A Ghost Story

It's Saturday night and, in honor of the season, I wanted to share a family experience with you. At this time of year, and any time of year really, my family loves sipping wine, gathering around a fire, and telling real stories of experiences with the paranormal.

I've already had one glass, so please excuse any typos and join us! Have a story to share, add to our discussion here!

Though I've had my fair share of paranormal experiences in the apartment where we currently live (seeing a man walk by a doorway and having our wind chimes chime with no open window, after feeling a presence in the building), this story goes back to when I was about 14 years old.

We were at camp. This camp was once owned by the man who started the first Kinney's Drugstore in New York -- Burt Kinney. Here is a picture of the camp where we stayed each summer as kids. I recently returned for a visit, spoke with the owner, and she validated some of the strange experiences we had in the house.

My cousin and I slept on the second floor (windows boarded in this photo). If you look closely, you can see that the white boards have hinges. They fold inward, so the entire second floor could be open to a view of Trout Lake, but had screens during the summer.

Because it was so warm in the summer, we kept the windows open. Close to where I was standing when taking this pic, was the campfire.

The night of my experience, the adults were around the campfire, and I fell asleep upstairs to the light of the flames and the sounds of laughter and crackling firewood.

Later in the night, I woke up to find our room completely dark, and I could only hear the sounds of crickets and gentle waves on the shore. Everyone had gone to bed, and I guessed it was sometime in the early morning hours.

I was too warm in my sleeping bag, so I was about to kick it off my legs, when I heard a sound at the end of the hallway. At the very back of the house was a winding stairway, and I could hear someone coming up the stairs. Heavy boots. I assumed that the adults were coming to bed, even though it seemed later than they usually went to sleep, and then something about it felt different. I started sweating but still didn't want to kick off my sleeping bag. I was turned toward the wall, with the door behind me.

I heard the steps continue down the hall toward our room. I convinced myself that my uncle was coming in to check on us. I even felt a little relieved as the footstep sounds continued down the 2 steps into our room and stopped next to my bed. Then, I felt completely relieved when I felt a (very real) hand on my shoulder. I turned over quickly to tell my uncle that he had scared the heck out of me, but no one was there.

I instantly felt like I was in that room with someone who I couldn't see. I jumped out of bed and ran as fast as I could down the hall, down the stairs, across a gravel driveway in my bare feet, into my parents' cabin next door, and climbed in bed with them.

I didn't care that I was way too old to be crawling in bed with Mom and Dad. I was terrified. I told my parents what happened, and they said not to worry about it.

The next morning, my dad said that he hadn't wanted me to be scared about sleeping in that room, but everyone who stayed upstairs in that house had heard the same thing in the middle of the night -- mysterious footsteps that traveled up and down the stairs and hallway.

To add to the creepiness of the house, later in the week, we found old photos in the hallway desk of deceased relatives and friends at wakes and funerals -- customary in the 1800s but pretty unsettling to us as teenagers! One photo that I'll never forget was one of twin boys who had passed away at a young age.

When I spoke to the owner at my visit last year, I mentioned my footstep experience, and she insisted that was common, probably Burt Kinney, and that he liked to keep an eye on the place. Who knows! But I would love to get the chance to spend just one more night there with some ghost-hunting equipment!

Burt Kinney

Burt Kinney

Thanks for reading, and wishing you all a blessed and safe Samhain and Halloween!


Gretchen PearlghostsComment