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Have you had a ghostly encounter?

Posted Thursday, September 13, 2007, at 11:15 PM

Do you believe in ghosts? Have you actually ever seen a ghost, thought you might possibly have seen a ghost or are you uncertain as to whether or not you saw a ghost?

I'll admit I don't believe in ghosts…and for those who believe I suppose I should also admit one or more ghosts could be with me at the moment and I wouldn't realize I had some unusual company.

Many years ago I went with a group of young people who wanted me to see the ghost along the railroad track in Chapel Hill when the Chapel Hill Light was at its peak.

Another time I went with a deputy to rid a Shelbyville home of ghosts.

My third ghostly encounter, if that is a proper term, pertains to something I captured on film while taking a very serious picture.

While with the young people at the Chapel Hill Light, I set up a camera with very large lens attached at their request for the purpose of taking a long time exposure of the ghost along the tracks.

Several people were there, some who had been there many times, all wanting to see the ghost doing his thing.

I saw what they were referring to as the ghost and then, being a non-believer, looked for the source of the light along those shiny tracks. It didn't take long. What I saw was the lights from a car on a road in the vicinity of the tracks, possibly with lights on bright, striking those shiny tracks sometime on one track and then on the other. Nope, I didn't even tell them what I was seeing as opposed to what they were attributing to a ghost with a lantern.

The time I helped the deputy rid the home of ghosts was really pitiful. A poor elderly widow was hallucinating. He explained to me on the way there he was only going to try to help her find some peace and get some rest.

We devised a plan to get rid of the ghosts.

Bless her heart, she pointed out four of them hiding in various places in her living room. I recall one was under a small cushion on her couch and another in a magazine rack and really can't remember now where the others were hiding.

One by one we captured them. After a brief struggle we would take them out to his patrol car and slam the door so she could hear it. We felt almost ashamed of ourselves as she thanked us profusely. But it worked. The dear sweet lady got some rest that night.

I won't mention the particulars of the case for fear of offending a family that has suffered enough. It was routine crime scene pictures of a murder victim. When printing the pictures in the darkroom I noticed something on the wall above the victim, a light area that resembled angel wings.

My first thought was a tiny piece of lint on the negative. I carefully brushed off the negative and printed it again. The wings were still there. I washed that particular negative again. I printed it the third time and the wings remained on the wall. It was eerie, but I still attribute it to a flaw in the negative, bad developing or perhaps glare from the flash on a certain place on the wall.

Have you ever had a ghostly encounter? Tell us about it.


Comments
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Not sure if this counts as a ghostly experience but I was at home with my small child by myself. I was watching television as I had just put my little girl down to sleep. I changed the channel and noticed the date on the screen, it was my grandfathers birthday, he had been dead for a little over a year. I got a musical angel at his funeral that sat on a shelf in my living room. I called my sister to remind her it was his birthday and just as soon as we hung up the phone the angel started playing Amazing Grace. That's a little freaky, if you ask me. Is it ghost activity? Perhaps. Who am I to know?

-- Posted by sambntn on Fri, Sep 14, 2007, at 8:20 AM

Interesting.

I forgot one of my most interesting of all but I can explain the Times-Gazette ghost. On cold fall or winter nights there is, or was when I was there, a sound that seemed to be someone coming through the front door, walking up a stairway to the attic of the building and suddenly stopping.

Heat for the building once came from the old cheese plant on Deery Street. This came through some pipes. The noise apparently came from those old pipes making a cracking sound at a certain temperature.

It really scared some young sports reporters the first time they heard the sound and I wasn't in the building to explain it to them.

-- Posted by bomelson on Fri, Sep 14, 2007, at 8:47 AM

I can imagine it did.

-- Posted by sambntn on Fri, Sep 14, 2007, at 10:40 AM

As a small child during WWII I can remember that my Grandmother had a red fox furpiece that was worn around her neck and she kept it up in the attic. She told me that it's name was "Old raw meat and bloody bones", and on several occasions when I was being somewhat rowdy she would tell me that if I did not settle down Old raw meat and bloody bones was going to come down from the attic and get me. It always seemed to work. Believe in ghosts. I do not know, but I do know that I believed Old raw meat and bloody bones would get me.

-- Posted by leeiii on Fri, Sep 14, 2007, at 2:45 PM

My grandmother appeared to me and to my daughter many years after her death. It was a rough time in my life at the time. Although nothing was said, I knew she was there with me. It was a kind of white light, but her face was very clear. Also my grandson who is 2 years old has been visited by my father, although he passed away 3 years before my grandson was born. My grandson told me his name (he was never referred to by his given name, only Papa) and showed me his picture. I definitely believe in ghosts.

-- Posted by mindyg on Fri, Sep 14, 2007, at 3:18 PM

Leeii, I think we may have the same grandmother, LOL. My Dad used to refer to someone as "raw meat and bloody bones".

I believe somewhat. My son is three and he has a bear that was given to him by his great grandmother (a woman who I adored even though she was an in law) sadly, she died when my son was less than a year old. I kept the bear in his toy box and all the times I have gone thru that thing I just will not throw that away. I just won't. It came from a special woman to her first and only great grandchild. Even though his father and I have since divorced I keep that bear. I have never told my son where this bear came from, he never showed much interest in it. One morning I went into his room to wake him up and to my suprise he had a firm grasp on this bear. I asked him "where did you get that?" expecting an answer like "out of the toybox last night." Instead he said "Nanny Jane". I shook my head in disbelief and said "who?" he repeated "Nanny Jane gave it to me" I said "when?" he said "last night".

It may just be wishful thinking but I really believe Nanny did come see him. He is the spitting image of his dad, whom she raised. I think she came to see him.

I told my ex husband and he cried like a baby and said "I dreamed about her last night."

-- Posted by LauraSFT on Fri, Sep 14, 2007, at 3:51 PM

I just love to read these stories. Although I don't have real stories of my own, my friends and I did go to Chapel Hill one night to see the light. I was too afraid that we were going to get arrested.

-- Posted by keeleygraves on Fri, Sep 14, 2007, at 4:35 PM

Bo, I love to read these stories you are blogging about. I along with many others that grew up in Bedford County made many treks out to see the Chapel Hill Lights in late 70's. I also agree that the old T-G darkroom was a spooky place back during the late 70's. You taught me how to process b&w film in 1978 and and I was sure there were ghost roaming around due to all the creaks and cracking noises that I heard. When you were alone in the buiding late at night after all the ballgrams, IT WAS SPOOKY! Thanks for the memories and thank you for starting me on the path to a career in photography that continues 28 years later.

-- Posted by Bjaj1 on Fri, Sep 14, 2007, at 9:04 PM

My grand mother lived in a house in Raus, That every night she would shut and lock all the doors and windows, then the next morning they would all be standing open. If anyone was in the kitchen, the cabinets and the drawers would open, all she would do was quitely walk over and close them, just like it was something normal.I was a very small child when I first saw this and it scared me silly..needless to say I never stayed much with my grandmother.

Does anyone in here remember Simon Warner? or Granny Jones?

-- Posted by Dianatn on Sat, Sep 15, 2007, at 12:04 PM

I'm sure others will remember Simon Warner and events surrounding his death. He was present when I got a well-deserved whipping and I doubt he looked into the future and knew it was going to happen.

He came to our home to ask about an old pickup truck he wanted to buy.

I knew who he was and that he was supposed to be a fortune teller. He asked if my father was at home and my reply was, "You ought to know."

My father was walking to the door and heard what I said to Mr. Warner.

Before there was any talk about the truck I got a few whacks on the back of my lap.

As I mentioned earlier, I don't think he could have foreseen that whipping but equally sure it didn't bother him at all.

Didn't he have a place of business on Bridge Street? That street should bring back some memories.

-- Posted by bomelson on Sat, Sep 15, 2007, at 4:21 PM

Simon was my grandmother's brother, on my fathers side. I only vaguely remember him..but he did have a business in town, although I had to ask my Mom where it was and she said the road where you turn to go up to the square from the river bridge. She said there were a lot of small stores on that street back in those days and it was called Bridge Street. Mom's memory isn't that great she is 87 years old so that might not be the street you are talking about, Bo.

I remember my dad use to talk about Simon a lot he had many stories about some of the things he had personally seen Simon do..evn though Daddy's been dead for 16 years I still hold his stories close to my heart.

Granny Jones was Simon's half sister..she was a scary lady. I remember some people use to call her the snake lady.

-- Posted by Dianatn on Sat, Sep 15, 2007, at 4:45 PM

"ghosts" doubt it, maybe time flucuations created by traumatic experiences brought on my the nervous systems impulses in the brain, maybe.

-- Posted by Evil Monkey on Sun, Sep 16, 2007, at 1:44 PM

I was going through a rough time quite a few years ago and I was laying on my back in my bed one night crying cause I wasn't sure what was gonna happen to me and I was afraid. All of a sudden I saw my mother's face and she said everything is going to be fine and she was gone. As she promised everything turned out fine. My mom always looked out for me. This happened several months after she passed away and that was only one of the times she let me know she was there.

-- Posted by shauna4040 on Tue, Sep 18, 2007, at 7:28 AM

I do not subscribe to the skeptic view that ghosts do not exist and there is no life after death. It is simply illogical. Our brains run on electricity. Our thoughts and memories are all stored chemically, by means of electrical reaction in our brains. Now, one of our basic, fundamental laws of science states that energy can neither be created, nor destroyed. But matter can be transformed into energy (although science has yet to figure out much about going in the other direction) with relative ease. So, what happens to the energy that makes up our thoughts and essence when we physically die? It continues on. Disembodied. Science has yet to fully explain the secrets of the human brain. This transformation is one of them.

Personal experiences... I've heard a man moan on death row in a ancient prison, when no one else was there, except my fiancee. She's not much of a ventriloquist, so it was not that difficult to rule her out as a source of the sound.

I've seen shadows move across the room in my home, when no one but myself and the dog laying next to me where there to make them.

I've made films in the house, only to have mysterious balls of light flying around in the frames, when I rewind and watch the tape. Neither myself or the subject of the films saw anything out of the ordinary, while we were filming.

I've experienced the smell of a citrus tree, in a graveyard, in the dead of winter, again with witnesses.

Nothing earth shattering. But then, I don't have the perceptive ability that some do. I don't SEE free floating, full torso apparitions.

But just because Abe Lincoln doesn't pop up and say hi, doesn't mean he doesn't still exist in some form.

There are many more skeptics than believers. There always will be. But at some point in the near future, science is going to figure out how to measure and codify a spirit's existence. And then those of us that already knew will just smile. And NOT say "I told you so."

-- Posted by hall442 on Tue, Sep 18, 2007, at 10:15 AM

But just because Abe Lincoln doesn't pop up and say hi, doesn't mean he doesn't still exist in some form.

HILLARIOUS!!!

-- Posted by LauraSFT on Tue, Sep 18, 2007, at 12:09 PM

Bridge Street came off in the middle of the square between Gunter Lumber and Taylor's Grocery. There was another street that came off the square at the NW corner going in the same direction down toward what we know today as Cannon Blvd (Atkinson St.) If I remember correctly Simon Warner's place of business was close to the corner of Atkinson and the street that came off the square. The actual location was on the land where the Chamber of Commerce sits today.

The story that I will always remember about Simon Warner is "the lost calf". Back in the day there were a lot of country folks who believed in Simon Warner's skills as a fortune teller. As the story goes there was a farmer who had lost a calf and he called on Simon Warner to help him locate it. Simon told him to go out to the haystack and dig into the hay and he would find his calf. He did and there it was. That was a good common sense answer because the further the livestock ate into the haystack, that was formed around a haypole, the more it was likely that the hay would drop down and cover whatever was under it. However, people were convinced that Simon Warner had done it again. Simon Warner's Mother was my Great Aunt I think.

-- Posted by leeiii on Tue, Sep 18, 2007, at 3:13 PM

Simon Warner's Mother was my Great Aunt I think.

Really? She was my Great Grandmother. She died when I was in elementary school. But I remember going to see her she lived in a house behind the old Burger Chef, to the side of Willow Mount Cemetery.

-- Posted by Dianatn on Tue, Sep 18, 2007, at 3:23 PM

Dianatn if you will get in touch with me we might possibly be able to share some geneological information. You can get my e-mail address from Bo.

-- Posted by leeiii on Tue, Sep 18, 2007, at 4:00 PM

I have tried to email you a couple of times leiii and it comes back every time and says Fatal error..no address found?

-- Posted by Dianatn on Thu, Sep 20, 2007, at 10:14 AM

Dianatn I have given Bo my e-mail address. I do not know what the problem is because I am still getting e-mail from other sources. I know that the e-mail address is correct because I got an e-mail from Bo the other day.

-- Posted by leeiii on Thu, Sep 20, 2007, at 10:36 AM

Dianatn one possibility is that you may be adding a "s" to the end of my e-mail address just before the "at" symbol. If that is the case try leaving the "s" off.

-- Posted by leeiii on Thu, Sep 20, 2007, at 12:06 PM

ok I will try again when I get home because I at work and your email is at home.

-- Posted by Dianatn on Thu, Sep 20, 2007, at 2:49 PM

Well, well, well, a small world I reckon. For some unknown reason I got Simon Warner on my pea size brain tonight, typed in a query about him and landed here. And seems that a large portion of this board is kin to him. Kinda feel like a stranger. Oh well, I'm not kinfolk, but at least I lived next door to the man on West Lane for the better part of two years, during WW2.

Wasn't he killed by a client who said Simon had "put a spell on him", and he didn't have the money to get the spell removed?

-- Posted by ilikeoldsongs on Fri, Jul 3, 2009, at 10:22 PM

ilikeoldsongs, I discovered in a couple of e-mail exchanges with Dianatn that my Warners and her Warners do not connect. If they do, it is further back in my genealogy than I have been able to go.

I too have heard the story about him being killed by a client that claimed Simon had put a spell on him, but I can not verify it's authenticity.

-- Posted by leeiii on Sat, Jul 4, 2009, at 12:13 PM

Thanks, leeiii, appreciate the response.

-- Posted by ilikeoldsongs on Sat, Jul 4, 2009, at 12:33 PM

Y'all are bringing back old memories. I'm enjoying

your blogs.

I went to school with Simon Jr., think he was a year younger. I remember he had a pet monkey that

rode on his shoulder. I wonder if he still lives here?

Didn't Simon Sr gain fame in Life or Look magazine

for helping law enforcement locate a woman's body?

I remember hearing that as a child.

I think the man that shot him, was from Alabama. He shot him thru the screen door. I remember riding past there with my Daddy after it happened.

-- Posted by katydid on Sat, Jul 4, 2009, at 3:44 PM

He was killed by a man whom thought Simon had put a spell on him. He was my great grandad and my dad ( Simons grandson) removers this very well.

-- Posted by Eddiebullets on Sat, Jan 4, 2014, at 12:17 AM

Hello, I am Simon T. Warners granddaughter. I do have the proof of his client Mose Martin shooting him. My mother, kept the newspaper clippings and a detective magazine that had the story and a picture of my mom (Doris) .I do have some geanology on the family. I would like very much to get in touch with anyone that will talk to me about my grandfather. I was young when he died and am looking for anyone with a story. I would really appreciate it. Thank you

-- Posted by dreyfus on Wed, Feb 19, 2014, at 11:42 PM


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Bo Melson is a retired sports and police beat editor of the Times-Gazette. He passed away November 15, 2014, at age 81.
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