A phone call with a dead man, UFO stories, ghost cats, the Hatman and more on this edition of Campfire!
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JIM HAROLD: Did our special guest this week have an actual telephone call with the dead? Well, it sure seems like it – up next on the Campfire.
Welcome to our gathering tonight. Here we share stories of ordinary people who have experienced extraordinary things. Sit back, relax, and warm yourself by Jim Harold’s Campfire.
JIM HAROLD: Welcome to the Campfire. I am Jim Harold and so glad to be with you once again, and if you want to hear spooky stories – could be ghosts, could be UFOs, could be creepy cryptid creatures, or my favorite, headscratchers – you are in the right place because we have everyday folks who come on and tell us about their wild supernatural and paranormal experiences. So welcome to the show, whether you’ve been listening a long time or you are brand new.
And a special note for my friends who have been listening to our shows for years: if you are interested in true crime, I have rebooted my show Jim Harold’s Crime Scene. That’s Jim Harold’s Crime Scene, and it is available on the major podcast apps. Please check it out if you’re interested in true crime. We just did a show on DNA and how it solved a cold case in a very wild way. Also, we just did one on “Death on Ocean Boulevard” about a very strange and mysterious murder case. And much more to come. So check that out at Jim Harold’s Crime Scene on your favorite podcast app and at jimharold.com.
Now, it is time to get to the spooky stories. This one is one of my favorite Campfire stories I’ve ever heard, and it’s the first time it’s ever been on the Campfire.
Next up on the Campfire, literally one of my favorite people in the world. Richard SYRETT is on the line. He is the Chief Cook & Bottlewasher at Richard SYRETT’s Strange Planet, which is a fantastic podcast you all ought to check out, and we’ll talk about that a little bit later. He also is the often host of Coast to Coast AM and just had me on in December, and we’re very appreciative for that. Always a really great and supportive friend and a fantastic broadcaster, a great podcaster. I was telling Richard before, this is my favorite Campfire story that’s never been on the Campfire, so I thought it was time that we fix that. Richard, welcome to the show tonight.
RICHARD SYRETT: Oh, Jim, thank you so much. Always a pleasure to be with you.
JIM HAROLD: This story is about a friend of yours – actually, somebody that I did interview, author and researcher R. Gary Patterson. Unfortunately he has passed, but you have a story involving him that is one of the most amazing I’ve ever heard. I’ll let you take it from there. Just an amazing, amazing story.
RICHARD SYRETT: And one of the strangest things that has ever happened to me. It’ll be six years in May, and I’m still not sure what happened. I can’t say that I received a telephone call from the dead with 100% certainty – there, I gave it away – but I’m going to try to the best of my ability to give you an accurate portrayal of what happened the week leading up to May the 26th of 2017.
- Gary Patterson, as you said, was a frequent guest on Coast to Coast. He was a high school teacher in Olive Grove, Tennessee, this little Civil War era coal mining town just outside of Knoxville, Tennessee. R. Gary became a frequent guest on my various radio programs and podcasts. In fact, I’d never met Gary for years; he was just one of these discarnate voices over the ether, which is a funny aspect of the radio business. You know so many people just by their voice.
Finally, in about 2016, Gary came to Toronto as part of George Noory’s live stage show presentation at the Queen Elizabeth Theater. So finally, after probably about 10 years, I got to meet Gary face to face. We went out for dinner and we decided that we’d known each other for so long, and he loved to talk about the history of rock n’ roll and the strange occurrences in rock n’ roll – and he wrote volumes about this very subject; he was one of the pioneers in unraveling the whole “Paul is dead” mystery, Paul McCartney, who supposedly died in a car crash in 1966 and the Beatles covered it up. Well, he wrote one of the definitive books about that called The Walrus Was Paul, and he went to Beatle conferences. I loved having him on as a guest.
So we decided it was time we should work together, and we decided to do a radio project. It was going to be called The Spirit of Rock, and we were going to talk about rock n’ roll meets The Twilight Zone, really. The paranormal, the unexplained, and rock n’ roll. There is so much lore and legend, and he knew it all. So we began communicating almost on a daily basis – over the phone, there was a Google Chat or something, I can’t remember the app that we used to use. We were planning it and scripting it out. Eventually we recorded a demo, and the demo was about was Jimi Hendrix murdered, and we interviewed some musicians that played alongside Jimi Hendrix and we interviewed his former road manager. It was terrific. We started shopping it around, and we wanted to send it to radio stations and maybe build a network.
In I would say mid-May of 2017, Gary would call me on the phone to tell me about his luck in terms of pitching this to radio stations. He took it to a radio station in Knoxville, Tennessee. The general manager and the program director there loved it. So one night, I got a phone call – I remember this distinctly. It was on the Wednesday before the Saturday when Gary passed. On the Wednesday, I was in a parking lot at All Saints Greek Orthodox Church. I remember this because I used to take my boys to Greek school there, and while I was waiting for them to come out, he called me on my cellphone and said, “I’m getting ready to pitch this to the folks at the radio station in Knoxville.” I said, “Okay, good luck, Gary. Let me know.”
That was on the Wednesday. On the Thursday, he didn’t call me. On the Friday, I was at home in the basement. My cellphone rang; there was Gary. Looking back, it was kind of a strange call. The first thing he said was, “Richard, we had this meeting with the Knoxville station all set for Monday, and then I realized Monday is Memorial Day, so there’ll be no meeting.” Nobody works on Memorial Day. It’s a big deal in the United States. I’m Canadian; we don’t have Memorial Day. It’s strange – I don’t know why, but I didn’t ask him, “Okay, is it rescheduled, and for when?”
But then Gary started just talking about other things. He would say these strange things like, “You know, Richard, you’re a really cool dad.” I thought, “Where did that come from? Why is he going there? Maybe Gary’s just trying to build me up.” Then he said, “You know, Richard, you and I are a really big deal.” [laughs] I thought, wow. That’s Gary, building us up, but where did that come from?
Then I asked him, “Okay, it’s Memorial Day” – when I think of Memorial Day, I think of parades and barbeques down in the United States. Have a barbeque, invite the family over, you go to the Memorial Day parade. I said, “Hey Gary, are you gonna have a big barbeque this weekend?” And for the first time in all the years that I’d known Gary, he got a little testy. I thought, ooh, did I just step in a landmine here or something? What’s going on? He said, “There’ll be no barbeque.” Just like that. I thought, oh, okay. All right. I said, “Well, I guess I’ll talk to you soon” or something. I don’t even remember how I signed off. It was almost like the call ended on a bit of a downer, a sour note, especially coming off him saying, “You’re a really cool dad” and “We’re a really big deal.”
JIM HAROLD: Right, all these positive things, and then he follows up with what seems like a little bit of a sour attitude.
RICHARD SYRETT: I felt kind of weird about it. I should also point out – and this is strange, but when he called, I started wandering around the house with the phone in my hand. I remember at one point I’m talking to him, and there’s a desk down here in the basement; I was sitting behind the desk. Then I moved to the couch opposite the TV, and then at some point I’m still on the phone and I’m not even really thinking; I’m just wandering from room to room with no purpose. I wandered to the kitchen, and I remember this because the Mighty Aphrodite, my wife, was sitting there, and my brother-in-law, her brother, was visiting, and he was sitting at the kitchen table. The two of them were engaged in a conversation, and here I am, I just wander through the kitchen with the phone to my ear and then I wander out, and then I’m in the living room and then I’m back downstairs.
Anyway, the phone call ends with “There will be no barbeque.” So that was the Friday night. I also remember – now, this is May, going into the spring season, and it’s dark outside. As I’m wandering around, I’m cognizant of the fact that it’s nighttime. I couldn’t tell you exactly what time it was, but it was dark. So that was the Friday night.
Typically I go to bed and the Mighty Aphrodite and I would listen to Coast to Coast. For whatever reason, that night, I fell asleep. Out. I didn’t hear any of it. So I missed a broadcast – it was guest hosted that night by Dave Schroeder, and Dave’s guest was Chris Jericho, former wrestling superstar with the World Wrestling – well, they used to call it the WWF; now it’s the WWE. Chris Jericho was a fellow Canadian, grew up in Winnipeg. His father was a hockey player. I was never a big wrestling fan.
Anyway, Chris Jericho, of all people, came on Coast to Coast to announce that R. Gary Patterson had passed away on a Friday afternoon. I missed it. Didn’t hear it. So I wake up Saturday morning and I have my morning routine – make my coffee. When it’s nice and warm out, I go out and sit on the front step and I check my emails. And lo and behold, there is – I don’t know if it was a text message or if might’ve been a Facebook message from Dave Schroeder. Dave said, “Richard, I know that you and R. Gary Patterson were friends, so I wanted you to know, in case you didn’t hear the show last night, R. Gary passed away yesterday.”
I thought, “Oh, come on. Who’s playing me? I just spoke to him yesterday. I spoke to him on the phone. He was very much alive.” My first instinct was to call Gary’s cellphone, which I did. Got his outgoing message. I said, “Gary, come on, what’s going on? Dave Schroeder just messaged me and said you’re dead. Give me a call back.” Of course, he never did because it was true.
I decided I had to go down – actually, let me back up. The first thing I did, I still wasn’t convinced, so I started checking online to see if there was some sort of obituary. Wasn’t finding anything. Anyway, then I went back upstairs and the Mighty Aphrodite was getting out of bed, getting dressed, and I said, “You wont believe what happened.” She said, “What?” I said, “Gary’s dead.” Now, this is important because without me prompting her, she said, “Wait a minute, you were just talking to him last night.” I said, “That’s what I thought. Yeah, I thought I was talking to Gary last night.” [laughs]
The thing is, I checked my phone history – you know on your cellphone you have that little thing called “Recents.” You can check who called when. I looked, and there was an incoming call from Gary Patterson Wednesday night – that’s when I was in the parking lot at All Saints Church. I remember that call. He didn’t call me Thursday. Friday… there’s nothing there. There’s no record of Gary calling me Friday. In fact, nobody called me Friday. I’m not the most popular guy, I guess. Nobody called me Friday. I didn’t call anybody Friday.
JIM HAROLD: But your wife saw you talking to him.
RICHARD SYRETT: She assumed I was talking to Gary, she said, because she saw me walking through the kitchen with the phone to my ear and she said to me, “I just assumed it was Gary because you guys are talking all the time.” I said, “Yes, I was convinced I was talking to Gary last night,” and I showed her the phone. I said, “Look, there’s nothing here. Nobody called me on Friday.” But she saw me on the phone, walking through the kitchen with the phone to my ear.
Eventually, I find the obituary online, it’s true – that’s when it really sunk in. I have so many old relatives; I’ve been a pallbearer more times than I can remember. But this one really hit me because I’d gotten to know him so well and we were working so closely on this. So I decided, and the Mighty Aphrodite agreed, I should go down for the funeral. So I did. I flew down to Knoxville, and then I took a taxi from Knoxville to – I think it’s called Oak Ride, Tennessee. Then from Oak Ridge I rented a hotel and then I took a taxi to this quaint little town, Olive Grove, where he lived.
I go to the funeral home, waiting in line, and Gary’s in this beautiful blue coffin, metal casket, and he’s got – I think it’s a Fender guitar up on a stand. His favorite guitar, in front of the casket or beside the casket. I’m waiting in line and I’m starting to get a little choked up. I can see him lying in state there. His older brother, Mike, is greeting people, so I go up and I shake his hand and introduce myself. He put his hand on my shoulder and he said, “Thank you for coming. Gary told me so much about you, and it’s so good of you to come all this way.”
I didn’t want to tell him about the phone call; I felt weird about it. Like, why would he call me when he’s got family? But I did want to know about the way we parted ways. I said to Michael, “Michael, I’ve got to ask you something. The last time I spoke to Gary” – I didn’t tell him when we talked – “I think I upset him. I asked him whether he would be holding a barbeque this Memorial Day weekend.” Of course, it was now Memorial Day weekend. I said, “Gary said to me in – not an angry voice, but he seemed upset. He said, ‘There will be no barbeque.’ Michael, do you have any idea what he meant by that? Did I upset him?”
Michael looked at me and he kind of squinted his eyes and his head tilted, and he said, “He said that to you?” I said, “Yeah, ‘There’ll be no barbeque,’ and he seemed upset. What’s that all about?” He said, “That’s strange because the day that he died, he was out driving all over town, looking for a brand new barbeque, and he ended up spending – I forget what the price was; I think he said around $500. He found this beautiful brand new stainless steel barbeque, spent 500 bucks on it, brought it home, and he said, “He and my son” (which was Gary’s nephew) “spent the rest of the day putting it together.”
He was planning on having a barbeque. Of course, it didn’t happen. Michael and Gary lived next door to each other, I later learned, in Olive Grove, and Michael’s son, Gary’s nephew, would often pop over to visit his uncle. On the day in question, the hour in question, his son went over to knock on Gary’s door to see his Uncle Gary, and he saw Gary through the window coming out of one room on the upper level and going into his bedroom. He kept knocking on the door. Gary never came out. Knocked on the door some more, pounding on the door. Eventually he called I guess 911; they came, they found Gary on the bed, dead, his eyes open. Apparently he had died of a heart attack.
Then I asked Michael, “What time did Gary pass?” He said, “I think it was around four or five o’clock in the afternoon.” I thought, wait a minute. It was dark out, May 26th, when I spoke to him. So what is that? I’m at a loss. I’m a skeptic, but it happened to me. There may be a prosaic explanation. Maybe I misremembered, maybe the Mighty Aphrodite misremembered, maybe there was a glitch on my phone. [laughs] I don’t know.
JIM HAROLD: I don’t think you misremembered. I’ve said this to you before, Richard, when you had me on your shows, and I’ve said this to the audience here on Campfire: the one thing I can say from doing this show, the one thing that I’ve come away with that I do believe – now, I could be wrong – but the nature of reality is far stranger than we give it credit for in our everyday lives. And that somehow plays into what happened in your story and with R. Gary Patterson.
Like I said, this is my favorite Campfire story that was never on the Campfire, so I’m so glad that you came on to tell it. I know you’re a man of faith, but then you mentioned you do have a skeptical nature about some paranormal things. What do you come away with? What do you think it is? Do you have a theory? What are your thoughts?
RICHARD SYRETT: I continue to struggle with it. As more and more time goes by, I start to question myself more and more and more. The further I get away from it, and the older I get, I have to be honest, I start thinking, come on, that couldn’t have happened. That couldn’t have happened. But then when I’m asked to retell the story, that’s the way it happened.
JIM HAROLD: Yeah, you’ve told me the story multiple times and it’s always the same, and it’s an amazing story. Wow. I hope that the audience enjoyed that. And something I know they will enjoy, if they’re smart enough to pick up on it, if they haven’t heard it already, is Strange Planet, your excellence podcast. Can you give folks a couple minutes on what it is and how they can plug into it?
RICHARD SYRETT: Thank you, Jim. It’s Richard Syrett’s Strange Planet, or just Strange planet for short if you’d rather, and they can find all the information at strangeplanet.ca. I just recently revamped and redesigned the website, and you can stream episodes there. You can subscribe there. I publish three days a week; new episodes come out every Monday, Wednesday, Friday.
If you like Coast to Coast, if you like Jim Harold’s Campfire, Paranormal Podcast, if you like unexplained mysteries, UFOs, cryptozoology, ghosts, conspiracies, alternative energy, alternative archeology, Atlantis – it’s a pretty broad canvas. I cover a lot of ground and I bring on, I think, some pretty exceptional people, experts in their field, people who’ve dedicated their lives to researching these topics and written huge, huge books and so forth. So it’s basically a one-on-one me and the guest for about 45 minutes. I’ve been doing the podcast for about – just passed five years, actually. I launched in December of 2017.
I have to credit you, Jim; as a pioneer in this field, you’ve been such a great help and a mentor and an inspiration to me. It’s always a great pleasure spending time with you for any reason, whether we’re having a beverage in a bar in Cleveland or whether we’re just hanging out on Zoom. It’s always great spending time with you.
JIM HAROLD: I feel the same way, Richard. You are an awesome broadcaster and podcaster, and I hope if there are a few people out there who haven’t checked out Strange Planet, hat as soon as they’re done listening to this show, they dial it into their podcatcher. Richard Syrett, thank you for sharing that information and a fantastic and thought-provoking Campfire story.
RICHARD SYRETT: Thanks, Jim.
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JIM HAROLD: Next up – lately, we’ve been doing some great segments with podcasters, and we have Julie and Rebecca from Haunted AF, that great podcast that I hope you’ll all check out and we’re going to tell you more about in a little bit. But first, they’re going to share their spooky, weird stories. We’re going to start with Rebecca, who has a UFO story. Rebecca, tell us about this UFO story. We love them here on the Campfire. Don’t get enough of them.
REBECCA: Okay. First, I feel like I need to preface this story with the fact that I was with friends. I consider each friend fairly intelligent, smart, that kind of thing, to make my story feel a little bit more legit. I also should say that this was pre-drones. This was before we really knew what drones were.
JIM HAROLD: That’s a good point.
REBECCA: Yeah, I feel like that’s important to the story. We were on our way home – actually, we were all coworkers, good friends, on our way home from some sort of event, and all of us at the same time look up into the sky and it gets quiet. Then we’re all like, “Do you guys all see this? What is this?” It’s this object that is literally floating above our heads. It’s not moving up, it’s not moving down, left, right, or anything like that. It is staying in the exact same place, just hovering. It’s a very specific shape, it’s got lights moving all around it. We sit and stare at this thing for what seems like a solid five minutes because we’re stopped at a stoplight.
Of course, after the silent moment is over, we’re all like, “That’s got to be a UFO. What else can it be?” Because how do you explain something that’s just randomly hovering, floating in the sky with lights that are going on and off, blinking around?
The following day – I worked in radio for a million years and I was on a radio show at the time, and so was one of the ladies that was with me. We were talking about it on the air, and we both, without looking at one another, without rediscussing the event, were like, “Let’s draw a picture of what we saw.”
JIM HAROLD: Good idea.
REBECCA: Right? Just for – what’s that word that I’m looking for?
JIM HAROLD: Blanks and giggles. No, I’m just kidding.
REBECCA: Yes, blanks and giggles, and also proof. So we draw the picture, and both of us, I’m telling you, we put this thing down and it is exactly the same. It is a diamond-shaped object. It was black, it had a light at the top, light at the bottom, and a string of strobey lights all around the center.
JULIE: Ooh, I like the strobey lights.
REBECCA: Yeah. Clearly – I don’t know that it was necessarily aliens, but it was definitely an unidentified type of object in the sky. It was big, it wasn’t drone size. And again, we didn’t really know what drones were at the time. But then we also told the story on air and had other people who had called in and said, “Yes, we were on 15th Street off of 75 and saw the exact same thing.”
JULIE: That’s the best.
REBECCA: More confirmation.
JIM HAROLD: Quick question. Are there any military installations or anything in the area?
REBECCA: That’s a great question. I do not think there are.
JULIE: We’re in North Texas. It feels like there’s one every 10 miles, but not –
REBECCA: Not a serious like U.S. Air Force or any kind of base. We do have a Bell Helicopter here, which has helicopters, but this was not a helicopter. This has no propellors on it. This was just a diamond-shaped –
JIM HAROLD: And it was silent, right?
REBECCA: Yeah, silent. Didn’t hear any noise.
JIM HAROLD: It reminds me – I think it was in Denmark or somewhere, in the ’80s or maybe ’90s. Black triangles. People would see triangular UFOs. It sounds an awful lot like that. They were large, they were black, they were quiet. I don’t know about the lights, how many lights. You described it as a diamond as opposed to triangle, but close enough.
REBECCA: I mean, could it have been two triangles?
JULIE: It could’ve been two of them together.
REBECCA: Yeah, I don’t know, fueling or something. Who knows?
JULIE: Maybe they were mating. Maybe it’s like Nope. Maybe.
REBECCA: I honestly don’t know. I couldn’t tell if they were separated or not, and maybe that light beam around the center of it was actually the separation between the two. I honestly don’t know. I’ve never seen anything like it since.
JIM HAROLD: And that’s the thing. Something on this show that I love is when somebody says, “I’ve never had anything like this happen before.” I think that’s always kind of cool, and it speaks to it’s not commonplace for you. Yeah, I’ve always said I believe that there are strange things in the sky that we can’t explain. Now, I think it’s a mixture of things. These days, I think a lot of times it could be a drone, but I also believe, like in your case, drone is off the table. So I’m voting on either ET or military, one or the other.
JULIE: ET, ET! [laughs]
JIM HAROLD: [laughs] “Take me to your leader.”
JULIE: “Reese’s Pieces.”
JIM HAROLD: Exactly.
REBECCA: Stop that. Stop. [laughs]
JIM HAROLD: On to Rebecca, to more ghostly matters. Rebecca, I understand that you –
JIM HAROLD: Julie, Julie. I’m sorry.
JULIE: It happens all the time.
JIM HAROLD: Anyway, over to Julie. Julie is going to tell us about her ghostly experience.
JULIE: This is the first thing that ever happened to me. I’ve had a few other little things.
REBECCA: You’ve had lots of things. Don’t diminish that.
JULIE: I’ve had a lot of things. This house might be a little… When I was 15, I moved to Atlanta, Georgia with my mom into this really cool three-level condo. I had the top floor, Mom had the middle floor, and we bought it from this really nice man named William. He actually sold us most of his furniture, too. But I woke up just a few months after we had moved in, and there was something floating above me. I couldn’t totally make it out, but it registered as a woman. In fact, it seemed like her hair was hanging down by my face. But it was a lot of sparkles and almost like smoke.
I woke up, saw it, and jumped up, and with one hand I pushed it away, and the other hand I turned on the lamp. When I turned on the lamp, I could still see it for a minute because it sucked up into the ceiling and went to this one point, and I stared at the point for so long because you could just see a dot, and then it almost just looked like a shadow on the ceiling. It was just that cold, complete fear where you can’t move. I was terrified.
Once I finally collected myself, I ran out the door. We had these floating staircases, and I ran down to my mother’s bedroom – which was one of the scariest treks I’ve ever made because that side of the condo was all windows, so I had to run by all these windows. I jumped into her bed and I slept with my mom until I was about 30 years old after that. And I’m kind of not kidding. I would sleep with my mom a couple times a week. I was terrified of my room, of the entire upstairs. It was huge and it was real to me.
Mom tried to blow it off. She’s like, “Whatever it was, this is our house. You can’t be scared in our house. This is where we’re living now.”
REBECCA: Basically like, “Suck it up, Julie.”
JULIE: Totally. Just knock it off. Absolutely. But it was a few months later she finally said to me, “I’m going to have to tell you this because you’re probably going to find out anyway – William, after he sold us the condo, moved in with his girlfriend, and that’s where he beat her to death. He murdered her.”
JIM HAROLD: Oh my lord.
JULIE: But this did not happen in our condo. This happened in her place after he had moved in with her just a few months after we had purchased the condo. So I feel certain it was her. I don’t know why she came back that night. Nothing ever happened to me again. I had bad feelings, being creeped out, stuff like that. And later, after we moved out, my mother admitted to me that there would be nights she would hear lots of knocking around upstairs and she’d walk out into the hall and call up to me, thinking I was home, not get an answer, and then she’d hear me come home an hour later.
JIM HAROLD: Wow.
JULIE: So there was definitely something up in there. But that was my “Oh, okay, I’m a believer now.” [laughs]
JIM HAROLD: It happens. A lot of debunkers and skeptics say, “You don’t really believe this stuff, do you?” I really do believe this stuff. I believe it does happen. Do I understand it? Like I said on your show – you were kind enough to have me on your show recently – like I said there, I don’t know the answers, but I’m confident something is going on. And speaking of your show, I almost forgot the most important thing: we’ve got to tell people about Haunted AF, what it is, and where they can find it.
JULIE: Well, Rebecca and I started this show about three years ago. We’re old friends. We’re old radio, old morning show hosts.
REBECCA: We started with a movie review podcast that got all of two listeners. It was a boozy movie review podcast.
JULIE: We’d get drunk and review movies.
JIM HAROLD: That sounds like fun.
JULIE: It was a lot of fun. Nobody listened to it though.
REBECCA: And then Julie got this killer idea for a ghosty podcast, and here we are.
JULIE: Yeah. We have a website, hauntedaf.com. You can find us on any platform. We’re everywhere.
JULIE: Yes, we have a YouTube channel as well where we post videos like this. We pretty much copied your blueprint. Same thing, where people will come on, and I think it’s really cool to hear the stories from their own voices. I’m sure you can agree.
REBECCA: I will say, oddly enough, we started out where it was just us interviewing our friends because we had had ghosty experiences, and we’re like, “I bet our friends have too.” So we just sort of put the feelers out there.
JULIE: Right, and since we have about 200 years of radio between us, we had all these fun radio people who can tell a great story. Initially it was lots and lots of media folk telling ghost stories, and then other people started joining in on the fun. You know this – it’s so much fun. There’s something really intimate and weird about sharing these ghost stories.
JIM HAROLD: Oh yeah. Absolutely.
REBECCA: Having a connection with people who are completely across the world. We would never cross paths usually, but our podcast is what’s brought us together. And that’s kind of what we’re all about. We want to bring people together around ghosty stories.
JULIE: Yeah, because as much as we enjoy being scared, we really just love telling the stories. It’s a thrill and it’s fun, and we laugh a lot.
REBECCA: We do laugh entirely too much.
JULIE: Probably. It probably kills it.
JIM HAROLD: No, I don’t think so at all. I think that’s what makes your show unique. There are a lot of great paranormal podcasts, and everybody has their different take on it and their different personality. Nobody does it exactly the same. And I hope everybody gets to check out Haunted AF. Thank you guys for being a part of the show tonight. Stay spooky!
JULIE: Absolutely. We love your jellyfish, by the way.
REBECCA: I can’t stop staring at them. They’re adorable back there.
JIM HAROLD: Next up is Josh from Alabama. He said he was just searching around on Spotify and found the show. Kind of a happy accident, and we’re so glad that he is here. And he has a story about the Hat Man. Always fascinated by the Hat Man, and frankly terrified. So Josh is going to even amp it up more for us. Josh, welcome to the show and tell us about your encounter with the Hat Man.
JOSH: I guess I should start off – every now and then I wake up with sleep paralysis, which is no fun in and of itself. But this particular night, I woke up around 3:00-ish or so in the morning and realized I couldn’t move. All I could really do was move my eyes. I’m looking around the room, as much as I could, at least, and I notice that there is what looks like a monster of a man standing about three, four feet away from the side of my bed.
JIM HAROLD: Yikes.
JOSH: Yeah. My first thought is, “Oh great, I wake up, I can’t move, and now there’s a stranger in my house. This is awesome.” Back then, I wasn’t really into the paranormal and whatnot so I didn’t really know what I was looking at. I’m looking at this big, black shadow – I mean, I couldn’t see any kind of facial features, nothing. I’m sitting there and I’m like, what’s going on? Who’s in my house? Like I said, I start to realize I can’t see anything about this guy, which didn’t make sense, because I had fallen asleep with my TV on and also a lamp on my headboard. There’s plenty of light in the room.
It almost looked like somebody had taken a pair of scissors and cut the outline of this guy out, and all you could see was just black. It was like a void. The only thing I could make out was that he had what looked like a trench coat on and a really big hat. It’s kind of silly, but growing up I was a huge wrestling fan, and there’s a wrestler named The Undertaker.
JIM HAROLD: Oh yeah, I’ve heard of The Undertaker, sure.
JOSH: It was like his shadow was standing by my bed, and I’m just frozen, completely frozen. I’m freaked out. I don’t know what’s going on. I’m just sitting there waiting for him to start moving towards me, reach out towards me, something. But he never moved. But I could feel that he was looking at me. I just knew he was looking at me. I don’t know really how long it lasted. It could’ve been 30 seconds, it could’ve been five minutes, I don’t know.
All of a sudden I am able to move again, and I sit up and this guy is just gone. He’s nowhere. I remember thinking to myself, “There’s no way that a guy that big moves that fast and can get out of my room in a split second.” So I get up out of bed and I actually have a door that leads to the back porch, connected to my room – I check that, it’s locked. I check my actual bedroom door, it’s locked. I’m like, okay, something weird is going on.
I think I put on some kind of cartoon or something on my TV just to have a happy vibe because I was very freaked out. I’m sitting on my bed and trying to explain away what I had just seen. I don’t know if I’d read it somewhere or heard it, but a thought popped in my head – sometimes if people wake up with sleep paralysis, they can see things that aren’t there, necessarily. So I was like, “Okay, this has happened a handful of times before. I had never seen anything, but maybe that’s all it was.” It calmed me down enough to where I could actually try to go back to sleep, and eventually I did fall back asleep.
I woke up the next morning and my roommate at the time was already up cooking breakfast and whatnot, so I go sit in the kitchen with him and we’re just chitchatting, not really talking about anything, and all of a sudden he goes, “Hey man, by the way, did you peek into my bedroom last night?” I said, “No, why?” He said, “Sometime a little bit after 3:00, something woke me up. I don’t know what woke me up, but something woke me up and I figured it was one of the kids,” because he had two kids who every other weekend would come stay with us to visit him and whatnot. He would sleep with his door about halfway open so if one of them started crying in the middle of the night or something happened, he could hear them and go check on them.
So he goes to start getting up and go check on the kids, and he realizes, “Oh, both of my kids are already in bed with me.” He looks up towards the door, and he sees this black figure standing in his doorway. He goes, “We stared at each other for a couple seconds, and he turned away and just walked down the hallway. Last night, I figured it was you. Maybe you heard whatever woke me up and came to investigate and poked your head in, no big deal.” He kept cooking and he goes, “Now that I’m thinking about it, there’s no way it was you because this guy was massive. If he wasn’t 7 foot tall, he was close to it.”
He starts to describe him and he said, “You’re going to think I’m a little crazy, but I swear to God, Josh, he looked like The Undertaker.” At this point, I guess he kind of expected me to laugh or whatever because of how silly it sounded. I didn’t make a sound because my jaw was firmly planted in my lap. He had just described to a T what I had seen. He turns around from cooking and he goes, “Hey man, are you okay?” I was like, “Yeah, why?” He goes, “Because you look like you’ve seen a ghost, man. You have no color. What’s up?”
I told him what I saw the night before and he said, “You really saw that?” I said, “Yeah, man, I really saw it, probably about 10 or so minutes before when you said you saw it.” He goes, “You think maybe somebody got in the house somehow and was just being a creeper?” I said, “Man, I highly doubt it because everything’s locked, we have an alarm system.” And even if we didn’t set it, we had creaky floors and the doors were heavy and stuff. We would’ve heard someone come in, especially someone that big.
He looked around and he was like, “Man, what the heck’s in our house?” I said, “I don’t know, but I hope I never see it again.” We talked about it maybe two or three times after that and both just kind of forgot about it, whatever. Then right about the time I started listening to the Campfire, I found an episode on the Hat Man. Like I said, back then I wasn’t really into the paranormal, so I was like, “The Hat Man? That doesn’t sound so scary. I’m gonna listen to that one.” I think it was the first story, or one of the first stories on the episode, where there was this woman somewhere in New York that had seen the Hat Man and had described him exactly as I saw him and exactly as my roommate had seen him.
I got goosebumps. It’s like, okay, maybe it’s just a coincidence, whatever. But that wasn’t the only story on that episode about the Hat Man. It was multiple. And every single one of them was just the same description. I remember – I think I was on the way to work that morning, listening to the podcast, and I could not get that out of my head. Having multiple people all over the country seeing the same thing that I did and my roommate did, there’s no way that there’s not something to that.
JIM HAROLD: Yeah, I think there’s something to it, Josh, I’ve got to tell you. After all these years, it’s something that comes up time and time and time again. Now, ask me what I think it is or do I know what it is? I don’t know what it is. But boy, there’s a lot of consistency there.
JOSH: Yeah, it was creepy, man. Like I said, I hope I never see him again. If I do, it’ll be too soon, man.
JIM HAROLD: Well, for your sake I hope you don’t see him again. If you do, please do let us know. But I hope for your sake you don’t see him again. Josh, thank you so much for sharing this terrifying Campfire story.
JOSH: Yes, sir. No problem. Thanks for having me on.
JIM HAROLD: Jim Harold’s Campfire is brought to you by Grammarly, and I’m so glad to welcome them to the show because I absolutely love Grammarly. Been using it for years. So when they came to me and said, “Hey Jim, we’re interested in being on the shows,” I said, “Great!” because I love this product, I use this product, and I can wholeheartedly endorse it.
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JIM HAROLD: Jamie is on the line from Oklahoma. She says she listens while she’s working; she’s a muralist – that’s a cool job – and we really, really appreciate it. And she has something that we’ve not heard a lot about, and I’m so glad she called in and I’m so fascinated by these stories: possible alien abductions. She’s going to talk to us about it. Jamie, welcome to the program. Thank you for joining us, and please tell us what happened.
JAMIE: Oh my goodness, thank you so much, Jim. This is about my grandfather, and I promise there’s not a lot of setup, but he was a chemical engineer and a very logical guy, probably the smartest man I knew. So I just want to say he was a skeptic in all areas before we get into it.
He had a lot of weird experiences growing up that he eventually came to believe had to do with alien abduction. He had a lot of missing time. Going back to the time he was a teenager, he would have experiences of missing time.
The one time I know about specifically was because my grandmother told me because she and my mom and he were all home one day, and he went out to take the trash out and was gone for several hours. He went out in the morning and didn’t come back in till the afternoon. She thought, “Oh, he’s the type that always has a project going on.” He comes in; she goes, “Oh, Nick, what were you working on?” He’s like, “What are you talking about? I literally just took the trash out and now I’m going to do this other thing.” She said, “No, no, no,” and had to show him the time. He did not believe it. It was a very weird one that stuck in all of their minds because they were all home and all witnessed it. He could not quite piece together what was going on, but he kept having this happen.
Several years later, a movie comes out that I’m sure everybody’s heard of, Close Encounters of the Third Kind. It was one of the first movies that showed the Grey aliens with the alien eyes that are now ubiquitous, they’re everywhere. He went to that movie with my mom, who was a teenager at the time, and had a panic attack in the movie. From that point, he was like, “I have seen this. I know this.” Which was a weird – for him, as such a logical person, he had a hard time coming to grips with that.
But from then, he started looking into alien abductions, and he really believed – and I’m sorry there’s not a whole lot more detail, but he really believed that had happened because he started remembering bits. He actually found this book that was a collection of alien abduction stories, and he was like, “These are things that I have memories of.” But he could never quite explain it. My mom was interested, so she buys the book.
By this time I exist. I’m a toddler, not really talking. But she leaves the book on her bedside table, and every time I see that book, I lose my mind, apparently. I am so terrified. It’s just a picture, a drawing of a Grey alien that an alien abductee drew. And I’m so sorry, I couldn’t find out what the book was called. But my mom tells my grandfather about it, and he’s like, “Just put it away. She has experienced something.” He was convinced for the rest of his life of that.
I never had missing time that I know of. I did have recurring dreams from before I can remember into my teenage years of a little Grey alien, although I didn’t actually realize that that’s what it was. So I don’t know if he was right. I’ve never had anything that I actually remember, but he certainly was committed to this belief and had lots of missing time experiences.
JIM HAROLD: Wow, that’s interesting that maybe it kind of runs in the family.
JAMIE: Yeah, my mom thinks that, and he definitely did think that. And to be frank, I was actually still terrified of that book as a teenager, and now I went looking for it, having not seen it in 20+ years, and I was a little afraid to find the cover, which is silly.
JIM HAROLD: Is it Communion by Whitley Strieber?
JAMIE: It is Communion! That’s it. I knew it started with a “C.” That’s the one.
JIM HAROLD: Yeah, we’ve actually interviewed Whitney Strieber before, a couple of times.
JAMIE: Oh, how fascinating.
JIM HAROLD: Interesting man. The thing that really piqued my interest about this story is when you say your grandfather, very intelligent, very logical, not given to flights of fancy.
JAMIE: Not at all.
JIM HAROLD: But this he absolutely believed in. Now, let me ask you this – and this might be kind of out there, but do you think that his intelligence was linked to this? Somehow because he was intelligent – do you think that played a part?
JAMIE: I actually have wondered that before because like I said, he was a chemical engineer; he testified before Congress multiple times. He was an expert in his field and he was a highly intelligent person from a very young age, and I actually did wonder, are they keeping tabs on really smart people? Like, what is this? I was always curious.
JIM HAROLD: Well, it’s a great story, Jamie. I thank you so much, and thank you so much for being a part of the Campfire.
JAMIE: Thank you. I really appreciate it.
JIM HAROLD: Michelle is on the line from Brooklyn, New York. She found out about the show from Stories With Sapphire. Sapphire does a great job, so if you haven’t checked out her show, please do. Michelle is going to take us back to when she was 11 years old. Michelle, welcome to the show. Thank you for listening. Tell us what happened.
MICHELLE: Thanks, Jim. I grew up in a small town in Michigan, which is where the first parts of my story take place. When I was around 11 years old, I shared a room with my sister, who is four years younger than me. One night, I woke up in the middle of the night to see a girl sitting on the right side of my bed, on the edge of my bed, who I thought was my sister. She looked exactly like my sister. She was the same size, she had the same hair.
I reached out my hand to tap her on the back and ask her what she was doing, and as I was reaching out my hand, before I reached the person, she got up and slowly walked away, and as she walked away, she gradually disappeared.
JIM HAROLD: Oh man.
MICHELLE: I looked to my left, which was where my sister’s bed was, and she was in her bed, sleeping. I thought to myself, “What did I just see? Was it a ghost? Was it my sister astral projecting?” Because it looked just like her. I was a little scared, but I also thought it was really interesting because I’ve been fascinated with the paranormal ever since I was really young.
JIM HAROLD: But as you said, that wasn’t the only time, right?
MICHELLE: It wasn’t the only time. Not long after that, I was not that much older and I still shared a room with my sister – I saw the same girl on the left side of my bed, standing on the edge of my bed. Again, I don’t know if I mentioned this the first time, but both times she was looking away from me. I saw her from behind. I noticed this time that she was wearing an outfit that my sister had. She had on yellow jeans and a white shirt with ruffles on the sleeves. I’m pretty sure she was wearing something different the first time, but I don’t remember what she was wearing. But I think it’s interesting that she looked just like my sister and was wearing the same clothes. Maybe it was my sister astral projecting.
But the same kind of thing happened to me years later, and it was in a different location and it was a different person. When I was in my mid-twenties and I was traveling in Tenerife, which is one of the Canary Islands in Spain, with my boyfriend at the time, we were staying in an Airbnb. I woke up in the middle of the night and, again, just like the first time I saw that girl, I saw someone sitting on the edge of the right side of the bed, facing away from me. It was on my boyfriend’s side of the bed. But this time it was a man, and he looked to be in his late forties or early fifties. He had really short hair. It looked like he had shaved his head and then the hair grew out a little bit. He was medium build. He was wearing a fleece zip-up sweater type thing. Just like with the girl the first time, he didn’t get up and walk away, but he did gradually disappear as I was looking at him.
JIM HAROLD: Oh man. So it was a different person, but the same visual kind of experience.
MICHELLE: Yeah. And when I told my boyfriend about it the next morning, he said that that description matched up with his uncle, who had passed away when my boyfriend was around 19 years old. They were close. My boyfriend was close with that uncle. Another interesting thing is that he passed away when he was around 49 years old, which is around the age of the man that I saw.
JIM HAROLD: That’s interesting. That’s really interesting. I’ve got to believe, Michelle, you must be more sensitive to these kinds of things than the average person.
MICHELLE: I think so. I haven’t had many experiences with seeing spirits. Other than this I haven’t seen any, but I have to admit hat I sometimes wake up in the middle of the night and I ask that I don’t see anything because I’m too afraid to see it.
JIM HAROLD: I can understand that, for sure.
MICHELLE: But I have had some dreams that were precognitive or matched up with things that I shouldn’t have known, or sometimes know things before they happen. Things like that.
JIM HAROLD: You say you’ve only had those experiences, but those are three pretty remarkable experiences.
MICHELLE: Yeah. I guess seeing a spirit is pretty intense.
JIM HAROLD: Indeed. Well, Michelle, thank you so much for sharing your story on the Campfire. I appreciate it. Stay spooky.
MICHELLE: Thanks. Stay spooky.
JIM HAROLD: This show is sponsored by BetterHelp, and we’re so glad to have them with us. When you’re at your best, you can do great things, but you know, sometimes life gets you bogged down and you may feel overwhelmed or like you’re not showing up in the way that you want to. And that’s where BetterHelp can come in and help you. Working with a therapist can help get you closer to the best version of you.
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You’re listening to Jim Harold’s Campfire.
JIM HAROLD: Ashley is on the line from my favorite state, O-H-I-O! We’re so glad to talk with her. She’s going to tell us a story about a ghost cat. So glad to have her on the line. Ashley, tell us about a ghost cat.
ASHLEY: Hi, Jim. It’s two ghost cats, to be precise, one of them slightly more legitimate than the other. [laughs] It will make more sense. The first one, I was in early elementary school and my mother had a lovely Siamese cat. She’s adopted it when she graduated nursing school, so she’d had the cat my whole life. I was an only child, so that cat was my BFF. Very sweet cat. The poor thing just tolerated everything I did. Even let me dress it up in baby doll clothes. She was a wonderful companion.
I was just devastated when she eventually did pass away from old age. She had a long, lovely life, but she was my buddy and I was bummed out. A few months went by, and I was home sick. Nothing traumatic; just a run-of-the-mill virus, cold and a fever kind of thing. Whenever I got to stay home sick, my mom let me sleep in her bed because it was bigger and she had a TV in there. So I was all snuggled up in her bed, just feeling not great and missing my little buddy, because she always hung out with me when I didn’t feel good. I think she had that sixth sense that I wasn’t in my best place, and she would keep me company. I was just not feeling great.
I just woke up from a nap and was feeling a little fuzzy, but I knew I wasn’t dreaming, and I knew I wasn’t having such a high fever that I was hallucinating or something like that. I was definitely aware enough that I was thinking, “Oh, I’m kind of hungry. I maybe want some toast because my stomach’s upset. I could go for some toast.” I was sitting there thinking, “Oh man, I don’t want to get out of bed and get my mom, but I want some toast.”
I was sitting there trying to decide if I wanted to get up or not when out of the corner of my eye, I see something on my mom’s desk. As you know, cats love to be up high. They like to be up on their perch, surveying their territory. I see the silhouette of a cat. At first I don’t think anything of it because that’s where my mom’s cat, Mao, loved to hang out: up on her desk, up on her filing cabinet. I look over and I’m like, “Oh, there’s Mao,” and then I have that realization, “Mao is gone.”
I should’ve been freaked out, but instead I had this warm feeling wash over me. I was staring right at her, just awestruck, like, “Am I really seeing this?” And then as I’m staring at her, she got fuzzy and the silhouette slowly faded away. I know I wasn’t dreaming, and I know I wasn’t feverish. I just really, truly believe that that was my buddy coming to comfort me one last time.
JIM HAROLD: That is so neat. That is such a great story. I just had this conversation with a guest last night that’ll be on the Paranormal Podcast, Leslie Ruhl, who’s a great author. We talked about pets, and I believe pets have souls. I believe they have real, humanlike connections with us, and I believe that they can come back and make themselves known. And that’s what seems to have happened to you. What a fantastic story. I love it. And you have another cat ghost story, right? Kind of, sort of? [laughs]
ASHLEY: I do. It’s sort of a Part 2. [laughs] Sort of a spiritual successor, I guess. Fast forward maybe a year, and I’m having a slumber party with my best friend, Heather. We have since adopted a new kitten; her name is Taffy. At this point my friend Heather and I were very into spooky stuff. We are really into the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark books. That just got turned into a movie I think a year or two ago. And the local book Haunted Ohio by Chris Woodyard, if you’re familiar with her book.
JIM HAROLD: Yep, I’ve got it right there on the shelf, and she’s been on the shows.
ASHLEY: Oh, I love her. We were obsessed with her stories, too. My house at the time happened to be a block or two down from a cemetery, so we thought we were like cool ghost hunters, and we would go down there and look at all the old gravestones and do the crayon rubbings. So we were into all that stuff at that age.
We were down in the basement, just living our best ’80s kid life, eating Doritos and drinking too much Mountain Dew and staying up late reading all these spooky books. We finally decided we should probably try to get some sleep. We’d been doing the whole “light as a feather or stiff as a board” game. We were thoroughly freaked out, but we were like, “Okay, it’s super late, we should try to go to sleep.”
We’re just lying there in our sleeping bags on the floor in the basement, in the dark, trying to sleep. And out of nowhere, we hear the most bloodcurdling, hair-raising scream, and we shoot up out of our sleeping bags. The first thought we have is, “Oh my gosh, it’s a ghost. It’s the spirit of my dead cat.” I don’t know why that was the first thing we thought it was. Probably because that was my only experience with death I’d ever had at that point in my life. We’re just like, “Aaah!” Like a cartoon, just tear butt up the stairs as fast as we can run.
We go flying into my dad’s room, talking a mile a minute, like the crazy girls we are, “There’s a ghost in the basement! We’re gonna die!” My dad’s half-asleep, he doesn’t know what’s going on. So he’s stumbling out of the room in his underpants with a baseball bat because he knows we’re upset and he heard a noise, too, but he doesn’t really know what’s going on and he’s thinking maybe somebody tried to break in. He doesn’t know. He was like, “Girls, stay up here. Stay behind me. I’ll go check it out.”
He goes downstairs and he’s turning on the lights as he goes, and he’s got his baseball bat in front of him. Of course, we didn’t stay upstairs. We’re like right behind him, Scooby Doo style, creeping behind him. We go downstairs and he’s turning on the lights, he’s looking, and all of a sudden he just stops, and you see the tension relax out of his shoulders. He turns and looks at us and gives us this look like, “You ding-a-lings.” He turns back, and he turns on all the lights and he’s like, “C’mere.” We’re like, “Ehh…” He’s like, “No, come here.” We hear more noises, but not as loud as before. He’s like, “Come here.”
We go around the corner into the basement, into the side where the washing machine and his workroom is, not the side we were sleeping in. And up in the window – you know those little half-windows you have in basements? – is our new kitten, all puffed up in the window, just screeching and screaming like a banshee at another cat that’s outside. She was just all ticked off about another cat in her new territory. [laughs]
JIM HAROLD: There you go.
ASHLEY: And that’s what we heard, her just doing her screeching and howling. We thought we were dead. We thought it was a ghost and we were dead.
JIM HAROLD: Well, I think both stories indicate something very true: sometimes a ghost is really a ghost, and sometimes a ghost is just a mad cat.
ASHLEY: Sometimes it is. [laughs]
JIM HAROLD: Ashley, thank you so much for sharing this great Campfire story – two of them, actually – and stay spooky.
ASHLEY: Stay spooky, Jim.
JIM HAROLD: Next up is Carson from California. You’ll remember he was on a few weeks ago and had an amazing story, and he’s going to take us back to a hot day in the desert when he almost ran out of gas and what happened. Carson, welcome back to the show. Thank you for joining us, and tell us about this experience.
CARSON: I live in California, LA, and one of the places people go for getaways here is Joshua Tree National Park, which is a notoriously spooky, vast desert park where there’s a lot of UFO sightings and people even go out there to look for UFOs, though I didn’t see a UFO. What happened to me was I had just gone through a bad breakup and I was in those depths, real bummed out, so I go, “Okay, I’ll take a couple days in the desert by myself.” I rent an Airbnb out there and stay at a house. Of course, wherever you go, there you are, and I was still completely bummed out when I got there. [laughs]
Feeling sorry for myself, I decided to come home a little early, but I’m looking at the map and I go, “I know what I’ll do. I’ll take the long way out. I’ll go all the way through the park to the 10 freeway,” which would take me back home. It was maybe a 60-mile drive through the desert from where I was at. I had what seemed about 60 miles in my tank, and I thought, “Once I get to the highway, there’s going to be a gas station, so I’ll go this way.”
Long story short, I’m on this highway, winding my way through the beautiful desert, and my gas light comes on, which means I have about 15 miles. And by my estimation – the GPS isn’t great out there, so I was like, “I think I’m about 15 from the freeway. If I can just get to that freeway, I’ll be totally fine.” I have that as my goal in my mind, and I’m white-knuckling it, stressing out, and the gas is getting lower and lower.
But then I see it: the 10 freeway. However, there are no gas stations there where it connects to this desert road, and in both directions – I can see very, very far, 20 miles in each direction, and there is no gas station. I’m on fumes at this point, and I go, “Oh my God, what am I going to do? I’m going to be stuck out here.” I’m going through all that in my mind. And actually, it wasn’t even the 10 freeway, come to think of it. It was a much less traveled freeway, so there weren’t even a lot of cars. I didn’t even know if hitchhiking was going to be a possibility.
As I approach this highway, I look to my right and there’s an unmarked white truck, like a big moving truck. There’s nothing on it. The thing’s completely like this beacon there, very weird. I pull over and I go, “You know what? I guess I’ll ask these guys if they have gas.” It looks like a diesel truck. What are the odds they’re going to have gas for a car? But I go, “I’ll give it a shot.”
I go and I knock on the door of this truck, and there’s two older Latino guys driving, both of them wearing completely white jumpsuits, also unmarked. Very strange. I say, “Hey guys, I’m sorry to bother you, but I’m out of gas. Would you by chance have any gas?” The driver looks to the guy in the passenger’s seat and says, “Gasoline, gasoline.” He’s got a really thick accent. Clearly he’s from South America. Didn’t seem to speak great English. He goes, “Gasoline, gasoline, hmm, gasoline.” The guy in the passenger seat kind of shrugs. It seemed really genuine, like they didn’t know if they had gasoline or not.
Then he goes, “Come on, let’s take a look.” He hops down out of the truck, walks around to the back, opens it up, and I kid you not, Jim, there is nothing but gas cans in the truck. Like, laid out in a pattern, just like on a chessboard, like 12 x 12, gas cans. I’m like, “What? This is the weirdest thing ever.” He takes the gas out, walks to my car, puts in a gallon or two. I try to pay him; he won’t take money. I had just made these little sculptures in a ceramics class I was taking and I tried to give him a sculpture. He wouldn’t take it.
He put the gas in my car, hopped back in his truck. I said, “What are you guys doing out here, anyway? Why are you waiting right here?” He goes, “We’re waiting for gasoline. We need gasoline. We ran out.” I go, “Okay.” [laughs] I got back in my car and I drove away. It wasn’t till later that I was like, “I think that might’ve been an angel encounter.” It just was so weird.
JIM HAROLD: It’s interesting. There have been multiple accounts on this show of people encountering white trucks when in some kind of trouble, and people dressed in white. It’s happened more than once.
We had a woman whose car broke down rescued by a man who was dressed in white, but his car was a Jeep. I don’t think it was at all white. In fact, she said it was kind of cluttered because she got a ride with him to go get a part or something, a belt or something. Then another gentleman who had an unfortunate car accident with his family, he saw a white rig there and a man who came out – I can’t remember if the man was dressed in white. I think there’s been at least one other story that’s involved a white car of some type and almost like an angel type interaction. I don’t know if you know that, Carson, but similar things have been reported on the shows before. I think these things happen.
CARSON: Yeah, that’s really wild. I didn’t know. I’ve heard a lot of stories about being saved by random entities and people that kind of disappear, but I didn’t know about them wearing white, the white thing.
JIM HAROLD: Let me ask you this – and I don’t want to bring up something that might be somewhat distressing, but I guess I’m going to bring it up anyway. Do you think there’s any possibility, had you run out of gas – do you think you would’ve been okay? Or were you so much in the desert that it could’ve literally killed you?
CARSON: I don’t know. Yeah, people die out there all the time doing dumb stuff like I did. [laughs]
JIM HAROLD: That’s what I was going to say. The desert is nothing to play around with, and if you don’t have water and you don’t have – the desert, as I understand it, gets very cold at night, and people will go walking, thinking that they can make it someplace and they can’t. I’m just wondering if possibly this was something sent to literally save your life.
CARSON: Yeah, I’ll never know. I’ve since had so many angel encounters, and some of them are really intense, and I don’t even know if they’re stories I’m ready to tell yet. But I’ve had more. I have a shorter one if you want to hear it.
JIM HAROLD: We actually are about out of time for this call, Carson, but I’d love for you to call back next time and share that with us because I want to give it its full attention. Carson, thank you so much for being a part of the show. Look forward to hearing from you soon and getting more of those angel stories.
CARSON: Right on. Thanks, Jim.
JIM HAROLD: Natasha is on the line from Minnesota. We’re so glad to have her with us, and she’s going to take us to the time when she was very, very young and she started staying at her great-grandma’s house. I’ll let her tell the rest. Natasha, welcome to the show. Tell us what happened.
NATASHA: All right, Jim. When I was about four or five, I started staying at my great-grandma’s on Wednesday nights. Mom had something going on, so I got to hang out with Great-Grandma. Every time when I would go to bed, I would get to where I didn’t want to go to bed by myself, so Grandma would lie down with me for a little bit and make sure I fell asleep. Eventually I would fall asleep.
About 2:00 or 2:30 in the morning, every time, I would wake up and I would see this dark figure, like a shadow figure, walking from one end of the house, directly to the room that I was in. I think I was more scared because I was so little and it was dark, it was late, and I was by myself. But I’ve heard a lot of people talking about this Hat Man on your podcast lately, and I was like, I need to tell this story. I don’t know if it’s any relation to the other ones or not.
But yeah, every time from about the time I was four until I was probably 14 or 15, I would see this man. He would walk into the room and just stand at the foot of the bed. He had on – I always described it as a bowler’s hat. It wasn’t like a top hat, but it was more rounded.
JIM HAROLD: Yeah, I know what they are. Wow.
NATASHA: And then he would have a suit and a trench coat on. Sometimes I would jump up and out of bed and run past him to the bathroom door, which was just around the corner, and I would flip on the light. I would look right at him and he would kind of disappear up, if that makes sense. Sometimes he would do a little wave of his hand, and that kind of scared me.
JIM HAROLD: Oh man, so he would wave and then disappear.
NATASHA: Yeah, almost acknowledging that I was turning the light on because I wanted him to disappear.
JIM HAROLD: Oh man.
NATASHA: Then after that, I would go into my grandma’s room. She always validated that. She believed me, and she thought that I was telling the truth, whereas everybody else thought that I was a kid and I was just scared to sleep by myself, so I was making up this story.
A couple times I tested it to see what would happen if I just lay in my bed and covered my head with my blankets – because you know, those protect you. He would just stand there for a while, watching me. He never got close, he didn’t touch me. Just stood there watching for a while, and then he would turn around and walk out the door.
JIM HAROLD: When was the last time you saw him? You said that once you went to your house, you saw him later, but less often, if I remember correctly. When was the last time you saw him?
NATASHA: The last time I saw him, we had just moved out to a farmhouse, and I was about 21, I think. I was standing in the kitchen doing dishes. It was probably between 10:00 and 11:00 at night, and I happened to be looking out my kitchen window – looking out the window, you could see the other house next door where my brother lived. I looked into the window right across from there and I saw this shadow figure standing in the window of what would’ve been my nephew’s bedroom at the time.
JIM HAROLD: Oh my gosh.
NATASHA: Yeah. I’m like, “This is not happening. It’s been how many years?” I called for my boyfriend at the time. I’m like, “You need to come see this.” He’s like, “Okay.” He comes in and he looks and he sees the same thing.
JIM HAROLD: Wow.
NATASHA: I was like, “I need somebody else to see this because then I’m not making it up, it’s not in my head.” But since then I have not seen him. Actually, right after I submitted my story to you guys, I had weird things happen in my house. I’ve lived there for a year now and nothing has ever happened. I’ve never even felt like I was being watched in my house. And a bunch of weird stuff started happening, so I’m like, maybe they’re just mad because I’m telling my story or something. I don’t know.
JIM HAROLD: Oh my. I appreciate you telling it because I think it’s important for other people who have experienced to hear, the way it’s been important for you to hear the experiences of others. So I really appreciate you sharing that story. No idea of who this Hat Man calls back to or represents, nothing like that? You just know what happened, but you don’t have any idea of the genesis of it, do you?
NATASHA: I don’t. When I told my mom about it, at first she didn’t believe me, and then I told her about the hat and she said, “Maybe it’s my grandpa,” which would be my great-grandpa. I said, “I never met him.” She goes, “He used to wear a hat like that.” I’m like, I don’t know, it seems weird that he would only come to me when I didn’t know him. So that’s the only thing I got out of it.
JIM HAROLD: Very interesting indeed, Natasha. Thank you so much for sharing your story tonight and being a part of the Campfire.
NATASHA: Thank you, Jim.
JIM HAROLD: Thanks for tuning in to another edition of Jim Harold’s Campfire. We currently have submissions open and we’re getting a lot of them. But if you want to tell your story, go to jimharold.com/campfire and sign up, and we will be in touch.
Also, we have a Spooky Shoutout. We haven’t had one for a while. Happy birthday to Sarah over in the UK! She is a big fan of the shows, and we certainly appreciate it. Sarah, I believe your birthday has passed, but I hope that you have the best one ever. As I seem to recall, you’ve turned 32. Wow, what a great age. 32, you’re very, very young, but you have some wisdom from the world and living. It’s like the perfect age. So again, happy birthday to you, Sarah, and thanks for all your support.
We love to do these audio shoutouts, but you can kick it up a notch if you want your very own video shoutout. There’s a great way to do it: go over to cameo.com/thejimharold. That’s cameo.com/thejimharold, and I will do a personalized video for you or your loved one. People seem to love it. We’ve got great reviews over there. We try to keep it affordable. So I hope you’ll check it out because it does support our free shows. Cameo.com/thejimharold.
Also, don’t forget to check out my new weekly livestream. This’ll be the third week tomorrow that we do the livestream. It’s at 12:30 Eastern on YouTube. It’s called Jim Harold Live, and we do a Campfire story, we do some paranormal news, we have a special guest, and we have a Question of the Week for the audience. It’s a lot of fun. People are enjoying it, and I hope you’ll tune in. And if you’re listening on Thursday the 19th, tomorrow on Friday the 20th, it will be there 12:30 Eastern. The plan is to have that continuing every Friday at 12:30 Eastern. So if indeed you listen to this after this next broadcast, just check in every week. YouTube.com/jimharold, and you should be able to sign up and get notifications when we go live every week.
Thank you so much. We’ll talk to you next time. Have a great week, everybody, and as always, stay safe and stay spooky. Bye-bye.
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