Thursday, February 28, 2008

Childhood Memory With A Twist

I was kind of a weird kid, growing up. I guess we (my siblings and I) were all kind of weird, in that we weren't allowed to watch much TV, and were whizzes at coming up with themes for role playing. My sister usually came up with the best group themes; Undersea Mermaids (this would be priceless to see on film; 5 or 6 kids pretending to swim across the yard!), Pioneers (the poor dog had to be our cow, and we planted sprays of pine needles as carrots), or Train (a great deal of dressing up and packing of suitcases), all involved some pretty complex storylines, which she was only too happy to give. But occasionally I would play my own story-game.

One of my favorite internal games was about a little girl named Alice, who went for a walk in the woods with her family and disappeared. Even though her family searched for her exhaustively, they never found her. Alice died, alone, in the woods, and her ghost haunted the forest ever after.

I TOLD you- I was a weird kid.

I'm sure the neighbors thought I was odd, wearing an old, white choir robe with a red woolen vest tightly buttoned over it. Sort of the folk costume of Czechoslovakia. I would flit around the neighborhood in this get-up, talking to myself under my breath, as I went through the story.

What strikes me as odd about this story is the name of the little girl I was being. Alice. Sure Alice is a common enough name; especially when your older sister is obsessed with singing along to the old Jane Powell record of Alice in Wonderland. So maybe its just coincidence. But this past fall I posted a story about my great grand-aunt, Alice Snyder, entitled "The Ghost Who Haunts Me". I didn't know about her as a child - my grandmother never really knew anything about her father's family. When I was given a family bible full of tintypes and cartes de visites, her picture was the only one that had any name marked on it, and it was simply "A S" scratched roughly into the back of the tintype, but there was no information in that bible that told me anything more about her. It wasn't until I was trawling the Venango County Genealogical Society's library, in Oil City that I came across an obituary about her and her tragic end. At first I didn't even think it was someone relevant, so I didn't copy it, but after getting back home I realized she did fit in and in due course I slapped my head, a la V-8 style.

Jennifer, over at Thursday Drive, wrote a post today about ghosts and was asking if anyone believed in them, or had had experiences with them. Talk about your synchronicity - I've been feeling like Alice is hanging over my shoulder since the summer before last, trying to show me what happened to her/where she is now. Realizing that her name was the same name as the imaginary girl I role-played as a child kind of seemed more than coincidental to me now.

The other night, after I had gone to bed, and was lying there, drifting into sleep, I heard someone speaking to me - telling me their name and other things, which were garbled and didn't make sense to me. Random thoughts fluttering through? Maybe. But it was so strange and quite unusual. Things in the room moved and made noise during this as well. The floor creaked though everyone was in bed. some stuff fell off of my dresser, though no cats were about. Do i think it was a ghost? I don't know. I only know what I heard and felt wasn't the usual energy in that room. Take it as a manifestation or just as a ghost story, but I have been successfully led too many times in my family research by a hunch or a feeling to completely disbelieve in ghosts.

Do you have any ghost stories? Let's creep each other out!!


flutter said...

AS!!! oh that is soooo creepy. I totally do have a ghost story but it is way too long to relay in a comment.

suffice it to say that I burn sage whenever I move into an old house.

Maggie said...

The first house Dave and I owned was totally haunted. It was little things at first (balls bouncing across the kitchen floor) but one night I was lying in bed asleep, I'd fallen asleep after nursing Gracie, and I woke up because I felt a super hard pinch on my hip. I woke up just as Gracie was falling off the bed - I grabbed her just in time. In the morning I had a bruise. The ghost helped me, it woke me up before the baby fell out of bed. I'm not explaining this well.

There were lots and lots of stories, too many to relay here, but it turns out they were actually nice ghosts and we were happy about them and one time this lady showed up to bless our house because she knew its history and it was a 150 year old renovated farm house and we went to the newspaper office and learned it had a death here and all kinds of crazy stuff, too long for a comment.

So yes. I believe in this stuff. :)

Chanda (aka Bea) said...

I completely believe in ghosts and the idea that there are many things in this world you can't explain away. The creepiest thing I ever encountered was as a teenager in Gloucester County Va. I used to have this recurring dream about an old plantation. In this dream the house was haunted by a malevolent woman in her 20's. The feeling in the dream was that she died in the house and her spirit or ghost was trapped there against her will. I can still see that house in my head. The detail of the dream was incredibly clear. So one night, my Jr. or Sr. year, some friends and I were out "Plantation Hunting"(driving around in the middle of the night exploring the old antebellum mansions that dot that area (You've been there, you know). Ok, so we were out in the middle of nowhere, Id never been out in that area of the county, and we were driving slowly down an old dirt road, not knowing where it would come out. As we turned the corner the house in my dream came into view. I had an immediate reaction, and it wasn't positive. "We have to turn around and leave now!" I was in a near panic until we were well away from that house. It was waaayyy creepy!.

VelveetaWingnut said...

Ah, so you see, many do believe and you didn't need as much support as you might have once thought! LOL. You and I have had many a conversation about this topic and I have told you a few stories from my past as well. My house right now, I truly believe is haunted...too many unexplainable sounds and that one guy in the bowler hat we see often out of the corners of our eyes. This next year, I'm making a committment to you...when you go to Armstrong co...I will be there too. I have to go to the cemetery with you, absolutely have to go. We'll see who pops up. :-)

jennifer h said...

As you know, I do believe. There's just too much evidence otherwise. Thanks for the mention, too! Now, if we can just get everyone to watch Ghost Hunters with us...

So strange, the things that happened the other night. Wow. Were you frightened, or fascinated?

I don't have a story, but I'm jealous of everyone else's stories. My mother has seen a number of ghosts, though. A trapper and an Indian in her kitchen in Kansas. A girl appearing on the car seat next to her and riding along.

Julie Pippert said...

Ooooh creepily intriguing.

FairiesNest said...

Hmmm, do you know I was thinking just this morning about my Alice obsession. Perhaps it's rooted in the past...or I've been a word geek forever and no one does language like Mr.Dodgson. No ghost stories that I can think of but as you know I did once own a seriously evil doll....shudder!

Queen of Shake-Shake said...

I don't have any. But yours is freaky and I'm skeered to go to sleep tonight. I'm really curious about this relative of yours now.