My encounter takes place in the early '70's when I was in my early 20's. I was newly married and my husband and I rented a house a few houses down from my parent's home. This home was located in Oak Cliff, a suburb of Dallas. My dad had purchased several houses that were run down and fixed them up for resell. The home we were renting was one of those homes and was approximately 80-100 years old. This house was not very large, but had lots of character and we were happy to have a home we could afford to live in. It still needed some repair, but we gladly exchanged doing the repairs for much of the rent.
We spent a great amount of time the first few months painting and cleaning the place up. There was nothing unusual about this house, except the front bedroom that always seemed unusually cold. There were space heaters throughout the house, so it was not that unusual to have cold spots.
My husband would get up for work around 5:30 a.m. And was out the door by 6:00 a.m. At first, I would get up with him to see him off for the day, but he insisted I sleep in because I didn't have to be at work until 9:00 and he would reset the alarm to wake me by 7:30a.m. I truly appreciated those extra hours of sleep. He would kiss me goodbye and I would hear the front door lock before drifting off to a little more precious sleep each morning.
One morning, however, was very different. After my husband left and I heard the front door lock, I had my eyes shut and kept trying to drift off into that extra hour of sleep. Something told me I wasn't alone and I could "feel" someone looking at me. I was lying on my side and felt someone staring at my back. Sounds ridiculous, but I just felt a presence. I opened my eyes and slowly turned my head. There was enough light from the window in the room that I could see pretty clearly around me. As I glanced over my shoulder, I saw a man standing in my hallway. I sat straight up in bed to scream but he disappeared. Yes, just disappeared, vanished. To say the least, I was shaken and confused. I thought I must have awakened from a dream and imagined it all. I got up and checked the front door, it was locked. I, slowly, investigated each room while carrying a fireplace tool in my hand just in case someone jumped out at me. The house was empty except for me.
For the next few mornings, I got up with my husband and saw him off to work too afraid to go back to sleep. About a week later I convinced myself it was a dream and decided to sleep in after he left for work. Several days passed with no problems. Then one morning I got that same feeling and sat up in bed to see this man in my hallway AGAIN. I sat there staring at him and he was staring back. No expression on his face, just staring back at me. He finally turned and "drifted" down the hallway out of sight. I say "drifted" because it seemed his feet didn't move. His hands were straight down by his sides; he never moved them or changed his facial expression. He glided down the hallway until I could not see around the corner. I sat there shaking my head thinking I was going nuts. I didn't really believe in ghosts and had never had an experience like this before. I didn't know whether to say anything to my husband or parents for fear they would laugh or think I was totally crazy.
This scenario took place several mornings and it always played out the same way. The "man" and I stared at each other and then he would just drift away. Sometimes he would float backwards while keeping his eyes fixated on me. Other times, he would turn his whole body and drift away. I can still remember every detail about him. He was an older man in his fifties (back then I thought 50 was old). He was balding and wore a tan colored suit with a striped blue and brown tie. I never saw his feet or shoes. As I would sit up in the bed, he would glide backwards down the hallway and I could never catch a glimpse of his feet. But, he looked solid. Nothing like I imagined a ghost would look like. He appeared about 3-4 times a week, but never when my husband was there. I had grown accustomed to seeing him and never felt he was there to harm me. I did try talking to him a few times, but the moment I would open my mouth to speak, he float away down the hallway.
After we had lived in the house a few years, my dad said the lady that used to live in the house (Miss Brady), wanted to drop by and see what improvements we had made. She and her family had lived in the house for over 50 years and she was now in a nursing home. My parents knew their family when they occupied the house and purchased the home from her when she went into a nursing home several years prior. The home had been through several renters, but no one seemed to stay for more than six months. My dad told her he would pick her up one Sunday afternoon and bring her by for a visit. Miss Brady was a very sweet old lady and walked slowly around the house admiring all our handiwork. She was so very happy we had taken care of the house and said her family would be proud.
We sat down in the living room and I served her some coffee with cookies while she reminisced about how things used to be in the neighborhood so many years ago. She pulled out pictures of her family and showed them to me. The first picture was of her daughter at about the age of five. The second picture was a picture of herself when she had first moved into the house and she was planting flowers in the front yard. She was quite stunning. The third picture was of her husband and her sitting on the front porch. I looked closely at that picture and must have gasped at some point when I saw her 'husband'. I had my hand covering my mouth and looked up at this woman. She immediately said, "Oh, honey, have you seen Elbert here?" "He used to visit me every morning after he passed on!" "What," I asked? I didn't quite understand what she was trying to tell me. I told her I had seen a man that looked like him in the hallway several mornings just staring at me. She was not at all surprised. She said Elbert used to visit her every morning in her bedroom and he was probably just confused to see someone else in the bed. I felt cold shivers go right up my back. I told her how this man was dressed and she said that was what Elbert was buried in. Oh, dear God, could this really be her late husband?
Miss Brady told me Elbert was leaving one morning to go to work and was struck by a vehicle as he crossed a busy street to catch a bus. He got up, brushed himself off and came back home to lay on the sofa because he said he had a headache from his head striking the pavement. No insurance in those days and he refused to go to the doctor because money was tight. She said he took a nap on the sofa and never woke up. She never got over his death and continued to set a place at the dinner table for him. Bazaar behavior, but we all mourn in different ways. A few years later, he began to appear in her bedroom. She felt he was just keeping an eye on her and making sure she was safe. She was very matter-of-fact about all this and not at all shocked that I was seeing his 'ghost'.
She got up to leave a few hours after her arrival and I gave her a hug at the door. She called out to Elbert before she left and told him to be nice to me. I didn't want Elbert to be nice to me; I wanted him to GO AWAY. After that day, I never again had a visit from Elbert. Perhaps he followed her to the nursing home. After that time, there were a few incidences of hearing a knock on the wall, but the house was so old it could have been pipes... Or at least that's what I told myself.
That made a believer out of me. I have had a few other things happen to me over the years and will share them in another post.
Blessings to all.