How many of you have had an experience you would call ghostly?  In 2009, I initiated a discussion on GENI (a genealogy site) which I called LET’S TALK GHOSTS.  These are some of the responses that topic generated.  (I have removed the names of those who contributed to the conversation.) Please feel free to add to this thread if you have a story you would like to share.

My husband, Allan, passed away in January, 1994.  On June 16, 1994, I celebrated my 47th birthday. Allan and I had a little tradition of making birthday cakes for each other and our girls.  On my birthday, I awoke at 5:00 am and walked into the kitchen, in the dark, to get a coke from the refrigerator.  As I entered the kitchen, my electric mixer, which was sitting on the kitchen cabinet, turned itself on.  I was so stunned I just stood there looking at it but finally realized I would have to turn it off.  I felt a strange, comfortable sensation all around me as I approached the counter.  It had never happened before and never happened since.  (In 2009 when I posted this originally, I was still using the same mixer.)  I believe my husband met me in the kitchen that morning to wish me a happy birthday. After I shook off my fright, I realized what a comforting experience it had been.

One reader said she remembered hearing stories as a teenager about a tombstone in a local cemetery near Bogalusa.  The headstone bore a water stain on it in the form of a horseshoe.  The story was that the man buried there had mistreated his farm animals.  In spite of his family replacing the headstone, the stain reappeared.

Another reader responded:  I remember that story.  The cemetery is on the Old Middle Franklinton Highway, on the left if you are headed to Franklinton.  The name of the cemetery may be the McGehee or McGee Cemetery.  The story, as I remember it, goes like this: If you visit the cemetery at midnight under a full moon, you can see the water stain and hear the sound of hoof beats.

The original reader said:  Thanks for validating the story.  I was beginning to think I had drifted into the twilight zone, especially when my husband said he had never heard such a thing.

Shared by another contributor:  I enjoyed your story and definitely believe that our loved ones are always with us. Right after Mama died in 1970, I was watching TV and I heard her call my name. That was a long time ago and nothing like that has happened since.  The only other thing, even though I wouldn’t call it strange, per se, but I have dreamed about your cousin a few times since she passed away.  I shared that with her two sisters and told them that in my dream, there are a lot of people about and I am trying to get through them to talk to her.  My last dream of her was a couple of weeks ago, some seventeen years after her death, and your uncle was in it too.  It was the first time I finally got to talk to her.  Now, this isn’t a ghost story, but even though we call them dreams, the Native American Indians call them visions.  I would rather call it a vision.  Still strange, for I never saw her again after we graduated high school.

Several posts later, he added this additional comment:  I knew she had a drinking problem but in my dream I asked her what killed her and she called her second husband’s name.  That’s a little eerie, huh?

In response to his comments:  Maybe she will rest easier now that we’re talking about what she went through.  Maybe she just wanted us to know how bad it was.  I think it’s special that she used you as a medium for her story to resurface.

I’m sure everyone remembers “Harvey,” the Lee’s Creek Church ghost.  He even made his presence known early in 2009, about two weeks after we cleared out the back of the church for demolition. We were having service and just about the time our pastor began to pray, there was a LOUD door slam in the back.  One of your cousins and I looked at each other and mouthed, “HARVEY!”

From the same reader:  Your mention of ghosts and church brought an eerie experience to mind. Once, when my boys were little, and before everyone began to think it was evil to have a Halloween party at church, I was on the committee to decorate the back part of the old Palestine Church for a spook house.  (She went on to describe the various rooms and how they were decorated in typical Halloween fashion.)  Later in the afternoon, we decided to hang moss down the hallway for effect. So, I went to get moss, along with some scarecrows I had fashioned,  When I got back, everyone else had left. The only light was a black light, but I went to work just as it was getting dark.  The darker it got inside, the eerie it got.  I’ve never worked on anything so fast.  The hair on my arms was standing when I finally got out of there.  When you stop to think about it, we were dealing with two opposing elements of the supernatural.  It was the best spook house ever, but I won’t be volunteering to do one again.

I contributed again:  Your story brought to mind something I had completely forgotten.  It was probably 1986 when Bossier City Police rented a huge space in Pierre Bossier Mall.  We worked for a week designing and setting up a great haunted house.  I volunteered to work as one of the “guides” to lead the way through the maze while telling a scary story.  I made it through one night.  All those screaming kids and the spooky atmosphere got to me.  I went back as a ticket seller after that night!

Later, I added another story:  I heard another one of those eerie stories this week that makes you wonder about WHAT is really WHAT.  My friend’s daughter is 35-36 years old and is an RN but works for a pharmaceutical supply company.  She had not been feeling well this week but didn’t tell anyone she thought she was having chest pains. She was on her way home, with her three-year-old daughter in the back seat when she felt the chest pains again and suddenly thought she might pass out.  She lives outside Bossier City in a very rural area.  She managed to pull her car to the side of the narrow, two-lane road; she called the guy she was dating who insisted she call 911, which she did. He arrived at her location before the ambulance did and said he found her and her daughter sitting on the shoulder alone.  She insists a car pulled up beside her, blocking the driver’s door, and a woman got out and came over to check on her.  The lady stayed with her until they put her in the ambulance and then drove away.  The mysterious lady shared personal tidbits about herself, such as the fact she was a teacher.  My friend’s daughter can even give a physical description of her good Samaritan; but her boyfriend swears there was no one there when he arrived (before the ambulance) and he did not pass anyone on the roadway between her house and the site where she pulled over.  Guardian Angel?

Please feel free to share you paranormal stories with those of us who believe such things are possible. We would love to hear from you.