A grandmother protects her family against a very strange spectre, a haunted house, multiple haunted apartments, and more on this edition of 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 and so glad to be with you once again. If you are new here, this is the place to find real stories of the strange, the paranormal, the supernatural, told by everyday folks, real people. Could be UFOs, could be cryptid creatures, could be ghosts, or my favorite, headscratchers – but whatever they are, they are real. Welcome to the show. We certainly appreciate it. We’re going to start off today with a story about a haunted hand. Enjoy.
Chloe is on the line from Idaho, and I don’t know if you’re like me, but you’ve had the experience of maybe living in an apartment just starting out that maybe was not the best. Chloe had that experience, but there was a whole other layer to it she’s going to tell us about. Chloe, welcome to the show, thank you for joining us, and please tell us what happened.
CHLOE: Thank you. This story starts in 2020. It was right after the pandemic started, so everyone was staying inside, which I was doing with my roommates. I had two girls I lived with at the time in northern Idaho. We lived in a really weird, quirky town, and we lived in a really small old house at the time. We were surrounded on all sides by stores and gas stations, and our house was falling apart. We had this weird room that said “Do not enter” on the door. We never really felt quite at home in our apartment or in the city in general.
This one night in particular, it was a really hot night, so we had come in, and we didn’t have A/C in the apartment except for this main big room. This big room had everything connected to it, so there was a hallway in the back where there were two bedrooms and a bathroom, and there was a kitchen to the side. So anywhere you were in this room, you could basically see every door of the house.
It was a long night, a hot night, so we were sitting on the floor, me and my friend. Our other roommate was taking a shower at the time. I can’t remember exactly what I was doing at the time. I was either on my phone or reading something – I can’t remember, but just mindlessly doing something – and our roommate’s taking a shower. We could see the bathroom door. She all of a sudden screamed from the shower and she said, “Hold on one minute!” The walls were very thin in this place. It was a very old house. We heard her push the shower curtain to the side, jump out of the shower, run to the door, and then you could hear her unlock the bathroom and then run back in and close the shower curtain, and she screamed, “Come on in!”
I remember at the time I didn’t think much about this. I was like, “Oh, she must’ve heard something. “We didn’t think about it. We just chuckled to ourselves and kept doing what we were doing, sitting on the floor. Time passes, she finishes up her shower, and she opens up the door and stands in the hallway. She looks at us and she says, “Oh, by the way, who came in to use the bathroom when I was in the shower?” Me and my friend on the floor were like, “No one. We thought you might’ve heard something.”
JIM HAROLD: Oh boy. [laughs]
CHLOE: She was like, “You guys are messing with me. Who came in?” We went back and forth for a while, trying to tell each other, “No, this isn’t a joke. No one came in,” and she thought we were joking. But then I think we had this realization at the same time that we were both telling the truth, because me and my roommate didn’t even stand up, we didn’t even move around the apartment. We had been sitting on the floor the entire time, facing that door. No one got up, no one knocked at the door, no one opened the door. We just heard her get out of the shower.
JIM HAROLD: That is weird.
CHLOE: I’d been living with these girls for a while, so I was very good at reading their emotions and seeing what they were feeling, and my roommate that had just taken the shower, I could tell she was very disturbed all of a sudden and very concerned. She turned to us and she said, “Well, if you didn’t come into the bathroom, someone came in.” She relayed the story to us. She said she was taking a shower – and this particular roommate had awful vision. She couldn’t see very well, so when she took off her glasses, she already couldn’t see, and then we didn’t have a shower curtain at the time; it was just the liner. It was like the blurry, fuzzy kind of liner. So that on top of not being able to see, she really couldn’t make out a lot of definition.
So she was sitting in the shower and she heard a very distinct knock on the bathroom door. Very loud knock, very distinct, and a very violent shake of the door handle. She thought it was one of us and we really had to go to the bathroom, so she jumped out, said, “Hold on a minute,” unlocked the door, got back in, and said “Come in.” Which was exactly what we heard from outside the door. But she said from her point of view that as soon as she said “Come on in,” the door opened up and someone came in. It was a black figure. She didn’t pay much attention to it. She thought it was us. Black figure came in, did something in the bathroom, walked around for a bit, left, didn’t say anything, and closed the door. She didn’t think much about it. But she was 100% positive someone came in and used the bathroom, and I could tell she wasn’t lying. I was very good at reading her, but she was 100% telling the truth.
That freaked us out because we’re sitting here thinking, “We were sitting here. We didn’t see anything happen. We saw the door the whole time. But then our roommate thinks that she’s seeing things now, and she can’t explain what just happened to her, but she knows that she saw someone come in and use the bathroom.” So we were all very on edge for a few days.
Throughout the next week or so, we started having electricity issues, all of a sudden. And it was only in that hallway where the bathroom was. The lights would go out and then it would start flickering, and then it would come back. Then we would randomly start hearing knocking. And it wasn’t like a sound of something falling over and hitting the wall; it was a very distinct “knock, knock, knock” kind of noise. It sounded like someone was knocking on a door, trying to come in. It was freaking us out. None of us felt very comfortable in this house anymore, and it was getting worse and worse every day. I think we all tried to rationalize it, like, “It’s just an old house, it’s nothing. Maybe it was just the electricity.”
One day, a week or two later, it was the middle of the day and I was sitting with my same roommate that was the one that took the shower in this big room. We were facing this hallway where it had the bathroom door. I can’t remember what I was doing again, but I was in that deep concentration where you zone off into the distance and you’re not paying attention much. I zoned off to this same hallway, and out of nowhere, this black figure appeared and walked across the hallway and just disappeared as soon as it came.
JIM HAROLD: Yikes.
CHLOE: It was one of those moments in my life where immediately in my head, I was like, “What was that?” I couldn’t explain it. I had no idea what it was. I started thinking, “What could that have been? Maybe I just made it up in my mind, I don’t know.” My roommate that had been sitting next to me, while I’m running through my mind all these different things, I looked over to her and she had a look on her face – probably the look that I had on my face, like she was in deep thought, trying to figure something out.
I turn to her and I’m like, “Did you see that, by chance?” She started nodding her head. She pointed at the same hallway and we finished each other’s sentences, and she said, “Yeah, the black figure.” We both saw it. It appeared and it walked by. The best way I can describe it is it was kind of like a shadow of a person would look like. It wasn’t a full person, but just a black outline of what a person would be. She said it was the same exact way that it looked the other day when she was taking a shower. So that same black figure appeared and walked past the hallway and then disappeared.
It’s still something to this day that I can’t explain. I have no idea what it is, but we moved a few weeks later. We didn’t feel very safe there. We had no issues after we left. I’ve had nothing after that few weeks that happened. But that was our weird little crazy house in Idaho where we had those interesting experiences.
JIM HAROLD: That is really weird. Now, let me ask you, have you developed any theories since then? Do you think it was maybe just a replay, that you were seeing replays of the past, people walking through the place? Or do you think it was a sentient, active haunting that was aware of your presence?
CHLOE: I don’t really know. I haven’t thought super in-depth about it because if I think about it, I start to question everything. But I feel like it was definitely more of a presence. Maybe not a replay. Because I feel like after the shower, everything felt different, kind of like we weren’t alone. But we always just assumed it was some sort of presence, and we didn’t want to mess with it anymore.
JIM HAROLD: I can’t blame you. I think I would be out of there. We get people on this show who say, “I’ve got haunted locations, I’ll go into it and I love it! It’s great!” And I’m like, eh, I don’t know. I’m a big chicken. [laughs]
CHLOE: Yeah, we were happy to leave. We were happy to get a new apartment. [laughs]
JIM HAROLD: I guess if it were a friendly ghost, but that seems slightly ominous. Chloe, thank you so much for sharing this story. I appreciate it. I’m not sure if I mentioned, but your mom and your sister told you about the show, right? Correct?
CHLOE: Yes, they did.
JIM HAROLD: Donna and Hannah. So Donna and Hannah, thank you so much for referring Chloe to the show to share this great story, and stay spooky. And Chloe, you stay spooky too, and thank you for being a part of the Campfire.
CHLOE: Thank you so much.
JIM HAROLD: Next up on the Campfire is Abdullah from New York, and we’re so glad to have him on the line. He said that he’s been listening to us for a while and the show kept him company during the pandemic. And if we could do that for anybody, we’re really happy that we were able to help in some tiny, very, very small way. He has a couple of stories in the memory of his grandmother, and they occur in Pakistan. As I was telling Abdullah, I love the international representation, and I love to get these stories, particularly from the Middle East, because we don’t get a lot of stories from that area of the world, so I’m really excited to hear these. Abdullah, welcome to the show. Thank you for joining us, and tell us what happened.
ABDULLAH: Thank you for having me, Jim. Yes, as you mentioned, these stories are in the memory of my grandmother, and it was actually her second death anniversary yesterday.
JIM HAROLD: I’m sorry.
ABDULLAH: Thank you. But timing works perfectly. As I might have written to you, she’s one of the bravest women I know, so this is indeed in her memory. Two short stories here, Jim.
The first one is quite famous in our family, and it’s the first one that I heard about my grandmother as a child. This story takes place somewhere in the early ’70s. My grandmother had a large family, and she was orphaned at a young age, so when she got married, she took in quite a few people from her family who needed help at different times. Just to give you a little bit of setting. At this particular time when this incident took place, it was just my grandmother, her children, and a few other relatives living with them, who all happened to be women, by the way. So it was all women at home, and it’s the middle of the night. My grandfather was in the military, so he was away, so all women at home at this point.
My grandmother woke up in the middle of the night to go use the restroom, and as she’s making her way from her bedroom down to the restroom, she sees through the window that there is someone who is sitting on their boundary wall and smoking. If you’re not familiar with how houses are in Southeast Asia or Asia in general, we don’t have fences; we usually have boundary walls.
It was very weird to her, and she immediately became very irate because she thought that someone was either planning on breaking in or was a vagrant just sitting there smoking a cigarette, and she immediately felt very overprotective because it was all women in the house. She was like, “I’m going to go and teach this guy a lesson.” So she picks up a walking stick that she had in the house and she goes out and she’s yelling at this guy and cursing, and she’s like, “I’m going to teach you a lesson!”
As she walks up to the boundary wall, she realizes that there is not a person or not a guy there; it’s just a hand holding a cigarette.
JIM HAROLD: Ooh, whoa.
ABDULLAH: The way she described it was that the hand was where it would be if it was actually attached to a person, so that’s why from far away she thought there was a person sitting there. But my grandmother was not frightened in the least; she in fact became even more angry. [laughs] She yelled at whoever or whatever that was and told him that if he ever comes back, she will beat him with the stick that she’s holding. And the hand slowly started to disappear.
JIM HAROLD: [laughs] I love the fact she stood up to it.
ABDULLAH: Yeah, absolutely. She was not having any of it. A few days later, one of my grandmother’s very close friends was visiting her, and she told him about what had happened, and he immediately turned ghost-white. He then told her that one day he was coming back from work late at night, and he was really tired and he saw in the shadow of a building what looked like a guy standing there smoking. He immediately felt the urge to smoke – he was a smoker – but didn’t have a cigarette on him. So he stopped close enough to the person and said, “Would you have a cigarette that you could share?”
This guy walked up to him, and when he looked closely, it was just the hand holding a cigarette. He did not have the same reaction as my grandmother; he immediately rolled up his window, stepped on the gas, and immediately sped away.
JIM HAROLD: Whoa.
ABDULLAH: Yeah, but amazingly, no one in that neighborhood where my grandmother lived ever saw that hand again. It was just her and her friend who had experienced it. But they never heard any stories about it afterwards.
JIM HAROLD: That is incredible. The guts to chase it away – and then the fact of what’s the deal with this disembodied hand? And I’ve heard that before, disembodied legs. It’s just a very, very weird thing. But your grandma had had some prior experience, and this next story goes back to the mid-’60s, right?
ABDULLAH: That’s correct. My grandmother has had quite a few experiences with the paranormal, Jim, and maybe in a future episode I can tell you some more stories. But you’re right, the next place takes place somewhere in the mid-’60s. After my grandmother had her first child, which was my eldest aunt, she went back to her village to visit some extended family. Back in the ’60s, the villages didn’t really have paved roads running all the way to them, so they were a bit remote and you had to travel quite a bit to get to them. It’s not the case today anymore, but certainly back in the ’60s.
My grandmother had been there for about a week. On her way back, because there was no way to travel between the village and the bus stop that took you back to the city, most people in the village would ride on horseback. So my grandmother, holding my aunt in this baby carrier, accompanied by a cousin of hers, they were traveling back towards the bus station so that she could come back to the city. It was around 2 p.m. – and Jim, if you’re not familiar with summer and afternoons in Pakistan or India or that region, they’re extremely hot. Usually there’s not a soul outside during that time because it’s just so extremely hot. This particular area was known during the summer to get really, really hot.
So they’re on horseback, out in the middle of nowhere, there’s nothing for miles and they’re on horseback, and after 15 minutes, this really, really old woman that my grandmother described as like a hag appears out of nowhere. They’re on horseback and she’s walking beside them. She says to my grandmother, “Your child is adorable.” As any mother would react, she said, “Thank you” and smiled, and they kept going along. Then the woman’s like, “Can you tell me her name?” My grandmother was about to, but her cousin nodded at her and said, “Don’t say anything,” so she didn’t. She just smiled and they kept trotting along. Then the woman asked again and said, “Your child is beautiful. Can you please tell me her name?” My grandmother wouldn’t.
Long story short, it got to a point where this woman started to get more and more desperate, and she was like, “Can you please tell me her name? Can you please tell me her name?” and my grandmother wouldn’t. They sped up a little bit. And again, as my grandmother said, this woman was very old. She was like 98 or 100 years old, out in the middle of nowhere. So they sped up, and there was no way this woman would’ve been able to keep up with them; however, she did. She’s now starting to get more and more desperate. She’s really clinging on to their horse. My grandmother’s surprised, like, “How is she able to do this?” She’s begging and asking for the name.
Eventually, they sped up even more and they’re really galloping at this point on horseback, and my grandmother said that she turned back and they had left this woman quite a bit in the distance. She could see her shrinking in the distance. And then the next second, my grandmother looks and she’s right beside her.
JIM HAROLD: Oh man.
ABDULLAH: My grandmother’s like, “There’s no way – we’re galloping on our horses,” and by this time this woman is way more desperate and she’s begging and pleading my grandmother. She’s like, “Please, please tell me this child’s name.” She’s like, “For God’s sake, please tell me this child’s name. In the name of whoever you love, please tell me this child’s name. I must know this child’s name. You have to.” They’re galloping and galloping.
This continued on until they were within proximity of the bus station, where you could see the buses coming and going and you could see people, and the woman disappeared immediately. For miles, there was nothing, Jim. It was all open land and there was no way this woman could just disappear into nothing, but she did.
My grandmother later on asked her cousin, “What was this?” She asked why she told her not to tell my aunt’s name, like “What was this?” He told her they had heard stories and other people had experienced that this woman comes out of nowhere, and people who are traveling, she’ll either try to trick them or deceive them in some way, but particularly if you’re traveling with a child, she’ll try to ask for the child’s name for whatever reason. Her cousin believed it was something to do with black magic, but we don’t know. But that was her cousin’s take on it, and apparently other people in the area had seen this woman as well.
JIM HAROLD: Very, very strange indeed. It seems like your grandmother, first of all, was a very brave and strong woman, and also she was kind of tuned in to the other side.
ABDULLAH: Yes, absolutely, Jim. It’s funny. We would laugh that people experience one or two things in their lifetime with the paranormal; with my grandmother, it was like from the age of 14 to a few years before she passed away, she was always experiencing something. Not always negative, but she really was in touch with the other side, or the paranormal side.
JIM HAROLD: We look forward to hearing more. Abdullah, thank you for joining us today on the Campfire.
ABDULLAH: Thank you very much for having me, Jim.
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JIM HAROLD: Next up on the show is Rachel. She says she has a lot of paranormal stories, but this one is her absolute favorite. Goes back to her teenage years. She’s joining us from England. She’s a brand-new listener, just started this month, and we appreciate it. Rachel, welcome to the show and tell us this story.
RACHEL: Hi, Jim. Thanks so much for having me. This happened between the ages of about 14 and 16. At this time, I had quite a lot of paranormal activity going on at this point in my life anyway. This particular spirit that I’m going to tell you about didn’t make himself known properly until a little bit further along. That’s why it’s the span between two years. Things started small. My house itself wasn’t haunted. I think things were gravitating towards me because, like I said, there was quite a lot going on at that particular time.
The first time it was noticeable was I got woken up in the middle of the night. I was dead asleep, and I got woken up as if someone had shaken me awake. Not the bed, but me, myself, had been shaken. I woke up really disoriented. I’m looking around the room, there’s nothing there. At the time I lived with my mum and my sister, so I went out into the hallway and I was like, “Who’s woken me up and why?” My mum and my sister were looking at each other like, “What’s she talking about?” I think that made me a bit frightened because they looked at each other as if to say, “Is she okay?” I didn’t think anything of it. I thought I’d probably just had a weird dream and it’d flooded into reality a little bit.
And then it happened again. A few weeks, maybe a month later, it happened again. Same thing, shaken awake. I’m looking around the room, there’s nothing there. I can’t feel anything. Usually I can sense things when there’s a spirit nearby, and I couldn’t. I was like, “Right, this is a bit weird.” The third time it happened, I was like, “Right, this is enough now.” So that’s exactly what I did. I sat up in bed and said, “I’m not having it. This isn’t acceptable. Do not shake me awake while I’m trying to sleep. Leave me alone.” And I swear down I heard somebody laugh.
JIM HAROLD: Ooh.
RACHEL: It was a child’s laugh. I didn’t feel scared at all. Like I said, I was used to these things, so I wasn’t frightened. I just thought, “Right, it’s a kid. I know he’s just trying to play with me, trying to mess with me.” Since I did that, it didn’t do it again, so I was like, “Thanks for actually listening to me.” But then I knew there was a child around me. I knew there was something going on.
Things escalated a little bit from there. Things would get moved around my room – tiny little things that you wouldn’t notice. Then the next big thing that happened was I had a friend come and stop over. We’d had a sleepover, done normal sleepover things. We’d gone downstairs in the morning to have some breakfast, and she was like, “What’s that on your TV?” I was like, “Oh, I don’t know.” We turned the TV off, and there was a very small handprint on the outside of the TV, as if a child had gone up to the TV and touched it. But we didn’t have any kids in the family.
JIM HAROLD: Oh, that’s weird.
RACHEL: Yeah, really weird. There was no way a child had been in that house. Absolutely no way, I can say that for sure. Me and Alice were just looking at each other like, “That’s really weird.” I took a picture of it and then we rubbed it off because I was like, “That’s really creepy.”
The next time he made himself known, I actually saw him. As I said, this particular spirit I never felt around me. It was just like he was there. The way that we had this particular room set up in my old house was that there was a mirror facing the hallway. So when you were drying your hair or doing anything in that mirror, you could see the top of the stairs. I was in the house on my own, and this was during the day. This was in the afternoon, like one o’clock or something.
I was drying my hair in the mirror, and nobody else was home but me, and all of a sudden there’s a kid at the top of the stairs, a little boy about five or six years old, light brown hair, normal dress, just wearing a t-shirt and shorts. He didn’t look out of place. And he looked absolutely solid. When I’ve seen things before, you can kind of tell, “Yeah, you’re not real. You’re not in this universe” kind of thing. But he was solid. I looked at this kid through the mirror. I turned the hair dryer off, I spun around and I went to say, “Who are you? Why are you in my house?”
JIM HAROLD: So you didn’t even at that point consider the possibility it was a ghost.
RACHEL: No, not at all. I didn’t have any kind of weird feeling. I didn’t have any idea. He looked like a person. As I turned around and went to speak to him, he still stood there, and his eyes got so wide. It was as if he was afraid, like he was scared that I had seen him, like he was just peeping and he didn’t realize I could see him. I watched him run down the stairs.
At this exact moment, my mum came home, and the front door was at the bottom of the stairs. I got up to the top of the stairs, she was at the bottom of the stairs, and I said, “Who the hell was that?” She was like, “Who was who?” I was like, “That little boy. Who was the little boy that just ran down the stairs?” She was like, “There’s literally nobody here.” And there’s no way she couldn’t have seen him. If it was a real person that had snuck into the house or whatever, he would’ve passed her on the way out of the house. There was no way. So I was like, “I guess I know who the handprint belonged to and who the giggle belonged to, then.”
JIM HAROLD: Wow. In other words, it looked like a real person, but obviously, it sounds like, it was a ghost because it would’ve been seen had it not.
JIM HAROLD: I’ve said this on the shows recently. Somebody was interviewing me and said, “Have you ever seen a ghost?” I said, “No.” And they said, “How do you know?” [laughs] I guess we have – and a lot of it is from movies and TV shows and books – this bias towards what a ghost really is. But maybe it takes different forms, and maybe sometimes it’s just like a little boy who looks as alive as you or me. Interesting.
RACHEL: I totally agree with you.
JIM HAROLD: Well, Rachel, I hope you’ll call back with some of those other spooky situations. Now, as you grew up, he stopped appearing; do you have any idea who this kid was?
RACHEL: No. As I say, it only happened in that span of time. I didn’t see him that much, and then it gradually faded out. I went to see a psychic when I was probably about 17, and she mentioned him and said there was a little boy at the top of the stairs, and I was like, “Yes.” I said, “He used to be around me a lot. Why did he go?” She said, “Do you know who it was?” I said no. She said it was a family member who had had a child that had died, and he’d attached himself to me. But I don’t know. I can’t say that for sure. I’ve never asked around my family to see, “Has anyone ever had this situation?” because that’s just not a nice thing to ask about. So I’m not sure whether or not that’s true, but that’s what she said.
JIM HAROLD: Interesting. Great story, Rachel. Hope you call in with more, and so glad you found the show. Stay spooky!
RACHEL: Stay spooky! Thanks.
JIM HAROLD: Next up is Ali from Ottawa, Ontario. Very cool indeed. We love to hear from our friends Up North. Ali is going to tell us, well, about a haunted apartment. Ali, welcome to the show. Please tell us what happened.
ALI: Hi. Thanks, Jim. My story takes place about 17 years ago, when my oldest daughter was just a baby. My husband at the time and I had moved into an apartment building in the city of Red Deer, Alberta, a small northern town in Alberta. This was a basic apartment, probably built in the ’70s. There was nothing really spooky about it. But the apartment we were in – it did always feel quite dark to me. Partly it didn’t get a lot of natural light. There was one sliding door from the living room and then two bedrooms at the back that had windows, but that was pretty much it. So it was kind of a dingy and a little bit of a dark feeling. But we were newly married, new parents, and we didn’t have a lot of money, so this was where we lived. It was what we could afford.
My husband was working as a heavy equipment mechanic during the day, and I was at home with our baby, who was about four months old at the time. This took place I would say in March because it was tax season in Canada, so I remember that clearly because it factors into the story. Anyway, it happened on a basic March afternoon. The baby had gone down for her nap in her crib, and I was sitting in the living room, probably just sitting on the couch, resting for a bit, and I suddenly had a really creeped-out feeling, which was unusual. It was stronger than I had ever felt before. I was thinking, “Why do I feel so creeped out? It’s daytime, there’s nothing going on.”
But for some reason, I looked down at the floor, and my daughter had this little toy piano, like the baby could smack it with her hand and it would play a little nursery rhyme song when she did that. I looked at it – it was just lying on the floor – and suddenly this thought comes into my head, like “I feel creeped out, but it would only really be creepy here if that piano played by itself.” And honestly, like a minute later or a few seconds later, the piano played by itself, a little nursery rhyme song. I was really spooked, but I thought, “Maybe there’s someone downstairs in the building below me that’s doing something. They could be changing a light bulb or something and it’s causing a vibration, or maybe the batteries are dying,” whatever.
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always had this terrible fear that something scary would happen and I wouldn’t be able to turn the lights on if it was dark. So for some reason I thought, “Well, at least the lights are on” or “At least I can turn the lights on,” and then almost as soon as I thought that – the hallway light was on; it didn’t get a lot of natural light, so it was usually on – and it went off. There was a small lamp in the corner of the room, and it didn’t go off, but it dimmed significantly. I was really spooked at this point, but again, I think my brain was trying to rationalize what was happening, so I thought, “Maybe there’s a power outage or a brownout” – and as I thought that, the lights went back on. So they weren’t off for very long.
Then I thought, “Okay, that’s weird. I’m just going to check on the baby.” I go into her bedroom and she’s fast asleep in her crib. She had a little mobile over her crib that would just hang there. It didn’t have batteries or anything. It was just a felt mobile. It was moving a bit, and I didn’t know if that was just – not my imagination, but could it be a draft, could it be some other reason. There are no windows open. It’s March in Alberta. It’s very cold out. But I still was trying to rationalize these things.
Then I thought, “I’m going to call my mom.” My mom is a very spiritual person. Very strong faith. I felt spooked out enough that I thought I would call her. So I called her and told her what was going on. I had gone into my bedroom at this point. She said, “You know, Ali, there could be a dark spirit or some kind of negative energy there, and what you need to do is just pray out loud and tell it to leave your space.” She was like, “Just do that. You’re okay.” So I said this prayer out loud, and as I was saying it, honestly, the closet in my room – the door was open, and I could see the hangers in the closet moving ever so slightly. It was a horrible feeling to see those moving.
I thought, “I’ve got to repeat this prayer a couple times,” so I did that, and then I thought maybe I felt a bit better after that. Nothing was happening. But it was time to leave the apartment anyway to go meet my husband after work, because it was tax season and we were meeting at the local H&R Block – the accountants come out during tax season and set up these little pop-up sites. So we were going there and I was meeting him after work to do our taxes. We were always looking for the refund right away in those days because we needed the money.
So we went and met at this H&R Block, and I brought the baby and I told him while we were waiting for our appointment everything that had happened. My husband is a mechanic; he’s not a person that is easily freaked out or scared of anything. He’s very logical. When I told him, he was like, “That sounds weird. I’m sure you were just having a weird afternoon or you were tired lately with the baby waking up at night. There’s nothing to worry about.” He just sort of blew it off, and I was like, “Okay.” We changed our focus to taxes and I just put it behind me.
We went back to the apartment. It was a Friday night. We put the baby to bed, we watched a movie, and we went to sleep. In the middle of the night, the baby woke up crying, like she always did, to eat. So I got out of bed like I always did, but my husband was awake. Unfortunately, he almost never woke up when the baby did, so it was weird that he was awake. But I went into the kitchen to get her bottle and then I went to feed her in her bedroom, and he was in her bedroom. He had turned the light on and he was looking around her crib. I was kind of annoyed. I’m like, “What are you doing turning the lights on? You’re going to wake her way up!” I was a little surprised. He said, “I’m just looking for something. Give me a second.”
I start feeding the baby. I’m still half-asleep here. Sitting in the rocking chair, feeding the baby, and he’s going around the apartment turning on all these lights. Finally I’m like, “What are you doing?” He comes in and he says, “Okay, this is going to sound crazy, but I want to leave the apartment tonight and go stay with your parents. This is really creepy.”
JIM HAROLD: Whoa.
ALI: I’m like, “What’s going on?” He said what happened was our baby had a little toy rattle, and he had woken up when she started crying and he heard the rattle shaking very rhythmically. Not like a baby would shake it. Very repetitive, rhythmic. That gave him the creeps. He thought, is it in her crib, perhaps, and maybe she’s moving in her sleep and it’s moving the rattle? That was why he got up and went and looked around her crib, but it wasn’t there. And then he went out and looked in the other room and found it on the floor of the kitchen, just sitting there by itself. He was like, “Okay, I heard that thing rattling rhythmically. This is not okay.” He said he’d been awake a period of time listening to it while I was slowing dragging myself up from sleep and getting up.
He said the thing that really bothered him was that as soon as I made a bit of a noise, like a little “ugh” moan waking up, the rattling went silent immediately. So he was like, “Something is not right here, and whatever it is, it responded to you. We’ve got to get out of here.” My parents lived about 20 minutes away down a highway, in a smaller town outside of Red Deer, and we were very close with them. They’re very loving parents, so we knew we could go there anytime. So we pack up the baby and we get in the car and we just drive.
It was so foggy outside. It was bizarrely foggy. It felt like it took us forever to get there, driving through the eternal fog. I started feeling sicker and sicker, and finally we get to my parents’ house – we had called ahead to tell them we were coming, so they were up and waiting for us – and we get to the house and I have to go right to the bathroom and be sick. I was ill. Then afterwards, my mom prayed with us again. She said, “Tomorrow we’ll go back to the apartment and we’ll go together and say some prayers and try to cleanse the space. We’ll do that tomorrow.”
We did do that the next day, and ultimately nothing – it felt a bit lighter after we did that, and nothing happened in that apartment again. However, it was always not a great-feeling place, even after the prayers.
At some point in the next year or so, my husband and I separated, and I moved back in with my parents. I went over one time with the baby for the baby to visit him, and while we were there I could tell he’d been sleeping in the living room. I think I made a comment about it, like, “Oh, are you sleeping out there?” He said, “I’ve got to say, that back bedroom where we slept, I don’t feel good there. Something is watching me or it feels very negative. So I’m sleeping in the living room, and the only way I can sleep in here is with the TV on playing something, and I can fall asleep.”
Like I said, he’s not a person that was afraid of things or easily believing in supernatural events, but he really felt it, until eventually he moved out of that place. So who knows? That’s our story.
JIM HAROLD: The thing that gets me about that is the fact he was dyed in the wool “I don’t believe in this stuff,” and that made him a believer. Not like “Oh, now I believe.” Like, “Let’s get out of here – I believe.”
ALI: Yeah, exactly. It really freaked him out. I think the reason was he was doing what I was doing earlier, trying to think of a rational explanation, and there just wasn’t any reason that a baby’s toy could be rattling like that by itself. And he doesn’t just hear things. It was too strong of an incident for him to feel comfortable. It was weird.
JIM HAROLD: Very interesting story indeed. Ali, thank you so much for joining us around the Campfire today.
ALI: My pleasure. Thank you for having me.
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JIM HAROLD: We’ve been doing this great segment on the Campfire – I’m absolutely loving it. We’re talking with great podcasters who are sharing their personal stories every week, and this week, we’ve got double the fun because we’ve got Becky and Diana from Homespun Haints. We’re so glad to have them. They’re going to of course tell us a little bit about their great podcast, but first, the price of admission is Campfire stories, and both Becky and Diana have stories about very haunted places. We’re so glad to have them with us. Becky and Diana, welcome to the Campfire.
BECKY: Thank you so much for having us.
JIM HAROLD: So glad to have you with us. If it’s okay, we’ll do alphabetical order. We’ll go with Becky first. Becky, I understand you have an interesting spooky story about an establishment that you opened and worked at. I’m very interested about this. Tell us what happened.
BECKY: In 2011, I decided I was going to open an art gallery in a very historic haunted area just north of Atlanta, a town called Marietta. The buildings there have been in place since before the Civil War, so very old, spooky area in general. The gallery was opened by myself, my mother, and my sister. It was going to be a family business. We looked at this particular area because we wanted something that was very walkable for people, and that’s why we chose a historic area of town.
The building that we chose we believe had been constructed initially in the 1800s, but it had had some trauma over the years that we were not aware of when we first opened. We renovated the entire building, we gutted it, we even put on new walls, painted the ceilings, new floors, new doors. Everything was new in this building.
JIM HAROLD: They don’t like that.
DIANA: [laughs] So we’ve heard.
JIM HAROLD: I’ve heard one thing, don’t renovate unless you want some ghosts.
BECKY: Well, yes, we learned our lesson. [laughs] Shortly after we moved in, because it was a family business, we would each be there by ourselves. We had shifts, who would be there at what time. I was generally there in the mornings by myself, and I noticed one morning, I was sitting there, and I heard the back door, the heavy, heavy self-locking metal fire door in the back, unlock and open. There were only three people that had the keys: myself, my sister, and my mother. So I assumed it was my sister coming in to help out in the morning. But I waited and waited, and nobody came through the door from the back room into the showroom.
So I got up and I walked out, and that back door was closed and locked. I opened it to see if my sister’s car was in the back, in the parking lot behind the building, and there was no car there. So I thought maybe she came, maybe she forgot something, maybe she left.
The same thing happened again the next day, and again, I heard that heavy door unlock, open, and then shut, but nobody came into the gallery. I was starting to get a little worried. Did somebody else have a key? So I called my sister and woke her up. It was not her. She had not been there. I called my mother. She had not been there. I thought I would just keep an eye out to see if it happened again, and I mentioned to them what happened.
The next day was my day off, so my sister was in the gallery. And around 11 a.m., the back door unlocked and opened. But something else happened with her as well. That back room that we had that had the back door into the parking lot also had a door into the gallery, and she watched as that door to the gallery opened and shut on its own.
JIM HAROLD: Oh man. So she saw it as well as heard it.
BECKY: Saw it, mm-hm.
JIM HAROLD: Whoa.
BECKY: And then the same thing happened to my mother when it was her day. Over time, we just got used to it, and we said, “Okay, I guess it’s a ghost.” We live in the South; we sort of accept these things. Well, I guess the ghost didn’t like that very much, so it decided it was going to make even more noise.
The unit next to ours was vacant at the time, and we started hearing banging on the walls. Loud banging. It would shake the walls, so much so that the paintings that we hung on the walls would actually shake. We got worried that they were going to break, so we actually established a rule that we couldn’t put anything with glass on that wall that connected to the unit next to us in fear that it would break. We just assumed that somebody was doing some construction next door, getting ready to move in.
Finally, a shop opened up next door and we ran in to see what the renovations were, but it looked exactly the same as it had before the previous tenant had left. We asked, “What renovations did you do?”, and they said, “Nothing. We didn’t have to do anything.” Of course, we were a little jealous at that because we had put so much money into renovations ourselves, but we said, “Okay, who knows what that was? Maybe the landlord was up to something.”
The banging continued, and continued, and every time, the walls would shake, loud banging, and we would run next door saying, “What are you doing? Cut it out!” And they would look at us and say they hadn’t even heard it. They were a Christmas shop ornament seller and fudge maker, and they were just there slicing their fudge, giving us weird looks.
JIM HAROLD: And they would have broken ornaments if something were shaking the walls and doing this. They would have broken merchandise.
BECKY: Exactly. The next thing that happened was the footsteps on the ceiling. We started hearing loud footsteps. But it’s a little difficult to describe; the ceilings were pretty high, but the footsteps almost sounded as if they were coming at the level of our heads, as if they were walking on a floor that was no longer there. And they were heavy footsteps on what sounded like a creaky wooden floor, but the ceiling above us was not wooden.
And again, we would run outside, we would check the roof to see if construction workers were there – nothing was there. Nobody was there. We would call the landlord, “What are you doing? What are you doing about the banging?” He always claimed that he had no idea what we were talking about. I’m sure he thought we were starting to go a little crazy there. We were there for about six years, putting up with all of this.
And then that door I mentioned in the back that started opening on its own – it wasn’t the only door that was opening. We also noticed another door into interior offices opening and closing on its own, in succession. I remember saying to my sister it almost seemed like a child was playing, was running through the gallery, opening the doors and shutting them after himself. Again, being spooky people as we were, we brushed it off. We said, “Okay, this place is haunted. We’ll just deal with it.” It was one of those classic haunted house scenarios; we had put so much money into the place, there was no way we could leave.
JIM HAROLD: “You’re not kicking me out. You’re not scaring me away.”
BECKY: Yes. [laughs] We had to stick it out. Well, after we had been there about three or four years, my sister was in the front selling a painting of a ghost, and a person came in with a friend of hers who she said was a paranormal investigator. He says to my sister, “I investigated this place before you guys came in, while it was still vacant.” Then he said, “Have you had any activity in the back?” My sister of course says, “Oh, yes we have. Please tell us what you know.”
The paranormal investigator – unfortunately, we didn’t get his name, but he claimed that while he was doing his investigation, on a thermal cam, he saw what looked like a little boy in the back room. But he was walking as if the floor was at a different level. His waist was at the floor level. The investigator said he did a little bit of background checking and learned that the building had once been different levels. It had been two stories, and it had burned down in a fire in the 1920s. He thought that the boy had perished in that fire.
JIM HAROLD: Oh wow. Wow. And that would fit with everything that you experienced.
BECKY: Yes. And adding another layer to that story, my sister decided that she wanted to move an electric eel into the gallery – that’s a long story in and of itself, but she needed to crawl under the building to find out where there was enough foundation that she could put the tank in.
JIM HAROLD: Right, because those are heavy.
BECKY: Yes, exactly. So my brave sister climbed under the building, and she found these half-walls, half brick walls, very old, hundreds of years old, that ended much lower than the foundation of the current building, and they were singed at the top.
JIM HAROLD: Oh, creepy. Wow. Now, the reason you left had nothing to do with the haunting? You just decided for other reasons to leave?
BECKY: Yes. Running an art gallery during a recession is not very lucrative, so that was ultimately why we did.
JIM HAROLD: Yeah. But still, quite a story. These places that have these long histories – but it’s so cool when you were able to – most of the time I talk to people who have stories and say, “I wasn’t able to find out anything, there was no history, nobody knew anything.” But to be able to trace that back and at least get some closure on it and some explanation, I think that’s a very cool thing, and a very cool story indeed.
Now, Becky has told her story; the work is cut out for Diana. But it sounds like this is something that she has experienced over a much longer period of time, and in some ways maybe a more personal situation. Not that yours wasn’t, Becky, but living with this for years on end has to be quite an experience, and that’s what Diana’s going to tell us about.
DIANA: Yeah, I’m going to be one of those annoying people that doesn’t have any conclusion or any research that can corroborate the story. But I do have corroboration from other human beings, so I’ll get to that.
My story is so spread out over the last four decades that it doesn’t feel like a story to me. It took me a long time to really put together what’s happened to me and actually come up with, oh my goodness, this is a consistent potential haunting. When I was born, my family lived in this house that I’m currently sitting in, and our laundry room has always been in the basement. So I would frequently follow my parents down, bug my mom while she was doing laundry in the basement, no big deal. It never bothered me as a little kid.
What bothered me was coming back up the basement stairs because every time I’d get to the very top four stairs or so, I would feel what felt like gentle fingers tracing along the back of my shirt or through my long hair coming up the stairs.
JIM HAROLD: Yikes.
DIANA: It got to the point where it was so – it was not every time, but it was consistent enough that every time I went up the stairs, I would run up the last few stairs. Now, right there at about the fourth or fifth stair, there is a secret passageway of sorts.
JIM HAROLD: Oh, okay. The plot thickens, dun-dun-dun! [laughs]
DIANA: Yes. [laughs] I forgot to point this out the first time I told this story on our podcast, but here’s a secret passageway that has never been opened, as far as we know. My parents bought the house in the mid-’70s, and we’re talking about the ’80s right now. Nobody opened that passageway. It goes between the hallway upstairs and the basement stairs, and that’s right about the area I’d always feel something trailing down my shirt.
When I was a teenager, I had that moment of “I’m going to live in the basement because I’m a spooky teenager, I want my autonomy,” etc. You know the feeling. I lived there basically for a year when I was 14 because we were remodeling my room upstairs to have this beautiful burgundy wall because I was a spooky kid. Ceilings black, etc. During that time that we’re painting the bedroom, I’m living in the basement, and I started having these very disturbing dreams where I would dream from the perspective of a noncorporeal entity over in the laundry room, coming towards where I was physically sleeping in the bed as it was moving through walls towards me. And when I’d wake up, I would be in an emotionally distraught state. I wouldn’t want to look around the corner and see if there was anything there. [laughs] Again, spooky person, so I just went ahead and kept living in the basement.
JIM HAROLD: You’re braver than I am. I’m a coward. I’d be out of there. “Let me out of here!” I mean, you guys are too young to remember – it was even a little before my time, but there’s an old movie with Don Knotts, the guy who played Barney Fife. It was called The Ghost and Mr. Chicken. I’m Mr. Chicken. But go ahead.
DIANA: [laughs] I guess maybe it was just the bravado of being a teenager, but I stuck it out for a while. Moved back upstairs and moved out of the house as quickly as I could to go to college. I wanted to go to a spookier place for some reason, so moved to New Orleans for college.
When I was an adult, I moved back to my hometown, and in 2019 I ended up moving back into this house because my mom wanted to enjoy her retirement by traveling around in her RV. So I moved in here to help her fix it up and get it on the market. It’s taking a while. But the dreams started almost instantly again. 2019 is about the time that we started this podcast, and what Becky always tells me is that when you talk about the ghosts, you witness more ghostly activity. I don’t know if that’s something you’ve found to be true, but it certainly seems to be true for me.
JIM HAROLD: From what I’ve heard, yeah.
DIANA: So the ghosty dreams started up in full force. They were pretty mild at first, but they gradually amplified, I guess maybe because I’m sleeping over the basement, not in the basement right now. But I had this one dream that was so realistic, and in the dream I was a young, teenaged perhaps, girl from another area with long, dark, straight hair. I was adopted. I was in a boat. Blah, blah, blah, dream stuff, and then at the end of the dream I was standing at the foot of my basement stairs, looking upstairs at a couple of bodies being cleaned up and removed from the breakfast nook.
JIM HAROLD: Ooh, the plot thickens.
DIANA: And it was my body. Not me, Diana, but me, the girl in the dream. In the dream there were two bodies, one of which was an older woman, also with long, dark, straight hair, who was standing beside me at the foot of the stairs at the time. The feeling I got was a sense of sadness from her, the idea that I had to stay here and it was okay if I stayed here, even though my body was being carted away. And the feeling that I got was that she didn’t have to stay, but she would stay for me.
Unbeknownst to me, something Becky told me after I’d had this dream was that one of the guests that we have on the show that shows some psychic propensities and mediumship propensities had almost an identical dream where she had seen a woman she described as Asian looking for something or somebody related to her daughter, perhaps, underneath the basement stairs in my house. And she was very, very frightened when she woke up from the dream, so it was a very similar dream at a very similar time.
At this point I’m starting to be convinced that my basement’s haunted. I had been interviewing people for our ghost story podcast, and at least one of them had said, “If you don’t want to interact with a ghost, all you need to really do is tell them to leave and they have to leave you alone.” I don’t know if that’s true.
JIM HAROLD: I’ve heard people say that, yeah.
DIANA: I don’t know, but I thought I’d try it, so I was downstairs, I felt a presence behind me while I was doing laundry, and I said, “I recognize that you’re there. I want you to leave me alone.” The immediate response I got was like a knock on wood. Instantaneously upon saying that. I was like, “Is that one knock for no or one knock for yes? I don’t know, oh my goodness.” I was very, very frightened by that whole scenario, ran up the stairs again. But I still have to go in my basement to do laundry.
A few weeks later, I’m taking a scarf out of the washing machine that’s too flimsy and diaphanous to put in the dryer, so I floofed it up and I put it over the clothesline. And as the scarf is settling over my clothesline, blocking my view of the basement stairs, my vision scans down below the scarf to make sure it’s laying correctly, and I see feet.
JIM HAROLD: Oh boy.
DIANA: Yeah, pale, young, feminine – perhaps it was this teen girl, not sure. They were bare feet, they were dirty. Of course, I whipped the scarf down to see who was on the other side of it and there was nothing there.
JIM HAROLD: Yikes.
DIANA: In October, I visited Becky and I slept in her basement, which was not haunted… until…
JIM HAROLD: You came there, and then you ruined it all, didn’t you, Diana? See, I’ll tell ya.
DIANA: [laughs] Well… See, she had this doll that the Ouija board has told us has a demon inside of it, so we did what anybody would do and sold it on Etsy. This was right before she sold this doll, and when I was coming into her basement, I saw something dart across the light underneath the door there. So we’ve talked in the meantime about things that have happened in her basement. I thought I was in the clear because when I came home, my basement didn’t have any activity, I didn’t feel anything. Nothing felt like it was odd down there. I thought maybe I’d pawned the ghost off on Becky.
DIANA: Except just earlier this month, I was drying some clothes and something poked me hard in the shoulder blade from behind.
JIM HAROLD: Oh boy. In other words, that one was “No, I’m not going to leave you alone. I’m going to keep bothering you.”
DIANA: Yeah, I think it was one for no.
JIM HAROLD: Well, both great stories. That’s just a little bit of the kind of thing you’ll hear on Homespun Haints, so Becky and Diana, give us a couple minutes on the show, where we can find it and where everybody can tune in to get more creepy stories like those ones.
BECKY: Thank you so much, Jim. Yes, our podcast, Homespun Haints – Haints is spelled H-A-I-N-T-S. It’s an old Southern word for any kind of nasty ghost that you don’t want in your house. We are available on all podcast platforms. You can also visit us at homespunhaints.com, where we have blog articles and videos and other fun things that we’re doing adjacent to the podcast. We’re also on Instagram and TikTok @homespunhaints. We’re just thrilled to be here. Thank you so much.
DIANA: I think the most important thing to say about our podcast is that we focus on the art of oral storytelling rather than evidence or paranormal investigating. That’s something other people do really well. We like to share the feeling of being human and not understanding what’s going on and being afraid – but we also do it with a lot of comedy.
JIM HAROLD: That’s great. I hope everybody checks it out. Homespun Haints. Do check it out. Becky, Diana, thanks for sharing the info about the podcast and those two great Campfire stories.
DIANA: Thank you.
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You’re listening to Jim Harold’s Campfire.
JIM HAROLD: We have a return caller. Janine from Louisiana is back, and she’s going to take us for a walk with her and tell us about a walk she took and some strangeness that ensued. Janine, welcome back to the show and please tell us this Campfire story.
JANINE: Jim, thank you so much for this opportunity, inviting me back. I really appreciate it and appreciate the Campfire. This happened just on the Monday after Thanksgiving. I think it was like November 28th. Anyway, I went for a walk in my neighborhood in Louisiana, Baton Rouge, and I took my dogs to this park. The park is huge, about 1.5 miles. At one end of this park they have extreme sports centers, community center, so it’s really busy and active at that end. I usually walk my dogs towards the quieter end, and it’s kind of shaped like a cushion rectangle.
I started to walk my dogs and saw one of my doctors on a bike pass by. I waved at him. There were three people walking behind me, walking kind of slow, walking abreast and chatting. It was a sunny day. It was 3 p.m. And per usual, I was listening to the Campfire as I was walking my dogs.
JIM HAROLD: Excellent, excellent. [laughs]
JANINE: So I waved to my doctor and kept walking. As I was about to round one of the curves, I noticed coming towards me was a person. At first I just saw a person on rollerblades, and what really caught me off-guard was these rollerblades seemed so old. They seemed vintage, retro, like the old school. This person, I couldn’t quite tell gender, but I got a sense of female because they were wearing really baggy old gray sweatpants and these giant green kneepads. It really caught me off-guard because it seemed really anachronistic. It just seemed out of place. I got a sense of a female. The person had dark, curly hair. I couldn’t quite see the face. It was kind of blurred. Just a quick glance. It wasn’t like a stare.
I could also see they were kind of struggling on the rollerblades. I looked down, my dogs stopped to sniff something, and I started thinking to myself, “This person should be passing me any moment.” Just as I thought that, I heard this really loud clack-clack behind me, like the sound of rollerblades on concrete. I turn around and there’s no one there. No one. And there is no way this person could have passed by me because I would’ve seen her go by. These three people would’ve stopped their stride. Louisiana is really flat, and this is a big park in Baton Rouge and it’s very busy, but you can see a big chunk of it. I would’ve seen this person turn around. There’s no way this person would’ve run into the field – I was at the end where the soccer fields are. It was muddy. There was woods next to me. So there’s no way a person on rollerblades would go into a field or the woods.
I was astounded. I was like, “What did I just see?” because it was so solid and just disappeared. I cut my walk with my dogs short. We walked across the muddy fields. I wanted to get to my car to see if I could drive around and see anyone on rollerblades. But I saw my friend the doctor. I saw him make another pass. He obviously would’ve passed by this person, but there was no one there. I drove around, didn’t see anybody that even had rollerblades on. It was so odd. So I went home and I called a really good friend of mine in New Jersey and told her the story. She said, “That’s so odd that you just called because I’m sitting here in my office looking at my old rollerblades from the ’90s that I don’t know what to do with.” I thought that was so weird.
JIM HAROLD: That is kind of weird.
JANINE: So that’s my rollerblading ghost story.
JIM HAROLD: Do you think maybe you saw a time slip of some type?
JANINE: I thought that. That’s such an interesting piece that you talk about on your show. It seems like it, because the person, like I said, looked like they didn’t belong there in that time. I did a little googling, and that track actually was built in 1980, and rollerblades came out in like 1981 or ’82, something like that. So I was trying to figure out if it was a time slip. Yeah, that makes sense to me. There was no interaction except for that sound and then that disappearance. It was almost like she rollerbladed into a portal or something. [laughs]
JIM HAROLD: Yeah, that’s kind of wild. That really is. It always amazes me – we had someone years ago who said that they were a little kid – this must’ve been the ’80s, I think – and they ran into a man who was dressed in all black, and he looked like he was from the 1800s.
JANINE: Oh, that’s cool. Wow.
JIM HAROLD: So I think these kinds of things are possible. As I know I’ve said on other shows, and I’ve probably said it here, one thing I can take away from Campfire is I do believe that reality is much stranger than we realize, and maybe these kinds of slips are possible. And maybe that was the clack-clack. Maybe it was from the early ’80s or something. Well, Janine, thank you so much for joining us and thank you for being a part of the Campfire once again.
JANINE: I so appreciate it. Have a very spooky rest of your day.
JIM HAROLD: Leslie is on the line from Nova Scotia. Love to hear from our listeners Up North. She has really an amazing story for us. She’s been listening since 2018, and we’re so glad to have her on the line. Leslie, welcome, and please tell us this remarkable story.
LESLIE: Thanks, Jim. This story took place back in 2016 in the early spring. That had been quite a difficult winter for my family. We lost my mother-in-law and my father-in-law within six weeks of each other.
JIM HAROLD: I’m sorry.
LESLIE: Thanks. It was a very hard time, and my husband especially took it quite hard. His parents had been living down in Florida, so we had the opportunity to go down and help care for his mother through her last few weeks, and then his father became ill. I really think it was due to a broken heart in his case.
We came back home and started getting back into our lives again, and my husband took quite a while to get back into the sync of things. I think he was experiencing some depression and grief and bereavement and going through that process, and he was quite exhausted. At one point in April, near Easter, we helped a friend move. We live a little ways outside of the central city in our region, and she lives in the city, so we went to the city, helped her move, and we were driving home in his truck.
We were probably about seven or eight minutes from our home, and just because he was so tired, his eyes closed a little bit, started to drift off to sleep. I noticed right away, but it wasn’t soon enough to prevent us from going off the road. We live right on the coast, and this road ran right beside a salt marsh. There was about maybe a six or seven foot embankment going off of the road into a little strip of brush. We pretty much went through a telephone pole and a guidewire in a little Ford Ranger truck, and we actually broke the guidewire that, thank goodness, didn’t hit the telephone pole. But the truck went off the embankment and landed in the middle of the brush.
Our daughter was four years old at the time, and because we were driving in this little truck, it had jump seats in the back. Her car seat didn’t fit back there, so we would put her in the front passenger seat when we were driving together in the truck. That day, I was sitting in the back jump seat behind my husband, but I was facing the front passenger window, so as soon as I realized what everything was doing, I kept my eyes on my daughter. And when we landed, I actually saw the passenger window, which she was seated beside, shatter.
When we realized what happened and gathered ourselves, my first thought was to go over to her side, and when I saw the window shatter, I also saw a man standing outside of her window. A young man, probably late twenties to early thirties. I live in a fishing area, lobster and that type of thing. He just looked like any typical fisherman that you would see around. In my mind, he looked like you could’ve seen somebody back in the ’70s or ’80s dressed the way he was with the rubber boots, jeans, forest green thick-knit woolen sweater.
So I see this guy, and of course my first thought is to go around to the passenger side and see what’s going on with my daughter. I didn’t really think too, too much about the man standing there. I went around the back of the truck and I got to the passenger side window, and there was nobody there when I got around to the other side, and the window was intact. That was all very strange.
At the same time as I got to that side of the truck, a gentleman had come down from the road, down the embankment. He must’ve seen us go over and stopped his car to help us out. He came around the front of the truck and we both got to the same side around the same time, and he was asking how we were. Thankfully, we didn’t have any injuries. The truck was written off, but thank goodness we were all safe. Just a minor couple bruises here and there.
I asked the gentleman where the other guy had gone, and he told me that he hadn’t seen anybody down there. That’s stuck with me over the years. Actually, it was my daughter who encouraged me to call because she’s heard me tell this story a few times, and she really encouraged me to give a call. But we all think that in some way, whoever this person was really helped us out that day because we could’ve been in a real pickle.
The first thing the Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer said when she arrived on the scene was, “This wasn’t your day.” I said to her, “No, it’s been a pretty bad six months.” She said, “Well, I guess this isn’t your day to go” kind of thing. That really hit things home when she said that, because I’m sure she sees a lot of that type of thing.
JIM HAROLD: Yeah, unfortunately, I’m sure she does. Kind of sounds like – and interestingly enough you mentioned the clothing, more of a ’70s kind of look. Maybe a guardian angel of some type.
LESLIE: That’s what my neighbor said, and that’s what I like to think as well.
JIM HAROLD: Well, Leslie, thank you so much for sharing it. I’m glad that everything worked out for the safety of your family, and thank you for listening to Campfire.
LESLIE: Thank you so much, Jim. Take care.
JIM HAROLD: Thank you so much for tuning in to the Campfire.
We have a special shoutout today. This goes out to Olivia. I missed this when it originally came in, so I apologize to Dale. Dale says, “My daughter loves your Campfire and You Won’t Believe What Happened To Me shows. She especially likes the headscratcher stories. She turns 20 years old on January 19th,” which, as I said, passed. So happy belated birthday, Olivia! And he says, “I know this is a little late, but do you think you could wish her a happy birthday? She would be thrilled to hear that from you. We sometimes listen together while sitting around our own Campfire in the backyard. Great quality time spent together, and I thank you for that.” Dale and Olivia are also Ohioans. So Dale, thank you for sending it in; Olivia, sorry for the delay, but happy belated birthday, and a big stay spooky. Thank you both so much for listening.
And thank you for listening. And I have a special favor to ask. If you are enjoying the Campfire, if you like what we do, please spread the word. Please text a link to your friends to the podcast in your favorite podcast player. Please spread the word far and wide on social media, whether it be Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, wherever it might be. Please spread the word because we don’t have these huge marketing budgets these big conglomerates have, but I think our show is every bit as good as the things they put out. Sometimes even better.
But we really need your help on that because frankly, we’re going up against the big boys these days. Podcasting has changed a lot from the early days. It’s gone from the day of the hobbyist to the day of the multinational conglomerate, and then there’s a few creators like us who try to compete. [laughs] Sometimes I don’t know how smart that is, but we do. The one thing that we have are our communities, and you guys are great. You’ve made it possible thus far. So please continue to make it possible, and please spread the word.
Thank you so much. We’ll talk to you next time. 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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