you... LOL, go out of their way to rationalize the odd goings on around them. There have been so many stories over the years of hauntings and sightings that it just makes sense there are those who refuse to leave for whatever reason.

    Thanks so much for stopping by the Grip and sharing some of your life.

    Hugs

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  5. Great story, Ellen thanks for sharing it. I'd love to visit that house. I'd probably be scared stiff, but it would be fun anyway. ;-0

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  6. That's a great story! I grew up with a couple of ghosts but they never scared me. One woke my brother up to put out a fire before it spread.

    I would probably have a blast staying in that old house of yours.

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  7. HI ELLEN!

    I HAVE NOT HAD THE PLEASURE OF READING YOU THANKS TO MY SCROOGE DH. LOL GHOSTS HUH? BELIEVE IT OR NOT A GHOST HAS MADE THE MOVE WITH ME AS MOVED TWICE!

    HOTCHA
    lindarb49@hotmail.com

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  8. Hi Ellen,
    Thanks for sharing that story. I know you have talked about growing up in a haunted house. That must have inspired many of your paranormal tales.

    kelleyheckart.com

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  10. Hello, Ellen,

    Welcome to the Grip!

    I was delighted when I saw that Jenna had asked you to be our guest this week. I'd read several of your ghost tales on Hitting the Hot Spot and I was sure that you could bring some real supernatural happenings to our humble blog.

    Thanks! You didn't disappoint me!

    Warmly,
    Lisabet

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  11. Ooohhh, I love a good ghost story and Ellen's are always great!

    I once lived in a haunted farmhouse as well. It burnt to the ground when I was eight but reports after when a new house was built talk of the same elderly woman who used to roam our farm house at the wee hours of the morning, making herself a cup of tea and checking on my baby sister to make sure she had her bottle.

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