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Encounter With The Past


The year was 1983. It was winter in Ohio. We'd had a lot of snow by this point but the weather hadn't been too terrible for a northeast Ohio winter. It was late in the year. If memory serves, November. It was a very cold Friday or Saturday night. I had met a friend in a local restaurant named Bill. He and I had been friends for many years. His younger brother David was also a friend of mine.

One weekend evening I called Bill and asked him if I could come over and hang out there for a bit. I was about 17 at the time and it was nice to get out of the house occasionally and away from my parents. They tended to argue a lot. Bill and David lived with their parents also in an old farm house just outside of Newbury,OH. Not exactly sure how old the house was but I'd say over a hundred years old. Doors had skeleton keyholes, some of the windows were just solid glass block, couldn't see in or out. The stairway to the upstairs was extremely steep and narrow with one little light bulb hanging from the ceiling. The entire house was dimly lit almost all the time. When I got to the house it was about 10 or 11pm. Bill let me in and we headed upstairs. I asked him where everyone was because the entire living room was pitch black, as well as the kitchen. He told me his parents went out to dinner and a movie,...probably stopping off for a drink afterwards.

Both Bill, Dave and myself were practicing the guitar and we would learn from each other making it easier for all of us to play. A little side note so you are all aware of this before I continue, Bill and Dave's parents were both in their late 60's at this time and their parents had died many years before this. Bill used to comment on his grandmother's cooking a bit as I recall. Well, a few hours went by while we were playing the guitars. Maybe 10 cars passed the house in all this time. Roads were very icy and it was very cold. The house sat pretty much right by the road, maybe fifty feet from it.

It was about this time I asked Bill if I could use his bathroom. He said sure. I didn't know the house very well so I asked him where it was. Then he told me to go down the stairs, turn right and head to the back right corner of the living room.

So I headed down the dimly lit staircase. Got to the bottom of the stairs and as I got there I saw a dim, flickering glow coming from the living room. As I turned right and looked into the living room, I saw that the T.V. Was on with a little, elderly woman sitting in the recliner watching TV. She had a whitish, bluish nightgown on, slippers, and one of those plastic bed caps women used to wear to keep their hair from getting messy while they slept, not a hair net, more like a plastic thing. As soon as I spotted this the woman stood up with a walker and went into the bathroom in the corner of the living room, turned on the bathroom light and closed the door. At the time I wasn't sure If this was Bill and Dave's mother or grandmother, I just wasn't sure. All I knew is that I was going to have to wait to use the bathroom so I went back upstairs to Bill's room. (another little side note to be pointed out here,...Inside this old bathroom there were NO WINDOWS. Simply one 8X8 inch glass block cube that let a little natural light in during the day. It was solid and mounted in the wall surrounded by concrete.

When I got back to Bill and Dave upstairs the both looked at me puzzled... Bill looked at me and said,..."well, that was quick!" Then I told him I'd have to wait because someone was using the bathroom. At this time Bill looked at Dave, and Dave looked back at Bill and they both started laughing! Confused, I asked, "what the heck is so funny?"

That's when it happened. Bill looked me straight in the eye and said,"Mike,we're the only ones here!" I paused for a moment, and then got the coldest chill shooting down my spine I'd ever felt, I flashed back to the moment I'd arrived. I remembered Bill locking the huge deadbolt on the door behind me when I walked in. I remembered the kitchen and living room being dead quiet and dark. The hair on my arms just stood straight up, as it always does when I tell this story. I turned white as a ghost, choked up and told Bill that I thought his grandmother was in the bathroom. I watched her walk in, turn the light on and close the door I explained! Bill then grabbed me by my jacket and stood me up and said, (still chuckling under his breath) "let's go check it out!"

Amazed and confused still, I followed Bill downstairs. Dave stayed upstairs in the bedroom playing his guitar. When we got to the bottom of the stairs I saw that the light in the living room and the T.V. Were now off and the room was pitch black. Except for a small glow of light at the bottom of the closed bathroom door. I was nearly in shock when Bill looked at me chuckling and walking straight for the bathroom door, he simply opened it and said,"You're in good company Mike,...She doesn't show herself to just Anyone!" He then pushed the door open while I gasped!

I said," Bill,there's someone in there"! Bill looked at me and said,"come see for yourself",I walked up and to my shock, the bathroom was empty! Light still on, but no little old woman! She just wasn't there!

Bill explained to me that that was his mothers mother. His Grandmother. She had passed away back in the late 1940's! Why she wanted me to see her to this day is still a mystery to me. Apparently though she had only shown herself to two other people that Bill or Dave knew of. But Bill and Dave had never seen her, or even remembered her. Then Bill showed me the photo sitting next to the recliner. It was of his Grandmother, Elizabeth. And that day,. Was her birthday! Ghosts exist. I will never doubt this fact.

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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, MJames77, has the following expectation about your feedback: I won't be reading the comments.

Jubeele (26 stories) (897 posts)
6 years ago (2018-01-05)
Thanks Manafon for the hard facts. I've been given an electric toothbrush that I'm still not brave enough to use. It might come in handy if I need a throwing weapon when accosted in the bathroom!
Manafon1 (6 stories) (712 posts)
6 years ago (2018-01-05)
Melda - I didn't notice that. Too bad because there are some inconsistencies and holes in the account that could use some attention. Oh well.

Jubeele - soft bristles get all the attention but I'm old school when it comes to dispelling "haunts", or "hants" if you're a native of the deep American South from a bygone era, and find that good old fashioned hard bristle toothbrushes scour out the bs and ghostly shenanigans best of all!
Jubeele (26 stories) (897 posts)
6 years ago (2018-01-05)
Hi MJames77, I hope you decide to read our comments and join in a discussion. It seems to me that you saw a residual haunting. An echo of something from the past. There was no harm to it at all. Thank you for an excellent read.

Melda & Manafon - if you need a new toothbrush, I've been told that extra-soft bristles provide added protection! 😜
Melda (10 stories) (1363 posts)
6 years ago (2018-01-05)
Manafon - I KNOW I should just shut my jib but did you notice that the OP will not be reading the comments? Waste of time for everybody who comments, plus a waste of his time for submitting.

Sorry Val, I know the rules.

Regards Melda
Manafon1 (6 stories) (712 posts)
6 years ago (2018-01-01)
Hi MJames and welcome to YGS. I really enjoyed reading your account detailing an encounter with a friend's long deceased grandmother. Believe it or not the type of encounter you had with an apparition is commonly reported in psychical literature. Of course this means little when it actually happens to you!

Your encounter has a detail which is unusual in such reports however. Most case studies that outline visitations from apparitions of people who died many years prior and who seem to be repeating long ago actions is that they often interact with their surroundings as they had been and not as they are years after their death. For example, an apparition might be seen sitting in a chair next to a roaring fire in a fireplace that is no longer usable but was during the apparition's lifetime. The person and the fire both being apparitional.

In your case the elderly woman seems to have been watching what I assume was a relatively newer tv set from the 80s or 70s. Do you remember what was on the tv? I ask because it would be interesting to know if it was something from the apparition's lifetime. If not, what early 80s tv show caught her fancy?

You don't state whether Bill's grandmother lived in the house during her lifetime or not. I was also curious to know why you mention that Bill used to comment on his grandmother's cooking when she had died well before he was born? As to why you saw this apparition, there doesn't necessarily have to be a reason. Often it's just the proverbial luck of the draw. As it was her birthday it could have been she just wanted to make her presence known to mark the day. However, that you saw her heading to the bathroom and that she seemed completely oblivious to you, seems to suggest a long ago action that wasn't meant to memorialize anything other than her relieving herself.

Whatever the reason you happened to see her you had a unique and up close encounter with a ghost! You're in good company here. Thanks for sharing.

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