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Aunt Sylvie's Computer Pranks 2

 

That title is a bit misleading, as this is about the summer I met my 4 x great Aunt and happened long before she played games with my computer; but I'm hoping it helps flag out the correlation of the two. Not so much for the readers of this, but for Aunt Sylvie. I know that reads rather awkward, but if you've read part one and the comments it might make sense to you.

Aunt Sylvie was the kind of woman that my mother's generation and those before whispered about. Being a witch wasn't exactly socially acceptable. As, quite a few of us know first hand, when you display certain abilities (seeing spirits, hearing voices,'knowing' things, and the like) outside the realm of 'natural and normal', it generally freaks people out. It also doesn't seem to matter that all you've ever used these things for is good, you're automatically somehow in league with the Devil, himself. That might seem a bit funny to us now, but some folks still hold to that.

I remember when I first heard that Aunt Sylvie was a witch. Not hinted at, mind you, but flat out told so. I think I was about 11 or 12, now and then I'd ask my Mom if certain things really existed, like ghosts, fairies, vampires, werewolves - typical kid wondering. I had asked if witches were real, and my Mom got such a look on her face, lowered her head and said, real low (as if scared someone would hear),"Yes they are. Aunt Sylvie's a witch." Then in a gush, as if it was something she'd wanted to say for a long time, "I know it for a fact. I've seen her do witchly things." She then told me of two instances, one was seeing Aunt Sylvie move furniture without touching it and the other was her causing stones to rain down on some boys harassing a crippled man.

Five years (or so) later, I'm not sure what I expected to see as I walked up to Aunt Sylvie's porch in the company of my Aunt C. Prior to that summer, my knowledge of witches was limited to the Wizard of Oz, and stories like Hansel and Gretel. Neither of which paints them in a favorable light for the most part. Then you had Hollywood's stereo typical 'witch' - always bad, and the stories told by either campfire or flashlight of wicked witches and their ways. I guess I almost expected a stooped over old crone, with a hooked nose and wart, dressed in black with a black cat circling her legs.

She was stooped with age, and leaned on a cane for balance, and with the exception of a black cat sunning itself on the porch, that's where the resemblance ended. Her dress was a simple, faded pattern, with a cardigan over her shoulders, and she wore orthopedic shoes. Her white hair, despite being braided and coiled atop her head, had the effect of being a small cloud, giving an almost halo effect. Her face was that of antiquity itself, with all the lines and wrinkles that come from living. She barely greeted my Aunt before saying "Ruthie's daughter!" and folding me into an embrace that was surprisingly strong, while saying she hoped we were hungry as she'd made a special lunch with us in mind. I looked at Aunt C over Aunt Sylvie's shoulder. She shrugged. The thing was, Aunt Sylvie had no way of knowing we were coming - she didn't have a phone, and she had never met me.

Inside the small house was a wonderment - almost like a museum. Heavy Victorian (some perhaps earlier) furniture, strategically placed to be at its best advantage, with a life time of curios sitting about, interspersed with photographs and tintypes from bygone days. An old Victrola sat in a corner, its horn etched with flowers, it was one of the prettiest things I've ever seen.

Most of the early part of the visit was uneventful, with Aunt Sylvie patting my arm often, and telling Aunt C, "It's like Ruthie's come back to us. Smaller, a bit fairer but still Ruthie" and them telling family gossip present and past. After a bit Aunt C said it was time to go as she still had errands to run. I'm not sure how it came about, but they decided I'd stay, and she'd collect me on the way back that evening. That's when things got - interesting.

There was a woman (I've forgotten her name) who's role seemed to be a cross between housekeeper/caregiver/companion, who periodically showed up in the parlor where we sat, basically to see if we needed anything. Aunt Sylvie had just asked for more coffee to be brought and lit a cigarette. The woman clucked and said, something like, "Now, Ms. Sylvie, you know them things are bad for you." Aunt Sylvie's response made me chuckle inwardly. "Coffee's bad for me. Smoking is bad for me. Most of everything I've done for the majority of my life is bad for me. Don't you ever think maybe they're part of why I've lived so long? Don't you have some program to watch?" The woman rolled her eyes, winked at me, said, "Yes'm" and left us. To me Aunt Sylvie said something about folks meaning well, but not really knowing poop about life. "Everyday she's watches dramas on this little box she brings with," took me a second to realize she meant a portable TV," when all you've got to do is go out there," she waved towards the door, "and you can experience the real deal, and if you learn to embrace the gifts you have life can be very interesting."

She wanted to know what family had said about her, and I stammered around it. Given her age and all, I didn't think she'd exactly take being called a witch a compliment, and I had no wish to offend or hurt her. I was rather enjoying her. She patted my hand, "Ruthie told you I'm a witch a while back didn't she?" I nodded and she laughed softly. Her laugh tinkled like wind chimes," Guess that's as good a label as any."

She nodded towards my cup, "More coffee?" I nodded, and she said 'watch', and watch I did, as the ceramic (China?) pot rose and poured itself.

"Scared me silly, when I first realized I could do that - move things without touching them. Took a while for me to learn to control it. For awhile we thought we had a poltergeist in the house! And then, I began to sort things out for myself, what I could and could not do. Some were natural as breathing for me. Like just 'knowing' things," she took both of my hands in hers, "That sort of being 'different', it can be hurtful, because others don't understand. They think you're crazy or lying at first, and when it comes to pass they act like you're something not human." She squeezed my hands, "That's because they don't understand, so they're scared. And sometimes they're just afraid of what you might know about them. If it is there for you to know, it is because it is yours to know. There is a reason for everything. Just never allow anyone to convince you that it somehow makes you less deserving of life or love or use what you learn to cause harm." She then continued on to tell me about how some things she learned like spell casting, and herbal medicines, and how all magic is the same, it just depended on its intent when used, with her giving me small demonstrations here and there (as if the pouring pot hadn't been proof enough for me!). Although, I think she rather enjoyed showing off for someone who wasn't going to faint or run screaming from the room, and reliving some of her paranormal adventures. I understood without being told, this was an act of trust and not something I was to banter about. She also told me things about myself.

Outside a crow's cawing could be heard, Aunt Sylvie tilted her head as if listening to it, "You're Aunt will be here in about 5 minutes."

Half in jest, I asked if the crow told her that. She said, "Animals speak, if you know how to listen." Sure enough, Aunt C pulled up within 5 minutes.

I never saw Aunt Sylvie again, at least not living. I followed the advise she'd given me to return to Illinois to be close to Mom, who would be needing me. She told me, that truth would be given to my father's lie. Sure enough after over a year of being homeless, a friend of mine was in a bind and needed a live in sitter. (My father had hidden the fact that he had thrown me out, from my mother by saying I'd gone to live with a friend.) Even my Aunt C hadn't known my situation when I showed up at her house.

We corresponded for a year or so, when word was sent that she'd passed on. Her companion was kind enough to enclose one of the few known pictures of her. Evidently she had an aversion to having her picture taken, as it is a very old picture. So old, it makes me wonder if it's really her, although I can see her in that young face. You see, from the mode of dress, and hair style, the picture seems to be from circa 1860. Which would have made her approximately 130 when I met her. Do even witches live that long?

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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, valkricry, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

valkricry (39 stories) (2771 posts) mod
 
4 months ago (2017-08-08)
Manafon, I totally get it, besides all possibilities need to be looked at right?
Manafon1 (5 stories) (504 posts)
 
4 months ago (2017-08-08)
Val--Your aunt definitely seems to have had some amazing abilities! I was just throwing another idea into the mix. The idea of the use of sleight of hand came into my head because I had an uncle who used to do some amazing tricks that blew my mind when I was a kid. If he had told me they were real, I would have believed him.

Of course that never involved moving heavy furniture about. Seems like your Aunt Sylvie was tapping into some wild stuff!
valkricry (39 stories) (2771 posts) mod
 
4 months ago (2017-08-08)
Manafon, No worries I have been called much, much worse! 😆
It says I need more characters, so I'm just going to answer both you and Tweed here."Is it possible the levitating and pouring coffee pot was a trick?"
Objects moving by themselves is something I've encountered several times over. I don't mean set it down here, but find it over there, I mean actually seeing the bloomin' thing move. To be honest, a time or two I was able to debunk it - a very slight slanting of the surface, or flat out trickery. But sometimes, well sometimes you just have to believe your eyes because all logic has just left the building.
Do I think it was some magic trick on Aunt Sylvie's part? No, and I'll explain that, but I do think it's possible she had some telekinetic abilities. I say this, because of what my mother had witnessed; Aunt Sylvie moving heavy, large pieces of furniture without being even near it, and no one else was around. My mom had seen this peeking through a porch window. This raises questions, if trickery: Why use it to rearrange heavy furniture? For what reason? Who was it meant to impress? By comparison the coffee pot was nothing.
My mother and Grandmother had also seen her cause a hail of stones to rain down on some punks. This was definitely an impromptu situation. How could trickery come into play there?
I did ask my Grandmother about the stone thing. Her answer was, "Yes, but I don't want to talk about it." Actually, I was surprised to get an answer at all. She did not like me, that was clear. (She never forgave me for kicking her when I was 5. But geeze - she was making my brother cry, I had to do something!) As curt as she was, it did validate what my Mom said, and those two couldn't agree on how to boil water.
valkricry (39 stories) (2771 posts) mod
 
4 months ago (2017-08-08)
PBnJilly,
Well, hello!
To answer your question, Aunt Sylvie pretty much leaves me alone (I must have missed that question before). So much so, I was surprised that my wanting to 'talk' about her seemed to activate her (the computer pranks). Or maybe, she saw it as her opportunity to say 'hello' without a doubt being it was her. 🤔 I've never actually seen/dreamed of her since her passing, but there were times I thought I felt her.
Miracles51031 (36 stories) (4802 posts) mod
+1
4 months ago (2017-08-08)
Manafon - there are moments when something happens that is just perfect timing and this was one of those 😊 I needed the smile and you provided it. I'm sure val is not upset about the mistake and neither am I ❤
Manafon1 (5 stories) (504 posts)
+1
4 months ago (2017-08-08)
Sorry about the mixup there Miracles and Val. I wrote my comment while working and spaced on that. All apologies.
Miracles51031 (36 stories) (4802 posts) mod
 
4 months ago (2017-08-08)
Manafon - I would love to take credit for this one, but val would probably object 😊 😉
Manafon1 (5 stories) (504 posts)
+1
4 months ago (2017-08-08)
Hi Miracles--I've read this account three or so times over the past few days and enjoyed it and didn't think I had anything to add but something just hit me. Is it possible the levitating and pouring coffee pot was a trick? By that I mean one used to make your visit with your aunt more magical?

Maybe it was twofold--to give you an extra memorable and enchanting visit and to support the rumors that surrounded her "witchy ways". Of course it is also possible she really did use the power of her mind to pour the coffee. That said, even the best known telekinetic feats, like those of Russian born Nina Kulagina, could be easily replicated by sleight of hand by using threads and so on.

Maybe your Aunt Sylvie, who by all accounts was a marvelously eccentric woman, just wanted to give you a visit to remember--which you clearly have!
Tweed (22 stories) (2040 posts)
 
4 months ago (2017-08-08)
Val, there's got to me an emoticon for this. I don't know which it would be, but there's got to be one!
I'm so baffled/amazed by this coffee pot caper. What would that be, telekinesis or something, I guess. My Mum banged all that stuff into me when I was younger, but I decided it probably wasn't real. Well, not in the extreme. But now I don't know what to think.

I'm glad your Aunt Sylvie's cool with you sharing stuff now. I think I saw a stove top kettle being set down once. But it was so weird I sort of think I must have imagined it. But if someone can do that at will without touching the damned thing, gawd blimey!
PBnJilly (11 posts)
 
4 months ago (2017-08-07)
Val,

I came across the first part of your story and so hoped your Aunt Sylvie had let you post more. I'm so glad she did! What an absolutely fascinating lady!

Your writing is a pleasure to read and made me feel like I was meeting Aunt Sylvie right along with you. Since she's passed, other than the computer tricks, has she ever made herself known to you otherwise? Or in dreams? I saw another poster ask something similar but didn't see a reply from you. Forgive me if there was one and I missed it!

I'm unsure how far back court house documents go, but perhaps there'd be more information on her there?

Thank you so much for sharing this with us!
Melda (9 stories) (717 posts)
+1
4 months ago (2017-08-06)
Red - Thanks for that - there's a reason for everything, all you have to do is figure out the answer to the question 😆

Regards, Melda
RedWolf (28 stories) (1257 posts)
+1
4 months ago (2017-08-06)
Melda

There are a couple of things that I was told, some seem to hold true.

1) About 20 years before a war starts there are more males than females born.

2) Married men die before their wives, the wives die within 7 years of their husbands. When my grandfather died I was looking at other headstones and this held true for the 50 or so head stones I looked at. I said to my sister that I noticed that if the wife died first the man lived way beyond 7 years. Her response to me was nobody ever said that a man died within a certain time of their wives, they wanted to live a little. 😆

3) An estate lawyer once asked me why husbands die first. I thought about it for a minute trying to think of an answer. My widowed mother in-law was over. She is the same now as she was when my father in-law was alive. A very domineering woman who has a fit when she doesn't/didn't get things her way. Which was/is I want it done and I want it done now. So I said because they want to.🤷

Regards
Red
Melda (9 stories) (717 posts)
 
4 months ago (2017-08-06)
Val - What I find very interesting about that list is how the females outnumber the males 😲

Regards, Melda
valkricry (39 stories) (2771 posts) mod
 
4 months ago (2017-08-06)
Melda,
Thanks 😊 Obviously I have my own doubts about her age, and the picture actually being her. (Just because you're told something doesn't make it so, right? 😉) You're theory of it possibly being her mother is very interesting, possibly even correct. I really do not know. Although mistaken identity is high on the list of possibilities. (Drawn and quartered?!? Must've been SOME thoughts! Lol)
I did google up a list of 'supercentenarians' (American) but feel it pertinent to include that the oldest verified person on record is French woman Jeanne Calment (1875 - 1997), who lived to the age of 122 years, 164 days. If you'd like to see the list https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_supercentenarians_from_the_United_States Of course those are just ones that could be validated. So many of the truly old never had a birth certificate, or an 'official' recording of their birth to prove it.
Melda (9 stories) (717 posts)
+1
4 months ago (2017-08-06)
Val - Thanks very much, I received your email together with photo of Aunt Sylvie. She looks quite beautiful and the little boy with her is so cute 😊

I now understand your amazement that she must have lived to the age of about 130. Is that possible? 😲 Unless of course she had more abilities than anybody could possibly dream of - such as what?

That gets my mind wandering down all sorts of avenues which would quite probably end up with me being drawn and quartered, so I'll say no more.

Just trying to be logical here, and trying to keep my curiosity at bay, possibly the girl in the photo is her mother? 😕

I'm sure you couldn't help but notice that I love my new emojis. I'm sure that in time I'll tire of playing with them. Fortunately they're limited to three in a post.

I tried to vote you up on your earlier reply to me but, of course, was told to vote for somebody else!

Regards, Melda
RCRuskin (7 stories) (247 posts)
 
4 months ago (2017-08-05)
Aunt Sylvie sounds like an interesting person, and I wish I could have known her.

Of course, now that I've expressed that wish, well, you know what they say.
Melda (9 stories) (717 posts)
 
4 months ago (2017-08-05)
Val - Thanks for your reply. I'm beginning to think that just maybe Aunt Sylvie wasn't delivered by the stork like the rest of us!

I look forward to receiving the photo.

Regards, Melda
valkricry (39 stories) (2771 posts) mod
 
4 months ago (2017-08-05)
Melda,
Well now we enter into the world of conjecture, and maybes. As far as anyone (family) can ascertain no mention of Aunt Sylvie is made in the family Bibles. But then, I've only their word that they've actually LOOKED. I know on her grave plaque there's a? For date of birth. And no one came forward as 'rightful heir' when she passed. (And in my family when folks pass, 'relatives' come out of the woodwork to fight over stuff. Really sad.)
As far as I know Aunt Sylvie was childless. (Depending on who's gossip I listen to she was either married 5 or 6 times, or not at all.) 🤔 Of course it does not help that there is more than one "Sylvie" in the family tree. All labeled 'Aunt'. My Aunt C and Mom separated them as Sylvia, Sylvie, and Syl. Who knows how badly oral history has mangled their facts, mushing some together or assigning it to the wrong one; and those that would are long gone.
I'm going to try and email you the photo. It worked for Fergie, so it might for you.
valkricry (39 stories) (2771 posts) mod
 
4 months ago (2017-08-05)
Red,
You're the second person to tell me about 'posting problems' with just a particular story. Maybe it's more common than we think. 🤔

lady_glow,
Thank you kindly. After I had met her I always wished I had known her longer, and I agree that some witches are just not very nice at all.
AugustaM (2 stories) (429 posts)
 
4 months ago (2017-08-05)
Wow! I wanted to walk right into your story - to explore Aunt Sylvie's house and listen to her stories. What an incredible fortune to have had a relative like her and to be able to have met her. It makes me sad that you weren't able to visit her more... I only just read a brief story and I want to move in with her!

She reminds me of the character of Merlin more than anything else... And they say he too lived for well over 100 years!
Melda (9 stories) (717 posts)
 
4 months ago (2017-08-05)
Val - I meant if the coffee pot refilled... Believe it or not, I did edit this 😊

Regards, Melda
Melda (9 stories) (717 posts)
 
4 months ago (2017-08-05)
Val - What a fascinating lady your Aunt Sylvie was. I'm so pleased that she has finally allowed you to share a small part of her life with us 😁

I think most people would have totally freaked out if the coffee refilled their cup by itself.

It seems that she knew, or at least had an idea, about certain things that would be happening in your life. It's a pity that you didn't grow up close to her as I get the feeling that in a way you were kindred spirits.

Did she have any children, grandchildren? Her date of birth must surely be recorded somewhere.

I don't suppose there's any way in which you can post that old photo? I'm not nagging, would just be interested to see it because I'm truly intrigued by this old lady!

Do you ever feel her presence or dream about her?

I would have loved to have had a relative like Aunt Sylvie. If we'd lived in the same town I'd have been a regular visitor. Then again, a few of my nastier relatives would probably have had nothing to do with her. (In fact I can only think of two nasty ones. The rest would have been terrified of her but would not have disowned her.)

The fact that there was a kid around (me) who constantly screamed about the ghosts in the house, was more than plenty for them to deal with!

Regards, Melda
lady-glow (8 stories) (1621 posts)
 
4 months ago (2017-08-05)
Val: Wow, what a fascinating story!
Based on your description, it is evident that Aunt Sylvie was a very wise and loving person, it would be nice if all witches could be like her!
RedWolf (28 stories) (1257 posts)
 
4 months ago (2017-08-05)
val
I read your story about your account of your aunt not letting you post a story about her. I had the same problem when I tried to write my story about my friend Billy. I tried over a dozen times but something always happened to the story. I gave up for awhile then finally was able to write about him.

This was last summer so maybe it is just a climate thing. Just kidding. I have caught glimpses of him felt his presence he has visited me in dreams and as he told me he would watch over me before he died I think he may be one of my guides if he isn't he is just keeping a promise.

Regards
Red

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