Update! The best way to find Guest Posters, until I update the site, is to put “guest posts” in the search box on the homepage. Many people have sent in stories since readers submitted these for 2010’s epic Ghost-oberfest.
Part of the purpose of this site is to encourage others to submit their stories about ghostly occurrences in the area, or experiences of Mobilians.
If you’ve got a story to tell, please email it to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ghost-oberfest 2010, Day 29: My Son’s Experiences
You know, it’s funny what happens to a handsome individual as he goes from frolicking young whipper snapper, to adolescent basket case and then blooming entrepreneurial man. Okay, maybe that’s a little bit of an exaggeration considering I’m only seventeen but when I look at my own up and coming generation in comparison, I feel quite justified.
I’m getting off track. The only experience with the paranormal as a child I can gouge out of the ever expanding intellect of my massive brain was a doozy. I remember being maybe five, or seven stuck in the middle of a comprising position. I required the assistance of my older teenage sister. Honestly she should be honored that she was of a necessity to me at one time, but whatever… she missed her chance. Anyway I was looking for her around the house, calling out for her on the 2nd floor landing when I caught her retreating for the safety of her room out the corner of my eye.
In a valiant effort to chase her down in her room I was puzzled to discover that no sister was in there. At that point I was very unseasoned in the glorious realm of all things ghostly (although if you asked me about Bigfoot I could give you a complete profile of the beast down to its favorite ice cream flavor). The talented and beautiful young woman that I’m proud to say is my mom coincidentally had her home office located right across the hallway. I walked in there and told her that I had seen Sissy go into her bedroom but there was no one there. She sighed with a jaded stare. I think I ate a Fruit by the Foot after that.
As a blossoming teen, the world of the paranormal decided to make itself much more present in my everyday life. Hearing my name called and random knocking and banging around the homestead have become events that I brush off on a weekly basis as nothing more than family wanting me to be aware that they’re looking out for me. I’ve had a few more run ins with apparitions since seeing the little girl ghost as a child.
One fall day I remember coming in from the backyard, walking into the kitchen and just catching the figure of a man decked out in formal clothing walking from the dining room into the foyer. When I went into the foyer to investigate our high class house guest only to find one of our cats giving me the stare down, wondering why I had interrupted her session of giving squirrels in the front yard the stink eye.
Speaking of our beloved felines, they enjoy spending extended amounts of time with me in my room while I edit, write or just scan Facebook. It’s not uncommon that I’ll look over and see one of them cocking their heads or keeping a close watch on an invisible object floating around my humble abode. The most recent time this happened was only a few weeks ago when my Maine Coon walked up to my closed door in an attempt to get my attention so I would let her out. Mid-approach to the door, she stopped dead in her tracks, then swiftly back up a few steps, sat down and looked up as if someone had decided to walk into my room.
Everyone who is engrossed in the paranormal can say that they have one stand out experience that they will never forget. I guess I was around fifteen, it was a about three in the morning when I for no particular reason I had been stirred from my slumber. I looked into the hallway, where I watched the door to my dad’s office slowly swing open.
“Well, that’s really unsettling.” I said to myself, debating to leave the comfortable fortress of my sheets or go investigate. I quickly made up my mind when a white figure leaned in from the door and looked right at me. That lasted for matter of seconds before the figure went back around the corner. “Hmmmm okay, I’ve seen enough.” I promptly fell back against my sheets and went to sleep. I never once felt threatened by what I had witnessed, in fact the presence bordered on calming.
So yup, there you go: The Production Department’s Chronicles In The Paranormal. I have no more time this, I have to edit. I bid you farewell.
Ghost-oberfest 2010, Day 28: My Daughter’s Experiences
When my mom began writing her first book, and for a time afterward, something must have been stirred up. Strange things always had been sort of the norm; for instance, I can remember once calling out for my grandmother as a little girl and seeing a lady come to my room… before my real grandmother entered. This was different, however, and we really started noticing sounds and scents that were not as present or, at least, as noticeable, before.
I can remember numerous occasions when I smelled something. People talk about this all the time, but it’s quite unreal when it first happens to you. Several times, both my mom and I smelled pipe smoke. Her grandfather smoked a pipe, so we attributed it to him. I think the most striking thing about these instances was that the smell was contained in one area — it would go up to a certain height, extend to the right or left only so far, and that was it — you could only smell it in that place. The “cloud” of smell was there, concentrated, in that area alone.
Several times I’ve had my name called. One time, and this really scared me, I was home alone cleaning the tub. The tap was on and the water was blasting. Over the noise, I heard someone yell my name — obviously, in an effort to gain my attention. I flew downstairs and waited until someone came home. I’m not sure whether or not I turned off the water.
If the teenager who actually cleans her bathroom didn’t tip you all off, I am an exceptionally tidy person. I would make sure that everything in my room was put in order before I went to bed at night, and my mom even told me that she was able to hear me closing my drawers from her bedroom below. One morning, I woke up and EVERY SINGLE drawer in my dresser was open. I thought that was weird, but, when I walked into my bathroom, a pair of shorts had been stuffed into the toilet. Not tossed in, but stuffed down into the bowl’s hole. I’m not sure if this was a sleep-walking incident or not, but I’m not sure who would’ve been stealthy enough to slip into my room, open my drawers, and drown my shorts.
Probably my most vivid memory from that time was the night I heard people coming up the stairs. Our home had an open foyer, and my bedroom wall backed it on the second floor. It was easy for me to hear people coming up and down the stairs, which happened pretty regularly… human and ghost. One night, and this was around 10 or 10:30, I heard people coming up the stairs.
I listened as they ascended, walked across the top hall, and then, much to my surprise, I heard them turn down my hallway and enter my mom’s study, which was directly across from my bedroom. I saw the light switch on from beneath the door, heard muffled voices for a few minutes, then I watched it go off and listened as the voices grew faint. This was strange to me because my parents go to bed so early — sorry, Mom, but this was out of the ordinary. The next morning, I asked my mom why she and Papa had been up so late in her study. She said they hadn’t.
I don’t know whether or not this was my teenage energy bouncing around, or if we truly were attracting extra visitors at that time. It seems to me that both are plausible — my heightened energy could have made me extra sensitive. Weird occurrences continue to happen to me, but, admittedly, I try to tune out as much as possible. I think my little brother, with his own teenage energy, encounters enough ghostly activity for the both of us!
Ghost-oberfest 2010, Day 18: Delta Magic
When my wife and I were first married, we lived in a house at _____ Drive in Mobile. A friend of mine who had rented the same house previously had claimed to have experimented with Santeria, and she had believed that she had opened some doorway.
She claimed to have had some troubling experiences there, but my attitude towards any beings or spirits, seen or unseen, was “Don’t start nothing, won’t be nothing”. One night my wife and I were sitting on our couch with our back towards a small central hallway. The only other two beings in the house were our two cats… both in front of us in plain sight. We heard a slight bump in the hallway behind us, and as we both turned to look, we saw my jungle style straw Pith Helmet roll, on edge in a “Wheel like” fashion, in a perfectly straight line from one side of a doorway to the other, where it disappeared from sight.
We looked at each other with an unspoken, mutual “Did you just see that?!?,” but we clearly both had seen it. We immediately turned our gaze back just in time to see the same pith helmet roll back in the opposite direction, still perfectly upright. As we continued to stare in amazement, we saw the pith helmet make yet another traverse of the doorway. When we got up to investigate more closely, we found the pith helmet on the floor of the hallway, motionless.
The nail that the hat had been hung on was still perfectly intact, and was not loose or pointing downward, so we couldn’t figure out how the hat had decided to jump to the floor in the first place. I then decided to see if I could replicate the motion of the hat, but as it was an oval shape, and very poorly balanced for “Wheel like” motion, I could not. I also could not get the hat to bounce off of a wall and roll backwards in the other direction, let alone get it to do this a second time. In all of my experiences with hats before and after, I’ve never gotten one to behave in this manner. However, as entertaining as I found this, that particular hat would never repeat its actions, no matter how often I asked.
Ghost-oberfest 2010, Day 16: The Sorrowful Crossing
While my dad was in the process of dying, I went to the nursing home every day and talked to him, and held his hand. He’d had lung cancer and then a stroke that left him paralyzed on one side. It was an awful thing to witness, knowing there was nothing anyone could do to help him. So I spent as much time with him as I could, hoping to help both of us find peace. When he slipped into a coma, the family knew the ordeal was almost over and we couldn’t help but thank God that Dad was being released.
For a couple of weeks, maybe ten days, we dealt with the stuff that comes with the death of a loved one. Things around the house were very quiet. One night I woke up a little after midnight to go to the bathroom. As I walked down the hall, I became aware of the sound of heavy breathing in the living room. I went back to the bedroom and woke my husband. We stealthily went down the hall together (my husband had his gun) and flipped on the light switch. There was no one in the living room or anywhere else in the house.
A few nights later the same thing happened. When it happened the third time, I didn’t bother waking my husband. I walked down the hall alone and when I got to the living room, I saw my dad sitting in his recliner. I froze. I was terrified. God forgive me, I turned and hurried back to the bedroom and got as close to my sleeping husband as I could get. And I didn’t tell anyone what I’d seen.
I didn’t try to make any more middle of the night trips to the bathroom. When I went to bed each night, I prayed for the release of my father’s soul until I fell asleep. If I woke up during the night, I went back into prayer. This continued for about a week. Then my husband went on the midnight shift.
The first couple of nights I don’t think I slept at all, too nervous at being alone in the house. And then about mid-week, I woke up at 2:17 in the morning. My dad was standing in front of the bedroom closet, with his hands clenched at his side. His eyes were closed and he was repeating the Rosary. I have never been so scared in my life. And then when he got to a certain part of the Rosary. “pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death” — he stopped before he said the word “death”. Instead he screamed “NOOOOO”. And then he disappeared.
I never saw him again.
Ghost-oberfest 2010, Day 15: A Ghost On The Line
I was married, nineteen years old and had an eighteen month old daughter. She and I lived in another state at the time, but I had come to Mobile to visit my mother. One morning we left to go to the grocery store.
While we were away, my cousin (let’s call her Susan) telephoned to chat with Mama. Susan was at work and wanted to stop by and see Mama on her way home from the office that day. I want to emphasize here that Susan did not know I was in town.
This was in 1973. There were no answering machines or voice mail. The phone rang and rang for a long time and finally someone picked it up and Susan heard a woman’s voice say ‘Hello?’
Susan said, ‘Auntie?’ That’s what she called my mother. The woman on the other end of the line said, very slowly, ‘No…they’ve gone shopping.’
At which point Susan realized who she was talking to. She freaked out and threw the telephone receiver down and went running to the ladies room to recover from her shock.
She had been talking to our grandmother, who had passed away in 1969.
It wasn’t the first time Gran reached out across the great divide. When my mother had cancer a couple of years before that, we frequently smelled Gran’s favorite white gardenia perfume. The perfumed communication during times of crisis continued for many years. It stopped after my mother died, but then Mama seemed to assume the responsibility for staying in touch with the family. That, however, is another story for another day.
Ghost-oberfest 2010, Day 14: Lonely Ghosts
When I was 20 I met a man that I thought hung the moon. He was a soldier with the Army and at that time was raising his two small children, and attending college to obtain his BA. We became fast friends and then I fell for him. For the next ten years I described him as a ghost who would appear in and out of my life, but never seemed able to stay. I loved him dearly but finally understood that I was putting my life on hold for something that never would materialize. Strangely, after making this decision, he never showed up again.
Fast forward 13 years later. I had the strangest sensation one day. I was now happily married and with exception of normal curiosity of what had become of my first love, did not think of him very often.
That strange sensation was his presence. This time a truly ghostly appearance. I thought I must just be picking up feelings that maybe something was happening to him, and I was just somehow aware of it or he needed me. I prayed for him. But the feeling still persisted.
It was an uncomfortable feeling. He would close in on my space and it was cold and unsettling. I finally asked him why he was there. He did not explain but did say he had passed a few years ago of a heart attack.
I started researching for any record on the internet and found an obit. Evidently, after he retired from his military work, he went back to school to get his Masters in Education and started teaching. He worked as an assistant principal at an elementary school near Birmingham. The article from the local paper said he had gone to Georgia to see his son receive some type of award in the Army. They speculate that he arrived home from his trip and sometime that weekend had a massive heart attack. He was found later in his home dead.
“So why are you here?” I kept asking, with no answers. He brought back memories as an old friend would, one who you have not seen in years. It was nice but still felt strange. I let him know that I was happy and how much I loved my husband and life.
But things became very awkward; like a long staying visitor, he was wearing out his welcome and I still did not know why he was here.
So I consulted my friend Elizabeth, who knows about “these types of things”. She suggested that he might be fearful or have unresolved things he needed to deal with and had become comfortable with me, and did not want to move on to deal with more difficult issues. She suggested that I just ignore him. Like a child, he was seeking my attention since I could feel his presence and by ignoring him he might get bored and move on. When I tried that, he would freeze me out when he was trying to get my attention. I could not ignore him.
I finally told him he must go and deal with whatever he was afraid of. I prayed for him that God would help him deal with his fear and show him the way he needed to go. My friend never believed in God. He was drawn to me because of my faith. He often talked about the things that he had done that he was ashamed of and was always amazed that I would still think he was a good person. He was one of the bravest people I ever knew. After about a month of his presence he left. I believe that God helped him resolve his fear. It was a reminder for me that when you are paralyzed in fear, you are not allowing God to work in your life.
Ghost-oberfest 2010, Day Six: Ghostly Oldies
While dating the man who became my husband about 9 years ago, I would visit him in his home in Mobile. On several occasions when everything was quiet I would hear what sounded like a radio playing old hymns. For a long time I though maybe it was a radio in one of the other rooms turned down low. I even searched for said radio at times but could never find anything.
Several times when I heard the singing I would ask my soon to be husband if he heard it. He never did. He did advise that his mother and a cousin said they often heard the singing.
When I heard it, I had a picture in my head of a man signing while shaving in the bathroom. I don’t know where that picture came from. When I described this to my husband, he said that his dad would sing in the bathroom often. His father died when my husband was in college.
The singing continued until my husband’s mother passed away in May of that year. After her passing I never heard the singing again. We lived in that house for a couple of years after that. We like to think that maybe his father had come to watch over his mother until she was ready to go home with him.
Ghost-oberfest 2010, Day Four: Experiences At Oakleigh
My mother encouraged my interest in local history by taking me downtown, showing me old houses and telling me stories about the people who lived in them. During my high school years I volunteered as a guide at Oakleigh, Mobile’s official ante-bellum home. It was a wonderful opportunity to learn about its history and furnishings, and to meet tourists from all over the world. Some of the ladies who volunteered there took an interest in me, sharing their knowledge and scholarship, with a little gossip thrown in.
I spent many happy Saturdays at the old house, and after a while a pleasant routine developed. The day began by going upstairs, turning on all of the lights, and making sure that everything was in place. In the afternoons I would repeat my routine, this time turning off all of the lights, and taking care that the great front door was locked. On one especially busy afternoon I was tired, and ready to leave as soon as possible.
I was waiting downstairs for the final tour to finish upstairs, so that I could discreetly follow, turning off lights behind them. Hearing the sound of footsteps upstairs, the unhappy realization that I would be delayed confronted me. I knew the house well enough by then to recognize that the sounds were coming from the library, my favorite room. I waited for what I thought was a reasonable amount of time but no one came downstairs.
Deciding to investigate, I headed straight to the library, only to find that no one was there. Hmm. Perhaps the tour moved on to another room. I checked all of the other rooms, literally searching high and low. No one anywhere. Did they go out on the veranda? Maybe they went down the front stairs for some reason? I reported all of this to the guide in charge, who smiled and said that I had had my first encounter with Oakleigh’s ghost! She told me that the library had formerly been a bedroom, and that other guides had heard similar sounds there over the years. The ladies believed that the spirit was that of a young woman, perhaps the wife of Oakleigh’ builder, James A. Roper.
I never saw anything in the house, but after that incident I felt drawn to the handsome library, and was always comfortable there.
Guest Post: An Epic Case of Goosebumps
“I (Cullan) along with my good friend Jonathan and his girlfriend Hailey (John is from Gautier, Mississippi and Hailey lives in our area) arrived at the D’Olive Cemetery in Daphne at 11:30 pm on Sunday, September 5th. We brought along 1 voice recorder, Hailey’s camera (which has a night-vision feature) and 3 Mag-lights.
We parked at the eastern entrance and walked westward until we arrived at the cemetery entrance. John walked about ten steps ahead of me and Hailey, and stopped dead in his tracks and told us he just hit a FREEZING cold spot (mind you, we are in the middle of an Alabama summer) and told us to come quick and check it out. By the time we got to the spot the cold had dissipated considerably, but it was still very noticeable. Next we walked over to the grave of Louis D’Olive and set the voice recorder on top of the large memorial stone. John introduced us out loud, and asked if anyone was listening could they please speak into the little red light on the recorder. After about 15 minutes we stopped the recording and played it back.
So John asked me to repeat what he had just said, but to say it in French. I re-introduced everyone and asked the same question, and then mentioned the phrase “Yellow Fever”…I said this because back in the either late 1700’s or early 1800’s, a terrible yellow fever epidemic nearly wiped out anyone living in the early Daphne/Spanish Fort/Montrose area…. We left the recorder on and walked south towards the rest of the graves, leaving the voice recorder where it was.
As we approached the other graves, Hailey was snapping pictures and all of a sudden her (very expensive and filled with new batteries) camera began malfunctioning and would not take ANY pictures and the buttons froze up as well. Next the battery life went from full to almost totally dead! This was too odd to not notice so we grabbed the voice recorder and began asking more questions, mentioning names on the graves and the family name “D’Olive”.
After about 45 minutes of this we decided to head back to the car and review our findings. One or two bright green and blue orbs were surrounding our heads in about 5 pictures but that was all we could see. On the recorder, during my EVP session in French, there was an extremely distinct moaning right after I mentioned yellow fever, the moaning of someone who had been bedridden with pain. Needless to say, we all had a truly epic case of the goose bumps as we listened to the voice.
I plan on returning to this site very soon with more capable equipment, so that we may find more compelling evidence of paranormal activity in the D’Olive Cemetery.