Favorite 2023 Campfire Stories – Jim Harold’s Campfire 637

Enjoy some of the most frightening, most haunted and most memorable Campfire stories from 2023. Happy New Year!


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Jim: Some of our favorite Campfire stories from 2023, buckle up.

Announcer: 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: Welcome to the Campfire. I am Jim Harold, and so glad to be with you, and you are indeed in the right place. If you want to hear some spooky stories and we’ve got ’em for you this week, happy New Year and welcome to the Campfire. whether you’ve been listening for years or if you just started and we’ve got a special treat for you this week. What we did is I got with Dar and Maddy, and they listen to the shows for quality review, they transcribe the shows, they do a lot of work with the shows, so they’re familiar with the stories we have every year. And I said, Hey, guys, give me some of your favorites! So they gave me a list. I kind of acted as editor and culled it down a bit. Now I’ve got to say these, our stories were in 2023. It’s going to be a little bit more weighted towards the beginning of the year.

I would say that there were stories in November and December that were probably among our favorites, but I want to really focus on stories that were a little older. Maybe you haven’t heard them recently, so it’s a little maybe weighted in the first three quarters of the year. But regardless, they are some great stories. And please share this episode with a friend, whether you’re on Spotify, apple Podcast, iHeartRadio, whatever it might be. In all of those apps, there’s a little share button. Share it, share it with a friend that does us a ton of good. It gets the word out there. And in 2024, I’m going to ask you every episode, share it with a friend, share it with a friend, because we need to grow to keep this enterprise going, and we certainly want to do that. And we thank you so much for all of your support in 2023. And now let’s get right to the best of 2023, or probably more accurately, some of the best from 2023. First up is Fitz from the Knock Once For Yes podcast. And boy, this is a humdinger

Fitz: 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 of 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: 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: [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: Wow. Love that story and appreciate Fitz and Lil from The Knock Once For Yes, podcast for coming on. Check it out. And now to the next Campfire story. 

Adam is a new listener and he said he was in the process of a move. He started listening and he’s listened every day since and we appreciate it. He’s calling in today from Montana, lots of stuff going in the skies of Montana these days. But Adam’s going to tell us, really, this is a unique story. We really didn’t get to talk about it offline. But Adam, I’m fascinated by this story. I don’t know that we’ve had one on the show like it and the show’s almost 14 years old, so I can’t wait for you to tell us this story. Welcome and tell us this very interesting story.

Adam: Hey, thank you, Jim. Yes sir. Basically, this story is a combination of three different stories, all of whom had told me their experience firsthand.

We’ll start from the very first one, my mother. When I was younger, I started getting into all the scary stuff, ghosts and things like that. I remember she told me a story once of before I was born, she and my father were driving home. It was somewhere in California. We lived there in the San Joaquin Valley. It’s the Dust Bowl. So they’re driving home somewhere late at night, and this thing, this creepy-crawly as she describes it, on all fours – she said it was pale, kind of looked like an old man – came crawling across the road, real quick. She and my dad both were like, “Man, did you see that? Did you see what I saw? That’s pretty crazy.” They went home, never really talked about it. That was the first time I heard about what she described to me, and I was a kid. That was back in the ’90s.

Later on, I ended up moving here to Montana, me and my beautiful wife now. While we were dating and going through that phase, we’re swapping stories and she tells me, “Hey, one time me and my friends were driving along this dirt road up here,” and they saw a creepy-crawly. She proceeds to describe almost the exact same thing my mother did. It was on all fours, looked like a skinny old person, and just crawled across, really too quick for a human. That’s when I was like, “Man, you know what?” I told her, “My mom told me this story,” and we sat there and were like, “That’s pretty creepy.” Years apart, different states.

Now, while I’m here in Montana, I got employed at this place, and the manager’s husband is there working with us. We’re swapping stories, and he tells me, “Hey, you want to hear a crazy story?” This is when they lived in Chicago. He tells me the story. He and his buddy were going through this park late at night, and he saw the exact same thing. They heard a screech, though. They were hearing it before they saw it, and when it was out on the road, he described the exact same thing that my wife and my mother described. It threw me for a loop. He’s an artist, too, so while he’s describing this to me, he’s sketching on a notepad, and he says, “And this is what it looked like” and holds it up. And I’m like, dear lord, yep, that looks like what everyone’s describing to me.

Jim: What do you think the connection is? Do you think you’re the connection somehow, even though the first one was before you were born? Do you think it’s something unique to people’s connection with you that is allowing them to see this specific creature?

Adam: Man, you know what Jim, I’ve never even thought about it that way. That is nuts. I think it seems to be this – I know you’ve heard the term “The Rake” or Skinwalker-esque. I think it’s one of those things.

Jim: Okay. Yeah, wow. What’s wild is it’s all been unique, and the other one didn’t necessarily know about the other stories.

Adam: No, sir. I didn’t tell either of them each other’s stories beforehand.

Jim: Wow.

Adam:  It kind of creeps me out because I wonder if there’s just that many of these things running around that we don’t know, or there’s fewer and they just seemingly live for a long time.

Jim: Well, we did have a story last year – maybe you heard it, towards the fourth quarter of last year. Someone up in the Pacific Northwest saw what he thought was a Skinwalker eating some kind of animal. That reminded me a little bit of that. I believe there are strange creatures and things we don’t understand. They may not even be of this plane. They might be of another dimension, they might be of another time, they might be of another reality, and they flash through. But I do believe that there are strange creatures and strange things that we can’t explain.

In fact, my parents had a story like that when I was a baby that happened. They had stopped at this secluded place; I was back at my grandparents’ house as a baby. They saw a flash of light. Then my dad said he saw a man with a welding mask with his hand out, and then coming down the road, my mom said, “Then I saw the biggest birds I ever saw in my life!” [laughs] She called them birds, but who knows what they were. And this was not too far from the time of Mothman in the late ’60s in West Virginia. They were actually in West Virginia, but a totally different part of the state.

But my point is people see weird stuff, and I don’t think it’s everybody’s imagination. I think they’re seeing something.

Adam: Definitely. There’s no way. Not to say that any of them are liars, but man, this is spanning years. Years. There’s no way.

Jim: So how do you make sense of it? How have you come to peace with it? Any thoughts?

Adam: I have just come to peace with there’s things out there that we’re probably never going to get and understand. I just try not to think about it. Hopefully I don’t lay eyes on him. My mom says she never wants to see it again, and so did the other two. So I don’t know.

Jim: I’ve got to tell you, I feel the same way. We may never get the answers, but it’s very interesting asking the questions and exploring the stories. Thank you for sharing yours on the Campfire today, Adam.

Adam: Thank you, Jim. You’re awesome.

Jim: Next up on the Campfire is Edwin from North Carolina, and we are so glad to speak with him once again. He’s been on in the past talking about living in a haunted house, and he’s going to take us back to his days in the Marine Corps and tell us about some inexplicable moments. He’s going to tell us about that right now. Edwin, welcome back to the show. Thank you for your service to the country, and please tell us what happened.

Edwin: Hey, Jim. Thanks so much. I joined the Marine Corps in 1999, and I was 17. I was well aware of the paranormal, like I had called in the past about growing up in a haunted house, but I thought exiting from that house, there would be different things but that I wouldn’t feel the certain things that I felt in that home. But unfortunately, in my 10-year career in the Marine Corps, there were a couple things that happened to me that definitely were – I just couldn’t figure them out.

The first one that I wanted to talk to you about was when I was a recruit at Paris Island. At Paris Island, when you’re a recruit, you live in these long buildings called squad bays, and they’re usually three floors high. One evening, we were standing guard duty. They usually did it for an hour, where you wouldn’t sleep, you would stand guard, check over the other recruits. As I was standing there – there’s an open area at one end of the squad bay that has an open area, the restrooms, and where the drill instructor sleeps. Most of the time we would stand there and wait for our duty to end. At the far end, there’s a door that exits out of the building.

So we’re standing there, me and another gentleman who was on duty, and we’re whispering to each other because all the other recruits are sleeping. We hear the door at the far end open. And when I say far end, it’s about, I’d say 30 meters. It’s a long squad bay. We look and we see the door open, and we don’t see anybody come in. Then it closes, and me and him just look at each other like, “Oh.” But then when we look back, we can see a darker-than-dark shape standing at the far end.

Jim: Ooh.

Edwin: The one thing that you say when you’re on duty, you say, “Halt! Who goes there?” So we said, “Halt! Who goes there?”, kind of quietly, not to disturb the other recruits from sleeping. No answer. The recruit that I was with walks up maybe about 10 feet and he just stops. I can hear it in his voice, he’s scared. He’s like, “Halt! Who goes there?”

In ’99 – I don’t know what they have now, but we had these flashlights that were kind of L-shaped, and they’re green. You had these red lenses on them so you don’t disturb people sleeping. I hit my red lens twice, and it hits its red lens twice, and then he looks back at me and I look back at him, and when we look back, the door is opening, and it closes.

We beat feet. We run right to the door because we didn’t know who this was, and we didn’t want to get in trouble by the drill instructors, having somebody just walk into our squad bay. So we run. What I didn’t mention was that – we run, and this is a matter of two, three seconds. We get there, open the door, and we look down the steps, because we’re on the third floor, and there’s no one there. There’s no one on the steps. You can see directly right down the steps. My guy runs down the steps, doesn’t see anybody. We look out into the outside area, there’s nobody there.

He comes running up and he’s like, “What did we just see?” I was like, “I don’t know, man. Let’s just go back.” We go back and we knock on the drill instructor’s door and we frantically tell him, “There was somebody or something.” He goes, “Ah, don’t worry about it. That thing visits two or three times a month.”

Jim: [laughs] “Don’t worry about it.”

Edwin: Yeah, “Don’t worry about it. That thing visits two or three times a month. We don’t know what it is.” We still don’t know what it is. Being that I had grown up in a home that was haunted, I figured it was a spirit or something. Those squad bays are super old. They go all the way back to World War II, so there’s definitely something there, some type of history.

The second one – and this is the experience that reignited the paranormal with me because between that time and this time, so between ’99 and 2008, there’s so many things that are going on that you don’t really have time to focus on some of the things. And even if you do see things that are strange and unexplained, you just wish it away or you say, “I don’t know what that is. I don’t care.”

But in ’08, I was stationed out in Fallujah, Iraq, and I went to the showers. They had these shower – I guess you can call them – they were like these Quonset huts that had showers. They were the only place where you can get a nice hot shower after going out on the wire and coming back. So we went. This one creeps me out still, and it gets me a little nervous when I think about it. This one I can’t explain because I don’t know really what it is.

I went into the shower room, and there were four other Marines in there and they’re showering. We’re jaw-jacking and talking, and all of a sudden we hear gunfire. Immediately, we all run, get shorts on, and we run out with our M4s, literally bare-chested with shorts on, running out because we don’t know what we’re getting into, but we know we’re going to get into it. We come out the far end of the Quonset hut to see what’s going on, and Jim, we see a Navy Corpsman and we see a Marine. He’s holding a Marine, and the Marine is bleeding out.

We go into crazy mode. We’re like, “What is going on?” We go to run, and the Corpsman looks up at us and throws his right hand out to us and then shimmers and disappears. The Corpsman and the Marine that’s bleeding out.

Jim: Oh man.

Edwin: When I say shimmer, it was like – I don’t know how to explain it. I don’t know how to equate what this looked like, but it just disappeared into the ether. It was unbelievable. So then I look at the other guys that are with me, and at the same time, there was another hut that had showers that was on the other side of this open area, and they come running out and they say they hear gunshots. But we’re already standing out there. We look at these guys – there was about six or seven of them from the other showers – and we just look at each other like, “What the heck is going on?” I was like, “Nothing’s going on.”

Me and these other guys, we turn around, and I say, “What the hell did I just see, man?” And this guy’s like, “Did you see somebody? Did you see a bleeding guy and a Corpsman?” I said, “I saw a bleeding guy and a Corpsman.” Then the other guy was like, “Did it just disappear?” We just couldn’t figure it out. We went in. Because this is Iraq, we can’t focus on that.

Jim: Yeah, you’ve got to save yourself and do your job.

Edwin: I mean, we’re on base and we’re safe because we’re behind the gates or whatever, but you kind of say, “Okay, I don’t know what that was.” It sat with me for months, and then finally when I got back home to San Diego, I thought about it again. One night I was talking and then I said, “Oh yeah, this thing happened.” I reconfirmed. I called one of the guys who I knew – he was from a different unit, but I knew him. I called him and I said, “We definitely saw that, right?” He was like, “Dude, I can’t get it out of my brain. I don’t know what we saw.”

We discussed about it, and he had the idea that we saw a ghost. For some reason, at that time I just thought – and I had thought about it. Where I lived, I had noticed that sometimes these things didn’t interact with me; they just seemed to be this video of something that happened in time. I think that’s what it was. I think this just happened sometime in the past, and it just replays once in a while. It sits with me a lot because it was like it was there. And I’ve seen that type of scene in my life, being in the military, and it was there. And we were ready to respond. We were ready to run over there and help this Corpsman out with our bleeding brother of ours. But before we could even take one step, it just totally shimmered and disappeared.

Jim: So you think you saw a replay, basically.

Edwin: Totally think that, yeah.

Jim: Wow.

Edwin: It happens occasionally throughout – because when you’re in the military, sometimes you’re in places that there have been so many people and so many souls that have run through that same place. Sometimes you’ll hear voices in places where you’re not supposed to hear them, and you hear – you say to yourself, “I’m crazy. I just heard that.” But the more and more that you realize it, that there’s these moments where people are in these places, whether it’s trauma or happiness – there’s a lot of emotion attached to these places, and I think that’s what really causes these situations to happen.

Jim: It just is amazing to me. Again, it goes back to – and I sound like the proverbial broken record – that reality is way stranger. I just read a book called Dark Matter. It’s a fictional book, it’s a novel, but it plays into some of these things. This idea that there might be more than one version of us, or the idea of the multiverse. Hope I didn’t give away too many spoilers there, but check it out. It’s a great book, everybody. But the point is that it really is a very, very, very interesting thought.

I don’t know the answers, Edwin, but I do believe we live in a far stranger reality than we realize. Or maybe it’s something as simple as some kind of energy imprint, because obviously, life and death, the energy is so strong and so emotionally charged. Maybe that’s part of the answer. Who knows, who knows. But thank you so much for sharing this very amazing – well, both amazing stories, and for your service to the country. And thank you for being a part of the Campfire tonight.

Edwin: I appreciate that, Jim. Thanks so much.

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Announcer: Merry Christmas and happy Holidays from the Spooky Studio. Now back to Jim Harold’s Campfire.

Jim: Next up on the Campfire, literally one of my favorite people in the world. Richard Syrett is on the line. He is the Chief Cook & Bottlewasher at Richard Syrett’s Strange Planet, which is a fantastic podcast you all ought to check out, and we’ll talk about that a little bit later. He also is the often host of Coast to Coast AM and just had me on in December, and we’re very appreciative for that. Always a really great and supportive friend and a fantastic broadcaster, a great podcaster. I was telling Richard before, this is my favorite Campfire story that’s never been on the Campfire, so I thought it was time that we fix that. Richard, welcome to the show tonight.

Richard Oh, Jim, thank you so much. Always a pleasure to be with you.

Jim: This story is about a friend of yours – actually, somebody that I did interview, author and researcher R. Gary Patterson. Unfortunately he has passed, but you have a story involving him that is one of the most amazing I’ve ever heard. I’ll let you take it from there. Just an amazing, amazing story.

Richard: And one of the strangest things that has ever happened to me. It’ll be six years in May, and I’m still not sure what happened. I can’t say that I received a telephone call from the dead with 100% certainty – there, I gave it away – but I’m going to try to the best of my ability to give you an accurate portrayal of what happened the week leading up to May the 26th of 2017.

So R. Gary Patterson, as you said, was a frequent guest on Coast to Coast. He was a high school teacher in Olive Grove, Tennessee, this little Civil War era coal mining town just outside of Knoxville, Tennessee. R. Gary became a frequent guest on my various radio programs and podcasts. In fact, I’d never met Gary for years; he was just one of these discarnate voices over the ether, which is a funny aspect of the radio business. You know so many people just by their voice.

Finally, in about 2016, Gary came to Toronto as part of George Noory’s live stage show presentation at the Queen Elizabeth Theater. So finally, after probably about 10 years, I got to meet Gary face to face. We went out for dinner and we decided that we’d known each other for so long, and he loved to talk about the history of rock n’ roll and the strange occurrences in rock n’ roll – and he wrote volumes about this very subject; he was one of the pioneers in unraveling the whole “Paul is dead” mystery, Paul McCartney, who supposedly died in a car crash in 1966 and the Beatles covered it up. Well, he wrote one of the definitive books about that called The Walrus Was Paul, and he went to Beatle conferences. I loved having him on as a guest.

So we decided it was time we should work together, and we decided to do a radio project. It was going to be called The Spirit of Rock, and we were going to talk about rock n’ roll meets The Twilight Zone, really. The paranormal, the unexplained, and rock n’ roll. There is so much lore and legend, and he knew it all. So we began communicating almost on a daily basis – over the phone, there was a Google Chat or something, I can’t remember the app that we used to use. We were planning it and scripting it out. Eventually we recorded a demo, and the demo was about was Jimi Hendrix murdered, and we interviewed some musicians that played alongside Jimi Hendrix and we interviewed his former road manager. It was terrific. We started shopping it around, and we wanted to send it to radio stations and maybe build a network.

In I would say mid-May of 2017, Gary would call me on the phone to tell me about his luck in terms of pitching this to radio stations. He took it to a radio station in Knoxville, Tennessee. The general manager and the program director there loved it. So one night, I got a phone call – I remember this distinctly. It was on the Wednesday before the Saturday when Gary passed. On the Wednesday, I was in a parking lot at All Saints Greek Orthodox Church. I remember this because I used to take my boys to Greek school there, and while I was waiting for them to come out, he called me on my cellphone and said, “I’m getting ready to pitch this to the folks at the radio station in Knoxville.” I said, “Okay, good luck, Gary. Let me know.”

That was on the Wednesday. On the Thursday, he didn’t call me. On the Friday, I was at home in the basement. My cellphone rang; there was Gary. Looking back, it was kind of a strange call. The first thing he said was, “Richard, we had this meeting with the Knoxville station all set for Monday, and then I realized Monday is Memorial Day, so there’ll be no meeting.” Nobody works on Memorial Day. It’s a big deal in the United States. I’m Canadian; we don’t have Memorial Day. It’s strange – I don’t know why, but I didn’t ask him, “Okay, is it rescheduled, and for when?”

But then Gary started just talking about other things. He would say these strange things like, “You know, Richard, you’re a really cool dad.” I thought, “Where did that come from? Why is he going there? Maybe Gary’s just trying to build me up.” Then he said, “You know, Richard, you and I are a really big deal.” [laughs] I thought, wow. That’s Gary, building us up, but where did that come from?

Then I asked him, “Okay, it’s Memorial Day” – when I think of Memorial Day, I think of parades and barbeques down in the United States. Have a barbeque, invite the family over, you go to the Memorial Day parade. I said, “Hey Gary, are you gonna have a big barbeque this weekend?” And for the first time in all the years that I’d known Gary, he got a little testy. I thought, ooh, did I just step in a landmine here or something? What’s going on? He said, “There’ll be no barbeque.” Just like that. I thought, oh, okay. All right. I said, “Well, I guess I’ll talk to you soon” or something. I don’t even remember how I signed off. It was almost like the call ended on a bit of a downer, a sour note, especially coming off him saying, “You’re a really cool dad” and “We’re a really big deal.”

Jim: Right, all these positive things, and then he follows up with what seems like a little bit of a sour attitude.

Richard: I felt kind of weird about it. I should also point out – and this is strange, but when he called, I started wandering around the house with the phone in my hand. I remember at one point I’m talking to him, and there’s a desk down here in the basement; I was sitting behind the desk. Then I moved to the couch opposite the TV, and then at some point I’m still on the phone and I’m not even really thinking; I’m just wandering from room to room with no purpose. I wandered to the kitchen, and I remember this because the Mighty Aphrodite, my wife, was sitting there, and my brother-in-law, her brother, was visiting, and he was sitting at the kitchen table. The two of them were engaged in a conversation, and here I am, I just wander through the kitchen with the phone to my ear and then I wander out, and then I’m in the living room and then I’m back downstairs.

Anyway, the phone call ends with “There will be no barbeque.” So that was the Friday night. I also remember – now, this is May, going into the spring season, and it’s dark outside. As I’m wandering around, I’m cognizant of the fact that it’s nighttime. I couldn’t tell you exactly what time it was, but it was dark. So that was the Friday night.

Typically I go to bed and the Mighty Aphrodite and I would listen to Coast to Coast. For whatever reason, that night, I fell asleep. Out. I didn’t hear any of it. So I missed a broadcast – it was guest hosted that night by Dave Schroeder, and Dave’s guest was Chris Jericho, former wrestling superstar with the World Wrestling – well, they used to call it the WWF; now it’s the WWE. Chris Jericho was a fellow Canadian, grew up in Winnipeg. His father was a hockey player. I was never a big wrestling fan.

Anyway, Chris Jericho, of all people, came on Coast to Coast to announce that R. Gary Patterson had passed away on a Friday afternoon. I missed it. Didn’t hear it. So I wake up Saturday morning and I have my morning routine – make my coffee. When it’s nice and warm out, I go out and sit on the front step and I check my emails. And lo and behold, there is – I don’t know if it was a text message or if might’ve been a Facebook message from Dave Schroeder. Dave said, “Richard, I know that you and R. Gary Patterson were friends, so I wanted you to know, in case you didn’t hear the show last night, R. Gary passed away yesterday.”

I thought, “Oh, come on. Who’s playing me? I just spoke to him yesterday. I spoke to him on the phone. He was very much alive.” My first instinct was to call Gary’s cellphone, which I did. Got his outgoing message. I said, “Gary, come on, what’s going on? Dave Schraeder just messaged me and said you’re dead. Give me a call back.” Of course, he never did because it was true.

I decided I had to go down – actually, let me back up. The first thing I did, I still wasn’t convinced, so I started checking online to see if there was some sort of obituary. Wasn’t finding anything. Anyway, then I went back upstairs and the Mighty Aphrodite was getting out of bed, getting dressed, and I said, “You wont believe what happened.” She said, “What?” I said, “Gary’s dead.” Now, this is important because without me prompting her, she said, “Wait a minute, you were just talking to him last night.” I said, “That’s what I thought. Yeah, I thought I was talking to Gary last night.” [laughs]

The thing is, I checked my phone history – you know on your cellphone you have that little thing called “Recents.” You can check who called when. I looked, and there was an incoming call from Gary Patterson Wednesday night – that’s when I was in the parking lot at All Saints Church. I remember that call. He didn’t call me Thursday. Friday… there’s nothing there. There’s no record of Gary calling me Friday. In fact, nobody called me Friday. I’m not the most popular guy, I guess. Nobody called me Friday. I didn’t call anybody Friday.

Jim: But your wife saw you talking to him.

Richard: She assumed I was talking to Gary, she said, because she saw me walking through the kitchen with the phone to my ear and she said to me, “I just assumed it was Gary because you guys are talking all the time.” I said, “Yes, I was convinced I was talking to Gary last night,” and I showed her the phone. I said, “Look, there’s nothing here. Nobody called me on Friday.” But she saw me on the phone, walking through the kitchen with the phone to my ear.

Eventually, I find the obituary online, it’s true – that’s when it really sunk in. I have so many old relatives; I’ve been a pallbearer more times than I can remember. But this one really hit me because I’d gotten to know him so well and we were working so closely on this. So I decided, and the Mighty Aphrodite agreed, I should go down for the funeral. So I did. I flew down to Knoxville, and then I took a taxi from Knoxville to – I think it’s called Oak Ride, Tennessee. Then from Oak Ridge I rented a hotel and then I took a taxi to this quaint little town, Olive Grove, where he lived.

I go to the funeral home, waiting in line, and Gary’s in this beautiful blue coffin, metal casket, and he’s got – I think it’s a Fender guitar up on a stand. His favorite guitar, in front of the casket or beside the casket. I’m waiting in line and I’m starting to get a little choked up. I can see him lying in state there. His older brother, Mike, is greeting people, so I go up and I shake his hand and introduce myself. He put his hand on my shoulder and he said, “Thank you for coming. Gary told me so much about you, and it’s so good of you to come all this way.”

I didn’t want to tell him about the phone call; I felt weird about it. Like, why would he call me when he’s got family? But I did want to know about the way we parted ways. I said to Michael, “Michael, I’ve got to ask you something. The last time I spoke to Gary” – I didn’t tell him when we talked – “I think I upset him. I asked him whether he would be holding a barbeque this Memorial Day weekend.” Of course, it was now Memorial Day weekend. I said, “Gary said to me in – not an angry voice, but he seemed upset. He said, ‘There will be no barbeque.’ Michael, do you have any idea what he meant by that? Did I upset him?”

Michael looked at me and he kind of squinted his eyes and his head tilted, and he said, “He said that to you?” I said, “Yeah, ‘There’ll be no barbeque,’ and he seemed upset. What’s that all about?” He said, “That’s strange because the day that he died, he was out driving all over town, looking for a brand new barbeque, and he ended up spending – I forget what the price was; I think he said around $500. He found this beautiful brand new stainless steel barbeque, spent 500 bucks on it, brought it home, and he said, “He and my son” (which was Gary’s nephew) “spent the rest of the day putting it together.”

He was planning on having a barbeque. Of course, it didn’t happen. Michael and Gary lived next door to each other, I later learned, in Olive Grove, and Michael’s son, Gary’s nephew, would often pop over to visit his uncle. On the day in question, the hour in question, his son went over to knock on Gary’s door to see his Uncle Gary, and he saw Gary through the window coming out of one room on the upper level and going into his bedroom. He kept knocking on the door. Gary never came out. Knocked on the door some more, pounding on the door. Eventually he called I guess 911; they came, they found Gary on the bed, dead, his eyes open. Apparently he had died of a heart attack.

Then I asked Michael, “What time did Gary pass?” He said, “I think it was around four or five o’clock in the afternoon.” I thought, wait a minute. It was dark out, May 26th, when I spoke to him. So what is that? I’m at a loss. I’m a skeptic, but it happened to me. There may be a prosaic explanation. Maybe I misremembered, maybe the Mighty Aphrodite misremembered, maybe there was a glitch on my phone. [laughs] I don’t know.

Jim: I don’t think you misremembered. I’ve said this to you before, Richard, when you had me on your shows, and I’ve said this to the audience here on Campfire: the one thing I can say from doing this show, the one thing that I’ve come away with that I do believe – now, I could be wrong – but the nature of reality is far stranger than we give it credit for in our everyday lives. And that somehow plays into what happened in your story and with R. Gary Patterson.

Like I said, this is my favorite Campfire story that was never on the Campfire, so I’m so glad that you came on to tell it. I know you’re a man of faith, but then you mentioned you do have a skeptical nature about some paranormal things. What do you come away with? What do you think it is? Do you have a theory? What are your thoughts? 

Richard: I continue to struggle with it. As more and more time goes by, I start to question myself more and more and more. The further I get away from it, and the older I get, I have to be honest, I start thinking, come on, that couldn’t have happened. That couldn’t have happened. But then when I’m asked to retell the story, that’s the way it happened.

Jim: Yeah, you’ve told me the story multiple times and it’s always the same, and it’s an amazing story. Wow. I hope that the audience enjoyed that. And something I know they will enjoy, if they’re smart enough to pick up on it, if they haven’t heard it already, is Strange Planet, your excellent podcast. Can you give folks a couple minutes on what it is and how they can plug into it?

 Richard: Thank you, Jim. It’s Richard Syrett’s Strange Planet, or just Strange planet for short if you’d rather, and they can find all the information at strangeplanet.ca. I just recently revamped and redesigned the website, and you can stream episodes there. You can subscribe there. I publish three days a week; new episodes come out every Monday, Wednesday, Friday.

If you like Coast to Coast, if you like Jim Harold’s Campfire, Paranormal Podcast, if you like unexplained mysteries, UFOs, cryptozoology, ghosts, conspiracies, alternative energy, alternative archeology, Atlantis – it’s a pretty broad canvas. I cover a lot of ground and I bring on, I think, some pretty exceptional people, experts in their field, people who’ve dedicated their lives to researching these topics and written huge, huge books and so forth. So it’s basically a one-on-one me and the guest for about 45 minutes. I’ve been doing the podcast for about – just passed five years, actually. I launched in December of 2017.

I have to credit you, Jim; as a pioneer in this field, you’ve been such a great help and a mentor and an inspiration to me. It’s always a great pleasure spending time with you for any reason, whether we’re having a beverage in a bar in Cleveland or whether we’re just hanging out on Zoom. It’s always great spending time with you.

Jim: I feel the same way, Richard. You are an awesome broadcaster and podcaster, and I hope if there are a few people out there who haven’t checked out Strange Planet, hat as soon as they’re done listening to this show, they dial it into their podcatcher. Richard Syrett, thank you for sharing that information and a fantastic and thought-provoking Campfire story.

Richard: Thanks, Jim.


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Announcer: If you love the Campfire, be sure to check out the Paranormal Podcast where every week Jim interviews experts and authors about strange mysteries. Find it for free wherever you listen to this podcast. Tune into the paranormal podcast today. Now we return to Jim Harold’s Campfire.

Jim: Christina is on the line from Massachusetts, and she went on a paranormal investigation, and then the dominoes fell. Some strange stuff happened. Christina, welcome to the show. Tell us what happened.

Christina: Thank you, Jim. This is such an honor. So after listening to your podcast in 2015, I joined up with a paranormal group to do some investigations and volunteer work. One of our investigations in July, 2020 brought us to the Bridgewater Cemetery in Bridgewater, Massachusetts. When we got there, we met up at a veteran’s obelisk to do some EVP recordings around the graves that were around the monument. Excuse me. And when I got there, I noticed this maple tree down at the bottom of the hill, and I felt very, very drawn to it. When I asked my team lead about it, he told me that when he got to the cemetery, he had this really bad feeling about that section and that we were going to basically avoid the whole area, go around the other side of the cemetery after we did our recordings. 

I’m like, okay, sure. But as a newbie investigator, once my two teammates went off to the other side to relocate, I decided to hang back and at least walk over, see what I could see. I get down there, I don’t really feel anything that’s untoward, but I did notice some flowers had been strewn around this ground stone. I figured maybe the windstorm we had the night before knocked it askew. Maybe somebody just wants us to fix the flowers. That can’t be that bad, right? I put my recorder. I put my little Olympia recorder down, turn it on just to see if I could pick anything up. I said if there’s any spirits nearby, if you’ve got something you’d like to share with the world, put it on this recorder and I’ll do what I can. I was only there for like two minutes tops. After I turned off, my recorder went to a monument or something that was behind where I’d been sitting. It took a quick photo and then proceeded to meet up with the rest of my teammates, which had been walking to the other side of the cemetery at this point. I couldn’t even see them while I was recording.

Rest of the investigation goes pretty quiet. Cut to three days later, I’m coming back from some maintenance on my car. Find out I have a big bill. I’m a little cranky. I come up to a stoplight thinking I’m going to go to a Dunkins or something, get a donut, feel better about the situation. Here’s the thing, I started getting this very weird feeling as I was sitting at the light. Do not move until the car next to you has moved. And I’m like, that’s a really weird feeling. Why would I need to wait when the light turns green? I’m just going to go, no, I get it’s very clear. Do not move until the car next to you moves like, fine, whatever; light turns green, I wait a beat. The car next to me starts to go. I figure that’s enough time, and I pull forward.

Immediately  hit a wall of metal and gears. This white massive truck had blown a red light. I didn’t see it because of the cars that were next to me. Had I gone when I normally would’ve gone, I would’ve been killed because he would’ve just gone straight through my driver’s side door. Instead, I hit his passenger side door and he hit a little bit of a bump. My car was totaled. I get home. I’m a little shaken. I tell my team, the paranormal team, I’m not going to be able to meet up because I don’t have a car.

They tell me the team lead had just lost his job. The other teammate I had, had a confetti thing explode in his face and he’s now in the hospital, possibly there might be a chance he’s going to go blind. They weren’t sure. I’m like, okay. Something happened. I go back through my recordings that I had taken from the cemetery, Jim, the recording I took at the ground stone within the last 50 seconds, there’s just 10 seconds. I hear my two teammates who are on the other side of the, I was shocked that the recorder even picked them up. I hear just them garbling about something, and then very clearly I hear something say, hunt you down.

And it was just this deep gravelly male, very aggressive. When I heard that EVP, I felt shudders down my spine, and I immediately go and look at the photos I had taken around the area thinking maybe I caught something. The monument that had been behind me at the time of the recording that I took a quick photo of, you see my reflection in the marble. You see a string of gravestones behind me reflected in the marble, and you see some being some creature leaning a side of the grave with its head in its hand, grinning.

Jim: Ooh, chills. You gave me chills. I don’t like it. 

Christina: IDon’t like it either. But here’s the worst part. It doesn’t stop there. I’ve played the EVP for three other people. I’ve told them the story. I showed them the photo, and I played the recording. Each of them three days later had something terrible happen. One of them, their daughter was supposed to go on a trip. She decided last minute not to go, and her friend was killed in a freak car accident.

Jim: Oh my gosh.

Christina: My boss at the time was — 

Jim: Now folks, this is not made up. Christina just totally cut out and we had tech issues before. So I’m wondering if this being or entity is playing tricks on us. Christina, are you there? That’s very strange folks. I think I hear Christina, are you there?

Christina: I’m here. Can you hear me?

Jim: We’re going to leave this in because I was just explaining to the audience that we’ve had a lot of tech issues getting this story out. We had tech issues with our normal platform. We switched to phone and you dropped out, and you had told us those two instances of things that had happened first with the tragic death, and then was it something with your boss? Was that what I heard?

Christina: Yeah. So my boss went on an ATV trip with some other coworkers. Something happened, they’re not sure, but his ATV randomly flipped and it crushed his leg. They had to reconstruct it completely, but they said if it had fallen just a little bit to the left, he would’ve been completely killed, versus severely injured.

Jim: So basically anybody involved with this picture or this happening had, or a lot of people, let’s say, had bad things happen to them.

Christina: The few times I’ve been able to tell this story, Jim, because I’ve actually had technical issues trying to tell this story to other podcasts, you’re the first one I’ve been able to actually get through. They’re all just freaked out by this EVP story that I tell them,

Jim: Yeah, wow, wow. I don’t want to see the picture!

Christina: And I’m not going to share the audio file. If there’s an investigator who wants to team up and look at it and go through it, that is on them. But after my boss’s accident, I refuse to play it unless they absolutely understand what might happen because I’ve just… (sighs)

Jim: Well, honestly, some things people laugh at, those kind of things or say, oh, there’s nothing to that. It’s like, I don’t want to be the one to find out. It’s kind of like the djinn. I talk about the gin on the shows, but I always am a little bit leery to talk about the djinn because you don’t want to invite something in.

Christina: That’s actually funny. You mentioned it because around the time of this investigation, I think you had been talking to Rosemary Ellen Guiley, who wrote a couple books about the djinn, and I had been researching them around that time, and I truly believe that the paranormal world is absolutely strange, but I believe that it mixed in with a bunch of djinn that are pretending to be something else, it’s just too strange to be.

Jim: : I think it’s absolutely possible. I would not discount that. Well, Christina, be safe out there. Thank you for sharing this with us, and please come back on the show if you have more stories. 

Christina: Oh,I have lots of stories to tell Jim, but I did want to say really quickly at this time, I wanted to thank you because I truly believe that if I hadn’t listened to your podcast, I remembered you telling a story about getting a similar feeling at a stoplight or on the highway, and then something happened that if you hadn’t listened, you would’ve been killed. I honestly feel if I hadn’t heard your story and heard you say that, I would’ve disregarded that feeling I had at the stoplight and I would’ve been hit. I honestly credit you and your stories to waking me up to that. Hey, maybe you should listen to this feeling you’re getting. So please keep doing what you do.

Jim: Well, thank you very much for that, and I agree we have these gut feelings for a reason. I often wonder if I’m getting ready to go somewhere and I get delayed or I make a wrong turn. I just did that the other day, made a really stupid, wrong turn, and it’s where you get on the freeway and you’re just on the ramp and you’re like, I’m going the wrong way. And it’s like a 15, by the time you go to the next exit  andcan get off, you’re out of your way, like 15 minutes. But I thought to myself, there may have been a reason for that. Maybe there was a reason I wasn’t supposed to take the right course. So it’s odd how those things happen. It is. Christina, thank you for joining us today on the Campfire and stay spooky.

Christina:Thank you. You as well. Jim.

Jim: Next up on the Campfire is Alex from the UK. We’re so glad to speak with her. This is just a really, really neat story. I’m not even going to tell you what it is or give you any hint. I don’t want to ruin it. I’ll let her tell it. It’s an awesome story. Alex, thanks for joining us. I know you’ve been listening for a while and you’re already a Plus Club member, and we appreciate that. So tell us what happened.

Alex: Hi, Jim. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to speak today. My story goes back to the early 2000s. I was about 14-15 years old, and we were on a local day out as a family. We went to a local tourist attraction, like a living history museum, which I don’t know if you have in the U.S.

Jim: Like recreations where they recreate different things, yeah.

Alex: Yeah. This was a Victorian museum. It’s actually really interesting. They’ve reassembled all the houses brick by brick from around the local county. It’s based on the Victorians living during – they call it the Black Country era, so with coal mining. It’s a really good museum. They’ve got a big high street set out in Victorian times with a pub, bakery, sweet shop, pharmacy. They’ve all been reassembled brick by brick from the local area, and they’ve all got a lot of Victorian items to look at – for instance, in the pharmacy, you can go in and see how they made the medicines and things like that. It’s really cool. All the people that work there as well are all dressed up in their finest Victorian finery, wandering around in character, giving you information about the various shops and things.

We were walking down the high street. We decided to veer off a little bit down round the back of the main street, to the back of the shops. I was walking ahead a bit, being a bit of a typical teenager, not wanting to be seen with my parents. [laughs] Tried to keep a cool distance away from them. I walked into a little courtyard that was just behind the high street and saw the behind the bakery. It was like a little bakehouse inside the courtyard. I stood in the archway of the courtyard and looked into the little bakehouse at the back, and there were two ladies in there, baking some bread.

They both had the full Victorian costume on. You could see the work surfaces. They had some bread on the work surface. They were kneading; there was flour and whatnot. The lady nearest to the door, the entrance to the bakehouse, looked through the window and acknowledged me and made the gesture to wave me in, as if to say, “Come and have a look at what we’re doing.” I thought, “Great, they’re baking some bread back here.” I turned back to my parents and said, “Come this way. They’re doing some baking in here.” Turned back a split second later and there was nothing to be seen. No ladies baking bread, no bread on the surfaces, no flour on the surfaces. The whole scene as such had just disappeared into thin air.

Jim: That’s what I was going to ask, the flour. I guess somebody could’ve hastily taken the stuff and left the room, but usually – I don’t know much about baking bread, but I do know this: you’ll have flour on a wooden counter or something. All that was gone, totally clean, looked like it hadn’t been used in whatever amount of time?

Alex: Yeah. The courtyard was an enclosed courtyard. I was stood in the only entranceway, an archway, and the door to the bakehouse – it was only a small bakehouse. I remember feeling really baffled rather than frightened because as far as I saw it, these ladies were just other people who worked in the museum that were putting on a demonstration. I walked into the little bakehouse and looked around, a bit mystified, and the whole area was completely clear of any materials that would’ve been used to bake bread.

Jim: Wow.

Alex: Interestingly, later on, we went into the actual bakery to buy some bread. I don’t think I really wanted to say at the time because I was a bit of an awkward teenager, but I said to them, “The bakehouse behind here, is that where you bake all the bread to sell to the customers?” They said, “No, unfortunately due to health and safety, it does have to be baked in a behind-the-scenes bakery.” So they didn’t even use that bakehouse to bake bread.

Jim: Oh wow. That’s the ultimate verification right there. I think people, when they first hear that story, it’s like, “It was just actors doing it” or whatever. But that’s the ultimate verification – no, you basically saw a glimpse back in time, it sounds like.

Alex: Yeah. For a long time I thought it was just an experience of seeing some ghosts, but since listening to your podcast, I feel it was more of a time slip than an actual – because it was almost like the whole scene was there and I was glimpsing into a whole scene of time. Because of the flour and the bread. It was just bizarre.

Jim: Yeah, you wouldn’t think you would see a ghost of flour. [laughs] I think that kind of thing happens. We’ve had people on the shows – if you’ve listened to the older shows, you’ll know that we’ve had people who have experienced really weird time slips where just for a moment, they’ll walk into another time, and then everything will be back to normal. And I think that happens. I don’t know how, I don’t know why, I don’t know if there’s any way to avoid it or bring it on or repeat it, but I just believe that’s a real thing.

Alex: And they were aware of me as well because the lady acknowledged me and beckoned me in. I do wonder, what did she think of the strange person in modern-day clothing?

Jim: Yeah, “What are those weird clothes?” [laughs]

Alex: I think I was going through a bit of a Goth era as well as a teenager. [laughs] She probably was quite mystified at what I was wearing.

Jim: Could be. Alex, thank you so much for telling this delightful story on the Campfire, and stay spooky.

Alex: Thank you, Jim.

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Announcer: Want the entire Campfire archive going back to 2009 plus much more? Get in on Jim’s Plus Club at jimharoldplus.com. Now back to another great story.

Jim: Well, next up, I know a Campfire classic when I see one, and I think we have one here from Jen from Kentucky, and she’s going to tell us something happened about ten-ish years ago. Very, very interesting indeed. Jen, welcome to the show and tell us this. I love this story. 

Jen: Sure. So I think it was more like 20 years ago, maybe I had emailed incorrectly, but okay, a little backstory. So I was very close to my grandmother. It was my mom’s mom, and she was called Oma, which is German for grandmother. And we were super close, and she passed away in 2002. I did a ton of stuff with her as a child. She really was something special to me. So let’s go to 2003. And I was living outside of Columbus, Ohio in an area called Bexley. I was married and I had three little girls, and we lived in a beautiful house that was probably built in the forties. So I’m sitting, we had a fairly large kitchen that, to be honest, we couldn’t afford to fix up. So we had room for a little child’s, like a wooden square table with four matching wooden chairs for the girls to sit at and eat. And it was around lunchtime, and I was sitting at the table with my second daughter, her name is Josie, and at that time, I’m going to guess she was around four. And we were sitting at the table and I had made her lunch, which was a bowl of SpaghettiOs, had her own…

Jim: Yay SpaghettiOs! I grew up with those. Those are awesome. 

Jen: They were awesome. Everybody had their own little set of matching plastic plates and bowls. And so her SpaghettiOs were heated up in her little plastic bowl. And I was sitting just with her at the table, and for some reason, probably because my Oma had passed away around a year ago, I was just making conversation with this four year old and telling her about my Oma and how much I loved her and how close we were. And I don’t remember details about what I was saying, but I was definitely talking about her. And all of a sudden, neither one of us were touching the bowl of SpaghettiOs, the bowl. It was even more than a slide. It went from one corner of the table to another corner and stopped. And the thing that really got me was a little four year old looked at me and said, did that just happen? And I looked at her, I said, wow. Yes, honey, that just happened, and I guess Oma’s listening and she’s with us. So I think the thing that really shocked me, not only that the bowl slid across the table by itself, but a little one acknowledged it and was in shock, and that both of us saw it at the same time. 

Jim: Well, Jen, there’s only one logical, straight thinking, levelheaded way to look at this. Only one. It was your Oma. 

Jen: It had to be. I mean it, it had to be, there was no other explanation. And it made me smile. I think it freaked Josie out a little bit, but I knew it was her. 

Jim: They’re there. They’re listening, and they’re with us. And your Oma and that bowl of SpaghettiOs, prove it. Jen, I love these stories: short but sweet, but super impactful. Thank you so much for sharing it. I’ve got to believe that. Has that informed your thought about, I mean, through life, we lose loved ones and it’s crushing and it’s terrible, but has it in any way provided not only with your own Oma, but maybe with other people who have passed? Has it provided you some comfort in that regard? 

Jen: Oh, for sure. I, really briefly, I was the youngest of three children and we were separated by five and six years. So I was basically an only child, and Oma was one of maybe five of women who I call my ladies who I was at their houses every weekend. I did a ton of stuff with all of these women, and I have had signs from all of them, I would say since I’ve been an adult. I think the SpaghettiOs was the first thing that happened to me, but quite a few things have happened to me, and so I know that my ladies are with me, they’re watching over me. I think that was the most profound example though. 

Jim: I think it’s awesome. Jen, thank you so much for joining us today and stay spooky. 

Jen: Thanks. Stay spooky. 

Jim: Sylvia is on the line. She’s been listening since around the beginning of the pandemic. She’s calling in today from Buffalo. Boy, they’re going to have a good football team this year, for sure, I think. And she has, well, I consider it a very heartwarming story and the kind of story that I love to share on the Campfire. Sylvia, welcome and please tell us what happened. 

Sylvia: All right. Now I’m going to start by saying I’ve only told the story to a few people, and every time when I’ve told it, I said, I know you’re going to think I’m crazy, but this really happened. Now in my lifetime, living on my own, I’ve had four dogs, and the last two were both rescues that came with the name Princess. Well, the last one had such an unusual personality. I wound up calling her Scooby. So she was Princess Scooby. When I went to the S P C A to pick her up, she had been in a puppy mill for eight years. So they said, don’t you want to take her for a walk? So I take her for a walk, and she’s very lethargic, and I thought, I’m an old lady. She’s an old lady. We’ll get along fine. But when I got her in the car, she turned into a completely different dog. 

Sylvia: She started jumping all over me, kissing me, trying to get in my lap, and that was her personality from that day forward. Now, one of her favorite things was to always, every single day, she got a little ice cream cup, and she would take it in her little tiny teeth, go into the living room in the middle of the rug and eat it. So finally the day came when I had to put her to sleep because she had tumors in her throat and was having difficulty breathing. Now, this dog would never let anybody into the house. She would turn into this wild maniac. So the day before, I spent the day talking to her and telling her what was going to happen. When the vet arrived, she just went, she never barked. She just went to the couch, stretched out and waited. So when it was all over that night, I couldn’t take looking at all her stuff in the living room. She had made this little nest where she stole pillows and blankets, and so I cleaned everything up. So the living room was completely cleaned. Now, the one thing that Princess Scooby was afraid of was other dogs, while I believe in the Rainbow Bridge. So I said out loud, Princess Scooby, you need to cross the Rainbow Bridge, and I need to know that you made it to the other side. The next morning when I woke up, there was one little empty ice cream cup sitting in the middle of a living room carpet.  So now you see why I think people think I’m crazy,

Jim: No!

Sylvia: So it made me smile, and I just said out loud, Hey, you other guys, because remember, I had four dogs. I said, why couldn’t you have sent me a message too? The next morning when I woke up, there were four empty ice cream cups on the living room carpet. 

Jim: Oh my gosh, you just gave me chills. Ooh, oh my!

Sylvia: Now there’s a little more to the story. So I had figured that after this, that maybe I would just foster dogs. But friends of mine sent me this link about this cat that had been tortured for two years, had cage rage. So obviously nobody wanted to adopt her from the pet rescue, so I just said, I’ll take her. So the first thing you do besides buying litter boxes is you buy them like 25 toys. So she had all these little toys. So the one day I came home and the toys were in a perfect circle on the living room carpet. Another day I came home and her little toys were in a semicircle, and there was this one big toy facing them, like he was preaching to the choir. Another day, I left out some dry treats in the kitchen, and when I came home, they were in a perfect square. Another day, there was a letter J on the living room carpet. So I said out loud, “Princess Scooby, I don’t know if you’re doing this because I found so much joy in the ice cream cups. You’re still doing this, or if you’re haunting my cat, but you need to stop it cuz getting weird.” From that day on, it’s stopped. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. 

Jim: Oh, wow. Wow. What a great story. I know you said, oh, you think I’m crazy? No, I think it’s one of the nicest stories we’ve ever had on a campfire and…

Sylvia: Thanks, well, I hope that people who have lost pets will believe in the Rainbow Bridge because of this story, and know that I really believe that after I pass away, I’m going to cross the Bridge and I’m going to be attacked by a whole bunch of furballs. 

Jim: Aww, Very sweet. Very sweet. Sylvia, thank you so much for sharing this very special story on the Campfire. 

Sylvia: Well, thank you for letting me tell it. 

Jim: Adrian is on the line from the UK and he’s been on the show before. We’re so glad to have him back, and he has some great stories from his mom who worked as a nurse for many years and she’s always imparted these stories to him and he thought he would share the wealth and we are lucky for it. So Adrian, welcome. Can’t wait to hear these stories.

Adrian: Hi Jim. Hi to everyone listening. Great to be back again. Yeah, so as you said, my mum was a nurse. She worked in what is the Churchill Hospital in Oxford from the eighties to the mid nineties. Basically, she worked on various wards there and has always, since I was young, told me these stories because I’ve always liked ghosts and stuff. She’s like, oh, you should have been there this time, this happened and this happened. So I’ve got three main stories that she’s taught me. They’re like the big ones. So I thought I’d share them on the podcast. So the first one I’ve got, I won’t give any names away because of the patients and stuff, so I’ll use alternative names if I have to. So the first one was she was explaining to me that there was a very religious gentleman that they were looking after who was passing away. He was basically fading away, so they were doing end of life care on him, and he was in the bed and she said that he was, I dunno how to put it, he was quite aggressive and blaming the nurses for not saving him and things like this. It wasn’t a very pleasant experience for my mum or her colleagues, but they did what they have to do. That’s what you do in that profession.

Adrian: He’s laid in bed, he’s holding his wife’s hand, and my mum’s colleague is holding the wife’s hand comforting her. My mum does her last little few bits and she says, oh, I’ll leave you a minute. And she went outside the ward. Now, I dunno what it’s like in the US but in Britain, a lot of our wards, the open wards, you’ve got big windows so you can look inside and my mum was stood outside and eventually, like I say this guy, he was doing things like, when I die, this rail above me is going to be electric, and if you touch it, you’re going to get a lot shocks and things like that. As I said, it wasn’t very pleasant. Anyway, he eventually passed away and my mum was stood outside the ward and she said as she watched, there was this weird mist that rose up from his body and hovered above the body and then just disappeared right in front of her.

She explained, well, she said later on when she spoke to the nurse, they didn’t see anything, but my mum was there and she was watching this mist rise up from the body. So the nurse, my mum’s colleague said to the wife, I’ll leave you for a few minutes to have your peace and say goodbye. And as she left the ward and came around, my mum went, what’s that around your neck? And she was like, I dunno, what is it? And she unbuttoned the top of her blouse sort of thing and showed my mum her neck and there was two perfect hand prints around her neck as though something was trying to strangle her.

Jim: Whoa.

Adrian: Which is, yeah, my mom’s like, it was odd. It was very odd. They weren’t there before. And yeah, sure enough, there was two perfect hand prints as though she was trying to be strangled.

So the theory was is that maybe the spirit had gone through the wife and was trying to get her or we don’t know. But yeah, so that’s story one. Story two, lots of things were happening on the wards. My mum worked on an old children’s ward, sadly she did have a few children that passed away in her care and stuff, but they would be stood around the nurses and the bottom of there. So they wore the old style British nurses uniforms, I dunno whether you have it or you’ve seen it like “Call the Midwife” or things like that where they have the old style.

Jim: Yes.

Adrian: That’s her type of uniform. And the bottom of their uniforms would be getting tugged as though a child was trying to get their attention and stuff. No one there, but they would all watch the bottom of their dresses just getting tugged.

So my mom goes onto her shift and she goes up to the nurse’s station and as she approaches, she hears this patient that she was looking after going, “Georgina Georgina”, which is my mum’s name, “Georgina Georgina”. And my mum said, I’ll use a different name, but my mum said,”Oh, it’s okay, Harry, I’ll be with you in a minute. Don’t worry”. And my mum’s colleague who was sat behind the nurse’s station just booted my mum in her leg. And she looked back at her and she was just staring at my mum and she went, “did you hear that?” And my mum was like, “yeah, it’s Harry.” And she went, “well, he died this morning”, but they both heard this patient calling for my mum, this specific voice.

Jim: Wow.

Adrian: Calling for my mum. So yeah, that’s another one that confused her,

Jim: I guess so.

Adrian: Yeah, hearing voices of someone that’s passed away is a bit, not something that you get every day, is it?

So the last story that I’ve got is she worked on a specific ward for some time at the hospital and on this specific ward. I remember going when I was a child to pick her up from work with my dad and I can’t really describe it. It’s a very dark place. It’s not dark, as in evil, it’s just like it’s all very dark and dingy, which I’ll come to in a little while. It’s not like that now. But yeah, I just remember it being all really dark and gloomy sort of thing. And this specific ward, that ward that my mum worked on, she said that there was always things that would be moving around. They would get the smell of burning flesh, which wasn’t anything that that ward did. So there was no reason for there to be burning flesh smells, but they would smell burning flesh and all the nurses would talk about it, the doctors would talk about it. Another thing that happened is that they would hear old school jazz music or big band music from the forties. And on one instance a fire broke out on that ward. And when they actually found out what it was, it was the fire team came in, dealt with fire, and they actually found that the fire had began inside an abandoned medicine cabinet that was padlocked. And it was nothing inside it.

Jim: Oh man!

Adrian: But the fire began. Yeah, the fire had began inside the cabinet.

Jim: What’s the accelerant when there’s nothing in there?

Adrian: Yeah, there was nothing. And it was an old abandoned cabinet. Now, a little bit of history of the Churchill Hospital, it was built in 1940 for the British to use because they were expecting obviously big casualties from the bombing rates and stuff that was going on over Britain during the Second World War. And in 1942, it was taken on by the Americans and the Americans began as the second general hospital. And then in 1944, it changed its title to the 91st General Hospital, and that’s where they had a lot of the soldiers from D-Day were there. A lot of American air crews that were flying from Britain were taken there. If they had had a crash or something, they were kept there. In fact, my great uncle who was an American pilot was there for a month or so. I think he had jaundice or something from his time in Egypt, and he’d come back to the UK. So they looked after a lot of Americans, and even to this day, they still fly the Stars and Stripes outside the front of the hospital next to the Union flag. They’ve got a big plaque there to the services that they gave to the Americans.

As you can probably tell from that explanation, I’m a bit of a World War II geek. And so a couple of years ago I bought a book about Glen Miller.

Jim: Oh yes.

Adrian: The famous band leader.

Jim: Yeah, he disappeared, yep.

Adrian: Yes, disappeared. That’s a whole other story and lots of theories about that. And if anyone’s got any of them, I’d love to hear ’em. But yeah, I bought a book about him and it was about his UK tour that he did in 1943 to 44 just before his disappearance. And it breaks down all the airfields that he visited and stuff like this. And it tells you about in September 1944, he, along with his Air Force band, went to the Churchill Hospital to play a concert. And what happened was he did the couple of hours playing the concerts, all the patients would come out and the nurse and staff and everything like this. And after the concert finished, he was approached by a young nurse and she said, would you mind coming to my ward and playing some songs because my patients are bedridden.

They couldn’t make it to the concert, so it would be nice to play some songs. And Glen Miller, sure enough, and he got six or seven band members together and they went along to this ward and they played a few songs, maybe a couple, but they played a few songs. Turns out, and it says in the book, that that ward was Ward 13, which nothing to do with the number, it just happened to be Ward 13, which is the same ward that my mum worked on during that time. And of course they were hearing big band music playing and things like this. Now the reason why the patients were bedridden was because it was a burns unit. So I just find it very interesting how it all circles round. You’ve got the big band music being heard by the nursing staff and stuff, as well as you’ve got the smell of burning flesh. And the medicine cabinet that I said the fire broke out in, was actually from the wartime. It was an old wartime medicine cabinet, and that’s why it was disused. They didn’t use it anymore. It just happened to be up on the side. So yeah, there’s a bit of an interest in one that all links in with the whole Glen Miller World War II thing.

Jim: It is very interesting, very interesting. I love those NHS and healthcare stories in general. I was telling you off air, we had one of our best stories ever, one of the very early ones that’s in the first Campfire book, a gentleman, he was from England and his partner’s, I think his girlfriend’s name was Pam or something like that. Her mom was always in the hospital in and out of the hospital. And there was this nurse who came to offer her tea, but the nurse was in a nurse’s outfit from the forties, an older type, and took her forever to bring the tea. She brang the tea and the woman asked her, what’s with the old getup? And she just kind of smiles. So anyway, she’s back in the hospital for some occasion, another appointment or something a few weeks later and she’d say, I saw the weirdest thing. And they describe, she describes this nurse who brought the tea and was in the old time outfit and somebody said, “Oh, you’ve seen Lily. That’s the resident nurse ghost.”

Adrian: It’s the fact that people are so blasé about it. You know, my mum’s the same. She said it used to happen so much that they were seeing things. She saw an old patient that they knew that had passed away, just walk past a window on one occasion. And they were just like, ”Oh yeah, that’s so and so” and it was just all normal to them. It was happening all the time. And like I say, the Churchill Hospital is still there now. They do fantastic work for any listeners that are in the UK. They actually looked after my nan who passed away a couple of years ago now from cancer. They do a lot of good work looking after people in end of life care you know. So I’ve had a big connection to this hospital all my life. But yeah, they’re just so blasé about the stuff that they see in these. My mum, she’s now a care worker, so she works in an old people’s care home. And even now, she’s just getting stuff happening and she’s like, “Well.” Like mum, this isn’t an everyday occurrence. “Well, it is for me.” So that’s how she is.

Jim: Well, Adrian, great story and thank your mom and all the healthcare workers out retired or active for everything that they do and they have done. And thank you for telling your story today on the Campfire.

Adrian: Stay Spooky, Jim.

Jim: Next up on the Campfire is Max from Ohio, and Maxwell is here to take us back to his Boy Scout days and something very memorable and very strange happened. Max, thank you for joining us today and tell us what happened. 

Max: Thank you for having me. I appreciate it. Yeah, back when I first joined my troop, there’s a little camp and I’m more than open to talk about the camp itself, but it’s Camp Miakonda. 

Jim: Mm, hmm. 

Max: There was a October campout that was scheduled to occur, and it was one of my first campouts with the troop, and we were sleeping. It’s kind of a one room cabin. I was sleeping in a bottom bunk next to a back door that led down some stairs around the back and then out to a trail, and then that’s sort of the setup, but it was a small one room cabin, and I was on the bottom bunk next to a back door. This back door had a glass window in it, and I think it’s important to set the scene just because of what happened later that night. I hadn’t yet learned to take care of business before going to bed, and so I woke up at about one in the morning needing to use the restroom, nature calls. I got up. I decided, Hey, I’ll slip out this back door. It’s right by my bed. It’ll be fine. So I popped out that back door, kind of ran down the trail a little ways to a bathroom, took care of business. On my way back, I went to break off the main trail again, to kind of go to the back of the cabin. And I got that feeling, and I’m sure people have talked about it before, but it’s the feeling of, “Hey, don’t do that.” The hair rose on the back of my neck. I got goosebumps, and I just got a feeling you should not go to the backside of the cabin. And so I decided to approach the front door. 

Max: And walked in the front door, kind of little shotgun hallway. Then it’s the one room area where everybody was sleeping. As I was making my way into the entrance of the big one room area, I looked at my bed and my attention immediately got drawn to the window in the back door because backlit by the moon was the silhouette of a man. 

Jim: Ohhh.

Max: I couldn’t mistake it even if I wanted to. It was full moon that night. So it was completely backlit. And there was just the shadowy outline of a man in the doorway, kind of just outside that window. 

Jim: Yikes. 

Max: Yeah, and I don’t know how I could tell, but I got the overwhelming sense that he was just looking at my empty bunk. 

Jim: Yikes. 

Max: It was the head tilt. You could just see the outline, but you could just see the outline of the face just a little bit. It was no details more than that though. 

Jim: Now, at the time, did you think it was something supernatural or were you thinking it was a person? What was your thought process?

Max: At the time, I was simply a deer in the headlights. I literally froze and just stared at it for about 20 minutes. 

Jim: Don’t blame you. 

Max: And then, yeah, I didn’t break eye contact or, well, I didn’t break line of sight, and it got to the point where I was too scared to move. So I just sat down with my legs crossed until my legs fell asleep, and then I drug myself over to where the adults were sleeping and woke up my Scoutmaster, and we went over there and nothing was there. Smash cut, five, six years later, I’m almost an Eagle Scout. I’ve gone through my paces. I know how to tie knots. I know how to start a fire. I’ve spent many a night out in the woods and well, I’ve seen some other stuff between now and then. It went from this happening when I was 12 to about when I was 17, 17, 18. And we’re at same campground. We’re at Camp Miakonda. We’re in a different part of the camp. We’re playing a game of commando, which the camp is split in half by a creek. And so essentially half the troop breaks off to the opposite side of the creek. And then the goal is to get to the cabin that we’re all staying at. We, me and two other kids, we were on defense, so we had to catch everybody before they got to the cabin. That’s the goal. We broke off kind of out into the woods to the people I was with. They kind of stayed at one spot to keep an eye on that area. And I went off by myself foreshadowing, (laughs)  that some spookiness would happen, but I went off into the woods and kind of propped myself, trying to blend in with the forest as fast as possible. 

Max: I pressed myself up against the tree and just kind of waited. I didn’t have a flashlight at this point. My eyes had gotten very used to the night. We had been playing for a couple of hours, and I was just kind of keeping an eye out for people sneaking through the forest. After a little bit of time, I kind of got that feeling again. 

Jim: Oh boy.

Max: You know, goose bumps on the back of my neck. The hair rose up, and I was like, okay, this is important to note though. I had completely forgotten about the incident that had occurred when I was 12. 


Max: I had just suppressed it and didn’t remember it anymore. So I’m sitting there, I’m kind of looking out, and it’s fall, so there’s leaves on the ground. So you can hear somebody coming from a mile away, they’re just crunching through the leaves. I’m looking out and I get that feeling. I’m like, okay, I don’t see anybody. Maybe I’m just getting this feeling because they’re behind me. Okay, they’re behind me and I’m getting this feeling, the sense that every human has about danger. So I’m like, okay. I turn around and I don’t see anybody, and I’m kind of scanning the tree line behind me. And then I notice something a little strange about 30 feet off the trail that I’m kind of just in front of. Back through the woods, there’s a series of fallen trees in front of a really tall old oak tree. 

Jim: This sounds, sounds like it’s out of central casting. It’s very spooky.

Max: Yeah. Well, October nights, it’s the Midwest, and this is like a half moon. So we had plenty of light, moonlight, but it was still wind through the trees. It was just like a movie. It was kind of weird. But in between all these fallen trees, and I guess there had been a tree fall or something, there was some stacked up logs, but there was this 10, I can’t remember the exact size of it because again, I was probably a little bit shorter a couple of years ago. But I would say it was about six by 10 feet, and it was this roiling boiling cloud of fog and smoke. 

Jim: Oh gosh. 

Max: If you’ve ever seen the movie, “The Mist” and the way the fog enters the town, that movement is kind of what it had. But it was kind of contained within this six to 10 foot, six by 10 foot cloud just kind hovering there. 

Jim: Whoa. 

Max: And again, I’m like, okay. Again, I froze. I guess I’m the type of person that just freezes at the (inaudible) of something weird.

Jim: I think if I would see that I might freeze. I would do one of two things. I would freeze or I would run. So I think either one would be totally understandable. 

Max: Yeah. The saying is people fight, freeze, or run, and I guess I’m a freezer. 

Jim: Yeah. There’d be no fighting involved. I’m a coward.

Max: No, but I am looking at it, I’m like, okay, weird. So I’m just taking it and I’m like, okay, maybe I’m seeing things. Maybe it’s like an albino deer, and I’m just, the nighttime, I’m just staring at it and staring at it, and it’s just sitting there. It’s just hovering there. A good 10 minutes pass by, nothing’s really happening. And then I hear my friends yelling for me back down where they’re at, and they’re like, I don’t know, they’re about a thousand feet back towards the main area that’s closer to our cabin. 

And so I hear them calling for me, and I just start yelling, “Bring a flashlight!”, just kind of screaming that at them. Well, I’m not breaking eye contact. And eventually I see a flashlight bobbing, and I hear them slowly getting closer and closer, and I’m not breaking eye contact until they kind of flash me in the eyes as they’re running up with the flashlight. And I kind of get blinded for a second and they go, “Dude, what’s going on?” And I didn’t notice it at the time, but they were completely just like they had seen something. 

Jim: Wow. 

Max: But I didn’t notice it because I wanted, “Give me the flashlight!” I want to make sure I’m not crazy. So I take the flashlight, I shine it on where the thing was, and it’s just, it’s not there anymore. And somewhere, somewhere between me looking away and me looking back, because when I look back I’m like, huh, it doesn’t look like it’s there anymore. And then I turned it on and it wasn’t there. 

Jim: Go ahead. Go ahead. 

Max: I turned back to my friends and I’m like, “Dude, I don’t know what’s going on. There’s something out there in the woods.” And then they went, “Where’s the person that was with you?” And I’m like, “What do you mean ‘where’s the person that was with me’? You know I’m out here by myself. What do you mean?” And they said, “When we were running up in the direction you were looking, we watched the black kind of black outline”, again, like what I saw so many years ago, “walk up to you. And it was standing right in front of you and it looked like you were having a conversation.  

Jim:Oh my gosh. 

Max: And when we got up on you and flashed the light on you, it disappeared.” 

Jim: What, well, first of all, do you think there was a connection between the first event and the second event? 

Max: Now I do. Yes. I do believe that there is, because I will say though, after I heard that, I just ran out of the woods. 

Jim: Oh, I don’t blame you.

Max: Booked it. I booked it. Flight kicked in. Finally. It said, okay, now it’s time to go. And I dipped. But yeah, no, I believe that there’s some sort of connection. I’ve not spent a night at Camp Miakonda since. 

Jim: Yeah, don’t blame you. Now let me, and is that specifically why you didn’t go back? I mean, did you have the opportunity to go back and you decided not to? 

Max: It was both timing, and I was about to age out. I got my Eagle Scout, so I ended up aging out, so I wasn’t able to spend time with the troop. 

Jim: And let me ask you this. What do you think, whether the first, what you think there’s a connection, if you think it’s the same thing or different things connected, what do you think these things were? Or do you have a theory? 

Max:I’ve kind of got a three parter. 

Jim: Okay. 

Max: One’s my hope, the last one’s my fear, and the middle one is kind of more likely. My first one is that I’ve always thought about my guardian angel being my great grandfather and him looking out for me. And I’ve never felt it as a malevolence, so I’m hoping it’s him. And I’m hoping it’s like, “Hey, just checking in on you, bud.” That sort of deal. That’s the hope. The second thing is there’s something maliciously screwing with me and trying to trick me and do something. And the middle one is just somebody who’s consistently trying to talk to me or do something at Camp Miakonda, I don’t know. 

Jim: Well, I would be very interested if other people have had similar experiences, jimharold.com/Campfire, jimharold.com/Campfire. Of course, we can all discuss it over at the Virtual Campfire group. And please do check that out on Facebook, virtualCampfiregroup.com. VirtualCampfiregroup.com. And before I forget, you are mentioning to me offline that actually folks said that this camp was notoriously haunted. What did they say? 

Max: Yeah, it’s not talked about a lot outside of people who necessarily work there, but I worked there as a camp counselor for a little bit, and I know people and adults who worked there. And yeah, they’ve told stories of experiencing different things at different places. In the camp, at the Mess Hall, people have talked about how giant these big, heavy fridge doors will just slam shut 

Jim: Mmmm.

Max: They’re already on hinges, that, it’s an old camp. I mean, it’s got the third oldest cabin in the country. It’s one of the first Boy Scout camps that was ever established. It’s up there. It’s got some history, and other people have definitely experienced some things there. And almost everybody who’s worked there has a story. 

Jim: Well, maybe that’s part of your answer, Max. Maybe that’s part of your answer. But I hope you do find those answers. And thank you so much for being a part of the Campfire tonight. 

Deborah is here. She’s calling in from Devil’s Tower, and we’re so glad to have her on the program. And she’s going to tell us a story about when she’s working back at a thrift store. Now, I always loved going to thrift stores. I’ve gotten a little more circumspect about it over the last few years having done these shows and heard all the stories about haunted objects and people like Greg and Dana Newkirk talking about, and John Zaffis is talking about haunted objects, but always a fascinating topic to me. Deborah, welcome to the show. Thank you for joining us. I know you’ve been listening for a while, heard us from the great Coast to Coast AM. Tell us what happened.

Deborah: Thank you, Jim. Glad to be here. Grew up just loving thrift stores with my mom and going to yard sales and things like that. So moved to northern Idaho, almost to the Canadian border, and there was a little thrift store in town, and it had an animal shelter right next door, so all the proceeds from the store went to support the animals, get ’em fixed and spayed and things like that. So I worked there with oh, five other people, six other people. I myself am a witch. So there were two other witches working there. And then there was another lady, she was like a shaman, there was an agnostic young girl and two teenage kids that were Christian there. So we just worked at this thrift store, sorting donations, ringing up sales, taking care of the animals, all kinds of things. And it wasn’t very long that I was working there.

Before I would be in the warehouse and things would randomly start flying off the walls and moving around and there’d be clouds of smoke that would actually walk through the store. And if I was in the warehouse doing something, there’d be somebody whistling. And of course there’s nobody there. You’d hear footsteps upstairs seeing things flying around. And I don’t care for things like that. And so working at a thrift store, like you said, there’s a lot of attachments that come in with items, with paintings or whatever. So there were several times the group of us, after hours, we’d go in and we’d sage the whole store and where things would happen and we’d get donations at the front of the store. And one day in particular, it was snowing really heavy and there was a big box of donations, and somebody had donated quite a few dolls and they were in rocking chairs and on rocking horses. And none of us there liked dolls at all. We just didn’t like them. So one of the teenage girls, she brought them all in while we were all grabbing boxes, and she set all the dolls up on the counter and they all started rocking independently of each other and moving independently of each other. 

Jim: Oh, that is creepy.

Deborah: And Jim, I mean, I know three of us were witches and stuff, but you just don’t want to see that. You’re not expecting to see that. So that girl without any of us saying anything, she says,”Nope, not today” And she grabbed them all and walked them right out to the dumpster without any of us saying anything. So that was kind of funny. But the story that I wanted to tell today was one that is nobody hardly, I don’t even know how to say this or to get anybody to believe it, but we had different ghosts in the store. We had a teenage ghost, we had a little girl ghost, we had several women, a creepy one. And we tried to find the history of these people and get them out of the store as soon as possible. And you could tell when they were attached to an item because if the item was in the warehouse, they would stay in the warehouse.

And if we brought the item into the store to sell, then they would be in the store and wreak havoc. And some of them were nice, some of them were silly, some of them were plain mean. But there was this one spirit in there, and he was a man. You could see him, and he had slicked back gray hair. He wore a white tank top camouflage, kind of like capri pants and flip flops. He smelled really heavy like a chain smoker and everything. And he would follow the store and he was frantic and he would say,”Where is it? Where is it?” And we’re like, what is going on? And we had some customers that would see it, and pretty much everybody in town being that we were so in the middle of nowhere, everybody kind of knew there was paranormal stuff with this store, but it is what it is.

It’s the only thrift store in town, so what do you do? But this spirit he kept, was frantic, “Where is it? Where is it?” And we were just, and it was very nerve wracking to have this entity in there constantly acting for this. Well, one day we were going through the boxes before the store opened, the boxes that are donated out front, and on the top of one of the boxes was the most beautiful painting I’ve ever seen or any of us had ever seen. Pretty simple painting, Jim, black background, beautiful flowers all over. Just stunning. Not very large, but it was just absolutely gorgeous. And we brought it in and all of us, all of us were like, we all fought over it. We wanted this painting really bad. It was just really simple, but it was gorgeous. And that entity, that man walked up and he said, “There it is.” He said, “That’s for Deborah”. Of course, that was me.

Jim: Oh boy.

Deborah: He said, “My daughter painted that.” Then he just walked right through the glass door and was gone,

Jim: Walked through, walked through the glass door

Deborah: Walked through, yeah, walked right through the front glass door, and then he was gone. We never saw him again or nothing. So all of us were dumbfounded. I’m like, “What in the world?” And I’m like, “I was just gifted a painting from this ghost.” Well, I did some research and stuff and found out a couple states over this man’s daughter was the one that painted this painting. And so I did end up contacting her and kind of going about the painting and stuff and asking about her dad. And she said her dad died in 1996. And I said, well, he gave me a painting of yours. And so then again, Jim, you have to be so careful. And of course, she did not take that kindly because the painting was painted quite a bit after his death.

Jim: Right, right. So she thought, who’s this messing with me?

Deborah: So she wanted nothing to do with me and blocked me on all social media because I started following her. Her art is just absolutely stunning. So I was like, well, it kind of sounds creepy. And I think if somebody came up to me and my mom’s been dead for 20 years or so, and if somebody said, “Hey, your mom just gave me a painting”, I’d be like, “You’re a scam artist or something you want.” 

Jim: Yeah, no, it would be understandable.

Deborah: So I was trying to talk to her, but she wanted nothing to do with me. And I understand it sounded really creepy, but that’s my story, Jim. And the painting’s on the wall. And whenever, when I was still in that state, whenever somebody would come to my house and look at the painting, they’re like, oh, there’s that painting. Everybody knew the provenance of that painting,

Jim: Right.

Deborah: And especially the employees that I worked with, they all knew.

Jim: So I want you, if you don’t mind, I’d like you to go over that once again because maybe somebody didn’t catch it. Explain exactly how he walked in, exactly what you saw and experienced, because that’s amazing. A ghost walks in and gives you a painting. But please recap that in case somebody missed it.

Deborah: So the ghost had been in the store for about a month. I’m not sure how he got there or why he showed up, but during that month’s time, there were six entities at that time, and we would get rid of, it seemed like we would get rid of one and two more would follow in with another donation. But this gentleman, he was an older gentleman, I want to say in his sixties or so, and he was just frantic in the store all the time, and maybe not every day, but every few days, “Where is it? Where is it?” And he’d rustle through the clothes and he’d knock paintings down in the back room and he’d be in the warehouse and he was looking for an item. We didn’t know what, and it kind of baffled us. And one day, a donation out front, in one of the boxes, because we’d always try to bring all the donations in before the store opened.

Jim: Sure.

Deborah: And there was just this beautiful painting. Let’s see, I’m looking at it now. It’s probably by, well by 18 inches solid black background, beautiful flowers all over. It’s just absolutely stunning. And all of us and all of the employees, we saw this and literally were about to fight each other over this. We wanted this painting really bad. And normally we shared everything and stuff, but this painting was just gorgeous. And that ghost, he walked up to us and he said, “This painting is for Deborah.”

Jim: What did he look like? I mean, was he translucent? Was he just like you and me?

Deborah: He was translucent. Yeah. But you could see that he had a white tank top on, a men’s tank top, Camouflage capri cutoffs.

Jim:Yeah. You mentioned…

Deborah: He was wearing flip flops. It was either greasy hair or the hair had gel in it and he smelled very strongly of cigarette smoke. And I’m not saying he was unbathed or unwashed or anything, but he just had really, but we did have a teenage ghost in the store that wore Axe spray, and it would just make you nauseous and you could smell him through the store. And he was a bit of a pervert. And we did have a problem with him, unfortunately. But this man, he just smelled of cigarette and he was frantic. And as soon as that painting was donated, and we went to the cameras out front to see who donated this painting, we had security all over. And again, I don’t have to tell you anything. When things would happen in the store out of the store and you check security, of course the camera wouldn’t be working at that time. And it was very frustrating because everybody would see, we’d be upstairs in the warehouse and we’d be in the office and we’d look at the camera and we’d see stuff, and then we’d go to play it back and of course, erase tape. And that was very, very frustrating.

Jim: Now, no activity around the painting itself though, once you got it. Is that correct?

Deborah: No, no, no. And we got to the point, all of us were saging everything before, but we’d bring it home because we get all kinds of cool stuff. We had first pick at everything. But no, I’ve had it in my house forever and never a strange thing, never anything weird. And there was a lot of stuff in the store, Jim. There was a little girl with pigtails that would run through the store and just knock stuff over and make a mess. And one time we found a painting and there was a mother was kneeling down at her bed praying, and there was a shadow on the wall of a little girl’s pigtails head and silhouette, looking in the mom’s bedroom, watching her mom praying. And we’re like, “Oh, that’s the little girl.” And so when we went to sage that painting, the smoke actually went into the painting instead of just straight up in the air, it went into the painting. And that’s the first time I’ve ever seen that happen. So then the teenage boy that worked there, he just grabbed the painting and just took it outside and tossed it. He’s like, “Nope, I’m not dealing with this.”

Jim: So…

Deborah: That might not be the right way to discard something. But we had teenage kids and when they got spooked, they’re like, oh, off to the trash it goes.

Jim: Well, I got to tell you, Deborah, an incredible, incredible story about being gifted a painting by a ghost. 

Deborah: Yes. And I have it with me all the time. And Jim, I tell people, and now it’s at the point to where my fiance’s like, please don’t tell anybody that story anymore because you look like you’re just (inaudible). And it does. If I was back in the town that I lived in, everybody knows the story, but now where I’m at, I’m like, yeah, no.

Jim:Well, Deborah, we believe you around the Campfire for sure. Thank you for being a part of the program today.

Deborah: Thank you, Jim. Stay Spooky.

Jim: Well, I hope you enjoyed that show. I know that I did. And thank you for all of your support in 2023. We appreciate it very, very much. And if you found yourself during this episode saying, man, I wish I would’ve heard that story. I wish I would’ve heard this story. I wish I could get access to that whole back catalog of the Campfire, going back to 2009, over 620 episodes that are no longer on the free feeds. You say, Jim, can I get access to that? And I say, yes, you can. It’s my Plus Club. Check it out at jimharoldplus.com. We have two great options. If you are an Apple Podcast person, you say, I listen in Apple Podcasts app on my Apple devices. That’s the only way I want to listen. You can subscribe to our Spooky Studio Plus channel. You’ll get Campfire, get Paranormal Podcast, UFO Encounters, Ghost Insight, all of the Plus shows that we do.

It’s well over 2,500 episodes. So I encourage you to do that. You can do that right from your iPhone or your iPad in the Apple podcast app. Or you can go to jimharoldplus.com for more info. Now, if you say, Hey, Jim, I’m not an Apple Podcast person. I want to be able to listen on any device, Android, Apple, website, and I’m more of a cross platform person. I don’t want to be specific to one app. Then you should check out our Libsyn version and you can get all the information as well over jimharoldplus.com and click on my smiling face on the banner and you’ll get all the details, both great versions, and we will talk to you next time. Have a great week, everybody. Be safe. New Year’s be safe. Happy New Year. Share the show. And of course, stay spooky. We’ll talk to you in 2024. Bye-Bye.

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