After I published the story of Rachel the waitress and the hauntings that followed her throughout her life, I received a lot of e-mail from others with similar experiences. One of the most dramatic of these was from Jan, who like Rachel had been haunted all her life.
Jan seems to have been born a 'sensitive'. From early childhood Jan would interact with entities on a daily basis. She recounted to me that
"My most vivid childhood memories evolve, not around my family or school, but are of the entities I was entertained by at night in a room I shared with my older brother and baby sister."
Every night in the old house that she lived in as a child entities would appear in her bedroom. She was the only one to witness them, if she tried to wake her brother to verify what she was seeing, the beings would disappear into the ether from which they came.
The entities were not the normal specters that haunt any building with a history, these seemed to delight in entertaining the little girl. Every night they would appear and preform for her. She recounts that it was like having a vaudeville show being staged in her bedroom every night. The entities would clown around, dance on the floor and in mid air, shape shift and other bizarre acts just for Jan's amusement. The little girl was so enthralled by the spectral spectacle that she would giggle and quietly applaud their acrobatic antics. She often tried to tell her parents what was happening in her room every evening but they just dismissed it as an overactive childhood imagination.
But Jan knew what she was seeing. She was awake and lucid.
When she was in the 3rd grade her family moved from that old house into a bigger one to accommodate the growing family. The spectral spectacular followed her there. They continued to entertain her in the new house just as in the last. They were attached to her.
But there was something else that dwelt in this house that was not so affable.
One evening when Jan was in the 4th grade her family was sitting in the living room watching television together. Since she was the youngest she would have to go to bed before her older brother and sister. So when her father told her it was bedtime she went alone out of the room and walked up the stairs to her bedroom. As she looked up the stairs she was startled by the appearance of a figure at the top of the stairs.
It was Jesus Christ reaching out to her with outstretched arms.
He wanted her to come to him up the stairs and be embraced.
Fear filled her as she slowly backed away from the steps.
Never before had she experienced fear with her paranormal experiences, but now at a time that one would think would be filled with peace and comfort, all she felt was fear and dread. She turned and ran back to her father.
Jan's family was not 'religious', they did hold to the general faith of Christianity like most Americans and visited church on Christmas and Easter. But they really were not the religious sort. So the fear at the vision of Jesus at the stairs was confusing.
After she ran back to the family room she jumped next to her father and in a trembling voice she told him what she had just seen. He pondered it all for a moment and seeing his daughter's real anxiety he allowed her to stay up for a while so she could ascend the stairs with the rest of the family.
The incident was a turning point in her life and she had no more paranormal experiences until she had children herself.
The recurrence of paranormal activity came when her oldest child, her son, was 5 years old.
They had just moved into an old renovated farmhouse, in fact it was their very first day in the new home. The large farm in Kansas had seen dozens of occupants over the years, and it seems some may have lingered on through the centuries.
Jan was on the phone with a friend when her son came down to let her know that there was a 'spirit' upstairs playing with his three year old sister.
She was halfway up the stairs before the phone hit the floor.
As the door to the bedroom flew open and Jan quickly entered, she found the room in a state of complete normalcy. The three year old girl was sitting in the middle of the floor playing like any toddler would.
But Jan was still frightened for her child so she quickly gathered her up in her arms and took her downstairs near to the kitchen so she could be closer to her. Frustrated and worried, she asked her son to describe what he had seen occur in the upstairs bedroom to make him think that his little sister was playing with a 'spirit'. She was very surprised that he even knew the word. She had not spoken to her children about her past experiences and they did not attend church, so where he came up with the term made the situation more disturbing than it already was.
The little boy pushed himself up to the breakfast bar and started to tell his mother what he had seen. He told her that he had seen a man floating in the air next to his sister with his toes pointing down like he was hung there. He wore dusty clothes and had a book in his hand. He also wore some sort of necklace. Jan gave her son a pencil and paper and asked him to draw what exactly the necklace looked like.
It was a cross.
Within a few days other paranormal strangeness began manifest themselves to other members of the family. Jan came back one afternoon of shopping in the local town and as she drove up the driveway she saw a man sweeping or raking in the barn. This in and of itself was not an odd happenstance since her husband would often employ farmhands to do chores around the yard. But her husband had not mentioned to her about the hiring on of a new man so she was curious as to who this person was. So after she parked the car she went over to the barn to introduce herself.
There was no one there.
She searched the barn and surrounding area completely to no avail.
Her husband had not hired another hand that fit the description of whom she had seen.
Not long after this odd experience her children began to tell her that after she had put them to bed an old woman would visit them in their room and also tuck them in at night. Then as if to confirm her children's sightings she was walking through the house one afternoon when she came into the kitchen and saw an old woman standing at the main window just gazing out into the clouds.
She soon faded into nothingness.
Then there was the time they had all left the property to do some errands and when they had come home the front door was unable to be opened. The problem turned out to be the children's heavy wooden rocking horse had somehow become wedged into door so they were unable to open it. Nothing else in the house was duisturbed, there was no sign of a break in. And no one inside would have been able to have wedged it into the front door and leave the house as it was.
It seems something did not want them to come in the door, for one reason or another.
After all of these strange and unusual experiences Jan began to do an investigation as to the history of the old farm house.
It turns out that that the house and its property had long ago been a gift to a newly married couple passed on from the bride's father. The groom was a preacher of a small church that had once occupied an area just down the road. He helped supplement the meager salary from the small church by farming the land. The church no longer existed when Jan and her family moved in because just three years prior to their purchase of the property The Army Corps of Engineers had put a lake in the hollow where the church had once stood. Jan relates that:
"I inquired around the area as to the history of this old farm house. I found out that it had been built on a site that was a gift to a newly married couple, from the woman’s father. The man she married was a farmer/preacher. He had been the pastor at a small church, which had once been just down the road and back in a field, which was now covered by water. The Corps of Engineers had put in a lake about three years before we bought the house. "
And Jan noticed that the phantom of the lady was staring out the window at a particular tree. It was the very tree that they had planted in her sons honor after he died in battle.
It seems the preacher/farmer and his wife still liked to look after the young children that dwell in their old farmhouse.
These experiences happened long ago.
Jan's children are now grown.
She has moved on to another life and has remarried and lives in Ireland.
But the paranormal still follows her to this day.
While renting a small cottage on the West coast of the island she had some very odd experiences that for one reason or another usually occurred at dawn.
One morning she woke up to see a hooded figure that looked like a medieval monk. He was short, not more than five feet tall and was gazing into the sky and chatting, as if exclaiming about the weather. But Jan heard no sound. She wished to raise her husband from his sleep so he too could observe this startling vision, but she had learned from experience that in doing so the vision might quickly vanish. So she just lay there in bed and observed the entity as it slowly faded into the past.
Only a few weeks after this happening she once again awoke to to see an entity near her. However this one was leaning close over her in bed as she came to consciousness. She jumped and screamed which also startled the being and it leaped to the other side of the bed. Her scream woke her husband who tried to comfort her. He looked about as she seemed to be looking past him at something behind. She saw the creature, although he did not. It was a woman in glowing white garb and close cropped hair. The entity seemed saddened that she had caused such a commotion, and she passed through the bedroom door.
In her letter Jan explains what she experienced and the historical and cultural context of its significance:
"Around this part of Ireland they refer to any paranormal being as a “fairy”. These are not the Disney fairies. They can be anything from one of the “little people”, to a ghost. My husband, a very religious man, is frightened of these things and doesn’t like to talk of them. My brother-in-law claims to have seen several during his life. I was telling him about the spirits I had seen in the cottage, which is just over the road from where he lives. He told me that it didn’t surprise him at all as there was a “fairy fort” behind a stone wall, in the brush and scrub that lie just behind the cottage. A “fairy fort” is an ancient circle of stone. People don’t really know what they were built for or who actually built them. So, they have been associated with the fairies for ages. They were supposed to have occupied them and populated this land before the advent of the Irish. My brother-in-law said that they would visit that cottage because they would consider it to be on their ground. The cottage had not been occupied for some time although it wasn’t very old."
She also relates that:
"We have moved now to our new house and I haven’t seen anything unusual here. The new house is built on land that was in my Husband’s family. It is adjacent to a field that’s Irish name means, “field of the fairies”. That makes me wonder how long I will enjoy this peace."
Throughout her life Jan and her family have experienced the unexplained.
She is not alone.
We live in a world that is full of wonder and the unexplained.
Sometimes it is frightening, sometimes it is comforting.
But whatever the feeling at the time, it is a reassurance that we live in a world that is at times not only beyond our mortal comprehension, but that gives us hope that what we touch, feel and experience is not all that is.
There is more to life than a physical world.
Until Next Time,