Okay, Listen Here

Okay, Listen Here

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Dark Hand

I was thirty years old and had never owned a house when we moved to Jackson, Mississippi. We were living in a small apartment but we had high hopes of buying a starter home. My husband was doing his residency and I was working in the U.S. Attorney’s office. One of my new friends at my office told me about a house down the street from her that was for sale at a good price. Translation – it was cheap.

I went to look at the house that afternoon. It was a good price and for sale by owner. I asked all the pertinent legal questions and, satisfied, made an offer. The man gladly accepted without any haggling. That should have been my first clue.

We moved in and started fixing everything up, making the place ours. For some reason, I did not like going into the living room. It always seemed like there was someone in there who definitely did not want me there. I shook it off and continued with my renovations. Things began disappearing. First my car keys, then a pair of shoes – small items, nothing big. Then a few days later, they would magically appear on the bar in the kitchen. I would never find them anywhere else. After a few repeats of this I started to question who was taking them. Not my son, he was only two. Not my husband, he was never home. I shrugged it off but it continued.

One day I noticed our cat was sitting in the kitchen staring intently at something by the stove. She would not move and then started hissing, arching her back. Now this cat was normally very shy and never made a sound. For her to act like this upset me. When I walked over to see what she was looking at, I noticed the air was freezing around the stove. That gave me quite a start since the rest of the house was warm. I tried to pick up the cat and she nearly decapitated me. This was not normal but, again, I shrugged it off. New house, nervous cat…

The real shocker came when my two-year kept talking, gibbering actually, in his room. I would go in to see what he was doing and it would seem like he was talking to someone. I’d asked him whom he was talking to and he’d say the lady. Then he’d make a terrible face and tell me he didn’t like the dark man. That scared me. I asked him who the dark man was and he’d shrug. He did say he liked the lady.

I started obsessing about this. Who could this be? A ghost? Two ghosts? I talked to my neighbor across the fence one day and she told me that the previous owner’s wife had died in my son’s bedroom. A kind woman who loved children. Could that be the lady? But who was the dark man?

It all came to a head one night when, thankfully, my husband was home. We were asleep and suddenly my son came screaming out of his bedroom. I don’t think I was awake when my feet hit the floor. I met him in the hallway. He was white and shaking. All he could say was there was a black hand trying to drag him under the bed. Our dog, right behind me, ran into my son’s bedroom and started growling and snapping at the bed. I thought we had an intruder. My husband went in and looked under the bed. Nothing. The dog continued running around in the room, barking. Puzzled, my husband raised the blinds next to my son’s bed to see if the window was unlocked and maybe someone had come in through it. What he saw shook him to the core. A tall, black man stared back at him, grinning, and then instantly disappeared. My husband came striding up the hall, picked up my son and we all went back to my bedroom. He didn’t say anything until the next morning about our “intruder.”

The next few weeks, the house became more active. Pictures would fly off the walls, vases would get broken. My son would not sleep alone and the animals were cowering in my bedroom. I was a walking zombie. No one was getting any sleep. Something had to be done. Now this was prior to all the ghost hunters who are so prevalent today so I had no idea where to turn. There was no Internet to do research. I went to the library. I came up with a Native American ritual – burning sage and asking for the house to be blessed. I felt silly doing it but I did it on my lunch hour when no one was home. Immediately the house felt lighter, more airy. We never had any more incidents.

Recently I was talking to my son, now twenty-three, and he remembers that house and the dark hand. He told me that it was definitely real and he was terrified. My husband, who previously had dismissed ghosts as explainable incidents, is now a believer with me. After that little house in Jackson, no one can convince me differently. My son said he never saw the lady again and, as for the dark man, he never returned.

Have you every lived in a haunted house? Tell us about it. Leave out no details. I do love a ghost story!


  1. Oh Cheryl, great, scary blog!
    I got chill bumps and my stomach flipped.

    I have now decided that I need to read the scary blogs early in the morning this week or I won't sleep a wink at night!

    I am saving my ghost stories for Thursday!

  2. My house is not haunted but many of the things you mentioned happens regularly in Bunco Babe's house. Not the dark hand, but pictures flying and objects disappearing and turning up again--always on the mantle. The most puzzling thing was the money. Several times money disappeared and reappeared on the mantle, minus, say, 75 or 43 cents. There was no explanation for it. At the time her son was so young, he had no way to go spend money and there was no one else living in the house. Her parents and friends were certainly not the type to to take fifty dollars and spend less than a dollar.

    We did some research and found out this is not uncommon in a haunted house but just what does a ghost buy? Maybe he's getting those pennies that he leaves to let other people know he's okay.

  3. Wow, Cheryl, how spooky!

    We have not had anything that extensive happen, but someone has been known to move a few of Dark Knight's things. We'll see things at a glance, out the corner of an eye, and we've felt as though we were not alone. Dark Knight has seen a wispy lady go through a room and disappear. We've never felt threatened, however. I have not done any real research to find out if anything occurred on the property. I have lived in the house since it was built, so I know no one was killed here, and except for my miscarriage, no one has died. It will be interesting to see if our Mad House Adventure stirs further activity.

  4. Crikey, Cheryl! That's plenty scary!

    My oldest daughter used to talk at night. She would wake up talking to three people (can't remember if they were men or women) who would come into her room or stand in the doorway and talk to her. They apparently followed us all over the U.S. because she saw them in Kansas as a very young girl, in Oklahoma, in New Jersey and here as well. I always chalked that up to her imagination, but after they kept following us and she kept mentioning it, I started believing they might be her guardian angels.

    My youngest daughter swears she came to our bedroom on more than one occasion during the night and saw a woman staring at the end of our bed staring at us. The woman's eyes blaze red and her face is green. As a result, when I wake up in the middle of the night, I refuse to look at the end of my bed.

    My youngest son used to have night terrors. Nothing I did could relieve him when I'd go to his room. And I've also seen my Labs growl for no reason as they started down the hallway toward the front door near the bottom of the stairs.

    But I'd just like to believe they saw their reflection in the door window. ;)

  5. Spooky! But no, never had anything happen. My parents swear their house in Germany was haunted, but I spent tons of time there alone when they were at work (I stayed with them for a year while the hubby was in Korea) and I never saw anything.

    My mom can even tell you about things that happened to her. But nothing ever happened to me. I think you have to be open to it, or maybe I'm right and it's just explainable stuff and she's wrong and her imagination is making it into more. Dunno. :)

  6. Oh my! ::shiver::

    I've never lived anywhere haunted but I knew a girl in high school who said a former owner still hung around their house. He was friendly and helpful though. If they misplaced car keys, they'd find them the next morning in the middle of the kitchen table.

  7. Sorry to join the party late - my Internet is going in and out! Maybe a new ghost?

    Stephanie -I have scared myself witless reading stuff before bed. I have a firm rule, no Stephen King after 6 PM.

    Jean- Your house felt warm and safe when I was there. Nothing in it except beautiful furniture! I don't know what it is with taking things but ghosts seem to like to play with you and hide stuff. I had the same problem with money in the Jackson house.

    Crystal - Sounds like you have a nice ghost like my son's lady. And yes, everyone says that renovations stir up ghosts. Seems they don't like their homes messed with. I too have lived in this house since it was built but we have a little guy who runs back and forth from my closet to my husband's closet. I saw him out in the open one time, a little gray looking fellow about four inches tall - he scared me and I scared him. The cats absolutely hate him and try to claw their way into the closets. Nothing scary about him. My son says he sees him in other parts of the house and believes it's a brownie. Kind of like the house elves in Harry Potter. They are supposed to be helpful unless you offend them then you pay. I leave little things out for him from time to time but like in Harry Potter, never clothes (the true legend is it offends them). The things disappear and I figure he's happy. He doesn't bother me. I never feel afraid in this house.

    Kathy - Children are much more open to the supernatural than we adults. Their third eye isn't closed. And yes, ghosts will move with you according to my ghost hunting buddies. You have to be careful not to pick them up in other people's houses. I had a friend who took a particularly nasty one home and it took quite a bit to get him out.

    Lynn - According to John Edward, the psychic, ghosts or souls come to you in other ways like dreams or smells or a particularly nice memory. Perhaps that is how you communicate with them. I know, sounds like hogwash, but sometimes don't you wonder why you dreamed about something? Like a family member who's passed and you haven't thought of them in years? I sometimes get a whiff of my Great Aunt's perfume and I know she dropped by for a quick check. She loved my son and I think she watches over him sometimes.

    PM - I have had my car keys moved all over the house when we lived in Jackson but usually they would end up on the bar, exactly where I had looked a million times. I think the ghosts believe it's a game. I remember your blog about the ghost lights in North Carolina. Tell every one, if you read this, about them! I am fascinated about them and I want to go there someday.

  8. I don't know what I would do if I found myself in that situation, Cheryl. My husband and I purchased our first home last year, and we knew the previous owner had passed away after a long illness. I was very worried we wouldn't be the only residents of our new home. So far, though, it seems to be just me, my husband, and our pets. Thank goodness.

    A good friend of mine has had problems with encounters for most of her life. Much of the activity surrounding her seems to be benign (a CD will go missing only to appear later in a location she'd already checked, shampoo bottles will fly out of the shower and across the bathroom, and her radio presets are constantly changed to old contry stations). She takes it all in stride, I don't know that I would be able to handle it so easily.

  9. Hey Gretchen, glad you could join us. I guess as long as it's not threatening, you learn to accept your "guests." I stayed in a quaint bed and breakfast where the wife had died. Evidently she didn't like where I put my shampoo bottle and would throw it in the bathtub while I was standing there. I was putting on my make-up and looked over my shoulder. I apologized for not doing as she wished and that I would move it. Once I did, she never threw it again. The staff there said she would rattle the pans in the kitchen if they put them up wrong. Guess they like their things as they had them in life.