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Ghostly Face In The Window

 

First off I would love to say I am very grateful to have found this wonderful site. I had many unexplained experiences through out my life and have always been a seeker to explain what I've seen personally and heard from others. The only time I have experienced a ghost/apparition when I was fully awake (others happened when I was in bed - dreaming or not? - I will share those ones looking for answers later) and in a public place was...

When I was around 11 years old, the summer of 1982. My dad was in the Canadian Arms Forces at the time so we moved around a lot (every 2 years for about 12 years of my young life) which I hated with a passion. My mom wanted my sisters and me to still keep a close connection with my extended family so every summer I went to my grandparents (my mom's parents) place in central Alberta... A farming community.

My grandparents who lived in a small town are devout Catholics and went to church almost everyday. The church they went to was about 3 minutes walking distance away. Because I loved my grandparents so much I went with them even though I sometimes hated sitting through the long ceremony.

My grandma always wanted to be there early so she can sit right up front but on this particular day we were late. My grandparents were able to sit up front but I had to sit in the balcony area which is narrow and a tight squeeze to get to a seat.

I sat near the window that over looks the courtyard and an old wing of the church which at the time was not used anymore. As I was listening to the ceremony I would glance out this window out of sheer boredom (sorry to say but I was 11 and wanted to be outside playing).

Anyway as I was looking at the old wing of the church I noticed this face looking out of the window. I don't know why but it gave me chills right away yet I could not look away. As I stared the hair on my arms stood up and got the shakes. Not sure how long it lasted but as soon as the face looked at me I looked away. When I looked back it was gone.

When the ceremony was done I went back down to meet my grandparents who were speaking to the priest. I went to my grandpa and grabbed his hand and asked if we could go home. My grandma wasn't happy with me for being rude for interrupting their conversation; however, when she looked at me she asked if I was OK because as she put it I was white as a ghost (ha-ha sorry for the pun). I said I was Ok but I knew I wasn't. As we were leaving the priest came to me and told me to feel better and to come to see him if anything was troubling me. All I can say I was very glad to have left the church and to be out in the open.

For next week I refused to go to church which really upset my grandma but concerned my grandpa more. I hardly ate or slept and was very jumpy. Finally my grandpa sat me down and told me to tell him what was bothering me. I wasn't sure if I should tell him because I thought, would he believe me and call me a liar and in the end send me back home? After some gentle coaxing I finally opened up about what I saw at the church. The only question my grandpa asked was for me to describe the man's face which came as a surprise because of my pervious thought.

The man's face was very pale and shallow. You can see the cheek bones and jaw lines and he had very dark circles under his eyes. His eyes were also bloodshot red and had very pale thin lips. Also he had very dark but balding hair. What I found strange was he had no body just a head. I told my grandpa he looked sick but when he (the face in the window) stared at me I got scared and looked away. My grandpa looked at me rather strangely. I almost laughed out of nervousness when he finally spoke. What he told me creeped me out even more and still does to this day.

During the years of 1918 to about 1920 the influenza epidemic hit the area and surrounding farming communities. My grandpa remembers that during the winter months it was extremely hard for people to get the help they desperately needed. The winters in Canada can become brutal and during this time it spared no exceptions. Temperatures dropped to around -44 to -50 C (-47.2 to -58 F) with snow piling up making it hard for people to get around.

The hospital was filling up fast and so they used the wing of the church to help relieve some of the stress. Also there were far too many patients for the few doctors and nurses to keep up with and had to rely on the few volunteers who offered to help. The epidemic lasted a year or so taking many lives.

The wing of the church was closed off, not due to the epidemic, but over time it wore down and became a safety hazard. Grandpa remembered he heard stories from other people - including the priest - about strange events happening in the wing of the church. Unexplained noises/voices (i.e. Crying, screams and moaning), footsteps and shadows moving about. The face I saw, as my grandpa and I believe, was a poor soul who died during the influenza epidemic.

For the rest of my visit and others that followed I would not sit up in the balcony. My grandpa was very sweet to say that he would make sure I would sit up front with him and grandma so I wasn't alone. Bless his heart because he kept that promise until he passed away 8 years later.

Unfortunately the church is no longer standing there. Why I say that is because my parents were married there on October 3, 1966 and holds many memories for them. In 1992 it was torn down and a new church was built about 1/2 mile away. Houses now stand there and now I am curious if any unexplained things happen in or around the area.

I have never told anyone else (except my grandpa of course) about this experience until now. Not sure why though? I'm not looking for answers but if there are other explanations for this please tell me. I just finally felt ready to share this experience with all of you. Feel free to comment I would love to hear what other members have to say.

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

dreamergal72 (6 stories) (793 posts)
 
9 years ago (2008-10-31)
Wow, We have something in common, My grandaparent gone to church where I go with them as a little girl even where my parent married their church in 1965 now the church remodeled and change, I too lost my grandfather.
georgusgal (1 stories) (6 posts)
 
9 years ago (2008-10-31)
i think that story is really heart felt.
I hope that your grandpa is happy where he is because people always say that heaven is the best place to be.

Be ready to write more stories because I'm a very big fan of ghosts

Love
Xxxxxgeorgusgalxxxxx
ChrisB (6 stories) (1515 posts)
 
9 years ago (2008-10-31)
Wow this was an exciting story to read. I realy enjoyed reading it. I love how churches look but sometimes they can be scary. Kind of wierd since its supposed to be a happy place. Thanks for sharring. I hope to hear from you soon and take care
Leanne (guest)
 
9 years ago (2008-10-30)
Hello Kecoughtan. Well first off the church was not relocated. It was demolished just like the wing it was wearing down and became a safety hazard. Also the old church could only hold about 120 people so they needed to build a larger one as the town grew.

As for the cemetry it was located on the other side of town. The area around the old church had little land for a cemetry. Houses and the hospital were there when the church was first built.

Thanks for the questions they are making me more and more curious about all this.

Take care ❤
Kecoughtan (1 stories) (211 posts)
 
9 years ago (2008-10-30)
Leanne, thanks for the details on the windows and line of sight. That is how I initially visualized it when I read your account, but then I realized, rather chillingly, that the face could have been looking from a dormer window on the second floor--and that would have placed it much closer to the balcony. 😨

I have an additional and somewhat esoteric question. Since the church was razed and relocated, I am curious about the location of the cemetery. Do you recall if there was a cemetery adjacent to the church and, if so, were the burials disinterred and removed before construction of the houses? Perhaps the cemetery was always located off-site. Thanks.
rhodes68 (14 stories) (1596 posts)
 
9 years ago (2008-10-30)
Leanne thanks for a trully "captivating" account! Something tells me that even if the old church has been demolished, a person would still hear the echoes of the lost ones! How trully heart-breaking to have so many people perish in that tragedy...
Leanne (guest)
 
9 years ago (2008-10-29)
Kecoughtan... At the time I was scared to discuss this with anyone (I trusted my grandpa then anyone else so was able to tell him and no one else at the time). I had no idea of the activity in the church until my grandpa told me what went on there. The priest I was referring to is not the same priest that my grandpa was talking about so I didn't discuss it with him. However it would have been interesting if he as well experienced odd activity in the wing too. Another research area for me... Is the priest still alive? Have to find that one out.

Regarding the window... The wing was only one level but "L" shaped. Using the "L" as an example... The window I was looking out of sits at the top of the "L" and the window with the face was at the bottom "L" facing the church.

Thanks for the comment and I have another avenue to research. ❤
Kecoughtan (1 stories) (211 posts)
 
9 years ago (2008-10-29)
Thank you for sharing such a poignant and vividly detailed story, Leanne. I am curious about the window in which you saw the pale, forlorn face: was the window located on the ground floor or was it on an upper level closer to your balcony? How I wish you had discussed this with the priest. I wonder how he would have approached this and if, in fact, he was familiar with the incidents your grandfather mentioned. Thanks for sharing your experience!
Leanne (guest)
 
9 years ago (2008-10-29)
Thanks for all the kind comments.

FARWIN I have to agree I'm not sure if it was a residual hauinting or a trapped soul... Can it be both?

Hobbyholly I still wish I kept in touch with other residents from town but I don't. When I was younger I had many family members who lived there. But they either passed away or moved away.

It's funny after writing about this and sharing it with you all, I want to find out more about it. I may have to take a visit there soon and do some research.

Take care ❤
Ghostgirl24 (9 stories) (30 posts)
 
9 years ago (2008-10-29)
I liked your story, Its possible that a soul didn't make its way home and looks at the church as its only place for comfort. Its quite possible that people still have experiences like the one you have had on the land where the church once stood, You can pray for the soul and ask that it be shown the light so it can finally go home. Thanks for such a great story. I hope to hear more from you.
ghostseer (41 stories) (408 posts)
 
9 years ago (2008-10-29)
I really enjoyed reading about your experience. It sounded like a residual haunting, but no less frightening to a young child. As I have experienced paranormal visitations, I know how scary it seem. Especially when you are young, and vulnerable to nightmares. You know, the kind you can't let go of... For the rest of your days?. I am sure it was horrible to see a sickly face in the window. Yes, I agree-this is an awesome site. Thank goodness there is a place we can write out our experiences. Helps you kind of understand it all, when you read about other people having the same stuff happening to them. 😊 Blessings, Ghostseer.

P.S... You can read some of my experiences on my web site. I started it up to help myself, and it is helping others cope with their paranormal memories. I get asked a lot of questions, and there is a question and answer page. Many topics are covered. Just go to my profile. You can get the info there. Looking forward to reading more from you!...
hobbyholly (11 stories) (572 posts)
 
9 years ago (2008-10-29)
Do you keep in touch with anyone that went to church there? Maybe other parishioners have seen something? I know you said the church was no longer there, its just a thought I had.

Your story was very interesting and thanks for sharing.
FRAWIN (guest)
 
9 years ago (2008-10-29)
Hello Leanne. I am undecided on this one, not whether it's true or not but whether it's a trapped soul or a residual haunting. It sounds residual at first notice but one must keep in mind that during the Great Flu Epidemic of 1918-19 that a lot of lives were lost, many died before their time and with great suffering. I can see where a soul could get stuck. As to whether there are unexplainable things happen in the area-the chances are good that they do, especially residual hauntings.
Thank you for sharing your experience with us, I found it very interesting. I will be looking forward to reading more from you. Take Care.

FRAWIN 😊 ❤

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