The Ghost Upstairs

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(Image courtesy of PlayBuzz.)
(Image courtesy of PlayBuzz.)

On Tuesday, I came home late at night to an empty house and heard footsteps coming from my upstairs bedroom even though no one else was home.

It was scary.

I’ve lived in my house more than nine years and have never heard anything like that. It shook me up so much that I grabbed my shoes and keys and left without turning anything off. I thought there might be an intruder.

I wrote about it in my last post, acknowledging it can only be one of three things: 1. An intruder. 2. A ghost. 3. Nothing.

Yesterday morning, I got a comment on that post from someone who has never before commented on this blog. She didn’t mince words.

“Do you have a deceased uncle whose birthday is around this time? I sense he is on your father’s side and you knew him quite well in life. Just say hello, happy birthday, and I am pleased that you still think of me,” she wrote.

When I was a senior in high school, my father’s only brother was killed in a hit-and-run car accident on Interstate 94 between Milwaukee and Chicago. He was 37. His birthday was in April. I’ve mentioned the incident in a few posts without going into detail. It’s something that’s crossed my mind more than usual lately.

Maybe that’s why he decided to visit.

I don’t believe in ghosts.

But people who think they have all the answers are maybe a little bit foolish, so I’m always open to new ideas and the strong possibility that I can’t really be sure of anything, ever.

I’ve seen lots of ghost shows on TV. I’ve heard lots of ghost stories. I’ve heard many stories from people I absolutely trust that could more easily be explained as a haunting than anything else.

I don’t mean “I don’t believe in ghosts” like: No way! There’s no such thing! I simply mean I’ve never, not even once, seen anything that appeared radically supernatural or ghosty.

Until now.

I texted my psychic friend (I’m serious) yesterday because she visited Wednesday when I told her this story. When I told her that it had to be nothing, an intruder, or a ghost, she said: “Do you really want to know?”

This is the second time she’s asked me that in my house, and I always say no because I live alone and don’t like being scared.

But after getting that blog comment, I texted it to her and asked: “Penny for your thoughts?”

She replied: “He tapped me on the shoulder as soon as I sat on your couch but I didn’t say anything because it would freak you out.”

I know what some of you are thinking.

It’s because I don’t believe in psychics either.

Not because I think it’s impossible, but simply because I always am a little skeptical of supernatural things I don’t witness for myself. I really mean that more as a past-tense thing, because being friends with someone with this girl’s intuitive abilities has forced me to reconsider my position on all of that.

So, quick recap: A total stranger sensed it was my dead uncle and offered enough plausible detail for me to consider it possible.

My friend who was ACTUALLY in my house and has unique spiritual gifts corroborated.

There was only one conclusion for me: My uncle’s ghost is hanging out in my bedroom.

My Ghost Uncle

I don’t mean for this to sound irreverent, because I love and respect this man. But there are all these obvious questions that pop up when you learn the ghost of your deceased uncle might be hanging out in your bedroom.

What, pray tell, might you have witnessed in there, Uncle Dave?

If you accept the premise that the spirits of the dead can observe what we do undetected in private, it’s really not that hard to get over your own uncle doing the same thing.

And once I got past that, I started wondering how long he might stay and to what extent there might be subtle signs of his presence or even some interaction.

I don’t believe in any of this, but maybe it will happen anyway! Who can say?

Of all the people I’ve known who have died, my uncle Dave is easily in the top five of the Most Welcomed Ghosts in My House list. Not kidding. It didn’t scare me at all, and a small part of me was even enjoying the idea of feeling his presence once in a while.

Uncle Dave was awesome.

We never got to drink beer together because I was 17 when he died, but maybe now we’d kind of be able to!, I thought. I’m not making that up.

And Just Like That… He Was Gone

The blog commenter who first called to my attention the fact that my uncle was responsible for the footsteps I heard Tuesday night left another comment this morning.

“He is gone now,” she said.

Huh. I felt something akin to disappointment.

And I didn’t even get a chance to say goodbye. Not unlike my senior year of high school when I got the phone call about the accident.

It was a road-rage death. Another driver intentionally ran my uncle and his fiancée off the road while they were driving to a Chicago Bears football game. Their pickup truck flipped over, trapping my uncle, but not his fiancée in the vehicle. She had been sleeping, but was able to crawl to safety.

My uncle remained lodged in the vehicle. Because of how he was situated, circulation to his brain was cut off for longer than living beings can handle. His mind was gone. His body quickly followed.

His murderer fled the scene in, according to witnesses interviewed by police, a white Pontiac Grand Prix. He was never found.

It was my first experience with an out-of-nowhere death. They’re the worst kind.

Rest in peace, Uncle Dave.

I’m glad you stopped in.

You’re welcome anytime.

24 thoughts on “The Ghost Upstairs”

  1. So crazy! We live in an old farmhouse that was built in 1850. It’s been completely renovated, but the bones are still that of an old farmhouse. Out of nowhere my 2 1/2 year old said he was afraid to go to sleep because he didn’t want ‘the white man to visit again.’ He went on to clearly describe someone dressed in all white, even his face, standing in his room. He didn’t talk and eventually left through the window…his room is on the 2nd floor. My son said he was nice, but still scared him. I’ve never been too bought into ghosts, but this has me thinking…

    1. My first clue should have been my six-year-old son out of nowhere being scared to go upstairs without me. That only started a month or so ago.

    1. He was a good man. Didn’t deserve to go like that.

      But yes. I mean that on so many levels. I DON’T KNOW. About most things. And I think humans are wise to start saying and feeling it, and being okay with it, more than most of us do.

      I don’t know that my life has improved, but I definitely feel more comfortable since I started actively acknowledging that I don’t know anything.

      Great to hear from you Gail. Thank you for saying hi.

  2. I think I believe.Kind of. Maybe it’s an Irish Catholic thing, or maybe it’s just the family that I grew up with but there’s so many spooky family stories, so many unexplained things that have been seen and felt.
    My mom is a big believer in signs, and in the dead looking after the living and gets such a lot of comfort from that. When my granny died it was what got her through the grief, the belief that she was still around and still watching and still present for the important things.And honestly shit happened around that time that I can’t explain even a little bit and probably don’t want to.I don’t have an awful lot of faith but I know that if I were no longer here and if it were possible to still look over the people I love then I would, I think it’s nice to feel that someone, somewhere cared enough to still want to be around.

    1. I think so too, Sarah. That if I can still peek in on people one day, I will. And that it is nice to be thought of and checked on, even if it scares you a little.

  3. Really interesting follow up to the other post! I don’t believe in ghosts either. That is, I don’t believe they come into our homes. But I do believe deceased friends and relatives visit me in my dreams. Really, I believe that. I’m sure lots of people think that’s absolutely nuts.
    So, to each his/her own, right?

    1. I believe something is true. I don’t know what. But something.

      I only know that I DON’T know that that true thing is, and I’m trying to be okay with that. 🙂

  4. I got goose bumps reading this post. I lived in a house where there was a ghost and the ghost followed me to my next apartment. I never made contact or found out who the ghost was. It was scary, but it obviously meant no harm because nothing bad happened. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Hi Matt. I enjoyed reading both of your posts. When my 11 year old son asks me if there are ghosts, I tell him no, but there are definitely some places where I would not stay alone. I do believe in psychics, and I also believe in psychotics! 😉

    1. Yeah. I think we can finally put to rest the debate about the existence of psychotics! 🙂

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Ron. I very much appreciate your time.

  6. Very interesting story. Please post more as things develop. While no one can prove that ghosts exist, no one can prove they don’t, either. It’s only easy to dismiss stories of the supernatural until you can’t anymore.

  7. Really interesting! I think we are all connected more than anyone understands. I don’t believe in ghosts but I think there is a thin veil at times. I know that sounds crazy but we have had several experiences in the family that cannot be explained.

    I’m sorry about your uncle. Perhaps there is a reason for all of this. I assume the person who was responsible is still alive and knows what happened. May your uncle always be remembered and may he find peace. 🙂

  8. Good story! Makes total sense to me. I have an active dream existence, both sleeping and awake. People from the past visit me regularly, speak, and leave messages that make sense in the actual situations I am in or for things that I am preoccupied with. I pay close attention. They can guide me.
    I’ve learned that I have to write them down to make these experiences really effective, as if my physical effort and collaboration is required to pull the bucket with water up from the bottom of the well. As if I must prove that I want it, meaning It doesn’t come without ‘real’ effort. I understand why you had to write this down. Now it exists for real. Nothing is real until we are consciously making it real. Problems aren’t real and clear until you have written them out on paper, thoughtfully. Better: until you have shared them with at least one other person. Then they have a name. Same for blessings. It’s the meaning and purpose of writing. True?

    In my long life I have also heard sounds and noises out of the ordinary that made my memory instantly reconnect with deceased people from the past and something particular they had said that was relevant to my current situation. More than once things I had lost or couldn’t find being suddenly on my desk or bed or on the door mat.

    Recently I had to write something and I couldn’t get the logic going. Something was missing in my logic and I didn’t know what. That night I went to a bar to meet up with an old friend. Something made him tell an anecdote about an old common friend who passed away years ago, He did it very lively and for a moment it felt as if our friend was with us. Then we talked a bit about what I was writing, but we mostly chitchatted and had a good time. On the way home I kept thinking about my writing. At home, I walked to my book shelves for some reason and grabbed a book that had nothing to do with it. I flipped the pages and there was a handwritten note from our friend with the thought that I had been missing and couldn’t find.
    That kind of things. One could easily dismiss it a ‘being lucky’ but when you see the sequence of a few seemingly random events in the flow of life, it has an undeniable inevitability. In particular if we recognize that life at large has its own timetable and that all we can do as particles of life is: fit in.

    Our subconscious is a powerhouse in this constellation. It is much more real and active than we normally give it credit for, either because we don’t believe in it or we have cut ourselves off from it. The well of the subconscious isn’t all that deep inside us, and it’s wide open, but these days we can’t look any farther than the top of the surface that keeps us endlessly distracted with its colorful garbage. If we feel it’s too much effort to go deeper, or that it looks kind of stupid socially to believe in that stuff, we dismiss it with the intellectual’s excuse that we don’t b-e-l-i-e-v-e(!) in such stuff. It isn’t rational and verifiable, and it can’t be proven. Our current belief and faith (yes, belief and faith!) is in the supremacy of science and statistics, the news (always believable), ‘fun’ (the pursuit of happiness), and the logic of our own rationality, of course.

    Haruki Murakami explores and describes the power and meaning of the subconscious already for decades; whether we believe in it or not, it’s probably one reason why he is so popular (besides being a genius writer). It’s hopeful that, at least subconsciously, people still recognize the so-called surreal (unbelievable) elements he uses as being very real. Real enough to identify with. But the excuse is that it’s fiction. Thank god it isn’t real. It never happens to me. Say that again, please? How do you know?

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  10. Hi I’m a carer?and I been escalated to look after an old lady at night,I’m been there few times, actually the first and second visit was ok no problems at all,after that at my 3th visit around 3:30 in the morning,I eard a foot steps upstairs,far as I know upstairs have on left side toilet and right side remains unknown to me,never been there,it’s quite dark,anyway,I just don’t give much interested on the footsteps,on my 4th visit it was yesterday,I fall asleep, suddenly I eard a noise,I was on like side on a coach,and realized I couldn’t open my eyes and even turn it over to other side,did manage to see,kind of arm,white as a ghost stopped me to turn,was hold my shoulder,and I did manage to open my eyes and turned,eard the same foot step walking around upstairs,even my phone was dropped to 1 % seems like whatever it is try catch my attention gradually,gonna try to talk to the old lady try figure out what’s going on in that house,I’ll be there Saturday again,and I go to look further that unknown spot where foot steps came from,one more thing got a cemetery in front of the house,I try go with my phone recording in that unknown place.

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