Hearing stories about ghosts (spirits) living in different houses and researching what their story may be that keeps them there is fascinating. I’ve had experiences of my own so I can relate. Yet the many tales of messages coming from loved ones that tickle me most. Maybe that’s because so many people have had that experience and never think to refer to it as a message from a spirit on the other side.
I know of one person in particular that didn’t go to work at the Twin Towers in NYC on 9/11. “Just an inkling,” he said. “Not really sure why I turned around from the commuter station and went back home. It’s not like we were going to go off to play in the park. I came to see if I could help my wife with her work making chocolates. Nothing that she doesn’t do every day when I’m not here.” I wonder which one of his spirit guides or ancestors whispered in his ear to take that rare day off from work.
He admitted to me, “I never took off from work. I loved the job I did.” His wife stood next to him, her head nodding in agreement. If I had told him someone was in touch with him from the ‘other side’ he probably would have pooh-poohed it. But I’m glad he listened, heard it and paid attention.
The ghosts that I have come across are not the rotted out bodies dripping with blood rising from a grave in a mysterious, forgotten cemetery. They are more like people who loved their home so much that they couldn’t bear to leave it, people who didn’t realize they were dead, and sometimes people just saying good-bye to loved ones before heading toward the light. It can be a very comforting experience if you are open-minded without horror stories lurking in the back of your mind.
One house noted in Ghostly Spirits in Warren County & Beyond has many ghosts and spirits living there and also some just passing through. A while after our interview an invitation came for me to attend a tea party with the ghost children who lived there. It was an unusual experience but not as unusual as the request that came later for them to come visit me in my home! I thought about that a bit before agreeing. After all, they were gracious enough to invite me. They came, giggling and smiling, happy little kids, giving me their names this time. It helped me to look at death very differently.
The passion of history often has a lot to do with a person’s spirit being held to the earth plane, especially on a battlefield where so many died at such young ages.. I went to Gettysburg once, rising early in the morning, before sunrise during the off-tourist season. I sat in Little Round Top and felt the enormous sadness wash over me. I didn’t see any of the ghosts that many have seen. I thought of the cries of those shot down so senselessly. Many of those fallen had no true idea of what it was all about. Why they felt they had to march off to war because some politicians were afraid they would be losing money with the new laws. War is always about the money hiding behind ideals spoken aloud.
I rather bumped into writing about the true experiences people have with ghosts many years ago. It began when word got out that I had witnessed a happening with a little girl ghost. Others, curious, wanting to talk about their own experiences but afraid they would be laughed at, came into my bookshop and quietly began to reveal their stories to me.
This led to my conducting a Ghost Walk as a fund raiser for my business group in Bordentown, New Jersey. When I moved to North Carolina in 2005, I was telling Don Arnold at Oakley Hall Antiques about my ghost. He said, “You need to be writing about Warren County’s ghosts. We have lots of them!” With that said he invited me to his and Ernie Fleming’s home at Oakley Hall (former plantation) in Ridgeway.
This opened the door to forming a great friendship between us. It also began my collecting stories about local hauntings that are as varied as there are people. It seemed that wherever I went, still as a newcomer at the time, someone had a story for me or a name of someone I needed to speak with. A lady sat next to me at a Christmas party. I knew no one other than the hosts. The conversation came around to ghosts. She just happened to have a story.
A woman called to me while I was sitting on a picnic table on the Lake Gaston Estates beach. It was 8 a.m. on a weekday morning. Her dog was lost and she was hoping I had seen it. I hadn’t, but an hour or two later, I had a phone call telling me where the dog was. It wasn’t long before I learned that she had an experience to relate to me. We also shared some of our life stories and became friends.
I served on jury duty in Warrenton. When the jury was sent to the little room while the attorneys discussed a point in the case, a juror asked if I really wrote ghost stories as it had been revealed during the jury selection. “Yes” I replied. Three people there had stories to tell me. Two of them are in the Ghostly Spirits in Warren County & Beyond book. Who would think I’d meet someone with a haunting sequestered in a jury room? Ya gotta luv it!
Now I’m collecting stories for my second NC/VA book. If you have one or happen to know someone . . . .please send a message to me.
on The Show: WARR RADIO 1520 AM Sherman Johnson Miles in My Shoes, Years at My Side, author Patrick James Smith will be interviewed by Sherman Johnson about his book and experiences with UFOs, ghosts, and other strange occurrences happening in his lifetime. You can tune in online to listen 10 am to 11 am this Wed. March 22. Exciting!
“I am suddenly aware that I am alone in a timeless and vast pitch black void in which there are no stars, sun, or moon.” This is the opening sentence in Miles in My Shoes, Years at My Side, the memoir of Patrick James Smith in which his strange and sometimes eerie experiences with life are enough to keep you awake at night.
He writes in journal form, accented by bible verses, chronicling moments beginning with his birth. His remarkable memory records events that will be impossible to forget after reading them. He was born in Oklahoma, but grows up criss-crossing the country. Prophetic dreams come to him as warnings to prepare him for what is ahead. As a child he plays with poisonous snakes but doesn’t get bit, amazing his siblings. An electric shock convulses his young body while he sits in a bathtub full of water, yet he survives. And these are only a few, tiny incidents. There are so much more.
Smith holds nothing back. He reveals all that he has seen, heard, and lived to tell his readers. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys the unusual, the shocking, the exhilarating. You won’t fall asleep reading it. You can find it on CreateSpace or Amazon.com.