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Baron And The Red-faced Man


Here's a personal experience I had just before my freshman year in college. I'd almost forgotten about it, and because it was so long ago (I'm a retired great-grandma now) I may have forgotten some details.

I took my parents' explanation for this incident as the truth, and never did research to prove or disprove what they told me. Both of my parents passed away years ago.

When I was a junior in high school, my father lost his job in Flint, Michigan. He was unemployed for close to a year. Finally he found a job near Detroit, and as a result my family moved from Flint to Ferndale, a suburb of Detroit. I chose not to move with them, so I began my independent life at 17, with $10 and a rented room. I earned my living expenses by working as a waitress in downtown Flint.

It was easier back then to finance your college education in the US. Tuition was much lower then than it is today and scholarships were more plentiful. Getting a college education had always been the driving goal in my life, so I'd been applying for scholarships and grants that unfortunately aren't available any more. I was able to start college the following fall because of those funds and because I continued working part-time.

It wasn't until late summer in 1967 that I spent a couple of weeks with my parents and brother at their new home in Ferndale. Since I'd spent the summer working in Flint, I'd never lived in or visited the Ferndale house before. I brought Baron, my German Shepherd/Malamute mix, along for the visit.

Their home was a small white Arts and Crafts-style house located in the middle of a family-oriented neighborhood. Entering through the glassed-in front porch, I found myself in a combination living room/dining room area. The kitchen was straight ahead. A single bathroom and two bedrooms were also on the first floor. The second floor was just an open and unfinished attic, accessed by a narrow flight of stairs that ended inside the back bedroom. I was supposed to sleep on a cot in that attic.

There was something about the attic that made me feel uneasy, but I couldn't figure out what it was. There was very little to see, because the room was practically empty - I noticed there were only a few boxes that held Christmas tree ornaments, household items my parents didn't use often, etc. My father's dilapidated old desk stood near the window. Other than that there was no debris, no closet, no place for a self-respecting boogeyman to hide!

Baron was used to sleeping on my bed, but he couldn't fit on the narrow cot; so on the first night of our visit he settled down on a blanket folded and placed on the floor next to me. I read for a while, then turned out the only light in the attic and drifted off to sleep.

I couldn't have been asleep for more than half an hour or so before Baron's rumbling growl woke me up. The attic was too dark for me to see much of anything, but I did hear heavy footsteps and a male voice. From the sound, the speaker seemed to be crossing the room walking toward my cot.

Suddenly I "saw" in my mind an older white man (maybe in his fifties) wearing the kind of work clothes a handyman or plumber might need. His face was bright red and contorted with anger. While I couldn't make out much of what he was shouting, I did pick up a stream of creative swear words, along with a statement something like, "This is my place! Get the #&!* out!"

At this point Baron was on his feet, barking furiously. I fumbled for the string that turned on a bare bulb overhead, but when the light came on there was nothing to see or hear. Baron and I spent the rest of that night on the living room sofa.

YGS readers know that some people just can't pick up on the paranormal. That was true in my family. My mother and brother wouldn't have noticed if a dozen ghosts were square dancing around them. On the other hand, my father and I knew instantly whenever we were in the presence of a spirit. This is a bit ironic, because it was the only thing we had in common. My father and I had such a bad relationship that we couldn't even talk to each other.

The next morning my mother told me that my father was already aware of an unfriendly presence in the attic, which is why he no longer used his desk upstairs. (Thanks for putting my cot upstairs, Dad!)

The back bedroom where the attic stairs were belonged to my middle school-aged brother, who always slept there peacefully. After that first night my mother decided to move him to the living room sofa for the duration of my visit and let me use the run-down double bed in my bro's room.

That evening Baron settled on the end of the bed while I read for a while. I was nervous as I turned out the light, because I could still feel something nearby that made my skin prickle, but eventually I started drifting off. That's when Baron and I heard footsteps thudding down the attic stairs.

Baron sprang to his feet. Still on the bed, he began barking viciously at something invisible. I couldn't physically see whatever it was, but I heard the same voice I'd heard the previous night. Another mental snapshot of the red-faced man wearing coveralls popped into my head. He was shouting the same type of words he'd shouted before, along with loud orders to get out of his house. He must have walked around the bed and headed for the hallway door, because Baron kept shifting his position as if he were watching the presence take that route. Naturally everybody woke up because of the ruckus. Baron and I ended up sleeping in the utility room for the rest of the visit.

Eventually my mother filled me in on the complete story. When my father had started having run-ins with the angry ghost in the attic, he and my mother did some research and talked to neighbors. They discovered their house had once been owned by a man who worked as a custodian at an area school. He was divorced, according to the neighbors, and was a loner who insisted on keeping to himself. The neighbors said he was very protective of his property, warning would-be trespassers away by yelling profanities at them.

One day this man was trying to repair the school's boiler, and something went wrong. The boiler exploded. The custodian was killed.

My father and I were able to actually discuss the ghost a bit in spite of our relational problems.

He decided to test my psychic abilities, first by asking me if there were other spirits in the house. (There was one: a middle-aged woman, friendly but a bit shy. She was standing right behind my chair, with one hand resting on the chair near my head.) Then my father handed me a cigarette lighter and told me to describe what I saw when I concentrated on the object. That's when I withdrew from the "game," because I saw who had given him the lighter and where they'd been. I didn't think it was appropriate to discuss the information I was getting.

From that point on, though, we were sometimes able to discuss paranormal subjects - but not much else.

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

Seraphina (7 stories) (147 posts)
6 years ago (2016-01-16)
Hi, Fergie,
You're one of my favorite posters in YGS:) Thank you for your kind comments.

To answer your question about my father, he said very little about his personal experiences, but he did mention a few old family stories by way of showing me that sensitivity to the paranormal might be hereditary.

I envy you your relationship with your father. Fortunately, my grandfather helped fill that void. I worshipped him!

Fergie (40 stories) (1159 posts)
6 years ago (2016-01-16)
Hi Seraphina, I just had to go back and reread all of your interesting accounts. Thank you for sharing.

I love your humour and writing style. I certainly hope you have more to share with us YGS readers.

What a pity your relationship with your father was so strained. Personally, my dad was my 'hero'. Did you manage to glean any tales of the supernatural from him? I know I did, from my father.

From one 'old' lady to another, I wish you "Happy trails." 😉
Seraphina (7 stories) (147 posts)
6 years ago (2016-01-14)
Oops, Mack, I misspelled your name in my previous post. Guess that's what happens when a dotty old lady starts to write!
Seraphina (7 stories) (147 posts)
6 years ago (2016-01-14)
Hi, babygoatpuller and Mak,
Thanks for your positive feedback!

Babygoatpuller, oddly enough, my father didn't comment when I stopped playing the game. My guess is that he knew I could "see" where that lighter had come from. Let's just say a bar and a strange woman were involved. I was shocked, of course.

Mak, your theory about the entity certainly makes sense to me. And let's hope there are pharmacists on the other side!

Best to both of you
Seraphina 😉
Macknorton (5 stories) (646 posts)
6 years ago (2016-01-13)
Great read Seraphina - very funny as well! Loved these:
" place for a self-respecting boogeyman to hide..."
"... My mother and brother wouldn't have noticed if a dozen ghosts were square dancing around them..."
To state the obvious; I think this chap died suddenly, didn't know he had passed, possibly no understanding of the next stage of life, and couldn't understand why you were in his house / room.
Angry in this world, angry in the next... Makes perfect sense. I wonder to they have blood pressure medicine in the spirit world?
Mack 😊
babygoatpuller (4 stories) (432 posts)
6 years ago (2016-01-13)
Seraphina- I've enjoyed all of your accounts and this one is no exception. Did your father have anything to say when you withdrew from the "game"? Must've been one disturbing "scenario" to have to walk away from it.
Seraphina (7 stories) (147 posts)
6 years ago (2016-01-13)
Hi, Miracles and Tweed. Thank you for those kind words. I always value your opinions and learn from your own stories and comments.

Baron certainly was a loyal protector 😊

Tweed, you're right about the way most people reacted to reports of paranormal experiences back in the '60s. It wasn't a subject to bring up with anyone outside of the family.
Tweed (29 stories) (2362 posts)
6 years ago (2016-01-13)
Seraphina, what a beautiful open candour you have. I agree with Miracles, this was a real joy to read. Urgh but what an awful man you encountered! Well done to Baron!
It's such a shame your father was the way he was, tisk tisk, I really wanted to flick his ear or something.
Your family's openness and sensitivity to ghosts, am I right in assuming this would have been largely frowned upon for most of your parents generation in the 1960's?

I don't have much else to add either lol. I'll certainly be reading your other stories. Thanks so much for sharing.😊
Miracles51031 (39 stories) (4998 posts) mod
6 years ago (2016-01-13)
Seraphina - I absolutely loved reading this, thank you for sharing it. I don't know that I have anything to say, no sage advice or helpful thoughts coming from me. This was a very well presented experience.

I do want to say I love how Baron went into protective mode each time with the Red-Faced Man. Love animals like that. And I understand the whole square dancing spirits thing LOL Got a few family members like that myself. I just acknowledge they don't get it and go on 😉

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