In August 1983, my then husband, 2 year old son and I went to visit my Aunt for a week. My Aunt and Uncle lived on a large farm in a tiny town named Cold Springs, Kentucky. The nearest actual town is Alexandria, the nearest neighbor is a good 10 miles down the Pike. Their house was fairly modern, a one story ranch style, with an apartment built into the back for my Uncle's dad, who lived with them until he passed away in 1980, I believe. It was a stark contrast to the ancient barns and sheds on the property. I think they had the house built in the 70's to replace the old farm house, but I could be wrong. It might have been the 60's. The land had been in my Uncle's family for generations.
Anyway, we were staying in the apartment, and by mutual agreement we did not tell my husband that my Uncle's dad had actually passed away in the bed we were sharing. He was just too 'spooked' by such things. Because country folk tend to be very early risers, they naturally retire early too, so it wasn't long before just my Aunt and I were up, catching up on family news and gossip.
After a while our talk turned to the paranormal over a game of Scrabble. Lord, how that woman loved to play Scrabble (that's important for later). Anyway, she casually mentioned that my mom believed that I could see such things. I thought 'here it comes', because my Dad often referred to my Aunt as a 'Bible-thumping Baptist', and I was ready for a lecture in my father's vein of how this meant I was 'Satan's spawn'. I should have known better. If anyone loved me unconditionally it was my Aunt. I was mildly surprised when she said, "Believe me or not - odd things happen around here." She went on to tell me, that on occasion the door knocker would rap on it's own. Almost on cue, we heard it do the 'shave-and-a-haircut' rap. My head swung towards the door, and she said, "you can look, but nobody will be there." Of course I looked. I think my Aunt was actually hoping I could debunk it. But the knocker is behind a heavy storm door, which was latched. The only way it could be used is for that door to be opened first, and the knocker itself is HEAVY. No wind or vibration could lift it, and certainly not with that 'rhythm'. I shrugged my shoulders, "Well, you certainly didn't imagine that."
She went on to tell me that sometimes the door-knocker acted as a warning. Once she was awakened from a sound sleep by it to find that a burner on the electric stove had been left on, and the kitchen curtain had blown onto it and caught fire! Another time, they were roused to find strange men attempting to break into the barn. I told her that obviously the door-knocker was a good thing then, and she should be happy they were being protected.
She then proceeded to tell me about other experiences they had in the house. One that impressed me most was one morning she and my Uncle both heard the sound of a freight train coming through the kitchen. Now there are no tracks anywhere near their place. Not even old abandon ones, and this sound terrified my Aunt. My Uncle worked in Indiana as a boiler maker, and had to cross several tracks and my Aunt begged him to be extra careful, that maybe he should even stay home that day. But, he is an extreme non-believer and said that all they heard was 'strange thunder or something' (although the sound did repeat a total of 3 times before he left, each one louder along with that lonesome whistle blowing freights do) and off he went. Just as he was approaching a set of tracks over the Indiana/Kentucky boarder his truck died, and would not restart. Several cars went around him, as he got out and opened the hood. Suddenly a whistle blew and a freight came flying down around a bend in the tracks! The gate and signal failed to work or sound. Fortunately the tracks were clear at that moment. Failing to find anything wrong, my Uncle got back in and gave the truck one more try. It started right up.
Lastly, they had what she called the whistler on their property. This is one I also experienced. Plain as day, we heard the sound of a tin penny whistle around the house. The warm up of scales would be heard first, then an old tune would be played. Although vaguely familiar I could not identify it. We could not track down where it came from. It would move around. Sometimes it sounded like it was out by the barn, sometimes like it was in the back or front of the house. We heard this every morning at grey time, and in the evening shortly after twilight. My Uncle claimed it was a barn owl. Really? I've never heard an owl hoot a melody.
One morning, I was up before anyone else, and I had decided to stroll the property around the house. Early morn in the country is unlike anything you experience in the city, and I dearly missed it, so I was absorbing it in. It was a misty morn, and the dew looked like diamonds scattered about. I plucked a blade of grass and whistled with it. Softly I heard a few notes blown back. I turned towards the sound. There, sitting on the top railing of the sow's pen sat a small boy. Maybe 6 or 7 years old, plainly dressed, though I did notice he was wearing knickers. "Hello," I said softly wondering where he had come from. He smiled at me and was gone. Poof. I told my Aunt about it, and she nodded a bit sadly, "Had a feeling it was a child," was all she said about it.
Maybe 3 or 4 days after returning home, my Aunt called me and asked if I had any 'visitors' as she didn't hear the whistler anymore.
Flash forwards to 1987: both my mother and Aunt had passed. Mom in 1986, and my Aunt in 1987. I was straightening out my closet and came across the Scrabble game. I don't know why, but I took it to the table and opened it up, laying out the contents. I thought about how my Mom and Aunt both loved Scrabble and that they were probably playing endless rounds of it, now that they were together. I smiled at the thought. My daughter toddles up to me, and I lift her, saying how much they would have loved her and would have spoiled her rotten. Those familiar with Scrabble know you use 7 tiles at a time, drawn from a face down pile. I flipped over 7, just to see what word/words I might have been able to make. I kid you not - the letters I drew, in order were L,O,V,E,Y,O,U.