The creepiest, strangest and best stories of 2022, so far, are the focus of this week’s Campfire!
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JIM HAROLD: Our strangest stories of 2022 so far, next up on the Campfire.
Welcome to our gathering tonight. Here we share stories of ordinary people who have experienced extraordinary things. Sit back, relax, and warm yourself by Jim Harold’s Campfire.
JIM HAROLD: Welcome to the Campfire. I am Jim Harold and so glad to be with you once again. Every once in a while, we like to do a “best of” show, and this week, for my birthday week, I decided I was going to take a little bit of time off, but I wanted to make sure that we continued to deliver the goods with a Campfire. We thought it would be a good time – we’re about at mid-year now, believe it or not – to look back to 2022 and feature some of our wildest, some of our spookiest, some of our strangest stories of the year so far. So that’s exactly what we’re doing today. Enjoy these great Campfire stories.
Next up on the Campfire is Cheri from my hometown, Cleveland, Ohio. So cool. Her daughter Lauren told her about the show, and Cheri says now she is just binging and listening to one after the other, and we’re so glad to hear it. Cheri, welcome to the show. You have a spooky story about a woman in white.
CHERI: I do, and in the end you’ll find out who she was because after years I found out who this woman was.
JIM HAROLD: Cool.
CHERI: It started in Charleston, West Virginia. We lived in Charleston, West Virginia for one year for my husband’s work. We hadn’t been married very long and didn’t have a ton of money, but we rented a little house. It was a very cute little house in the mountains on the side of Charleston, and it wasn’t fancy and it did not have air conditioning. And that summer was one of the hottest summers on record. It was just – there were days and days that didn’t go under 100 degrees. Without air conditioning, that was pretty hard to handle.
One night, we both had jobs and we couldn’t sleep because of the heat, and we had a house guest in the guest bedroom. I was trying to sleep. You know that feeling when you can’t sleep, so you’re flopping from your back to your stomach to your back?
JIM HAROLD: Oh yeah.
CHERI: I said, “Great, now I’m only going to get five hours of sleep,” and “Oh great, now I’m only going to get four hours of sleep.” I know I wasn’t dreaming. I wasn’t sleeping. One time when I flopped from my stomach to my back, there, above me, inches from my face, was a woman. It was so burned in my memory that I can picture her today. She was just staring at me. Studying me. That would be a better description. She was studying my face.
I screamed. I screamed bloody murder. My husband woke up – I don’t know if he was sleeping, but he goes, “What? What?” I told him, and I was so frightened. And my husband isn’t one for nonsense. Normally he would tell me, “You were dreaming. Go back to sleep, leave me alone.” But he could see how afraid I was, and he let me turn on all the lights. We turned on the television and we watched silly old sitcoms. In those days, you didn’t have much choice; you just watched whatever was on at that time of the morning. Probably like I Love Lucy sitcoms.
Finally I calmed down and I said, “I think we should try at least to get a couple hours of sleep. I think I’m okay now. Let’s try again to sleep.” So we turned the TV off, and minutes after we settled down, in the guest bedroom, we heard our guest screaming, “Get out of here! Get out of here! Get out of my room! Go away!”
JIM HAROLD: Ooh.
CHERI: I said to my husband, “You’d better go check on that.” [laughs] He did, and he went into the room and he said, “What’s wrong?” Our guest said, “Get her out of here, get her out of here!” She was not really awake, so my husband came back in and said, “I don’t know what that was. This is such a weird night.” I don’t think we ever did fall asleep.
So for years, this was the family ghost story. When my daughter was a little girl and we’d go camping with the Girl Scouts or whatever, or girls would stay over, they’d say, “Tell us the ghost story” and I would tell the story. And for years and years, all of my daughter Lauren’s friends would hear this story.
Fast forward to Lauren being in college. One of her friends, Ginger – we took them out to dinner when they were home for a break or something, and we were sitting at the table in the restaurant, and Ginger said, “Tell me the ghost story.” I said, “Oh, Ginger, you’ve heard this story a million times.” She said, “No, I want to hear it. And tell me, what did she look like?” I said, “Oh, I’ll tell you what she looked like. I’ll never forget what she looked like.”
And then, all of a sudden, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I looked over and I looked at Lauren, and it was Lauren. It was my daughter.
JIM HAROLD: It was your daughter that you saw all those years before.
CHERI: Well, the kicker – I didn’t realize it till Lauren grew up and became a woman, but here’s the kicker. That summer – Lauren was born exactly nine months from that night.
JIM HAROLD: Oh man.
CHERI: It’s all true. My daughter is very fair. The woman had very blonde hair, pulled tight back just like my daughter wears it now. She wears it up. She was really slight. My daughter is very – delicate bones and everything and kind of sharper features. It was her. My daughter came to me before she was born.
JIM HAROLD: Wow, that’s the ultimate headscratcher. That is awesome. I love it.
CHERI: That’s my story. That’s it.
JIM HAROLD: It reminds me of a story that we had years ago where a woman – it was kind of the other way around, almost. She had a dream. The way she interpreted it, she thought she was a baby in a stroller and she was at an amusement park with her mom. Her mom had on this very distinct dress. I think it might’ve had polka dots, but something one-of-a-kind, like something you could talk to people decades later and say, “I remember that dress.”
Anyway, when she was older, she asked her mom, “I keep having this memory. I must’ve been a baby, and you were wearing this” – I’ll just say; I don’t remember what it was – “pink polka-dotted dress.” It might be a different color, but that was the gist of it. And her mom said, “Yeah, I did go to a carnival one time when I had a dress just like you’re describing, and I was pregnant with you.”
CHERI: Wow. I ove that.
JIM HAROLD: Works both ways.
CHERI: I love that so much. I just think we’re all souls out there in the universe, and energy doesn’t die. I believe – who knows?
JIM HAROLD: Who knows indeed. But stories this really give a great opportunity to think about those questions and remind ourselves that maybe life isn’t exactly what we think it is.
CHERI: That’s right.
JIM HAROLD: Cheri, thank you, and thanks to Lauren for being a major part of this story. We appreciate it.
CHERI: Thanks for having me. It was really fun.
JIM HAROLD: Next up on the Campfire is Lili, calling from my home state, Ohio, and we are so glad to have her with us. Her mom, Jen, told her about the show. Lili has become a loyal listener, so Jen, we appreciate it very, very much. And that’s what happens. You see things span a generation, a daughter tells a mother, a mother tells a daughter, a sister, an uncle, whoever, or a friend tells another friend, and then not only do we get more listeners, we get more great stories like the one we’re about to hear from Lili.
Lili has worked in a healthcare environment, and I’m fascinated by these kinds of stories. We’ve had stories in hospitals and things in the past, and I can’t wait to hear this one. Lili, welcome to the show. Thank you for joining us from Ohio, and tell us what happened.
LILI: Thanks for having me, Jim. Like you said, this was in Cleveland, Ohio. At the time, I was working in a very large hospital downtown. I’m a respiratory therapist, so we do all kinds of stuff. At the time, I was working in the ICUs. We managed the ventilators, the life support machines. When these patients are real, real critical, I see patients – if they have to be transported to x-ray, CT scan, you have to have a respiratory therapist accompanying you with the portable ventilator.
On this day, I was helping, assisting getting a patient to the CAT scan. I’m rolling the portable ventilator. We roll into where the elevators are, and on the right there’s a large cargo elevator, and then on the left there’s a couple of smaller passenger elevators. We’re taking the larger elevator, and the doors open and we back in. So I go in first with the nurse, at the head of the bed. At the same time, there’s a small group of people loading into one of the passenger elevators.
So we’re backing into the elevator and I have my back against the wall of the elevator, and then this other group of people – there’s probably like five or six people getting into the passenger elevator. They walk in, and at the back of that group of people I see someone who looks very familiar. It was me, essentially.
JIM HAROLD: Whoa.
LILI: I’m looking at this person and we’re making eye contact. We’re staring at each other with the same expression, like “Am I really seeing this? What’s happening?” Then the door to the big elevator that I’m on with the patient and a couple of nurses and the doctor and everything starts closing. It’s sliding shut and I’m leaning as far as I can to the side to maintain eye contact with this other me because I’m just so weirded out, like “What am I looking at right now?” I’m leaning, the doors finally shut, and we go down to the basement and get the patient ready to go and everything. This whole time, I’m thinking, “That was really strange.”
JIM HAROLD: Let me make sure I understand and make sure the listeners understand. You were loading a patient for transport onto a freight elevator, essentially. Across the hall is the passenger elevator, where you would normally go up and down the floors if you weren’t transporting somebody. You’re transporting. You’re facing out towards the passenger elevator. You’re looking, and you see yourself looking back at you.
JIM HAROLD: Wow.
LILI: And this myself looking back at me is at the rear of this small group of people, like five or six people. So it’s not like I’m looking at a mirror image or anything. There was a group of people. That’s why I was bending over as much as I could to get the most time viewing this other me that I can, because I’m just so weirded out. It was the weirdest thing. I wasn’t expecting it, it caught me off guard, it was strange. Yeah, super weird.
It doesn’t end there, too. Eventually – the day’s busy and everything; I stopped thinking about it. Then at the end of the day, I clock out, I walk with the usual group of people I do to the elevator to go to the parking garage to go home. We go into one of the small elevators across the way from the freight elevator, the cargo, the big one. At the same time, there is a group of workers still on the clock rolling a patient into the cargo elevator, backing in.
I go into the passenger elevator, the smaller one, and I’m at the back, and I can see across the way into the cargo elevator, the big one, and there is this person standing at the back of the elevator, rolling the portable ventilator… and it’s myself again.
Then the door to the big elevator starts closing, and this person in the cargo elevator, the very similar person to me, is leaning over, leaning over, trying to get the best look of me in the passenger elevator as they can until the doors shut. Same thing, I’m just staring at them like, “That’s another me staring at me from across the way.” I can’t look away either. We’re making eye contact and just staring with no expression at each other.
Finally, the elevator I’m in, the small one, the passenger one that I’m in with a group of my coworkers, we’re going down to the parking garage – I just was taken aback for a second, thinking – this was in the same day.
JIM HAROLD: That’s amazing.
LILI: This was just maybe five or six hours earlier from when I was leaving work. First of all, of course, I wasn’t expecting the first thing to happen. And then I see it again, so I’m like, “Okay, did I just see my doppelganger? Did I time travel?”
JIM HAROLD: I was about to say, it seems like the first time, you looked into the future and saw yourself in the passenger elevator, and then when you were actually in the passenger elevator, you were looking back in time and seeing yourself transporting the patient.
LILI: Yeah, that’s exactly it.
JIM HAROLD: Wow.
LILI: It was the same group of people. I didn’t pay attention to many details or anything, but it was the same kind of circumstances. They backed into the elevator. There was the same amount of people transporting the patient and so on. The first time, when I went down with the patient earlier, when I saw the me, I’m like, “Oh my God, did I see my doppelganger? I thought that was bad luck to see your doppelganger.”
Then when it happened later on in the day, I’m thinking, was this just something I somehow managed to be in two places at once? Was this a glitch in the universe? To this day I’m still bamboozled by it. This was several years ago.
JIM HAROLD: I get being bamboozled. The closest thing I’ve ever heard to that, one of the closest things – I’ve heard a couple things, but the one that comes to mind was a Campfire story, but there were years separating it. Basically, the story was this – and you may or may not have heard it. It was a young man who remembered when he was a little boy, he was running through the hall and went by his kitchen and he saw a hooded figure who was appearing to make a peanut butter sandwich. He ran away right away because it scared him. It’s like, “Who’s this person in a hoodie in my kitchen making a peanut butter sandwich?”
Fast forward several years later, he’s minding his own business, he’s in the kitchen, he’s a teenager, he’s making himself a peanut butter sandwich with his hoodie on, and he looks and he sees this little figure run through the hall and then run away just as fast.
LILI: That’s it. That’s exactly – that’s it.
JIM HAROLD: Except it was years later, not hours later. But it’s the same principle.
LILI: Yeah, exactly. I heard this thing in stories I’ve read or heard or things like that – I’ve always heard people say that they think mirrors are portals. I thought that was interesting. But I always thought that elevators were portals in some kind of way because it’s like a closed-off, tiny space where things can happen. You have that anxiety of being stuck. I don’t know. That might sound weird to some people, but that’s what I always thought too. And I thought that before this whole weird story happened.
JIM HAROLD: You freaked me out so much – I’m in my Spooky Studio and it’s soundproof, but I do have a window here that I have open, and I’m looking out and it’s nighttime. And as soon as we get off the phone, Lili, I’m going to close the window. I’m afraid of what I’ll see. Ooh, chills.
LILI: [laughs] Yeah. My mom, who introduced me to you, was always very spiritual. She still is. That piqued my interest, passed down to me and everything. So that might be why that happened. But I’ve had various other interesting things happen like that. This was probably one of the weirdest things.
JIM HAROLD: I think so. Lili, this is an instant Campfire classic story, all-time great story.
JIM HAROLD: Thank you so much for joining us tonight on the Campfire and sharing it with us.
LILI: Absolutely. Thanks for having me. This was fun.
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JIM HAROLD: Next up on the Campfire is Gina from the Chicago area. She’s been listening since the lockdown and has become a Plus member and is a faithful listener, so we do appreciate it. And tonight, although she has many stories, tonight she wants to share a family story. I think these are some of the most powerful stories we hear on the show. Gina, welcome aboard. Thank you for joining us, and please tell us your story.
GINA: Thank you so much, Jim. I am so happy to be here. I just love your podcast.
JIM HAROLD: Thank you.
GINA: I chose this very simple, very short story because to me, a lot of us have what we consider visitation dreams from relatives, and then we try to explain it away. We say, “Oh, I miss them. Maybe it’s just a dream. I’m making it up. I’m just imagining it.” But to me, this story proves that it actually is a visit from our loved ones and not just us dreaming.
Let me give a little background, because the actually story is maybe 60 seconds long. I think it would help if I just gave a couple minutes’ background on it, though. This actually happened in the 1960s. This is my uncle on my father’s side. My father was the youngest of nine. Their parents were immigrants from what was Austria / Hungary at the time, but then became Czechoslovakia. They were salt-of-the-earth, stoic, very conservative Catholic, quiet – the least dramatic people you could imagine. They were not fanciful, they were not superstitious. They would never have intentionally talked about something paranormal or ghosts or anything like that.
So the fact that my grandmother, which is my dad’s mom, told this story to every one of her children the next day after it happened, and that this story has come down – it’s never been changed, it’s never been altered – the fact that she said it really means a lot because everyone knows how she is and how sensible she is.
The story is my Uncle Joe – this is my dad’s older brother, Joe – first of all, when he was alive, if you mentioned his name, they said, “Joe’s a saint. Joe is a saint.” And they didn’t say it euphemistically. They really meant Joe is a saint. Joe fought in World War II, came back, opened a tavern, and never had a lot of money and would give the shirt off his back. If a stranger came in and said, “I wish I had a bus to go visit my relatives,” he would take the last money in his pocket and give it to them to buy a bus ticket. He was, literally, everyone said, a saint.
He passed before I was born, but I feel like I know him just from everyone keeping him alive. He was just an exceptional, exceptionally good man. Joe died at age 37 from a brain aneurysm. I’m sorry, I think it was brain cancer. He left a young wife and three very small children. His wife was very close to Joe’s mother, her mother-in-law.
Not long after Joe passed – maybe a year, maybe a year and a half – she met another man. As she should. She was very young and had three little young children in the 1960s. Of course she wanted to remarry. But she was so close to her mother-in-law, my grandmother, she wanted her permission. So she said, “Mom, can I bring this man by for dinner? Can you have dinner with us? Can you meet him and get to know him? I really want your approval if this is the next man I’m going to marry.”
That’s unusual right there. Like, what? [laughs] What widow asks her dead husband’s mother for her approval on her next husband? But that’s what she wanted. She was so close to my grandmother. So my grandmother of course said, “Yes, I’d love to have him for dinner. You guys can come tomorrow.”
My grandmother goes to bed that night, and she says that she had a dream – now, she never actually said “dream.” She said, “Joe came to me last night.” So we don’t know if this actually was a dream or if she was just in her bedroom and this felt like it actually happened to her. But she said that her dead son Joe walked into her bedroom, sat down next to her on her bed, put his hand on her hand, and they just sat together for a few minutes and said nothing.
There was no telepathic communication. There was no verbal communication. But she just felt the love from him. She felt how okay he was. Just wonderful being in his presence again. And that was it. Then he got up and left.
One unusual thing that really stuck with her after this brief experience with her dead son is that he was dressed like he would never dress in real life. Joe was as casual as you get. He owned a bar. He was in jeans, a casual shirt, and a leather jacket. He only owned one suit, for weddings and church or whatever. He never dressed up. But the Joe that came into her bedroom had a really swanky, nice suit on, a colorful patterned tie, a hat with a colorful band on it and a handkerchief in the pocket of his jacket. She noticed this because she knows her son, and he would never have dressed this way.
She woke up thinking, “That’s odd.” I’m sure she explained it away as, “I must’ve been dreaming. Why would I have dreamt him wearing these clothes that I know he would never wear?”
Later that evening, Joe’s widow, her daughter-in-law, comes in with this new man that she wants to marry – and wouldn’t you know, he walks into her front room of her house and he is wearing exactly the same outfit that Joe was wearing in the dream, down to everything – the color of the tie, the type of suit, the hat, the band on the hat, everything. And it all became so clear to her. That was Joe obviously saying, “Yes, I approve. This is going to be her next husband.”
She immediately told my aunt and several other of my dad’s siblings that very next night after this gentleman left because she just couldn’t believe this. She told them right away, and I got the story right from my Aunt Jane, who was told that very night. And this story has never changed, even though this is back in the ’60s. It’s a simple, short story. There’s not much to get wrong. So it’s stayed the same.
It’s just so beautiful to me because to me, that proves it. She wasn’t a psychic woman. Even that man probably didn’t know what he was going to wear. It had to be Joe visiting her. How would she possibly have known what that man was going to wear?
If you have two more minutes, there’s another story about the same uncle.
JIM HAROLD: Yeah, go ahead.
GINA: Joe was already passed. This is the same uncle, Joe. There’s a great-aunt – she wasn’t hat old, though. I think early seventies. She was in the hospital having a very routine procedure. I think this was in the late ’60s, early ’70s. Very routine procedure. She was in, she was going to spend one night and then go home the next day.
My dad was the one who was supposed to come pick her up the next day. He waited till after the procedure was over; he goes into the hospital to see how she is. She’s sitting up, she’s eating, she’s talking. He said, “Hey, I’m glad it went so great. That’s wonderful. They say they’re going to release you tomorrow. I’m going to come pick you up the next day. I’ll be bringing you back and you’ll stay with us for a little bit.”
She was very chipper, very healthy and everything, had an easy procedure, no problems. She said, “Oh, no, I’m going to be dead tomorrow.”
JIM HAROLD: Whoa.
GINA: He of course said, “Oh, she must be on medication or she’s being silly or dramatic.” He said, “No, no, of course you’re not. Everything went well. They tell me they’re releasing you tomorrow. I’ll be here to pick you up.”
She said, “No, Georgie” – that was my dad’s name – “no, Georgie,” and she touched his hand and she said, “Joe came to me last night. He walked into my hospital room wearing a bright white suit and he said it’s my time and he’s going to come get me tomorrow.” My dad was touched and he was emotional, but he didn’t want to show it. He didn’t want to show her that he might have believed it. He said, “No, it was a dream. You’re fine. I’m going to come get you tomorrow.”
My dad went home, and she passed away that night.
JIM HAROLD: Wow.
GINA: So that was the second appearance by Uncle Joe, who everyone considered to be a saint. We just always feel in our family like he’s watching out for us.
JIM HAROLD: I guess so. That thing about the suit – at first I thought that’s just showing he’s dressing up fancy to go to a wedding. But then when you doubled back and said the would-be husband dressed in the same exact suit and all the accoutrements, that was amazing to me.
GINA: Yeah, and I thought about it, and here’s what’s beautiful. If in that dream he would’ve come in and sat on her bed and said, “I approve of this man. I think it’s great. I think she should marry him,” that couldn’t have meant as much because she could still explain that away. She could still say, “Oh, I just dreamed him saying that. I wanted him to say that so I dreamed it.” But this was powerful. This was like, “It had to be Joe. How could I have known that that man would be wearing that suit?” So by not saying anything and just wearing the same clothes as that man, it was so much more powerful and convincing. And she’s the kind of woman that would’ve needed that convincing because she’s the type that would’ve explained away everything as just a dream.
JIM HAROLD: Right. It’s the ultimate validation.
GINA: Yes. So that’s why I chose that story.
JIM HAROLD: Good choice. I know you have more stories. If they’re anything like that one, we do want to have you come back. Gina, thank you for being a part tonight of the Campfire.
GINA: Thank you so much. It was my pleasure, Jim.
JIM HAROLD: Stephen is on the line from County Down in Northern Ireland. We love to hear from our international callers. It’s fantastic. I love the fact that we have this worldwide electronic Campfire. But it’s only possible because of Stephen and people like him, people who call in with their stories. Stephen, you have a remarkable story that you sent along to me. Could you please share it?
STEPHEN: I’ll give you the backdrop. Living here in Belfast in Northern Ireland, it was during the time of the Sectarian Conflict, which people would know as the Troubles. Belfast City Centre was a very dangerous place for anybody to be in, whether you were from the Protestant or Catholic communities.
My friend and I were both 14-year-old Protestant kids. We were involved in the punk scene in Belfast, and it was New Year’s Eve 1980. One of the local bands were playing in the Pine Club in Belfast City Centre. It was a good distance from where we lived. We went along and had a great evening. Everybody was enjoying themselves. Because we were 14, our parents had made it clear to us that we had to be home by midnight, and to do that we needed to get the last bus leaving the City Centre, which was about 11 o’clock.
Because we were involved in punk, it was a big thing in Belfast for us at the time, and we were incredibly proud of it. We were the generation who broke the mold. We stopped out of the Sectarian Conflict. We mixed with Protestant/Catholic kids, middle class kids, working class kids, gay kids. Right up until 1983, it was illegal to be gay in Northern Ireland. It was a life sentence.
JIM HAROLD: Oh my.
STEPHEN: It was incredible, it was horrible. But we threw that back in their faces and we got on with it and did our own thing. It was a big thing for us. When you’re that age, it’s very exciting.
So we’re well into the evening and we’re enjoying ourselves, and my friend Terry came running up to me. He screamed in my ear – I was with my girlfriend at the time, Maria Kelly, a young Catholic girl from the other side of Belfast. He screamed, “Steve-o, we’ve got to go. It’s a quarter to eleven. We’ve got to go.” So we ran out of the club onto Oxford Street where the bus stop was. Just as we turned onto Oxford Street, we saw the bus pulling away from the stop. We’d missed it. That was the last bus. We had no money. We couldn’t have got a cab home.
We were really frightened at that point, like, “Oh God, what are we going to do? We’re stuck here.” We had to make the decision that we were going to walk home. To get home, we would’ve had to go through two Catholic ghettos. Very, very dangerous for young Protestants. To be fair, for a young Catholic to walk through a Protestant ghetto would’ve been equally as dangerous. People in the United States and other parts of the world listening to this might think it’s ridiculous, but it really was a matter of life and death.
JIM HAROLD: I remember when I was young, you would hear so much about the violence in Northern Ireland. So much.
STEPHEN: We were living and breathing it. We were 14; we had no real concept of how dangerous it was really, but we knew it was bad. But all of a sudden, it was in our face that we weren’t traveling in our dad’s car, or we weren’t traveling in a bus going through these areas. We were going to have to walk. It was quite different.
So we decided to go to the Lagan backroad. Lagan backroad was a small road along the edge of the River Lagan, which runs right through the city. It goes to the east region, which would take us towards where we needed to go. Going that way, we only had to go through one Catholic ghetto, which is called the Short Strand. It’s just on the corner of the Lagan backroad, at the opposite side of the Albert Bridge.
We decided to go along that way. We got down there, full of bravado. “We’re going to be okay, there’ll be nobody there. We’ll get through it all right. It’ll be fine, it’ll be okay.” Just as we came down to the bridge, we could see a crowd at the bottom. And because it was so incestuous in those ghettos, you would recognize anybody who was a stranger. That would be the presumption, that you were from the other community.
A lot of shouting of derogatory terms for Protestants was coming at us as we could see them. We were really frightened. Just stopped dead in our tracks at that point, like, “What are we going to do?” We’re two 14-year-old kids. This was very, very frightening. We just stood there.
Then all of a sudden this little old lady just appeared on the road on the opposite side. I nearly dropped dead. I couldn’t believe it. She walked straight across the road and she said, “Don’t worry, boys. I’m going to take you up the road. You’ll be okay. Just keep walking in front of me. Don’t say anything. Just keep quiet and keep walking.”
When we got down to the end of the bridge, we could see – and they were grown men. They were a good bit older than us. As soon as we got to that part of the bridge, they just stopped dead, like they’d frozen. There wasn’t a word from them and there wasn’t a movement to them. This old lady was just screaming at them, “They’re children! What’s the matter with you? Don’t you have children of your own? You’re going to attack children? What’s wrong with you?” They just stood there as we went past.
It was a small area, and we got past it and we were heading towards a road called Mountpottinger Road, which was adjacent to Camp Elmore Avenue, which was safe ground for us. As soon as we got there, we were okay. We wouldn’t have been in any danger at that stage.
We turned around to thank her, and she’d gone completely. And there was nowhere she could’ve gone to. There were no off streets or anything else. It was just the bridge. That’s all you could see, a strip of the road going onto the bridge. She couldn’t have gone anywhere. She was completely gone. We were completely shocked and obviously we were frightened, but we were relieved to be in an area where we were safe.
JIM HAROLD: She saved you. No question.
STEPHEN: She did, no question about that. I’m alive today because of her. We got home and we told our family – well past midnight, and they were laughing at us, saying, “You’re stupid. You went to a party and you were drunk.” We said, “No, this happened.” We were the butt of everybody’s jokes for ages. We just stopped telling people in the end because no one believed us and they were making fun of us. In Northern Ireland there’s a dark sense of humor. They make fun of everything and anything. [laughs]
But life goes on and takes over. Terry and I remained friends for a long time. He got married, had a wee family. I got into the music industry. I moved over to New York; I was living in Brooklyn, and I had a job in the city, at a record label.
Round about 2004, my mother’s health was starting to go downhill. I was the only remaining child. My brother passed away and my father was by himself, and he was quite emotional about it, and deeply concerned. She passed away in 2005, so I decided I would stay with my father and try to help him along the way because he was devastated by it.
We went along, it was okay. We started to get good again. And then in 2015, my father unfortunately was diagnosed with dementia. I took a career break to look after him. I didn’t want to put him in a care home. I thought that would be terrible, like putting him in the waiting room hell and running away from him. He wouldn’t have understood what was happening to him. I couldn’t do it.
Subsequently, he passed away in February 2020, just before COVID-19 kicked in. A couple of days before the funeral, an older gentleman arrived in our house. He was a boyhood friend of my father, a gentleman called Billy Lynch. I knew about him because my father had told me all about him, but I’d never met him before. He just turned up out of the blue to pay his respects. He said he’d heard about my dad passing and he wanted to come and pay his respects. It was a very nice thing to do.
We chatted, and he was telling me all these mad stories about him and my father when they were two young boys growing up in Southwest Belfast. Billy was a Catholic, my father was a Protestant. People in the area called them the two Billys because they were full of mischief, doing all sorts of things. The Trouble started in the late 1960s. Because of the Protestant/Catholic thing, they couldn’t remain friends. They just drifted apart.
It got late and I offered to drive home. He’s an elderly gentleman, in his eighties, and I didn’t think it would be a good idea to let him travel on public transport, so I offered him a lift. He told me that he lived in the Short Strand.
I told him about what had happened to my friend and I, and he laughed at me. He said, “Stephen, you met Molly of the night.” “What do you mean?” He told me all about her. She was an elderly lady who died of a broken heart. Her son was murdered on the Lagan backroad in 1971. He said there’d been several occasions when people had seen her and she’d appeared to people. But he said mostly it was people who were about to commit suicide and jump into the river. She’d talk them out of it and walk them to the opposite edge of the bridge.
He said, “That’s the only difference with your story, Stephen. There was no suicide.” I go, “Billy, my friend Terry took his own life on New Year’s Eve 2003.” I just thought, my goodness. That’s not a coincidence. That was something else here. It just shocked me a wee bit. I was fascinated.
To take it a little bit further, the COVID-19 restrictions had kicked in, so I had to wait a couple of weeks before I could get my father’s remains committed to the ground after the cremation. I was going to have to go by myself. Here in Northern Ireland, you weren’t allowed people at the funeral because of the COVID restrictions. But Billy turned up on that morning and he said he didn’t want me being on my own, so he came with me. I was delighted to see him.
I offered him a lift home again, and just as we were leaving the cemetery, he said, “Come over here. I want to show you something.” He took me over to a row of graves, and there it was: Molly’s grave. I said a prayer for her, thanked her for saving my life. When I go up there to visit my father, I always take some flowers and say hello to her, put them down beside her grave. I just thought it was a remarkable thing that someone, somewhere out there, in whatever stratosphere, decided that she would save two young boys who were very vulnerable and in real trouble.
JIM HAROLD: It really is a remarkable story. You hear these stories about people seeing somebody walking along the road. I think one of them – Resurrection Mary is one, I think. But this is very unique, specific. It’s not like this general lore from years ago. This is something that happened really, if you think about it, recently. This woman had just died in ’71, maybe a dozen years before this happened to you. So it was something that living people knew who this was. Just a remarkable story.
STEPHEN: Yep, and then to find out about it 20 odd, 30 years later when the whole thing came together. One of the things we were frightened about – there was a legend in Belfast – I don’t know if you’ve heard about it in America, the Titanic Children.
JIM HAROLD: No.
STEPHEN: When they were building the Titanic, in Ireland or UK, people went to work as soon as they could. There’d be children going to work at maybe 12, 13, 14 years old. There was no Health and Safety Association.
JIM HAROLD: Labor laws, yeah.
STEPHEN: Because they’re so small in stature, they could fit into areas of the ships when they were building them that grown men couldn’t. One of the jobs the children had to do was catch the rivets that didn’t hit. Those rivets were going as fast as bullets, and because they were so far down into the ship, when they picked up speed, they’d kill them. They were killed.
JIM HAROLD: Oh my gosh.
STEPHEN: They were young boys, maybe 10, 12, 13 years old. The legend has it that the ghosts of the Titanic Children appear on the Lagan because the River Lagan is where the Harland & Wolff shipyards were, where they built Titanic. It was always said that if you see the Titanic Children, something will happen.
During World War II, when Belfast was bombed by the Nazis, it was one of the worst bombings in the UK because they tried to bomb the shipyards, and apparently there were several sightings of the Titanic Children all along Lagan Bank that night when the air raid came. People are really frightened of it. If you see one, something awful will happen to you.
JIM HAROLD: It is fascinating. Fascinating stories, and specifically your very personal story. Stephen, thank you so much for being a part of the Campfire.
STEPHEN: Thank you, Jim.
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Follow Jim on Twitter and Instagram @thejimharold and join our Virtual Campfire Facebook group at virtualcampfiregroup.com. Now, back to the Campfire.
JIM HAROLD: James is back on the Campfire. So glad to have him from North Yorkshire, England. So good to talk to him again. He’s also a podcaster with his Fortean News podcast, so check that out. He told us a remarkable story last time about his grandparents in the Second World War, and today he’s going to go in the past, but not quite so far. This one’s from the 1970s. Always interested in the ’70s. Fascinating decade. So good to have James back. Please tell us that groovy story from the 1970s. Thank you for joining us again.
JAMES: Thank you, Jim. Thank you so much for having me. This is my uncle down in Coventry, which is in the Midlands. He was out one night with some friends – I think they’d been to the theatre or something, or the cinema. They were driving back at night and came in quite late. My grandparents were both in bed. But when he came home, my granddad came out to see my uncle because he heard him wailing. He was crying. Asked him what was wrong.
My uncle explained that they were just driving along, they came to this roundabout, a junction in the road, and there were no other cars coming, so they just carried straight over. But they heard and saw a little girl appearing in the road, and they hit this little girl. The entire car – there were five people in the car – every single one of them saw this girl, every single one of them heard the bump when they hit her. They got out of the car, they looked everywhere, but just couldn’t find this little girl. So that was a mystery alone.
They didn’t know what to do. This was before mobile phones, so they dropped my uncle off. He was the first one on the route. He was just in a panic. He was in a real state. My granddad was just trying to calm him down and he said, “We’ve got to call the police. We’ve got to let them know and get her help if she’s still out there.”
So he rang the police, and this was the time when you rang the police and it went to your local office rather than ringing a center. It just went straight to the local Coventry police station. They explained what happened, and the police officer said, “Was it by this junction, on this road? There’s a hole in the fence. Was it there?” My granddad said, “Yeah, that’s exactly right. Have you found her?” Quite pleased that he knew what area it was.
And the police officer responded with, “Don’t worry. Just try to stay calm. This happens all the time. A little girl died there a couple of years ago, and this keeps occurring and we keep getting calls. Obviously, we’ll send someone out there, but try not to worry. It’s probably nothing>”
JIM HAROLD: Wow.
JAMES: Which of course just blew – again, my granddad was a nonbeliever, didn’t really believe in ghosts. Couldn’t give me an explanation for this, but it just left him absolutely dumbfounded.
JIM HAROLD: Police tend to be – I think just because of their job, they might be a little more jaded than the average person and not given to flights of fancy. The fact they say, “There’s a ghost child, basically, and this happens all the time” – that’s pretty good validation.
JAMES: Yeah. Obviously, if they don’t investigate seriously and someone has been hit there, their jobs and possibly criminal prosecution themselves – so to actually say that is insane, isn’t it?
JIM HAROLD: That is amazing. James, thank you once again for another great story. I appreciate it, and thanks for being a part of the Campfire.
JAMES: Thank you, Jim.
JIM HAROLD: Now on the Campfire we have a special storyteller, Reverend Gerald Hunter. He’s been on the show before, and he’s also an author. He’s going to tell us about that. He has a story going back from his college days. He’s calling us today from Michigan, and we’re so glad to have him. Reverend Hunter, welcome back to the program. I know you always have such great stories, so I can’t wait to hear this one.
REV. GERALD HUNTER: Thank you for having me. The story does go back to my days when I was at Albian College. I was preparing for seminary, but first I had to finish my bachelor’s degree. I had a family to support as well, so I took employment on a midnight shift at the Calhoun County Juvenile Detention Facility. Locked up in there were an average of about 50 teenagers, about 95% of them male. There were four wings for the residents there. Every child, every teenager had their own individual room to sleep in at night.
I worked with two others on the midnight shift. My immediate supervisor was about my age; his name was Ron. He was a big guy who was still in the military reserve. And a woman named Laura, who took care of the female wing, and Ron and I took care of the three male wings. When we would arrive for work, all of the teens would be locked down in their individual rooms already for the night. So what we would do is Ron and I would do the janitorial work, which only took about an hour and a half, and then the female staff member took care of the things that she needed to take care of.
Then we would sit in the office area and monitor the individual rooms by means of an audio piece of equipment that would scan every 10 seconds from one room to the next. Just so that we make sure we could hear in there that the kids were sleeping all right, no one’s wrestling around or coughing or getting sick or having a bad night, whatever the case might be.
On this one particular night, everything was calm and quiet as usual. We’d finished our chores; we were sitting in the office area, listening to the monitor and just talking and chilling out, waiting for our shift to end. It must’ve been about 1:30 in the morning or so. The monitor was going every 10 seconds to a different room, and then suddenly it went to one room, and we could hear the male resident – he was about 15 years old – talking.
He was talking as though he was speaking to someone else in there with him, which was totally impossible. The place was completely locked down. We’d do room checks every 30 minutes with flashlights to make sure all was well. But we knew he wasn’t talking in his sleep because you can almost tell when somebody’s doing that and the difference in the tone of voice they have.
So we flipped the switch so we could stay tuned in to just his room, and sure enough, he was talking – and at one point he asked a question, and he got an answer. The answer he got was in the form of the voice of a very old man. This place was locked up tighter than a drum, tighter than a wine bottle at a Protestant funeral service. [laughs] There’s no way anybody could get in and out. We had that kind of security.
So we sat there listening, and he would say something and this old man would answer him and ask him questions, and they’d go back and forth. After about 30-40 seconds of that, Ron looked at me and said, “We’d better check that out.” I said, “Yeah.” He said, “Okay, let me know what you see.” I said, “You want me to go there by myself?” He said, “Well, yeah.” Now, Ron was not afraid of anything, but he was afraid to go down there.
Finally I said, “Let’s both go.” He said okay, we grabbed our flashlights and walked down there. Each door had a small window in it. We stood next to the window where nobody in that room could see us and listened, and sure enough, the conversation was going on. It was the young man talking about things that he had done, and the old man’s voice reassuring him that it was all right, he was justified to do it, “don’t worry about it, you’ll get out of here and then you can be back” – these kinds of things.
Eventually, that was enough. We got the courage and shined our light in there, and the young man was all alone. He was sitting on the edge of his bed, oblivious to our lights, and staring toward the wall across from him. He would speak again, and then he would answer himself – you could see his mouth move and everything; it was coming from him – in the old, old man’s crackling voice.
Right away I’m thinking, okay, we’ve got some psychological thing going on.
JIM HAROLD: Yeah, it would seem to be a multiple personality disorder. I’ve heard of that sort of thing.
REV. GERALD HUNTER: Something was going on there. It gets a little better. We watched him, and he would say something in his voice and then it would come out as the answer in an old man’s voice, and then both voices at the same time started coming out of him.
JIM HAROLD: Oh boy.
REV. GERALD HUNTER: We were just absolutely dumbfounded. We were staring through the window and looking at this and thinking, what in the world is going on? We looked at each other and I whispered to Ron, “Are we going in there? Is this kid all right?” Ron says, “I don’t know. Should we unlock the door or just watch him for a while?”
The conversation continued between the young voice and the old voice, but again there were times when both voices – it’s like if I were speaking to you right now and you started speaking to me, only I didn’t shut up and I kept talking over you. It’s like both voices at once would come in.
JIM HAROLD: Oh my gosh.
REV. GERALD HUNTER: It was the strangest feeling you got. It just made you feel you fill with dread, standing there in this pitch-dark hallway. You don’t want to disturb the other kids in their rooms nearby, but you’re witnessing something that you think nobody is going to believe you.
We finally unlocked the door. The kid stopped talking. It came to a complete stop. Ron gently shook him, and he just simply looked up and he said something like, “What are you guys doing in here?” Then we told him he was talking in his sleep, did he remember any of it, and he said no. He lay back down in bed. We locked the door, watched him for a while, and he fell back asleep.
The problem that created was every time we entered one of the young people’s rooms, we had to document why we did it in a logbook that the supervisors would look at every morning. We didn’t know what to write. How do you write something like that and still expect to keep your job? People would think we were crazy or whatever. So we were really back and forth about, “Do we write this or don’t we?” We knew we had to write something about it because if one of the other kids did hear anything, he would talk about it and we’d have to answer for that.
Ron finally looked at me and said, “Well, you’re the college kid. You figure out something to write.” All I did was I wrote in the logbook something like, “So-and-so,” and I gave the kid’s name, “had a sleepless night last night, and perhaps one of the morning counselors should ask him how he’s feeling.” That was the best I was going to do. I wasn’t about to tell the supervisor. I needed the job, and I wasn’t about to tell the supervisor, “We had a paranormal experience, this kid was talking in two different voices at the same time and carrying on.” Nobody would believe you. Ron and I really didn’t want anybody else to know because we didn’t want to be made fun of. We thought that would probably happen.
JIM HAROLD: There’s a coda to this, though, isn’t there?
REV. GERALD HUNTER: Well, yeah. There is a coda. There’s probably a couple of codas. What was the one I told you?
JIM HAROLD: About the young lady who came in.
REV. GERALD HUNTER: Oh, yes. The young woman that was in charge of the women’s hallway had been down there during all of this because that’s where the washing and drying machines were. It was up to her to take care of all the laundry for all of the kids on her shift. When we were done with our little experience and back in the office, looking at each other and talking about this, we saw her coming towards the office area. About that time of night she always took a break anyway, so we decided we weren’t going to say anything to her.
She came in and she sat down next to us and made a little small talk and she said, “I just had the strangest thing happen.” I’m thinking to myself, lady, you don’t know what strange is. [laughs] But we said, “What happened? What’s strange?” She said, “I was folding clothes. The washer and dryer weren’t running because I’d dried a batch, I was folding them and putting them away, and I could hear one of the girls down the hallway, locked up in her own room, and she was talking to somebody. I stood there and listened and I could hear her say something, and then I could hear an older woman say something.”
She said, “It went back and forth, and I just figured this is not possible. Who got in here? Did one of the employees stay over and they’re counseling a kid in there and they didn’t tell us? What’s happening?” So she went down to the room to look, and she said that child, that girl was sitting on the edge of the bed doing the same thing, essentially – carrying on a conversation with somebody that wasn’t there. She said the two voices were coming from that girl, but she never saw the girl speak in two voices at the same time.
She said, “That’s when I decided to come here and sit down with you guys, ask you if you ever experienced anything like this, and if you would go back down into the ladies’ wing with me to help me check out all of the rooms and make sure the girls are okay.” We told her, “Number one, yeah, we experienced it. Here’s what just happened to us. Number two, we’d love to go down there and help you out, but we’re not permitted on that wing unless there’s a fight. So you’re on your own. Next time you do a room check, if you have a problem, you can yell and we can come. But just to come down to do a bed check, we’re not allowed to do that.”
JIM HAROLD: Right, understandable.
REV. GERALD HUNTER: Then the three of us agreed that she would basically write in her logbook pretty much the same thing I wrote in ours, and that we would keep this to ourselves unless it happened again in the future, and then we would share it with the administration.
That was enough to make every one-half-hour walkthrough with my flashlight down those three hallways a really scary event for the rest of the time I ever worked there, because I was just hoping nothing like that would ever happen again.
JIM HAROLD: I would be interested in your perspective as a reverend, now that you have decades of hindsight and all of your studies and so forth. First of all, I want to make the point – and I’m sure you would agree – that there are mental illnesses that can cause people to talk to themselves in other voices. Multiple personality disorder and so forth. We don’t want to discount those.
But in a case where someone is talking in both voices at the same time, I don’t even know if that’s physically possible under normal circumstances. So my question to you, as a man of the cloth: do you think this was some kind of maybe evil entity or something that was visiting the different cells, trying to find maybe kids who were more susceptible to their discussions and maybe manifesting itself?
REV. GERALD HUNTER: I think there was something that was trying to lead this young man into believing that his behavior before he got locked up was justified and he could keep on doing it when he got out.
There have only been two times in my over 40 years of investigating paranormal events where I have to admit to myself that the possibility of some kind of possession is there, and this was one of those times. Why it would have shown up on the boys’ wing and the girls’ wing pretty much at the same time, once in an old man’s voice, once in an old woman’s voice, makes me think even more that there was some spiritual kind of thing going on in there that wasn’t positive in the spiritual sense. I’m being very careful not to say demonic or anything, even though I know that I don’t have a basis to deny that.
JIM HAROLD: Very, very interesting indeed. Now, Reverend Hunter has a lot of spooky stories and a lot of haunted information on Michigan, for example, and I know you have multiple books. So Reverend Hunter, can you briefly tell people where they can find your books?
REV. GERALD HUNTER: They can find my books – Haunted Michigan is the first one. The second one is More Haunted Michigan. The third one is Haunted Michigan: The Haunting Continues, and I’m working on the fourth one right now. I’m finished with everything but the editing. So Book #4 will be coming out soon, including a lot of interesting places in Ohio that really shook my psychic tree in the past couple of months. You can get those on Amazon, you can get those at any bookstore that can order them for you, or you can contact Thunder Bay Press in Michigan.
And if you’d like to contact me, you can email them and they can forward an email back to me, and I’ll be glad to chitchat with you, or if you have suggestions of haunted places, that’d be great too. I could follow up on those.
JIM HAROLD: Well, Reverend, it’s always a pleasure to speak with you. Thank you for sharing this amazing story on the Campfire.
REV. GERALD HUNTER: I’ll be back for more if you let me.
JIM HAROLD: Absolutely. Open invitation.
REV. GERALD HUNTER: Thank you, Jim.
JIM HAROLD: Jim here. I just wanted to say a couple of words. First of all, thank you for everyone who wished me a happy birthday on social media. That was so nice and much appreciated. It kind of made my day, so thank you so much.
And something else that would make my day – and I will ask you to do something for me for my birthday. That seems pretty presumptuous. Who am I to ask you? But I’m going to ask anyway, because this is something that will be a gift to me and a gift to you.
I would like you to check out two free podcasts we are doing that you probably haven’t checked out – I’m looking at the numbers, and we certainly don’t have the listenership on those two shows that we do on this one, so that means most of you haven’t had a chance to check out our two newer podcasts, Unpleasant Dreams and You Won’t Believe What Happened To Me.
Unpleasant Dreams is simply where we’ll take a mysterious case, break it down, and educate you about it. People who have listened love it. We recently did one on the Enfield Poltergeist, that famous poltergeist case that the Conjuring movie was fashioned after. And then just yesterday, we released one on the Georgia Guidestones. Very mysterious.
It is written by my intrepid assistant and writer, Maddy Hilker. She does a great job. And Cassandra Harold, my daughter, narrates, and I think she does a great job too. It really is a deep dive on some of these cases that we cover on other podcasts, and I find it fascinating. You can find it wherever you listen to your podcasts. It’s called Unpleasant Dreams. You can also find it at jimharold.com. I hope that you will tune in.
Secondly, think Campfire without the ghosts. I’m doing a new show called You Won’t Believe What Happened To Me with my wife, Dar Harold. It’s been a lot of fun. We’ve had some near misses, we’ve had some funny stories, we’ve had some celebrity encounters. We had one woman who was college roommates with a woman who ended up joining a serial killer cult. So you have some really spooky ones like that, you have some embarrassing moments. We’ve had some great celebrity encounters that we’ve learned about. We’re just having a lot of fun with it, and we’re getting great feedback on that show if people take time to tune in. So please tune in to You Won’t Believe What Happened To Me wherever you get your podcasts, and of course, at jimharold.com.
So that would be my favor. If you want to get ol’ Jim something for his birthday for all these free podcasts we put out, just listen to these other free podcasts we put out, Unpleasant Dreams and You Won’t Believe What Happened To Me. And thank you all for everything, and I hope you enjoy these new podcasts.
You’re listening to Jim Harold’s Campfire.
JIM HAROLD: Tiffany is on the line from North Carolina. She actually found out about the Campfire podcast from the Campfire books. And you may say, “Jim, I didn’t even know you had Campfire books!” Well, there’s five of them. If you want to check them out, you can find them at jimharoldbooks.com. That’s where all the links are. They’re available in paperback and Kindle, and they’re compilations of great Campfire stories like the one we’re about to hear.
Tiffany, I read this and, oh boy, what a story. Tell us what happened.
TIFFANY: It’s a weird one. My story starts with a dream. More like a nightmare, really. I have two small children, and I dreamt that we were at my dad’s house, where I grew up, out in the country. The kids were just running around and playing, the same place I used to play. And out of nowhere, there was a huge snake that tried to attack them. And when I say huge snake, I mean a snake big enough to gobble up my children.
But of course, in my dream it was very serious, and I was frantically trying to save my kids. I woke up before anything happened, but it was definitely one of those dreams where you wake up and you’re like, “I have to check on my kids.” It stuck with me, and I felt really weird after that dream.
I’m a stay-at-home mom, so I’m just going about my day with my kids, and I’m in the living room and I realize that I can’t hear our baby birds. A little wren had built a nest on our front porch, and there were three baby birds in the nest. I was like, “Oh, I can’t hear the birds.” So I went out there to check, and all the birds were gone, and all that was left in the nest was a piece of snakeskin.
The first thing I thought about was my dream. But the weirder part to me is that – it was most likely one of the black rat snakes that you see around your house. The size of a rat snake compared to those baby birds was the exact same size as the snake in my dream compared to my kids.
JIM HAROLD: Same proportion, yeah.
TIFFANY: Yeah. I don’t know if it translates well in the story, but experiencing it myself, it was so profound that we really are all connected, and I somehow tuned in to something that was going on out there. It was weird.
JIM HAROLD: You said in your email that perhaps maybe you connected and tuned in to that frantic mother trying to protect her babies during the night.
TIFFANY: Yeah. That’s what I feel like. At the time, my youngest was still an infant, so it wouldn’t surprise me if maybe that played a role in it. The mother hormones are strong and the emotions are strong, so it wouldn’t surprise me if maybe that had something to do with it. But it’s just way too many coincidences to be a coincidence.
JIM HAROLD: I agree with you. That is remarkable, because you have this disturbing dream about a giant snake attacking your children; then you go outside and see that likely that’s the fate that was left for these small baby birds. Again, it is really too much of a coincidence to be a coincidence. Was there a connection there, and did you channel the emotions of that mother bird? They say that mother love is one of the strongest kinds of love, if not the strongest.
TIFFANY: Yeah, it’s intense.
JIM HAROLD: Wow. I’ve got to tell you, that’s a great story. I’ve never heard anything quite like that. We did have a call maybe a month ago from a gentleman who – I’m probably getting the story wrong – he’d seen a dolphin at an aquarium when he was a kid, and then later on he became very ill and so forth – this is weeks or months later, I think – and then found that that dolphin had died at the time he was experiencing all these physical symptoms.
So can there be a bond between a human and an animal like that, a psychic bond? I believe it’s a real thing. I think it happens. I think anybody who has a pet knows that. I think it can happen.
TIFFANY: Yeah. We are far more connected than we all realize.
JIM HAROLD: I think those are very wise words, and a very great story from Tiffany from North Carolina. Tiffany, thank you so much for joining us today.
TIFFANY: You’re welcome. Have a good one, Jim.
JIM HAROLD: Chuck is a returning caller. He’s back on the show from New York. We’re so glad to speak with him again, and he has two interesting short stories for us. They are kind of workplace stories, which I always love. Chuck, welcome back to the show. Please tell us what happened.
CHUCK: Thank you, Jim, for having me again. I appreciate it. The two short stories that I have are a couple weird experiences that I had at my job. I’m a mailman, and the first experience happened when I was in my first year delivering mail.
I was covering for another carrier while they were on vacation, and while I was delivering mail to this one street, there was this one particular house that my experiences stem from. I would deliver mail to this house, and the mailbox would eventually be full. After a couple days, the mail would be gone. This continued for about a week or so.
One day, I was walking up to the mailbox, and right before I got to the mailbox, the door opened and this younger female, probably late teens, early twenties, answered the door. I handed the mail to her and she said thank you, shut the door, that was it.
Over the next couple days while delivering the mail to the same house on that street, a neighbor that lives directly across from this house saw me walking up to deliver mail again, and she yelled out, “That house is vacant.” I’m like, “What do you mean?” I walked over there to talk to her and I said, “What do you mean?” She said, “That house is vacant and it has been for months.” I guess about six months or so prior to that, a younger female in that house was murdered by her boyfriend. Ever since then, the family moved out, and the house has been vacant ever since. I thought that was pretty disturbing.
I went home and I was pretty intrigued about it, so I went home that night and I did a google search on that specific house, and sure enough, there was a murder that happened there. Young girl was murdered by her boyfriend. What was really odd about it, though, was the girl that took the mail from me that day matched the description of the girl that was murdered.
JIM HAROLD: Oh man. So you literally may have handled mail to a ghost.
CHUCK: Yeah. It gets better. [laughs] After that, going back down that street, obviously skipped that house. Didn’t deliver any more mail there. It was vacant. Nobody would show up ever again.
But shortly after that, I took mail from another carrier that went on vacation and did their route for a bit, and while I was going up the one side of the street – this is my second story, by the way – crossing over, I happened to look up, and I see this elderly woman, probably in her seventies or eighties, standing at the end of her driveway as I’m crossing the street getting her mail ready.
When I got there, I said hello, and she just gave me the weirdest, creepiest smile. It just gives me chills even thinking about it to this day. I walked up to her, said “Hello, how are you doing?” Again get this creepy smile. Her mouth opens like she’s going to tell me something, and it’s moving like she’s talking, but there’s no sound coming out at all. I’m like, “This is very odd.”
I try not to think too much of it. I’m thinking maybe this woman has some Alzheimer’s or something, so I gave her the mail and turned to walk away. I said, “Have a nice day.” I walked about five, maybe ten feet. I got this feeling to look back. I look back and she is gone.
Now, the driveway is at least 50 feet long, and I know this house. I’ve delivered mail to this house before. She would literally have to run within like five seconds, go around these hedges, go in the front door – which makes noise because it’s rusted and it’s one of those metal storm doors – and I heard nothing. No footsteps, nothing when I turned.
When the regular carrier came back, I happened to ask him, “Does an elderly female live at this house?” He kind of smiled and said, “No, but I have a feeling I know where you’re going with this.” I said, “I delivered mail to this elderly lady that gave me a creepy smile and was trying to talk but nothing came out. I figured it’s one of the residents.” He said, “No, there’s no elderly female that lives there. There’s a man that lives there with his child, but he was taking care of his mother, and she died in the house.”
JIM HAROLD: Oh man. Wow.
CHUCK: Yeah. Needless to say, it was creepy. But those are my two short stories of delivering mail to the afterlife.
JIM HAROLD: It makes sense. You guys, and women, see it all. And first of all, kudos for what you do. We just passed the holiday season here, and too often we take the mail for granted. We only say things when we can complain. So thank you and all of your fellow postal carriers for what you do.
CHUCK: I appreciate it.
JIM HAROLD: It’s not appreciated, I think, sometimes. But you would think of healthcare workers seeing a lot of strange things, but I guess in your line of work, you come as much as anybody in contact with the public multiple times over the day. So it would make sense that a postal carrier would see almost more than anybody what’s going on.
CHUCK: Right, and after a while we get to know our customers and who lives in what houses and everything, so if there’s something that stands out like that, we know that this person doesn’t live there or whatever. It stands out even more.
JIM HAROLD: Great story indeed. Chuck, thank you for what you do and thank you for returning to the Campfire to tell us this story about the ghosts who took the mail.
CHUCK: Thank you, Jim.
JIM HAROLD: Thank you for joining us for this “best of 2022 so far” for the Campfire. We appreciate it. Thank you for everything, and as we said a little bit earlier, please check out Unpleasant Dreams and You Won’t Believe What Happened To Me, our two newer free podcasts. I would really appreciate it.
We thank you so much for taking time, and we hope you’re having a great summer. I hope that my fellow Americans have a great Independence Day, and be safe out there but enjoy yourselves. We’ll talk to you next time on an all-new edition of the Campfire. Have a great week, everybody. Stay safe and stay spooky. Bye-bye.
You’ve been listening to Jim Harold’s Campfire. Tune in again next time for more stories of ordinary people who have experienced extraordinary things.