I apologize if this is a long post, but I've not posted/written/published these stories before, so I have a few to share.
I'm not really an expert on terminology or exact types of ghosts or whatnot, so feel free to correct me, and please point out if I'm seeing a certain type of apparition, or anything, and I'll edit my post to reflect this.
The first one is the half. I call it half a ghost story because I was so young, and my imagination so rife, I can not guarantee it's truth 100%. I just know what I remember.
I was ~3 years old, and my family was located in Corinth, Mississippi. We lived on 9 acres, some distance outside Corinth (2-3 miles outside the city). We had a decent house for the 4 of us and a nice yard, with a playground for me in a sandpit, but no larger than 1/4 acre of 'developed' land. The rest was woods.
Playing on my swingset one day I saw a man at the edge of the woods peering at me, leaning on a tree. Upon closer inspection I realized it was a reenactor, like the one my dad took me to see. He turned and made his way into the woods and I figured, "oh there's gonna be a battle..." and followed. I couldn't keep up well, but he was going slow, as if not to be heard, and then dropped into a ravine and disappeared. I recall going to the edge of the old creekbed and wondering how he could have disappeared when even my head would have been able to be seen over the shallow depression.
Was it a ghost of a Civil War soldier? Or was it my overactive 3 year old imagination? I don't know for sure, to be honest.
Chapter 2: Bakersfield
After Mississippi we moved to Dallas, then Phoenix, then, after some time, to Bakersfield California, where we were from '96 to '05.
Bakersfield is known for it's winter fog. Between the drift down from the Bay area, the agriculture, and the fact that it's built on an old swamp, it creates conditions that can vary from not seeing your hand in front of your face for several days at a time, to a light mist in the night.
My family owned an acre, with a house and a large old tin barn with an enclosed shop my dad used as a carpentry shop. The door was substandard and the bolt came off around '98, so we kids would get sent out to close it on windy nights when the weights holding it shut would give out.
For some time as a youth, I would sense a force watching me. Nothing alive, really, but watching me. My dog would start barking when I'd start to the shop, and yet nothing was there when I turned.
This lasted from '98 to about 2000. Then it stopped, and I got over it, thinking it was nothing.
I turned 16 in 2002. Later that year in winter, the shop blew open and I went to shut it so the fog would not damage my father's wood stock. Before I went out I turned on the switch for the backyard light, a floodlight mounted on our roof that pierced, generally, all but the thickest fog. This was important as with 3 younger brothers there were toys strewn about all the time.
I found that the floodlight was burnt out, so I grabbed a flashlight and went out to the shop. Even though it was only 60-70 feet straight shot from the back door, the fog made it so that I could scarce render the shop door from the back porch.
There were no lights to speak of, save those coming from the houses in the neighborhood, no streetlights, etc. I got to the shop door and felt something watching me again, for the first time in a while. I was wondering if a vagabond had suck shelter in the shop, or perhaps our nosy neighbor was inspecting the property again (something he fancied all too much), but what I felt was not someone watching, but something. I turned out my light and let my eyes adjust so I could see, and turned around.
For the briefest moment I could make out a full manifestation of a mexican girl in a wedding or qinsenara dress. She appeared to be my age, glowing in the fog slightly, and perhaps 30 feet away in the sideyard. She vanished almost- *almost*- before I really "saw" her, but the brief moment I did was seared onto my memory- what she was wearing, her dark hair (which appeared to be the only part of her not pale), and the sad look on her face.
And it seemed that while she had not been staring at me physically- if you can describe such an instance as such- the apparition I saw was both looking down as if mourning, yet also as if she was not just staring, but watching me, in the most indescribable vigilance (if that's the word), piercing me with the knowledge she was there. Almost as if I had seen two visions of the same apparition at once, one as she was, one as she was watching me, and all this in not even a second of me seeing her.
After that I would make it habit when I'd be out there to say "Hi, how are you today?" even though I didn't ever 'see' her again. I felt her there for some time after that, all winter long, after dark. Even when the fog began to lift in the springtime I felt her, and on occasion in the summer even. It was odd, very odd, but not by far the most odd run in.
I did not connect it at the time, though I should have, but that year there were 3-4 times when I would wake up in the wee hours of the morning. I knew I was not dreaming because I could hear my radio going. My eyes were open, and my mind was totally awake. But I myself was physically paralyzed.
I could not move, I was cold and clammy even though under two blankets and in long john's, and I could feel a weight on me as if a petite person was kneeling on me... not heavy, but enough to be a person.
Several years ago I picked up a book I thought was on ghost stories, but was by a psychic who was relaying supernatural phenomenon in layman's terms. She said that this happens when a spirit is trying to get your attention. I now firmly believe this was the girl I saw; which makes sense, considering I saw her standing 30 feet away from me in the sideyard, right outside my bedroom window.
I had a habit of pulling my blanket over my head in cold weather, and as my father was trying to save power on heating in the days of 'blackout' Grey Davis, it got pretty chilly inside... so I never saw what was holding me down, and I didn't want to. Now, looking back I wish I had, granted it was the girl and not some malevolent spirit.
There was nothing about her denoting malevolence, or a violent death, in any way. She seemed sad, very sad, and as if she wanted to get my attention. I was almost sad myself when, after turning 18, and leaving home, I never felt her presence again when I'd visit home. After I turned 17 I never had another occasion where I was paralyzed, I never had that happen in another bed when I was 16, and I am firmly convinced that it was not a biological condition as a friend suggested, but her.
Another interesting note is that I had a morbid fear for some time of fire. I didn't tell a soul, but around the same time this was all happening the fire alarm at our house would inexplicably go off. Perhaps she had died in fear of disease, or some other death that she was morbidly afraid of, and wanted to share; I don't know enough about it to know what, if she was even responsible, she was trying to relay. My senses would tell me that she just wanted to share or communicate. She was very beautiful, no sign of how she died. It still makes me wonder to this day.
The next occurence of mine happened when I moved to New Mexico. I had just moved from Roswell to Las Cruces, and when at the Military School in Roswell a friend had taken a picture of another friend outside the barrack window. In the photo was a reflection in the mirror of a cadet behind Billy in the 1880 NMMI uniform. Other than that, nothing out of the ordinary happened when I was in Roswell.
However, when I moved to Las Cruces I was in a National Guard unit in Roswell, and didn't want to transfer units. So a friend and I would drive every month together and then stay at his dad's house in Ruidoso, an hour away, to avoid motels or barracks stays.
He told me on one of these weekends, as well as a third friend who decided to come up with us, that his dad had owned a second small ranch just two miles away, but they had sold it when the hauntings got to be too much.
At first, when his mom and dad would spend time there upkeeping the place or tending cattle, they would stay in the old house built around 1890, in sleeping bags. A number of strange occurences made his mom demand that they no longer stay there, so they started pitching tents. Strange noises even then, such as men's boots scraping nearby or the distinct sound of horse hooves clattering along the fenceline (they had no horses nor were there any on the properties surrounding) would turn out to not be anything when they'd investigate who was trespassing. Finally, they sold the property to a friend.
Jason took Garret and I to see the place. By the time our NCO's had released us for the night, we had eaten and changed, and then driven over to the ranch, it was nigh 11PM.
We jumped the fence, carrying two spotlights as well as a shotgun and two revolvers for the rattlesnakes. Our trek started over at the southern fenceline going over to the watertank and then to the windmill (the 'water tank,' as opposed to most now, was just a man made pond for the cattle to water at). We then followed the remains of the corral fence up to the house; as we left the water tank and windmill we started to get chills. It was summer, and even at that elevation all we needed were light sweatshirts. However, this sudden chill made us cold, as if it was winter. For a moment we could see our breath in the air, until a warm wind kicked up.
We went into the back door of the house where Jason showed us the kitchen. The basement and attic stairs had been blocked due to rot, and the house itself was very decrepit. The plaster was falling off of the walls and ceiling, and the latter you could see through in many places. All it was made of was slats of wood, 1.5" wide x 1/4" thick if I guess right, placed with spacing of 1/2" between slats. The slats were old enough and rotten enough that even if you could get into the attic, I don't think it would have supported a human's weight. The beams were a good 8' apart.
We heard scuffling upstairs when we went into the living room/parlor. We assumed it was a mouse, as it was not too loud or heavy. From the parlor we went into the library, and Jason explained that this is where his parents stayed, as it was the least defunct part of the house. Still, the walls and ceiling were losing plaster, and I could see at a quick glance several holes in the ceiling where the slats were showing.
As Jason was talking, we heard a scuffing upstairs in the attic. This time it was heavy, and unmistakable, the sound of boots walking across the attic floor. It started at the opposing end of the house, and got closer and closer.
Garret at this time began to almost cry. He was by far the biggest and strongest of the three of us, and I think we were all visibly shaken as the bootsteps got closer and closer, but he was the most affected.
The boots went until they were right over us. Then they stopped, and a lighter noise came through the ceiling, as if he was turning around looking for something. I assume he was looking for a peephole because then he started walking over to the hole I had noticed earlier. Once there, he stopped. We froze for a moment and Jason and I simultaneously raised our spotlights to the hole. There was nothing there, no matter what angle we tried to get, all we could see was the roof of the house.
Then, after hearing nothing and seeing even less, the boots started walking away- the sound coming from where my eyes had just been resting!
Jason informed us that the steps were heading for the stairs, and so we made our exit rather expediently. Garret was first out the door, and was rather liberal with his shotgun pointing at the house. However, I think all of us thought about firing at the ceiling, but our firearms safety training paid off and we refrained. Instead of any retarded acts of stupidity, we decided to hit the road. Walking across the pasture towards the jeep, I turned and Jason and I spotlit the attic windows. For a moment it seemed a face was staring out at us, making sure we were no longer on his domain. But we really saw nothing physically, if that makes any sense at all.
Ruidoso is a very haunted place, with Billy the Kid's history here and all sorts of wild-west action in Lincoln County.
But there is much more recent violence there too, with the county being the highest per capita for unsolved murders per murder in the US. They solve a grand total of 5% if I am correct, over the past 100 years.
But Billy the Kid aside, the newer ones are the subject of my next and final story.
I had just started dating my girlfriend (now wife) 2 years ago, just a month after the last story occured. We had been dating about a month, and Kim's friend had a thing for Jason. On our next drill, we invited them to stay the night on Saturday with us in Ruidoso at Jason's dad's place. Ruidoso is a tourist mountain town, and so we figured Saturday after we met them we'd have a double date and then Sunday the girls could scour the town's attractions while we drilled, then when we got off we'd meet them, have dinner again, then all head back to Las Cruces.
I did not hear from Kim all day, and was starting to get worried. Calls rendered nothing, texts, nothing, and Jason's dad's was 12 miles outside the village.
I finally received a payphone call around 2PM from a rather angry Kim saying that the night before she'd left her purse in Jason's jeep with her car keys. Her phone was in her car charging, and Nickie's phone was dead (The car was locked, by the way). They had walked the 12 miles into Ruidoso over deserted country roads and mountains.
On the ride home, however, I heard the whole story.
After the events of the morning, Kim and Nickie decided they could sit around and watch the TV and starve, or they could walk into town. They opted for the latter, being rather stubborn and restless women.
About 4 miles down the highway, they spotted a cat. This cat sat atop a cut overlooking the highway. Kim noticed right away that it was staring intently at them, not moving, but following them with it's head. The cat's eyes were not natural, just a bit dark, but Kim didn't think twice. "That's a creepy cat," she remarked, and they walked on.
Over the next hill they treked, and a little while later atop the bank on the side of the road, again, there was the cat. They hadn't seen it since they'd left it, but it was the same cat. Sitting in the same position, following them with it's stare. This happened again after that, and finally the girls decided to turn and watch the cat as they made their way down the road.
The cat watched them until they were out of sight, and did not move an inch save it's head, staring after them. Then, there again, a little while later, was the cat, ahead on the road, to the left on the bank. By now the girls had noticed that there was no way, unless it took a round about way, the cat could have gotten past them without them seeing it, and it was far enough ahead to rule that it had gone a ways around. The treeline was a good 1/8 mile from the road, and apart from being hilly and lumpy as seen often in the mountains, the corrals were flat with grass. Only a cow or two could be seen.
The other thing was that these were sparse properties with no houses on them. A housecat was certainly not from here, and it was impeccably clean; not an allycat.
For a mile this continued, the cat turning up in front of them around 5 times. Finally, Kim and Nickie were spooked enough that they were curious (an odd circle). Crossing the street to get a better look at the cat, before they could start up the bank they noticed something at their feet.
A set of photos, obviously taken in the 70's or 80's- color, but with that old wear you can point out- [B]not[/B] just weathering of a new photo- and in these pictures was a woman in a bathtub, naked, with eerie eyes full of fear. It instantly sent chills through the girls, and then they got very, very cold. It was a good 80 degrees where they were, and they had been walking. So they should have been very hot.
They debated taking the photos, but looked up, remembering the cat. It was there, watching them, glaring at them through black eyes. Not wanting to chance some odd, supernatural cat following them, they opted to leave them. The cat no longer followed them, or rather appeared in front of them. Instead, it followed with his head again until they were out of site, and they never saw him again.
Who is the woman in the photos, and why did the cat have anything to do with it?
First of my observations upon questioning Kim about it was First, why do you think they're old photos, and not just pictures exposed to the elements? Her answer was that they were not warped, so there had been no water damage. They were not sun- faded. They looked and felt like 30-40 year old pictures that had been in a box or album.
The second question I had was, could they have come out of a vehicle? For instance if a car came by with windows down? No, she said, because they were all laid out, there was no road residue, they hadn't been run over and there was no sign of asphalt on them. There was also no sign of grass stains or morning dew stains. No dirt. They had just been put there.
So my questions, probably never answerable now ( I lamented that they did not take the pictures and turn them in at the sheriff's office), is, who was the woman? Was she about to die?
My hypothesis is that the woman was probably murdered. By both girls accounts, the look in her eyes and the position of her body denoted morbid fear. Perhaps the cat was her pet, and is searching for someone to solve one of the many unsolved cases of murder in Lincoln County. I will never know, more than likely.
That is all for now. There are other brief stories I could relay, but I will not at this time; I've put you through enough reading for one day.
Please note that these are all true stories, and are first hand accounts save the one regarding my wife. If you want to relay them, copy and paste to another site, feel free to. If you want to use them in a publishing work (hahaha...) just credit them to Kyle Horton. Have a goodun!