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Smoky Spirit

 

This was about the mid-seventies, about seventy-five or six. I was downtown in Lorain, about eleven in the morning. I was walking south, heading in the general direction of home, after a morning appointment.

In those days, there was still some foot traffic on Broadway during business hours, as there were still businesses open then. I was enjoying the sunshine and the warmth of the morning.

I crossed Eighth Street, passing the drugstore and Stone's Grill, still about an hour or so out from home. A walk like this was a pleasure, not even thought of as exercise.

As I reached the Ninth Street corner, I side-stepped to let Willie and his junk wagon pass me, heading north. Willie and his cart had been a Broadway fixture for years, smiling, friendly, hauling his load, adding to it, until he'd schlep his full cart to the junkyard at Thirty-Sixth and Broadway to sell his finds; he lived in a shack near the junkyard.

As Willie passed me on my left, I waved and greeted him, but recieved no response. Indeed, the only evidence of his passing (other than visual) was the odor of burning things, clinging to his form as he retreated from view. Probably burnt something he couldn't get rid of, thought I, and forgot about it.

I reached home on schedule, had some lunch, and sat down with my mother to watch tv. My younger brothers were still in school, and wouldn't be home for another couple of hours.

At three-fifteen, my brother Mike came strolling in, rummaged in the fridge and, mumbling something about "a friend's house", bopped back out the door. As he left, Phil, my youngest brother, came in, all thirteen years of him, talking a mile a minute to a pal of his who'd traipsed home with him.

I was catching snatches of their conversation, not really paying attention, until I heard Mike (his friend) say"...burned to death in his shack".

A chill dribbled down my spine. "Mike", I said, "who burned to death?"

"Willie...y'know, the junk dude."

I needed to be sure, so I asked, "Are you sure it was Willie? What time did it happen?"

"I was there", Mike told me "I was walkin' to school this mornin', and I saw the firemen tryin' to put it out-they said he might've fallen asleep in the shack with a fire goin', or was trying to cook breakfast or somethin', and the fire got out of hand-they said he was still in there, and the shack was burnin' all over."

"What time did you come past"? "About eight-thirty...I was late...why...what's up?"

"Just...curious", said I.

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Comments about this paranormal experience

The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by yourghoststories.com. Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, alandhopewell, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

alandhopewell (28 stories) (138 posts)
+2
5 years ago (2013-02-01)
I bow to your requests; I will stop in from time to time. As I've said before, I am deeply interested in the subject.
goldduster (55 posts)
 
5 years ago (2013-01-28)
Alan don't leave the sight just because you don't have anymore stories. You still might have new ones to tell later on.
zzsgranny (18 stories) (3312 posts) mod
 
5 years ago (2013-01-28)
clever: *sigh* Mashed potato brain again 😆...That's exactly what I meant to say LOL... I actually proof read that, too!

Sorry Alan, but you know, eyem a eddittur on 'dis site 😆 😆
Argette (guest)
+1
5 years ago (2013-01-28)
Please stick around, Alan, and at least comment. Your stories are always so well told. Your comments on other stories would be so welcome.
clever210 (3 stories) (189 posts)
 
5 years ago (2013-01-28)
Alan,

I know zzsgranny meant to say she hopes that you are NOT planing to go away. 😆

I second that as well! 😭

Clever210
zzsgranny (18 stories) (3312 posts) mod
 
5 years ago (2013-01-28)
alandhopewell: I hope you're planning on going away 😢...I think we could use your insight...

Anyway, thank you for sharing your life experiences with us...They've been very interesting and a joy to read...Don't stay away! 😊
alandhopewell (28 stories) (138 posts)
+2
5 years ago (2013-01-28)
This was my last story; nothing else I can think of could be construed as a ghost story.

I have enjoyed the discourse with all of you... May God ble4ss you.
twelveam (74 posts)
+2
5 years ago (2012-12-20)
I would definitely agree with rookdygin that this is a "crisis apparition". Although I do know smells can be residual-they can also accompany intelligent manifestations as well.

The fact that it was the same day as the fire leads me to believe that he had not left this plane as of yet. On average, crisis manifestations usually happen in the first 3 days of a passing, and are usually but not always concentrated on friends and family of the deceased.

This was a very interesting and validating story, thanks a lot for telling it to our group! 😊
alandhopewell (28 stories) (138 posts)
 
5 years ago (2012-12-18)
LOUSLIPS- More than once, my mother smelled flowers just prior to someone's death, 4-X, my grandmother, her mother.
rosemay (52 posts)
 
5 years ago (2012-12-18)
I would say, being so soon after death, Willie's spirit may not have realized his body was dead. He was just going about his normal routine.
LouSlips (10 stories) (979 posts)
+1
5 years ago (2012-12-18)
Darkness,
I don't feel that this was residual either. According to the story, Willie's death had just occurred that day. Although there has to be a first time for a residual haunt to begin with, I doubt that is what this was. Again, I just was commenting about your remark that the presence of a smell excluded this from residual experiences. I have heard of people smelling smoke and calling the fire department, only to find out there is no fire, but that the property had suffered one in the past.

Lou
rookdygin (24 stories) (4320 posts)
 
5 years ago (2012-12-17)
Here is something to think on... Perhaps this was a Crisis Manifestation...

This phenomenon is mostly experienced by Family Members who do not live near the recently departed (sometimes happens right at the time of death occurs) In this situation however 'Willie' did not realize he was dead and his 'spirit' manifested... This manifestation included 'smells/odors' from the fire that he perished in.

Just another possibility to think of...

(Tossing one in from the fence...)

Respectfully,

Rook
Miracles51031 (36 stories) (4802 posts) mod
 
5 years ago (2012-12-17)
Darkness - I've been trying to figure this one out and that's the only thing I could come up with too: Willie's ghost. I'm still rolling it around in my mind 'cause I can't get it all together 😉

Alan - it's a cool experience, even though it is very sad. Thanks for sharing this one with us.
DARKNESS (3 stories) (2022 posts)
+4
5 years ago (2012-12-17)
Louslips and everyone else, explaining my response to this story, in this case seeing that Willie had perished in the fire, the smoke smell that Alan had experienced that day would be an actual paranormal experience.
If Willie had always smelt of smoke throughout his life then yes I would say it may have been a residual experience that Alan had witnessed but I seriously doubt this is the case.

This was an experience for Alan alone, letting him know that Willie perished in a fire. My thoughts on it anyway! 😊
Narella (guest)
 
5 years ago (2012-12-17)
A residual haunt is a moment or event, stuck in time, being repeated again and again. Sometimes scents are part of the replay.
Miracles51031 (36 stories) (4802 posts) mod
 
5 years ago (2012-12-17)
Lou - there have been many accounts of smelling a specific scent during a specific time of year, say an anniversary, birthday, or the date of a loved one's passing, that I believe to be as residual as the sound of their footsteps or the event that plays out in their time frame.
Rev-Holmes (guest)
 
5 years ago (2012-12-17)
if we can have residual images vehicles buildings worlds etc I see no reason why can't we have residual aromas.
I once had an experience with a dinosaur. It smelt of dung.
Peace
LouSlips (10 stories) (979 posts)
 
5 years ago (2012-12-17)
Darkness,

I was not of the knowledge that a smell could not be a residual effect... There are residual images, sounds, but not smells?

Lou
DARKNESS (3 stories) (2022 posts)
 
5 years ago (2012-12-17)
Interesting Alan, I'm thinking residual but then again you mentioned the smell of smoke so it kind of counts that out. Looks as though he was still doing his old passion mate. Thanks for sharing again!

Dan

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