Thursday, October 8, 2009

My Friend, the Civil War Ghost

Mandi from Illinois sent me this story about the time she visited a Civil War battlefield and came home with more than just a history lesson.

This all started in May of 2009. My dad brought me to Washington DC for the police memorial. I was studying the Civil War in history class and so before we left, we went to Manassas Battlefield (site of the famous battles of Bull Run). Anyone who has been there knows that there is a well-known field house there. Anyway, people aren’t allowed into the field house, but you can look in the windows. So that is exactly what I did. When I looked into the window, I saw a man in all gray, pacing. I quickly stepped away from the window and walked back to my dad’s car. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary for a while after that.

When I went to a summer camp in late June, I kept getting weird dreams about the field house. On the last night I had a dream that I was back at the field house... but this time I was IN the field house. I figured that it was directly after the First or Second Battle Of Bull Run. There were Confederate soldiers with blood on them, some were missing limbs. No one paid attention to me, except for one soldier.

He had brown eyes and light brown shaggy hair, he also had a scar going across his face. He looked at me and said, “This is only the beginning.” I assumed he was from Tennessee from his accent, he grabbed my shoulders and ran through me. I woke up in a cold sweat back at the summer camp, I sat up and read the clock, it said 3 am and everyone was asleep. I laid back down and let out a sigh ‘It was only a dream’ I thought. I looked around one more time to see if I had woken anyone up, and the same Confederate soldier that talked to me in my dream was standing next to my bed, looking at me!

Before I could scream he put his hand over my mouth. I could smell the gun powder, and he shushed me and told me “I won’t hurt you.” I blacked out after that. I didn’t eat much that morning... everything smelled like gunpowder.

Not that long after I came home from the summer camp I had another dream. The Confederate soldier kept saying he wouldn’t hurt me. He also confirmed that he was from Tennessee.

In late July, my parents, two sisters and I drove down to Florida. We were at a gas station in Tennessee early in the morning, I was walking around the perimeter of the gas station while everyone else was inside going to the bathroom. I was behind the gas station when I felt a rough hand grab my shoulder, I balled up my fist and spun around, trying to punch whoever grabbed my shoulder, but my hand went through air. The same Confederate soldier was smiling and laughing at my reaction “What do you want?” I hissed at him. He laughed some more, and I couldn’t help but smile for a second. He stopped laughing and said “I want to welcome you to my home... and give you this.”

He handed me my phone charger, which, I realized, I had left still plugged into my wall, “Thank you.” I said, and he laughed some more. My mom started calling my name, and he disappeared. Throughout my entire week in Florida, the soldier would show up and tell me stuff about the Civil War. When my dad, my friend (she and her family had joined us on the trip) and I went into the war museum, we stopped by the Civil War section. I felt a rough hand on my back and I could see a faint outline of the soldier pointing at some pictures and other artifacts from the Confederate army. He was talking, but I couldn’t hear him. Finally he pointed to a Confederate uniform and I could lip-read what he said, “That was mine.” I almost fainted.

He still talks to me, and teaches me about the Civil War. I'm not afraid. I definitely don’t want him leaving anytime soon.

Thanks Mandi. Gee, I've heard of history coming alive, but this is truly amazing.

The Ghost Wears White Pants

Sylvia from Ohio sent me this story about a ghost who likes white...not as in a white sheet you might wear at Halloween, but white pants and shoes and--well, read on..

Hey, Jason!

My name is Sylvia. I'm 14 and live in Ohio. I read your book over the summer and loved it..I also visited your site many times. Some of the stories you have posted are amazing..I always wanted to share a true ghost story..And after what happened to me the other day..I think I can.

Last week my friend Katie and I decided to go biking so we could catch up on the latest news at each other's high schools. We live in the same neighborhood and always meet at this little circle of grass in the middle of a road where our neighborhood has its annual 4th of July/Bike parade. Since it was September the little area was completely abandoned. I got there by bike and decided to sit down and wait for Katie to show up. While I sat I wasn't doing anything besides playing with the laces on my shoes...But then I heard a crow overhead and things became weird.

I was still sitting there when I heard a voice call, "Hey! Sylvia! Hey-I'm here!" So I looked around, but didn't see anyone. I called out, but no one answered...So I figured it was my imagination. I went back to playing with my shoelaces when I saw a pair of white tennis shoes right in front of me. Whoever was standing there also had slightly grass-stained white pants. I could tell that they were boy's shoes, so the first words out of my mouth were, "Braddy! Braddy! What're you doing here!?" Braddy was my good guy friend who also lived in the neighborhood. I assumed he had biked up to the little park area and came to say hi. But when I looked up..there was no one there. I looked around but there was nothing there and it was dead silent..But then I heard some laughter right in my ear. I turned around, but all I saw was a flash of white and gold. I was very freaked out now, but I decided to wait for Katie, who showed up a moment later.

I didn't say anything to Katie as we biked and talked because I didn't want to freak her out. For the next half hour everything was normal..Then we decided to bike to our old middle school and sit on the swings to talk. When we got there we looked around and there was no one there. So we sat down and began to talk. That's when it happened.

We heard a faint voice yell, "Hey, Katie! Hey, Sylvia! I'm here!" We both froze and looked around. There it was...the flash of white and gold and the odd laughter. We both looked at each other and laughed nervously. "Wow..The voices in our heads are being tricky, huh?" Katie asked with a fearful smile.

"Yup...Silly little voices..Our eyes must be going weird too.." I replied.
"Yeah, you're right." Katie nodded.

We tried to push the voice aside and tried to act like nothing had happened. I didn't tell Katie it was the same voice that I had heard earlier. We went back to talking and laughing and then...that voice came back saying, "Katie? Katie?" Katie looked up and glared at me.

"Very funny, Sylvia. Imitating that voice."
"Katie," I began, trembling, "That wasn't me..."
But Katie wasn't looking at me...She was staring past my shoulder in wide-eyed shock. "Syl...Turn around." She whispered. "He's here.."

I turned around and saw a brief glance of white pants and white tennis shoes..My eyes flicked up so fast, but I only caught a glimpse of golden-honey like hair. Then whoever it was vanished...and laughter trailed behind.

"Please tell me you saw that!" Katie cried when I turned around.
"Saw...White..And gold like honey-ish.." My words came out in a meaningless ramble.
"YES!" Katie yelled. "Tall? White pants? White shoes? White shirt! Eyes were blueish..Kinda tall..Who was he?"
"Yes! I saw him earlier!" I gasped, scanning the field for this being. "He kept saying my name..But I didn't want to tell you 'cause you'd think I was crazy!"
"Well.." Katie began. "You aren't crazy! We both saw him--or it! Sylvia, that wasn't some kid we know...That was a ghost. I saw his face..Trust me..Not alive. And now..we're being haunted!"

I stared at her and slowly nodded. Without a second thought we ran, grabbed our bikes, and hurried home..Laughter trailed behind us, but we weren't laughing.

That's my story, Jason. Hope you enjoyed!

Thanks, Sylvia. I did enjoy. Maybe that ghost was just looking for a few tips on his wardrobe! After all, who wears white after Labor Day :)