Ghost Stories

Three stories from family and one from Nantucket

Hi. I found this site while searching for ghost stories on Yahoo!. I love to read 'em but have never had any experiences myself, unfortunately. I wish often that I could see a ghost or anything out of the ordinary because for me it would prove there's life after death, which is something I often wonder about. But my family members have stories - quite a few, actually, and maybe I'll post more of them here sometime, but here are three they've told me recently.

My maternal grandmother passed away on New Year's Eve in 2001 (at night, so it was almost New Year's Day 2002). I will mention a couple of things that happened to me personally on the night of her death, although I think of them as just memorable things that happened and not signs of anything supernatural. My mother was at the hospital and I was here alone. My Nana had been in the hospital for several weeks, maybe even a month or more, so my mom checked in from there plenty but I could tell my mom sounded different this time so I asked her if I should come to the hospital. She said I could do whatever I wanted to. I was playing the piano at the time and got pretty upset trying to decide if I should go or stay - I felt horrible about not wanting to go, but I hated seeing my Nana in that hospital (and I hate hospitals period). I decided I was going to calm myself by playing my Nana's (and my) favorite Christmas carol on the piano, "O Holy Night." I played through it twice, and when I was finished I got panicked, probably just from sadness. I threw on my shoes and flung open the front door and it was snowing. That might not be unusual for most people in late December, but I live in New Mexico. It just doesn't snow very often here - usually once a winter if we're lucky - and it had already snowed back in late November so no one was expecting it again. For some reason, when I saw that snow, I had a feeling my Nana would be leaving us. I know I was just jumping to conclusions because I was feeling unusual because of the unusual weather. I sped to the hospital and not long afterward my Nana died. But that's not the story. My maternal aunt has a daughter who was about 2 when my Nana died. A few months afterward, my aunt told my mom about two separate occurrences where she had been bathing or playing with my cousin and my cousin had looked up and said "Hi, Nana!" One of those times, my aunt had asked her "Where's Nana?" thinking she would say "In heaven" or something, and my cousin pointed slightly upward behind my aunt and said "Right there!" I would love to believe that my cousin saw the spirit of my Nana, but I am a skeptic. My aunt could just have been wishing her daughter saw something in order to ease her mind. I also felt disappointed somehow by this story - if my cousin could see my Nana's spirit, why couldn't I or my other cousins?

My second story comes from another maternal aunt, who moved away from our hometown when she was 18 to Tennessee (Ripley, specifically). She lived briefly in an old house, I think she said it was on a slight hill at the end of a cul de sac, that had been separated and turned into apartments. She told me that on several occasions she would wake early in the morning, around 5 or 6, to see the apparition of a mean-tempered-looking old woman with a high button-up color, a grey dress and her grey-streaked black hair in a bun floating near a corner of the ceiling, and whenever she saw the old woman, she was paralyzed and couldn't move. She didn't seem overly terrified by this, something which raised my red skeptic flag. "So you were just dandy with that?" I laughed. She said the first few times it scared her badly but the next few, she was scared but just resigned to the fact. I asked her if she told the old bat to beat it, and she said she also couldn't speak. I told her excessive use of wacky weed also causes hallucinations, and she just laughed and said "Forget it." That same day, I was riding back to my grandparents' house with my aunt and my grandpa, and out of the blue she asked him if he remembered that old house in Ripley that they'd turned into apartments, and he said yes. I was like, "Great, here we go again." She asked my Papa who used to live there, and he said "Old Lady Such-and-Such (sorry, can't remember the name)." Of course, my aunt got all excited and asked him to tell her about the Old Lady. He said she was quite mean and he thought she used to be a school marm, but when he was younger, she would always sit on her front porch in a rocking chair and yell at all the kids to keep it down or keep off her grass. Needless to say, they couldn't stand her. "Yeah, she was a mean old grump," my Papa said. "And she looked like one, too. She never wore anything but those old-fashioned, dull-colored, high-collared ankle dresses and she kept her hair up in a bun that was so tight we thought her head would pop off." Of course, my aunt, just thrilled by this time, asked him what color her hair was, and you can guess the answer. It was interesting, but I can't get over my skepticism. Did he hear her telling me the story and try to give us a nice pre-Halloween scare? That's a possibility.

My last story was told to me by my mother the other day. She said that in the old house she used to live in with my Nana back in Tennessee when she was very young, which was my great-grandmother's house, who also still lived there at the time, there was a second-story loft type thing that you could only reach via a narrow staircase that strangely enough was located in a corner of the kitchen. (Not important to the story, just like to set the scene). She said my Nana used to tell the story of how when she had first returned to the old homestead to move back in with her mother temporarily, there was a horrible electric storm one night, with lightning flashing everywhere. She and her mother had heard a damaged portion of the roof upstairs, which had been temporarily mended with boards, blow off and naturally they wanted to get upstairs quickly to either attempt to patch the hole back up or get the things out of the way so they wouldn't get soaked. My Nana took off the fastest and she said that as soon as she got to the bottom of the stairwell and started to climb, she saw an apparition (I'm not sure what it looked like) at the top of the landing. It didn't speak, but it looked frantic and held its hands out in front of it as if to stop her from climbing the stairs. She froze, and a few second later, the busted end of a downed power line fell through the hole in the roof and zapped a table lamp, exploding it.
Here's a story my best friend told me the other day - if there's anyone from Nantucket on this board, it'd be interesting to hear if they've ever experienced anything similar.

One night, my friend and his buddies were out doing something high-school students probably have no business doing (drinking, smoking, whatever). My friend was driving his pickup and he had some other friends in the front and some in the back of the truck. It was late, and they pulled up behind the field house at the Nantucket High School football field and parked. Some of them had just gotten out of the truck when they glanced across the football field and saw the shadow/figure of an extremely tall man walk slowly around the back of the home bleachers and start toward them. At first, they were just like "Oh, great, here comes somebody, let's get out of here before we get caught." They took their eyes off the figure just long enough to have that brief exchange of words (maybe five seconds), but when they glanced back across the field, the figure was now nearly upon them. My friend made sure I kept in mind that the figure had been the width of a football field plus the distance around the home stands plus the distance to the field house away when they first saw him and there was no way he could have made it almost to them (and silently) in five seconds. So, of course, they freak out, leap into the back of the truck and tell my friend to floor it. He does, and they peel out, around the field house and down the road. A short-by-truck but decent-by-foot distance away from where they'd last seen the figure came the intersection where they would be turning onto the road that would lead them to their friend's street, and lo and behold who should they see right before they rounded that corner - the figure, off to the side of the road on the other side of a short fence. Now completely bonkers, they speed like mad down the main road until they get to their friend's street (probably about a quarter of a mile), barrel onto the friend's street and up into his driveway. And when they turned around to look before running into the friend's house, the figure was now standing (still) just out of the glare of a streetlight at the corner of the main road and the friend's street (once again, no feasible way he could have made it that far that fast on foot). The figure stood for a minute staring in their direction and then walked away back down the main road.

Once again, if anybody's from Nantucket/has been there/knows someone who has, my friend would be interested in hearing if anyone's seen anything like it on the island. I told him it was probably the ghost of an old HS caretaker or something who haunts underaged drinkers.