Incredible past life experiences, a haunted house and doll. Plus, more strangeness on this week’s Campfire!
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Welcome to our gathering tonight. Here we share stories of ordinary people who have experienced extraordinary things. Sit back, relax, and warm yourself by Jim Harold’s Campfire.
JIM HAROLD: Welcome to the Campfire. I am Jim Harold. So glad to be with you once again, and we have a great show for you today with some fantastic stories, including the first one up, which I consider an instant Campfire classic. Just love those types of stories, and they always fascinated me, so you’ll have to listen to that.
First of all, I do have something free for you, and free is always a good thing. If you like our Campfire stories, we have a series of five Campfire books, and I’ve put together kind of a free “Best Of” for you. It is 10 of my favorite Campfire stories from the Jim Harold Campfire five books. This is absolutely free. All you have to do is go over to jimharold.com, and at the top of the page, there’s an orange button and it says “Click here to get your free Campfire eBook.” You click on it and go through the process and you will get your Campfire eBook for free.
Also, as a result, you’ll get on my email newsletter list, which will allow you to be tuned in to everything we do – because there’s so many things that we do that I think people miss out on, don’t even realize we do. And really, social media is great, but half the time what you post is filtered out and people don’t see it. So this is one way to make sure that you stay in tune with everything. You get that free Campfire eBook and you get my weekly newsletter, which will definitely make sure you are tuned in to everything at the Spooky Studio.
So go get your free eBook. Jimharold.com, click on that orange button at the top of the page. And now, we’re going to give you something else for free: some fantastic Campfire stories, including this first one, which I said – it is an instant Campfire classic. Enjoy.
Kate is on the line from the South of England, West Sussex. We’re so glad to have her on the show. I not only love to hear from our callers from the UK, I love to hear stories of past lives, and Kate has two of them for us. Kate, welcome to the show. Thank you for joining us, and please tell us what happened.
KATE: Thanks for having me. These aren’t my stories; they’re actually stories relating to my two eldest children, so it’s an experience by proxy, I would say. It relates to a few conversations that I had when they were very little. In each case, the conversations were had with them when they were about three and a half, the first of which is with my eldest daughter.
Like I say, she was about three and a half, and it was just the two of us sitting round the table playing with Play-Doh one afternoon. Her little brother was just a baby, so he was upstairs taking a nap and Dad was out of the house and we were just sitting together. She started looking a little bit sad, and then she looked up at me and she said, “Mummy, sometimes I really miss my father.” I looked a bit sideways at her. We don’t use the word “father.” She’s three and a half; her dad is Daddy, and that was it, really.
I said, “Do you mean Daddy? He’s at work, but he’ll be home in a couple of hours so you can see him. Don’t worry.” She said, “No, no, no, not Daddy. My father.” I said, “What do you mean? Daddy’s your father. Father is a word for Daddy.” She said, “No, no, not Daddy. My father from before. My father with the white beard.” I was like, well, that’s certainly not your dad, who was in his thirties with jet-black hair at the time. [laughs] I said, “Who do you mean?” She said, “My father from before with the white beard.”
JIM HAROLD: Wow.
KATE: I’m a bit baffled. A bit weird. Again, the use of the language was quite odd for a three-and-a-half year old to come out with. So I started asking her questions about it. I said, “Tell me a bit more. Who’s your father? Who’s this father that you’re talking about?” She said that she remembers he was very kind, and they lived together in a house made of wood. Then she described something that could be like a cabin or perhaps a chalet or something like that. She used to live in this house with her father, who had what she called a “waist jacket” with a watch on a chain that he kept in his pocket – which obviously I’m guessing means a pocket watch in a waistcoat.
She said that she could remember she lived in a house, the house was by some woods and near a river, and she used to play by the woods, and she could remember things like making bread in the house. Nobody else lived there. I was trying to ask her questions without leading her because she was very little, and I wanted to know where this was going, really, and where it may have come from. Apart from anything else, I thought maybe I’d missed something she’d been watching, like a movie on TV or something that I hadn’t seen. It was quite a specific set of memories that she came out with.
And actually, the emotions that she was expressing seemed really genuine. She was really sad. She missed him. But after a while, no more information was forthcoming and we just left it at that. I told her dad when he came home from work and he was just as baffled as I was. We couldn’t really understand where it’d all come from, but we let it be, and that was that.
Except about three weeks later, again, we were at home together, probably similar time, little brother having a nap, and she was climbing over the furniture. She was trying to climb up the back of a chair to get something I’d put on a shelf high up out of her reach. I told her to get down. I said, “Get down. That’s dangerous. Get off the chair,” and went off to do some chore or other. I came back and she was doing it again, so I told her off. I said, “That’s really naughty. If I tell you not to do something, I’m telling you to keep you safe because it’s dangerous. Don’t do it.”
She looked at me solemnly and she went, “Yeah. That’s like what happened to Frida, because her parents told her not to play in the river and she did, and she hit her head and she died.” Then she went back to doing –
JIM HAROLD: Whoa.
KATE: [laughs] At this point my jaw was literally on the floor. Apart from anything else, you think that’s such an unusual name. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone called Frida.
JIM HAROLD: Yeah, for the modern day, very unusual.
KATE: Yeah, weird. It piqued my interest enough for me to remember the conversation we’d had some weeks previously, and the next time I took her to nursery, like preschool, I spoke to the member of staff that looked after her and I said, “Have you been reading any books or anything recently with a character called Frida in it?” She was like, “No.” I said, “What about stories that are in a log cabin or in a chalet or by the woods? Is there anything with a man with a white beard and a waistcoat in it?” She started looking at me a bit sideways, like, “…No.”
That was literally the only other thing I could think of where she might have gathered this story together, but it was such an abstract collection of things for her to put together and make into a story and then tell from a first-person perspective. I can’t think of any rational reason why it would be anything other than memories of something that had obviously happened to her before.
JIM HAROLD: Wow. Oh my goodness. What a great story. She was four at the time? Is that right?
KATE: She was three and a half. And that’s what links with – I have three children, and my youngest has never said anything even vaguely to do with anything other than the here and now. [laughs] But the two elder – my son, at the same age, three and a half, also said something that blew my mind, but in a slightly different way. I might mention the fact that obviously when my eldest daughter was having these conversations with me, he was just a baby, so there was nothing to link or inspire him, I would say, to talk about what I’m about to explain to you.
But again, at about three and a half, my eldest was at school at that point; my littlest was a tiny baby. Dad was out at work, and we were sitting round the breakfast table, and he looked at me and he said, “(sighs) Mummy, sometimes I really miss my old family.” I looked at him and said, “What do you mean? You’ve got me, you’ve got Daddy, and we’re right here. You’ve got your big sister. I know she’s at school, but she’ll be home in a few hours,” sort of cajoling a bit. He was like, “No, no, not you guys. I miss my old family.” I don’t think he said “from before.” He said “my old family.”
I was like, “What do you mean?” Again, I didn’t want to alarm him and I didn’t want him to think that I was askance. I wanted him to naturally tell me whatever he was going to naturally tell me. He said that he had a mum and a dad and two brothers and a sister, and they all lived together, and he said, “We all lived in the house together, and there was a war and there was explosions” – I can’t remember exactly how he said it. “There was lots of noise and an explosion, and one day we were in the house and the wall came down, and I screamed and screamed and screamed for hours, but no one came, and then I came to you.”
JIM HAROLD: Okay, I don’t know what to say to that. That is amazing.
KATE: It’s bananas. So weird.
JIM HAROLD: That is amazing.
KATE: Yeah. Really, really blew my mind.
JIM HAROLD: I am just impressed. Those are two great stories. How old are the children now?
KATE: My son has literally just had his tenth birthday, and my eldest daughter is just about to turn twelve. So quite a while ago. It was nine years ago now.
JIM HAROLD: Have you talked to them about this? Do they have any recollection?
KATE: I have. I didn’t talk to them about it in the year or so after they first said it. Apart from anything else, I thought if anything was to come naturally, then it would lend a bit more credibility to it, but nothing ever did. But certainly by the time my eldest was about eight or nine, I remember saying to her, “Do you ever remember talking to me about your ‘father’ and the house by the woods?” She looked at me blankly like, “What are you talking about, Mum? No.” [laughs] So she knows the story in relation to what I have told her that she said to me when she was little, but she’s got no recollection at all. Complete blank. Just gone.
JIM HAROLD: Amazing.
KATE: And with my son, he doesn’t really recall either, although he’s said some other very, very weird things as well, but I think that’s a whole other Campfire call. [laughs]
JIM HAROLD: This maps perfectly to a story we had from the UK about a dozen years ago, I would guess. Are you familiar with the one I’m talking about by any chance, or no?
KATE: I don’t know which one it’s going to be.
JIM HAROLD: It is a call – I won’t retell the whole story, but basically it was somebody in England, and her son, at a very young age, was sitting in the home and the windows were open and there was some kind of plane exhibition going on or airshow or something, and there was a biplane that flew through the area. He said, “Oh, that sounds like the plane that killed me.” Then he went on to tell a story very reminiscent of your son’s story. And then, the same thing – the caller’s name, I’ll never forget, was Michelle from the UK – she said she never really pressed him about it because she didn’t want to in any way color his account. But she asked him years later and he was like, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” [laughs]
KATE: Exactly. [laughs]
JIM HAROLD: So has this made you – I don’t know what your thoughts about reincarnation were before these experiences; has it informed that or changed that in any way?
KATE: Yeah, absolutely. I don’t think I’d necessarily been – I was fairly agnostic, I guess. I didn’t really have any particular set of beliefs. But certainly, as a fairly rational person, you look at all these different things and you think, “How can this all tie together in any other way? How can these children have had these really emotional responses to telling me these stories if they were all completely fabricated in their own minds at that time?” It seems to me that there is no other explanation, other than the fact that they have a memory from something that predates our time together.
So it absolutely has cemented in my mind the fact that I think we are – this is just one particular meatsuit that we put on. [laughs] Of many, probably.
JIM HAROLD: I have to tell you, what an amazing story. Thank you for sharing it today on the Campfire.
KATE: My pleasure. Thank you. Thanks for having me.
JIM HAROLD: Emily is on the line from Tennessee, and we’re so glad to have her back on the show. She’s been on before. She’s going to take us back to when she was seven years old and really a very strange incident. Emily, welcome to the program. Thank you for joining us.
EMILY: Thanks for having me.
JIM HAROLD: So, tell us what happened.
EMILY: Growing up, we would go to St. Augustine, Florida, every year. We’d been to the lighthouse multiple times. We’d go to the fort, the lighthouse, all the things that are to do down there. For whatever reason, this year when I was seven – probably 1999-ish – we went to the lighthouse after they closed. I don’t know if it’s still like this, but back then, you could just walk around the property after dark. I don’t know why they let you do that, but they did.
So my brother and I – my brother was eight, I was about seven – are wandering around with my uncle and my grandmother. I wander off on my own, as kids do, and I see, coming around the corner from the house of the lighthouse, a man holding a lantern. I think that it’s just an employee, so I just stand there and still do whatever I was doing. The closer that he got to me, the more unnerved I was because something just wasn’t right with him. He was holding a lantern straight out in front of him, and as a seven-year-old, I thought that he looked like a soldier of some form. I was like, “That doesn’t make any sense. Why is a soldier at a lighthouse? It’s 9 o’clock at night. This doesn’t make any sense.”
He just kept getting closer and closer to me until I realized, “This is not right.” So I went to turn and run, I guess, but I was slow. It’s almost like – I don’t know how to describe it other than he walked through me. He didn’t recognize, nothing, and just went – I was just in his way, I guess. It was the weirdest feeling. I felt weightless. It was almost like if you were inside a kaleidoscope. And then I guess I blacked out and woke up on the ground, with my brother like, “What the heck just happened?” And I didn’t see him anywhere. So yeah, that was pretty much the story.
JIM HAROLD: Wow. So this thing basically passed through you.
EMILY: Yes. And I still continue to go to St. Augustine, and I went as an adult and was looking at the pictures in the museum part of the lighthouse, and now as an adult, I think that wasn’t a soldier uniform; that was more of a lighthouse keeper uniform. Which makes a lot more sense to me.
JIM HAROLD: So you essentially think maybe it was a ghost of a lighthouse operator.
JIM HAROLD: Wow, that’s quite a story. Again, I really do believe we get these glimpses back in time. Whether they’re like replays or if they’re sentient, I don’t know. I don’t know what they are, but I think they’re very, very real.
You had told us a story last year about your haunted house growing up. If you could refresh people’s memory on that – because you have another piece that goes to that story. So if you could, just shortly retell that other story, just set it up a little bit, and then tell us the rest of this.
EMILY: Of course. I guess the best way to say it is I would see shadow people looking at me through my windows at night, footsteps, back doors opening, sleep paralysis, horrible dreams, all that kind of thing from the time I was 3 to 13-ish.
This story, I was talking to a friend of mine – we’ve been best friends since the fourth grade, so she had definitely stayed over at that house with me multiple times. At this time, we had built, like most kids do, a fort in my bedroom with sheets and blankets and stuff, and we had tucked a real thin sheet underneath one of those smaller, but still very big and heavy, console TVs that I had on one of those three-legged tables. Not the sturdiest thing in the world, but one of those three-legged tables with a console TV.
I was talking to her about this story because it’s a story that we talk about a lot, and you’ll know why soon. Essentially, the TV slid off the table and fell on her head in the middle of the night. She was fine. [laughs]
JIM HAROLD: Oh my gosh. Those old heavy TVs?
EMILY: Yeah, we’re talking maybe – I think I had this TV in, like the other story, probably 1999-2000. A big fat console TV fell on her head. But she was fine somehow.
We were talking about this story, “Ha ha, remember that time that the TV fell on your head?”, and she said, “You know, the funny thing was that your dog tried to wake me up” – her name was Pepper. My friend was like, “No, Pepper, go away. I’m trying to sleep here.” We started putting pieces of the puzzle together, like I had with all the other incidents in the house as an adult, and there were some weird things.
The dog was trying to wake up my friend. How would a dog know that a TV is about to fall off the table, for one? And two, that flimsy little three-legged table didn’t actually fall over when the TV fell. So it was almost like the table stayed still and somebody pushed that heavy TV off the table, but somehow was able to do it without the table falling. And those things are not very sturdy.
JIM HAROLD: No. That’s like a poltergeist, if you’re talking about a ghost that potentially moved something, and in a dangerous way, too.
EMILY: Yeah. And with all the other things that happened in the house, that was the only logical thing I could think of as to how that would happen.
JIM HAROLD: That’s a scary one. When you start getting into physical altercations or dangerous things start to fall, that’s where it changes. Even the passing through the lighthouse keeper – you mentioned you blacked out, but it wasn’t anything that it did per se. It was maybe just the shock of it or something. But this was like physical violence visited upon your friend.
EMILY: Yeah. The lighthouse thing I just thought of as maybe a residual, he was just doing his rounds at night and I just happened to be standing in the way. But that one felt intentional, for sure.
JIM HAROLD: That’s scary. Well, thank you for coming back on the show. I certainly appreciate it, Emily. Stay spooky.
EMILY: Stay spooky, Jim.
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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: Next up is Nori from Ontario, Canada. We’re getting more and more calls from Canada these days – I love it, and I love the idea of getting stories from different parts of the world, different spiritual traditions and things. I think it opens up our thinking and makes us look at things in new and different ways. I’m so glad Nori is going to tell us about this experience with a potential shapeshifter. Nori, welcome to the show. Thank you for joining us, and tell us what happened.
NORI: Hi, Jim. Thank you for having me. This is a story about my father’s experience when he was living in Pakistan, and it’s about his experience with what we’ll call a shapeshifting Djinn. It was around 1954. My father would’ve been around 10 years old at that time. It was the time of year – it was Ramadan. For those listeners who may not know, Ramadan is the time of year where Muslims around the world are fasting for a month from sunrise to sunset. Essentially, they wake up before dawn, before sunrise, and have a morning meal, and break their fast at sunset.
My father’s family was up, and there was no milk in the home. His mother had told him to go to the little nearby shop to go fetch some milk. This would’ve been around 3:30 a.m. Of course, this seems like an odd time to go to the market to get anything, but during Ramadan, businesses are typically open from sunset to sunrise to accommodate the fast. During the day, when people are fasting, the shops are closed. So he was given a little steel canister, like a milk can, from his mom to go gather the milk, and he was off.
This store was about 10-15 minutes from his home. I want to mention that back then, in the ’50s, there really wasn’t this concept of disposable packaging or single-use plastics, so he’s taking this steel can with him and that’s how he would gather the milk. Anyway, after getting the milk, he was on his way home and decided to take a shortcut through a nearby alley. At this time when he was on his way home, it would’ve been around 4 a.m.
My father is walking through this alley and noticed a man walk in from the opposite side. This man seemed exceptionally tall to my father from afar. My dad thought that he looked this way because of a shadow being casted by a dim lamppost that was in the alley. As this man is walking closer towards my father, my dad saw that he was holding a plate or a shallow bowl in the fashion a panhandler might, and had a large blanket wrapped around him.
Of course, these two people are walking towards each other, and as he moved even closer, my dad noticed that he was indeed very tall – about 7 feet and above. Something seemed off about his height and appearance. My dad couldn’t’ really put a finger on it, but it just didn’t seem put together and right.
This alley was very narrow, barely wide enough for two people to walk past one another. My dad was wondering how the two people would even squeeze past each other because they were walking in opposite directions. While my dad was thinking this thought – I don’t know the exact distance; it was less than 100 feet, from what he says – my dad saw what he can best describe as a man transforming into some sort of canine or dog.
JIM HAROLD: Wow.
NORI: He really can’t explain the experience. He said it was very quick, but essentially a dog had taken the place of this man. And this alley, like I said, was narrow, but I also want to mention that it had no exit or entrance on either side unless both of them had turned around and walked the distance they came from and entered through.
My dad was at this point experiencing many emotions – shock, fear. He didn’t really know what was going on, and he had no idea where the man had gone and where this dog came from. But my dad was now seeing this dog; it was black in appearance, kind of like a Doberman, and this dog was walking towards him now instead of the man. My dad explained that he was too afraid to turn around and run, so he decided to calmly try to walk past this dog. The dog seemed to do the same. It didn’t run or bark; they simply brushed past one another.
But my dad says that at that time of brushing past this dog, my dad felt his entire body shake as if he was experiencing goosebumps up and down his spine. And that canister that he had with milk he had in one hand, and he was covering the top of it with his other hand because it actually had no lid. My dad says he thinks that at some point, with everything happening, he had removed his hand from the top of it, and at that time the dog was passing by and brushed by him, he felt like something had fallen into the milk. He didn’t see it happen, but he definitely said that he felt and heard something fall into the milk, like a piece of clay or a little rock.
After all this happens, my dad runs home and he doesn’t dare look back. He’s too afraid to. After arriving home, my dad quickly runs to his mother, my grandma. She was in the kitchen, and he told her what happened and what he had seen. He also handed her the can of milk and told her not to drink it since he felt like something had fallen in it. My grandma decides to investigate. She looks at the milk and she takes a spoon and starts to stir.
When she was doing that to see what had fallen inside, if something had, she noticed that it wasn’t milk at all – or it wasn’t anymore. It had turned into some sort of gluey paste and was very viscous in its texture. So she goes ahead and throws out the milk along with its container after hearing my dad’s story. My dad actually suffered a very high fever that night, and he remembers it, although he was quite young. My father and family believe that he had an encounter with a Djinn. There are many Djinn stories that have been passed down through oral storytelling tradition in my family, and this is one of them.
The Djinn is commonly spoken of in the Islamic tradition and is sometimes associated with shapeshifting Djinn, like the one my father believes he encountered that day. So yeah, that’s essentially the story. He’s told his kids and grandkids.
JIM HAROLD: (A) I totally believe it, and (B) I think it’s a fascinating story. I actually have my own little – nothing like that, but I have my own little coincidence that happened in regard to the Djinn which could just be coincidence; I’m not saying it is causative, but it just made me leery. Back in 2013, I’d done an interview – and I’ve mentioned this on the shows before. I just recently mentioned this on an interview I had on another podcast. They were interviewing me and I told them this story.
Anyway, I was interviewing the late great Rosemary Ellen Guiley for the Paranormal Podcast about her book she had done at that point in 2013. It was a book about the Djinn. Anyway, later that night we got a phone call that my uncle had passed away. My uncle, I was very close to; he was like a second dad to me. But he was ill and was having some problems, so while it was a surprise – I mean, it was a pretty high-level surprise, but it wasn’t totally out of the blue. We knew some things were going on. He was in the hospital. But we thought that he would be discharged and home and whatever, but he died. He was elderly.
But then, I think about two weeks later, I get a call and my mom died, totally unexpectedly. This particular author, Rosemary Ellen Guiley, who I mention constantly because she was such a great author – she’s passed since – would send me all her books. She’d been on my show something like 20 times. I would always save her books. Some books I have to pass along because we get so many books here, I can’t possibly keep them all, so we pass along ones that we’re not reading, give them away to listeners, do different things. Anyway, I always kept her books and I have every other book she ever sent to me, but that book I took straight to the garbage and threw it out.
NORI: I’m sorry to hear about your mother, Jim, but yeah, they are fascinating creatures. It’s something that I’m not an expert, but it fascinates me. There’s a lot we still don’t know.
JIM HAROLD: Yeah. The thing you said – and Rosemary in her own discussions, because I also saw her give a talk on the Djinn one time – she said they don’t quite look right. I think you mentioned something like that in your email, that it didn’t quite look – something seemed off about his height and appearance, is what you said in the email.
JIM HAROLD: So it fits. I totally believe it. And these stories from people from their childhood, they tell them decades later, they’re always the same – I put a great deal of credence to them. I believe your dad’s story 100%, and I thank you so much for sharing it with us today.
NORI: Thank you, Jim, for having me on your show, and stay spooky.
JIM HAROLD: Stay spooky!
Everybody seems to be enjoying this new segment we’ve been doing with different podcasters around the internet, getting their personal stories of the supernatural. We’ve got somebody today who has an extraordinary story: Lindsey from The Chilling Podcast. She’s going to tell us a little bit about the very haunted house she lived in, and then she’s going to tell us about The Chilling Podcast. Lindsey, welcome to the show. Thank you for joining us today.
LINDSEY: Thank you so much for having me on.
JIM HAROLD: I know that you’ve been on TV shows about this and so forth, so I know it’s a lot more than a 10-minute story, but can you tell us a little bit about this haunted house?
LINDSEY: I guess the best way to say it is basically any movie you’ve ever seen about a haunted house, that was the house that I ended up living in with my roommates. When we moved in, it started immediately. This wasn’t like a slow burn and then suddenly “ooh, spooky things are happening.”
The main thing it started with was on the very first night, I started having a nightmare, the worst nightmare of my life. It involved this woman with long, dark hair. I suffered what is considered sleep paralysis, something I had never really experienced in my life. In this dream, horrifically, her face would roll back, and beneath was the scariest thing I’ve ever seen.
JIM HAROLD: Ooh.
LINDSEY: Yeah, and what’s strange about this is I only had this dream, and only this dream, for an entire year, the entire time I lived in this house. If I woke up from the dream and went back to sleep, it restarted from the beginning. I have never experienced anything like this before or since. And just put that in the context of one dream only for a year, over and over and over again.
Initially I thought, “Okay, I’m going crazy,” like anyone would. It really started affecting how I was sleeping. But then very quickly, other things started happening in the house, to me the most at first. My television would go on and off. And when I say go on and off, I mean full volume, as loud as it could go, to a static channel. What’s crazy about that is that at the time – this is way back in the day here – you had to hook up cable to one or two bedrooms, is the way they did it, or one or two spaces in your home, and the cable guy was really nice and said, “There’s three roommates in this house; I’m going to give you cable upstairs in your room,” which was mine, “free of charge. It’s illegal,” he said, “but I’m going to do it just because I’m being nice.” I said, “Great.”
The thing was, the way that my TV hooked in, I didn’t have a static channel on my television. If I scrolled through cable TV, I only had the actual channels. And even when I’d try to transfer over to my DVD player or anything like that, I still didn’t have a static channel. And yet my TV would go on, full volume, I mean all the way turned up, on static. And it would happen at the sort of times that are the worst, meaning I would be about to fall asleep and BOOM! The TV is full-volume on. I would be changing my clothes – you’re in your room alone, you’re pulling your shirt over your head, and BOOM! The TV would go on.
And what’s crazy is the only way this television could turn on and off – this is an old-school TV – is you had to press the buttons with your fingers. I didn’t have the remote. And even to turn the volume up and down, you had to walk over and push the volume up or push the volume down. I could not replicate this. I could not figure this out.
I started getting that feeling “something else is happening here.” Throughout my life, I will say, I have abilities and I’ve dealt with all kinds of hauntings and ghosts and things, but I just knew right away. I was like, “This is something beyond just a faulty TV and nightmares. Something’s happening here.” But I didn’t want to tell my roommates yet because I was like, maybe this is just a little thing and it’s going to go away. I don’t know, I don’t want them to think I’m crazy, whatever.
Let’s fast forward a minute to my boyfriend sleeping over. It’s October in Ohio; it’s rather chilly.
JIM HAROLD: I know that. I’m from the Cleveland area.
LINDSEY: Oh, I’m from Cleveland as well. I grew up in Seven Hills.
JIM HAROLD: Well there you go.
LINDSEY: I grew up just outside of Cleveland. And the house I lived in, actually, is in Kent, Ohio, which is where I went to school. So it’s cold in October in Ohio, but not so cold – we don’t always put the heat on, but you’re certainly not going to have always windows open or anything like that. But we’re sleeping, it’s the middle of the night, and I wake up to the sound and the feeling of my oscillating fan blowing across the room. I can feel the air blowing across my face in the bed. I thought, “Oh my gosh, it’s so cold in this room already. Did my boyfriend, Adam, get up and put the fan on?”
I can hear it, I can feel it, I wake him up and I go, “Babe, the fan.” He hears it and feels it too, and he turns on the little nightlight next to my bed, the little lamp, and the fan is not on. He’s like, “Huh.” We go to lie back down, he turns off the light, and immediately the fan kicks back on. You hear it kick on, you feel it moving across the bed, across the room, and we are both basically like, “What is happening here?”
From there he turns the light back on, and the fan is not on, and he stomps across the room. I’ll never forget – he stands there, he bends down, he looks at me with this look, and he holds up the cord and is like, “The fan is not even plugged in.”
JIM HAROLD: I’ve heard stories like this. Someone worked in a funeral home and had the same thing happen to them. Light kept turning on, wasn’t plugged in. [laughs] That’s creepy.
LINDSEY: That’s when it hit me, “Okay, this house, there’s something going on now.” I started experiencing all kinds of stuff, cold spots throughout the house, feelings of being watched.
But what really started happening as well was the nightmare kept intensifying and kept intensifying, until it got to a point where I started to realize, I don’t think this is a nightmare. I think I’m awake or I think I’m not in a dream state. I know this in the sense that I knew that my body was upstairs in my bed, and I knew that another part of me was sitting on the couch. I don’t know how to explain it; it was just the craziest thing.
Everybody’s personalities in the house slowly started to change, and that’s the next step, where it was like, “What’s happening?” I had moved in with my two friends who I was very close with, and my good friend Reba, who lived at the bottom of my stairs – I lived in the room upstairs alone – started isolating herself in her room, and she wouldn’t come out. Just would not come out of her room. This is not like her at all. I’m talking she’s in there so much that we’re doing like wellness checks because we’re worried that she’s hurt herself or died or something. We’d knock and knock and eventually she’d open the door and just be like, “What do you want?”
Now, on the back end of this, we find out a decade later, she would hear me standing outside her door, giggling and laughing and whispering at all hours of the day and night.
JIM HAROLD: So a doppelganger situation.
LINDSEY: Yes. And she would hear this and be like, “Why is Lindsey teasing me like this? Why is she torturing me like this? What is wrong with her?” She started forming all this resentment, if you will. She ends up from there – one day, finally, she hears me doing this and swings open the door to confront me, and I’m not there. And not only am I not there, she looks around and realizes I’m not even home.
For her, even though she realized this, it still kept happening to a point where it was driving her crazy. She really started to feel like everyone was doing something to her – which no one was. I can’t explain how strange it was for her personality to have changed to that level and to that degree. But at the same time with that, we have all these things happening in the house – doors opening and closing on their own; Reba talked about feeling like she could actually hear and see someone just standing outside her door. She could see that. You know how you can see someone’s out there. She would open the door and nobody would be there. And all these strange sounds.
Then what started happening was the running on the stairs. We would hear – and this was a small, older home. Actually not very spooky-looking, to be honest, but it was a smaller older home, and you could hear audible – whoever was in Reba’s room – running. And we are talking running, boom-boom-boom-boom, up and down and up and down the stairs, all the time. Again, she would swing open the door and there’d be no one on the stairs. And the noise in her room was so loud that it basically shook the house, and yet the rest of us couldn’t hear the running on the stairs. I couldn’t hear it in my room, my other roommate couldn’t hear it in her room.
Again, the person living in this room at the bottom of the stairs, not only are they thinking people are outside their door and hearing whispering and laughing – and hearing my voice, which wasn’t even me; there’s times she said I wasn’t even home – but now they have this running on the stairs that’s driving them absolutely mad.
JIM HAROLD: Was there any kind of resolution to this? Did you guys figure out what was going on?
LINDSEY: That’s kind of what my podcast has become. But at the time, no, it just kept intensifying, and then eventually people started to see the entity that was in the house. And not just one witness, not just two witnesses. We’re talking a whole bunch of people at different times saw it. Things just progressed from there, just got worse and worse, including physical attacks on people. It really was an absolutely horrifying haunting. As haunted as it could ever be. I’ve never even seen a ghost movie probably get, in a real sense, as bad as this house was for all people living in it.
JIM HAROLD: I’m sure that people are going to want to hear more. The Chilling Podcast – tell us a little bit, a minute or so about what it is and where they can find it.
LINDSEY: Sure. The Chilling Podcast is a 13-part serialized podcast, and it’s hosted by me. It contains firsthand eyewitness testimonies and interviews with people who’ve had experiences in the home, what it was like for them, what they saw, what they went through. I also have a lot of guests – demonologists like Michael Salerno, I have parapsychologists like Loyd Auerbach, and I have neurologists.
JIM HAROLD: Loyd’s great.
LINDSEY: Yeah, so I have Loyd on there, I have neurologists and psychologists. My whole thing was I wanted to understand, why me? Why this house? Why was it so bad? What happened to everybody? What was in the house? Really going into understanding sleep paralysis, all these things. It’s the entire story of not only my haunting, but my roommate’s haunting and all the people that I ended up tracking down and what ended up happening to other people who have lived at this house over the course of about 20 years.
JIM HAROLD: Cool stuff. Where can people find it?
LINDSEY: You can find it at www.thechillingpodcast.com. It’s also available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts, and you can find us on Instagram @thechillingpodcast.
JIM HAROLD: Very good. Thank you so much for joining us today, and continued success. And I hope everybody gets to check it out. Stay spooky!
LINDSEY: Thank you.
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JIM HAROLD: Francesca is on the line from London, England. She found us from And That’s Why We Drink, that great podcast with Christine and Em – and actually, that plays into this story, and now Francesca is going to tell us about it. Francesca, welcome to the show all the way from London, England. Good to speak with you, and please tell us this story.
FRANCESCA: Hi, Jim. Thank you so much for having me on the show. This is a really great experience for me. My story starts I guess midway through the COVID lockdown, when I found a podcast called And That’s Why We Drink. That’s actually how I came to find your podcast because they referenced it, and I thought, “Let me check that out.” I love this podcast. I listen to it when I work from home.
The story I have – it was kind of a crazy experience that I had after listening to one of the episodes on And That’s Why We Drink. It was Episode 79, if anybody wants to go and check it out. But for context, the hosts in the show previously had done an episode where they’d gone to a haunted house and they had all these different – let’s say objects. It was a carry-on from that, so they were discussing a doll they had that was paranormal. I honestly haven’t told anybody this story because it took me so long to get by it, and I still to this day cannot say the doll’s name because it still freaks me out terribly.
But the hosts did put a warning on the episode saying it’s been reported that if you say the name of the doll or if you look at pictures of it or be in its presence, it can cause sickness and also sleep paralysis. I shrugged it off because I was like, “The doll is in America, I’m in England. There’s no way. That’s not a real thing.” Anyway, I carried on with the episode and it was fine. I had no worries at all and I didn’t get sick or anything like that.
However, I had a sleep paralysis experience that evening, and it was honestly the most frightening thing I think that’s ever happened to me. I had had sleep paralysis before in my life where I’ve woken up and been able to fall back asleep and then wake up again, but this was very, very different. I was at my boyfriend’s house at the time, and I was listening to the podcast and went to bed that evening, and I woke up in a dream state, if you like. I woke up and I was in a seated position with my arms behind my back, bent at the elbow like if you were lying on a beach, quite relaxed. And there was such pain in my arms, stinging, like I’d been leaning on them for too long, like when it goes all pins and needle-y and painful.
I could see the room in front of me. I could see the bookcase. It was really dark. To my left, I felt this overwhelming sense of hostility and darkness. Honestly, I’m brought up Catholic or whatever, but this is like the whole antithesis of evil is what I could feel. It was really cold, really dark. I felt that if I turned to look at it, it would be really bad for me. From the corner of my eye, because I couldn’t really move, I could see a shimmer and a flick of something which I think was hair, but thank goodness I didn’t look. I felt this huge pressure on my chest like I couldn’t breathe.
I opened my mouth and I just started screaming, and I was shouting for help. I could see – I was locked in this position; I could move my eyes and I could see that my boyfriend was next to me, but he wasn’t reacting, and he was just fully sleeping. I was screaming and I kept saying his name and I got no response. I kept panicking because this pressure was building on my chest and it was stopping me from breathing. I don’t really know what came over me, but I came up with this idea to apologize, so I just said, “I’m so sorry. Dear God, help me, I’m so sorry.” Immediately the pressure released, and I breathed.
I remember falling back, like in a dream when you fall backward. I fell back into bed, and then I woke up. And I woke up in real life, in the same position, my arms back, my head tilted back. My boyfriend was shaking me, trying to get me to lie down, because according to him I was having a bad dream. It was the craziest thing because it was so vivid and so scary with this paranormal experience with this doll. I was really upset and I was trying to explain what happened to him and he said he had no idea how long I’d been like that.
But what woke him up was – we had a dog that used to sleep in the room with us, and the dog was growling and growling. It was about four in the morning, and this dog was growling and that’s what woke him up, and he saw me just lying there in bed unable to move, and my mouth was opening and shutting. He tried to wake me up. It was very scary for him. He still hasn’t let it go.
That was my experience. What made it so strange was that this doll, as a haunting, is sleep paralysis, and the podcasters discussed this on the episode. So when I woke up the next morning, I was like, oh dear God, thank God I didn’t turn to the left and look at whatever was there. I can’t describe it; it was overwhelmingly cold and dark and evil. In the podcast, the hosts actually describe the doll in the museum, saying that if you go in to see the doll, you have to say hello and goodbye. You have to be really polite.
JIM HAROLD: Is it in Florida by any chance?
FRANCESCA: Yes, it’s actually part of the Zak Bagans Museum. He’s got a whole bunch of different doll pieces and haunted objects, like a dybbuk box as well. It’s one of these things that if you go to see it, you have to be very polite. But people who have gone to see it have felt ill. I did a little bit of research into it because I thought, coming from a psychology background, “I was sleeping, it was fine.” But I think I have to lie to myself and say that it was a sleep thing because otherwise I’ll freak out too much. [laughs]
But there was some research into people who’ve had chest pain and they’ve had dreams from looking at pictures where the doll has visited and all these strange things. I honestly have never been so scared in my life. But it was also this thing of apologizing and asking God for forgiveness as well. It was very strange. And that was my paranormal experience.
JIM HAROLD: First of all, I think I know which doll you’re talking about, but I won’t say the name. Here’s a question for you. Is this something that you’ve considered – and I consider this paranormal. Are you familiar with the concept of tulpas?
FRANCESCA: No, I’m not, actually.
JIM HAROLD: Tulpas are the idea – and it comes from Eastern tradition – and this is not imagining something; this is different than imagining something. You can actually create something by your thoughts.
FRANCESCA: Interesting. Wow.
JIM HAROLD: Have you thought that perhaps you had a thought form – look it up, tulpas. I think it’s interesting. Some people might say, “Jim, you’re doubting her story.” No, I’m not doubting your story. I’m just wondering if you basically materialized this in some way, you created it. Not that you made it up, not that you imagined it, but you actually recreated it through that very intense feeling. I’m not saying it is the answer; I’m saying it’s one potential answer.
FRANCESCA: It is very possible because there are ideas that you can will things into being, so it could be a possibility. But it’s that fear of creating a psychic link with a haunted doll from so far away.
JIM HAROLD: It could be that too. That’s what’s interesting about these shows. I just like to sometimes sit and think about the possibilities. Not that I’m saying one is more so than the other. I think it’s real. It’s just like, okay, could it be this or could it be that, or could it be the other thing? It does make you think. It really does show the strange nature of reality. I really believe that is true, Francesca.
Well, thank you so much for joining us. Thank you to And That’s Why We Drink because they have always been a great supporter of the shows, Christine and Em over there. Christine, I’m sorry about your Bengals, the American football team that lost. But Francesca, I’m so glad you found us, and thank you for sharing this interesting story on the Campfire.
FRANCESCA: Thank you. Thank you so much for having me. Great fan of the show.
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JIM HAROLD: We have a newer listener on the line. Paul found us from the great Astonishing Legends, Scott and Forrest. Be sure to check them out if you haven’t done so yet because they have a fantastic show. As I said, Paul is here from Kentucky. He’s going to take us back to the summer after he graduated from high school and the strangeness that ensued. Paul, welcome to the show. Thank you for joining us. Tell us what happened.
PAUL: Hi. Thank you for having me. This was back in 2006 when I graduated from high school. I was dating a girl that I went to high school with, and she and her twin sister lived in an old spooky house in the Lexington area of Kentucky. The house was an older plantation-style home, almost. There were a lot of houses in Kentucky that were owned by families that had both homes in the Deep South and also up here in the middle of the U.S., so there are many of these homes around. This house, they’d had a couple of paranormal experiences.
The most prominent one that caught my attention – I’ve mostly been a lifelong skeptic type person. The most interesting one was one night when she got up to go use the restroom, walked by a staircase, and saw the ghost of a little girl standing in the staircase by a window. She got frightened, went back to bed, and noticed that her sister was up. Talked to her sister, and her sister had just seen the exact same ghost. So they knew they both had the same experience, which verified it for them.
Me, having watched some of those ghost hunter shows and whatnot on Syfy and whatever in high school, I thought, “Maybe I should come over with some crappy old camera that I’ve got and see if I can film anything.” I believed them because these were very honest people. Both she and her sister are brilliant, very straight As, very smart people. So I grabbed a JVC camcorder that we’d had growing up in the house. It was one of those ones with a little mini VHS tape that you put it in there, you’d pull it out and play it in a VHS. You’d stick it in one of the bigger ones.
JIM HAROLD: I have one of those.
PAUL: I’d used it many times. It always worked well. So I came over with the camcorder, I sat in the stairwell where the ghost had been, and I filmed. The first thing, I filmed for a couple minutes and was watching across the little mini display, and I watched a little glowing orb type thing float across it. I was like, “Oh, awesome! I’ve got a little orb.” Then I stopped filming and I ran downstairs and showed the footage to them excitedly. They were like, “Oh cool. Let’s go down in the basement.” There were basically shackles up on the walls because a lot of the families, I guess, back in the 1800s had been slaveowners in this area.
JIM HAROLD: Oh man. That’s horrible.
PAUL: Yeah, so definitely some dark energies, dark vibes. I took the camera down there, went down there with a group of people, and I turned it on right in the area where the shackles were mounted to the wall and whatnot. Started filming. As soon as I started filming, the daggone camera just shut off. I thought, “What’s going on?” This thing was fully charged. I hadn’t had any battery issues with it or anything. I thought maybe it was just a fluke. Turned it back on, started filming again, and the camera shuts off again.
The second time it shut off, I’m like, “I don’t know what’s going on.” I tried turning it back on, but it wouldn’t. It was done. I didn’t really think anything of it, to be honest. I just thought the battery was dead. It happens. Sometimes batteries just die, and oh well. So didn’t think anything of it. Spent the rest of the evening doing whatever, watching movies. I honestly can’t remember. Went home.
Woke up the next day and I wanted to pull the tape out of the camcorder and watch it on the TV and just see what I’d gotten, because I wanted to see the little orb again. That’s what I was actually excited about. I open up the camera to get the little mini tape out, and it all spooled out. The tape had wound itself around some of the little metal components inside the camera and actually broken off some of those metal pins that help support the tape. I don’t actually know what they’re called. So the camera was basically broken at that point.
In any case, I was able to pull the tape out and spool the film back in, and I was like, “Hopefully my orb’s still there.” [laughs] I put the tape into the big VHS cassette, stuck it in there, started to play it – it was all nothing. Everything had been wiped. It was just black and white static playing across the screen. Looking back on it, I do think that there was some audio and for some reason that had stayed intact. For whatever reason, I didn’t take much interest in that part of it. In fact, I don’t even know what happened to the camera. I think it all got thrown away.
JIM HAROLD: Basically, whatever this energy was, you theorize it broke your camera?
PAUL: That’s what I’ve been leaning to over the years. I feel like there was something there that shut it off the first time and said, “Don’t do this,” and the second time it was like, “Well, you didn’t listen.” [laughs] That’s what it felt like.
JIM HAROLD: “So you will no longer have a camera.” That’s a very, very horrible chapter of the country’s history. That breaks your heart to hear about that. But it’s one of those things that I would think that sort of thing, that sort of distress and sadness and pain, would lend itself to some kind of haunting. Well, Paul, let me ask you this. Let’s say you go to another haunted location, totally different from this. Would you bring a camera? Or now are you afraid, “I don’t know if I want to bring my new fancy camera” – obviously now you’re not using tape, you’ve got fancy memory cards and stuff, or your phone, even – are you afraid to shoot ghost footage with the idea that “it might break my phone, it might break my camera”? Is that something you would hesitate to do now?
PAUL: No, I don’t know so. I have personally yet to ever see a ghost or anything. When I was a kid, I had recurring nightmares and things like that, but honestly, I think I’m probably the furthest thing from a sensitive that you can have. I spent most of my life being a skeptic, and I’ve never seen anything.
JIM HAROLD: Well, I appreciate it. I love when the skeptics and people who have maybe a little tougher time believing in this stuff, I really appreciate when you say “Hey, I don’t believe in this stuff in general, but there was this weird one time.” Thank you for sharing your one time on the show. Thank you so much, and stay spooky.
PAUL: Thank you, Jim. Stay spooky.
JIM HAROLD: Kristen is on the line from Texas, and we’re so glad that she is. She’s going to tell us all about living in a haunted house. Kristen, welcome to the show. Tell us what happened.
KRISTEN: Thank you. In 2011, my now ex-husband and I purchased a home that had been built in 1940. I’ve always been an old soul, drawn to antiques and older homes, so I was really excited to buy this house. I thought if it’s haunted, that’s kind of a bonus. I was hoping for a friendly ghost, and I think that’s what I got for the most part.
We didn’t move into the house right away. We did a little bit of renovation, so we’d stop by the house from time to time to check on things. Sometimes I’d be by myself and it would be in the evening, and I would hear someone walking around or maybe a banging noise, but I thought, “It’s an old house and it’s empty and it’s late. Things creak and make noise, so maybe I’m imagining it.” Then once we moved in, kind of more of the same. Footsteps, and there would be what I consider more general haunting type stuff. There’d be cold spots that you’d walk through on occasion. Sometimes I’d walk into the kitchen and a drawer would be open, but I couldn’t really say – maybe I left it open.
I’d be looking for something and then I’d turn around and find it in this really obvious place. I remember one time I was looking for a jar of peanut butter to make a sandwich, and I was rummaging through the pantry, and then I turn around and sitting on the kitchen island right next to my laptop was the jar of peanut butter. I thought, “I don’t think I put it there. I’ve been looking for it for the last few minutes.” A hairbrush would be sitting there in an obvious place after I’d been looking for it.
So it wasn’t anything scary or frightening. For whatever reason, I had the impression that it was a female ghost, kind of matronly, maybe a past owner of the house watching over the house to see who’s living in it now, what they’re doing with these renovations. So it wasn’t anything scary. I’ve always had kind of a sixth sense for the energy and if there’s something around me or being watched or things like that.
But then things got a little more obvious. There was one day I was alone in the house and I was painting the dining room and I was painting the walls yellow. I was standing up on a ladder, and I heard a woman’s voice say behind me, “I like the color of the wall.”
JIM HAROLD: Oh. [laughs] That’ll get your attention when there’s no woman there.
KRISTEN: I can’t really describe it. You hear people use the term “it was a disembodied voice,” but it definitely sounded like that, even though I can’t really describe what that means. It came out of nowhere, but right behind me.
I started finding a lot of 1940s pennies in random locations – on the back porch, on the floor, here and there. I would hear this clicking sound. One room in the house used to be a covered porch and it was converted into an extra room, and I’d hear a clicking noise coming from that room at night when it was really quiet in the house. We pulled up a carpet in there, and wedged within the floorboard, we found a couple marbles. All of a sudden I realized that clicking sound is the sound that marbles make when you’re playing with marbles. And I could be wrong, but I think in the ’40s and ’50s it was a popular thing for children to play with. I held on to them. But then from that point on, I would find marbles in the most random places – inside a drawer or inside a box that had just been delivered from Amazon. [laughs] It didn’t make sense that a marble would be there.
I think the most obvious thing that happened, there was one night – my ex worked odd hours and sometimes he’d be gone on trips, so I was alone a lot in the house. One night I was watching TV. I had the TV on, I had a few lamps on, and all of a sudden two lamps simultaneously slowly dimmed and went out, and then slowly came back on again. I thought, “Okay, that’s a little weird, but maybe something happened, a surge, I don’t know.” Then it did it a second time. Slowly dimmed, went completely out, and then slowly came back on.
After the third time, I said, “Okay, I know that you’re here, and that’s okay. But when you do things like this, it freaks me out.” And then it didn’t happen again.
JIM HAROLD: Huh. The fact that you kind of reasoned with it and said, “Hey, this freaks me out,” and then it respected that.
KRISTEN: Yeah. That’s why I thought this is just a benevolent ghost who wants us to know that she’s here and everything’s okay.
There was one thing that unfortunately I didn’t experience. My ex was not a believer in these things, and I would tell him things that had happened and he brushed it off. But there was one morning he told me, “I woke up around 5 a.m. and I heard these noises coming from the backyard.” The primary bedroom faced the backyard. He said, “It sounded like someone was in the backyard playing some kind of ball game. I heard some people cheering, people laughing, people clapping. It sounded like somebody hitting a baseball with a baseball bat, and I heard this go on for a few minutes. It didn’t make sense because it was 5 a.m., it was still dark outside. None of our neighbors would’ve been awake doing that.” I thought, “Why didn’t you wake me up? I would’ve loved to have heard that.” Yeah, I’m not sure what that was.
And then as time progressed, we ended up going through an amicable divorce. There wasn’t a ton of fighting, but the energy in the house got a little bit more negative because there was a lot of tension there, and we separated and I was living alone in the house. There was sort of an energy shift. Things got a little darker. I sensed something else in the house that was more malevolent than friendly. I’ve had experiences with sleep paralysis, but what happened just wasn’t the same.
There were times when I’d be lying in bed and I’d wake up – I’m a side sleeper; I sleep on my right side – and I would feel something leaning against my shoulder, pressing me down into the mattress. I’m Catholic, so I’d wiggle my right arm loose, and I’d have to cross myself three times and it would let go. That happened several times, and then eventually, once we divorced, we ended up selling the house. I’ve heard people say that when you introduce a lot of negativity to an area, you can attract darker things.
JIM HAROLD: Yeah, I’ve heard that.
KRISTEN: If there’s already activity going on.
JIM HAROLD: I’ve definitely heard that.
KRISTEN: Overall, it was a great experience having a friendly ghost. [laughs] Wasn’t so great towards the end, but I do miss the house, and I hope that the slate was wiped clean after we moved out and the friendly ghost is watching over the new owners.
JIM HAROLD: It’s one of those things where you hope that that doesn’t carry over, and I’m assuming that it wouldn’t. But I have heard that before, yes, absolutely. When tough stuff is going on, emotional stuff, the more sinister energies can creep their way in. But I’m glad – no problems since you moved, though, right?
KRISTEN: I bought a house maybe a couple miles away in the same area, a little bit newer of a home, built in the 1950s. One of the things that drew me to it was that the energy was great and it felt like a very happy home. But one thing that did happen that was kind of a coincidence is I was doing some landscaping work in the backyard and putting in a gravel pathway, and I dug up a marble that looked just like one of the marbles I would find in the old home in random places. I felt like the house was saying, “Hey, I miss you. It was fun.” [laughs]
JIM HAROLD: Kristen, thank you for calling and sharing your story today on the Campfire.
KRISTEN: Sure, thank you. Stay spooky.
JIM HAROLD: Stay spooky!
Janelle is on the line from North Carolina. She found out about us from the great Astonishing Legends. She’s going to tell a story – it’s a bit of a headscratcher, and we’re so glad to have her with us today. Janelle, welcome to the show. Thank you for joining us, and please tell us what happened.
JANELLE: Thank you so much. The year of the story was 2017. It was a very transitional, very turbulent time of my life. I was going through a divorce. I had also just woken up to the fact that the religion that I was raised in was actually a cult, so I was in the process of leaving that and getting divorced. I was working part-time as a host at a restaurant, and I got a really weird call one day. They asked to speak with me. The caller asked to verify my address. They said they had a delivery for me. So I verified my address, told them when I would be home, and that delivery showed up later that day.
It had some significance to the things that I was going through at the time. While my now ex-husband and I were in the cult, we had been part of this group that was learning Mandarin. Basically it was to recruit people into the cult, which of course now I really don’t agree with doing that kind of thing. But it is what we were doing at the time. So we were learning Mandarin. I knew people who were visiting China, living in China, that kind of thing.
So when the delivery arrived that day, after I got the call, it didn’t have a sender; it wasn’t the USPS, it wasn’t FedEx. It was just some company that was delivering it to me, almost like you would get flowers or an edible arrangement or something like that. But the delivery itself was this tea. It was called Chinese Wedding Tea, which I felt was significant. It could’ve been anything. Chinese because we had been learning Mandarin, and wedding, I was going through a divorce. It’s representative of my old life.
There was no card that came with it. I asked the person who delivered it, “Who sent this?” They didn’t know. It was really, really unusual, especially because they had called me at work to verify my address and when I would be home. I had only been working at that restaurant for a couple of months, so really nobody knew that I worked there. My roommates knew. My mom knew. But that was it. So it wasn’t just that it was delivered, but it also they knew where I worked and they knew where I lived. I found that really strange.
I even took a photo of the delivery and posted it on social media to see if maybe someone would say, “Oh hey, that was me.” Even though, like I said, I had left a cult, so none of the members there were speaking to me. When you leave that kind of thing, they basically shun you and pretend you don’t exist. But still, nobody came forward and said they had sent it to me. It was just a real mystery to me.
Then – and I’m not totally sure if these things are connected, but to me they are – a couple of weeks later, again, I was working. A fellow host answered a telephone call, and she was looking at me and she was like, “Oh yeah, Janelle is here. Yeah, she gets off at” whatever time, 3 p.m. or whatever. She said, “Okay” and hung up the phone. I was really intrigued. I was like, “Who was that?” She didn’t know who it was, but she said, “It was somebody who was asking if you were working and how long you were going to be there. They said they were about 30 minutes away heading into the restaurant. They also said that they love seeing you up there at the host stand.”
That seemed really strange to me. Again, I was a host, so I wasn’t a server. I didn’t really talk to people that much. It was just “How many in your party?”, take you to your table. I didn’t really have any regulars. I’d only worked there a couple months. I didn’t know anybody. The coworker said it sounded like it was maybe an older lady who was calling. I texted my mom like, “Did you call and ask if I was working?” She said no, she didn’t call. Any other female relatives of mine all live out of state and would’ve had no idea where I was working.
Then the craziest thing is that I never saw anybody that I recognized come in that day. I was seriously on the lookout because it was really, really intriguing to me, but nobody ever showed up. In some ways that’s the end of the story; in other ways, the more I look back on that time period, to me it was just such a transitional time that I felt like it was kind of a reassurance to me, like, “You’re on the right track. We love seeing you there. Here’s something representative of your old life. That’s done and past, and here’s your new journey that you’re going on and this new path.” The more I look back on it, the more reassuring it is. Putting some personal meaning in that. Even if it does have some sort of rational explanation, I choose to put some personal meaning into that, almost like a sign from the universe that I was on the right track.
JIM HAROLD: Very, very interesting indeed. And it’s good that you took it in that way, that you were on the right track. Interesting. It’s one of those things that you’ll probably always wonder about, but seems like you’ve come to peace with it.
JANELLE: Yes, absolutely. I think I will always wonder, but yeah, I choose to try to put some meaning into it.
JIM HAROLD: Well, Janelle, thank you so much and best of luck on your new path. And thank you for being a part of the Campfire.
JANELLE: Thank you.
JIM HAROLD: Jamie is on the line from New York. We’re so glad to speak with her again. She is a return caller, and she’s going to talk about two very special dogs and maybe a relationship that continued beyond their passing. Jamie, welcome to the show. Thank you for joining us and tell us what happened.
JAMIE: Thank you for having me back. I started walking dogs in college several years ago, and my two main jobs lasted over 10 years. I still take care of one of their cats now, 15 years later. Both dogs passed away within the past couple years from old age. These are dogs from two different people. I have two quick stories about them.
The first one was Lincoln. He was born with I think a trachea problem, so he would cough. It was a very distinct cough that he always did if he got excited. Two or three years ago, he passed away, and I’m at his owner’s house the week after he passed and we’re just chatting, she’s making me tea, and I hear his coughing. I can hear the distinctive cough from the dog – this is a week after he passed – coming from one of the rooms in her house. I turned my head and she looked at me and said, “What’s going on?” I said, “I just heard Lincoln cough.” She’s like, “What do you mean?” I said, “I heard him cough.”
She believes in the supernatural, and she said, “Well, he’s in heaven. Why didn’t his trachea problem go away?” I said, “He was deaf when he died, so maybe coughing is the only way for him to communicate ‘hey, I’m here.’”
JIM HAROLD: I’m thinking that is something he would know that you would recognize, so even if it wasn’t necessary, he might use that to communicate.
JAMIE: Exactly. If he barks, then it could be a dog outside. But if he does his distinctive cough, we’re like, “That’s definitively Lincoln.”
JIM HAROLD: I think that’s a great way to think about it, definitely. No question about it. That’s something where he makes himself known in a way that makes sense to you.
JAMIE: Exactly. That’s how we know it’s him specifically.
JIM HAROLD: Go ahead.
JAMIE: I was going to say the other story.
JIM HAROLD: That’s just what I was going to ask you. Great minds think alike, Jamie.
JAMIE: [laughs] The other person, I’m still friends with her. I took care of her dog almost every day for over 10 years in my apartment. She’d drop her off when she went to work and everything. That dog was Lily. She passed away a couple years ago from old age. She was a small white fluffy dog, which is important to the story.
Still to this day, out of the corner of my eye, I will still see something low on the ground, like a white blur that’s low to the ground – because she was a small dog – just as I’m in the kitchen, and I see a white blur that’s low to the ground come around the corner as I’m cooking. Which is what she used to do. She used to come and sit by my feet like most dogs do, to cook. I know it’s not my dog because my dog is significantly bigger and black and tan. So it’s definitely not my dog. But I even saw it maybe a couple weeks ago. A white blur that’s low to the ground, I’ll see occasionally go across my room or my apartment. And sometimes my dad, when he’s here, he’ll think that he sees her on the couch or something.
JIM HAROLD: I believe that our furry friends, the four-foots, do live beyond this plane. I really am hopeful, from all the experiences I’ve heard, Jamie, like yours, that they do live on and we’ll be reunited one day. And in the meantime, they send us these little messages. I think it is so, so cool.
JAMIE: Right. To say, “Hey, I’m still here, don’t worry about me. I’m still watching over you.”
JIM HAROLD: I agree 110%. Jamie, as always, thank you for being a part of the Campfire today.
JAMIE: You’re welcome.
JIM HAROLD: Thanks so much for tuning in to another addition of the Campfire. I appreciate it. And thank you so much for listening. We have a couple of spooky shoutouts, birthday shoutouts. This one, we can’t waste any time because her birthday is today.
Jess writes, “My mom’s birthday is February 23rd” – that’s today – “if you can give a shoutout to Lonnie in British Columbia, Canada, I would appreciate it. She loves your show.” And we love to hear that, so Lonnie, thank you so much for listening to the show and being such a big fan of it. Happy birthday, and a big stay spooky!
Next up we have Heather who wrote in. She writes, “Can you give a shoutout to my sister Kaitlyn for her 34th birthday? Her birthday is February 25th.” Heather adds, “Happy spooky birthday, Kaitlyn! Love you!” Heather, thank you so much for listening. A big happy birthday and a stay spooky.
We hope everyone stays spooky, and if you enjoy what we do and you would like a personalized birthday shoutout, not just an audio shoutout but you would like a video from me, all you have to do is go over to cameo.com/thejimharold. That’s c-a-m-e-o dot com slash thejimharold, and sign up to have me do a video for you or your loved one. Could be happy birthday, happy anniversary, happy graduation, happy Mother’s Day, happy Father’s Day, whatever it might be. We try to keep it very inexpsneive for folks compared to some of the things I see over there, and we try to make it very affordable for everyone. And when you engage us in a Cameo, that helps support what we do. Cameo.com/thejimharold for a personalized video.
And here’s something that’s free – I mentioned it at the beginning of the show – if you would like my mini eBook, it’s a PDF of 10 of my favorite Campfire stories from our Campfire books. All you need to do is go over to jimharold.com, and at the top of the page, you will see an orange button that says “Click here to get your free Campfire eBook.” It’ll take you through the process, and you can get your free Campfire eBook. So please go do that.
We thank you so much, and thank you for tuning in today, to all of our storytellers, our sponsors – please support them; they make the free shows possible – and we’ll talk to you next time. Have a great week, everybody, and as always, stay safe and stay spooky. Bye-bye.
You’ve been listening to Jim Harold’s Campfire. Tune in again next time for more stories of ordinary people who have experienced extraordinary things.
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