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My Grandfather's Chair

 

My grandfather died in New Jersey in 1939; his daughter, my mother, turned 4 about a month and a half later. All Mom remembers about her father is that he would hold her in a rocking chair and read to her. There is an older sister who confirms this.

In 1959 my parents were living in Arizona and, in anticipation of their first (me) they bought a rocking chair at a second hand store, what would now be called a thrift store I suppose. I can't tell you anything of the history of the chair. I can find no marking on it. It's a wood frame with a padded leather seat (which has been reupholstered several times since it's been in the family), likely manufactured pre-war (WWII).

Sometime in 1960 my Pop became the first person to see the chair rock. This wasn't real surprising as the house was old, near a busy street without air conditioning (so the windows were frequently open), and the family included two cats, so Pop really didn't take much notice of it. The Chair followed the family to New Jersey and later to Illinois where my memories of the chair begin. Growing up with the Chair it was always known that, from time to time, the Chair would rock without an occupant. It didn't do all the time or even frequently. It seems to happen more when Mom was upset long term. Many people have seen the Chair rock over the years: family members, guests, but oddly, not Mom. The Chair has been seen rocking at all times, not just at night. I don't recall anyone saying that they've actually seen the Chair start to rock, though many have seen it stop, and some (myself included) have stopped it. Mom has always maintained that the Chair was rocked by her father who was just checking on us. When asked about how she came to think this, she smiles and says that her father told her so. We never get more out of her than that. Likely I'll share more tales of Mom's ghosts (don't read this wrong Mom is looking to celebrate another birthday before the end of the month).

To be honest, all of my life we've had pets in the house, usually cat (or cats) but often cat and dog; either of which could cause a chair to rock. To my knowledge I've never seen a cat sit in the Chair - I don't think it's sinister, though it may at first sound it. The animals don't avoid the chair. I've held cats while sitting in the Chair. Dogs will nuzzle you while you're in the Chair, like any other piece of furniture. The Chair has survived multiple re-decorations of the various houses. It has traveled from Arizona to New Jersey, to Illinois (two addresses), to Wisconsin, to Texas (two addresses) to New Mexico, back to Arizona, and finally to North Carolina. I believe it is the piece of furniture that has been in the family the longest, though Mom and Pop got some older furniture when Pop's parents passed. The Chair has now held four generations, five if you count my Grandfather... Poetic license I'm fairly certain that it held the three grand parents who lived to see it.

So what brought this story to mind? Earlier this year ago our niece was visiting Mom and Dad with her husband and children. Twice during the week the husband was awakened by a noise and when he investigated (an Army Officer he) he saw the Chair was rocking. He thought, perhaps, their small dog had jumped down from it...

The Chair and Mom are the primary reason I come to this site.

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The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by yourghoststories.com. Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, Cuddlebear, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

Cuddlebear (4 stories) (169 posts)
 
8 months ago (2018-12-29)
I'm not quite sure how to update this story: Our niece, who's visit to Mom and Dad brought this story to mind, was again visiting, though without her husband he was busy elsewhere.

The niece confided in me that saw the Chair rock again on numerous occasions. She asked me if Mom was okay and was there anything up with her (as I stated earlier this phenomena is well known in the family as it's connection to Mom). Mom is a hospice volunteer (she visits hospice patients) and two of her friends have recently passed. She is also looking at hip surgery in late January or early February of this coming year.

I asked our niece if she could photograph the Chair when it was rocking or even get a video of it. She did both but they really don't show much. The photo really just shows the Chair with no anomalies. The video is just too blurred to make anything out at all due to low light. It seems to be only happening at night, when Mom is asleep.

I should mention that the niece did bring her little dog so it is possible that the dog has started the Chair to rock.
Cuddlebear (4 stories) (169 posts)
+1
9 months ago (2018-12-05)
I'm not sure where to post this but we (my wife and I) wish all a creepy but safe Krampus Nacht!
CuriousDee (8 stories) (630 posts)
+3
11 months ago (2018-09-17)
Cuddlebear,

Glad you are safe, I've been keeping track of the flooding on the news... Scary stuff.

Your question: "if the Chair is being rocked by my Grandfather, who is looking out for my mother..." There is a theory that spirits can be anywhere and everywhere at the same time because time as we know it doesn't exist on their plane. So your grandfather can be with your mother and rocking the chair at the same time. Basically, passed loved ones can be with many family members at the same time.

Second part of your question: "Why is it that, of my direct family, only my mother has never seen the Chair rock?". I can't say that I have an easy answer for you regarding this. My thought is that your mother is comfortable in her belief that her father is 'with' her and may not need proof. Or, your grandfather demonstrates his presence in other ways. He's not limited to the chair.

Just some thoughts, all the best 😊
Dee
Cuddlebear (4 stories) (169 posts)
+2
11 months ago (2018-09-17)
Well I'm back and I apologize to all. We survived Florence quite well in this part of the Olde North State. We are getting some "nuisance" flooding caused by inland rains; actually worse than what the storm caused initially. Our hearts go out to those more in harms way and to those who go into harms way to help out.

CuriousDee thank you for the response it does help.

LadyGlow the rocking of the Chair is pretty unpredictable, should it do so again while I'm there I'll try to get a shot of it.

To those speaking of cats on rockers: I've been around cats most of my life and what a cat finds comfortable I can't say. I've seen cats sleep in boxes into which they do not fit and on all types or furniture including tables. Currently we have a rocker/recliner that is huge. Our smallest cat (Gracie) sleeps on the back of it. When Gracie gets up in the seat the chair hardly moves, but when she hits the back it rocks for a good couple of minutes before settling down. Our other cat, Emma Peel, will get in the seat. Neither Gracie nor Emma have been around the Chair.

I do have a nagging question: if the Chair is being rocked by by Grandfather, who is looking out for my mother, why is it that, of my direct family, only my mother has never seen the Chair rock? Thoughts...

Again thanks all for your time.
valkricry (45 stories) (3028 posts) mod
+4
11 months ago (2018-09-15)
Animals and rocking chairs... I've had several different rockers and many more pets over the years. The first rocker was a simple wood and woven seat, comparatively light weight. Both dog and cat avoided sitting in it. Simply because any vibration (someone walked across the floor, they moved in the seat) would set it in motion. I guess they felt they'd be 'tipped' out.
Second rocker was much larger and heavier, think armchair on rockers. Dog didn't seem to care for it, but the cats loved it.
The third rocker was actually a glider. Again fairly light weight. All the animals, including my toddler (at the time) hated it. It was tricky for them to settle into as it wanted to 'slide'.
I think because a rocker has a mobility that represents an unstable surface to them, animals in general avoid them after a few attempts.
As far as speaking to the spirit - well after being around the family for 'generations' and not doing any harm, I'd think it safe. It really depends on what your gut tells you.
Bibliothecarius (8 stories) (919 posts)
+2
11 months ago (2018-09-14)
Greetings, Cuddlebear.

Aporetic asked "What say the experienced YGS members? I've read accounts on YGS encouraging it and others stating it is a bad idea and could be seen as an 'open house' invitation by a spirit with malicious intentions." While acknowledgement of an unknown entity has to be handled with some caution, I'd suggest that the chair's consistent behavior in 10 different homes over several decades makes it a little late to worry about "opening a door." The door's open; he's there; he's gotten comfy on the rocker.

I shall, from this point, presume that the entity who becomes more active during your mother's stressful experiences, is indeed her father. Trying to communicate with him *may* be fruitless; your grandfather's primary concern appears to be your mother. You've got your mother to turn to when you're stressed, but she's not had her father as a living participant in her life since she was three; he may not feel the need to talk to you. However, if you see the chair rocking, it may be a good time for you to talk to your mother...

I've had an American Thornet-Style bentwood rocker in 7 or 8 homes in 3 states (MA, CO, CT). When I was a teen, neither of our dogs tried to sit in it; now I'm an adult, one of our cats put her paw on the front of it once but she fled when it started to move. I've never seen a cat or a dog sitting in a rocking chair except: 1) when a person is already seated & holding the pet; 2) when an artist is trying too hard in cutesy, cartoonish paintings.

Now I'm genuinely curious: does anyone else on YGS have a dog or a cat, along with a rocking chair, who can attest to the pet's occupying the chair voluntarily? It may be just the steam-bent oak or the rattan seat that dissuades pets from occupying mine.

I agree with Dee on other people's shock or fear being a normal reaction to the unfamiliar & unexplained; for those of you who are comfortable with the chair, it's just one of those things that happens.

Best,
Biblio.
lady-glow (11 stories) (2395 posts)
+2
11 months ago (2018-09-13)
Cuddlebear - what an interesting rocking chair!
It's hard to add anything of value to the comments from the previous posters. The only thing I'd like to know is if the rocking chair is uncomfortable... That's the only logical explanation I can think of for a cat to snub a chair.

Have you taken any pictures when the chair is rocking? Perhaps you could get some interesting images/anomalies, or nothing at all.

Thanks for sharing.

PS - thanks for reading and commenting on my story (1 hand, 2 ghosts, 3 lessons). I have come to refer to that glove as 'the tickling hand', it never fails to make people laugh.
CuriousDee (8 stories) (630 posts)
+4
11 months ago (2018-09-12)
Greetings Cuddlebear,

I understand what you are asking, I think I could have been a bit more clear in my comment. My apologies. 😊

1) I've heard of spirits/ghosts attaching to items, but in my opinion, I don't think it happens too often. Again, just my opinion, but I was thinking your grandfather isn't attached to the chair, but sort of uses it as a tool to 'reach out'. Knowing that your mother has fond memories of her father rocking her, he may be choosing your chair to communicate in his own way.

2) Family members feeling uneasy the first time they experience the rocking sounds pretty normal. Fear of the unknown right? The fact that they are comfortable with it after their initial reaction/experience, also points to your grandfather's loving presence. Your cats refusal to sit in the chair could be a sensitivity issue with the chair (movement, unstable, etc) or the energy omitting from your grandfather's presence. Just a thought.

3) That's an interesting theory. Honestly, I couldn't say for sure. I'm more inclined to believe your mother is sensitive to her father's presence and understands the method he uses to 'communicate' that. Your mother would have to be pretty powerful to cause the rocking for so many years and consistently too. 😊

I hope this helped and I've made sense. Looking forward to your thoughts.
Dee 😊
Aporetic (5 stories) (125 posts)
+2
11 months ago (2018-09-12)
Aaaaw shucks, Cuddlebear, that's a pity. I'm now thinking, whether your grandfather or not, this spirit wants to be noticed, and now I'm not sure you should acknowledge it. What say the experienced YGS members? I've read accounts on YGS encouraging it and others stating it is a bad idea and could be seen as an 'open house' invitation by a spirit with malicious intentions. I'd love to know about this. Thanks in advance for your insights.

Sending warm, protective thoughts across the Atlantic.

Regards
Apo
Cuddlebear (4 stories) (169 posts)
+2
11 months ago (2018-09-12)
Twilight - I hope you and your family remain safe from harm. My wife and I live in the extreme far north-east corner of North Carolina. Our county is bordered to north by VIrgina and to the east by the Atlantic. I used to work in Norfolk Virginia, so Charlotte is a good ways away, though I'd love to go see a Hounds MLL Game next year. I do not doubt Mom believes the Chair rocking is caused by her father.

Aporetic - No harm done. There is no one I know who could tell me things only Granddad would know. He died a long time ago, my mother was not yet four, I'm 58. He has no surviving siblings that I know of (with DNA test though who knows). Yes Florence is not a good thing, and my heart goes to all in her path.
Twilight1011 (7 stories) (255 posts)
+2
11 months ago (2018-09-12)
Very interesting story, which makes you wonder the story behind this chair. I feel if your mother honestly believes that she knows it's her father, that it could be. I love how long ya'll have been able to keep this chair within your family over the many years. It obviously holds a lot of special memories with ya'll.
As for this hurricane heading to the Carolinas (as I live in NC as well), and seeing that where I stay is supposedly in its direct path of where it plans to hit, is very unnerving to say the least. I was almost 2 when we were affected by Hugo, which my family talks about how bad that one was for us, making me worry how bad this storm could be for us. I stay in the middle of the woods, so we're surrounded by trees. I just hope that we don't lose power, and that it doesn't hit us as bad as feared. I hope you don't mind me asking, as I understand the need for privacy on here, but how close do you stay near the Charlotte area? As for me, Charlotte is about a 45 minute drive from where I live, with no traffic that is. I hope ya'll stay safe, as the rest of us here in the Carolinas!
Aporetic (5 stories) (125 posts)
+2
11 months ago (2018-09-12)
Oh dear, Cuddlebear, even we in South Africa have heard about Florence on our television news reports. I do hope you're safe. Keeping you and everyone in it's path in my prayers.

Sorry, I giggled at your comment that you spoke to the chair. I meant, as Dee was lovely to explain, that you speak to his spirit. I'd so something like:

Me: Grandpa, is that you? Rock once for no, two for yes.
And take it from there. Ask question only your grandfather might know the correct answer to?

Stay strong. Be safe.

My very best wishes and warm regards.
Apo
Cuddlebear (4 stories) (169 posts)
+2
11 months ago (2018-09-12)
DirtCreature - Having lived in the Carolinas for while and having served in Uncle Sam's Confused Group I've seen my share of the these storms, and this one looks like a right beast. Fortunately for us (though certainly not so for those in the southern part of the Olde North State) Florence seems to be turning away from us near the Virginia border. My heart goes out to all of those in her path.

CuriousDee - I know as the author of the article I'm not one the who asks questions but I have a few if you would be so kind as to share your thoughts:

1). It is my understanding that ghosts attach to a thing they had in life; it is virtually impossible that my grandfather could have sat in that chair in his life time - the odds are extremely against it. So if it is my grandfather, how did he become attached to the Chair do you suppose? If it isn't Granddad - who else could it be, a previous owner?

2). While members of the family have been exposed to the Chair for quite some time and have become comfortable with the rocking, most who see it for the first time, if not warned, are pretty creeped out by it. Could this be a bad sign? Frankly I've never associated any dread of fear of the Chair, but always found it odd that cats don't sit on it...

3). Isn't it more probably that the rocking of the chair is an example of telekinesis? A poltergeist created by my mother unconsciously...
DirtCreature (guest)
+2
11 months ago (2018-09-11)
Hey Cuddlebear,

I value and respect your skepticism. I believe it is healthy to be a skeptical person or have some degree of agnosticism regardless of a person's beliefs, be it atheist, theist, religious, spiritual, or what. 😊 No one knows definitively what is happening in this unbelievably huge and crazy universe of ours but I do think it's possible he is paying a visit.

Is it possible that chairs can rock by themselves because of a defect in the chair? I don't know much about furniture but I wonder if any carpenters on here have any input on the matter.

I am in Florida and we are very relieved to have that storm pass over us. Last time was hell. I was almost crying because no power meant no a/c and hot horrible nights. It feels like you can't breathe. I wanted to sleep on the patio but I also didn't like the idea of being mugged even though that is unlikely lol. I hope it isn't too bad for you guys!
CuriousDee (8 stories) (630 posts)
+3
11 months ago (2018-09-11)
Hi there Cuddlebear,

I really enjoyed your account. The chair is amazing regardless of the rocking phenomenon. It is truly special to have an important piece of your family history. To think of what that chair has seen... 😉

I agree with your mom, it sounds like her father is making his presence known in a loving way. I would love to read any experiences your mother has shared with you. 😊 As for communicating with the chair itself, I don't know if it's possible? If your grandfather is responsible for the rocking (which I believe he is), you might want to try to communicate with him or his spirit. Maybe the next time you catch it rocking, just try to pick up on his energy. For example: paying attention to how you feel in the moment, any changes in the temperature, etc. It couldn't hurt to try anyway.

Thanks for sharing a lovely read 😊
Dee
Cuddlebear (4 stories) (169 posts)
+4
11 months ago (2018-09-11)
Thank you all for the kind words. It is, if nothing else, an amusing story. Being a skeptic by nature I really don't know what to make of it, it shakes my confidence.

To Aporetic I've tried to communicate with the Chair several times and only ended up feeling like I was talking to a chair...

For a short while I had the Chair (in my college years) and my roommate swore he sat and watched the chair rock for more than a half hour. He then suggested it go back to Mom and Pop...

If you don't hear from me for a while It's not because I'm ignoring responses. We are anticipating a visit from a seemingly tempestuous guest, Florence, for the weekend.

Anyone else anticipating this guest - be safe and stay dry.
sushantkar (16 stories) (523 posts)
+3
11 months ago (2018-09-11)
First of all, I would like to thank you for sharing this wonderful memories with us. It was beautifully narrated.
Sometimes it just feel wonderful and fascinating the essences of love of our love ones that it is so overwhelming that you want to hug but you can't just do it.

Regards
Aporetic (5 stories) (125 posts)
+2
11 months ago (2018-09-11)
And I LOVE rocking chairs - they remind me of my paternal grandmother and her rocking chair. Me sitting on her lap, while she stroked my hair and talked to me. Sadly, I don't recall what happened to the rocking chair. My paternal grandfather (Dadda) passed before my Mamma and after her passing, the siblings went on a 'shopping spree', my daddy being the youngest having no say in who took what even though we lived in the house with them.
Aporetic (5 stories) (125 posts)
+3
11 months ago (2018-09-11)
Greetings, Cuddlebear

Aaw thanks for sharing this beautiful experience. I love reading about visits from departed loved ones (human or pet) and the ways in which they let us know it's them. And how that rocking chair has travelled everywhere the family moved? That rocking chair isn't going anywhere, ever!

These are treasured memories. Enjoy the visits and talk to your grandfather when the chair goes a-rocking again. I'd be curious enough to do so.

Take care.

Regards
Apo
BeautInside (3 stories) (326 posts)
+2
11 months ago (2018-09-11)
Hi Cuddlebear,

I do believe that some of the rocking could have been caused by your pets, but I also believe that some of the rocking was caused by your grandpa visiting you. 😊

I know that our loved ones who have passed will come to check on us every once in a while, and I think your granpa is using the rocking chair to let you he still has got an eye on his family. 😉

Thank you for sharing this beautiful experience. ❤

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