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Ghost stories

A ghostly image
Photo credit: Stock.xchng as found on HowStuffWorks

I had a great night last night. One of my brothers invited the whole family over for pizza and a hang-out. Not only does seeing the little cousins together melt my heart, but we have a ton of talented storytellers in the family, which virtually guarantees a few belly laughs (or in this case, some chills!). 

While I was there, the topic of a dog-sitting incident came up. A week ago, we were caring for a good friend’s dog when something really strange and totally out-of-character happened (we know this dog really well — we see him all the time and care for him regularly). We came home one day and found that this gentle, sweet dog had scratched up the whole back door. He must have been really upset and panicked because we’re not talking about a few surface scratches here! He went so far as to injure himself, since we found him with blood on his gums and paws.

We’ve gone over in our heads every possible reason for this, and none of them pan out …. he didn’t need to go to the bathroom because he had been let out only a half-hour before … it couldn’t have been our regular racoon visitor to the garbage bin because the garbage bin was empty and far from the door … etc, etc. And then, I suggested that maybe something inside spooked him, since it looked like he was trying so hard to get OUT of the house, rather than stop something else from getting in. This is when my sister suggested that it could have been something paranormal. That maybe the dog saw a ghost in our house.

In theory, this could very well be possible … our home is more than 125 years old and if there was to be a ghost in a house, this one would have a good chance since it’s been around so long. But I’ve never seen or felt a ghost in our house, plus we had our own dog for 10 years in this house and he never seemed to have any trouble with visiting ghosts.

However, just by raising this suggestion, my sister sparked up a super interesting conversation last night. In particular, I heard of a really recent incident that happened to a family friend. It went something like this:

A woman we know well recently started a new teaching job. She was particularly pleased about this job because it was in an old historic school building — very beautiful, with tons of character.

On a Saturday, she decided to pop into the school to do a bit of marking work before Monday hit. She punched in her security code and closed the door behind her before going to her own classroom to begin her work.

As she sat in her classroom, she heard the sound of a man whistling. This was a shock — based on the security pad at the front of the school, she was supposed to be the only one in the school. She called out the janitor’s name, “Mr. Smith, is that you? Mr. Smith?” The whistling stopped. The she heard footsteps go down the hall and a door slam.

With her heart pounding, she considered what options she had to protect herself from a male intruder in the school. She didn’t have a cell phone with her, and all she could find in her classroom was a broom. She decided to grab the broom and make a run to the outside door to escape.

Leaving all of her classwork behind, she clutched the broom and sprinted as fast as she could to the door. As she got the door open, she slipped down the front steps and fell on her back. Panicked, she scrambled back to her feet and managed to get in her car and lock the door behind her.

She grabbed the cell phone she had left in her car and called her principal. As the principal answered, she spat out that someone was in the school!

The principal asked: “Did you hear whistling?”

Yes, she replied.

“And then did you hear footsteps and a door slammed?”

Yes, she replied again.

“Oh,” said the principal calmly, “Didn’t anyone tell you that the school is haunted? That was just the ghost.”

The principal then drove over and walked her through the school, classroom by classroom to show her that no one was there. Then they punched in the security code and left.

It was the most frightening experience of her life. But sure enough, when she went back to school on the next week, many of the teachers had their own tales of bump-ins with this particular ghost. The general concensus was that he appeared only if you were alone, and that he was a former principal.

The story gave me chills — big time! What do you think about ghosts? And have you ever seen one yourself?

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  1. good story Julie!

    I did the Haunted Walk of Ottawa this fall with the CUBS and it was really cool. lots of great ghost stories from the dowtown area and a fun thing to do with kids…you are outside the whole time and i would recommend it for children over the age of 8. it’s spooky but not super scarey!

    we also visited MARY KING’S CLOSE in Edinburgh this past summer! It is known as one of the most haunted spots in Europe. It is basically an underground city on the Royal Mile. It is one of many “streets” (closes) that were forced underground by new development that built ABOVE existing buildings. many of the residents had the plague and died in these underground “cities”. it is super creepy and so interesting. If you, or any of your readers, are ever in Edinburgh it is a MUST!!!

    have a good snowy Sunday!

    • Hi Sarah! I’ve been meaning to do that Ottawa haunted walk for sooooo long … you’ve given me the push to do it finally this spring! Your story about Mary King’s Close, reminded me of when I visited Port Arthur, in Tasmania. Port Arthur is like the Australian version of Alcatraz Island in the United States. There was a tour through the jail cells that I took and it was extremely spooky! Although I did not see any ghosts there, I could definitely feel the very unhappy “presence” of people that had lived there. (Since that time, there was a terrible mass shooting incident on tourists, so it’s probably filled with even more ghosts.)

  2. I have never seen a ghost, but I love a good ghost story. Your story at the school is great!

    • Hi Finola! Glad you liked the ghost story! I really can’t get enough of them. I saw ghost once, when I was a kid. Maybe I’ll get around to telling that one here soon!

  3. Good story.

    While living in Peterborough in the mid-80’s, my girlfriend at the time and I rented an older up and down just outside of the downtown core. One night, I woke up for some reason and saw what looked like a guy sitting on a bike on the back screened in porch. My adrenaline kicked in, I nudged my girlfriend awake but when I looked back, the figure was gone.

    I recounted what I had seen and it turned out that she had seen something similar a couple of weeks prior but never mentioned it for fear of sounding a bit goofy.

    A few months had passed when our landlord came by to fix something or other. Over a beer or two, I told him about the guy on the bike.

    He went white.

    Turns out the previous tenant had been run down by a tractor trailer on Highway 7 a few years prior. He kept his bike on the porch where we saw the figure.
    He was one of those biking fanatics who lives for cycling. He was never seen far from his bike. I guess he couldn’t let go of it in death either.

    I still get goosebumps about this.

  4. Natalie says:

    I love a good ghost story. I have never seen or felt an actual ghost (don’t want to) but my mum has and IN MY HOUSE. A few years ago I went to hospital to have my second baby and left my first born infant (Katya 16 mths)with my mother for a few days in our house. Our house is 40+ years old and in the Western Suburbs of Sydney. The property was once part of a large orchard (Circa Late 1800 – 1920) and is build on the site of the original homestead. The original house, until recently was situated very close to our back fence. Anyway, whilst mum was sleeping at our house she heard footsteps (which she assumed was my husband coming in after a late hospital visit) the ghost sat on her bed, she realised it was not him but was to frightened to open her eyes. The next night a small figure layed on top of her in bed…too spooky. She said it must have been a child because she was laying on her back, face up when the ghost layed gently on top of her. It’s head was under her chin and legs down in between her legs but were not longer than her legs. Poor mum, she doesn’t ever sleep here! A few months later my daughter’s doll with a bell inside started to ring out at night and I would go in to check on her she would be fast asleep and the doll at the other end of the cot I started to wonder if the ghost was still here. Her light used to flicker and I was told that is a sign of a ghost and when I acknowledged out loud it’s presence and asked it to stop it did. The night Katya (2 years old) called out to me that the kids were in the corner of her room playing, (although it never bothered me) I knew it/them had to go! I went to a clairvoiuant and she told me the ghosts were cousins a little boy & girl. It was the boy who laid on mum and him who bought the girl. They both had died on the original orchard property at around 7 years old. One from an accident, the other from illness. My mum & her friend consulted the local Catholic priest and he told them to come over armed with bible, candles and flowers and they said prays and moved them on to heaven. It worked, no more flickering lights and sleepless nights for us. I checked the council records and in 1903 a little boy had drowned in a dam on the property.

    • Okay Nat … that story TOTALLY freaked me out!! Your poor mother! I would have had a heart attack. Did this happen in your current house??

      • YES, and you have visited here… Your baby has slept here! SPOOKY Justin & I are going on our 10 year wedding anniversary/my 40th b’day cruise in 2 weeks and mum is staying here with the kids for a week so she can get them off to school daily (first time in 8 years)Maybe she will draw them back to the house. Will keep you posted. Nat

  5. Man, that good friend’s dog sounds really Shameless.

  6. I have the shivers reading all the good stories! My husband’s childhood home had ghosts. I hear their stories and freak myself out. One day I want to go on the haunted walk here in Ottawa, but I cannot find anyone willing to go with me – my friends/family thing I’m loopy. lol Great post Julie.

  7. Kind of spooky! Especially on a snowy night like tonight :-)

    I don’t believe in ghost but I believe in the unexplainable. If that makes sense…

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