He Owned A Haunted Hotel – Campfire 570

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Our caller owned a haunted hotel! This and much more spookiness on Campfire!


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SHANE: The events in this story took place probably in the late ’90s, during which my wife and I owned and operated this local hotel and restaurant…

JIM HAROLD: That was Shane, and he bought a very haunted hotel, and his is just one of the spooky stories on this week’s Campfire.

Welcome to our gathering tonight. Here we share stories of ordinary people who have experienced extraordinary things. Sit back, relax, and warm yourself by Jim Harold’s Campfire.

JIM HAROLD: Welcome to the Campfire. I am Jim Harold and so glad to be with you once again. If you’re new here, we share spooky, real stories from everyday people. That’s what we do.

One quick note: We are getting to the content more quickly from here on out. We’re still doing our spooky shoutouts, but those will be at the end of the program. We love to recognize and honor our community members, but we want to get right to the spooky. So, we have some spooky shoutouts today; stay tuned to the end of the show to hear those. And now let’s get right to the Campfire goodness.

Shane is on the line from Kansas. It’s kind of cool because we talk about places that are haunted, like businesses, hotels, restaurants, that kind of thing; we’re going to talk today with someone who actually owned a place like that, that may have been apparently haunted. Shane from Kansas, welcome to the show. Thank you for joining us, and tell us about this place you owned and what happened.

SHANE: Thanks, Jim. I’m happy to be here. A little background first. The events in this story took place probably in the late ’90s, during which my wife and I owned and operated this local hotel and restaurant. We live in central Kansas, in a small central Kansas town.

This hotel originally opened in 1952, and at the time it was a big deal. It was by the American Hotel Chain, and it had 26 rooms and 3 apartments. I guess they went to these smaller places and they sold stock and people bought it, and then it was run by a local board of directors. But at the time, it had a state-of-the-art kitchen, hotel rooms, linen tablecloths. It was a big deal, real fancy place, and became a landmark right off the bat.

It was run by a local board of directors until it passed into private ownership in 1976, and a couple ran it for about 20 years. Over time, it began to get a little run down, but it was still a very popular place in town. She ran the hotel and restaurant, and he opened and operated a lounge and a private club down in the basement.

From what I’ve heard – and I’m just going to give them different names, but from what I’ve heard, he was a very kind and gentle man. His name was Ralph and his wife was Betty. Although she wasn’t necessarily mean, she did have a reputation of running that hotel with an iron hand. She was really tough. Before we operated the place, my wife worked there for Betty as a waitress, and she liked her, but she knew that Betty did not tolerate shortcuts or shenanigans or any of that stuff.

At some point, Ralph passed away, and her son took over management of the lounge, and Betty moved into the hotel. She lived there until her own death in ’93 or ’94. She actually lived in a second-floor apartment. Then after she died, her son and daughter took it over. They ran it for a few months, but they really didn’t want to operate it, plus the daughter-in-law and Betty never got along. So they closed it down, and it remained closed several months. Maybe even a year, I can’t recall for sure. We took it over in ’95. So there’s the background on the place.

We go in, and my wife and I didn’t have a lot of capital to speak of. We were buying it from the owners, and they gave us a little loan to make some cleanup, some paint and carpet and stuff like that. When we started out, we were doing some of this cleaning up and fixing it. We’re down in the dining room and we’re painting the restaurant. Since the hotel hadn’t been operated for a while, we had a plumber in there, checking all the floors and the water and the plumbing system. He was going to go down into the basement.

There were about four or five of us in the dining room, painting and stuff, and he said, “Don’t anyone run any water or flush any toilets, please, while I’m down there.” We said, “Okay, no problem.” He goes down, and about 10-15 minutes later, he comes up and he is soaking wet and very angry. He said, “I told you guys not to flush the toilets or run any water!” We said, “None of us did. We’ve all been in sight of each other. None of us have gone anywhere.”

We assured him of that, and he went back down. A few minutes later, he came back up again and he was soaked again, and he was pretty mad. We assured him that none of us had left the space, and then he asked if anyone was in the building. We said no, but then we thought, “Well, I don’t know, this place has been closed for a while; maybe there are some people up there that have been squatting or something.” So we called the police, and they came out and did a complete search of the premises and found no one.

That was how this started out, and then over the course of the time we owned it, weird stuff would happen all the time. We had in the waitress station an ice machine where the waitstaff would put their trays, and sometimes, for no reason at all we could tell, the trays would fly off the ice machine and land out in the dining room.

JIM HAROLD: Wow, so poltergeist of a sort.

SHANE: Yeah. And I tried to debunk it. I thought maybe it was vibrating or something, but these didn’t just vibrate off and slide off. They flew off into the dining room area. Of course, this was in the ’90s, so some of the cooks would smoke back in the kitchen, and they’d talk all the time about how they’d go back there – we had a little area where they could get a puff of their cigarette – and they’d lay it in the ashtray, look away and look back, and their cigarette would be on the opposite side of the ashtray from where they laid it.


SHANE: Yeah, it was just weird stuff like that. I mostly ran the lounge while my wife did the restaurant part, but sometimes our night clerk, our front desk clerk wouldn’t show up, and often I would have to do the night clerk duty as well. We had an old elevator there, and this elevator in the lobby was the kind where it opens and you open and close the iron gate. We had it serviced, and it worked fine.

But sometimes on that night shift, it got really creepy because I always felt like somebody was watching me, whatever I was doing – cleaning the bathrooms or vacuuming, I always felt that somebody was watching me. And then sometimes that elevator, for no reason at all, would start up and it’d go up to one of the upper floors. Or it would come down. And nobody would be in it. We asked the elevator guy about it and he did say that sometimes that might be able to happen, but he didn’t have an explanation. But it never happened in the daytime, because I watched. It always happened at night when that occurred.

Then my wife, when she was doing books or something in the office, always felt like someone was peering over her shoulder. Then she also – my wife heard several times her name spoken right in her ear. She’d be walking across the dining room – her name’s Teri – and she’d hear, “Teri!” right in her ear. She had a sister who had also waitressed there a few years before, and she has said that she used to hear that as well. And I even heard it once. It was late at night and I was doing the front desk, and I heard someone in my ear go, “Shane!” Just like that. I’d look around, and you never knew.

Then my son, who was about five or six years old at the time – I think he was about six when we were there, and he used to go down in the lounge. This is where it was a little creepy because when we were cleaning it up and getting ready, he wandered down in the lounge a few times and he would come back up talking about this “nice old man” down in the lounge that he had been speaking with. We always thought that’s got to be Ralph because Ralph was just a nice person.

And then Carson just told me about this as I was preparing to come on here – I asked him if he remembered anything else, and he said that one time he was down in the lounge and I went down to pick him up and take him back upstairs – it wasn’t open at the time – and he said above the doorway as we were passing through the doorframe, he saw an old woman’s face looking at him. I said, “Did she look angry or mad or threatening?” He said, “No, but she did make eye contact.” She was just looking and it scared him to death.


SHANE: Oh, and then – last thing here. My wife and I ran the hotel for about six years, and then after we got rid of it – we just couldn’t make it work anymore. It was a lot of money to operate it, because all the equipment had gotten old by then. But anyway, my wife got a job across the street at a retail store, managing that. A family moved into the hotel and just used it as a residence. They just moved in there. It was kind of odd.

But they used to come over to the store that my wife managed all the time, and one day the mother had come over and my wife was checking her out, and she said, “You used to run that hotel, didn’t you?” My wife said, “Yeah, we did.” She said, “Did you ever see an old woman in that apartment on that second floor?” My wife said, “No, I never did. Have you?” The woman was visibly shaken and she said, “Oh yeah.”

We never saw the old woman, but it sounds like maybe my son did, and the people who had the hotel after us.

JIM HAROLD: Very interesting indeed. Shane, thank you so much for joining us and sharing those awesome stories.

SHANE: Thanks for having me.

JIM HAROLD: Next up is Matt from Michigan, and his wife Rachel is a big fan of the show and got him into it. He said, “You know what? I’m going to call up and make it a surprise for Rachel.” So Rachel doesn’t know – until now. She’s listening right now, and Rachel, stay spooky. Thanks for listening. Matt is going to tell us one of my favorite kinds of stories. This really falls into the category of a headscratcher. Can’t wait to hear it. Matt, welcome to the show. Tell us what happened.

MATT: Thanks, Jim. Appreciate it. Yeah, my wife’s been telling me I had to call in for a long time now, so I figured I might as well finally do it.

It was the summer of 2006. I was at my first college internship, and I was still on college sleep schedule. I was staying up super late, waking up real late, but I had to be somewhere almost an hour away at 6:00. I was kind of nervous energy and excited all night, couldn’t fall asleep. I fell asleep at 1:00 or 2:00 a.m., woke up at 4:00 something. I got a couple hours of sleep. It was one of those tough days, and I had a long day.

I finally was driving home at the end of the day. It’s one of those drives where you’re catching yourself nodding off a little bit like that, and you’re doing everything you can, turning up the music, rolling down the window, slapping your face trying to stay awake the whole time. It was over an hour in rush hour.

I finally make it to my subdivision where I was living with my parents, and the street is a mile long. There’s only one stop sign on the whole stretch, and it’s right before my street that I turn on. So I’m driving down the street, and I notice there’s a black SUV not too far in front of me. “Okay, whatever.” I have a relaxing feeling coming over me knowing that, “Hey, you finally made it.”

I was driving, and next thing you know the airbags deployed and I absolutely totaled my car, totaled the car in front of me. she was stopped at that only stop sign. I fell asleep.


MATT: Yeah, I never even touched the brakes and hit her whatever speed I was going. It was obviously shocking. I get out of the car, I see her getting out of the car at the same time. Starts to yell at me, but then realizes I’m pretty hurt. I had a hanging shoulder, a dislocated shoulder and a really, really painful neck.

I lay down on the grass. One of the first people to come outside was the lady who lived at that corner. She had a really pretty tough reaction to it, because about 10 to 12 years prior, at that same exact intersection, her youngest son got hit by a car. He made it, but he does carry some permanent disabilities, so she had a pretty tough reaction, I think almost like a PTSD situation, which is understandable.

Someone had called the ambulance, and the paramedics took my neck pretty seriously. You never know with neck injuries. Could be a vertebrae problem, who knows. So they put me on the stretcher in a neck brace and they got me in there. A bunch of neighbors were starting to come outside and look at the commotion, the crash, the ambulance. A lot of people I knew, some people I didn’t know were coming up and peeking in. One little girl in particular was pretty concerned and I told her, “Hey, I’m okay, I’m okay.”

Eventually my mom and my brother came running up, and at that point the paramedic said something to my mom saying, “He’s lucky to be alive,” which was kind of shocking to me. At that point I had already passed all the head injury questions – my name, date of birth, sosh, all that. They weren’t concerned about that.

But they were mentioning something about where my seatbelt was, on the left side of where the shoulder is. You can move the height up or down, and they were saying if it had been – I don’t know if it was higher or lower – I could’ve gone through the windshield. They said, “Yeah, it screwed up his shoulder and his neck, but it saved him.”


MATT: They wanted to take me in to get scans on my neck, but my mom said, “We’ll bring him in ourselves. We’ll take care of it.” So eventually we went to the hospital; everything checked out fine. Yes, I had a really bad sprained neck and a dislocated shoulder that they were able to help me with.

We get home late at night. Took forever at the hospital, per usual. We’re eating some late-night dinner and just talking through the day. “I saw so-and-so came up first, and then they called my mom, my mom came” – just talking through it. I asked my mom, “Who was that little girl that was there the whole time?” She’s like, “What do you mean?” I said, “She had red hair. She was maybe six, seven, eight years old. She was wearing a purple dress like you would see a little girl wearing, I don’t know, to Easter Mass or something at church.” She says, “I don’t know who that was.” I said, “What do you mean?” She wanted to move on from it.

I said, “She was standing right next to you the whole time.” She said, “Matt, no, what do you mean? When we got up to the ambulance, they cleared everyone else out.” I said, “Mom, she was there.” She said, “Did she say anything?” I said, “No, she actually didn’t. She looked at me very concerned. She was the first person to come up to the ambulance and kept looking at me, and I told her, ‘I’m okay. It’s okay, I’m okay.’” She said, “Did she say anything?” I said, “No, she didn’t.”

I said, “Mom, she was right next to you and my brother the whole time.” She said, “Matt, there was no one there.” It’s one of those moments when all of our hairs on our arms stood up. She said, “I think that was your guardian angel, Matt. Did you see her walk away?” I said, “Yeah, she walked away.” “Did she have a mom or a dad?” I said, “No, she just kind of walked away.” So that was a pretty eye-opening situation.

JIM HAROLD: And no further thought of who that could’ve been, when you think back? A relative who passed away? Nothing like that? Nothing that connects?

MATT: No, nothing like that that ever connected. My mom, just hearing her gut reaction and all of us thinking it made sense with this guardian angel situation is the fact that she was there right off the bat, she never left, she didn’t say anything, and I guess it is a little bit strange to be wearing a very nice, beautiful purple dress on a typical summer day, and to not have any parents.

JIM HAROLD: Yeah, that and the fact that she has red hair, which isn’t as common as maybe blonde hair or brunette hair. People tend to remember red-headed people. Wow, what a story.

MATT: Yeah, just as clear as anyone else. She looked just like my mom, my brother, anyone else that walked up. To me, obviously, I never thought anything weird about it until she said no one was there. 

JIM HAROLD: There you go. Matt, thank you so much for sharing this fantastic story, and thanks to Rachel for telling you about the show.

MATT: Thank you, Jim. I appreciate it.

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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 in to the Paranormal Podcast today. Now, we return to Jim Harold’s Campfire.

JIM HAROLD: Shelbi is on the line from Colorado. You might remember a while back, she called in and talked about her dog snarling at an invisible entity, which is kind of creepy. This story is, too; it’s about a strange doppelganger. Shelbi, welcome back. It just seems like mere moments ago we spoke, but good to speak with you again. Please tell us what happened.

SHELBI: Sure, thanks for having me back. My next story is actually from my childhood. My father and my stepmother were renting a really small house in Michigan. To save room, all three girls – my two stepsisters and I – stayed in one room. To save room, we had loft beds, just basically the top bunks of bunkbeds so we had room underneath. Mine faced the doorway out into the living room.

I want to say I was about seven or eight, and I was asleep. You know that feeling when you wake up and you’re awake but your eyes are still closed? I could feel something was strange, so I opened up my eyes, and again, I’m in the loft bed, so it’s high, closer to the ceiling than the ground. I open my eyes and directly out of the doorway, where I could see into the living room, my stepmother was standing there towards the back of the living room.

It looked like my stepmother, but it was not my stepmother, I could tell. She had this huge smile, very teethy smile, and the strangest look in her eyes. It was a smile, but it was a menacing smile if that makes any sense. She was just staring at me. I’m looking back at her, and I can tell something’s not right. If it had been my stepmother, she would’ve come in and tucked me back in, gone about our evening. She was just standing there with this creepy smile, staring at me.

Finally I was just so scared, I covered my head with my covers, and the next thing I knew it was morning. I asked her that morning, “Diane, did you come in to check on us last night?” She said, “No, I didn’t go in there last night.” So it was definitely a creepy situation.

JIM HAROLD: And later on, your stepmom passed, relatively soon?

SHELBI: Yes, and she did pass away in that house, actually. She unfortunately had a brain aneurysm in that house and did pass away not too long after that, maybe a year or so later.

JIM HAROLD: Oh my gosh. Do you think that was an omen, a foreshadowing of what was going to happen? Maybe some kind of sign to you that she was going to pass?

SHELBI: I’m not sure. What happened with her was so tragic to the whole family, but I don’t think it even had anything to do with her besides the fact that whatever that was took her form. Maybe it was just because it should’ve been a comforting form to me. I’m not sure about that. I don’t think it had anything omen-related to it, though. It didn’t feel like her at all, and I don’t think it related to her at all besides the fact that it was in her form.

JIM HAROLD: Doppelgangers, particularly the sinister ones, can be a very, very frightening thing. I was aware of the idea of doppelgangers before we started this show, but since we started the show – gosh, 13 years ago – I’ve really become much more aware of it as it relates to the paranormal. It’s always fascinating. Was there ever any other paranormal activity in that house?

SHELBI: Not really that I can recall. Again, I was really young. I think that one was just so terrifying to me that it stuck with me. I’m 29 now, so it definitely stuck with me for a while after that. But I don’t remember anything really going on in that house besides that. I’m not sure if my siblings maybe had things happen to them. We don’t really keep that close in contact nowadays. But from my standpoint, no.

JIM HAROLD: Well, thank you so much for sharing your story. I know you’ve got another story; we look forward to hearing that one as well. Shelbi, thank you for being a part of the Campfire tonight.

SHELBI: Thanks so much. You have a great time today. We really appreciate your podcast over here.

JIM HAROLD: Vicki is on the line from the great state of Texas, San Antonio, and she’s going to take us back to her childhood. She and her sister saw something strange in the sky. Vicki, welcome to the show and tell us what happened.

VICKI: Hi, Jim. Thank you for having me on. I’m super excited. Yes, I’m from San Antonio, Texas. Well, not originally. My parents moved here when I was younger. This story happened when I believe it was the summer of 1979-1980, somewhere in that ballpark. My oldest sister, Joyce, is about 13 years older than I am, and she was going to the nursing school at the Health Science Center.

She had a job as a manager at a Dairy Queen, and it was on the way to the medical center; it’s off of a big road called Fredericksburg Road. Those in San Antonio will be familiar with Fredericksburg. Believe it or not, San Antonio in some parts is quite hilly, and this Dairy Queen doesn’t exist anymore, but it was right by a mall called Wonderland Mall. I forget what it’s called now. We used to call it Wonderland Mall, but it’s torn down now and there’s a big parking garage there. But what used to be there, and is still there, was a Whataburger and a Denny’s. Those are still there.

So it was my sister Joyce who was the manager, my sister Kathy, who’s about a year and a half older than I am, and Joyce had another employee. I forget his name. My sister would take us frequently to go and we would help her clean the Dairy Queen at night when she had to close up. We’d get free ice cream out of it, so it was a good deal for us.

This one night, I remember I had just finished up cleaning the dining room area. My sister Kathy was in the drive-thru area. She was cleaning there. I don’t know where my sister Joyce was. I know she was in the restaurant; I just can’t remember where. Me and this young man proceeded to take out the trash. So we’re taking it out, we’re rolling it out, and he opens the backdoor – and it was just a beautiful, cool, cloudless night. Just gorgeous.

The big dumpsters are in the back of the restaurant, so as we come around, he gets this look of fright on him, and he seemed to kind of glow. He ran – I’m not sure if he ran back into the restaurant or where he ran, but all I know is he was scared out of his wits. I looked over my right shoulder, and there it was. It was this hovering, very classic-looking UFO.


VICKI: Yeah. It almost looked like it was going through the drive-thru, but it was up higher than that. It was just hovering there. I was young; I couldn’t move. I couldn’t take my eyes off of it, and I didn’t want to. I think I remember thinking at that moment, “Is this real?” I could see a slit open on the top. It was disc-shaped and it had a little disc mound up on top of it, and a little slot opened.

I know this sounds crazy, and I always sound crazy when I say this, but there were two heads, and it was like a big head and then a long neck. I could see them. They were looking – I mean, I’m sure they were looking right at me. I’m positive of it. I just felt it. Again, it didn’t really make a sound. There was a low hum. It wasn’t super bright. It was kind of like a glow, but it was definitely metallic. It moved real slowly, real slowly in front of me.

I didn’t take my eyes off this thing, I really didn’t, and I just watched it. It couldn’t have been – I’m trying to judge – it was less than a football field away from me. It was up in the sky. So I got a really good look at it. It was really interesting because as I heard things around me, like people and things of this nature, it started to move faster. It shot over the Fredericksburg Road, up into the sky, and when I followed it, there happened to be, at that same moment, two San Antonio police officers pulled up and almost hit each other. They got out of the car and they were reporting what they were seeing.

I just kept watching it, and I could hear other people. I quickly looked over, and there must’ve been about 40-50 people – people from Whataburger had come, people from Denny’s had all come out to see this thing. It was incredible. I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about it. It shot up over the sky. You could still see it. And then it went to my right. It went west for, I don’t know, probably about 5 or 6 seconds, maybe 10 seconds, and then, out of nowhere, it came back, almost to the exact spot where it had shot over Fredericksburg Road, and then up into the sky. And it was gone.


VICKI: It was incredible. My sisters were behind me at this point, and I was jumping up and down. I couldn’t believe it. I can’t even remember – I think that young man ran off. [laughs] Because I don’t remember him there the rest of the night. But I do remember I was super excited.

We got home, my sister was dropping us off at home, and we ran into our house, and my parents were sitting there in the living room. We were like, “Guess what, guess what?” We started telling them. This was way before cellphones. You had to do everything in person.

And my father became extremely upset. Extremely upset. He was like, “Blah, blah, blah, don’t you be messing with those blah, blah, blah UFOs! Don’t you be calling them! You leave them alone!” Just went off. I think after that, I started questioning what was going on with my dad, like “Why is he acting this way?”

I know it’s for another time, but apparently he had a lot of stories when he was growing up. He grew up in a little itty-bitty town called Mount Vernon, Arkansas, in the mountains, and apparently he used to encounter UFOs all the time.

JIM HAROLD: Do you think maybe there was some connection between his experiences and your experiences? In other words, whatever it is, ET or whatever it was, was aware of your father and showed up for other members of the family? Did you ever consider that?

VICKI: Yes. Now I do, because I saw another one when I was a senior in high school. It was ginormous. I was at a park, and it looked like a cloud, but then I saw lights. I knew what it was instantly. As it floated over, it almost vaporized and disappeared. I was with my then-boyfriend at the time, and he thought we were both crazy. He excused it. He never spoke of it. We left immediately, that kind of thing. And then my oldest sister Joyce has also seen one by herself, and it also vaporized. So I do.

Whenever I’ve told this story – I’m so grateful for your show because I feel like you believe me. If I tell people, they just think I’m crazy. Not so much now, I think, because there’s more acceptance that UFOs are real, but for years, I really couldn’t tell it. I got ridiculed for going and telling at school, so I stopped. I did stop.

I wish I had had the courage to pursue it further and to listen to stories that my father had. I thought for years, “He’s crazy.” But now I know.

JIM HAROLD: The thing is, with all the news and things, Vicki, it seems to me that you’ve been vindicated. Not that you needed to be vindicated, but all those people who thought you were just making stuff up or seeing things, now they’re seeing in the news that factions of Congress are saying there’s maybe nonhuman causes of the things we’re seeing in the skies.

It’s an amazing time we live in, and I love when people like you come forward with your stories. Vicki, thank you so much for sharing it on the Campfire tonight, and we look forward to hearing your other stories.

VICKI: Thank you, Jim. It’s been fun. I appreciate it. Stay spooky.

JIM HAROLD: Next up on the line is Katie. She is a longtime listener, and we appreciate it. I’m always fascinated about the subject of dreams, but in this case, Katie had what she calls an awful dream. She’s going to tell us all about it. Katie, thank you for joining us. I appreciate it, and tell us what happened.

KATIE: Thank you for having me, Jim. This goes back to 2017, I believe. I was asleep in the middle of the night and I had this absolutely awful dream. I have four kids, but at the time I only had two. My son was less than a year, and I had this absolutely awful dream – I know any parent who’s had this dream knows what it’s like – where my son died.

I woke up in the middle of the night – and this has never happened before or since – I woke up screaming myself awake, this visceral scream. I sat up and I had tears on my face. I was like, that is just really bizarre. It took me a while to shake it. It was probably about 2:00-3:00 in the morning, around that time. I woke my husband up and said, “That was the worst dream.” You know that thing where you go in the kitchen and you get a drink. You have to reset your brain, put on some Netflix or something to reset your mind.

I went back to bed and I thought, “That was the weirdest thing. I hope I don’t have this kind of dream again.” In the morning, I woke up and I realized that – I saw it on Facebook or something, morning scrolling – that my mother-in-law’s best friend, one of my son’s childhood friends, had been killed in the middle of the night in a car accident. My mother-in-law, they’re very close, so she went with her friend to the hospital and actually went with her to identify the body.


KATIE: Yes. I talked to her about it – this was several months later; I didn’t ask her that same day. But I said, “Did she scream really loud?” She’s like, “She did.” I just had this weird feeling that there was some sort of connection there, and that’s why I woke up in the middle of the night screaming myself awake. Maybe it wasn’t even my scream. And the fact that it was my son in my dream and it was her son – and it was at the same time, too. I checked. It was on the East Coast, so I checked the time difference and it was about the same time that she’d been in the hospital doing that.

So that’s that. It was very odd. These weird connections that you have with people that seem to span any sort of reality that we know, it’s pretty cool and weird. Even though it was awful, it was interesting.

JIM HAROLD: You had a similar experience in high school, didn’t you?

KATIE: Yes. I was driving home, and one of my friends in high school, her dad had been sick for a really long time. It was one of those long-term illnesses. On my way home, I had to pass by her house, and as I did, I had this very strange vision of my dad in a casket. I saw his suit, I saw the flower on his lapel, all these things you see. I just broke down sobbing, crying in my car. Like, what the heck am I seeing? Just like, why did that pop up? It was such a visceral image that I couldn’t shake it. I even walked in and my mom said, “What is wrong with you? What happened?” I said, “I don’t know. I just had this awful image of Dad and he was dead.”

The next day, I walked up to school and my friend walked down the front steps and she said, “Did you hear what happened to Stephanie’s dad?” I was like, “Oh my God, he died.” And I realized that the moment that image had hit me, I was passing her house. It was very odd. I’d love to get some good vibes next time, like, “Oh good, you got a promotion. Love knowing that about you.”

JIM HAROLD: Exactly. I can understand that. Actually, this is a story I can kind of relate to, and I think I may have mentioned this on the show at some point, but it’s been a long time. I may or may not have. But when I was – gosh, it would’ve been about 12 years old – I remember trying to go to sleep one night and looking up at the light at the ceiling, and I got the sense that my grandma on my dad’s side was going to die.

I just thought I just watched a spooky show or something on TV. It’s like, eh, it’s all in your mind. Next morning, I wake up, and I think it was not too long I was awake and we got a call that my grandfather on my dad’s side passed away, not my grandma. Now, again, could’ve been coincidence. Could’ve been I watched a spooky show. You never know.

But I think it’s like anything else, right, Katie? If you think about it, sometimes you get a phone call and something’s misrouted and you get the wrong person on the line, or something gets jumbled. Maybe you have some psychic abilities, but maybe somehow things might get jumbled a little bit sometimes.

KATIE: Yeah, my dad calls it a radio antenna. Your antenna’s up and you’re just catching weird signals. That’s what he says.

JIM HAROLD: Yeah. And maybe you’re translating it back to somebody in your life as opposed to someone else. But it certainly sounds like you’re receiving something. That’s always been interesting to me, this idea that you can have a psychic ability, but maybe there’s interference or whatever it might be. It may not come in 100%, but you knew something was up.

KATIE: Yeah. It’d be great to have that be useful at some point, but I’ll leave that up to God and kind of back off that one. But you never know.

JIM HAROLD: You never know. Great story, Katie. Thank you so much for sharing actually two great stories, and appreciate you being a part of the Campfire.

KATIE: Thanks, Jim. Stay spooky.

JIM HAROLD: Jim Harold’s Campfire is brought to you by Hello Fresh, America’s number one meal kit, and it is well earned. If you get Hello Fresh, you will agree. You’ll love it. I’m sure this fall you have a pretty packed schedule, right? Well, Hello Fresh has the solution: they have meals covered with a weekly selection of 30+ recipes and 70+ convenience items all delivered to your door.

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Follow Jim on Twitter and Instagram @TheJimHarold and join our virtual Campfire Facebook group at VirtualCampfireGroup.com. Now, back to the Campfire.

JIM HAROLD: Next up on the Campfire is Hayden, and he has some supernatural stories for us. But a quick other story I’ve got to share with you – it’s the first time it’s happened in the 13-year history of the Campfire that I’m aware of – we got somebody fired. Hayden from Texas, thank you for joining us. Before we get to your spooky stories, including one about the Sally House, tell us real quickly what happened with this job, and why did the Campfire get you fired? 

HAYDEN: Yeah, listen, this may be a spookier story than my actual supernatural stories. I was working in New York as a temp for a temp agency, like many struggling actors do, and I discovered the Campfire. I was looking for any podcasts I could listen to while I was doing my boring administrative job, so I striated listening to the Campfire. I would listen to it every single day, and one day I started to head over to work and I got a call from my agency and they said, “Hey, they don’t need you to come in anymore.” I was like, “Wait, why? What’s going on? I thought things were going well.” They were like, “Well, you had your headphones in too much.”

JIM HAROLD: “You’re listening to too many podcasts.”

HAYDEN: Yeah. [laughs]

JIM HAROLD: That’s funny. But you said it ended up for the better – that it inspired you to go ahead and get in your current line of work. So I’m glad at least that worked out, but sorry about getting you fired.

HAYDEN: No, thank you, Jim. I owe part of my podcasting career to you.

JIM HAROLD: Excellent. Fabulous. So the question is, tell us about these spooky stories.

HAYDEN: I’m going to start with one that was when I was a kid first, and then I’ll move on to the one about the Sally House, because that one is probably the craziest thing that has ever happened to me.

When I was about 10 years old, I was staying at my dad’s apartment at the time and I was sleeping in a pullout couch bed, like many couches are. The way I was facing, I was facing towards the kitchen and the hallway that leads to my dad’s bedroom. All of a sudden I woke up – you ever have that feeling that you just know somebody is coming down the hall or about to come into eyesight? I just waited there. I expected it to be my dad, either to get a glass of water or to check on me, something like that, and then all of a sudden somebody comes through the hallway but it’s not my dad.

It is a fully white person. If you think of somebody walking at profile, the front half of them is completely white, and the back half of them is completely transparent. I can’t see them at all. They just start slowly walking across the room. They don’t acknowledge me; they don’t notice my existence, seemingly. They get to the front door of the apartment, they reach for the doorknob, and then they disappear.


HAYDEN: I was obviously terrified and frozen in my bed. I woke up the next day, talked to my dad about it; he hadn’t noticed anything, he hadn’t heard anything. But that’s the only time in my life where I’ve actually seen an apparition.

JIM HAROLD: Oh my gosh. Did you know if there was anything else in that house? Did this kind of thing ever happen? Was it a one-off, one time thing?

HAYDEN: It was a one-off. Now, of course, I was scared of that apartment for the rest of the time my dad lived there. But I do actually think it was something residual, as in I think there was something potentially happening on replay to where it didn’t even know that other people were in the house because it didn’t notice me, walking by, and it reaches for the door and then it disappears and I don’t see it or hear from it ever again. I almost think there was something, like you say, like a tape replaying going on.

JIM HAROLD: Yeah, it’s an interesting theory behind some of these hauntings. You had a story about the Sally House?

HAYDEN: Yeah. Disclaimer, I’ve never been to the Sally House, but I feel like I have a weird connection to it. During the pandemic, I was working at a grocery story, and when I would close the store we would have a chance to work up the backstock, all that kind of thing. Of course, I listened to podcasts while I was doing it. [laughs]

One night, I was looking for spooky podcasts, and I remember either you or Christine and Em from And That’s Why We Drink mentioned Astonishing Legends. So I looked it up, found Scott and Forrest. I love the work that they do.

JIM HAROLD: They’re great.

HAYDEN: I started listening to their most recent episode, and they kept mentioning this place called the Sally House. Four separate times, they kept mentioning it. I was like, if they’re so obsessed with it, I guess I’d better go find their episode about it. It was about a year prior they had done the Sally House series. That’s like a three- or four-part series, for anyone who hasn’t checked it out. It is some of the most detailed, engrossing podcasting I have ever heard. It’s an amazing series. Go check it out.

Anyways, I start listening, and for those of you who don’t know the story of the Sally House, there’s supposedly this little girl who had died because a doctor was trying to operate on her and the – what do you call those drugs during surgeries? What do they use?

JIM HAROLD: Anesthesia.

HAYDEN: Anesthesia, thank you. The anesthesia hadn’t worked yet, so he started operating on her before it started working and she died out of shock. So supposedly, Sally haunts this house, and there’s one couple in particular who moved in there – I believe it was in the ’80s or the early ’90s – who started having so many strange things happen to them, like really crazy stuff. Scott and Forrest talk about that plenty in the episodes.

But anyway, I’m listening to these episodes, and I have a good friend of mine who I work with, and I’m just talking to her about it. I was like, “Man, this podcast is so crazy. It’s about this haunted house that all this crazy stuff has happened, and it’s in Kansas.” She was like, “Is it called the Sally House?” I was like, “Yes.” She said, “You know that couple that all that crazy stuff happened to” – her husband moved into the Sally House directly after them.


HAYDEN: I just got chills down my entire body because I was thinking about – we don’t even have to think about it globally. Just within the United States, there is one family that moved in after that couple. So that was literally a 1 in 330+ million chance that I would be good friends and working with the woman who was married to that person.

JIM HAROLD: Wow, that is wild. And the fact that you listened to the podcast – how many different things had to happen for that to happen? I love synchronicities. Well, Hayden, thank you so much for being a part of the Campfire and telling us these great stories. And again, sorry I got you fired.

HAYDEN: Thanks, Jim. No hard feelings.

JIM HAROLD: Next up on the Campfire is Adele from my hometown, Cleveland, Ohio. I was just sharing with Adele, I have callers from all over the world, but we don’t get a lot of callers from Cleveland, and I’ve come to the conclusion nobody in Cleveland knows who I am. But that’s okay because you, who are listening, know, Adele knows, so I’m good. I’m good.

Adele, I know you have a story about your friend – you said your friend’s a little bit shy, so you’re going to come on in their stead and tell the story, which is great. Tell us what happened, and welcome to the show.

ADELE: Thank you, Jim. Pleasure to be here. So this is a story about my two friends, Lauren and Tom. When she told me, I was really blown away with the whole thing. I asked her a lot of things so I could get details, and I even looked up a little bit about the place she went.

They were on a trip in Northern California, driving and looking around, and they needed a place to crash for the night around Mendocino. They found this place. It was an old quaint cozy inn, and they got a room for the night. My friend Lauren goes on a million ghost tours, and she knows about ghosts and things. When they were eating in the dining room, the waitress even said, “One shows up in here all the time.” Lauren’s like, “Ah, it’s cool.”

Then they went to their room and it was time to go to bed, and Lauren had her socks rolled up for the next day. She put them on the nightstand. She put them right next to her bed and fell pretty much asleep. Her husband Tom stayed up for just a little bit longer. He was watching the curtains moving, so he goes, “Let me check the vent for any kind of breeze,” and he couldn’t really find anything. He goes, “Okay, that’s strange,” and he went to sleep too.

That’s just the beginning. As Lauren was sleeping, she finds herself awake. She’s in the room she was sleeping in, but strangely, there’s all these people there. There was this woman and a man who were by the bed, and they were watching her, almost like a doctor. Lauren notices now she’s wearing a nightgown with frilly lace around the wrists, and she’s going, “Wow, this is from another time.” She couldn’t tell you if she was a girl or a boy now, but she felt sweaty like when you have some kind of sickness.

Her eyes kept going over to the woman by the bedside. The woman had a gaze on her like sympathy. She looked further into the room and she sees townspeople who are just staring at her as if they’re fascinated. She’s noticing their clothing now is not from the modern day era. She can’t figure out why they’re there, but she does notice that the wallpaper is different. This is from a different time.

The people keep watching like there’s a big story to tell, and she begins now to feel her left hand in some sort of distress. The woman comes over and she’s pressing a cold compress on her forehead for the discomfort she’s having, and at that point Lauren’s resisting them. They’re trying to grab for her hand, and she’s I guess pulling back. Then she did say anything detail of the man having a device with a yellow tube at the end that lit up. Old-time stuff.

She keeps going on and on with this pulling back and looking at that lady with that gaze. She knows there’s something between her and that woman. She doesn’t know what it was. Lauren can’t remember if they got a hold of her hand, but she finally wakes up. This was a dream. Her left hand now is in a great deal of pain, and as she’s holding it, all of a sudden the cast of the dream comes back.

She looks around; it’s the same room she fell asleep in. Then she looks down at the floor, and to her shock, she sees the same socks that were rolled up on the bedside, rolled completely out next to her bed. Of course, you get the shivers. I’m like, hmm, could that be their calling card? “We were here”?

I did look up the name of the hotel. It’s the Blair House, and it was built in 1888 by a settler named Elijah Blair. There was a brothel in that area of the place, so could she have been a lady of the night or maybe a child afflicted with one of those old-time diseases? Another theory, maybe a past life returned to live again, something she went through. But I would categorize this as a dream haunting. She could not forget the lady’s eyes, ever, she says.

JIM HAROLD: It seems like there’s something more to it when somebody remembers something that much and it’s that striking to them. Sometimes you’ll have something happen to you and you’ll forget about it in a number of days, like, “That was weird.” But when something sticks with you and you tell your friends, you know there’s a lot more to it.

ADELE: That’s right. And she’s not one to tell these stories, too, because she has different experiences here and there. One time, real quick, we worked in a hospital and we would walk through the hospital; she was walking through a ward and she saw a friend from high school and said hi. The girl said, “Hi, how are you doing?” She kept going, and later she learned that that girl was dead.


ADELE: Yeah, that’s one she won’t tell everyone, but it happened.

JIM HAROLD: Well, Adele, thank you so much for joining me. I’m so glad that I have a listener in Cleveland. I know we have a few because they’ve called in, but we thank you so much. We appreciate it, and thanks for being a part of the Campfire and sharing your friend’s story.

ADELE: You’re welcome. This was wild. Thanks for having me. And yay! We’re in Cleveland.

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JIM HAROLD: It seems to me that this is the perfect time of year for a spooky camp story on the Campfire, and Todd has this taken care of. He’s from Saskatchewan. Always glad to hear from our neighbors up north, and he’s going to tell us a spooky camp story. Todd, welcome to the show. Thank you for joining us, and tell us what happened.

TODD: Sure. It wasn’t quite that rustic. It was old, but it wasn’t quite that rustic. It was actually a former tuberculosis – I can’t think of the word they called it.

JIM HAROLD: Sanitarium?

TODD: Thank you, yes, a sanitarium. There were rumors that it was actually built on an old native burial site. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but it was in a spooky old valley, the Qu’Appelle Valley, which has its own ghost story about its name. So the setting was ripe for some paranormal activity.

I was about 12 years old, and they turned the sanitarium into a summer camp for the arts. It was a band camp, basically, that I went to. I lived in the area, but there were people coming from all over the place, all over the country, going there for this camp. But I knew of all the ghost stuff already because I lived in the area, so I was prepared. I was already scared my first night staying there because I knew of all the stuff that happened.

It almost seemed like every morning, we’d go down to the cafeteria for our breakfast and you would hear somebody make some kind of comments or have some story of the night before, whether it was footsteps or toilets flushing on their own, showers coming on on their own and stuff. There was a lot of little stories. Nothing happened to me exactly, but I heard a lot of stuff.

And this place was huge and had lots of buildings, and they were all connected by underground tunnels that were built in the ’30s or ’40s or whatever. The kids weren’t allowed down there, but of course, you know kids; they find a way down there. There were a lot of stories about seeing shadows moving or maybe even shadow people and seeing things in the tunnels.

But there were three stories that really stuck with me. We had different counselors in the different dorm rooms, and one counselor was telling another counselor about the maintenance man telling this counselor that he would go into this one room and do his maintenance work, and then he’d come back the next week and all the furniture would be piled up in the corner, like someone had stacked it up like Tetris. This was in the offseason, so nobody should be in there but the maintenance people. He would take the furniture down, rearrange it, put it back where it was supposed to be, and the next week it would be all stacked up again. As a 12-year-old, knowing this place had some paranormal activity, that made the hair on the back of my neck stick up.

That same counselor, I heard him say that one night he was lying in bed and he had just put his book down or whatever and was trying to sleep, and then suddenly the temperature dropped in the room. He said probably at least 15 degrees, which made his hair stand up on end a little bit on his neck. And then he heard his door open, and he looked and nobody was there. He knows the history of this place, so he basically rolled over and closed his eyes and did his best to ignore what was happening.

But then he felt his bed sink in like someone was sitting on the end of his bed, and a hand went on the side of his hip. He did not look. [laughs] He said it got colder and colder and colder in the room to the point that he was almost sure he could see his breath. It just sat there for about five minutes, and then eventually the hand left his side and the door closed, and he just did his best to never think about that again.

The one story, though, that I was a part of – I didn’t witness it, but I was involved in a way – in the dorm rooms, there was actually a hallway on both sides of the dorm room, and there was a window looking into the one hallway. It was like a big sunroom hallway. Back in the day, people with tuberculosis, they figured fresh air and sunshine was the best treatment, so that’s what these big hallways were for.

Our counselor, being a bugger, one night would go from door to door, or window to window, from this hallway, and scream into the rooms and scare the kids. I guess this one kid wasn’t scared at all. He was next door to me, and I could hear him, “Aha, you didn’t get me, you didn’t get me,” whatever. Then the next morning, I could hear him talk to the counselor. I was walking by and I stopped and listened.

He said, “You tried to get me later in the night, too, didn’t you?” My counselor’s like, “No, I went to bed, man. I don’t have time to stay up all night scaring kids.” He said, “Yeah right. I went to the bathroom and I could see you down the hallway with an old wheelchair and you were trying to scare me, and you were rolling around.” The guy was like, “I’m dead serious. I went to bed. After I scared you guys, I went to bed. I didn’t get up at three in the morning with a wheelchair.”

The kid that was talking to him, his face went white. He figured it out real quick that “Oh my God, this guy’s serious” and it scared the living hell out of him. [laughs] I’m not going to lie, it scared the living hell out of me, too. So anytime I needed to be in the dorms in the day when there was no one around, I ran to my room and I ran the hell out of there as fast as I could because I didn’t want to see anything.

JIM HAROLD: That seems like a pretty creepy place. That’s pretty wild.

TODD: The place was called Fort Sand, which is a small village now. A lot of the buildings have been torn down now, so it’s not even there anymore, but yeah.

JIM HAROLD: Pretty cool. Another thing is pretty cool – I can tell by your dulcet tones you are a podcaster. Give us about a minute and tell us about your podcast and where folks can find it.

TODD: Thanks, Jim. Yeah, I’d love to. My podcast is called Bunny Hugs and Mental Health, and I speak to all types of people with different mental health issues or mental illness issues. I talk to families who may have lost people to different mental health issues, I’ve talked to professionals. It’s not really soft; some of the issues are pretty serious that I talk about, or who I talk with about, so there’s no fluff.

But it’s also very informative. I’m trying to get rid of the stigma of a lot of things. I’ve talked to people with narcissism and schizophrenia and all types of things and try to just end the stigma and let everyone know that people are people and a lot of this is based around trauma, and we just need empathy, really.

JIM HAROLD: Yeah, that sounds like something that is much needed. Where can people find it?

TODD: It’s Bunny Hugs and Mental Health, and it’s on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and I think pretty much anywhere else that there’s podcasts.

JIM HAROLD: Excellent. Todd, best of luck with your podcast, and thank you so much for sharing your spooky camp story today on the Campfire.

TODD: Thanks, Jim. I really appreciate it.

JIM HAROLD: You may remember a few weeks back, MarLyn was on the line, and she was telling us this great story about the stepdad ghost she saw when she was babysitting. Well, she’s got another story for us. She just moved into her first house, and guess what? It may be haunted. She’s going to tell us all about it. MarLyn, welcome back to the show and tell us about what’s going on at your new house.

MARLYN: We’ve been in the house for maybe five months, but this was back when we bought the house and I was working in the town we bought it in, but my family wasn’t yet. I’d go to work and then I’d go work on the house and I’d sleep over to save some gas money.

This is the first night I ever did it, so I finished painting the cabinets, I took all the cabinet doors off, and I was completely exhausted, so I went to bed. You can tell I have anxiety, because I listened for the sounds of the house because I didn’t want to be scared if I woke up and heard something. So I sat down and I listened, and I couldn’t hear anything.

I go to sleep, I’m sleeping great, and probably around 4:30 in the morning, I woke up really quickly and I sat up in my bed. I don’t remember hearing a sound; I don’t know what woke me up specifically. I lay back down immediately and closed my eyes because I was having a really cool dream and I wanted to try to catch it again. So I lay down, I closed my eyes, and then I heard a noise. At first I was like, “Oh, it’s nothing.” But then they started happening over and over again, repeatedly.

Someone was walking in the room I was in. It was footsteps. It started at the bedroom door and it walked around my bed, and they walked and stood right behind me, where my back was facing. I was so scared. To me, I was like, “Someone’s in my house,” and I froze. I was just absolutely frozen. I was tired, but then I was wide awake.

I’m just sitting there and waiting to hear another noise, like, “Is someone going to say something? Is my husband here for some reason?” It was nothing. But then I started hearing noises in the kitchen. There was this huge bang on the cabinet, and it sounded like the cabinet doors were being slammed, but I had taken all the cabinet doors off. I was like, “Oh no, no, no, no.”

Then I heard it a couple more times, and I think I held still for an hour and a half. I was so scared. I’ve listened to stories like this a million times, and I’m like, “There is no way I’m opening my eyes. I don’t want to see a ghost. I don’t want to see anything.” So I’m lying there and I keep hearing noises. I keep hearing bangs in the kitchen and then things dropping and rolling around in the kitchen, like a marble. Maybe it was screws from all the cabinet doors I took off. Oh my goodness.

I lay there and I was shaking for so long, didn’t open my eyes, and I didn’t hear any more footsteps. The creepiest thing about the footsteps, though, was that it sounded like they were wearing slippers. I don’t know, that just creeped me out. Like some slippered ghost was in my room. I didn’t hear any more footsteps, but I eventually got up I think an hour, hour and a half later, I grabbed my phone and started texting my husband. The sun was coming through the window a bit, so I was a little bit less scared, but I got ready real quick and went to the office really early because I didn’t want to be there.

I went in and I told my coworkers, “You guys will not believe what just happened to me.” One of my coworkers was like, “Don’t you love this stuff? Don’t you always listen to this stuff?” I’m like, “No, I’m not thrilled about it.” But one of my coworkers told me, “You need to go talk to it.” I’m pretty religious, and that seems like borderline – I don’t want to invite things. I was like, “I’m a little nervous.”

So she came with me, and I cannot tell you how much of an idiot I felt like doing this, but I came in and she came to the house with me. I was thinking maybe it’s the spirit of the old lady that used to live in the house, because I know the family that sold us the house and there’s nothing creepy going on. They’re not Satan worshippers or anything like that. So I’m like, okay, I’m going to talk to this lady.

I talked to her. I told her my name and I said, “Hey, I’m a social worker, too. Isn’t that cool? Your awesome son sold me this house.” And I actually hated the color of the cabinets. I ended up painting them again. I’m like, “I’m so sorry if you hate the cabinets. I think they’re ugly too.” [laughs] I’m just trying to think of anything that might make her feel better about us being in the house with the cabinets.

Then I was like, “Okay, we’re going to go,” and I felt so dumb – and I haven’t heard anything since, which is a huge relief.

JIM HAROLD: Interesting. So you made some kind of connection. You found some common ground.

MARLYN: Yeah. I looked up her obituary and I was like, oh, she did social work too. I’m like, maybe if we can find something that we can bond over, she’ll be nice. I guess she wasn’t being mean, but it definitely freaked me out.

JIM HAROLD: Yeah, I can understand. It’s funny because you’re interested in this stuff, but it’s one thing to read about it or listen to podcasts, but then when you’re in a new old house by yourself at night, then it’s a little different. Maybe not so eager to stumble on the supernatural.

MARLYN: Yes. I was like, I like hearing it; I don’t like experiencing it. I’m not brave enough to experience it. [laughs]

JIM HAROLD: Well, MarLyn, thank you for joining us. Congratulations on your new home, and thanks for being a part of the Campfire.

MARLYN: Thank you.

JIM HAROLD: Now on the Campfire, Janene from Baton Rouge, Louisiana by way of Ohio. Originally from Ohio but now in Louisiana. Very cool. Janene found out about us from that great podcast, A Paranormal Chicks. Kind of cool play on words there. They’re great and mentioned the show, and we very much appreciate Janene finding us via them, so be sure to check them out as well.

Janene is going to take us back during the year of Hurricane Katrina, shortly before, and she’s going to talk about a meditation retreat and some strangeness that ensued. We’re so glad to have her on the line. Janene, welcome to the show and tell us what happened.

JANENE: Thank you, Jim. I’m so glad to be here. It was July 2005, which was a month before Hurricane Katrina. As you mentioned, I went to a meditation retreat at the St. Joseph Abbey and Seminary College in Covington, Louisiana, which is on the north shore of New Orleans. This monastery, this Benedictine Order, was established in 1899 by monks from Indiana. Most who attended this retreat sensitives, and I was trying to understand and become comfortable with my own abilities, so I thought it was a good idea to attend.

We were able to book the abbey that weekend because the monks themselves were away on retreat. We were on the highway, driving across a small one-lane wooden bridge through a secluded wooded area. I immediately felt far removed from the outside world. As I parked my car, I noticed the cemetery that had a massive live oak tree in the center and a small lake to the right.

Then I was showed to my dormitory, which was very austere: a tiny bathroom, a single cot, and a desk. Actually, the monks call them cells. So after check-in, we had time to explore the grounds, which included a really impressive Romanesque abbey, the center where we were staying, old stables, and these dilapidated unused cottages. I was particularly drawn to the cemetery, where monks throughout the years were buried. It turns out that all the coffins they’re buried in are crafted onsite, and actually they just started opening those coffins up to the public in case anyone’s interested.

In the center was the live oak tree I noticed earlier, and it had lots of Spanish moss hanging from it. If you’ve ever stood under a massive live oak, it’s awe-inspiring. The heft of the canopy, the Spanish moss hanging from it. But then I looked at the trunk and I could see a faint orange-yellow glow around it. I thought I was seeing things, so I checked to make sure it wasn’t a trick of light or shadow, and then it went away.

Then I felt a really cool breeze on my right shoulder. This is July in Louisiana; there is no such thing as a cool breeze. And nothing else was moving to show that there was a breeze. Then I felt the hairs on my neck and right arm literally raise up, goosebumps, and then my heart started beating fast. I hurried back to the rest of the group, we had our little evening sessions, and then it was time for bed.

As I was preparing for bed, I noticed that the small air conditioning unit wasn’t working very well. It would turn itself off. If it was on, it would make a loud humming noise or it just didn’t blow any cold air, just tepid air, warmish air. I did not want to open the window because it would become super humid and hot very quickly in the room. So I lay on top of the covers to try to fall asleep.

I did eventually fall asleep, but was woken due to coldness in the room. I put my hand on the unit, and it was not the source of the cold air. The room became colder and colder. I slid under the blankets, but it was still so cold. I turned the tiny bedside light on and got up to dig in the little tiny closet. I can’t even tell you how tiny this stuff was. I’m a tall woman, so it was very crowded in there. I got up to dig in the tiny closet for an extra blanket.

Then I heard my name being called right next to my ear, “Janene.” I jumped, found a blanket, and quickly hopped back into bed. I kept the bedside light on and dove under the covers, covering my head. “Janene,” the voice called again, and I could feel my heat rate go really fast. Then the voice said my name again, and I yelled out from under the covers – because you know how covers protect you from these things, right?

JIM HAROLD: Of course. [laughs]

JANENE: [laughs] It’s like you’re home free. They can’t touch you under the covers.

JIM HAROLD: That’s right.

JANENE: So I yell, “I can hear you but I don’t want to see you. Please let me alone so I can sleep.” I did not hear my name being called again, but at that point obviously I couldn’t sleep. I was under the covers. What I did hear, which was so creepy, were these sounds that were right next to me, right next to the cot. There was a faint rustling, like turning pages of a book. There was a Bible in the room. There was a small scrape of the chair at the desk, and then there was a sound of tapping on metal. Then literally I heard a throat clear. It felt like someone was sitting there keeping themselves occupied and waiting.

Then finally, the cold dissipated, but I never went to sleep. Even though I started getting hot, I didn’t look from under the covers until I could tell it was daylight. Though feeling groggy and disoriented, I made my way to the cafeteria for breakfast. As I turned right past the library, I noticed there was a monk walking in front of me wearing a long, black cassock and rosary swinging. I thought, “All the monks are supposed to be away at retreat this weekend, and none are to be here.”

As I thought that, the monk who was walking to the left toward the cafeteria walked straight through the wall. Literally went right through it. It was a solid apparition and it just went through this wall. So I walk into the cafeteria and try to tell my retreat friends what just happened and what happened through the night. I was surprised that they weren’t even surprised, because they were a bunch of sensitives. It was like nothing to them.

A woman said, “Oh, you must’ve seen Father Tom. He walks the grounds quite a bit. Please pass the salt.” That was literally how innocuous it was. I thought, how could you not be freaked out? I’m so freaked out.

Not long after, we packed our stuff and we had our dismissal. But that experience did normalize a lot of the experiences that have been happening to me over the years. So that is my haunted monastery story.

JIM HAROLD: That’s pretty wild. To have all those odd experiences and then have that validation – just very, very interesting. Did that help you progress in your thoughts about your psychic abilities?

JANENE: It did, and I have stories I’ll be sharing. You had a story on August 4th about premonitions, and I’ve had quite a bit of those. So yeah, I will be submitting some more stories at your perusal.

JIM HAROLD: Excellent. Janene, thank you so much for being a part of the Campfire today.

JANENE: You’re so welcome.

JIM HAROLD: Cameron is on the line all the way from Sydney, Australia. My goodness, it’s about 5 a.m. in the morning, so really going above and beyond to share his Campfire story. He’s been listening for 10 years, my goodness. Thank you so much, Cameron. Cameron has a story about a drive home from church with a friend and the strangeness that ensued. Cameron, welcome to the show. Thank you for joining us all the way from Australia so early in the morning, and please tell us your story.

CAMERON: G’day. As mentioned, we were driving home from church. I was one of the first people at church to get my driver’s license, so naturally, I’m driving everyone around. This would’ve been probably eight years ago now, I reckon. Very early in the walk of faith and that sort of stuff.

We were driving home, and this mate of mine is situated in a very strange block where you can’t park near the house or in front of the house or anything. So we drove around the corner, continued to chat, and pretty much had the car facing forward. His house would’ve been the next way over, so there was a house between us, or a row of houses, and then his street.

We were talking, talking, talking, and I got this sense, like a heaviness and a shadow. I can’t remember what we were talking about, but it felt like something had landed on my car, to the point that it interrupted whatever I was saying. I said, “Hey, dude, do you feel what’s going on?” “What do you mean, Cameron? What’s happened?” “Just stop for a second. Do you feel that there is something wrong right now?”

So he stopped. Soul, spirit, whatever – whenever you’re in a place where something like that happens, there’s almost like this intonation of your spirit or a pressure. So we stopped, we prayed, we rebuked the thing which had landed on the car, and then it was almost like this thread or pull from the center of my chest – it directed to this particular house we were diagonal from. The feeling was, hey, whatever the hell landed on the roof of my car came from that house. The same thing goes: we prayed about it, we rebuked, yada, yada, yada. Whatever was there was gone, it was calm.

And then came the next day. “Cameron, you remember that house you pointed out particularly and we prayed about?” “Yes.” “Here’s a link to it on Google Maps.” Turns out they do tarot reading or angel cards or something, and something was attached to it.

JIM HAROLD: So you believe it was an attachment from that house of some type.

CAMERON: Yeah. I don’t know the specifics, but I know that when people toy with the occult sometimes, things can go south and sour, and whether or not it was toying with that sort of stuff, it was just not the most pleasant feeling.

JIM HAROLD: Interesting. I do think there’s evil out in the world. I think there’s good, I think there’s evil, and I think that there are strange things afoot at times. Sometimes we run into them in life, and maybe you ran into one of those things. Very interesting indeed. Well, Cameron, thank you so much for joining us today on the Campfire. I appreciate it, and thank you for being a part of the show.

CAMERON: Thank you for your time.

JIM HAROLD: Again, all the way from Sydney, 5 a.m. in the morning. My goodness. Above and beyond the call of duty. Thank you again, Cameron.

CAMERON: Thank you for your time. Catch you later.

JIM HAROLD: Thank you for tuning in to another edition of the Campfire, and thanks for working with us on a slightly new format at the beginning of the show. We were looking at some stats, and honestly, what we thought we were seeing is new people were tuning in, and we kind of had a lengthy open and thought maybe that was scaring some people away because they didn’t get to the meat of the content.

So we thought, what could we do? We want to definitely continue to honor our community and recognize our great community members, say happy birthday, congratulations, but let’s put that at the end of the show. And the people who are sending in those spooky shoutouts are loyal listeners, so they’ll listen to the end of the show, and we can still recognize people but get right into the content for you and for our new listeners as well.

Let me know what you think. I hope that you like what we did there. And now for those spooky shoutouts, we’ve got some great ones.

First of all, I want to say congratulations to Elijah. His mom had asked us to wish him luck on his red belt test for taekwondo, and I knew he would pass, and he did. So Elijah, way to go!

And we’ve got a couple happy birthdays as well. Sarah says her two boys and her have been enjoying the Campfire podcast for years, so I want to say happy birthday to Sunny. He has a birthday on September 16th, which actually is today, so he would be seven today. Happy birthday, Sunny, and stay spooky. Also, I want to mention Desmond. He’s a big listener too, so a “stay spooky” to you, too, Desmond, and thank you, Sarah.

And Christopher wanted me to say happy birthday to Natori. Natori, thank you so much for being a part of the Campfire. Today is your birthday as well, so happy birthday to you, and thanks to Christopher – and a big stay spooky.

And thank you for tuning in to the show. One thing I will mention in relation to the shoutouts: if you are interested in having me do a personalized video just for you or your loved one, go over to cameo.com/thejimharold. That’s cameo.com/thejimharold, and you can sign up to have me do a personal video for you for a birthday, congratulations, anniversary, whatever. Cameo.com/thejimharold.

Thank you so much. We will talk to you next time. Have a great week, everybody, and of course, as always, stay spooky. Bye-bye.

You’ve been listening to Jim Harold’s Campfire. Tune in again next time for more stories of ordinary people who have experienced extraordinary things.