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Man In The Driveway

 

My son & his beautiful wife were looking for their first home. He wanted as much acreage as he could get. So we found this home that sits so far off the road that you cannot even see it. The owner had passed away and this house had sat vacant for at least 10 years. It was the right price so we were excited & happy for it.

When it was still for sale, my daughter in law and I made a trip out there alone to walk around the property and peer in the windows. We were peering in the windows and we realized the sliding door was not locked. I opened the door and yelled in hello. We stepped in and looked around a bit but the house was big, we got scared and went back outside to look around.

We were walking back on the property. The grass started to get so tall we decided to go back. We turned around and we both saw a tall man standing in the driveway looking right at us. But he faded away very quickly like 1,2,3 and gone. I asked did you see that? She said the man in the driveway and I said yes. We both decided it was the sunlight playing tricks on our eyes. We walked back up to the house and opened the slider again. My daughter in law yelled in hello but this time the hello echoed back at us. Neither of us wanted to step into the house we left.

They went ahead and bought the big house with the land my son wanted so badly. Right away we started cleaning. The house had been a duplex and they turned it back to a single family home. It was so full of dirt they didn't move in right away. One night everyone was at work and I was at their home painting alone. I started to hear noises in the basement. I went outside to my car which was a walk in pitch black. I got in my car and saw that the light in the other side of house had gone on. I decided not to investigate and left.

Man In The Driveway

I often go there to help. On one trip I was mowing down near the road and I met the neighbor. I told her of some of the stuff we found strange about my son's new home and this lady tells me to check out the front step. She says, "flip that white marble step up. It's a Tomb Stone." I did not believe her. So when I finished mowing down by the road, I headed right up to the house. I looked at the white marble step. Awww she is trying to spook me. It looked like a step to me, we had been using it as such. I pushed on it. I could not budge it. My son came out and asked me what I was doing.

I told my son what the neighbor had said. My son is big and strong he pulled that heavy white marble step up and it was a Tomb Stone of a Military Veteran. It no longer looked like a step at all. It had the name date and everything on it. Why was it being used as a step and is this the man we saw in the driveway? The name on the tombstone is not the name of the previous owner. The tombstone is much older from World War 1. We have googled the name. We have not been able to find out anything so far. We still have the tombstone there on the front porch. We will probably put it someplace on the property. The house has begun to feel like their home. I'm hoping that the entity we saw in the driveway was saying goodbye. My son has a big German Shepherd and he feels safe & comfortable in the home. My beautiful daughter in law wants to move already.

I don't know if this is a bad sign. But there were snakes everywhere in the yard around the house. One snake slithered right onto my foot. I am afraid of snakes. I looked down saw the snake on my open shoe. I screamed so loud it sounded like someone else was screaming to me. And I ran. The snake landed between my feet and we were both going the same direction. Never has that happened to me ever and I live in the country too. The snakes are mostly gone now. But I still wear boots now when I visit.

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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 yourghoststories.com. Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, LadyMonticello, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

LFrog1386 (1 stories) (66 posts)
 
3 months ago (2021-06-12)
It is entirely possible that this gravestone was replaced with a newer one and this was repurposed as a step. I know my uncle John died only months after coming home from WWII in a car accident. My brother John was named for him. When the cemetery decided to replace Uncle John's headstone with a flat one (they do this to conserve space), my dad took the original one home and kept it in our garage. He jokingly told my brother he could use it when he died; just update the dates! My brother was not amused...

Suffice to say I think the information CharlesS provided was great; coupled with the suggestion to go to your local VFW or American Legion post for help in finding the family, there is a real chance you could return the stone to them if they want it.
Martin (601 posts) mod
+3
4 months ago (2021-05-21)
Note: some new photos provided by the author have been published 📷
CharlesS (2 posts)
+7
9 months ago (2020-12-11)
Add to my post: if this were my story, I would probably track down the living descendants (easy enough to do) and find out if they want the gravestone so it can be put back in its proper place. I've heard stories of people using stolen military headstones as pavers for their patios and whatnot.

For example: https://www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/a-missouri-patio-paved-in-military-headstones-veterans-mad-va/article_d6e9e745-ab01-5627-992f-c80bd391e379.html
CharlesS (2 posts)
+7
9 months ago (2020-12-11)
Hi LadyMonticello,

I did a quick search on Ancestry.com (free access through my local library) and found a lot of information about Theron Sylvester Wilbur, son of Clyde L. Wilbur and Jennie Root. He was born in Pulaski, Michigan on March 8, 1887 and died in Jackson, MI on January 2, 1945 (very close to the dates you wrote... Is it possible the text was worn and you misread?). He was married to Marie E. In Bay City, MI on July 28, 1915 before enlisting in the army on September 10, 1918. His service in the army ended on December 17, 1918, and on January 21, 1919, shortly after returning, he filed for divorce on the grounds of desertion. He married Hazel Shire Purchase in Lansing, MI on March 10, 1921 and they had two children, Clyde LaMar Wilbur (January 27, 1925) and Lilah Jean Wilbur (1933). He then worked for the City of Jackson police department, and filed for social security benefits in September 1941. He died on January 2, 1945, after which his headstone was ordered. The official military headstone application specifically requests a marble headstone to be placed in Concord Cemetery near Jackson, MI. There are several cemeteries with the name Concord near Jackson, and I was unable to find a record of him being at any of them, but perhaps that's due to his stone being used a step on a front porch! Hazel died on August 10, 1988. Their son Clyde (also Theron's father's name) died on October 22, 1989 in East Lansing, MI. Clyde served in the Marines in World War II and has a military gravestone at Maple Grove Cemetery in Jackson, along with his grandparents, Clyde and Jennie (Root) Wilbur.

It doesn't look like I can post images here, but all of this information is freely available if you can get access to Ancestry.com. Perhaps with the knowledge of where your son's home is located, you'll be able to follow the trail and solve the mystery of how the gravestone got there!
AugustaM (7 stories) (996 posts)
+7
9 months ago (2020-12-11)
My great grandfather was born in 1886, he served in WWI - by WWII, he was 53 and not really an ideal candidate for active duty. He passed in 1962. Still, he is a WWI veteran and was eligible for burial as such. The family may have wished for him to have been interred in a style similar to his fallen brothers.

Sadly, graves are often forgotten and neglected especially those placed on private property. It is still legal in rural areas of Michigan to bury folks on private land (ie the back yard). However, when families move away or pass away in that region, and the land passes from hand to hand to hand, these graves are often swallowed back up by the land or fall victim to erosion. When the wayward tombstones turn up, often folks have no emotional or genealogical attachment to the name engraved thereon and simply make use of the stone in some other way. It is more common than you might think, particularly in older areas. Just down the road from me in Portsmouth, I can think of at least one home that has tombstones in the stairs. Up and down the James River, it's not wildly uncommon to come across a human bone while beach combing - the police are called - and it's usually a bone that has washed out of a grave in an old forgotten family plot along the river... Sad but true.

Good on you, Lady Monticello for helping your kids with that house, I am sure they are VERY grateful - you sound like an awesome mother-in-law! And here's to an older home being rehabilitated, I love hearing that! ❤
Tweed (29 stories) (2362 posts)
+4
11 months ago (2020-11-03)
Thanks for the extra details. Well that explains the marble. The headstone itself can't be from WWI if the date of death is 1945. So I guess looking at some army records could shed more light on his identity, where his remains are. If it was the guy in the driveway do you think you'd know him again if you found a photo?

Not having much luck with the searches so far. I could only find this.
Https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/63327605/theron-s-williams

Where's Rook when you need him, he knows about army stuff.
And Wishnot, he knows all about county records and finding things.

As for me I go with my gut and I'm still on the fence with this one, getting downvoted, which amuses me greatly.
LadyMonticello (2 stories) (5 posts)
+4
11 months ago (2020-11-03)
Here is what the Tombstone says. I do not know how to upload the picture from my IPhone to this website. Tomorrow I will be returning to work for the first time since the Pandemic started. So I might not be able to check back for a few days.
Theron S. Wilbur
Michigan
PVT U. S. Army
March I,1887-Jan 12,1945

If you know how to upload a photo here let me know.
valkricry (47 stories) (3168 posts) mod
+4
11 months ago (2020-11-03)
LadyMonticello, did you intend to include a link to the picture? Because, I'm not seeing anything.

Tweed has hit on a subject that is very common on international sites; trying to wrap your head around things vastly different around what you 'know' in your own country - sometimes even within your own area. The USA is a prime example of this. I'm in Illinois, pretty much center of the USA, also near the center of said state - and the difference in what a dollar will get you is HUGE when compared to say, Chicago. Especially when it comes to real estate. Example: 1 bedroom apartment where I live averages: $1,018 - $1,832; in Chicago the same apartment would be: $1,498-$2,024. However if I go to the southern tip of my state a 1 bedroom would be $582-$600 average. Of course, you can always find exceptions; higher/lower. My point being, I see nothing wrong with it being a point of utter confusion, and wanting clarification.
Details are vital when it comes to the paranormal, and I know sometimes it can seem like we're nit-picking, however what is actually happening is clarifying and processing. Sometimes the answer is "I don't know," sometimes the question makes something 'click' and the experience suddenly makes sense to the OP as well as us. And yes, sometimes it has revealed someone's writing talents and imagination. If nothing else, questions provide us all a chance to learn and grow in understanding, at least about the world around us. So I say, ask away!
LightMight (4 stories) (128 posts)
+3
11 months ago (2020-11-03)
LadyMonticello,

In regard to the picture of the tombstone; I don't see any photo attached either with your comment. Could you try uploading it again, please? Your story is compelling, and I think it would be terrific to see the tombstone and where it sits on the property.

Tweed,

Perhaps some of this story and others are hard for you to swallow due to the cultural divide, which is understable to a point. There's certainly nothing wrong with forming your own opinion and not agreeing with others, but when you condescendingly cast aspersions toward someone don't expect it to be received well each time.

~ LightMight
Tweed (29 stories) (2362 posts)
+4
11 months ago (2020-11-03)
Right let's clear this up once and for all shall we? We actually can clear this up. Seriously.
If this is an honest submission it can be easily proved, or at least some of it can.

Where's the photo of this tombstone?
What's the name on the tombstone?
What years did the neighbour work on and live at this property?

While I'm at it why are so many nonsensical comments getting upvoted lately while so many attempts to keep this site honest are being frowned upon?

I think Aliendewd and I are reading this through British eyes. It's extremely hard for us to imagine just buying a property like the one described. So it's even harder to accept it, true or not. Details are often glossed over on this site due to fear or embarrassment or forgetfulness, it's understandable. But this OP feels different, this feels too familiar unfortunately to long running sagas we've seen on this site before. Sagas that end up breaking people's hearts and faith because they trusted a catfish on a paranormal website.

I don't know if this is true or not, actually I don't care either way. What I care about is that I've been right about catfish before on this site and said nothing because it was the minority opinion. And that time was the worst, many people left after that. These days I like to be on record by saying 'I don't agree with this' even if it's the unpopular thing to do. (It always is 🙄) Or, if I don't have anything to back it up I won't comment at all.

But here we have a submission which is so easily proved to have *some* truth to it with some photos of a tombstone on someones property. From there we can allay our doubts with online records and databases, some good old fashioned sleuthing.
But I don't believe any of that will happen with this particular OP.

The thing some of you need to understand is that I want to be wrong! Prove me wrong. People like Aliendewd and myself we're not villains, it's just an inconvenient truth.

The paranormal is too important a subject to be put at risk of with more doubt, ridicule and disbelief by the ego and anger of time wasters.
Lealeigh (5 stories) (512 posts)
+7
11 months ago (2020-11-02)
Aliendewd,

You make some good points. I don't know if this one is some of your best work:

"I've just noticed too, she's allegedly middle aged, so her Son must be mid-late 20's max yet he can afford to buy this old (19th Century by the sound of it) Mansion with all this land around it, so it's going to be a few Million Dollars... A 20 something able to afford a multi million dollar home? Doesn't add up. I have a Cousin who's around my age (mid 40's) who's worked in banking since he was 16 and reached a high level by his late 20's and is only recently (last 4 or 5 years) been able to afford a property worth millions."

When YGS members submit a story, there is a very rough estimate of their age group. I got this chart from the profile of one of the mods, Miracles51031:

20 or less = teenager
20 - 40 = young adult
40 - 60 = middle age adult
60 or more = senior adult"

My point is that my mother, who is 59, is still considered "middle aged" by the site - were she to have a profile. And I am 39, so far... I am not so much younger than your rich cousin.

And if the issue about old houses and property size still irks you, consider that most of Michigan isn't suffering from high land value.

I am not trying to be mean; but I don't really see any problems with this story. It is vague on some points, I agree - but you should see how vague MY first attempt at a story was on this site.

- Maria
LadyMonticello (2 stories) (5 posts)
+4
11 months ago (2020-11-02)
This is Michigan, we do not have Mansions & Castles. Ha ha ha I had a good chuckle at your response my son could not afford such a home.
Well your home is your Castle. It's really just a ranch home single story. Here is a picture of the Tombstone. I thought it odd the neighbor knew about the tombstone, as well. She claims to have rented the one side of the home, while a student at MSU.
Aliendewd (6 stories) (21 posts)
+2
11 months ago (2020-10-31)
Tweed
I agree. Once more there are glaring holes.
Why, when the neighbour told her the 'marble step' was a tombstone did she not question it further? I know i'd be asking how she knew that for one thing.
Also, this seems to be the only marble step amongst others, suggesting there is at least two steps... So why? I mean why is there a marble step, but the other (s) are stone. That alone would raise my suspicion without anyone pointing it out to me.
Then she glosses over points...'I started to hear noises in the basement. I went outside to my car which was a walk in pitch black. I got in my car and saw that the light in the other side of house had gone on. I decided not to investigate and left.'... Now I presume she heard the noise in the basement and left the house because of them... Those noises could've been anything. Rodents, a stray cat, snakes. Surely you don't just leave a house as soon as you hear a noise?...
I love then she goes on to say 'the house is beginning to feel like their home', but then almost immediately states that her Daughter-in-Law wants to move... So it can't be feeling too much like a home then! And I don't know how snakes could be a bad sign (presumably she's meaning 'evil sign')...
I've just noticed too, she's allegedly middle aged, so her Son must be mid-late 20's max yet he can afford to buy this old (19th Century by the sound of it) Mansion with all this land around it, so it's going to be a few Million Dollars... A 20 something able to afford a multi million dollar home? Doesn't add up. I have a Cousin who's around my age (mid 40's) who's worked in banking since he was 16 and reached a high level by his late 20's and is only recently (last 4 or 5 years) been able to afford a property worth millions.
I'm sorry, I don't mean to be a sceptic here, but her stories make very little sense and have more holes than a block of Swiss Cheese.
LightMight (4 stories) (128 posts)
+2
11 months ago (2020-10-30)
LadyMonticello,

I liked what one poster mentioned about looking into the VFW, or American Legion for further information about the deceased - smart idea. Another thought too, you may want to check out the following: your local library archival records, or the Office of Vital Statistics (OVS) in your state.

Good Luck, LightMight
valkricry (47 stories) (3168 posts) mod
+5
11 months ago (2020-10-30)
NorthCoastie19 (2 stories) (8 posts)
+4
11 months ago (2020-10-30)
A WWI tombstone could be made out of anything if it was a private purchase by the family - the official military tombstones in US Miltary cemeteries (such as Arlington National Cemetery) are in fact made out of white marble (https://freetoursbyfoot.com/guide-symbols-emblems-arlington-national-cemetery-headstones/).

Another suggestion to the OP is to go to https://www.findagrave.com/ and do a search for the name on the tombstone to see what comes up. Just seems very odd, and horribly disrespectful, that someone would use a tombstone as a porch step.
Tweed (29 stories) (2362 posts)
+3
11 months ago (2020-10-30)
I would imagine a WWI tombstone to be made of stone, limestone perhaps? Not white marble, that would be commemorative, surely. Either way grave robbing is highly illegal.
The way the neighbour just says 'flip the marble step it's a tombstone' how did the neighbour know? Did they dump the marble tombstone themselves? I'd be calling the cops or sherif whomever you call for things like this. But wait... Oh it's Halloween! That explains it.

Honestly, the YGS community is growing more gullible by the day.
I'm sure the OP will rationalise or ignore my post but this whole thing, like his/her last one, feels like one of them Hallmark productions.
NorthCoastie19 (2 stories) (8 posts)
+8
11 months ago (2020-10-29)
Hello: I am very interested about this tombstone... Perhaps there is a grave somewhere on the property that corresponds and the tombstone has been removed causing the spirit concern? I would contact the local VFW or American Legion and tell about it. At the very least they might be able to help you find information on this person. If you have a WWI vet's grave somewhere on your property an the marker has been displaced, grave lost as a result etc., that is a pretty big deal - newsworthy.
LadyMonticello (2 stories) (5 posts)
+7
11 months ago (2020-10-29)
The snake was tan in color. In Michigan the only poisonous snake we have is Rattler and it was NOT a rattler. The snakes are mostly gone now or at least I do not see them anymore. I dress appropriately when walking around the property (snake boots).
MrsRamsay (10 stories) (211 posts)
+5
11 months ago (2020-10-29)
Lealeigh,
Question "what kind of snakes were they?" made me smile. You're such a southerner! Snake, no prob, what kind? Copperhead, kill it. Any other kind: yay, a snake!
MrsRamsay (10 stories) (211 posts)
+7
11 months ago (2020-10-28)
Hi Lady M. What an exciting time for your son and daughter in law and how lucky they are to have your help!

First, you mention the neglect and the tall grass, ideal for snakes. You could look at the bright side: where there are snakes there probably aren't any vermin (mice/rats)!

The tombstone step is strange. You should talk again to the neighbor, why I wonder didn't she tell you the background story to it? It IS possible that it was made but never used... If you go on Ancestry.com you can usually find records, and I would try and do that at least to start.

The man you both saw and the lights: It's possible they were apparitions, but maybe he was just checking you guys out. I moved into a much loved home where the older couple had passed away. It didn't even register when we bought the home, but when I moved in with my two toddlers (while husband was in Afghanistan) it just FELT like maybe I wasn't alone. And I had lived alone for a long time, rarely been nervous about it. I certainly didn't peer too intently into the dark and empty family room before I got my furniture! It just felt like I would see something. And we had lights flick on or turn off when we walked into this one hall or master bath. That little bell on the refridgerator that dings if it's left open would start dinging the minute I got into bed (this happened for weeks, and I finally dug out the instruction book from a basement file left behind to see why else the dinger would be happening, never did find a reason, but then it just stopped!). The gas stove light clicker sometimes still goes off for no reason (I have to check and check it to make sure no gas is escaping).

Now, after 8 years here, I'm remodeling the kitchen and we're down to the bare bones (tiling the floor tomorrow!). We removed two Roman columns that the previous owner had erected between the kitchen and the family room. I will admit I sort of "explained" to thin air the day before we started that the kitchen was REALLY in need of renovation, and promised that we wouldn't be touching it except -- everything was falling apart. I promised (to the air) that it would be just a few weeks of inconvenience and then it would be beautiful and we'll "all be in it together." Sort of laughed at myself. But the evening that those columns came down, my son and I were sitting in the family room (he's 15). I noticed him look up at the fireplace mantle and in the next second, an antique plate that's been in a stand up there for 8 years just sort of fell over gently. The first thought I had was, "Florence (former owner) is letting me know that she knows about the columns." My son immediately said, "MOM, a GHOST!" Teasing me. I asked him why he looked up there BEFORE the plate went over and he said he didn't know. In any case, I'm just sharing this because, until something is really SCARY, well, try not to be scared. (However, way out in the country, I would not go investigate things alone, you never know! Glad they have a big dog) Best of luck to your kids. Please let us know how things are going with the house!
Lealeigh (5 stories) (512 posts)
+4
11 months ago (2020-10-28)
Hi LadyMonticello,

It's very sad that the tombstone was being used as a step. Who knows where the tombstone is supposed to be; but he will probably be happy if it is no longer being used as a step. It makes you wonder why someone would even use something like that - maybe it's just something that goes over my head.

What kind of snakes were they?

- Maria

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