April 2006 Page 32
Are houses haunted, or are people haunted? I've always wondered about that, but in this case I think I knew the answer. I was 12 years old when a strange phenomenon took place. The year before, my grandmother had passed away. She lived with us for as long as I could remember, and took care of our family while my mom worked full time. She had a very strong presence, was psychic and believed in ghosts. FATE magazine even published a few of her true life experiences.
When she passed, my mom moved all of us from Sacramento to Los Angeles to live with my aunt and uncle until she could find work. That's when we noticed some strange occurrences taking place: Furniture slightly re-arranged when we weren't looking, lights going on and off by themselves, and unexplained noises. We believed grandma had followed us; after all, she never wanted to live alone and was happy taking care of us. She liked being needed.
Then mom found us an apartment. The same things started happening: Lights going on and off, noises at night, etc. I even felt someone lie down beside me in bed one night, but there was no one there. I ran out of the room screaming.
Then came the vase. We found it on the top shelf of the linen closet, shortly after moving in. How come we didn't notice it before? It was small and delicate, and had hand-painted roses on it – grandma's favorite flower. But this was unusual: Inside, it smelled strongly of roses. We decided to place it on the kitchen table as a centerpiece. Not long after that, we discovered this strange phenomenon taking place right before our eyes: Very slowly, over the course of several hours, this vase would fill with water – rose water! The whole kitchen would smell of roses! It felt very eerie at first, but over time it just seemed to be normal. It became a comfortable routine, each of us taking turns emptying it when it would overflow. We told a few people but grew tired of the skepticism so we kept it to ourselves after that.
Finally, one day as I sat alone on the sofa, I asked out loud if it was grandma and to give me a sign if it was. I heard a noise and saw that the vase had tipped over – spilling water all over the table. It scared the daylights out of me but I took it as a sign from her. Several months later, I accidentally dropped it on my way to emptying it into the sink, just as I did so many times before. Naturally, my whole family was furious with me. But grandma continued to let us know she was still around, until we moved from that apartment. Then, the scary stuff stopped and we believed she had moved on. Now, over 30 years later, I still don't tell too many people because I can hardly believe what I saw and heard myself. I've told my kids, but I don't really think they believe me. That’s ok.
you have a paranormal tale to tell?