The following is not my ghost story, but my Great Grandmother Ada's. She passed when I was a teenager. I remember her as a bright and loving woman. In the late 1970s toward the end of her life, someone in my family thought to ask her to record her life history on audio tape and I'm so glad they did. Ada was born in the 1890s, lived through many world changes and had an amazing life. I treasure her wonderful stories.
I hope my retelling of her ghost stories will qualify for this site. I'll try to stay true to her words as possible. The way she told it, I think a 'spirit' or 'ghost' are generally the same thing.
Ada was born in Muncie, Indiana, not far from the spiritualist community of Camp Chesterfield, where her Mother was a well known Medium. People would travel great distances to seek her Mother's spiritual guidance or communicate with dead loved ones (as was common in those days). Often, she would greet them at the door knowing what they wanted and the answers they needed, even before any questions were asked. There were several familiar 'spirits' residing in the home, and Ada grew up with them as if they were part of the family. She knew their moods, personalities, and that they would absolutely never hurt her.
At 16, Ada's Father informed her she had enough school education and needed to start work at the factory where he was employed. She reluctantly obeyed, but was happy to learn one of her schoolmates would be working along side her. The two became best friends.
This friend belonged to a church and invited Ada to attend. While her parents didn't encourage it, they didn't say no... It was entirely her choice. However, the 'spirits' in the house were not happy with this! The comfortable, familiar feeling in the house turned hostile and angry. Ada's things would go missing, or she would find them later in strange places, sometimes broken.
One night, she was sleeping and woke up as one of the spirits began poking her from inside the mattress. The poking turned to pushing and the pushing got harder and stronger until finally she was tossed out of bed and landed on the floor. She wasn't hurt or afraid, but she was angry. She even knew which spirit was responsible. Ada stamped her foot, and "told that spirit to stop it!". Then she walked around the other side of the bed, snuggled under the blankets and went back to sleep.
Not long after that, Ada's parents were going away for the night, and she asked her best friend to stay over and keep her company. Sometime during the night, the two girls were alarmed to hear a terrible noise coming from the kitchen. They opened the door to find every pot and pan flying through the air, banging together with cupboard doors flapping. (Insert dramatic pause... How they reacted I can only guess.:-)
After several years Ada joined the church, married a brother of her best friend, and the newlyweds decided to move to west to homestead in Alberta, Canada.
A bit of history:
Canada at this time encouraged western settlement. Once government land had been surveyed and marked as available, individuals could pay a $10 processing fee to homestead 160 acres of their choice. After occupying the land for three years, building a house, breaking sod and cropping at least 30 acres, the homesteader could declare ownership of the land. - Today this sounds easy enough, but back then conditions were harsh. Crop failures, prairie fires, and unpredictable weather drove many to give up their homestead dreams. Also, with such large areas of open land, outlaws and dangerous people were known to travel freely. Abandoned claims were common.
The first summer on their homestead, the couple built a dug-out home into a hillside using thick prairie sod for walls and waxed canvas as a roof. Ada had also given birth to a baby boy. (This was about 1914.) Summer was ending soon, and they would need better shelter and supplies to last the long winter ahead. John, her husband took the horse team and wagon to the nearest town to purchase all the things they needed to survive. If everything went well, he would only be gone a week. Ada and the baby stayed behind, alone.
Several uneventful days passed until one evening, after dark, she and the baby were settling down for the night. They were already in bed when the spirit of a little girl came through the door and into the single room dug-out. She looked to be about 4 years old, with blonde hair and a blue dress. The girl didn't say a word, but seemed confused. Ada had grown up with many spirits, but still, she was surprised to see a child spirit wandering in from the empty prairie. The little girl came over to the bed and laid next to the new mother and her baby. They all three fell asleep.
The next morning, the little girl was gone. Ada believed that sometime during the night, someone must have "come to collect" the lost little girl and she is with loved ones. For years after, they would ask if anyone knew about the child, but never found an answer.
These are a few of my Great Grandmother's ghost stories. She claimed they were true and I believe her. Then again, she was always a good story teller... Please feel free to ask questions and I will do my best to fill any missing information.