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Grunkle John


My parents were divorced when I was three months old. My dad was utterly insane and was a raging alcoholic with psych problems on top of that already.

My father lived in Kentucky while my mother lived in Pennsylvania where nearly all of her family was. Dad, on the other hand, only had a few people in his family that were present.

Dad had his mom, aunt and uncle, and me. He had lost custody of his older son when he was three years old. I was visiting my dad due to court order when my dad's uncle (great uncle, in my case) had passed. I found it ironic that he had passed on September 16th because my grandfather had passed on the same day a few years prior.

Now, my paternal grandmother was absolutely heartbroken over it. She loved her brother and he was one of the only people she had left, albeit she could be a nasty old lady.

I loved him too. I remember when I was little, I would go to his and his wife's house up near Dayton, Ohio and play with his custom train model he had built in his basement. It was simply amazing and I had always held an uncanny interest in trains and planes and cars.

I remember him rather vaguely now, since he passed when I was not even ten. What I do remember was that he was sort of quiet and extremely tall to me. He must have been more than six feet tall.

Anyways, I was staying with my grandmother at her apartment one night and she had three cats. I was terribly allergic so I was sitting on the futon in her living room. She had a sliding porch that was on the ground floor so her cats could go outside.

The blinds to the porch were half open and slid so you could open the only half of the door that could open. My grandma was in her room reading from her prayer books like she did every night.

The living room was dimly lit and I don't even remember what I was doing at the time besides sitting. The porch was to my right and you couldn't see anything outside at all.

All of a sudden, a shimmering black shadow emerged from the glass door and glided in front of me. I was paralyzed and terrified as I watched it drift and go towards my grandma's room.

The shadow towered over me and almost touched the ceiling. All I could think of was my uncle though. The next thing I knew, my grandma was screaming and I could move again, so I darted to her room and asked if she saw it too.

I was somewhat relieved that she saw it, so I knew I wasn't crazy or losing it to my nine-year-old imagination. After a few minutes of consoling, we calmed down enough to assume that it was her brother and my great uncle visiting her as a less than subtle farewell. She had seen things like that in the ghost shows she liked to watch.

We still discuss it now and then, our thoughts never wavering to anything else besides that being her brother, but we could be wrong.

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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 Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, carcinoGeneticist, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will participate in the discussion and I need help with what I have experienced.

RedWolf (31 stories) (1292 posts)
9 years ago (2015-10-19)
I'm sure that it was your uncle that visited you and your grandmother. I'm sure that he didn't mean to frighten either of you. We go through different stages of mourning. Who's to say that spirits don't also. Although his choice of how he did show himself was a bit odd.
Miracles51031 (39 stories) (4999 posts) mod
9 years ago (2015-10-16)
carcinoGeneticist - are you by any chance a fan of Gravity Falls? πŸ˜†
valkricry (49 stories) (3275 posts) mod
9 years ago (2015-10-16)
Oh my! That shimmering mass must have startled your Grandma something awful! It's possible that your 'Grunkle' (love the term by the way) did stop by to say his farewell, but lacked the ability to completely manifest. Or maybe (if we know we're dead) there's a learning curve involved? πŸ˜† Either way, I'm glad it was a shared experience.
valkricry (49 stories) (3275 posts) mod
9 years ago (2015-10-16)
Maria, I was born and raised Catholic, and have never heard that particular teaching. Of course you are entitled to your opinion and beliefs. However; The Modern Catholic Dictionary (Eternal Life) defines "ghost" as 'a disembodied spirit.'
"Christianity believes that God may, and sometimes does, permit a departed soul to appear in some visible form to people on earth," the definition continues. "...β€…Their purpose may be to teach, or warn, or request some favor for the living."
Of course prayers for the dead never hurt, but a visit does not signify that they can not obtain Heaven and need the prayer to do so.
otteer (8 stories) (398 posts)
9 years ago (2015-10-16)
[at] Maria, I would be careful about instructing how to practice dealing with apparitions and the paranormal according to your faith. This forum is for all religions, all beliefs and it's policy, as far as I understand it, is to keep religion out of it, to keep the peace. I know you are a new poster here so just keep this in mind, you may be replying to someone who does not share your beliefs or offend someone reading it.
MariaTPhD2B (6 posts)
9 years ago (2015-10-15)
I have been told that an entity that appears as a dark shadow is not necessarily evil. It may only wish to appear this way because it does not want to be identified, or this was the best it could do because manifestations require energy and only fear or electricity can produce this level of energy. If you sensed it was your uncle, it was probably your uncle. The Catholic Church teaches that ghosts may only appear if they cannot obtain prayers to guide them onward to heaven. If they cannot obtain prayers any other way, manifestations may be God's Grace allowing others to know they exist and, potentially, feel pity for them.

So, pray for your uncle. He will let you know when his needs are met, usually by visiting you in a dream and showing you he is in better health.
otteer (8 stories) (398 posts)
9 years ago (2015-10-14)
OMG! I could almost feel your heart leap as I read the part about the shimmering black mass gliding by! What a thing for a child to see! I'm so glad Grandma saw it too, that would have been an awful thing for a child to have to carry alone! Just a question, did your Grandma tell you what happened in her room? (just trying to leach more out of the story lol) Interesting that your 1st thought (after the initial fright) was of your uncle, conveys to me that was who you saw. Cool Story! 😊

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