Ghosts and Hauntings: It's A Family Affair
by Ruby Courson
(Bastrop, LA, USA)
My family is no different from any other "normal, albeit slightly maladjusted" family that lives in Anytown, USA. We just happen to have a few more "restless" spirits than most. Rarely a day goes by that we don't get a "visit" from one of our loving yet annoying relatives that have "passed on." I'll give you a few examples and you can judge for yourself.
My grandmother died in 1969. (My grandfather also died in 1969-32 minutes before my grandmother. Both died from massive heart attacks.)
Since the day that she died if there is any type of emotional upheaval (illness, death, divorce, etc...) in the homes of myself or my two sisters you can always smell her cologne. (She always wore an AVON brand. It came in a small square bottle with a gold and turquoise label.) When you smell that fragrance there's always a warm, comforting feeling that comes with it. I guess it's her way of trying to let us know she's still around.
My mother-in-law died suddenly in 1990. Shortly after her death my husband and I began to notice things being moved around. Nothing major. Just minor things. I, as well as my husband have always had specific places that we would put keys, jewelry, pocket change, etc . . . we would put things down at night then the next morning they would be moved. Not just moved over or exchanged places. The items would be in a completely different part of the house or even in the car. Also, there was a particular type of scented candle that I liked to burn but my mother-in-law didn't care for it. If I lit one of those candles, it would be blown out. No matter how many times I lit it, it always went out. I could light any other scented candle and it would burn without a problem. Sometimes if I left the "offending" candle sitting out, it would fall off the shelf or table. I guess she was making her preferences known. She also smoked Salem cigarettes and frequently early in the morning or late at night the smell of that cigarette was almost overpowering. Several of our friends and family were witness to this.
My brother passed away in 1999. On the day of his funeral (the service was scheduled for 2:00 pm. and my two sisters and I were getting ready at three separate locations), at precisely 1:30 pm we all three were almost suffocated with the stench of our brother's favorite cologne. (I say stench because my brother had lousy taste when it came to men's fragrances.) To this day we often get a whiff of the smell - usually at family gatherings.
My father-in-law passed away in September of 2008. Since he died footsteps can often be heard throughout my house. There is no particular time of day, no particular event, you can just hear him walking. When I hear them, I usually ask him if he's bored and the sounds stop.
My last example is about my grandson, Gabriel. He passed away in April of 2006, at the age of 65 days. Though he wasn't here for very long he made a BIG impact. The day he was born I gave him the nickname "Monkey" mainly because he was no bigger than a spider monkey you would find in the zoo. He died in a hospital that was about 375 miles away from the rest of our family. The only ones that were there were my daughter and son-in-law, and myself. My husband was en route but he wasn't there when he died. As I said the rest of the family was back home. (To try to help clarify the story, my grandson was in a hospital in another part of the state recuperating from open heart surgery and his condition took a sudden turn for the worse and he died a short time after that). My grandson died at 8:45pm on April 20th. At 8:46pm a call came through on my cell phone. It was my sister calling from 375 miles away. She knew that he was dead. She told me that at 8:45pm our brother that had passed away in 1999, appeared in front of her and he was holding a baby wrapped in a blue and white baby blanket.
Twenty days after Gabriel's death my granddaughter (by another daughter) Makhala was born. As she began to notice her surroundings we would often see her staring off into "space" then she would laugh or smile. As time went on she continued to laugh at nothing. (By now my daughter was getting a little bit worried. They have "special" places for people that stare into space and laugh at nothing.) Makhala would often put toys in two seperate piles or push a particular toy away from where she was sitting. As she began to talk one of her first words was "Monkey". She would frequently reach out into the air and make hand motions like she was tickling someone and giggling. Other times she would begin to squirm and giggle like someone was tickling her. She would always say "Stop Monkey". On numerous occasions she would share her toys, cookies, bottles, "with Monkey". I guess some would say that it was a coincidence but the strange part is noone ever discussed him around her. It was too painful for his mother.
In the years since he passed, several family members have talked about seeing a tiny little boy with blonde hair and blue eyes around our house. Even first time visitors that don't know anything about Monkey. Sometimes little things will go missing (especially keys and jewelry) and one of us will ask Monkey to "put it back" and most of the time it always returns usually in the same spot it was in.
I can't say for sure that any of these things add up to "paranormal" occurrences. They aren't scary or spooky. They really are just comforting.
It's kind of nice feeling like death really isn't the end, it's just another chapter in a very long book.