Dying To Get The Job Done – Campfire 587

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Some people won’t let something like death get between them and a job well done. Also, we hear about an urban shapeshifter and much more strangeness on this edition of Campfire!


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TRANSCRIPT

JIM HAROLD: Some people love their jobs so much, they won’t let a little thing like being dead get in the way of their assigned duties – up next 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. So glad to be with you once again. What we do here is we share true stories of the supernatural. Could be ghosts, could be UFOs, could be creepy cryptid creatures, or my favorite, headscratchers – but whatever they are, they are real stories from real people, and we love them. And here’s the first one.

Anna is on the line from my hometown, Cleveland, Ohio, and we’re so glad to have her on the line. This really is a story – I don’t know if I’ve ever heard anything quite like it, and – well, I’ll let her tell it. I won’t spoil it. But it’s a pretty unique and pretty cool story. Anna, welcome to the show. Thank you for joining us, and tell us what happened.

ANNA: Thank you so much, Jim. Yeah, I’ve had a lot of strange experiences over the course of my life, but this is the first time that my family has had a collective creepy experience. Each October in the Cleveland area, the Cleveland Haunt Club creates a map of homes in the area that are decorated to the extreme for Halloween. My family, being Halloween fans, like to take a look at the Cleveland Haunt Map, and then a few evenings in October, we like to get a hot chocolate and drive around and enjoy some of the local Halloween decorated yards. It’s amazing what some people do.

So we were out doing just that. It was about a week before Halloween, and my husband and our 11-year-old daughter and I were in the car and driving around. I had my map out, I’m looking at yards. We were on a residential street in Parma, which is a suburb of Cleveland, and we could see that there was a decorated house at the end of the street. We could kind of see in the distance that there was a house coming up on the right, decorated.

About halfway down the street from where our car started driving on the street to the house, in the middle of the sidewalk, I saw what looked like a large werewolf prop. It had green illuminated eyes, and it was right in the middle of the sidewalk. I didn’t say anything; I was just about to say, “Wow, look at that werewolf.” I didn’t even get the sentence finished when all of a sudden, the werewolf prop became a man walking a yellow Labrador. When this happened, all three of us gasped or screamed. None of us had had the chance to even say to one another, “Wow, look at this werewolf, isn’t it cool,” when it turned into a man with a yellow Lab.

And we all, like “Oh my God!”, gasped, “Wow,” and I said, “What did you just see?” Our daughter is in the backseat going, “Oh my God, that was a wolf! Where did the man come from?” We talked about it after the fact and we discovered that all of us had seen the exact same thing: what appeared to be a cartoonish-looking werewolf, down on its haunches, all – I don’t know, with kind of jagged edges and lit-up green eyes and a big snarl. It really looked cartoonish. It looked like a prop. And then right when we pulled up right next to it, all of a sudden it’s like they stood up from the sidewalk and it was a man and a yellow Lab. And you know, a yellow Lab is kind of a roundish silhouette. And none of us had seen the man standing there either.

So I don’t know if we saw a glamour, I don’t know if we saw a wrinkle in time. I don’t really know what happened, but we all saw the same thing. It was just really an interesting turn of events on our trip around Cleveland’s Halloween displays.

JIM HAROLD: Yeah, that’s pretty wild. That is pretty wild. It’s like an urban shapeshifter.

ANNA: It was a shapeshifter. We just don’t understand what happened there, but it’s something that we’ll always remember, and it’s something that we still talk about because it was just so shocking.

JIM HAROLD: That is so cool. That’s a Halloween memory. Every year, when you go out, I’m sure you’re going to say, “Can we top that? Will we see another urban shapeshifter?” Probably not, but man, that is wild. And the fact that you all three saw it simultaneously and you all three explained it the same way. Fascinating.

ANNA: We even drew it. We were all individually looking up pictures online, trying to find something that looked like it. We all definitely saw the same thing. I purposely didn’t share too much when I asked them, “What did you see?” because I didn’t want to guide them or lead them in their answers, and my husband and daughter both said the same exact thing. So I don’t know. It’s a headscratcher, for sure.

JIM HAROLD: It is for sure. Anna, thank you so much for joining us today on the Campfire, and stay spooky.

ANNA: Thank you so much, Jim. Thank you for this wonderful show. I enjoy it so much, and it’s an honor to have been on it. Thank you.

JIM HAROLD: Well, you know we have the privilege from time to time to talk to great podcasters who share their great story, and we’ve got Lil and Fitz from Knock Once For Yes on the line. They’re going to tell us about their podcast after their stories. Lil and Fitz, welcome to the Campfire. So good to speak with you. You recently had me on your show, and I appreciate that very much. Please tell us your stories.

LIL: Thank you so much for having us on. I’ll go first. We’ve each got a story to share with you today. Mine is from my childhood home. Now, when I was about 11 or 12, my family moved into an Edwardian house. It was one of those very drafty houses. It had all the original fireplaces, single glazed windows. It was lovely, but it needed quite a bit of work done before we moved in.

When we did move in, it wasn’t long before we started hearing things. Now, they were very gentle sort of noises, but for instance, when we were upstairs and we knew there was nobody downstairs, we’d hear somebody moving around, clinking crockery. It almost sounded like somebody was just bustling around their day-to-day business, making a cup of tea. We heard this quite often.

We’d also smell things, which sounds quite nasty, but it was actually very pleasant. One of the things we’d quite commonly smell was a really lovely smell of fresh cooking kippers, which was just very out of place in our house because it’s not something that we ever cooked. But it wasn’t a horrible smell that was coming in from drains or anything like that. It was a lovely, fresh cooking smell, and it would just pop like a bubble into the room from out of nowhere. No windows open or anything like that. And then it would just vanish as quickly as it came.

Another thing that we used to smell was on the staircase, we would very often smell the really distinctive and quite strong odor of a freshly snuffed out candle. I’m sure everybody knows what that smells like. But we never had any candles lit at the time, so there was just never any explanation for it.

But all of this was very gentle, really quite a nice haunting – until one night, I saw my very first full-bodied apparition in this house. Now, again, I was only about 11 or 12, not very old. I was in my bedroom, and I’d just gone to bed, so I hadn’t been to sleep yet. I was still fully awake. I’d turned off the lights and I was in bed and I was settling down, trying to get comfortable, and I’d closed my eyes. But then I felt that really distinctive feeling that somebody had come in the room, and I wasn’t sure why. I didn’t hear anything; I just felt it. So I opened my eyes, of course, and there was a figure of a man standing at the side of my bed, peering down at me.

JIM HAROLD: Ooh.

LIL: Of course, I just froze because I didn’t know what to make of this. It wasn’t something I caught out of the corner of my eye. I opened my eyes and had a full view of this figure, just leaning in as though he was looking down at me. Now, there were no features; it was very, very strange because the outline of the man was very clear, but where there would’ve been features, there was – at the time, I described it almost like when you spray a water bottle, a mister bottle in the air, and that mist of water droplets hangs on the air in a particular shape.

Since we’ve been doing the podcast, I’ve come across people who’ve talked about static figures, figures that appear with a clear outline, but then inside of the figure is almost filled with this fuzzy, grainy, gray-and-whitish TV static. And actually, it was quite a lot like that, thinking back, so I wonder whether I did actually see one of these static figures.

So I’m there, completely frozen, absolutely in shock. I’d never seen an apparition before, and this figure – if he had had visible eyes, we would’ve locked eyes. It was that kind of – he saw me, I saw him, nobody knew what to do. [laughs] And then all of a sudden – and this is going to sound like a very weird, cheesy TV special effect – that sort of grainy, water droplet-y, static-y substance, particles almost, that filled this outline burst apart. Literally, the particles flew apart from each other, and he dissipated on the air and just disappeared into nothing.

JIM HAROLD: Wow. Who do you think he was?

LIL: Well, we did know a bit of the history of the house. My parents had lived in the town before, and we had older family there, so we did know some of the people around the town, and my mum knew the gentleman that had lived in the house before us. He had lived there for a very long time; he’d lived there until he died. We don’t know if he died in the house, but he’d owned the house up until the point where he passed away.

And later on, in later years, my sister-in-law was standing in the kitchen, just happened to look up and look down the hallway, and saw a man standing at the end of the hall. Of course, there was nobody there, no actual person had been where she saw this figure, but she described the man to my mum, and my mum swears that she perfectly described the man that had owned the house before us and had lived there until he passed away. So we’re pretty sure it was – George was his name.

JIM HAROLD: That’s great when you can put a name to him. That’s kind of a neat thing. Now, let me ask you, was it a situation where you thought he was a sentient ghost? Or do you think it was a residual haunting? What do you think?

LIL: Everything else that I experienced there seemed more like a residual haunting. The noises, the smells, they really just felt like somebody just carrying on, as if nothing had happened, as if they hadn’t passed away. They were still cooking their kippers and snuffing their candles and making their cups of tea. It was only really this one odd experience, where the stance of the figure really felt as though he was looking down at me, that would make me think otherwise. So I’m not really sure.

JIM HAROLD: Interesting story. Well, Fitz, you’ve got your work cut out for you. Tell us your story, because Lil has laid down the gauntlet here with a great ghost story.

FITZ: We’ll see if I can top it. Mine happened when I was in my early teens, during the school holidays. Obviously, I was still living at home with my parents. They both worked during the week and would be out the house for most of the day, so I’d have the house to myself, or I could come and go as I pleased. I would quite often stay up late and sleep in during the holidays. During this time, we were having our front porch replaced by a family friend. He’d fit in the work in between his other job, so he wasn’t there 9-to-5, Monday to Friday; just as and when he could fit in the work.

At this point, we’d got the new door and frame installed, and there was a lot of frosted glass, so you could see through to the outside but still maintain a little bit of privacy. I think all that was left to do was a little pitched roof that extended out over the door to provide cover from the rain if you were standing outside. Like most British builders, he loved his tea, and as soon as I saw him working, I’d always put on the kettle to make a cup of tea for him.

One morning, having not long woken up, I was walking downstairs at around 10:00 in the morning, and I saw him through the frosted glass, standing outside the front door. Obviously not clearly, but he had a set of work clothes that included a beige jumper and a flat cap that he habitually wore, and they were particularly distinctive even through the frosted glass. He didn’t knock, but that wasn’t unusual.

So I carried on down the stairs, and the kitchen was literally at the bottom of the stairs, so I just leaned into the kitchen, flicked the kettle on, turned back to the door – which must’ve taken all of two seconds – and he wasn’t there anymore. I went to the front door and opened it, just to let him know that I’d put the kettle on. No one in sight. I had a quick look up the lane and he wasn’t there, either. But he wouldn’t have had time to have got up the lane and out of sight by the time I got there, which was a bit strange. I turned round and presumed he’d gone to the shed to get something out, and did a full lap of the house and still no sign.

At this point I thought we were in a comedy sketch and we were just walking round opposite sides of the house, so I went back in, made myself a cup of tea, and left out a cup for him so that if I saw him again, I could make him one. But I didn’t see him again, so I just assumed he’d been down to take a measurement or something and had gone off. That was pretty much all I thought the rest of the day. It didn’t really have any further impact, until my parents got home later that day.

When I mentioned he’d visited that morning, they just looked at me very strangely. Their faces dropped; they went a little pale, and they said, “Today? When?” I said, “Around 10:00 or just after, I think. Why?” They said, “Are you sure?” I said, “Yep, it was definitely him.” And that’s the point that they told me he died that morning at around 10:00. Literally around the time that I’d seen him. He’d suffered a heart attack in his workshop whilst getting his kit together to come and work on our porch.

JIM HAROLD: Oh my. First of all, how sad, but wow. Wow. Lil, I’m sorry, I think Fitz wins.

LIL: I know. [laughs] That’s why I went first.

JIM HAROLD: [laughs] That’d be a tough one to follow. My goodness. I thought maybe it was just going to be a garden variety doppelganger story because we get that – I was expecting that he would show up an hour later and say, “I’ve not been here all day.” But oh, how tragic, but how strange. One theory – a lot of times I hear people say it’s a situation where the ghost doesn’t know they’re dead, so he was going through his assigned duties. Have you thought about that possibility?

FITZ: I did, and it’s an odd situation. I’m horrified to think that the last thing on his mind was “I’ve got to get that porch done before I move to the Great Beyond.” But it did sort of stick with me afterwards when I thought back that he was unnaturally still when I saw him stood outside the front door. Most people shuffle a bit or fidget, or if he was doing what I thought he was doing and taking measurements, he’d be moving around. But when I thought back, it was just that perfect stillness, almost as if he was a statue. It’s a little bit of a creepy feeling, thinking back on it. But yeah, like you say, I wonder if literally his soul or what have you just carried on and didn’t realize that his body wasn’t following along behind.

JIM HAROLD: Wow. Well, a great story, and you’ve made me want to run and get a cup of tea as soon as this interview’s over. But wow, what a story. You can hear more stories like that on Knock Once For Yes. Lil and Fitz are podcasters. Give us a minute or two on the show and where people can find it.

LIL: As you say, our show is called Knock Once For Yes, and we do share real ghost stories from ourselves and our listeners, but we also travel around the UK, visiting haunted historical locations, and then we share our experiences as well as the history and the hauntings of these places on the podcast. It’s a little bit like an audio travel vlog, but with ghosts. You can find us on our website at knockonceforyes.com, as well as on most podcast platforms. And of course, we’re on all the social media, so just search for Knock Once For Yes.

JIM HAROLD: Just fantastic. And fantastic stories. Fitz, wow, what a story. And Lil, your story was great too. Thank you for being a part of the Campfire, and stay spooky.

FITZ: Thanks for having us on.

LIL: Thank you so much for having us.

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You’re listening to Jim Harold’s Campfire.

JIM HAROLD: Alan is on the line from San Diego. I’ve got to say, I’ve been to quite a few cities across the U.S.; I think San Diego may be the most beautiful in terms of that gorgeous, gorgeous weather. I am envious. Alan was told about the show from his brother, Marco. Let that be a lesson: tell your family, tell your friends, tell everybody about the Campfire. That way they can call in with great stories like this one. I told Alan, I read this story and I’m very excited to hear it. This sounds like a really good one. Alan, welcome to the show, thank you for joining us, and tell us what happened.

ALAN: Thank you, Jim. This happened in 2013. At the time, I was 18 years old. I was worried about the wrong things and hanging out with the wrong people and partying a little too much. One day, we decided to go to this party, and as soon as we were getting to the party and walking up to the house – I was with two friends of mine – and right when we step up to the porch of the house, all of a sudden we hear this lady that’s to the left of us literally call us by our names. She said, “Oh, hi, Alan. Hi, Hector. Hi, Gilbert.”

Obviously, we just stopped in our tracks. We didn’t know what was going on. We asked her, “Do you know us?” She was like, “Oh, I’m so sorry, how rude of me. I always forget that’s rude. I’m a medium.” One of my friends doesn’t believe in any of this stuff, so he was like, “I don’t believe you. You’re the lying.” Basically, she started telling us about ourselves, about our past. She literally went down the line. She started with me. She said, “I know your parents split up when you were young,” and a bunch of things that really nobody else knew. Then she moved on to my other friends, and same thing with them, told them things that nobody knew. We were surprised.

But then my friend Hector was still in denial. He really doesn’t believe in any of that stuff, so he was like, “No, I don’t believe you. Tell me more. Tell me something that will really convince me.” So she basically tells him, “You overheard your parents when you were a little kid. You heard your parents fighting when your dad walked out on you guys.” My friend started tearing up. He literally started crying, and he was speechless. He didn’t know what to say.

My other friend, Gilbert, started asking more about the future. He was like, “Tell me about my future.” She tells him, “You’re hanging out with the wrong people who aren’t really your friends, but you have a lot of trust in them. They’re actually using you, and you need to stop hanging out with them.” We were 18, 19, so he thought he knew everything, right? He was like, “I don’t believe you. They’re my friends,” blah, blah, blah.

Then she just goes down the line again and tells me, “You know what, you’re not talking to your parents and you’re cutting everybody off and you’re out here partying. Your mom is falling into depression because of you, and if you don’t do something, she’s going to die.” I froze and I was like, “What do you mean?” She was like, “Trust me, your mom is getting sick as we speak. She’s very worried.” Because at the time, I wouldn’t even go home. There were some nights when I would stay out partying.

Then my other friend, Hector, she told him, “You and your mom are super close and that’s basically the only person you look up to, but she doesn’t really have your best interest at heart.” Again, same with him, he was like, “No, my mom is the only one I have. She would never do anything.”

She literally cut us off. She’s like, “You know what? That’s it. If we start talking more, you guys are going to basically go crazy. I don’t like telling you guys too much.” That’s it. Then after that, we literally left the party, called it a night. We were so shook from the whole situation.

Fast forward a couple weeks, and next thing you know we get a phone call, and sure enough, Gilbert went on a trip – they had said they were going on vacation to Texas to visit some family, and they were like, “Hey, why don’t you ride with us and we’ll spend a weekend in Texas?” Well, they ended up getting pulled over and had some things in the car that they shouldn’t have, and they all ended up getting arrested. He ended up doing about four years in prison.

JIM HAROLD: Whoa.

ALAN: Yeah. So literally everything she said was coming true. My friend Hector, his mom – he had opened his bank account when he was a minor, so she was the one in charge of his bank account, kind of. What she ended up doing – he had worked since he was like 16 years old and had saved up all his money, so he had about $10,000 saved up, and she literally emptied out the bank account and moved away to New Mexico.

JIM HAROLD: Oh gosh.

ALAN: Yeah, just left him like that.

JIM HAROLD: How horrible is that?

ALAN: Right? She called it. And then with me, same thing, my mom ended up with kidney stones and she ended up in the hospital. When they were taking them out or removing the kidney stones, they accidentally – something went wrong in the surgery or the procedure. She was actually paralyzed for about three months, and she actually did really die at the hospital. That really changed my life. Ever since that night, it literally made me grow up. I was going down the wrong path. To this day, I’m not sure if it was God or – I’d like to believe it was God, but I don’t know, man. It’s still spooky. I don’t know if it was a bad – I don’t know what it was, really.

JIM HAROLD: The thing is, if she had just known things from your past, maybe someone could say, “Well, maybe she knew the family and you didn’t know that they knew the family” or whatever. But when she’s putting out things from the future and then they actually come to pass later – that’s wild. That’s the confirmation right there that it’s not some kind of trick. I believe people have gifts. Now, do I believe everyone who says they have a gift has a gift? No. But I do believe some people have the gift to foresee the future.

Now, that doesn’t mean they’re right in every case. The skeptics will say, “Why don’t you buy lottery tickets?”, and my understanding is it doesn’t work like that. But the point is, I do believe that some people have the ability to see in the future. Does that mean I think everything’s 100% set in motion and if you have a bad tarot reading, is everything going to necessarily end up bad? I don’t believe that. But I do believe people have gifts. I do. And it seems like you experienced that.

ALAN: Yeah, and even that – I take it as a gift from God. It really changed my life that night. Changed my life for the better.

JIM HAROLD: Well, that’s a great thing. That’s a good thing. You listened to her and got on a different path, and I think that’s just great. Thank you so much for sharing this great Campfire story.

ALAN: No worries. Thank you.

JIM HAROLD: Alexa has returned to the Campfire from California, and we’re so glad she’s with us again. This is one of the last paranormal experiences she had encountered in her childhood home, because she told us about some of the other ones. We’re so glad to hear this one as well. Alexa, welcome to the program. Tell us what happened this time.

ALEXA: Yes, as you mentioned, I’ve been on the Campfire a few times talking about childhood experiences. This particular experience I would almost say didn’t happen to me; it happened to my boyfriend, who was not a believer, and I think actually became one after this story. I had grown up with a lot of paranormal things happening in my life, and when I was about 23 or so, my car broke down and my grandma said, “If you come down and visit, I’ll give you a Grandma discount on the car and you can drive it back up to school.” My boyfriend decided to drive me down, and my dad said we could stay at our house, which was my childhood home. He said, “Nobody will be there, but there’s no point in you guys getting a hotel.” So we had accommodations set and we hit the road.

As you do normally during road trips, you start having conversations about things you probably normally wouldn’t have conversations about. He was my new boyfriend at the time, so we were going over, “Yeah, I grew up in a haunted house where I had paranormal things happen to me.” He grew up going to church, where he just didn’t believe that a person could pass away and still have their spirit here on Earth in the afterlife. He said, “Everybody goes to heaven or they go to hell, and anything that you experience is probably a demonic or celestial entity.” We had a good conversation.

We get to my childhood home, and I was letting hjm know, “Hey, this is where I had this experience and this is where I had this experience.” I always think it’s funny because he said, “I believe that you believe it happened, but I don’t think it’s real.” I’m sure many callers can relate to how frustrating that phrase can be. “I believe you believe it happened.”

JIM HAROLD: Yes.

ALEXA: We finished up for the day and we decided to go to sleep for the night. We slept in this open loft next to where I had my last paranormal experience. I let him know about that, he said he didn’t really believe it, and we went to sleep from there. That’s where the story starts.

I woke up to him really shoving me, really hard, pushing me really, really hard. It jolted me out of sleep, and I turned to him and I said, “What’s your deal?” I was so angry that he would be so violent. He said, “You need to wake up.” I said, “Okay.” He said, “You were talking in your sleep.” Again, I said, “Okay.” We got into a little bit of an argument. I’m saying, “Hey, there’s no reason why you should be pushing me that hard. That was really to the point of being violent versus just frustration.” We had a tiff back and forth, and I decided “I’m going to go sleep downstairs.”

So I slept downstairs in the living room on the couch, and the next morning I went and spoke to him and I said, “Hey, what was your deal? Because that isn’t going to fly with me in the future. I don’t care how frustrated you are.” He said, “Alexa, you don’t understand. Your back was facing me and you were talking in your sleep and you were giggling. I went to wake you up because you were talking a lot in your sleep, and you turned and you looked at me and you said, ‘They’re never gonna let you go.’ And you smiled and you said, ‘Never,’ and you rolled back over and you giggled and you went back to sleep.”

He said, “I was so terrified in that moment that I just wanted to wake you up, and you weren’t waking. I was calling your name and you weren’t snapping out of it, so I panicked.” He said, “Even when you went downstairs, I was scared of you. I wanted to go into one of the bedrooms and lock the door because I was afraid of what I had witnessed.” That was a lot for me to take in, and it was a lot for me because I just went from having a boyfriend who didn’t believe n anything paranormal to now saying he was afraid of me overnight because of an experience that he had.

He always writes off things. This boyfriend is now my husband, so I feel like it holds more water the longer we’re together, because he’s a very logical person, and there’s always an excuse. There’s always something. And to this day, he says, “I don’t want to talk about it. It makes me uncomfortable to talk about these types of things. I think it allows them to come back into your environment, and that just isn’t something I want to entertain anymore.” He won’t watch any movies that have any paranormal aspects to it. It definitely left an impression on him 10 years later. I’m almost 32 now. He gets really scared and frightened even if you try to have a conversation about that night.

So that’s my story. Someone who’s a skeptic has an experience where they say, “They’re never gonna let you go,” and how that spooked him.

JIM HAROLD: It’s a remarkable story, I must say. Let me ask you, what do you think happened to you when you were saying that to him? It sounds like in almost a sinister way, “They’re never going to let you go.” Do you think in retrospect that you might have been possessed by whatever was in that place? What are your thoughts?

ALEXA: I don’t know the degrees and the full definition of possession, but I know that I had always grown up with a lot of night terrors and a lot of dreams that went in and out, having to do with a lot of the experiences that I had. I was never quite certain if it was just something I was frightened of, so it was always on my mind and was part of my dreams, or if there was something trying to infiltrate my dreams and trying to attack me that way.

That kind of experience led me to believe that your dreams really can put you in a vulnerable state where seven years later – my last paranormal experience to that moment – I had nothing, and then all of a sudden, something is perhaps infiltrating my dreams or my sleep state and trying to, in my opinion, scare my boyfriend who said over and over in that house that there’s no such thing as anything paranormal. So I think there was a trick to that.

JIM HAROLD: That is terrifying. Well, Alexa, thank you so much for joining us today. I appreciate it. And please don’t hesitate to come back on and share any other stories you may have.

ALEXA: Thanks so much, Jim. Have a great day. Stay spooky.

JIM HAROLD: Stay spooky!

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JIM HAROLD: Next up on the Campfire, well, I wish I had some kind of award to give him because Scott’s been listening from Michigan ever since 2008. He started with the Paranormal Podcast; we brought Campfire online in ’09, and he’s been listening ever since, and we’re so glad that he has. He’s going to take us back to his college days and some strangeness that ensued. Scott, welcome to the show. Thanks for listening for so long, and tell us what happened.

SCOTT: Thanks for having me. Back in college – this was probably about 18 years ago – my brother and I were really into paranormal things. Just everything paranormal. We had a fun tradition where we would go out to local haunted spots around town, back where I grew up, and this one particular time, we went out to a cemetery that was reportedly haunted. We’d been there a few times before, and it was always a good time. We’d go out and kind of scare each other. But never anything really exciting happened. We’d always take a video camera with us, too, and walk through with it, and then we’d like to watch the video when we got back just to see if we saw anything or heard anything we might’ve missed. Like I said, previous times, nothing ever really occurred.

Well, this particular time that I’m going to tell you about, we went out – it was my younger brother, who’s just a little younger than me, and his friend. So the three of us went out one evening, and this would’ve been late August or early September, so it was pretty warm. We liked to go out on these nice weather nights. We went out there, did our typical thing where we parked, walked to the cemetery, walked through it. The three of us just stayed on the dirt pathway that you can drive through. It’s a really rural cemetery, so it’s out away from everything, just secluded, surrounded by trees out in the country, so it was really neat to go out there.

Like I said, this night we were out there walking through, and it just felt different. The three of us had a heavy, creepy feeling. Which we were kind of looking for, so that was fun, but it just felt different than every other time we’d gone out there. And another thing that we noticed once we were back there is it got super cold. The three of us could feel the cold around us, and one of us commented how cold it was. We thought that was odd, and we kept walking even though we were all a little creeped out at this point.

The next thing that I remember is when we were out there, my brother started mentioning how his chest felt funny. He told the three of us, in addition to this cold, “My chest hurts. It feels funny.” We thought, “Well, that’s weird. We’re getting a little bit creeped out here, so maybe we’ll not go any further. We’ll start making our way back.” So we end up walking out and getting into our car and driving home. This isn’t where the story ends; there’s a few other things that happened.

It’s about a 20-minute drive home to where my parents lived at the time, and on the way, in the vehicle, my brother was in the backseat, and he started to complain about feeling ill. He said his head hurt; he had the worst migraine ever that came on real quick. He had to roll the windows down because he felt like he was getting nauseous and might get sick at some point. And he couldn’t stop coughing. He was coughing over and over and over. We were a little bit worried about him, but I thought, “Who knows what’s going on? I’m just going to keep driving home so we can get to where we can actually help him if he needs something.”

We get on home about 15-20 minutes later, and as soon as we get home to my parents’, we go in the house and he starts to feel a little better. We were a little worried about him on the way home, and I remember asking him and he said, “No, I’m starting to feel better.” He’s not coughing as much, his head’s not hurting anymore. So then, as always, like we’re excited to do – we had taken the video camera out with us this time, just like previous. My parents were there, my wife, who was my girlfriend at the time was there. We gather everyone around, we plug it in, and we start to watch.

We’re just watching our video footage of us walking back and it’s scanning around the cemetery, and we notice that when we started to comment on the temperature and how cold it was, you could actually see our breath in the video. That just goes along with the cold. Not that crazy because with the humidity in the air, you never know. But in addition to that, a little bit after that occurred, when my brother was talking about his chest feeling funny, in the video, clearly we all heard a female voice – now mind you, we did not have a female with us; it was three guys. We heard a female voice whisper, “Breathe in.”

JIM HAROLD: Ooh. Ooh.

SCOTT: Yeah. I’ll never forget us watching, our shock when we heard that. We’d rewind, replay it, and it was a very whispery “Breathe in,” but it was very clearly a female voice. Like I said, no females around. It was just out there, three guys. Obviously, that got us a little spooked.

We kept watching, and not long after that happened in the video, the strangest thing happened. My brother said, in a strange voice – I know it’s kind of odd, but it was almost like he was saying it but his voice was sort of distorted – he said, in kind of a broken way, “Don’t come back no more.” The three of us were out there, and none of us remember him saying that audibly, which was really strange.

JIM HAROLD: Oh my gosh.

SCOTT: We have that on video of him saying that, and shortly after he said that, we then left. That’s where he then started feeling ill in the car on the way home.

JIM HAROLD: That’s weird. The thing is that you have that validation through the video.

SCOTT: We do, and I still have that video 18 years later. I actually have it. I’ve always kept that with me. I need to digitize it, but I do have that. That’s kind of a rare thing, I feel, to actually have that recorded.

JIM HAROLD: What do you think you guys were picking up on? Any speculation on who that female voice could’ve been?

SCOTT: I don’t know anyone in particular. The stories were always that people would see a female in a dress out in the cemetery. We never actually saw anyone out there, yet we did pick up this female voice. There’s many people buried at this cemetery; the history of the place goes back. So I don’t know if it was anyone in particular. But our feeling is that my brother almost got – it’s kind of weird to say, but almost got possessed or channeled through. Because we certainly picked up, and it was a completely different voice than the whispering female – it was him; it was just he was saying it like it was all in his throat. And then with him getting as violently sick as he did as quickly as he did, that’s what we feel happened. And you know what, we never went back there.

JIM HAROLD: I don’t blame you. [laughs]

SCOTT: That was our last time visiting that particular location.

JIM HAROLD: Well, it’s quite the story and quite the experience, and you’ve got the videotape to prove it. So cool. Scott, thank you for listening all this time and thank you for being a part of the Campfire tonight.

SCOTT: You’re very welcome.

JIM HAROLD: Next up on the show is Amanda from Pennsylvania. She found out about us from Christine and Em from And That’s Why We Drink. They have been so supportive of the shows for years, telling people about the Campfire. So if you’ve not had the privilege to listen to them, please check out And That’s Why We Drink. Amanda has a story about her grandma, and she’s going to share it with us. Amanda, thank you for joining us and please tell us this story.

AMANDA: Thank you, Jim. This is basically the story of the night/day that my Grandma Sharon died. She had a stroke and went in to the hospital, and she was there for about a month. My mom and sister live near her, so they were taking care of her pretty much every day. My grandma lived in a retirement apartment, and her best friend Carol lived down the hall, so she was in the hospital every day as well.

I lived two and a half hours away from them, so when I got the call, finally, toward the last week of her life – pretty much the last day of her life – saying that the nurses weren’t sure if she was going to make it through the day, I basically drove down immediately. Long story short, she did make it through the day. She was completely unresponsive for the last two weeks, so it was like we all hung out around her, and her stepson even came down. We all had dinner together. So she did make it through the day. The nurses were like, “She’s definitely not going to make it through the night.” We were like, “Okay, we don’t want her to die alone,” so I told my mom and sister, “You guys go get some rest. You’ve been taking care of her every day. I will stay with her overnight.”

I basically told her stories and sang and chatted with her all night, held her hand and everything. One of the things that I said to her was, “We didn’t really go over what you should come back as after you die.” That’s just a thing with my family. We’re just like, “Hey, just in case…” I was like, “Maybe you should come back as a crow.” Then I was like, “Oh, no, I always pay attention to crows. I love them. I don’t know if I’m going to recognize if it’s you or if it’s just a regular crow. So I don’t know.” And keep in mind, my grandma is unresponsive, like she had been for weeks at this point. I didn’t go any further. I didn’t offer anything else.

Around 3:30 in the morning, I was quiet, just sitting there, holding her hand, and all of a sudden I smelled my grandpa, who had died two years earlier. He had a very distinct smell. He smoked cigarettes, but this wasn’t just a cigarette smell; it was my grandpa. I noticed that this flower in a bouquet across from Grandma’s bed was bouncing up and down, like as if someone were using their finger to pull it down and letting it bounce back up.

I walked over there and I’m feeling the air around it, making sure there are no vents making the flower move, and there was nothing. And I hadn’t seen it previously in the night. So I’m like, “Hi, Grandpa.” The flower stopped bouncing and the smell gradually dissipated, and she lasted through the night.

A few days prior to that, her friend Carol – because we were considering “if she doesn’t die in the hospital by Saturday, let’s just move her to her apartment.” Her friend Carol told her, “Hey Sharon, we’re going to move you to your home on Saturday. We think Grandma heard that because she lasted through the night, so we were like, “Okay, let’s move forward with our plan to take her to her apartment. We’ll just care for her there.”

My mom went there ahead of the ambulance people to get the apartment all set up for Grandma. We took her to her apartment, got her all comfortable, got her set up. A nurse came in to go over stuff with us and help us and everything. She wasn’t even there for an hour and she died, as soon as she got comfortable and relaxed in her apartment. That’s why we say that it was because Carol told her she was gong home, she waited until she got home.

After she died, I went down the hall and got Carol, and we were standing around and talking about coffee. My sister was sitting on the couch, the nurse was sitting at the table. No one was actually making coffee; my mom was like, “Maybe we should make some coffee,” and Carol was like, “I can just go down the hall and get some and bring it in a carafe,” and all of a sudden, the carafe in my grandma’s coffee pot lurched out of the coffee pot. No one was around it.

JIM HAROLD: Oh man.

AMANDA: Yeah, it was like my grandma was like, “No, I’ll just do it” and tried to make everybody coffee. It was crazy. After that, we called my grandma’s stepson and told him, and he said that around 3:30, which was around the time that I smelled my grandpa and saw the bouncing floor, he had a dream that my grandpa visited him and said, “Give Sharon a kiss and tell her I’ll be there soon.”

JIM HAROLD: Wow.

AMANDA: Yeah. Once we got everything taken care of – we were exhausted and sad, so we went out for lunch and were standing around talking, and my mom goes, “Oh man, we never discussed with her what she should come back as after she dies.” I was like, “Oh, I told her to come back as a crow. But I always pay attention to crows, so I was like, ‘Eh, never mind.’” My mom just stared at me and she’s like, “I had the weirdest thing happen to me when I went over to her apartment to get everything prepared for her.” She parked where she normally does, and she was like, “I got out of the car and a crow behind me screamed at me and scared me so bad.”

JIM HAROLD: Whoa.

AMANDA: Yes. We think that was my grandma, before she had even passed.

JIM HAROLD: Maybe you mentioned this and I missed it, but was she particularly tuned in during her life? Was she very intuitive, psychic?

AMANDA: Yes. It was weird, yeah.

JIM HAROLD: That’s interesting. So that carried over from the other side and when she was kind of in that in-between state.

AMANDA: Yeah. I think you had stories on here before, or I’ve just heard them somewhere else, that people, before their bodies have died, their spirits are just running around. So I think that was her.

JIM HAROLD: Yeah, I think that’s one of the most – I don’t mean to be morbid, but I’m fascinated by things like deathbed visions, deathbed visitations, or this idea that when people – and we’re not really talking as much about a sudden death, but someone who’s maybe ill or I hospice or things – there’s this time when they seem to cross back and forth between the two worlds. It’s just always fascinated me because I think it’s real. Too many reports of people seeing loved ones close to passing, actually seeing the other side and commenting on it, and then things like you’re talking about. Fascinating story.

AMANDA: Exactly.

JIM HAROLD: I’ve got to believe in one sense – I mean, that carafe coming out of the pot is pretty wild, but I’ve got to believe overall, this is comforting, if nothing else, right?

AMANDA: Definitely. It was a really cool story, and I like how even going back to the crow – because I said I always pay attention to crows. So the fact that she went to my mom – I like that she scared the crap out of her because I think Grandma would’ve found that funny as well. [laughs] I don’t know, I think that shows more intelligence, I guess.

JIM HAROLD: Right, it makes sense. And I do believe that our loved ones are very tuned in to us and they put across signs that, again, to somebody else it may mean noting, but to us, it means a lot, and it meant a lot to you. Well, Amanda, thank you so much for joining us and sharing your story today on the Campfire.

AMANDA: Thanks, Jim.

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You’re listening to Jim Harold’s Campfire.

JIM HAROLD: Next up on the Campfire is Kate from the Chicagoland area, and we’re so glad to have her with us. She has some stories about the supernatural and technology, which I think is an interesting spin. I love it. Kate, welcome to the show. Please tell us these stories.

KATE: Hi. Thank you, Jim.

JIM HAROLD: Thank you.

KATE: The first one I want to start with – I’m not sure which you’d prefer that I go with. There’s a family one and a not-family one.

JIM HAROLD: Any order you’d like.

KATE: Okay. I guess I’ll start with the family one. My grandfather passed away when I was about four, and he was born in 1914. He was a really tough guy, stormed Normandy, got shot, the whole nine yards. When he passed away, there were a couple of things that happened, and it kind of makes sense given what a gruff guy he was that he made it pretty obvious that it was him responsible.

The things that I remember, being about that age – this was back in the day when – some younger listeners might remember, but maybe not – fax machines (a) existed and (b) were separate from printers and were just enormous. Right after he passed away, he broke both our giant fax machine and our giant printer/copy machine. When I got older, I talked to my mom a little bit more about it and she said, “Do you remember what happened with the camera?” I said, “No, what happened with the camera?” She said when we went out to San Diego – because that’s where my grandpa lived – to get everything sorted out, she took her old Olympus waterproof tiny digital camera, and they took photos because it’s beautiful out there.

When they went to leave to come back – and they didn’t get a photo of this because everything was packed, but they were heading to the airport to fly home, and there was this big glowing letter “H” in the sky. My grandpa’s name was Harry. My parents were like, “It’s the middle of the day. There aren’t any clouds. It’s not like there’s something reflecting up off of the ground. What the heck is this?” And then half-forgot about it, like for some reason people tend to do when weird things happen.

They get to the airport and they fly home, and my mom starts going through her camera to look at the pictures that they had taken, and it wasn’t working. The message that came up was “Error Code H.” My mom’s like, “What the heck?” I asked her about this later, and I said, “Did it say anything else?” She said there was a number after the “H” but she couldn’t remember what it was. This was when we had individual photo shops, not just getting them processed at Walgreens or whatever.

JIM HAROLD: Right, like Fotomat.

KATE: Right. There was a place on the main drag in the town I grew up in, and she took the camera there because they had all of the different user manuals for every type of camera you can possibly imagine. The guy came out from in back just completely befuddled and said, “There is no such thing as an Error Code H.”

JIM HAROLD: Oh, that’s funny.

KATE: My mom was like, “Are you kidding me?” The funny thing was, she got home and the camera worked perfectly fine. It was as though Grandpa said, “Okay, I’ve left my message. I made it very clear by breaking things that it was me.” It’s funny because he was actually my dad’s dad, but he always had a soft spot for my mom, so I think he particularly did that for her.

I guess it’s kind of technology-related depending on if it was ever really there. That’s a sentence that’ll make sense at the end of the story. [laughs] About four years ago, my dad was driving home. It was just a one lane either direction, smaller highway. My grandpa was also a truck driver. My dad’s driving home and he sees these big headlights in his rearview mirror. He’s like, “Boy, somebody’s really on my bumper here, this giant truck. What the heck is this?” He was going about five miles an hour over.

This big truck goes to pass him and my dad’s thinking, “There are a lot of curves in the road. You’re going to hit somebody going the other direction. But if you really want to pass me, go ahead.” So he looks – my dad was in a tiny little Prius at the time, which is funny because he’s an enormous man – but he looks up and he can’t see into the cab of this truck, but he starts looking at it – it’s completely parallel with his car, and he looks and he’s like, “This truck is really old.” It was the kind of 18-wheeler that my grandpa would’ve driven in the ’60s and ’70s.

Instead of passing my dad’s car, it slowed back down, got back in the same lane as my dad, and just slowly faded off and got further and further away. Like I said, I don’t know that that’s technically technology. I mean, I suppose it could’ve been a phantom truck. Heck, I don’t know. But that was the stories with my grandpa. The Error Code H – I will talk to certain friends about paranormal type things and they’ll look at me and their mouths will drop at that story. I think that’s what’s so great and that’s something that made me want to call in. You had the gal on who talked about the photo being taken of her when her phone was in the car.

JIM HAROLD: Right.

KATE: You said if anybody else has more technology stories, please call in. I thought about it and I thought, the things that happen to you never seem like the most interesting stories until someone tells you that they’re interesting.

JIM HAROLD: I love the truck story too, but that Error Code H, and in the sky, that is awesome. That is really, really, really awesome. It’s an awesome story.

KATE: He was a tough guy.

JIM HAROLD: You also have a story about a TV and watching a program with guests who have been on our program. Tell us about that one, if you would.

KATE: Right. Anybody who’s familiar with the show Hellier, which is fantastic – if you’re not, I’ll try not to give anything away, but they’re supposedly doing a third season, so keep an eye out. I don’t know when that’s going to be. But I had finished the second season, I had rewatched it – this was two or three years ago – and I had this little ditty in my head that they do at one point. Like I said, I don’t want to give it away, but they go, “Bing bing bing, bing bing bing.” I had that in my head and I couldn’t get it out, and I thought, “This is so weird. Maybe I just need to start watching more of these types of things.”

It was a weekend. I went and sat down and I thought, “I’ve never seen Mothman Prophecies. Everybody always talks about it. I’ll watch that.” So I pushed the voice search button on my TV remote control, and I said, “The Mothman Prophecies.” It said you can pay for it on Amazon, you can do this or that, whatever, but the only free place was this app called Crackle, which I had never heard of. I pressed download. I have to emphasize this – the app was not on my TV. It had never been downloaded. I’d never used it, I had never heard of it.

So I watched the movie and I went, okay, cool. I enjoyed it. I thought, “What can I watch next?” I had completely closed out of the app and I thought, “I haven’t seen Close Encounters in,” jeez, maybe 15 years at that point. So I closed out of it, I pushed the button again on my remote, and I said, “Close Encounters of the Third Kind. It said it could also be watched for free on Crackle. I still had the “bing bing bing” thing in my head, and I thought, “Jeez, something’s got to get rid of this.”

So I pressed to play the film on Crackle, and it said, “Do you want to continue where you left off?” I’m thinking, this app wasn’t on my TV earlier, so I certainly didn’t begin the film already. I thought, “What the heck, maybe it’s a glitch,” so I pressed resume, and it was right when the choir director was getting the chorus to sing the song in order to actually bring the ship down and direct them to Earth. I’m thinking, okay, yeah, that’s four tones – I’m a dreadful singer, so I won’t do it, but that’s four tones. What I had in my head was three. But the odds of that happening – and maybe I’m stretching it a little bit, but it hit me in the weird bone, I guess. Not the funny bone but the weird bone. I still have no explanation for it.

JIM HAROLD: Kind of one of those “too much of a coincidence to be a coincidence” kind of things.

KATE: Yeah. I don’t think it’s as much of a draw as the one with my grandpa, but I’m still like, boy, if stuff starts stacking up with Hellier – part of why I wanted to share it is I know Greg and Dana Newkirk have said that they’ve heard from many people that having watched their program, viewers have had weird things happen as a result. So I just thought maybe I would throw that out into the mix. But yep, those are my stories.

JIM HAROLD: Kate, enjoyed them. Thanks so much for being a part of the Campfire.

KATE: Absolutely. Have a good one, Jim.

JIM HAROLD: Rich is on the line from the UK, and he has a very personal story to tell us. He heard about us from Somewhere in the Skies with Ryan Sprague. Ryan is a great guy, and he’s actually in the UK now, as I understand it. So make sure you check out Somewhere in the Skies as well. Rich, welcome to the show and tell us what happened.

RICH: Thank you very much, Jim. Thank you for having me and for giving me the opportunity to tell this story. It’s about 20 years old. It happened in 2005. I’m 45 now, so I would’ve been 28 at the time. I was very raw emotionally at the time; I’d had some deaths in the family.

We had lost my mother six months before this happened, which was immediately followed by losing my father. He was a very blue-collar engineer, real world. Nothing paranormal or supernatural ever came up. This is entirely something that I’ve become a fan of over the course of my lifetime. We didn’t really have that much in common. We were a very happy family; it was just the three of us. No siblings. And obviously, we’d just lost my mother, so my dad and I were figuring out what our relationship was going to be. He was very bad with – well, not bad, but he was very awkward with feelings. He was a coalminer when he was a kid. He was very practical and not much for the “I love you, son” and that sort of thing.

The only thing we really bonded over was cars, and that will be important. We didn’t really have anything else in common. It’s where my love of cars came from. If my dad, who never believed in anything like this sort of thing, was ever going to reach out to me from beyond, it would have something to do with cars. And that’s pretty much exactly what I think happened. And that’s what I’m going to tell you about.

The day after he died – this is immediately afterwards – I had to clear some of his cars off the driveway of the house where he and my mother lived. There were three of them in total. One of them was a tiny little Mini Cooper that we used as a spare car, which never really got much action, so when I got in it to move it and turned the key and it didn’t start, that wasn’t really a big shock. I jumpstarted it with my car and moved it out of the way.

Then I got into my dad’s luxury executive sedan, I guess you’d say, and he’d used that quite recently, but not his daily driver. I turned the key in that, and that also didn’t start. And when I say these cars didn’t start, I mean there was nothing. The dashboard lights didn’t come on, there was nothing. I moved that one after jumpstarting it again, and before I even got in my mother’s car, which he had driven the day he died – he had driven this car at this point a day ago – I already knew that car wasn’t going to start, and there was absolutely no reason for it not to.

I turned the key and there was nothing. Absolutely nothing. One of them I can explain away as just a car that hadn’t started in a while; the second one was a little bit weird, and the third one, as I sat there in the car itself, I’ve never had a feeling like it before. It felt like he was there. I was obviously in a very emotional state, but this wasn’t something I imagined because it was a tangible, physical, real-world thing of a machine not working.

I’d never had a paranormal or a supernatural experience before, or really since, but I’ve never been more sure of anything than the feeling that that was my dad reaching out to me through the only way he could really find a way. It was profound. I’m reliving it now as I’m telling the story, and it’s just as real now as it was 20-something years ago. It’s the only thing that I’ve ever and happen, and if my dad was going to reach out, that’s how he would do it because cars were the only thing that we did together. I felt his desperation, as it were. Obviously he didn’t know what was going on. I didn’t see him; nothing floated. There was nothing sci-fi / horror movie about what happened. It was just a car that didn’t start. But there was no reason for that car not to start.

JIM HAROLD: Right. I believe that our loved ones – I’ve said this numerous times on the shows, so I hate to sound like the proverbial broken record, but I do believe that our loved ones, just by virtue of being around us so much and having so many interactions with us, know what resonates with us. And just as you described it, with you guys it was automobiles, and you guys had a common love and common interest in automobiles, and it sounds like it was some relatively rare common ground that you shared. So to me, as you said, it made perfect sense for him to use a car to get his point across.

RICH: Yes. That was him, his real-world, rough hands engineer way of saying that he was there. I was obviously a mess. We’d only just come to terms with losing my mother, and I was the one that found him. He’d had a heart attack, and I was the one that found him. I went to counseling, I went to therapy and all of that stuff, but it’s still quite an emotional thing to talk about. I’ve told this story to a few people in the past, and lots of people just chalk it up to me being emotional. But I didn’t imagine it. There was a physical thing that didn’t happen. I didn’t imagine the car not starting, or any of them not starting.

When you know something, like when someone asks you a question and you know the answer, there’s no doubt. It’s just a simple thing of “I know that for a fact.” That’s how I felt, sat there in that car. I knew as soon as I put the key in that it wasn’t going to start, and I knew for a fact that that was my dad. It still gives me goosebumps and makes me shake thinking about it today.

JIM HAROLD: I absolutely believe it, Richard. I don’t think you’re imagining anything. I think you hit it on the head, and it is exactly as you say it is. Thank you so much for joining us and sharing this very personal and very poignant story today on the Campfire.

RICH: Thank you for giving me the chance to talk about it, Jim. Keep up the good work and stay spooky.

JIM HAROLD: Next up on the Campfire is Kestrel. Kestrel was told about the show by her friend Libby, so Libby, thank you for doing that. Stay spooky. And please, everybody, follow Libby’s advice and tell your friends about the Campfire. Kestrel is calling in from New Hampshire. She says she has a collection of stories, and we’re going to start out tonight with her telling us one or two. Kestrel, welcome to the program. Thank you for joining us, and please tell us what happened.

KESTREL: I think I’ll start off with a collection of stories from the house that I grew up in. This house that I grew up in was in Georgia, so not at all where I am now. It was in the town of Jonesboro, which is a big Civil War battle site, for any history buffs out there. This was the house I grew up in, and I lived there till I was about 12. There was a lot of collection of odd little incidents that we had growing up. We all just kind of knew, “Oh, the house is haunted.” It was a straightforward thing for our family, honestly.

The ghosts really seemed to like electronics. I have a younger brother, and he had one of those toy trucks that had little lights that would go off on it, and it would make noise and that kind of stuff. For a while there, in the middle of the night, we would hear it go off. My parents would go into his room and they thought he was sneaking out of bed to play with it or something like that, and he was like, “No, I’m not, I promise.” He had a history of sleepwalking, so they thought, “Maybe he doesn’t know that he’s doing it.” So they started putting it up on the top shelf of the closet at night, and it kept going off and kept going off. They were like, “Well, maybe there’s some sort of weird sensor thing or something,” so they took the batteries out of it. And it kept going off.

JIM HAROLD: Oh man.

KESTREL: Yeah, at night. We ended up getting rid of it. We were like, “Well, that was weird. Okay, whatever.” We had another similar situation like that where we had a stuffed cat that was meant to be a Halloween decoration. It had a little button you could press on its paw and it would make a scary cat yowl sound. It lived in our basement, in our collection of Halloween things, and about a month before Halloween it started going off. We were like, “Maybe the other stuff in the box is pressing on it or something,” so we just took it out, put it on a shelf. Same thing, it kept going off.

JIM HAROLD: Oh man.

KESTREL: My parents took the batteries out of it. My parents cut the wires, and it still would just go off. We would all just be minding our own business and suddenly, from the basement, there would be the sound of the cat yowling from this stuffed cat. That one we just kept. It was like, “Oh, sure, it’s the possessed Halloween cat.” Eventually we just laughed it off. [laughs]

JIM HAROLD: Do you think it was more the house than it was the actual items?

KESTREL: Yeah, for sure. We would see figures out of the corner of our eye sometimes, in rooms that we knew no one else was in. This is something that happened to my mom. She woke up in the middle of the night to somebody opening her dresser drawers and pulling stuff out of it. She flipped on the lights and there was no one in there, and she came into my room and my brother’s room because she thought we were looking for something or something was going on, and we were asleep. We had no idea what was going on. But the drawers were open. It wasn’t like she’d had a nightmare and woken up from it. Her stuff was pulled out onto the floor.

So yeah, I think there were definitely things still in the house. My parents always were under the impression it was from the battle that happened there during the Civil War. They always would say, especially when it seemed like other things were playing with our toys, “Well, some of the soldiers were pretty young. Maybe they just wanted a little bit of the childhood they didn’t have.”

JIM HAROLD: It’s interesting when you hear about newer houses and people say – and I don’t know if this was a newer house, but a lot of times you’ll hear, “I had a brand-new house built, but it was haunted.” And come to find out maybe it was built somewhere where there had been something before that might have lent itself to that kind of activity. Very interesting stories, Kestrel. I know you have a workplace story and another story about a disembodied voice, and I hope we can hear that on a future call on the Campfire.

KESTREL: Absolutely.

JIM HAROLD: Thank you for being a part of the show tonight, and also thank you to Libby for telling you about the Campfire.

Renee is on the line again from Michigan. We’re so glad to have her. She’s been listening since the very beginning – 2009. So she definitely deserves what one of my old bosses called an “oak leaf cluster.” I had to google that and find out what it meant, but it’s basically like a star kind of thing. It has to do with the military, I believe. But anyway. [laughs] Salute to Renee, and we appreciate her being on the line.

She has a story – I’m going to be careful how I say this because I don’t want to set off voice assistants around the world. You know that thing from Amazon that’s like a tube, or it used to be like a tube, and it’s spelled A-L-E-X-A? Well, Renee has had some strange experiences with what we’ll refer to for this call as “The Lady in the Tube.” That’s what my friend, hall of fame podcaster Dave Jackson calls it. The Lady in the Tube. So Renee, tell us about what happened to you and The Lady in the Tube.

RENEE: Hi, Jim. This is a very odd story. As you know, and all your callers know who have one of these things, starts with an “A,” ends in an “A.” We were away. This was back in September. We went to my son’s house and were out to dinner, came home, and we have a light that we can turn on. It’s one of those lights you turn on automatically and my husband can operate it from his watch. He says, “A, turn on the light” so the light comes on before we get home.

He gets in the house before I do and I take my coat off, and he’s over there beckoning me in. He says, “Shh, listen!” I go, “What? What are you talking about?” She was rambling on. I’m like, “What is she saying?” Because you know sometimes she just rambles on. He says, “No, she’s telling a story.” We were listening, and I was like, “What is she doing and why is she doing this?” Turns out that we walked in on a narration of a book. She was narrating a book.

Now, anybody that has one of these devices knows that it doesn’t just randomly narrate stuff. You have to give it a command. “Do this, do that,” whatever. She was narrating a book, so that was weird in itself. Then we did some research. I said, “A, stop. Who initiated this book? Who told you to say this story?” She goes, “Hmm, I don’t have that information.” I said, “Okay.” After looking on my phone – I listen to podcasts, of course. I said, “Maybe something came through from my phone and she was narrating it.” Well, that wasn’t the case because, one, she was narrating a book that I had never heard of and never listened to, and two, nobody was around to initiate this.

Here’s the interesting part. It actually was connected from my husband’s phone, and it was called Spooky Tales for All Ages. That’s interesting because I’m the one who’s into the spooky tales. He’s really not. He listens when I’m listening because whatever, but he would never initiate that. And it was on his phone. It didn’t come up, he didn’t request it. She was just narrating it. We thought that was the strangest thing. Like, how does this electronic device just start narrating something when nobody’s here? Nobody was in the house. We were 45 miles away at my son’s house. It’s just odd.

JIM HAROLD: I’ll tell ya, from experience, we have A-L-E-X-A, and it’s become increasingly erratic. [laughs] I don’t know what’s going on at Amazon. Honestly, I’ve heard tell, I’ve read that that division is losing a lot of money and they’ve laid people off, so I wonder if nobody’s minding the store. I don’t know what’s going on with it. But that is weird that it’s the Spooky Tales piece. That makes it interesting. I do believe that the supernatural can interact with technology. We’ve had other calls like that and other things. So I don’t know that it is or it isn’t the case in this case, but I do wonder about it being a spooky tale, perhaps.

I also realize you had a couple of JOTT stories – “just one of those things.” Can you tell us one of those stories today?

RENEE: Oh yes. Oh my gosh, this one is bizarre. It must’ve been like 2013 or ’14. I had gotten a new car, and I wanted to hang a crystal, like one of those crystals to refract the light from the mirror. I had it in my craft room. It was on the table, and I put it there specifically so I could find it, hang it up. I couldn’t find I anywhere. And it was just there. My daughter was there and she goes, “Maybe you already put it in your car.” She went out to the car; it wasn’t in the car. I went into the other room; it wasn’t in the other room. I’m losing my mind and I finally yell, “Just put it back!” Yelled at whoever or whatever because I was getting frustrated.

Then I went back in my craft room, and there it was, inside of a roll of tape, like masking tape. It was inside of the tape dispenser, like a roll of tape. It was not there a minute ago. She went and checked. I didn’t see it on the table. So where did it go and where did it come from? When I yelled, did somebody actually put it back? I don’t know. This stuff happens so often. It’s just weird.

JIM HAROLD: It reminds me of the famous writer, the late great Brad Steiger, who wrote on these subjects for probably 40 years. He said that there was something bothering him in his writing space. He was in his office at home, writing and trying to get through – I don’t remember if it was a proof or something that was on deadline, very important stuff. He was trying to get through it and he felt that there was some spirit in there, sabotaging things and causing problems. He literally said he basically, out loud, said something to the effect of, “I’m trying to work! Knock it off!” And it did knock it off, whatever it was. Brad was a very intelligent guy, so I absolutely believe that that happened to him. I always think that’s fascinating. Sometimes I think if it’s not something dark or if you are stern with it, it might just leave you alone if you want it to.

RENEE: Like mischievous, maybe. It knew I was looking for it. Like, “Stop messing with me!” And this stuff has happened so many times, more than I can count. So when I heard you talk about the JOTT, I said, oh my God, I have a whole book full of stuff like that. It just turns up in the weirdest places. Like I would never put it there, with certain things. And this one, I had just looked there and it wasn’t there. I go, “Am I losing my mind?” It was there and then it wasn’t there and then it was there. It’s like “Okay, I’m losing my mind.” But my daughter was there to back me up. I go, “You looked in there, you didn’t see it?” She said, “No. Where did it come from?” I said, “I don’t know, but there it is.”

JIM HAROLD: I don’t think you’re losing your mind. It happens to people all the time. Renee, thank you for sharing your stories today on the Campfire.

RENEE: Thanks, Jim.

JIM HAROLD: Jake is from Michigan. He’s been listening for a few months, and we’re so glad to have him on the line. He’s going to tell us about some urban exploration, and it may have had some supernatural consequences. Jake, welcome to the program and tell us what happened.

JAKE: Thanks, Jim. I’m happy to be here. This story takes place five years ago. A bunch of friends and I decided to go out one night and go exploring in this abandoned psychiatric hospital. We’re going through the place, floor by floor, and it’s real late at night. We make our way down to these tunnels underneath the building, and as we’re going through, it’s really tight; you can only get a single file line through there. I’m at the back of the line, and as we’re going, I feel a hand on my shoulder.

JIM HAROLD: Yikes.

JAKE: This story is kind of a headscratcher, kind of a ghost story, because after I felt the hand, I heard the voice of one of my buddies in my ear, but they were all in front of me.

JIM HAROLD: Ooh.

JAKE: I don’t know how that happened.

JIM HAROLD: So what happened next?

JAKE: After that, I was like, “I think we should get out of here, guys.” We got out of there. This story is a two-parter because that instance happened and then about a week later, I was out at my new apartment that I just got. It was middle of the week, late at night, I’m lying in bed. Since it was my first apartment ever, moving out on my now, I usually closed the bedroom door before I went to sleep just because I’m, I don’t know, paranoid, young. I’m lying in bed, no lights on, just a little bit of light from outside coming in, and for some reason I roll over towards the bedroom door.

It was like instant paralysis. I couldn’t see anything, but I was just frozen. As I looked toward the bedroom door, it creaked open, and – I don’t really know how to describe what I saw, but it was darker than the night. Just pitch black. It was sort of humanlike, but it was longer than you would expect somebody to be, limb-wise. It crawled into the room on all fours. The whole time it’s crawling in, I couldn’t break the gaze, just completely paralyzed. The next thing I know, I wake up and look at my bedroom door because I knew I always closed it. Immediately I thought, “Oh, it was just a nightmare.” But the bedroom door was wide open. I still have no explanation of how that happened.

JIM HAROLD: So you think the two are almost definitely connected?

JAKE: I think so. I think whatever touched me at the psychiatric hospital followed me home.

JIM HAROLD: I believe that’s a potential hazard of investigating these places. I guess it depends. If you’re like me and you believe these things are real, then if they have the ability to manifest themselves in various places, why wouldn’t they have the ability to travel to you or travel with you, especially if they’re more of a sinister kind of ilk? I guess what I’m saying is that if you believe in the whole idea of haunting and spirits and particularly maybe more sinister spirits or darker energies, if you believe in that concept, then it’s not a very far jump to say, yeah, you could have an attachment. So I believe it’s absolutely possible.

JAKE: Yeah.

JIM HAROLD: Not to say that people that were in a place like that – I mean, I feel very sorry for them. But maybe there were other spirits there that weren’t the actual people who were the patients. Maybe there were other entities of some type, perhaps. But whatever it may be, chilling indeed. Well, Jake, thank you for listening. I’m so glad you found the shows. I know you found us a few months ago. And thank you for being a part of the Campfire today.

JAKE: Thank you.

JIM HAROLD: Thank you so much for joining us today on the Campfire. I appreciate it. And if you have your own Campfire story, submissions are now open over at jimharold.com/campfire. Please sign up. We’ll be in touch, and we will share your story on the Campfire. Looking forward to that.

Also, if you enjoy what we do, please tell a friend today about the Campfire. We don’t have these big marketing budgets that the big corporations have, but we’ve got you, and I’ll stick with you. I think I like that arrangement better. So thank you so much for sharing the show when you can. Rating and review, that helps too, on whatever podcast app you listen to. I think it really helps when people see great reviews from regular folks, podcast listeners just like them.

Two other notes, one free and one a premium opportunity.

We are starting our Jim Harold Live Show on YouTube. It’s an experiment; it is a bit of a laboratory. We share things like Campfire stories, we share interviews, we do a little bit of paranormal news, a little bit of audience interaction. It’s something that we’re starting on Fridays at 12:30 Eastern. The plan is to try to do that pretty much every Friday at 12:30 Eastern. So please check that out on my YouTube channel at youtube.com/jimharold. 12:30 Eastern every Friday for at least the foreseeable future. We’re going to see if people like it. It’s fun to do. We did one with Ryan Sprague last week. The replay is also available on my YouTube channel. So check it out, see what you think, and I hope to see you there – tomorrow, actually, if you’re listening on Thursday. YouTube.com/jimharold, if you would.

And then finally, if you say, “Hey Jim, I can’t wait until the next Campfire. I must listen to another Campfire right away! How can I get all those classic Campfires?” – very easy. Jimharoldplus.com. Click on the banner with my face and you will get all the details on both versions of our Plus Club. Both have all the archived Campfire episodes, plus much, much more. We have a version from Libsyn, which allows you to pretty much dial in from any platform – Android, Windows, Mac, everything – and then there are people who say, “Man, I just listen to my shows through Apple Podcasts. I’m not interested in anything else.” Then we’ve got the new Apple Podcasts only version. So you can pick whichever one you prefer, and we think both are great.

We thank you so much. We’ll talk to you next time. 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.


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