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Hauntings: The Ghost at the End of the Bed

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Once Upon a Time, Long, Long Ago . . .

I grew up in an old adobe house in Chimayo, New Mexico. It was built in the typical way most old adobes were. It began with a single room and as its original family grew and finances permitted, rooms were added encircling the first, the result being that some rooms had four doors, one in each wall. That our family found it to be inhabited by a ghost shouldn’t have been a surprise.

Various innocent yet, if experienced in the right context, creepy happenings can lead one to at least ponder the existence of ghosts or other paranormal beings. We’ve all had the slightly unnerving experience of a sheet subtly settling on our bed in the middle of the night, seemingly without any rhyme or reason.

That wasn’t what happened the night I “met” my ghost.

Once, my morning bed-making ritual inadvertently lifted a corner of my mattress and box spring onto the metal frame, and upon turning over in bed that night, they plunked themselves back down into position. My immediate, blood curdling scream brought my father in full fight mode.

That wasn’t what happened that night either.

I Meet My Ghost

The night I met my ghost, I was curled up, fast asleep with the sheet pulled up over my head cocoon-style. I remember feeling a sudden movement on the opposite end corner of my bed, as though someone had risen from a sitting position. The bounce of the mattress springing back into place was enough to wake me from a deep sleep. I recall thinking, still in the haze of sleep, that perhaps my mother had been sitting there and decided to leave, which would have been a most unusual but rational explanation.

Without thinking, I poked my head out from my sheet cocoon and looked over my shoulder in the direction of the movement. Nothing. Sleepy, unconcerned, I twisted further to look through the open doorway behind me and through the adjacent room to see if the French door to the living room was alight, a sign that at least my parents were still up. It was dark. I rolled over onto my back and peered at the clock on my nightstand and saw it was late at night - after 11:00 p.m. Which meant my parents had long gone to bed.

Like a shot, I was wide awake! I remember diving back under the covers, shaking, heart pounding, hardly daring to breath! I can honestly say that that was one of the scariest moments of my life. What had just happened?! What on earth was I supposed to do about it?! If I told my parents, what were they supposed to do about it?! I remember thinking, “Oh God, I have to stay here in this room with ‘it’ for the rest of the night!” I finally fell asleep from exhaustion.

But the story doesn’t end there.

A Guest Meets My Ghost

Prior to moving to New Mexico, our family had lived in California, my father a draftsman for the Scripps Institute of Oceanography. He did his job well. So well, that his former boss asked him to do additional contract work for her long after he had left the position. During this process, she came to stay with us for a night or two in New Mexico. I, of course, was turfed from my bed and assigned a fold out camp bed in the adjacent room while our guest of honor borrowed my bed.

Now you must understand, my father drafted topographic maps of the bottom of the ocean that eventually made their way to the Navy, so it should go without saying that his former boss was a very serious, scientific type. She spent the night in my room, in my bed, without a peep. But the next morning, she rose early and asked my mother as she was cooking breakfast if there had been an earthquake the night before? No, my mother hadn’t felt an earthquake. Earthquakes didn’t happen in northern New Mexico. Well, she said, very matter-of-factly, something in that room had obviously not wanted her there because the bed had been shaken so forcefully that she’d almost been tossed to the floor.

My mother, bless her, didn’t tell me this until years and several houses later. It turns out that my bedroom had belonged to the older gentleman of the couple who eventually sold the house to my parents. He had died there. I am very thankful that he apparently liked me . . . .


"These photos were taken on the stairs leading up to the attic of the building I work in. People don't like to go up there as it's cold and creepy. I've sometimes heard noises. I quickly took a couple of shots not expecting anything to be there. When I looked back at them, this is what I found."

- Jo Mason / photographer

So What Are Ghosts?

Are they an 'energy'? Are they the visible souls of past humans? Does everyone have the ability to be a ghost when they die, or do some of the dead just choose to be ghosts . . . or are some souls forced into ghostly servitude? And if so, why? A quite common belief is that a person who lived an “unfinished” life comes back as a ghost to complete that which was not finished. Or, if a person met with a particularly sudden or violent end, their ghost will wander the earth until justice for their death has been served. How is it though that even ghostly cars, trains and ships have been reported?

Why is it that there are different types of ghosts? Some ghosts can be seen but cannot or choose not to make contact with our physical world; others can and do show themselves by manipulating their surroundings, sometimes quite violently. A few can speak clearly. Some are so clear as to appear alive while others are simply hazy apparitions. A number of ghosts simply appear as shadows or orbs of light while a few reveal their presence only with a particular fragrance.

What does it say about our concept of time that someone from centuries ago can still be present if only in ethereal form? One of Britain’s most persistent and ancient hauntings, still seen today, is of a Roman soldier who patrols the causeway between the Essex coast and Mersea Island.

It’s not surprising that my research on the topic of ghosts left me with more questions than answers. There is apparently no scientific evidence to prove that ghosts do exist and, for this reason, many skeptics use this as “proof” that they don’t. Well, I, in particular, don’t need proof. Maybe today we don’t have any real answers, but won’t it be fascinating when we do?

As of yet, unexplainable ghost video!

© 2011 Gemini Fox