This story is a 100% true account of my paranormal encounters and those of my family and I with ghosts that manifest themselves very clearly. Growing up, my family shared a very old beach-house on the Jersey Shore (it's nothing like the show so don't even go there) with a nice old woman named Dorothy whose family had shared the house with my dad's side of the family.
We go there during the summer and on many weekends throughout the year. It's the oldest house in town and has been there since the town was just a remote little seaside village near Cape May but Dorothy kept it very tidy and made sure that it stayed the way it was when it was built (or rather rebuilt).
After Dorothy's husband died, she took up full residence in the mansion on which she was an expert. Though there were just a few things that Dorothy wasn't keen on in her house and my family and I had to find that out the hard way.
The first time I was in the house was when I was only about a week or maybe eight days old. I had no idea about the paranormal activity inside the house until I was about five years old and overheard Dorothy talking to my parents about the ghosts.
Over the years, I had retained that there are six distinct ghosts that haunt the house and the surrounding area. A lot of people don't believe me when I tell them, especially when I tell them about Ronnie (see below) but it's true.
Sarah - Sarah was (and still is, apparently) a 12-year-old Spanish girl who I first subconsciously saw evidence of when I was five and then fully encountered when I was about seven.
One weekend in April, our parents had picked us up from school and we went down to the beach-house. I immediately ran up into the bedroom when something caught my eye. It was just a few strands of long, black hair which was weird because Dorothy always kept the house so clean.
The first time I had a full encounter with Sarah was when I was seven. I was upstairs alone. I was standing at the far end of the bedroom that I slept in, looking out onto the second-floor balcony when out of my peripheral vision, I saw a figure. I couldn't make out the features from that view but I could see white gown and long, black hair... When I looked over in the mirror, the ghost was standing behind me. I yelled and just like that, she whirled around and disappeared. When I told my family at dinner, they said it was just my imagination but Dorothy believed me. She told me that her name was Sarah and she is "quite a pleasant phantom".
That night, my two younger sisters and younger brothers, who all shared the same room, pushed our beds together, piled up on pillows and blankets and slept tightly together. I remember we would all dart in the bed to see which one of us got the spot in the middle along with my youngest sister, Valentina.
Since then, Sarah has appeared to me many times and has also appeared to my older brother John on several occasions. She likes to hum and on one occasion we were throwing a party and everyone was silent when they heard her humming. One Christmas Eve, she appeared for a second in front of the fire and vanished. Sarah is a friendly ghost, like Dorothy said.
When my friends, siblings and I investigated her last summer, we uncovered a book about the history of the house which describes many people who frequented it. It's unknown where she was born, though I think she was probably the orphaned daughter of Spaniards or Italians (due to her appearance) and was taken in by the families. Sarah was a servant that the adults of the family pushed around a lot. She died probably of disease when she was 12 and it is unknown what they did with her body.
Thomas - Thomas is the only adult and the only "bad phantom" that dwells in the house. Dorothy couldn't remember his name and for a long time we called him "Willard" for some unknown reason. The first major encounter one of my family members had with Thomas was just a few days after Sarah appeared to me.
Around 11 PM one night, my little sister, Florentina, who was then five told the rest of us that she had to go to the bathroom but that she was scared. I told her that she was fine because even if she saw the ghost I had seen, she wouldn't get hurt. We just didn't want her to wind up wetting the beds that we had weaved together. Finally, Florentina got up the courage to go. A few minutes later she was screaming bloody murder from the bathroom. Florentina was screaming so loud that our neighbors in the next house nearly called the police. Florentina said that as she stepped out of the bedroom, she felt like she was being followed (that's a feeling that I got in that hallway too) but then somehow she knew someone was behind her and was out to get her. She ran down the hallway and as she turned around to close the door saw the tall, dark shadow of a man with glowing blue eyes (apparently). This man we named Willard.
I encountered Willard twice. He likes to linger around the corners of the upstairs hallway and on the stairs. Willard appeared to me as a shadow that speaks in a low, husky whisper. He's the reason why I'm still terrified to walk around the upstairs hallway late at night without someone else.
Upon research last summer, we actually discovered that Willard was named Thomas Whittier and was the older brother of Ronnie. He had a history of severe anger management issues. Dorothy didn't remember ever hearing mention of him, probably because the families were too ashamed and he died long before Dorothy was born. I'm pretty sure he was my great-great-great- (possibly another "great" in there) uncle.
Ronnie- Ronnie is the ghost of a four- or five-year-old little boy who likes to linger on the right side of the front yard (it is the right side if you are facing the house head-on). He often appears to my little sister, Valentina.
Most of my family had gone to the beach for the day but Valentina and Dorothy stayed back. At dinner, when my mother asked Valentina how her day was, she said that she played with a little boy named Ronnie. Everyone thought it was a kid from the street. When Dorothy asked her to describe the boy she said something like, "He has light blonde hair pretty blue eyes. He's dressed in weird clothes that look like what the farm helpers wear in the Wizard of Oz." I'll never forget Dorothy's tan face turning as white as snow. Later, I overheard her telling my parents how she played with as similar child in her youth but it was a ghost. My parents didn't believe her and really who would at first? It was like something out of a modern horror movie.
However, Valentina continued to play with Ronnie and once told our parents that every time before he left he would whisper to her, "Don't tell anyone that the little (offensive term) girl is in the woodpile." He would then point to the pile of wood in the corner of the yard and run away. He was referencing the fact that runaway slaves used to hide in the nearby swamp and forest. Ronnie also apparently told her that he thought she was a high yellow. That persuaded my parents that their child was playing with a ghost from the past.
When my family and friends investigated, we found out that his name was actually Lucas Whittier and that he was my great-great-great-grandfather, I think. He was born in the mansion in the spring of 1855 and died there in 1936, when Dorothy was just a little girl. She said that she vaguely remembered him as an old man but didn't remember if he was related to her family or our family because she had little contact with him.
Red-Haired Girl - This is a little girl around Ronnie's age that is always dressed nicely and has a bow in her flaming red hair. She never appears without Ronnie/Lucas but is not with him all the time.
The red-haired girl also appeared to Valentina along with Ronnie a few days after my sister befriended the ghost child. According to Valentina she likes to pick flowers, jump rope and play tag. The red-haired girl (or Ginger, as Dorothy calls her) was originally thought to be Ronnie's sister but is actually a good friend of his. Sometimes when you hear unexplained laughter, it is her.
We don't know the red-haired girl's name. Valentina says that Ronnie only ever referred to her as "you" or "ginger girl". When we investigated last summer, we found a photograph of her when she was a teenager. Most of the page in the book was ruined but from what we've decoded, the redhead was a good friend of Ronnie's who died around 1870.
George - We know very little about George except that he was probably an orphan for the very brief period during the 1870s that the state paid the family to keep wards there. None of us have ever seen George we've just heard him whispering things about being adopted and asking where his parents are. Whenever objects move in the house without explanation, it's assumed to be George. He seems to like the books for kids about 10-13 so we assume he's about 11 or 12.
The Little Black Girl - This ghost has appeared once and once only to anyone and I was lucky to be there and to be the one of only two sets of eyes to see her. It was the summer after Valentina discovered Ronnie (or Lucas) and the Redhead. The sun was setting which was usually when Ronnie leaves and my friend and I were observing Valentina play with the ghost children who I still had yet to see. When Ronnie whispered to my sister his famous parting line, "Don't tell anyone there's a little (offensive term) girl in the woodpile." As soon as he said that, for a split second, my friend and I saw the face of a little black girl, no more than four. We turned pale, exchanged a terrified look and rushed into the house. We were both used to the ghosts, but it was very shocking to see a new one.
No one else has seen the little black girl since that day though she may pop back up, eventually.
I have to say, there are probably very few other ghosts in the world that manifest themselves so voluntarily. I consider myself lucky to get so close to these paranormal beings and the fact that the ones that haunt my beach-house are mostly friendly.