Monday, October 14, 2013

GHOST STORY? by Aimée and David Thurlo

First, let me say that, to me, there's a difference between spirits and ghosts. Casper is a ghost - sheet and all. A spirit... well, that's something else. The Navajos don't use the word spirit, or soul, they use the term wind breath. I like that. It signifies the essence of what we are, the part that goes on. I believe that there's an after-life, and millions of books detailing NDE's support that.

Sometimes if we're lucky we see evidence of things we can't explain through our mortal senses. After our dog passed away, David and I would hear the doggie door - at the same time. We'd look at each other, and rush out to see if we were hosting a stray cat. We never found evidence of any intruder, but the sounds continued for a long time. Occasionally we still see a shadow go by the hall. Nothing to be scared about - it's just there, and then gone.

To be honest, I find things like that comforting. Had I been the only one to experience it, or if David and I had experienced these things at different intervals, I would have said it was our minds giving us comfort through memories. But at the same time? Uh-uh.

 Of course, David and I have had separate experiences too. A few days after my dad passed on. I was sitting with David in the kitchen, and something called my attention to the end of the hall. I leaned over (David sits in front of me and was blocking my view) and saw my dad clear as day walking down the hall and coming toward me. Incredibly, my first thought was "Oh, it's just Papi." Then without skipping a beat, I continued my conversation with David.

Then it hit me. Huh? I looked again, but he was gone. Fear never entered into the equation, but a sense of wonder did.

David had his own experience. Years back, he went to a teacher's retreat at the Mabel Dodge Luhan House in Taos. Mabel was quite a character in her day. She was a wealthy patron of the arts and had a particular affection for authors. She hosted notables like DH Lawrence and Willa Cather. She also tried her hand at writing, publishing a memoir about DH Lawrence's visit titled, Lorenzo in Taos.

David, of course was terribly excited about his visit to the famous hacienda, and since I couldn't go, I was dying of envy.... 

I'm going to step aside now and let him tell you about that experience himself!

David:

It was October 31st, a Friday that year, and we arrived at the house around dinner time. The bedroom assignments had already been made - and it turned out, I got Mabel's bedroom - and her old bed. In the corner of the room was a kiva fireplace, and, in Taos that time of year, it was already very cold at night. There were stories at dinner time, told by the couple who ran the facility. Mabel, they said, roamed the house at night, sometimes peeking in on the guests and coming up to stand beside their beds. It was a great Halloween story, we thought.

I was the one who'd be sleeping in Mabel's bed, so I got some teasing, of course. After dinner, we had some workshop events and entertainment, then several of us went into one of the sitting rooms, sat around the fire, and talked for a few hours.

When I went to bed, there was already a fire roaring in the kiva fireplace. The  bed was cool beneath the covers, so I slid over to the side closer to the fire. Surprisingly, it was downright cold. I thought my own body would warm it up, so I stayed in place, but it didn't work. Eventually I slid back over to the other pillow. It was a lot warmer, though farther from the fire. So I stayed on that side, trying to puzzle out why one side of the bed just wouldn't warm up. Eventually I went to sleep.

The next morning at breakfast, I was asked if I'd seen Mabel's ghost during the night. When I told the other teachers about the cold side of the bed that would never warm up, I got a lot of teasing. Someone suggested that Mabel didn't want me to sleep on her side.

Mabel Luhan's House - 2011  Photo by Khlnmusa

A few years after that, Aimée and I were watching a PBS program on Mabel Dodge Luhan. They had old home movies that showed her, her guests, and her Taos home. The `thirties era black and white video was kind of grainy. Then everything changed. Mabel crossed the patio, and looked straight into the camera. In that split second the image became completely clear, zooming in on a smiling Mabel, waving at the camera. 

"Whoa'," I think I said, then looked over at Aimée. She'd been creeped out too, it was like Mabel was looking at us personally, across time. I've never forgotten that moment.

Aimée:
 
These days we have a flashlight in the bedroom that keep coming on at two or three in the morning. No one's near it, and in fact, turning it off requires one of us to get up, going to the dresser, and shutting it off. It's annoying, but David's determined to figure out if it's a change of pressure, cold, or what. It's not a regular flashlight. It's a cheap little thing with a big bulb, and is only supposed to come on if you press the center.
 
Personally, if a spirit is trying to communicate, I prefer it pick ten in the morning than two at night, but the flashlight remains in the bedroom while my former science teacher husband tries to figure it out.
 
 
 
 

13 comments:

  1. Hi Aimee and David,
    Creepy post:) on my dad's side of the family there have been a lot of sightings, even my little brother say spirits as a young child. We would hear him in his bedroom talking to what sounded like a room full of people sometimes and he would be all alone.
    I'm terrified of even the idea of seeing something, even if it is a lost relative lol

    Great stories!

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    1. Jen, Happy Canadian Thanksgiving! Your brother's gift sounds so coool!!!!

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    2. Thank you! He didn't find it so cool lol:)

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  2. Hi Aimee and David,
    Creepy post:) on my dad's side of the family there have been a lot of sightings, even my little brother say spirits as a young child. We would hear him in his bedroom talking to what sounded like a room full of people sometimes and he would be all alone.
    I'm terrified of even the idea of seeing something, even if it is a lost relative lol

    Great stories!

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  3. Aimee and David, love the stories. I think if a person is open to receiving visits that you sometimes do. My mother saw things in advance or at the time of their happening. Not all of the time, but like when my grandfather was killed in a logging accident. I was about 5. Mom was cooking, I was at the table coloring. She turned off the stove, said get your coat, that we needed to go see about Grandpa. We got to the door and a man was there ready to knock. He had come to tell us about the accident. And there were other times with my mom. Bad news for a kid--you can't get away with anything. Great stories you two.

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    1. Your mom was cool! I only knew one lady who used to be able to do stuff like that. Very religious person, but she was really accurate an amazing number of times. Me? Well, I'm still trying to figure out the flashlight.

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  4. Wow, Aimee and David. Powerful stuff! I think our lives are full of things that can't be explained and that sometimes we somehow intersect with the past and the future. I had a similar experience to yours, Aimee, after my father died. He had beautiful gray hair and a distinctive limp. I was walking down a crowded main thoroughfare and saw him limping ahead of me. I ran to catch up and he was gone - gone ahead to wait for us, just as he had done. And about the dog - I hear the rattle of licenses and ID tags all the time, even when Cheyenne is asleep. I think all the dogs in our past come home to play now and then. Wonderful stories, Guys!

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  5. I think that the doggies do come back to say hi. So do the rats. The first time David brought one home from the lab I freaked. But he wore me down. Eventually we had pet rats, and they'd run up and down the bookshelves in my office. I have a shelf with music boxes, and they'd set those off. These days, the rats are long gone, but every once in a while, the music box goes off. It plays, "It's a Small World."

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  6. What an open-minded group we are! I love that everyone believes in a spirit world. David and Aimee, your stories were great. How chilling that Mabel may have been resting beside David that night. Clearly she appreciated creative men :) Your doggy door noises and the flashlight are proof that there is much more to this world than we can know. If that flashlight starts flashing Morse Code it might be a real message!

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    1. Karen, I have no idea what that thing comes on by itself. There's a show on TV Ghost Hunters and that's what they used to communicate with spirits. So I looked at the flashlight, and said, "You wanna talk to me? Here I am. At three in the morning - no. I don't even want to talk to the dog." And wanna know what happened? Nothing. Not till three a.m. the next night. I think it's a temperature thing, but who knows?

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  7. I've seen Ghost Hunters. Some of my favorite books are about ghosts.

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  8. Aimee and David...such a cool post. The term 'wind breath' is so beautiful. Love it. I believe in the presence of spirits/ghosts and have had similar experiences to yours...feeling and seeing them (or the evidence). Luckily, they've always been nice :). I totally believe most people aren't tuned in to the full capacity of their senses (and not in the 'sane' sense, LOL ;). I tend to have premonition dreams, and those do freak me out sometimes.

    You won't catch me watching horror movies though.

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