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Glass With A Life Of Its Own


One day last year after learning of an online ghost story contest, I sat down at the dining room table to comprise my thoughts. I did have a story from my youth that I thought might fit the guidelines, the most significant being the story had to be a true happening and a personal happening. I had this one idea --

I had no longer than turned on my word processor when I found myself jumping to my feet.

To a loud crashing sound, to glass shattering, a sudden, loud, unexpected jarring to the otherwise quiet in the room.

Leaving the table immediately, I moved to investigate the cause and discovered the following:

It was glass for sure, a flat amber strip of it, or more precisely, a fragment about six inches in length of it had survived the cause of the noise. I recognized these glass shards immediately, and where it had all come from, looking up, for it was part of a much larger strip of amber colored glass that had served as a lens cover for a recessed light bulb; where it had sat snugly inside a sturdy wood housing made just for this illuminated top piece to what's really a very nice piece of fine furniture. A European style hutch.

I had purchased this heavy duty hutch while living overseas, it's comprised of six segmented large stand up decorative dark wood pieces, complete with glass shelves, a mixture of wood and wood framed crystal doors, with drawers of varying sizes; all intended as one large display piece; all that, and of course that built in light bulb enhancement, with amber glass covers that I now bring more to your attention. There are six of those enhancements, one each, sitting at top of each individualized piece.

And it might be of interest to know that these amber glass covers are extremely lightweight, and fragile, thin rectangular strips, three feet long and three inches wide, and no thicker than normal window glass. And because of this obvious fragility, I always took extreme care in handling. Once set in position, where human intervention is no longer a requirement, they remain securely protected regardless of said fragility.

To position this glass, is a onetime thing done at assembly or reassembly and then left alone. It's a very simple procedure where each glass strip is inserted, one by one, carefully, at a 45 degree angle or better, into their respective wood holder; and once fully inside the holder where it becomes parallel with the wooden rails, the glass is simply lowered by hand so as to lie flat against the rails. That very simple procedure, along with gravity, holds the glass securely inside their respective retaining rails. A flip of the light switch and light from these amber lenses cascades softly down and over the hutch giving a very nice mellow effect to the whole. Not that said mellow effect is important here, but what is, is where I've placed the hutch as it sits high upon the second floor landing, away from traffic, over looking the entire living area below.

Now please accept when I say I have always exercised extreme care in the shipping and preparation and handling of the individual hutch pieces. To attest to this -- The hutch was purchased in Belgium many years ago and shipped to my Heidelberg address where it initially rested in place for four years; I then moved it and reassembled same at yet another overseas address where it remained for one more year, and all without incident. I prepared the hutch pieces for its move subsequently across the ocean to my then stateside address in western Maryland, where it was once again reassembled, without incident, and where it remained all fine and dandy for nearly 18 years. And, then, finally, the hutch was moved to my current home here in Texas where it had been sitting, complete with amber glass, and all, undisturbed, for three years. Me saying closer to four years would be more correct, so four years.

Now all that might have been as boring as hell to come to learn -- but I'd like to say -- There's no damn way that glass rectangle just 'up and jumped' out of its protective housing!

Let's say that even if it had cracked from some unknown belated stresses, which I do not believe was the case, it would still have remained intact due those retaining rails. And just as factual it would be correct to say it would have to have come OUT just as it went IN; complete, first being raised at the necessary angle to allow for clearance, and then just as carefully removed. So how did it happen then, because it was certainly those shattered pieces there on the floor?

And the wood frame remains intact and in good working order doing their job just sitting there.

No one bumped the hutch (no one was up there on the second floor landing or nearby it to be able to disturb anything), and there was no earthquake, no vibration from a passing vehicle (my home sits a good distance from a less than busy street in a rural setting), no strong winds, no mice, no cats, no nothing as far as I can see other than turning to the supernatural, and me, coincidentally, then, in the beginning processes of a ghost story telling. There were and are five other similar amber glass covers, they are still in position where they remain today, with just one empty space to leave me wondering.

I have a feeling something (?) didn't want me to share the ghostly happening I was about to put into print. A story I eventually titled Coffin Nails. But whatever it was, whatever lifted that glass rectangle and allowed it to come crashing down, as it did, sure took my mind off any story telling... For awhile anyway.


Jerry Bridges

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

WillowWaly (2 stories) (97 posts)
2 years ago (2015-11-19)
Jerry, your posts and comments show you have a kind heart. I like that, and I like your stories too; keep them coming (if you have more).
JerryB (8 stories) (189 posts)
2 years ago (2015-11-14)
Hi Permramaan -- Good comparison.
Sorry to be so untimely in any reply to you, just now trying to catch up here. But your speaking of large glass windows, I was once sitting and reading in a truly quiet library when a large and beautiful bird obviously blinded by the sunlight reflecting then on the window glass CRASHED into the window and made one heck of a sound. You mentioned how people in your IT office were frightened by the sudden sound of breaking glass, well let me tell you, glass (as in this example now) didn't break but the sound of that impact on same came suddenly and loud and scared the heck out of me, and probably did the same for others as we all rushed to investigate the cause. Poor bird, I felt truly bad for it. It didn't seem fair, and it wasn't.
permramaan (1 stories) (27 posts)
2 years ago (2015-11-08)
i have faced such incidents and it is in my office. As a normal IT office, the hallway, corridor and etc etc is walled by glass and each about 8ft tall and 4ft wide. On a normal day, while all was in the office, one of the wall glass first cracked from top and then burst into piece before anyone can do anything. Though no one was hurt, everybody got scared. Happened the same for another in the next few days and the glass was replaced. It was found that it happened due to temperature difference on either side of the glass.
JerryB (8 stories) (189 posts)
2 years ago (2015-11-08)
Hi Tweed --
Thanks for the comments. To be completely honest with you I'm not too keen on getting to the bottom of this. I find myself looking up at that hutch now more than I ever did, not with dread or bad thoughts in my mind, just somewhat worried about more of that glass raining down. Only time it happened; if it happens again THEN I will be spooked enough about it to try and understand it more. Until then I'd like to put it back in the drawer as one hell of a coincidence.
JerryB (8 stories) (189 posts)
2 years ago (2015-11-08)
Otteer. --
I just read those stories of yours, quite amazing. You certainly do seem to have a presence around you, guarding you, warning you, that's for sure. The key story and the rotted steps made the hair on my arms stand up. Thanks for doing that.
otteer (8 stories) (398 posts)
2 years ago (2015-11-07)
What is it with glass and ghosts... I think they know breaking glass will get our attention, get us thinking, and wondering, especially if the manner in which it is broken defies explanation. Had two in my lifetime, I have written about both. Fortunately, neither one resulted in injury. Both were warnings in my opinion, and in my case, good warnings.
Maybe in your case it was approval, not disapproval of your thoughts on submitting your story, and, the spirit was just giving you more fodder for future stories lol. I do believe they like to be acknowledged.
Thanks for the story!
Tweed (24 stories) (2080 posts)
2 years ago (2015-11-07)
Hi Jerry,

Sorry to hear about the glass, I guess it's that really thin antique type glass. I don't think they make glass that thin anymore commercially. You'd probably have to do some digging to get it restored, which is a bit of a hassle.
Had you voiced your intention to anyone about sharing your Coffin Nails story to the competition? I'm wondering if the ghost responsible for the glass was involved in this story you intended to share, heard you tell someone of your intention to write it, and obviously didn't want it shared for whatever reason. Or maybe this ghost wants their story shared instead of the one you intended. Whichever the case the timing of this encounter is simply too intriguing to ignore! Hope you get to the bottom of it.
Caz (231 posts)
2 years ago (2015-11-03)
I meant 'chooses'! (rolling eyes) Have to try and Preview more carefully from now on... I hate typos!
Caz (231 posts)
2 years ago (2015-11-03)
Wow...that really does make sense Jerry! Maybe it'll be content now it knows it has your attention, but I hope it doesn't feel it has to break something to remind you from time to time and if it does, I just hope it choses something that's not so difficult to replace! 😉
JerryB (8 stories) (189 posts)
2 years ago (2015-11-03)
Hi again Caz -
Agreed. There is something more to say here, maybe to clarify what I said in the story about feeling something NOT wanting me to tell the ghost story --- maybe not tell is the wrong approach, maybe glad that I finally got around to thinking about ghost, and 'it' did nothing more than confirm my thoughts of same, happy that I finally came around. Making itself known in that regard, that it was/is still trying to communicate; me now thinking back to all those Maryland incidents that I considered just my imagination playing a trick on me. And the others doing similar in their own imagination. We did live in a quiet, rural setting with miles of dense forest all around. Kind of creepy if you allowed yourself to go that direction. I loved it there.
Caz (231 posts)
2 years ago (2015-11-03)
You could be right then! It definitely sounds as though someone didn't want you to write that story! 😁 Doesn't sound as though there's anything bad in your house though, but if I were your grandson, I think I'd 'load up' before I went to bed! 😉
JerryB (8 stories) (189 posts)
2 years ago (2015-11-03)
Hi Caz -
Thanks for the question. No that glass incident seems to have been a one-only, not that I would enjoy other similar or related events, I would not. I'll stay inside, any ghost can stay outside, if you get my meaning.

Back in our old house in Maryland I swear that there was something there. Something that I would glimpse of out of the corner of my eyes as it passed by in the hallway or in the kitchen as I sat reading or watching tv in the living room. Must have happened dozen of times over the years. Mentioned this more than a couple of times to family, they claimed to have noticed similar happenings. Other than that -- no.

My grandson, age 20, lives in our home. After reading this story I posted here, he commented that he would no longer feel comfortable moving around late at night as he often quietlydoes (he routinely enjoys midnight snacks) and has to pass by the hutch on his way to the refrigerator. That gave me a chuckle, but I understand his concern. Something supernatural in that glass doing what it did. And yes I do find myself wondering if whatever that was that I and others glimpsed back in Maryland may have moved right along with us here to Texas. Let you know if I ever know for sure.
Caz (231 posts)
2 years ago (2015-11-03)
Interesting story Jerry! Has there been any other weird happenings in that house to make you think you have 'company'...or was this a 'one off'? My sister's house is known to get 'uninvited guests' and apart from the to be expected exploding lightbulbs, she has had a glass tumbler explode 'where it sat', on two different occasions! Nobody was present in the rooms on either occasion!
JerryB (8 stories) (189 posts)
2 years ago (2015-11-02)
Agua -
Miracles 51031 -

Thanks guys, isn't that the strangest thing, objects moving seemingly on their own accord. It just shouldn't happen like that should it. Everybody knows that. Yet regardless what everybody knows, it seems to happen. Lots of times.

Here's an observation, not complete by any means but it seems that in reading many of the stories herein where something was moved mysteriously, in many cases it was an object with glass involved. Not In all cases but glass sure seems to show up more often. Any comments in that regard?
Miracles51031 (36 stories) (4802 posts) mod
2 years ago (2015-11-02)
JerryB - my daughter experienced falling objects a couple of times. Objects that could not have fallen on their own or landed where they did. One was a picture of her dad, her sister (s) (can't remember if it was both or just one) and her, and another was a balloon half filled with water. Interesting when something like that happens. You have to wonder who and why. Or at least I do 😊
Agua (4 stories) (61 posts)
2 years ago (2015-11-02)
I've had a very similar thing happen to me.

My ex wife had a very heavy piece of art glass sitting on a 4 foot tall bookshelf. It was a small bowl. Inside the bowl, she'd placed a Mardi Gras throw coconut that she'd caught at a Zulu parade in New Orleans. It had sat in the art glass for years.

One night I was playing around on the computer and heard a loud BANG as if something heavy had been thrown on the floor. The bookcase upon which the art glass sat was a mere dozen feet from where I was sitting, and just outside the door of the room I was in.

I walked out immediately and found the piece of art glass laying about 6 feet from the bookcase and the coconut was sitting on top of the bookcase in pretty much the exact location the art glass it had been sitting in was located (could have been the exact location, I didn't have any way of measuring where it had been). The piece of art glass was not broken or cracked in any way.

Another time I was sitting with my ex's girlfriend in a room watching TV when an ashtray that was sitting on a window sill flew off it and landed on the floor about 8-10 feet away from the window sill. We both saw it.

So, yeah, I do not doubt what you state happened in the least bit.

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