Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Scary Campfire Tales

I'm always up for a good ghost story. "Scary" has been my middle name going back to when I was a kid. So when my extended family gathered for a party up at Hubbard Lake this past weekend, I was ready when we gathered around the night-time campfire to swap tales of the supernatural.

First, we got permission from my great-niece Jocelyn who at seven years of age might be frightened enough to have nightmares.
"Just as long as they're true ghost stores," she replied. That's my kind of kid.

Coming up with true personal tales of contact with the unnatural might be more difficult, but not overly so. In fact, we shared quite a few.

I recounted how I felt the tickle of fingers running along my back as I slept in a bedroom occupied at one time by my dead grandfather. My brother Tim recalled his encounter with a bat while he was alone one night in our aging, creaky two-story family home.

Tim said he heard the door to the basement open, then close again. Next thing he knew a bat was flying about him. He fled the house in a panic and had he not been tackled by a neighbor, might still be running today.

My favorite was my sister Sue's story of how she was doing laundry in the basement of our aforementioned family home. As she was taking the clothes out of the washer, she heard the unmistakable sound of a chair moving across the kitchen floor upstairs, as if somebody was taking a seat at the table.

Unnerved to say the least, Sue breathed easier when she remembered that our dog Missy had a habit of jumping up on our kitchen chairs. Our dog must have taken a bigger jump than usual and had moved the chair himself. But when my sister turned around, there was Missy sitting right there in front of her.

My nephew's wife Melissa trumped all of our stories, however, with her tales of ghosts sitting on beds, shadowy figures that chased her up stairways and electronic appliances that took on lives of their own.

How did all this affect Jocelyn? Well, first she plugged her ears. Then she began to hum to herself. Finally, I heard to go "Bla, bla, bla, bla" with her hands over her ears.

But she claims she slept well that night.

P.S. After arriving home, my son Scott who watched over our humble abode for the weekend, reported hearing footsteps running inside our house. Later, he also reported that his bed was shaking. Great. Trading stories around a campfire is one thing, but thinking that you might need an exorcist is a whole different can of worms.


Blogger Lucy Stern said...

I always tease about the ghost in our house... They seem to like the light bulbs in our chandelier in the dining room.... Just tonight I noticed two bulbs not burning on the back side facing the mirror... I told my husband, that the ghosts must be messing with the bulbs again.... No sooner did I say that and the lights started working again... I think they like to unscrew the bulbs just enough for them to quit working... Many time I have to tighten the bulbs...... Not real scary but true....

7:22 PM  
Blogger Lynilu said...

I'm like the kid .... if they're true, ghost stories rock. The kind that are made-up or elaborated and twisted for effect stink. I like the ones you recounted. Good true life chillers are cool.

8:04 PM  
Blogger TechnoBabe said...

Fun family gatherings sharing ghost stories. I want to hear Melissa's stories about appliances taking on a life of their own.

3:42 AM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

LUCY--Our bulbs keep burning out but I don't think it's ghosts. And pretty soon we'll have to use those new corkscrew type bulbs. I've seen how much they cost. Now THAT'S scary.

LYNILU--I have a collection of "strange but true" books. That was a favorite reading topic of mine when I was much younger.

TECHNOBABE--If I recall, Melissa's stories involved a vacuum cleaner that kept unplugging itself from the wall (not a cord issue either), and a stereo that kept turning the volume up way too loud on its own.

9:06 AM  
Blogger Carine said...

oh Dave, here is my "ghost" story: I have a phantom e-mail hacker making it difficult to conduct my freelance business. OOOOHHH scary! and then there's the really scary story of who put the pinhole in the copper pipe and caused water damage in a good portion of the downstairs. the hairs are going up and down my spine as I'm typing this!!!!

9:55 AM  
Blogger Merle said...

Hi Dave ~~ Good post and a great outdoor camping telling ghost stories. I remember my grandmother
telling us ghost stories, but don't know how true they were, but scary anyway. Sorry it is too hot and humid for you at present. Time will change that both there and here.
I am glad you liked most of my jokes, thank you. Your doctor must be a spoil-sport not approving of chocolate.Not a whole lot, but some
Take care my friend, Regards, Merle

7:12 AM  
Anonymous betty said...

Could this be karma? Could it be that those ghosts don't like to be the subject of gossip, and Scott had to pay the price?

I think I've been lucky so far. When I lived in Montana, I stayed alone in an old one room schoolhouse which the locals claimed was haunted by ghosts of Indian students who were forced to forget their heritage by U.S. government missionaries 100 years ago. The locals were terrified of that building, but I had no problem. Maybe the ghosts knew I would have been on their side.


9:56 AM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

CARINE--Sounds too flesh and blood to me to be a ghost. Somebody sounds like they're just trying to be sneaky, and mean.

MERLE--I'm not sure my grandmothers ever told ghost stories. At least they never told me ghost stories.

BETTY--Good point about Scott. Maybe we better cool the spiritual stuff for a while till his bed stops shaking.

Good story about the schoolhouse.

1:54 PM  
Blogger James said...

Hmm, can't say I've had any ghost encounters, but my life has been as weird as a Stephen King book sometimes; you know, the gooshy parts. Good to be reminded that there's more to it all than our "normal" senses show us.

7:01 AM  
Blogger CAROLDEE said...

HOly Moly.. Scott has got to stop eating that spicy food before bedtime.. hehehhehehe Hope things are QUIET there now!!: )

4:51 PM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

JAMES--Hopefully, not as weird as The Shining. I prefer The Stand. At least the good guys win in the end.

CAROLDEE--Things have been very quiet here, especially since Scott is gone for the weekend. Maybe a poltergeist is following him around.

9:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmm....did you check what son Scott had in his beverage cup before these encounters began. Consider the source.

7:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmm....did you check what son Scott had in his beverage cup before these encounters began. Consider the source.

7:42 PM  
Anonymous bonnie said...

Poltergeists, perhaps?

If Scott is the Spartan, I'm betting there was beer in the mix.

I've noticed that ghost stories from the PNW often include Indian burial sites.

9:27 PM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

ANONYMOUS, BONNIE--Yeah, could have been some alcohol involved with Scott's interpretation of events. He is an MSU alum and MSU is the 20th ranked party school in the nation. Nice to see MSU ranked nationally in something other than b-ball though.

9:30 AM  

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