My Experiences with the Supernatural

My Experiences with the Supernatural

Table of Contents:

The Original Haunting (1979-1993)
France Hall, Heidelberg College, Tiffin, Ohio (1992-1996)
Sturges Avenue, Mansfield, Ohio (2000-2001)
Chessie (August 2010-????)

The Original Haunting (1979-1993)

House Basement
Diagram of the house and basement

      My experiences with the supernatural began in either the fall of 1979 or spring of 1980 when I was in kindergarten. I had my first nightmare. In it, I was in bed, and our dog came in wanting to be let out. I sat up in bed and swung my legs over the side to put on my slippers when I heard a buzzing sound (like an electric razor) coming from behind me on the other side of the room. Before I could turn around to see what was causing the noise, I felt something stabbing me in the back. The feeling then stopped, and I turned around to see a plug from one of the lamps plugging itself back into the outlet. It was dripping blood.

      I then woke up, but the next day, the dream seemed so real, especially when my mom found two marks in the middle of my back.

      Not long after that, I had the first of many encounters in that house.

      At the time, my dad was working the night shift at the company he worked for, and my brother and I would take turns getting to sleep in the "big bed" with Mom.

      On one of the nights when it was my turn, I was lying on my back in the bed. Mom was in the bathroom down the hall with the door closed. As I laid there, I saw a woman in a long white dress enter the room. She passed the foot of the bed, walked through the dresser, and disappeared into the wall. I laid there in confusion. I know that cars driving south along the road outside made light come in the window. The light shined into the room covers only part of the path that I saw the woman take. Also, a car making the light "move" in the room like that would have had to have been moving at high speed in reverse. A couple minutes after the woman disappeared, my mom returned from the bathroom.

      The next encounter occurred in me and my brother's bedroom. The two of us, at the time, shared a full size bed. I slept on the side next to the door, and I was able to see the corner section of the hallway. One night, I woke up. I was lying there, fully awake, when I saw a figure walk from towards my parents' room towards the kitchen. It looked like a bright blue silhouette of a man. I didn't hear any footsteps. I few minutes later, I saw it go back past in the opposite direction. Again, I didn't hear any footsteps.

      Shortly after that, my family and I had just gone to bed one night, when I heard a noise from downstairs in the basement. It was my Winnie the Pooh go-cart. I recognized it almost immediately as it made a loud racket when ridden on the cement part of the basement floor. It sounded as though somebody was riding it back and forth from one end of the basement to the other. My brother was still in bed, and Mom and Dad were in their room.

      One weekend after that incident, I went to bed while my parents and brother stayed up to watch TV. I'd left the door open and laid down on top of the sheets due to the summer heat. I was on my back with my eyes closed. I then felt a tickling on the bottoms of my feet. Thinking it was our dog, I opened my eyes, sat up, and looked down at my feet. Nothing was there, but the tickling continued. I bolted out of the room and didn't go back until everybody else went to bed.

      During the fall of 1980, I was in bed at about 9pm. During school nights, I had to go to bed early, and my brother stayed up with my parents so that I would be alone and could get to sleep. The door to the room was always closed until everybody else went to bed so that the noise from the TV wouldn't bother me.

      On this particular night, I was lying on my stomach. I had the sheets up to my shoulders. Suddenly, my sheets began to be pulled off me towards the foot of the bed. I grabbed the sheets and pulled them up over my head and soon found myself in a tug-of-war with whatever was pulling my sheets. The pulling stopped after a couple of minutes, and I fell asleep with the sheets pulled up over my head.

      On another school night not long after that, I went to bed and had the sheets up over my head. A few minutes later, I felt like the bed was being tilted around. Suddenly, I found myself having to grab the sheets on the mattress to keep from falling out of bed. I then lifted the side of the sheet on me to look out and see what was going on. Instead of looking at the wall, I was looking at the floor. After a while, the bed settled to the floor, and I managed to go to sleep.

      In the fall of 1982, I had an encounter that would repeat itself many times over the years. I was sitting at the kitchen table working on some homework. I heard a bang on the kitchen door leading out to the garage. I looked up, and at the window, I saw a black figure standing there. There was no physical characteristics to it other than it was a black human-shaped shadow form. It was there for a couple seconds, and then it ducked down and disappeared. I then slowly went over to the door and looked into the garage. The overhead door was closed. The back door was closed and locked. I couldn't see the attic door, but if any human or animal had gone up into the attic, I would have heard it going over the kitchen.

      That following winter, my brother had a scare in our bedroom. He had gone into the room to go to bed just before me. My parents and I were down the hall in the TV room. The next thing that happened was he started screaming. We went running in. He said that he had been on the bed and he heard the bell on our Fisher Price schoolhouse start to ring rapidly inside the closet. Dad opened the closet. Nobody was inside. Nothing had fallen onto the schoolhouse.

      Later that winter, I was in the TV room lying on the couch in front of one of the windows reading a book. The TV was off. Mom and my brother were in the kitchen. Dad was at work. I noticed one of the curtains moving behind the couch. They ran from the top of the window down to the floor. The windows were tightly closed. I figured that the dog had gone behind the couch where he wasn't allowed. I sat up to get him out from there when I heard a growling sound coming from behind the couch. I quickly got off the couch and ran to the kitchen. My mom and brother were still there, as was the dog, who was sleeping.

      That spring, my dad, my brother, and I were going down to our basement. We got to the bottom steps. We couldn't see much as the light on the stairs wasn't the greatest. We could see the one window on the far end of the basement as there was a little light coming in from the neighbors' house. Suddenly, we saw somebody go past the window in the basement. We immediately turned on the lights, but we were alone.

      One evening during the summer of 1983, I was watching TV. Our front door in the living room (visible from where I was), was open with the storm door closed. Everybody else, including our neighbor's son, was out in the garage. I heard a loud bang at the front door. I turned and looked just in time to see what looked like a figure in a white sheet pull back from the door outside and run off the porch toward the garage. I immediately went to the garage, and everybody was sitting around talking. I asked who was playing jokes on me. They were confused as to what I'd seen, and we then went out front to see who was there. Nobody was around, and no white sheet was ever found.

      That fall, I lost another one of my teeth. Like always, I put my tooth under my pillow for the tooth fairy. I then went to bed. It was a school night so I was alone in the bedroom. The door was shut and latched. If anybody would have entered, I would have heard the thud of the door unlatching. I was lying on my stomach with the sheets up over my head. Suddenly, I had the urge to look out from under the sheets. I saw a woman in a white dress floating up into the ceiling. I immediately felt under the pillow. The tooth was gone, and a dollar bill was in its place.

      Early that following spring, my parents got bunk beds for me and my brother. They were put into the bedroom between our original bedroom and our parents' bedroom. I got the top bunk. One night, I awoke from a nightmare, and standing there on the ladder was a skeleton. I laid there frozen in fear. I then decided to act nice to it so that it might not hurt me. I waved to it. It waved back and slowly faded away.

      Early that fall (1984), I was home sick from school. Before going back to sleep early that morning, I'd asked my mom to wake me up at 10:30 so that I could watch 3-2-1 Contact. While I was asleep, I had a dream in which I woke up after 11:00 and asked my mom why she didn't wake me up. In the dream, she said, "You were asleep, and I didn't want to wake you up." I then woke up. A moment later, my mom came into the room with some folded laundry. I asked her what time it was. She said it was after 11:00. I asked her why she didn't wake me up. She said, "You were asleep, and I didn't want to wake you up."

      Later that fall, the bunk beds were moved back into the original bedroom that my brother and I shared. One morning around daybreak, I woke up on my right side. The ladder was behind me on the left side of the beds. I had the feeling like something was looking at me. I started to roll onto my back when something hit me in the side of my face. I stopped in shock, and then I heard something scramble down the ladder, out of the room, and down the hall towards the kitchen. I rolled over onto my back and tried to figure out who or what had hit me. I managed to fall back to sleep. Later when my mom came in to get me and my brother around for school, the left side of my head was throbbing so badly that I was unable to go to school. I didn't have any marks or anything. Just an unbearable throbbing pain that didn't go away until later that evening.

      During the summer of 1985, my family and some friends of ours went fishing several times up to Lake Erie in our boat. We then would go to their house to clean the fish and hang out. One evening, I was using their bathroom while everybody was outside in the garage. I was at the sink washing my hands when I looked up into the mirror. The black figure that I'd seen before was coming down the hallway and ducking into one of the bedrooms. I afterwards peeked into the bedroom. It was empty.

      On another afternoon, I laid down for a nap in our TV room, putting my glasses on the table of the floor lamp. My dad and brother were outside. Mom was in the bedrooms cleaning. When I woke up, I went to get my glasses, but they were gone! My dad and brother were still outside. I figured Mom had moved them or something. She said that she hadn't touched them. We searched everywhere, unable to find them. A few minutes after we took a break in the search, I went back in the TV room. My glasses were back where I'd left them.

      My model railroad then did something weird. I had the yard sidings blocked so that the power could be shut off to them. One day while running trains, a pair of engines on one of the sidings started up by themselves. The track they were on had been turned off. There were no electrical problems of any kind, and the switch to that track is still in use today with no problems whatsoever.

      Later that summer, my dad, brother, and I were down to our grandparents house just down the road from us. While we were all in the living room, we heard a series of loud bangs coming from the kitchen. We investigated, but nobody was there. We then opened one of the cupboards and slammed it closed. We agreed that that was what we'd heard, but we never figured out how the cupboard doors had done that by themselves.

      That following winter, I had a dream that I was in a car at a railroad crossing waiting on a southbound train to pass. It was off to the left. I looked to the right, and something was on the track that wasn't supposed to be there. I couldn't see it, but the train hit it and derailed. That following January, a southbound Amtrak passenger train derailed when it hit three Conrail locomotives that had run a red signal.

      I then had another dream that haunts me to this day. In the dream, I was at a bridge near my house. At the location, the road runs straight north and south with hills in the distance in both directions. There was a school bus (my bus) that had been heading south and gone off the left side of the bridge. The sun was low in the west to the driver's right. Only one person was on the bus. It wasn't the driver but a student. The student (who had been driving) was dead. A woman was at the side of the road screaming and crying. She looked familiar, but I couldn't remember where I'd seen her. I did know that she was related to the student. In March of 1990, a friend of mine was killed on his way to school by an Amtrak passenger train (HOL.html). He was on a road similar to that in my dream (straight road at a kind of crossing with hills to the north and south). While he was heading north instead of south, the sun was rising in the east (his right), and his car went off the left side of the road. The newspaper that afternoon had a picture of the crash on the front page. The angle of the train in the picture was the same angle that I saw the bus in the dream. I saw the woman at his funeral. She was his mom.

      During the summer of 1990, I had a couple incidents in the garage.

      In the first, I was at home alone and taking some trash out to the trash can in the garage. All the doors were closed. As I turned to head back into the kitchen, I heard a creaking sound. I looked up and saw the attic door opening by itself. With the overhead door open, this door will sometimes blow closed as it opens out into the garage, but it never blows open. The garage was also closed up. I ran into the house afraid to see what was next.

      Later that summer, my mom was at work, and the rest of us were at home. I was doing some model railroading, and I went out into the garage to look for a tool. I got alongside the minivan when I became aware of a sound like somebody striking an empty coffee can with a nail. The van was blocking my view of the garage, so I cautiously went around it to see what or who was making the sound. As soon as I came around the back corner, the sound stopped. I knew that it must see me now. I looked around in front of me, but I was alone and terrified. I ran into the house. My dad searched the garage and found nothing.

      That fall, I had a dream where I was at school. A friend of mine was sitting in the desk to my right. She told me, "She's dead, and he's in the hospital." I wouldn't find out what that dream meant until May 1992.

      That winter, my brother's clock radio turned itself on twice.

      The first time, nobody was home. Mom came home to find it switched on at full volume.

      The second time, my parents were in bed, my brother was in the shower, and I was watching The Shining on TV. The radio again came on at full volume. The alarm wasn't set. The switch was moved into the "ON" position.

      That spring, I awoke in the middle of the night to find myself floating around my bedroom on my back.

      Later that fall, I experienced a weird day at school. During fourth period, I was at work in the library when our circulation computer restarted by itself, which the librarians said was impossible. Nobody was near it at the time. We just heard it beep a few times, and then it restarted. Then in fifth period, I was in English class. I was sitting at the front of the class. The overhead projector was on its cart about three feet in front of me. In the middle of class, it switched on by itself. Our teacher just laughed and turned it back off.

      That January (1992), my parents and brother were at a 4-H meeting. It was around 8:00pm. I was in my bedroom. Suddenly, I heard the voices. It sounded as though two men were talking down in the basement under my bedroom.

      Not long after that, I was lying awake in my bedroom when I saw a huge man come storming into my bedroom. He was shirtless with dark reddish-toned skin and a muscular body. I couldn't see his face clearly, but I had the feeling of pure hatred coming from him. A couple minutes later, he stormed out.

      That spring, I was in the living room while mom was in the basement. I saw somebody go past the doorway. I thought it was her and wanted to ask her something. When I called to her, she didn't answer. I then went to the hallway and saw what looked like the back of her dress around the corner like she was bent over getting things out of the clothes basket. I called to her again. She still didn't respond, even though I was about six feet away from her. I then heard a noise in the kitchen. I turned. It was mom coming back up from the basement. I turned back to the corner of the hallway. The hallway was empty.

      That May, my best friend's mom was killed in a car-semi accident. The day when I found out about it, I was in home room at school. The girl in the dream from 1990 was sitting to my right. She asked me and somebody else if we'd heard what had happened. She then said, "Joe's mom was killed last night in a car wreck. His brother's in the hospital." Just like in my dream.

      That summer brought more occurrences.

      One night, I was up late and heard something striking the cupboard doors in the kitchen while everybody else was asleep.

      One day while in the kitchen, my mom and I heard a loud crash in the basement, but we found nothing out of place.

      Then in the middle of the night one night, I was in the bathroom with the lights off when a circle of light lit up on the wall next to me. I waved my hand in front of it to see if it was a reflection or something, but I didn't see a shadow. The light seemed to be coming from the wall and disappeared after about a minute.

      I started college that fall (1992). I thought that I had gotten away from the spirit that had been tormenting me at home.

      I was wrong.

      On a Saturday afternoon in the middle of October, I was at work at the library on campus. I'd taken a cart of books down to the basement level, cleaned the floor (tables, cubicles, etc.), and was shelving books. I was alone at the time, and nobody had come down the stairs nearby as I would have heard the footsteps on the plastic protectors on the steps. I was in a corner shelving some records when I heard a squeaking noise. I looked out into the aisleway. It was empty and the squeaking had stopped. I then continued shelving. The squeaking started again for a few seconds and then stopped. I looked out into the aisleway again. One of the stools used to reach higher shelves had moved out into the aisleway. I quickly shelved the rest of the records and headed back upstairs, not returning to the basement the rest of the day.

      When I was at home over Thanksgiving, I was in the shower one evening when I felt somebody grab my butt. I was alone.

      After that incident, I felt like it had followed me to campus. I never felt alone in the dorm room. That's when the real terror started.

      I had gone to dinner, and just before going into the dining hall, I decided to make a prank call to my roommate Mark and neighbor Rich. I then discovered that something had happened to them while I was gone. They were in Rich's room when they heard a pounding on the wall in our room. They'd checked, thinking it was me, but the room was empty. I then talked to them that night (Thursday) about what I'd been going through.

      That Friday was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life. Rich had gone home for the weekend. Mark and I decided to see if we could get some evidence of the spirit's presence. While we went to the library, we left a tape recording in my boombox. We got back and listened to the tape. Right away, you could faintly hear a woman screaming on the tape. We hadn't heard it when we left. None of our neighbors had heard anything either.

      At dinner, we went to dinner with Brett, one of our resident assistants, and his girlfriend. While at dinner, I asked him if he'd ever heard any strange noises coming from our room. We then told him briefly about what had happened (not what I'd seen in the past). It turned out that he had been involved with the supernatural in the past. Brett and I went back to my room while Mark went to a basketball game. Brett listened to the tape. I'd also left the tape running while at dinner. You could hear shuffling noises and desk drawers slamming closed.

      While listening to the tape, I had the feeling a couple times that the black shadowy spirit was in the room. It was first next to the beds and then next to Mark's desk. I made no mention of this to Brett.

      We then went to the lounge to wait for Mark to get back. When he did, the three of us went back to the room. Brett said that there had been a spirit in the room with us before. He described it exactly as I'd seen it and pointed out where I'd felt it.

      I had mixed emotions at that point. I was somewhat relieved that somebody else was seeing this. However, the fear in me was stronger as my worst nightmare was true. We then discussed what had happened in the past. I had never felt alone in the house when at home. I also realized that what I thought of as being paranoia was really my ability to sense spirits around me. The shadowy entity was the main form of it that I'd seen. It usually never appeared physically. I would sense it and get a mental image of where it was and what it looked like. That mental image was then overlaid on what I was seeing physically. And it was always depressing to see the spirit.

      As we were talking, I sensed that the entity was outside the closed door of the room. I didn't say anything, but suddenly, Brett stopped in mid sentence and said, "It's at the door."

      Mark suggested that we open the door to see what happened.

      I went over and flung the door open. I was face to face with the entity. I started shaking uncontrollably and broke down. Mark slammed the door closed. I kept asking, "What does it want with me?"

A sketch of the ghost that I made a few days after seeing it in the doorway.

      Other occurrences followed that night. We returned to the room to find the light turned on. I heard a shuffling noise behind Mark's desk and found that some posterboards behind it had moved. His filing cabinet had moved a few inches out of place.

      Before heading home for Christmas break, Mark moved in with another friend down the hall, leaving me living alone in the dorm room.

      Unfortunately, another one of my friends had her encounters with the spirit, which we'd nicknamed Marley (since it was Christmastime). Kathy found some pages from a day-to-day religious-themed calendar that she'd taken down to the recycling room back on her desk neatly stacked after we'd talked about my experiences down in my room. One of her doorknob hangers with a verse from the Bible that she had on her wall came up missing. One night, just after going to bed, a stack of dishes on her and her roommate's refrigerators shot across the room.

      I then began to keep a journal of everything that happened to see if there was a pattern, and I also made more recordings in the room. More noises appeared on the tapes. Objects in my room were found to be rearranged at times. Once I came back from class and put my bag down on the foot of my bed, went down to the restroom (locking my door behind me), came back, and found my bag moved to the other end of the bed. At home, the entity made its presence known. Electrical problems began to plague my model railroad for no reason. The circuit breakers would trip and then reset themselves.

      Back at college, I got involved with Campus Fellowship. I soon found myself fighting the negative thoughts in my mind. The spirit would bother me for a day or two and then leave me alone for a while. I soon had thoughts that God couldn't help me and that everybody was really against me. One Friday night, my mind was filled with images of Satan and demons. I laid in bed all night tossing and turning as the images grew stronger. At one point when I was trying to pray, I could only think of hailing Satan. I wasn't able to pray at all until early the next morning.

      I talked to the adviser for Campus Fellowship, and she took me to see a Christian psychologist who helped quite a bit. I noticed that the spirit was going away and coming back to confuse me.

      In April of 1993, my years of torment were ended when I was baptized at a local church.

      There are many other events to my story which I know I've forgotten as they were little things that had happened. While I haven't seen the spirit since my baptism, I've been a little apprehensive at times while in my parents' house, mainly because that's where most of the occurrences happened. If the spirit is still around, it's keeping its distance.

      I don't know much about the history of our house other than our road used to be an indian trail and there used to be an indian camp in the field behind our house.

      I've often wondered what kind of a spirit it was that bothered me, and I believe it was a demon. It wasn't a psychic recording as the events were varied. It wasn't a human spirit as the events took place at college and home. God and his angels would never have done something like that to me. It wasn't a poltergeist as I wasn't around at times when some of the events took place. That only leaves a demon as the type of spirit that was bothering me. Why it bothered me like it did is still a mystery.

France Hall, Heidelberg College, Tiffin, Ohio (1992-1996)

      While in college at Heidelberg in Tiffin, I had heard the stories about France Hall (the oldest dorm on campus) and the ghost of Ellen. The stories I had heard while in college were that a student named Ellen had gone through a breakup with her boyfriend. Upset over the event, she jumped from an attic window to her death on the ground below. Recently since looking into the stories online, another story has come forth, and that is that Ellen has been turned down from joining a sorority and had hung herself in the attic.

      In the years since the story of Ellen began, numerous students have had experiences. Footsteps have been heard in the locked attic. Water faucets in the bathrooms have turned themselves on. Students have been locked out of their rooms as their doors swing shut and lock behind them with no key. During my freshman year, somebody I knew who lived in France was suddenly staying with a friend in my dorm for a time. Apparently, she and some friends had played with a Ouija board in their room in France Hall. Afterwards, they all began seeing a dark figure in their rooms at night. She had been so spooked by the events that she didn't want to stay in the room for a while.

      On a few occasions, I had gone into France Hall, although it was always during the day or early evening since it was an all-girls dorm. Going into France from the door that connects it to Brown Hall, the air inside the building changed from that just on the other side of the door. To me, it was as though the air became thicker. I also kept having the sensation that somebody was watching me. I went up to the attic doors a few times, but they were always locked. However, when by the attic doors, I got a feeling that Ellen didn't die the way I'd always heard. I kept getting an image of a girl lying facedown on the floor in a pool of blood, almost like she'd taken a knife to herself.

      During my junior year, I was interviewing a friend of mine for my journalism class for a story I was doing on the haunting. He and a friend had had an experience of their own in the first floor lounge of France Hall. They'd been sitting on the couch watching TV when the shade on a lamp next to the couch just dropped down to the table. As soon as the lampshade hit the table, he said that the lamp shot sideways off the table. He and his friend didn't stick around to see what was next. He did say that he'd heard that Ellen had taken a knife to herself in the attic, which supports what I had sensed on my visits.

Sturges Avenue, Mansfield, Ohio (2000-2001)

      At my second job after college, our offices were in an old Victorian mansion on Sturges Avenue in Mansfield, Ohio, that had been converted into offices. There was a newer part of the building that had been added onto the rear of the building and had at one time been the local AAA offices.

      In the time that my company was there, we were spread out throughout the building on the first and second floors. In the newer portion of the basement, we had our server room and later another office for our HR person. The other part of the basement under the original house was used for storage. It was in that area where I found myself uncomfortable. I literally kept having the sensation that somebody was watching me or coming up behind me. Initially, I figured it was just because it was an old basement in an old house, resembling something out of a horror movie. However, I later discovered that it wasn't just my imagination.

      During the summer of 2001, I was in the server room in the basement waiting for some processes to run on a server. While waiting, our HR person and I got into a conversation, and she mentioned how she didn't like the part of the basement under the original house. She indicated the same area that I felt uncomfortable in. When I asked her why she felt uncomfortable in that area, she told me, "That's where they used to embalm the bodies." Apparently, the house at one time had been a funeral home. Where I felt uncomfortable was where the bodies had been prepped for services and burial.

Chessie (August 2010-????)

      The story of my first cat Chessie began on Saturday, March 31, 2007. I went to the Capital Area Humane Society just south of my home in Hilliard, Ohio, looking for a kitten to adopt. I'd been planning on adopting a kitten for some time and had begun preparing my home for the new arrival. When I got there, I was shown two four-month old kittens, a kitten named "Snug" and his sister. His sister didn't want anything to do with me, but he let me examine him and then curled up on my lap and fell asleep.

      Needless to say, I didn't waste time signing the adoption papers. Naming him Chessie after the Chessie System Railroad, he was able to come home on Monday, April 2nd.

      About three weeks later, the unthinkable happened. Chessie was found to have a severe heart murmur. After an echocardiogram at MedVet, he was found to have hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy, a genetic heart defect that used to be common in Maine Coons (which Chessie was) but had become rare through proper breeding. It was treatable, but his life wouldn't be as long as that of a normal cat. After going to MedVet, Chessie was prescribed heart medicine that I was able to get at my local Kroger pharmacy.

      In September 2007, I brought home Casey Jones, a kitten I'd adopted from my uncle's farm back home and had been living at my parents' house for about three months while Chessie's heart was brought under control. After about three days, Chessie and Casey became best friends, sharing food, water, toys, litterboxes, etc.

      Over the next three years, Chessie's heart got progressively worse. What started off as one dose of medicine a day over time turned to three medicines twice a day, one every other day, and baby aspirin every three days. His doctor said that his heart looked like that of an elderly cat and was always amazed that he wasn't showing any signs of problems at home. We began wondering if he was going to be a miracle cat who was going to live a long time with his illness and show no signs of problems.

      Unfortunately, Chessie's good health was not meant to last.

      On Saturday, August 7, 2010, I had Chessie at the vet to get some routine bloodwork done to check his reaction to his recent change in his medicines. While waiting on the vet, he suddenly collapsed and couldn't use his back legs. The vet had me rush him to MedVet to try to save him as a partial blood clot that had been found the previous winter had come loose and lodged in the artery running along his spine. I got him to MedVet, but they were unable to help him. Remembering a promise I had made to him that he would not suffer from his heart issue, I said goodbye to him, and he was put to sleep.

      Needless to say, I was devastated. Chessie and I had become very close, and while I knew I'd made the right decision, it hadn't been easy.

      On the evening of Sunday, August 22nd, just over two weeks after losing Chessie, the first incident occurred. I was doing dishes in the kitchen and had the TV on in the living room. While drying dishes, I'd take an item over to the doorway of the kitchen to dry it and see what was going on on the show I had on. At one point as I looked into the living room, I saw Casey behaving very strangely. He was crouched down with his ears laid back, eyes wide open, and tail pulled down under him as he slowly crept up on the cat tent on the floor by the basement door. From where I was standing, I could see into the tent, and it was empty. However, Casey was acting scared and seemed to see something that I couldn't, completely ignoring my standing a few feet away. As he put his head into one of the openings of the tent, he suddenly relaxed, went in, and curled up inside, acting completely normal again. At the time, I didn't think too much of it, thinking it only a coincidence that it happened at about the same time that Chessie used to curl up in the tent for a nap.

      Later on that week, a second incident occurred. This time, I was on the couch watching TV when Casey again acted scared, this time slowly crawling up on Chessie's old bed that was on the floor in front of the TV. I could clearly see that there was nothing in it, but again, Casey was acting like there was something there. Like the incident with the tent, Casey got his head over the bed, suddenly relaxed, climbed onto the bed, and curled up on it, again acting like nothing had happened. I wasn't sure what to make of it as I'd never seen him acting like that before that.

      During the evening of Monday, August 30th, an incident happened to me. I was on the floor in the kitchen doorway working out on my AbSlide. I was taking a break and was just on my knees on the floor with my arms hanging down at my sides. My back was to the living room, where I knew Casey was. Suddenly, I felt whiskers and breathing on the open palm of my left hand. After three and a half years of having cats, I knew that somebody was wanting attention, and I began to reach back and look down to make over Casey. Nothing was there, and the feeling was gone. I turned around, and Casey was on the other side of the living room curled up in Chessie's old bed in front of the TV. There was no way for him to have been the one touching my hand since I would have heard and seen him running back to where he was.

      About a week later around Wednesday, September 8th, there was another incident where Casey was scared of something I couldn't see in Chessie's old bed. Like before, the bed was in front of the TV on the floor, and I could clearly see that there was nothing there. Again, he calmed down once his head was over the bed.

      Smokey, my third cat, came home on Monday, September 13th. After four days, he and Casey became very close friends and are as close (if not more so) than what Chessie and Casey had been.

      I expected the incidents to come to an end once Casey and I had our new roommate settled in. They didn't.

      Around mid-October, Casey had a third incident with Chessie's old bed. It was the same as the other two. The only difference this time was that Smokey was curled up at my feet on the couch, and Chessie's old bed was in front of the bookcases instead of the TV.

      Late in the evening of Tuesday, November 16th, I was again touched. This time, it was in the upstairs bathroom. I was in my pajamas and barefoot at the sink getting around for bed. I felt whiskers and breathing on my right foot (closest to the bathroom door). I looked down to see who had sneaked in and was smelling my foot. Nobody was there, and the feeling was gone. I quickly looked around, and neither Casey nor Smokey was in the bathroom. They weren't even upstairs. I found them down in the living room asleep together on the couch.

      On the Monday after Christmas (December 27th), I had a different experience from anything that had happened to that point. I was on the couch eating dinner and watching a movie. Smokey was on the other end of the couch from me, and Casey was on the back of the couch. Both were curled up and asleep. I got up to go to the kitchen. At the time, I had only three lights on: the lamp on the end table in the living room and the sink and stove lights in the kitchen. The lights in the kitchen had formed a very defined shadow of the corner of the doorway on the floor leading out to the kitchen. As I came around my recliner to go to the kitchen, I saw a shadow on the floor like something was going from right to left towards the sink. I stopped for a split second and then quickly went into the kitchen. There was nothing out of the ordinary, but I had a feeling like I was not alone. I put down the plate in my hand and looked back at the shadow of the corner on the floor. Putting a hand between the shadow and the light, I tried to determine where the shadow had been cast from to appear on the floor where I'd seen it. I found that my hand had to be about a foot above the surface of the stove to recreate the shadow I'd seen. About a foot off the top of the stove would be about Chessie's height.

      That night, seriously considering the possibility that Chessie was visiting me and Casey, I tried talking to him. I told him that Casey and I loved him and that if he wanted to continue visiting us, he was more than welcome since this is always his home. I also told him that as much as we loved him, he had passed on and needed to move on to the Rainbow Bridge to wait for us. I told him that he was healed from his heart issue and no longer had to take pills or get heart scans done.

      Things were quiet after that, and I thought it was over until the evening of Saturday, February 26, 2011. I was on the couch eating dinner and watching the Nascar race. Smokey was curled up on the other end of the couch. Casey came over on the floor and then jumped over me onto the back of the couch as usual. He began grooming himself when he suddenly stopped, leg in midair, staring across the room at Chessie's bed. While his ears weren't laid back, he had a definite scared look on his face and was breathing very rapidly, which had me very concerned. I tried talking to him and was only about two feet away from him. He was completely oblivious to my voice. Even when I put my hand on him, he only gave me a scared glance and then continued stare at Chessie's bed. After a couple minutes, he suddenly relaxed and resumed his grooming like nothing happened.

      I then had another incident on the evening of Wednesday, March 9th. I was on the one end of the couch watching TV and eating dinner. Casey was curled up asleep on the back of the couch. Smokey was curled up asleep in the recliner. While I was looking at the TV, I saw out of the corner of my eye a flash of something white going up from the floor at the other end of the couch towards the top of the CD cabinet. I quickly turned my head and looked, but nothing was there. I went back to watching TV, and about a couple minutes later, I saw movement again out of the corner of my eye. This time it was on the back of the couch about a foot away from Casey. I didn't clearly see what was moving that time. It almost seemed like a ripple effect in the air. Casey was still asleep and not moving. I turned my head back to watch TV again. Suddenly, there was a loud bang as Casey shot off the back of the couch, launching himself off the wall hard enough that everything on the wall bounced. He then cautiously came back towards the couch, looking quite scared and staring at the back of the couch. I felt around where he'd been and where I'd last seen movement before he got spooked, but I didn't feel anything. Casey didn't go back on the couch the rest of the evening, instead curling up in Chessie's old bed.

      Things were quiet again for a while until the evening of Thursday, July 7th. I was doing dishes at the kitchen sink and felt whiskers and breathing on my leg. I thought it was either Casey or Smokey since I'd seen them come into the kitchen earlier. I looked down to see who was wanting attention, and nobody was there. I turned around, and the cats were nowhere near me. Casey was curled up and dozing on the kitchen table across the room, and Smokey was stretched out in front of the back door on the other side of the stove from me.

      On the evening of Wednesday, October 12th, I was washing up at the sink in the upstairs bathroom and felt a tail go lightly across the backs of my legs at the knees. It first touched my right leg and then the left. Thinking it was Casey or Smokey coming into the bathroom and heading to the tub to play around in it, I looked down to find nobody there. I went downstairs, and Smokey was curled up by the front door, and Casey was sitting behind the recliner.

      Early on the morning of Sunday, November 6th, I was at the sink in the upstairs bathroom washing up and felt whiskers and breathing on the top of my left foot. I knew Smokey was upstairs and looked down thinking that he'd walked in and was wanting attention. Nobody was in the bathroom with me. I looked out in the hallway. Casey was still downstairs. Smokey was curled up in the hallway looking all around him like he'd just seen something.

      Just after midnight on Sunday, January 15, 2012, I was sitting on the couch in the living room watching a movie. Smokey was curled up on the floor over in front of the TV. Casey was wandering around. Suddenly, I heard a knocking sound from the kitchen. I've heard the noise before as all of my cats at one time or another have played with the cupboard doors. While I have safety latches on them, they'll repeatedly pull a door open an inch or two and let it bang shut. Hearing the sound, I figured Casey had wandered out to the kitchen and was playing with one of the cupboard doors for attention. I know I wasn't imagining it since I looked over at Smokey, and he had sat up and was looking intently towards the kitchen. I paused the movie and started to get up to see what Casey was up to.

      That's when I saw Casey sitting on the floor at the other end of the couch, also looking towards the kitchen. I heard a couple more of the bangs of a cupboard door and realized that it wasn't Casey or Smokey. I got up to go look, and the noises stopped. I checked out the kitchen (as well as the downstairs bathroom since it has cupboard doors under the sink), but I couldn't find anything unusual. The knockings didn't happen anymore after that.

      I felt the whiskers and breathing again on my left foot while at the upstairs bathroom sink on the evening of Wednesday, January 25th. Like before, Casey and Smokey weren't around at the time.

      On the morning of Friday, February 24th, I was getting around for work and had just turned off the TV when I heard the sound of somebody digging in the upstairs litterbox. I'd just scooped both litterboxes a few minutes beforehand, smoothing the litter on top afterwards to I could easily tell when it had been used. Since Smokey was sitting on the floor in front of the recliner, I figured that Casey had gone upstairs to take care of business and started walking towards the kitchen. That's when I became aware of a crunching of food at the feeder in the kitchen. I got to the kitchen, and Casey was there eating. He hadn't been upstairs at all. While the litter was still smoothed over when I checked, I know that I heard the sounds of somebody digging in the litterbox.

      On the evening of Friday, July 13th, Chessie made himself known again. I was in the kitchen getting treats out of the cupboard for Casey and Smokey. I was turned towards the stove and had my back towards the sink. While getting the treats out on the counter, I felt somebody bump my left side twice from on the sink. I knew that Casey was over by the table and figured that Smokey had gotten up on the sink without my hearing him and was trying to get my attention for his treats by pawing my side, which he does frequently. I told him, "You're not supposed to be up here, buddy." At the same time, I turned and found that nobody was there. Smokey was over by the kitchen doorway.

      On the evening of Sunday, July 22nd, I was doing my AbSlide in the kitchen doorway when I felt what I thought was Smokey nosing the bottom of my left foot. I felt not only his whiskers and breathing, but this time I also felt the coldness of his nose. I knew Casey was in front of me in the kitchen. I turned to make over him, but he wasn't there. He was curled up in the recliner in the living room.

      On the morning of Saturday, July 28th, I was on the end of the couch closest to the TV going through the programming schedule on my DVR. Casey was up in the cat tree in the corner of the room to my right. I'd last seen Smokey in the kitchen. While focused on the TV, I felt somebody jump up on the couch cushions behind me. Figuring it was Smokey, I turned to make over him, but the rest of the couch was empty. Smokey was still in the kitchen.

      On the evening of Wednesday, December 12th, I was getting home from work and coming in the front door. Smokey and Casey, as usual, were right there to greet me. As I came in, I glanced up at the stairs, and on the fourth step up, I saw a shadow sitting on the step. It was about the size of one of the cats. However, my focus was redirected to Smokey as I was shutting the storm door and making sure he didn't try to get out. When I looked back up the stairs, the shadow was gone.

      A week later on the evening of Wednesday, December 19th, I was getting around to get the cats their evening treats before making my dinner. While standing in the living room, I could see Casey waiting in the kitchen, and Smokey was stretched out on the bottom of the bookshelves. Their cat tent, which was a few feet away from me, moved slightly, and I could hear the crinkle pad inside. It was like one of the cats had gone in or out of the tent, but neither Casey nor Smokey were near it at the time.

      On the evening of Thursday, April 11, 2013, I was sitting on the couch eating dinner and watching TV. Off to the side of my vision, I saw and heard the cat tent about four feet from me move like one of the cats had just stepped into or out of it. I could see Smokey curled up in the recliner asleep. Casey was asleep on the big pillow in front of the TV. I checked, and nothing was in the cat tent.

      On the evening of Saturday, October 12th, I went into the living room from the kitchen to read something on TV. At the time, the only lights in the living room were the TV and the lamp on the end table. As I went in, I saw Casey in the cat tree in the far corner. Glancing to the right, Smokey wasn't in his usual spot curled up in the recliner but I could see by his shadow that he was curled up on the floor next to the end table. After what I wanted to see on TV was over, I turned to head back to the kitchen and saw Smokey stretched out in front of the front door. I looked over at the floor next to the end table. The shadow was gone.

      On the evening of Tuesday, November 12th, I came home from work, and after changing clothes went into the upstairs bathroom. Casey had been in the upstairs hallway. With only socks on my feet, I figured it was him when I felt a paw step on the top of my foot. I went to move my feet and looked down to make sure I didn't step on him. I was alone. Casey was still in the hallway.

      On Thursday, December 12th, I'd just finished washing dishes. Before drying them, I decided to go into the living room to resume an episode of Doctor Who that I'd started to watch on my DVR before doing dishes. On the way to the living room, Smokey was curled up in a kitchen chair with Casey on the floor below him. As I reached down to the coffee table for the remote, I saw a dark shadow out of the corner of my eye streak from behind the recliner to under the end table. Thinking it was Smokey, I looked over to see what he was up to. Nothing was there. I then heard somebody jump down to the floor in the kitchen. I turned around and saw Smokey walking into the living room. That's when I realized that the shadow I'd seen had made no sound.

      In November 2013, I'd purchased the book The Sallie House Haunting. After getting partway through the book in December and reading how toys were put out for ghost named "Sallie", I thought I would try an experiment on the morning of Saturday, December 14th. I got to thinking that maybe leaving a toy out for Chessie might get him to come around more often. So, I got one of the extra plastic golf balls (one of his favorite toys when he was alive). Wanting to put it where Casey and Smokey wouldn't be able to mess with it but where Chessie would have when he was alive, I put it on the floor in front of the Christmas tree in my office. While nothing had happened in that room before, Chessie had always enjoyed being in there with me.

      That evening, I decided to take a few minutes and do my yearly tradition of taking some pics of my Christmas tree. I have a Nikon Coolpix S3000 digital camera that has usual exposure settings for flash, no flash, red eye reduction, etc. as well a bunch of settings for different situations (nighttime, sunrise/sunset, fireworks, etc.). Since switching to digital in 2011, I typically set the camera up on a tripod and go through all of the exposure settings (22 total) and then go through the pics on my PC to pick out which ones turned out with the flash and without the flash.

      So, I took the 22 pics of the tree and then switched to a little different angle. Just before taking those pictures, I realized that I'd left the golf ball on the floor in front of the tree. I went ahead and took the rest of the pictures, removing the golf ball before taking them. I then looked through the pictures on the camera to see if I wanted to redo the first set that the golf ball was in. Going through the pictures, the pics for the first set looked all the same in the composition since I never moved the camera between each pic, only changing the exposure. However, one picture had something extra in it near the golf ball.
      I thought it was possibly a reflection or something until I uploaded the pictures (all 66) and enlarged the picture. While I've never been much of a believer in orbs in pictures being proof of the paranormal, something about this one wasn't like any orb that I've seen before.
      Enlarging the picture further, there were noticeable circular bands that get thinner and closer together the closer they get to the center of the orb.
      I thought at first that it might be a reflection, but in no other pictures taken from that angle or the other two angles were there any reflections from the flash of the camera.

      While it's possible it could be a dust particle, the room was clean, having been cleaned before the tree went up. Also, I've never seen an orb that had circles in it like this one. I've also never seen anything like it on any picture that I've taken with this camera as well as my older 35mm camera. It also is quite a coincidence that the orb appeared after I'd put out the golf ball for Chessie.

      I'm not sure what to make of it. While it's possible that there is a natural explanation for the orb, there are also factors that rule against the natural explanations. While it can't be ruled as proof of Chessie's existence, it can't 100% be ruled that it is something normal. For now, I'm ruling it as unknown.

      On the evening of Thursday, January 17, 2014, I was getting around for bed and washing up at the sink in the upstairs bathroom. I again felt the familiar whiskers and breathing on my left foot. I looked down, but nobody was there. I looked around, and the cats weren't in the bathroom. Casey was curled up at the top of the stairs in the hallway. Smokey was curled up at the bottom of the stairs.

      On the evening of Tuesday, April 1st, I was heading into the kitchen to do dishes. As I got to the doorway, I noticed the reflected light from above the kitchen sink changing. It was getting brighter, not from the light itself brightening, but from a faint shadow, noticeable in the light hitting the overhead cupboards like something was up on the sink and moving out of the light. I quickly looked around the corner at the sink but saw nothing out of the ordinary. I went back to the doorway again and turned my head and looked into the kitchen at different angles, unable to recreate the shadow movement that I'd seen. I even got Smokey and put him up on the sink to try to recreate the shadow. Unfortunately, that plan backfired since Smokey, knowing he wasn't allowed on the countertops and sink, quickly jumped to the floor and took off into the living room.

      While making dinner on the evening of Thursday, May 29th, I was standing at the stove, flipping my dinner in the skillet. As a result, I wasn't able to look down for a few seconds when I felt one of the cats, coming from the sink and moving towards the back door, rub against the back of my right leg while he went between it and the cart in the middle of my kitchen. Casey and Smokey had been in the kitchen earlier, and I assumed it was one of them and asked "Hey, buddy. Being good?" I then looked down and found myself alone in the kitchen. I went into the living room. Smokey was curled up in the recliner. Casey was curled up in the upside-down cat tent. Neither had been in the kitchen at the time I'd been touched.

      On the evening of Friday, June 6th, another incident in the living room. I'd gotten home from getting groceries after work, and after getting them put away and getting Casey and Smokey their evening treats, I sat down on the couch to unwind for a short while and go through the schedule on my DVR to see what shows were coming up. I was seated on the middle and right cushions with my head turned to the right towards the TV. Smokey was by the front door looking out the storm door. Casey had been up on the couch with me several minutes earlier wanting attention. When I felt the left cushion sink down under somebody's weight, I figured it was him when I turned to look. I was alone on the couch. Casey was in the kitchen. I felt the cushion, and most of it was cool to the touch from the AC being on. There was one spot near the center that was warmer than the rest of the cushion's fabric, like somebody had just been sitting there.

      Early on the morning of Wednesday, October 15th, I was up late doing some work on my PC since I had the next three days off work. Around 1:20AM, I was in the upstairs bathroom washing up before bed. While drying off, I heard Smokey downstairs cry out for attention like he often does. I turned around from the sink, and while hanging my washcloth on the towel rack on the wall across from the toilet, I wasn't really surprised when I felt somebody lightly brush his cheek on the back of my right leg. I looked down, but it wasn't Casey or Smokey. I was alone.

      At about 8:30PM on Wednesday, March 4, 2015, I had just headed downstairs to get the cats their treats and get started on my dinner. I'd been working on my PC upstairs, and on the way down, I'd passed Casey and Smokey in the upstairs hallway. Casey had been curled up in the cat tree in the corner at the top of the stairs. Smokey had been on the floor.

      I went to put a couple things in the trash can at the top of the basement stairs. The only light on was the table lamp on the end table on the other side of the recliner from me. As I backed out of the doorway to the basement, I went to glance down and make sure Casey and Smokey weren't looking to try to sneak down to the basement. Looking down, I caught a glimpse of what I thought was Smokey going past me from the living room towards the kitchen. I figured he had followed me down the stairs and went into the kitchen to wait for his treats since he was in an apparent good mood with his tail up high when he went past.

      I closed the basement door, which had blocked my view of the living room towards the front door. Smokey was sitting by the front door. I quickly turned on all the lights and looked around. Casey was still in the cat tree upstairs. There was no sign of the shadow of a cat that I'd seen go past me.

      On the evening of Tuesday, September 22nd just after 9:30PM, I was making dinner in the kitchen and standing in front of the dishwasher next to the sink with my back turned to the other side of the kitchen. I was wearing shorts and felt somebody rub his cheek on the back of my right calf. I looked down to see which cat it was, but nobody was there. Smokey was on the other side of the kitchen at the feeder, and Casey was in the living room.

      At about 4:30PM on the afternoon of Sunday, February 14, 2016, I was doing some cleaning in the living room. Smokey was curled up on the big floor pillow next to the coffee table. Casey was curled up in the bean bag chair by the window. Putting some cleaning supplies up on the top of the bookshelves, I glanced out in the kitchen and saw the shadow of what looked like Smokey sitting on the kitchen table looking out the window. I put the cleaning supplies on the shelf and then did a double take, remembering that Smokey was asleep in the living room. I looked out into the kitchen again, and the shadow was gone. Both Casey and Smokey were still asleep in the living room.

      Late on the evening of Tuesday, June 21, 2016 (around midnight), I was washing dishes at the kitchen sink. I had my MP3 player and headphones on so I could relax to my music without cranking up the stereo and disturbing the neighbors. I went to turn to my left, and there was a shadow of a cat on the counter in front of the microwave. As soon as I saw it, the shadow jumped off the counter and disappeared as it landed on the food bin in front of the pantry closet. Neither Casey nor Smokey were in the kitchen at the time.

      On the evening of Tuesday, August 9, 2016, I was at the kitchen sink preparing some vegetables for dinner when I felt whiskers and then somebody rub his head from right to left across the back of my right leg, just below the knee. I looked down, but nobody was there. I looked across the kitchen, and Casey was sound asleep, curled up on one of the chairs at the table. I went into the living room. Smokey was sound asleep in the recliner.

      On the evening of Wednesday, December 21, 2016, I was wrapping up eating dinner in the living room and was heading to the kitchen. When I got to the hallway by the bathroom door, I saw a faint shadow about the size of the cats dart out from under the kitchen table and go across the floor towards the front of the stove. I rushed into the kitchen to try to get a better look at it, but it had vanished.

      On the morning of Wednesday, December 28, 2016, I was getting around for work. I was in the living room between the coffee table and the couch and had just turned off the TV after getting the weather and traffic reports. Upstairs, I could hear somebody digging away in the litterbox in the bathroom. Casey was over by the front door, looking up the stairs, obviously hearing the noise. Figuring it was Smokey since he only uses the upstairs litterbox, I put the remote for the TV away and turned to head to the kitchen. Smokey was curled up in the cat tent between the coffee table and the recliner. I went upstairs and found the litterbox undisturbed, the litter still level from when I smoothed it after scooping it earlier.

      When the incidents started in August 2010, I began wondering if it was my imagination, but that is obviously not the case since Casey and Smokey have had experiences as well. Also, in the cases where I've been touched, I've looked down expecting to see Casey or Smokey.

      Another thing that I've tried to do was see if there was any kind of pattern to the events that have been happening. I mapped the locations of each of the incidents that have occurred and found that they were all in locations where he spent most of his time when he was alive. I also charted the events by the time of day, day of the week, day of the month, month of the year, and by year as to when they occurred, but so far there has been no pattern to the events. I feel that Chessie may be around more than I realize and that my mood, my awareness, and other factors just have to come together at the right time for me to sense him.

      So why is Chessie still hanging around? He and I had been quite close, and whenever visitors came, he would always run and hide. It would make sense that he would not want to go on to the Rainbow Bridge on his own without me. As far as why Casey has acted spooked by his experiences, I believe it is because he doesn't understand how Chessie is appearing in spiritual form. He might be seeing Chessie, but the sounds and smells aren't there like before. I have to admit that I was initially uneasy about Chessie coming back since this was the first time in my experiences with the paranormal where somebody I'd known has come back. But now, I welcome his visits as he will always be my "big baby" and is always welcome in his home.

Kevin L. Wagner

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