The Phantom Bellhop – Campfire 557

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A young woman on holiday encounters something extremely weird, ghost hunting in Dublin and much more strangeness on this edition of Campfire!


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A phantom bellhop? Our caller met one, on this edition of 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. What we do here is share spooky true stories. Could be ghosts, could be cryptid creatures, could be UFOs, could be my favorite, headscratchers that don’t fall into any category. But whatever they are, they are amazing and they are real. We’ve got some great stories for you, starting off with one that I would say is a brand-new story that will fall into the lexicon of Campfire classic. I absolutely love this story. So let’s get right to some great Campfire stories.

Marti is on the line, and she is going to tell us a story about an interesting trip down to New Orleans. She’s calling in today from Texas. She says that one of her favorite things to do, along with her son, is on road trips to listen to the Campfire. So Harrison, thank you for listening and stay spooky. And listen to Mom.

Marti, welcome to the show. Thank you for joining us, and tell us about this trip to a wedding in New Orleans. It seemed to come with something a little bit extra.

MARTI: Yes, that’s right, Jim. Thank you so much for having me. It’s a pleasure. This was back in 2012. My fiancé at the time, we were invited to a family wedding out in New Orleans. Jim, when I tell you this is a family wedding, this wasn’t just a wedding and the reception. It was a five-day-long vacation event.

JIM HAROLD: Sounds fun.

MARTI: We had all sorts of events planned. The first day would be in New Orleans. It would be a city tour and cocktail hour. So we went down there and I had tons of luggage, Jim. Tons of luggage. Five-day event, huge wedding, we’re going to be meeting everyone, so I wanted to look my best. I had two rolling luggage suitcases, duffle bags, a purse, a hat – it was a lot. You can picture me struggling through the airport, on the plane, just struggling everywhere with these suitcases.

We roll up to our hotel room, and I’m thinking it’s going to be your standard Double Tree, Holiday Inn Express. It’s absolutely not. It was an old mansion on St. Charles Avenue, right off the streetcar line. Are you familiar with St. Charles Avenue, Jim?

JIM HAROLD: I am not.

MARTI: It’s where all of the old money back in the day would build their mansions. It’s right on the Mississippi River. They’re just beautiful, lavish mansions lined with beautiful trees.

JIM HAROLD: It reminds me of In the Garden of Good and Evil, if you remember that book and movie.

MARTI: Yes, that’s very much what it’s like. This is actually a converted mansion to bed and breakfast. We walk up and it’s absolutely gorgeous. Big white pillars, columns holding up the structure. There’s people on the porch sipping their mint juleps, sipping their hurricanes. We feel like we’ve literally stepped back in time.

We walk in, beautiful mahogany walls, there’s stained glass windows, there’s a grand staircase that’s just gorgeous. We check in at reception, and the lady tells us that we’ll be staying on the third floor, and we can either take the stairs or the elevator. Since I had so much luggage in my hands, we thought it would be best to take the elevator.

We get into this elevator, and it’s not like a commercial elevator like we picture today. It’s basically a mesh box. It’s swinging and swaying back and forth. It’s tiny; it barely holds two people and their stuff. So we get in and we’re looking at each other like, “Is this safe?” We’re trying not to move too much, trying not to breathe too hard, for fear that we’ll be plummeting to our death. But we made it to the top.

We get to the top of the elevator, the door opens, and there’s a man at the top, waiting for us. He’s wearing a maroon three-piece suit, pillbox hat. There’s brass buttons on his suit.

JIM HAROLD: Oh my, like an old school bellboy.

MARTI: Correct. You got it. He opens the mesh gate, pulls it back for us. My fiancé walks out. I’m struggling with all of my luggage, and the wheels are spinning, my hat’s over my head, my purse is falling off. It’s, again, a mess. I laugh and I’m giggling to myself, and I’m almost embarrassed. The man was very, very sweet; he kept holding the door for me, smiling and laughing with me.

I finally get all of my stuff together, I step off the elevator, and I say, “Thank you, sir. Thank you so much for holding that door. I hope you have a great day.” It’s at that moment where my fiancé turns to me and says, “Who are you talking to?” I said, “That bellboy. That elevator attendant.” We turn back – no one was there, Jim.

JIM HAROLD: Oh man. Not just a ghost, but an extremely well-dressed one.

MARTI: Well-dressed, and I interacted with him. I literally spoke words to him and thanked him for holding the door for me. He was that clear as day.

JIM HAROLD: The phantom bellboy.

MARTI: Yes. Needless to say, we were completely freaked out. I don’t know if he was more scared of the ghost or the fact that I saw it and he couldn’t. Either way, we dropped off our stuff and went straight to Bourbon Street to shake that one off, if you know what I mean.

JIM HAROLD: Yeah, have a little liquid courage.

MARTI: Yes, exactly. That’s the story. It was so quick, but it’s a good one. It’s stuck with me ever since.

JIM HAROLD: I’ll tell you something, that would stick with me as well. Wow. That is just – oh my gosh. The phantom bellboy. I love that. That’s like a Campfire classic.

MARTI: Thank you. Honestly, you hear these stories and I’m like, I wonder if this one’s any good. But yeah, I think what makes it a little bit more magical, too, is the fact that it is in New Orleans and the fact that this place is so old and has so much history. It just makes sense.

JIM HAROLD: Before we go, I have a couple of questions.

MARTI: Sure thing.

JIM HAROLD: How old would you estimate the bellboy was?

MARTI: He was definitely older. If I had to guesstimate, maybe 60-65?

JIM HAROLD: I guess my question would be, what do you think he was? You interacted with him, so it couldn’t have been just a replay. You think this ghost was sentient and obviously knew what was going on, kind of thing?

MARTI: I believe so. I took a deep dive into Google after this and actually found some information. I’m not sure if you’d like to hear that.

JIM HAROLD: Yeah, go ahead. Give us a little info.

MARTI: The first thing that comes up when you pop this hotel into search is the name of the hotel and then “haunted.” So I clicked on that, and apparently there’s three ghosts that people see often. One is a “well-dressed gentleman” – this is a quote from the website – either in the lobby or at the door of their rooms, playing host. Visitors have even claimed to have spoken with him. He’ll often ask if guests need anything to make their stay more memorable. When they tell him no, his job is done and he disappears.

JIM HAROLD: Actually him just being there makes it more memorable. [laughs]

MARTI: Yes. [laughs] So apparently this isn’t just me. There’s an entire website about this place, and the best part is I knew nothing about this hotel. I went in blind.

JIM HAROLD: How has it changed, or has it changed, your perception of the paranormal, of the supernatural? Or has it?

MARTI: I come from a family of people that see things. I’ve seen many things; this is just one of them. So it really didn’t change anything, but it feels good to know that – like a little nudge, like, “Yeah, we’re still here.” There’s still people around even when you don’t see them on a daily basis, for example.

JIM HAROLD: Wow. That’s really something else. Well, Marti, fantastic story. Thank you, and also, of course, thanks, Harrison, for listening. We appreciate that, Harrison. Thanks for being a part of the Campfire.

MARTI: Thank you for having me, Jim.

JIM HAROLD: Kate is on the line from Minnesota. She’s a new listener. Been listening for a couple months. We love to hear new people finding us. Just fantastic. Kate, thank you for joining us. Kate has a story about one of the bedrooms in her home, and she’s going to tell us about the strangeness that ensued. Kate, welcome to the show. Thank you for joining us, and tell us about this bedroom.



KATE: I don’t know if it’s the bedroom or not; it’s just that that happens to be where most of the weird stuff happens in my house. What happened originally is we have a mid-century, about 1955 era home. Love the house. The previous owners had a lot of kids, and so do we, so it’s a really active, happy place. There are some bedrooms upstairs, and then a couple stairways and bedrooms downstairs.

In the downstairs bedroom, we had at the time two of our daughters sharing that room. The youngest was about two at the time, and the oldest was about nine. So a bit of an age gap, but it seemed to work out pretty good. It was a smallish bedroom, and the layout is important, so I’ll just take a minute to describe the layout if that’s okay.


KATE: The door swings left, opens into the bedroom, and immediately to your right there’s a closet that juts out, a built-in closet. Then I had my nine-year-old sleeping in a single bed along the left wall, so her feet were close to the door, head away from the door. On the right wall, our two-year-old was in a toddler bed, same direction, feet close to the door, head away from the door.

It was the middle of the night over Christmas vacation. Everyone got to bed late, and we’d gotten into deep sleep, like 1:30, 2:00 in the morning, and my husband and I woke up to screaming. Like screams that we have never heard, coming from downstairs. It was really terrifying. We raced down the two flights of stairs, and the worst part was that when we opened the door to the bedroom, we could not find our two-year-old. We could hear her screaming, but we couldn’t find her.

Lights are on, our nine-year-old is completely confused, and what we realized is the screaming was coming from underneath our nine-year-old’s bed. She jumped out of bed, we moved the mattress, we moved the box spring, and I’ll never forget peering over the far corner and seeing the terrified eyes of my two-year old.

Somehow – we just can’t explain it – she had moved from her bed, where she slept – and she was not a sleepwalker – and she was positioned underneath the nine-year-old’s bed in such a way that it was impossible that she had gotten there on her own or in her sleep. Her head was up near the corner of the wall, and her whole body was under that bed. She was two, so she couldn’t tell us how she got there.

We were just mainly interested in moving everything to get her out, calm her down, try to make sense of it. Eventually we did calm her down and put her back to bed, and we all went to sleep. I remember looking at my husband and saying, “How was this physically possible?” He kept saying, “I can’t explain it. I just can’t. I don’t know.”

So that was pretty upsetting. Our two-year-old is very verbal, so she would tell the story a lot. Not the greatest conversation when you’re trying to visit with soccer moms. [laughs] Suddenly she’d pipe up and say, “Remember the time that I got dragged under the bed?”

JIM HAROLD: Ooh. Oh my gosh, yeah, people will get the wrong idea. And the screams. That’s so terrifying. The idea of screams – you have small children, you’re hearing screams, your mind goes to the worst possible places.

KATE: Yeah. That on its own, I leaned more towards “there’s no physical explanation for this,” and my husband was more along the lines of “we just don’t know.” So that was the first thing.

Then the second thing that happened – now I need to think a minute when this was. This was probably two or three months later. Normal school morning at my house. I heard my son go downstairs to try to wake the girls up, and I could hear him struggling with the door. He was saying, “What is going on? What’s going on? I can’t figure this out.” Then I heard this loud pop, and the door opened.

Then he called for my husband and I and said, “Mom, Dad, you need to come and look at this.” This is, again, kind of hard to describe, but I’ll try my best. There was something that had been holding that door closed from the inside of the room while both of my girls were sleeping. We figured out what it was, and it’s just such a headscratcher.

Back in the ’50s, people did this wood paneling and a pine paneling, almost like what you’d see in a Northwoods cabin.

JIM HAROLD: Yeah, I had a house from the mid-’50s and it had it in it.

KATE: Yeah. It’s okay. It’s kind of a darker color than I would like, but that’s just what we have. Then at about chair height, there’s a detail, a thin, narrow piece of trim that runs horizontally all the way around the room.

JIM HAROLD: Yeah. In fact, the old Spooky Studio had that. Spooky Studio 1.0.

KATE: So you know what I’m talking about. And that trim is nailed in at like eight-inch increments with I guess a brad nail or there are small nails that keep that trim in. That piece of trim, which as the door swings left is behind the door on that same wall, had been pulled out, about five feet of that trim, at such an angle that exactly when the door opened, the trim would be holding it closed.

JIM HAROLD: Whoa. That’s weird. I’ve got to tell you, those houses – my house was built actually right around the same time, the old house that we moved out of last year – they built stuff where it didn’t just fall apart. You had to get like a crowbar and pry stuff loose.

KATE: Yeah, we’ve always said this house is built like a tank. That’s part of the reason we love it. It’s good quality construction. So not only were nine or ten nails literally pulled out of the wall with this trim, but the physics of it – it wasn’t going to hold the door closed unless the trim was being pulled out at the same time that the door was opening so there was some leverage there.


KATE: So we nailed it all back in, and again, I’m looking at my husband saying, “Explain how this is possible,” in probably more emotional tones than I’m telling you right now. And he’s saying, “I can’t. There’s no explanation.” So that was the second thing that happened. Then things were quiet. We’re Christians, so we pray over our house all of the time, and we did pray in the rooms. It seemed like we’d almost forgotten about it, except when our kids retell the story.

Then about a month ago – this is what made me finally decide to call. Again, same girls. They’re a little older now. The oldest is about 11. School night. She was in bed, trying to fall asleep. Our younger daughter, who’s now five, was sleeping on the bottom bunk. It was in a different configuration, but anyway, our older daughter came running upstairs and she was just shaking, white as a sheet. She said, “There is something in my room.”


KATE: I went down with her, and it was clear – her whole body, she was in shock, but she was able to explain that she had been falling asleep. She knew she was still awake at the time because she said she was thinking about the standardized testing they were going to be taking the next day at school.

So she was still awake enough to remember her conscious thoughts, and suddenly she saw at the bottom of the bed this dark figure, this dark shape come over the bottom of her bed and begin moving closer to her. She couldn’t quite make out the shape. She said it was a couple feet long, very dark, and very scary. I think she said she could tell it had appendages, possibly arms and legs, and it had eyes.

She closed her eyes right away, and I think she was singing a song from Sunday school. In her mind, she was singing. Then she opened her eyes again, and then it was moving forward and back along the long side of her bed. The only way she had to get out of the room would’ve been to go past it. So she actually made a run for it. I don’t know how she did it, but that was when she ran up to find me. Of course, when I went down there, there was nothing.

JIM HAROLD: Wow. That is just frightening. Again, when these spirits or whatever they are, more negative energies, go after your kids, that’s a whole different level. It’s one thing if they pick on you, but when they go after your kids, that’s got to be doubly frightening, no?

KATE: Yeah, it actually kind of made me angry because, like you said, they don’t have any choice in the matter. Not that any of us do, and my husband and I have had experiences that can’t be explained. But it’s just different when it’s your kids.

JIM HAROLD: Yep, I agree. I can only imagine. It’s not happened to us, but I can imagine how fearsome it’s been. Do you have a plan to deal with this?

KATE: What we decided – like I said at the beginning, we don’t know if it’s the room, because it’s not like we get a letter in the mail the next week saying, “This is why this happened.” None of it. There’s no communication apart from the experiences. [laughs] So we’re just guessing. It might not be the room, it might be the room. But the most important thing is that our daughters need to feel that we’re taking care of them and making sure they’re safe, that their emotions and experiences are important.

We did have a bedroom in the upstairs that wasn’t being used, and ultimately we just decided to let them sleep in the upstairs bedroom.

JIM HAROLD: Do you think it’s tied back to those people that were there before? You said they had a lot of kids. What do you think the causal factor might be here, if there is one?

KATE: I’ve wondered about a lot of different things. I try to find a way to blame someone. It just seems so random that I hesitate to guess. I didn’t hear about anything ever happening with the family before us except there was a lot of chaos in the house. I think there was an arrest that happened in one of the bedrooms that I heard about. A chaotic household, but nothing that would make me think they were up to anything dark.

JIM HAROLD: Right. Again, it’s a fearsome situation, and a bit scary, to be honest. But it sounds like you’ve got a handle on things and a level head, and are certainly able to deal with it. Thank you so much for joining us today, Kate, and sharing your story on the Campfire.

KATE: Thanks for having me, Jim.

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You’re listening to Jim Harold’s Campfire.

JIM HAROLD: Next up we have a fellow podcaster in the world of the strange. I’m talking about Adam from Weekly Creep, and he’s calling in today from Texas. We’re so glad to have him on. He’s going to tell us a little bit about the podcast a little bit later, but first he’s going to tell us about ghost hunting at the Hellfire Club in Dublin and why he believes that the more you look into the paranormal, the more you get. I think I agree. Adam, welcome to the show. Great to speak with you today.

ADAM: Thanks a million, Jim. It’s great to be here. Well, online at least. [laughs]

JIM HAROLD: Tell us about ghost hunting at the Hellfire Club.

ADAM: It’s definitely a very amateur excursion. It happened about three years ago, just after I moved back home. Got in touch with some old friends. I’m from Dublin, and I had never been to the Hellfire Club properly. We started going up some evenings after work, and nothing happened a couple times, but it’s definitely a spooky place. You have to walk maybe a mile from the carpark up to the actual thing, through woods, and it’s very dark, very spooky. We would have little apps on our phones and stuff like that. Nothing insane or anything happened.

Then we went up another night – each time we went up, we got a little bit more and a little bit more, and one night I thought I saw a black cat through the window. Completely unbeknownst to me at the time, that is one of the legends of the house about two miles at the bottom of Montpelier Hill. So we tried our best to debunk it. There was a rubbish bag outside that was all black, and I thought “maybe it was this blowing in the wind” or whatever. I pulled it out, and we were able to prove from our recordings that that bag hadn’t been moving because as soon as I pulled it out, our recordings all went to – you know. All we could hear was the bag rustling in the wind. It was afterwards that I thought, oh, maybe I really did see that.

Anyway, the last night we went up was January 2020. It was right before I moved over here, and it was kind of a going-away parting thing. Me and the same group went up. We just had handheld recorders, and as soon as we got there – the Hellfire Club is great for young kids to go up and act the goat, do whatever they’re doing. When we got there this night, there was a young couple up there. Obviously, we ruined their evening. [laughs] Bunch of ghost geeks showing up. They went off, and as always, we checked around and then had a quick look throughout the building. It’s quite small, but we wanted to make sure there wasn’t anybody hanging around, up to no good.

Me and my girlfriend at the time walked up, straight to the top room at the very back in the middle, and as we got there, something hissed at us. At the time, I didn’t think about the cat, but later on thinking about it – this was the most genuine hiss I’ve ever heard in my life. It obviously startled both of us, and we both heard it. We looked, again, tried to be logical. We couldn’t find anything. We were trying to drag rocks or anything to see if we could – nothing. We couldn’t debunk it.

We decided that’s where we would start our investigation. We stood there; there were four of us. We’re standing in the room and asking the usual, “Is there anybody there?”, trying to be as respectful as possible. Nothing jumps out at us or anything like that, but we could hear what sounded like another person. It’s hard to describe, but the floors are filled with years of debris and stones and stuff, so to be quiet in this place is a nightmare for trying to record anything. Any time anyone moves you’re like, “Oh, that’s me, that’s me.”

It literally sounded like there was an extra person in the doorway. We heard it in the doorway, so we go into the next room, and in the next room we start the same thing again. There’s pigeons as well that have made their homes there, so they love to really scare you. But we’re there and we hear stuff in the third room upstairs. We go, “Let’s go in here.”

We go across, and same thing again. We start asking questions. Only this time, we hear what I can only describe as if someone had a bowling ball and they were downstairs and they were rolling it from one end of the place to the next. At this point, me and my friend look at each other and we’re like, “These kids have come back. They’re messing with us.” This was the loudest thing – I can’t even describe it, give enough detail how loud this thing was. That’s all I could think of, that someone was rolling rocks or something downstairs.

We go to go down the stairs and get whoever it is out of there, and as we get to the door, we’re met with the most stereotypical cold spot. Literally I’ve never felt this in my life before or since. It was a freezing cold night anyway, but this felt as if you got into a cold shower, but there was no water. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I called everyone over. I was like, “Put your hand here” – again, feeling like people on these TV shows, almost, like, “Oh my God, there’s a cold spot.” But it really was.

Anyway, we got over it, we went downstairs and we’re looking through. You can jump out the windows downstairs because they’re level with the ground, so we start looking all around. All we can see is a couple of deer off in the background. We come back around to the front of the place, which is where we would always ground ourselves after – because we’d be in there for a little while, we’d get too scared, we’d all come back out.

As we’re standing there – I don’t know if it’s before or after, but we said, “Whatever just happened here, we just followed something from the first room to the second room to the third room and then outside. Whatever it is” – because I still don’t know where I believe in ghosts, necessarily, but whatever this was – “got us out of there, and that’s clearly what it wants.”

JIM HAROLD: Yeah, get out of there. The only ones who wanted out more were the couple you were talking about.

ADAM: Yeah, exactly. [laughs] As we’re stood there looking, the place – because it’s on top of the hill, it’s a beautiful place, honestly, because you’re overlooking the whole of Dublin and all the city lights keep it lit. As we’re looking, I look up into the top right window and I see this shadow figure. Split second, this thing, as if it had been standing there watching us. As I looked up, it just turned to walk back into the room where we had heard the hiss. I just saw jet black, darker than anything else, and the one red eye. It put the fear of God into me because as soon as I saw it, obviously my blood ran cold. I let out a roar. I probably cursed like a sailor. I said something along the lines of, “Oh my God, I just saw this thing up there.”

I’m probably not very successful at it, but I try to be calm and collected. The assignment didn’t happen. I was genuinely scared, and I was the only one who had seen it. But it was the red eye that really got me. And it wasn’t that it only had one, but I only saw what would’ve been the side profile of a face as it turned away. I was trying to describe it to my friends and all I could say was imagine Darth Maul from Star Wars, basically, but all I saw was jet black. It was as if it had a cape or something that made a swoosh as it walked away. Quite dramatic, actually.

But anyway, I refused to go back in. I said, “Look, this thing got us out. I’m not going back in there tonight.” But there’s two small – we don’t know what the rooms were originally; we’re thinking maybe servants’ rooms or stables or something, we’re not sure – but they’re on the side of the building. So we agreed that we would go in there and ask the same things.

I was very on edge. At this point we were all getting very snarky with one fellow in particular. We don’t know why. We did the usual asking around thing, and this one fellow’s saying, “I think you’re all mad,” but the two girls now thought they had seen shadow figures as well. Finally, he agrees to let us go, and as we’re walking out, he goes, “Okay, that’s it. Let’s go. We’re going, we’re going, we’re going.”

He said that – I can’t remember now whether it was a voice or the same hiss or something, but whatever it was that he heard scared the lights out of him, and he’d had enough. That was it. As we were walking away from the place, he had a big Maglite torch, like the old police torches, on his shoulder. I feel him grab the back of my hood and I turn around and say, “What are you doing?”

As I do that, his flashlight hits the ground, and he was a good six feet away from me. It definitely wasn’t him. And he said the same thing. He had his torch sitting on his shoulder, and it was as if something flicked it forward out of his hand. That was enough for that night. We said, “Okay, we’re definitely out of here.”

Real quick, after that, we were having a couple of going-away parties. Stuff had started to happen in my house. The more we went up there, the more odd stuff was happening back home for all of us, as far as I know. And then we were all saying our goodbyes, and they were the last ones at this party. I don’t drink, so I was the designated driver. I was going to bring them home. As three or four of us are sitting in the kitchen at my parents’ house, we hear that noise again, like there’s somebody else in the room.

Me and him heard it, the fellow who also got scared. We just looked at each other. We knew what we heard, but we weren’t addressing it. We were like, “All right, that’s it. It’s time to go.” And then I moved, so I had two years in the States without being able to actually go ghost hunting. And when we went back in January, we went up and we had just a quick visit. We went back to the Hellfire Club in the dark but fortunately, or unfortunately, we didn’t have any activity this time.

JIM HAROLD: So you’re convinced that the more you look into the paranormal – the more you seek it out, the more you’re going to get. And maybe sometimes more than you want.

ADAM: Yeah, absolutely. It came down to the point where – I had never really had any experiences that I could say “this was definitely not normal,” whether it’s paranormal or not. I woke up one evening, I was staying in my parents’ house before I moved here, and someone turned on my bedside light. I was fast asleep and I heard the click. I woke up, everything was bright.

Another night, I felt someone playing with my toes in my bed. Literally my worst nightmare. I woke up, and again, trying to debunk it – “I had the blanket pulled away from my feet.” I didn’t. I had the blanket wrapped around my feet. It was at that point – because nothing felt menacing or anything – I just said, maybe it’s family members or something. We had had a couple of recent family members, and we definitely are the type of family that would play practical jokes and stuff. So I just said at that point, “Look, you’re more than welcome to be in the house, but this is my room.” From that point, nothing happened in the room.

But still, the activity kept going. And then I moved away and it almost stopped until very recently.

JIM HAROLD: That has not dissuaded you from doing the Weekly Creep podcast. Give us about a minute of what it’s on and where people can find it.

ADAM: Absolutely. Thank you again, Jim, for the chance to promote. Basically, it’s weekly. Weekly Creep. We’re everywhere that you can find podcasts. I wasn’t even aware that we were on Audible until a few weeks ago when one of our listeners reached out and told us. That’s the way she found us.

But yeah, we just delve into all things ghostly. We do a little bit of true crime, but not as much lately. What I’ve really found is possibly our strong suit is mega deep dives into poltergeist cases. In the last few months, we’ve definitely covered a lot. If I was to ask anybody to do me a favor, I would say start at the later episodes, because the early ones are definitely a bit more cringey.

We try to get slightly more unique or less covered ones, but in saying that, I did have to indulge in the Enfield Haunting recently because that was one I grew up with and I never knew the full story. If you like ghosts – obviously, you’re in the right place – yeah.

JIM HAROLD: Well, everybody, do check it out. The Weekly Creep podcast. Do check it out wherever you listen to the Campfire. Adam, thank you so much for sharing that great story and telling us a little bit about the show.

ADAM: Brilliant. Thank you, Jim. Bye.

JIM HAROLD: Jim Harold’s Campfire is brought to you by Calm. Every single day, it seems, we hear about our morning rituals and how they can change our day, but have you ever thought about your evening rituals? Allowing ourselves transition time to wind down both our devices and our minds in the evening allows us to stop our racing thoughts and drift off to sleep naturally.

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JIM HAROLD: Ron’s on the line from Montreal, Canada. He’s been on the show before. Had a great story a while back. So glad to have him back on the show. He’s going to take us back to the mid-’90s. Ron, welcome to the show. Thank you for joining us.

RON: Hi, Jim. Thank you for having me on again.

JIM HAROLD: Tell us what happened.

RON: This goes back to the mid-’90s. My parents owned a restaurant back then. I used to work for them. My grandfather wasn’t doing well, and then one night we got a phone call – must’ve been 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning, my dad got the bad news that his father passed away, my grandfather. Obviously, my dad couldn’t go to work that day, so I had to go and open the restaurant. It was really long hours.

So I went there. Usually it’d be me, my dad, and my mom running the restaurant. That day it was only my mom and I. I’m working the whole day – I must’ve opened up at 8:00, and we’re working and doing breakfast and all that, and then it was supper service. It must’ve been around 7:00-7:30. I was working the kitchen, and it was insane because my dad wasn’t there. Just working like crazy, back and forth.

Jim, I’m telling you, out of nowhere, and I cannot explain this – and I’ve told this story to many people – out of nowhere, I just felt – I’m getting goosebumps just telling you the story – I felt that my grandfather was there. I can’t explain it. I have never felt anything so strange and bizarre. I just knew he was there. I can’t explain. I know it was him. Guaranteed.

I figured, okay, maybe he’s here to say goodbye and everything. Then my mom comes up to me and she goes, “Your grandfather’s here. I feel it.” So that’s when it really hit me because it’s not something that could’ve happened to two people at the same time. We were working the whole day together at the restaurant, and when she came to me, that’s when it really, really hit me. I was like, oh my God, she’s feeling it too. What are the chances that two people feel it at the same time?

It was really, really bizarre. It was the strangest thing I’ve ever felt in my life. And my grandfather lived on another continent, really far away. It was really, really strange.

JIM HAROLD: The fact that you both felt it at the same time – you felt it, your mom comes in a few minutes later. What are the chances of that just happening by happenstance?

And another thing I’ll mention – this happens to a lot of business owners, and I know sometimes people who own their own business get a bad rap, unfortunately. I consider myself a business owner, doing these podcasts. When there’s a death in the family or something horrible happens, unfortunately, a lot of times there’s no time to grieve because you’ve got to keep the business going. I empathize with that. Maybe that was a way that your grandfather – he knew that you couldn’t stop and take a pause and just grieve and sit with the situation, so he came to you.

RON: Right. I’m telling you, Jim, I wish I could have your audience feel – it was just so strange. It was just bizarre. Really, really strange.

JIM HAROLD: But it strikes me as a great thing that he did.

RON: Yeah. It was a good feeling. It’s something I’ll never forget, that’s for sure.

JIM HAROLD: You also said that you had a story that you wanted to share for your daughter.

RON: Oh, my daughter, yeah. She also asked if she could get a shout-out.

JIM HAROLD: What’s her first name?

RON: Sarah, and my son’s name is Ethan.

JIM HAROLD: Sarah and Ethan, stay spooky. Thanks for listening to the show.

RON: Thank you. She told me she wants to be old enough to tell you a bunch of stories, but I can tell you one that she had not long ago. They live with their mom. She calls me up one evening – their mom was out, and her brother was in bed and she was getting ready to go to bed. She was standing next to his room and they were just talking, and she goes to me, “Dad, all of a sudden I looked towards the kitchen and I saw this shadowy thing or something, just walking in the kitchen. It lasted several seconds. It scared me so much that I had to look away. It was weird. It was kind of walking slow and glitching, almost. I don’t know. It scared me so much that I had to turn away.”

So she called me up to tell me what had happened, that she got scared. But she told me once she’s old enough, she wants to call your show and tell you all these stories, stuff that’s happened to her.

JIM HAROLD: Absolutely. That would be great. The thing that she mentioned, that you mentioned for her, that I think is really, really interesting – and I hear this from time to time – this glitching. When people see some kind of entity or something in their house, sometimes it’ll be jerky in its motion. It’ll glitch. I think that’s really interesting. It’s not something you think about a lot, but relatively consistently, people call in to the show and say that. That’s really pretty fascinating to me.

Ron, love the stories. Thank you so much for sharing them and being a part of the Campfire.

RON: Thank you so much for having me, Jim.

JIM HAROLD: Tyler is on the line from Florida. We’ve been getting a lot of these lately, and I really enjoy these calls about people who have experiences with haunted houses. Tyler is going to tell us all about it. Tyler, welcome to the show. I know you’ve been listening for a couple of years and you found out about us from And That’s Why We Drink, Christine and Em. And by the way, folks, they have a new book out; we’ll be talking with them on the Paranormal Podcast soon. Tyler, welcome aboard, and tell us what happened.

TYLER: Thank you so much, Jim. I appreciate it. This takes place about 15 years ago. I was probably 11-12, preteen/teenage era. I was living in a house with my mom and my sister. We lived in a small town in Florida called Ocklawaha, very, very tiny. We were renting a house from my great-grandmother. It was a two-bedroom house, not very old, had a big property. We didn’t have any weird vibes from it. My great-grandmother had rented it out to some people before us, so other people had lived there, but nothing bad historically that we knew of.

Everything was fine for the first year or so that we lived there. One of the first things – there’s two small ones and then the big one. The first one that was weird was my friend and I were out front one time, just throwing a ball back and forth to each other. It was probably around dusk time. We were by the road, and I threw the ball at her and then I looked over her shoulder because on the road, I saw – I guess it was an orb or something. It was a beach-ball-sized ball of light. I told her, “Do you see that?” She looked at it and she goes, “That’s an orb.” I was like, okay, she also sees it. Then we ran inside because we didn’t know. That was our first weird moment.

Then it was quiet after that. Nothing really happened for another – gosh, probably six to eight months. It was a while. I was probably 12 at this time. My sister and I were sharing a room with each other at this time, and my mom, my sister, and I were going to go out shopping or something like that. I wanted to bring my purse with me, and normally I kept my purse in my bedroom. No big deal.

I went into my and my sister’s bedroom and I couldn’t find my purse. I asked my mom and my sister, “Have you seen it?” They hadn’t. So all three of us looked for it. All three of us are going room by room. None of us leave each other’s sight or anything like that. My mom and my sister are with me at all times. We just can’t find it. We search the entire house, we go outside at one point, search the car, see if I left it in there. Still couldn’t find it. Then we go back inside, and I look back in my and my sister’s room just to double-check and it was sitting there in the middle of the floor.


TYLER: It reminded me of the JOTT thing that you talk about. Just one of those things.

JIM HAROLD: When you said that, that’s exactly what I thought of.

TYLER: Yeah. I was like, okay, that was interesting. The biggest thing – and even now, it’s been, gosh, 15 years, and this is still the scariest thing that’s ever happened to me. I was probably 13 or 14 at this time.

We had a sunroom. For people who might not know what it is, it’s basically a porch attachment that has walls and insulation and things like that. It was off the living room. You had to go through a sliding glass door, but it was still attached to the house, and it had a door that led outside to a deck where we would grill and things like that. We had converted half of it into a bedroom, so I had my bed, and my bedroom was about 25-30 feet away from the door that led out to the deck. I was at the opposite end of the house from my sister and mom and their bedrooms.

One night, it was probably 11:00 or 12:00, but I was a teenager so I was fully awake and alert and everything. I heard something on the deck outside. We lived out near the woods, so I was like, okay, a racoon, possum, maybe one of our cats, something like that. Then I heard it jump on the wooden banister of the deck. I was still not getting too weirded out by it. Then I heard it jump onto the roof. The roof was a metal tin roof.

Jim, it sounded like claws walking across. And it walked all the way to the opposite end of the roof, right over my bed. It didn’t make any sounds or anything. I’m sure it was just a few seconds, but it felt like minutes of absolute silence. Then it slowly walked its way back, tip-tapping, tinny sounds. It wasn’t like paws or something. I don’t know. And then it got to the other end of the roof, back near the deck, and then it jumped down. Even now, I’m getting goosebumps because it knocked on my door.


TYLER: I was a blur with how quickly I ran through the opposite end of the house to go get my mom. I was sobbing, banging on her door, trying to wake her up. She had her boyfriend over, and he came out with a shotgun, and they let our dog out and my dog ran immediately over to the deck. I don’t know if he saw something that we couldn’t or if he just had a feeling something was there, but we didn’t find anything. I just don’t know.

JIM HAROLD: How has that impacted you going forward, having all these experiences at this place? Obviously you’re still interested in the topic.

TYLER: I definitely am, yeah. We moved out of that house three years after that, and that was the last thing. It was like a big sendoff; we didn’t have anything else there. I’d been interested in the paranormal prior to that, but that just re-heightened that interest because it’s one of those “I just don’t know what that was,” and it scared me so much. Even now, that’s always my go-to scary story. I don’t know if it was a random Ocklawaha, Florida cryptid or what. [laughs]

JIM HAROLD: Well, very, very interesting indeed. Thank you so much for joining us today on the Campfire.

TYLER: Thank you so much, Jim. Have a great day.

JIM HAROLD: Jim Harold’s Campfire is brought to you by Raycon, and I love my Raycon earbuds. It’s funny; I don’t know if you’ve had this experience where there’s a genre of music that you don’t care for as much, and then you revisit it years later and you say, “That’s actually pretty good.” I’ve been listening to smooth jazz, of all things. It was really popular on the radio in the ’90s, and I’ve really started to enjoy it.

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You’re listening to Jim Harold’s Campfire.

JIM HAROLD: Next up on the line we have Chris from Connecticut. He tells me that he has been listening for many, many years, and we appreciate it because, as I told Chris, no storyteller equals no Campfire. So we appreciate each and every one of our storytellers. Chris is here to start off with a story about black-eyed kids, which is one of the most fearsome topics we cover on this show and one that has me scratching my head. Maybe we’ll get some light shed on the subject by Chris. Chris, welcome to the show. Thank you for your longtime support, and tell us what happened.

CHRIS: Thank you for having me. I live in northeast Connecticut, and I was out doing maintenance for a mill that was rented out to different companies. The building is just over a million square feet, and it was finished in like 1862. It was just me and one other person left that did maintenance for it.

I was coming to the end of my day, and I was driving down by our shop and just getting out of the car, and when I got out of the car, I looked – I don’t even know why, but I was going to walk in the opposite direction, and I turned and looked behind me, and there were three little girls. The oldest one maybe 12, the youngest one probably 5 or 6, the other one somewhere in the middle.

The way the mill is set, I was way below grade, so I was probably two stories below them, and they were on a sidewalk. It would come down the hill and then you’d go to the driveway to go back to where I was. So they were, without going down the rest of the hill and coming back, they were probably about 100 yards from me. I looked over at them, and I don’t know why, but all of a sudden I was like, “I’ve got to run. Something’s wrong.” I mean, they’re only little kids.

I went into the shop and locked the door behind me before I realized, “Why am I running? These are little kids.” I went down this hall and around the corner to where there’s this big steel door. The door’s like 20 x 20, and it has this tiny little keyhole. You’re able to look through it. And I could see them at the door that I went in. I immediately ran – not ran, but walked quickly inside, locked the door behind me, and went over to that steel door, and they were already there. I don’t even know how you would move that quickly, but they were already there.

When I was looking in the keyhole, the littlest one of them looked over at the steel door. It’s a narrow space, because there’s a big, tall, 100-foot chimney, so it’s only maybe six feet wide, a path going between the building and the chimney. She pointed towards the door, and then the other two looked over, and I ran away again. I went to a different part of the building. I went up one story and then came back out onto this roof and looked down, and they were gone. I never saw them again.

But when they looked over, the little girl that pointed at me – it was like she had no eyes. It was just black. Almost like a Halloween costume. And these girls were dressed like they were – I want to say Amish. Basically very dull clothes, like gray maybe, and they all had on the same dresses. Shoes, I don’t know. I didn’t really catch that one. I just don’t know why these little girls instinctively put fear into me. I’m a firefighter and a part-time police officer, and I’ve seen a lot of things.

JIM HAROLD: But they had black eyes.

CHRIS: Yes. The youngest girl, the shortest one, absolutely did. When the other ones turned, I just took off.

JIM HAROLD: So we’re talking solid black eyeball.

CHRIS: I’m talking – it was like their eyes were black, but also around. It was very dark.

JIM HAROLD: Interesting. Do you have any theories on this, Chris?

CHRIS: I don’t. The only thing that popped into my head – I’d heard about this before, but I had never looked into it till after this. It all just fits. All they were doing was knocking on the door, but something instinctively in me was like, “Something’s wrong. Get out of there.” I can’t really explain much more than that.

JIM HAROLD: If I see three little kids following after me with solid black eyeballs, I’m out of there lickety-split. It’s like, “Okay, thanks.” It reminds me of Bugs Bunny in the old cartoons. “Thanks, have a good time! Bye-bye!” [laughs] “See ya later!”

CHRIS: Absolutely. I absolutely agree.

JIM HAROLD: This isn’t the only strange thing you’ve seen, something that is out of place. You have a story, of all things, about Santa.

CHRIS: Oh, the Santa, yes. Back when I was much younger – it was probably 2000 – I was driving a truck, hauling wood siding. I lived up in Massachusetts. I was coming out of Boston and I was on what’s called Route 20. It was before they built these big freeways, and it was kind of in the middle of nowhere. It was outside of Boston, and there was a state forest around, so there wasn’t even houses.

There was this guy walking with a Santa suit on, carrying an axe, in the middle of nowhere. But the kicker is, it was July. In the middle of the day.

JIM HAROLD: That’s weird.

CHRIS: This was before cellphones. I would’ve taken a picture. But I had the big yellow chunky Nokia phone. [laughs] It didn’t have a camera back then.

JIM HAROLD: Well, I can tell you, it’s weird when you see these people out of place. It’s like, why are they there? That’s a very strange thing. Chris, thank you for sharing that, and thank you for sharing the story about those black-eyed kids.

CHRIS: Thank you. You have a good night.

JIM HAROLD: Janine has been listening for a couple of years. One of her coworkers told her about the show, and we appreciate that. She is calling in from New England and has a story – actually, it sounds like from a firehouse. I don’t know if we’ve ever had a firehouse story. Not sure. But I love it. I love these kinds of stories. Janine, welcome to the show and please tell us what happened.

JANINE: Thank you so much. I’ve been a volunteer firefighter for most of my adult life. I joined the fire department when I was 16. Both my dad and my grandfather were members, so it just felt like the right thing to do.

JIM HAROLD: Kudos to you. In small towns, that’s a very, very important function. Hats off to you and all your fellow firefighters.

JANINE: Thank you. Actually, my daughter, who’s 17 now, just joined too, so it’s a cool family tradition.

JIM HAROLD: So tell us what happened.

JANINE: I was in this fire department when I was 17 or 18 years old. Real old fire station. There’d always been stories of things happening there that I didn’t really pay attention to much. But as young adults, we hung out there late at night because we didn’t have anything else going on. What was cool is the relationships we had with older members there. We’d all sit around and play cards and really get to know each other. It was a great environment.

We played Pitch, which was a game I was really not good at, but an older gentleman who befriended us taught me how to play, and some of the other members, and we’d be there throughout the weeks. One thing he would always do is smoke a cigar while he played. At the time, it wasn’t a big deal. It wasn’t nonsmoking, and that wasn’t really in place anywhere at that time, so nobody minded, and it’s what happened.

Later on, years later, he fell ill, had a brief fight with cancer, and passed away. We were all upset and sad and had a nice fire department funeral for him where we honored him. Years later, they instilled a smoke-free policy at the fire station, which for the time seemed appropriate. Less people were smoking and everything.

I happened to be there at around the same time of night when we would all hang out. It’d been years since anyone had smoked in there. And the strongest smell of cigar came over me. There was no open windows, no one in the area that was smoking a cigar. I just feel like this gentleman must’ve stopped in to say hi and let me know he was there.

JIM HAROLD: What a neat story. I just think it’s so great with a loved one coming across with something just saying, “Hey, I’m here.” Very neat indeed. Another thing that’s neat, Janine, is I understand you listen with your three kids, Abigail, Piper, and Ruby. I want to give them a big “stay spooky” shout-out. Abigail, Piper, and Ruby, stay spooky. You, too, Janine, and thank you for being a part of the Campfire.

JANINE: Thanks, Jim. Stay spooky.

JIM HAROLD: Next up on the Campfire is Jason from Oregon. I’m not going to spoil the story, but needless to say, this may be one of the most unique stories we’ve heard in the history of Campfire, and that’s lucky 13 years. Jason, welcome aboard, and please tell us what happened.

JASON: Thanks for having me, Jim. This story has a bit of a punchline to it. I’ve watered it down a bit because some of the details are involved, but what I’m going to do is give the gist of everything, and you’ll see how this culminates in the end, so to speak.

Right around January of 2021, I got an email from my sister. This is right after this tumultuous election we had. I had actually, believe it or not, deleted all my social media accounts and everything because it was just too much. But she sent me an email, and she asked me, “Hey Jason, have you done any genealogy lately? Especially on dad’s side?” I said, “To be honest, no. I’ve got other things to worry about right now.” She said, “Well, Jason, we have to talk.” I’m like, okay, any time I see that, that’s usually not good.

The short of it was that she had recently uploaded some of her DNA results to a site called GEDmatch where you can compare platforms and whatnot and see who you’re related to. Obviously, I came up as one of her first matches because I’m her sibling. There were a couple wrinkles, though. One was that she had a half-brother – and I say she for a reason – she had a half-brother that we didn’t know about. And also, she noticed that I only shared enough DNA with her to be a half-sibling.


JASON: Yeah. I think these stories are actually becoming more common with technology nowadays.

JIM HAROLD: Yeah. We have a show called You Won’t Believe What Happened To Me, and we’ve heard this two or three times already.

JASON: Right. So my mind was spinning when I saw that. The way the details worked out, we were able to figure out that Dad wasn’t bio dad for me. She knew that she and I had the same mother for sure. She said, “Jason, do you want to find this guy or not? You may not want to.” I’m like, “Oh, absolutely I want to know who this is. I am not going to let this one go.” Not that I would harass him, but I want to know who I am and where I’m from.

So she bought me kits for Ancestry and 23andMe so we could cast a wider net to see what we could find. Some hits came back that were definitely not from my mother’s side, and most of them were centered in Maine and Quebec. So apparently I’m French-Canadian. I didn’t know this. Perhaps your assistant Maddy would think that’s kind of cool since she’s Canadian, I think.

JIM HAROLD: [laughs] Maybe.

JASON: Long story short, I was able to speak with some distant cousins that I found on one of these platforms, and I asked, “Do you know anyone who could be closely related to me that was even in the area that I was born in?”, which was Georgia. Which is way far away from Maine and Quebec. She’s like, “You know what? The only ones that I see is someone who moved from Waterville, Maine to Florida in the ’70s.” I’m like, well, it’s not Georgia, but it’s a lot closer than Maine. And I was born in the ’70s.

By process of elimination, to shorten this, we were able to figure out who it was. We found out who it was; the person who I’d originally thought it was ended up being my paternal grandfather, though.

Now, here is the first synchronicity of the story that I think is amazing. My paternal grandfather and I share a birthday.

JIM HAROLD: That’s weird.

JASON: It is very weird. When I told my bio dad that, he was like, “Get out of Dodge. No way.” Like, yeah.

To make things short, I ended up meeting my bio father. I flew to Florida to meet him, and he and I are developing a really good relationship. He told me his side of the story, of course. I won’t mention his name or anything like that for his privacy, obviously. But he has no problem knowing me, and he is kind of tickled to death that he went from having zero to four grandchildren overnight.

JIM HAROLD: That’s kind of cool.

JASON: It is kind of cool. Later that summer, I decided that I wanted to see where I was really from and where my roots are. So I took a trip to Maine, more specifically Waterville. Oddly enough – and here’s the next synchronicity – I grew up in Tennessee, and one of my high school teachers retired to Maine after she had finished her career in Tennessee. And she lives about 20 miles away from where my bio father grew up.

JIM HAROLD: Small world.

JASON: It is a small world, yes. She said, “You’re welcome to stay with me and even use my car if you want to go around and travel and see the place a little bit.” I’m like, cool.

While I was in her place, I got a message from my bio father, and he said, “Hey, I want to know how you’re liking Maine. Give me a call.” Right before I called him – and this is spooky – I looked up on the wall of the guest room I was staying in, and perched up on the wall was what looked like a real branch from a tree. It forked off into three different directions, and on each one of those was a carved figurine of an owl, so there are three owls.

JIM HAROLD: Ooh, owls are spooky.

JASON: Yeah, I haven’t even gotten to the punchline yet. As I’m looking at these owls, I hear one in the distance in the forest. Like right there. I’m like, whoa, that’s kind of weird. I give my bio dad a call immediately after that happens, and he wants to know how I’m liking Maine and how things are going and what I thought of the place. He asked where I was; I said Newcastle. He said, “Oh yeah, vacationed there plenty of times.”

He said, “You know, Jason, your grandmother, during the summers, she would stay at a lighthouse not far away from where you are right now.” I’m like, “Really?” He’s like, “Yes, and the name is Owls Head Lighthouse.” At this point I’m like, “Oh shut up, just stop. This is way too much.” This is all happening all at once, and this happened within five minutes of me seeing those owls on the wall and hearing one simultaneously.

JIM HAROLD: That’s weird. That’s like the universe is saying wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

JASON: Yeah, it is. Throughout this whole process – and if you were to hear some of the other details, you would see what I mean, but throughout this whole process, it’s almost like there’s someone on the other side making sure this happens. Like someone wants this to happen really badly and they’re forcing it. Like, wow. That’s how it felt.

The next day, I take a little trip, about a 20-minute drive to Rockland, Maine, where that lighthouse was. I visited it, and it felt like there was someone else there with me. And I don’t mean the other people visiting too. It was surreal. Almost like someone was guiding me to go to this room, up to the lighthouse – it almost felt like I was with someone from the other side. It was bizarre. Chills the entire time, perpetual goosebumps from the time I got there until the time I left.

JIM HAROLD: So you think maybe something on the other side was facilitating this series of discoveries?

JASON: I do. And I talked to some people who knew my paternal grandmother, and they say this has her fingerprints all over it.

JIM HAROLD: That’s cool.

JASON: She has passed away not even a year before I got this news.

JIM HAROLD: That is so neat. Yeah, there’s a lot of emotion and everything with it, but it sounds like for you, this has been a very good and empowering thing.

JASON: It has been because there are so many of these scenarios that just don’t end well sometimes. I mean, it could’ve been a lot worse. I think my bio dad was probably thinking the same thing because he didn’t know me from Adam. I could be calling from the state pen wanting some money for the commissary. [laughs] But no, I’m not that guy, and he is very glad about that. He’s very excited that he has grandchildren that he might get to spoil or something.

JIM HAROLD: There you go. Very nice. I’m so glad that’s all worked out for you. And I do believe that on the other side, sometimes relatives and things move chess pieces to put things in place so they can happen. I believe that’s a real thing, and I’m glad that it’s happened for you in a very positive way, Jason. I know you’ve been a longtime supporter and Plus Club member and so forth for the shows, and you’ve written in quite a few times. Really appreciate you sharing this story tonight on the Campfire.

JASON: It’s been my pleasure. Thanks for lending me your platform to share this. I appreciate it.

JIM HAROLD: Thank you, Jason.

Rachael is on the line from the East Midlands in the United Kingdom. We’re always glad to hear from our listeners in the UK. She’s going to tell us two stories from her childhood home. Rachael, welcome, and tell us what happened.

RACHAEL: Hi, Jim. Thanks for having me. The first story – they both take place going back to the late ’90s in my childhood home that I grew up in. The first story takes place in the middle of winter. The nights were super long and cold, and I had a sleepover with about five other friends. Doing what kids do, we of course stayed up really late, messing around. I can’t remember who noticed first, but we were looking out of my bedroom window, and for context, when you looked out of my window there was another house which was set back along a long driveway and behind some trees so you can’t really see it. Then apart from that, it was just fields. There’s nothing really out there.

I can remember looking out and seeing what I can only describe as a silver ball with flashing lights. It was zipping around in the sky, but it was quite low, like the height of the trees. It was just zipping around. It wasn’t just going up and down; it was moving diagonally, sideways, up, down. I had never seen anything like it before. We were all super confused. Being young kids, we were getting a bit freaked out, but we just couldn’t stop watching it. It was so strange. We had no idea. Being the late ’90s, this was before drones had really become a thing, so we had no idea.

After – it might’ve been 5-10 minutes; I can’t really remember because it was so long ago – a bigger version turned up in the sky, and then more of the little ones turned up as well, which were all zipping around. They were all so low in the sky, but we just had absolutely no idea. Everything was moving really quickly. We were freaking out, hiding behind the curtain. We just didn’t know what to do. We didn’t know if we were being invaded. [laughs] We had no clue. It was so strange.

Then as quickly as they arrived, they all just disappeared into the sky, and that was it. The next day I was telling my parents. Of course, they didn’t believe us. “Yeah, sure, whatever.” It just got forgotten about.

Fast forward about eight years later, a road has since been built through the field, and me and my mom were driving through there going home one night, and we spotted a news crew. We were wondering, “What’s this about?” We turn on the news when we get home, and we see a report about sightings of UFOs over that very field that had been spotted over the years. I just turned to my mom and I was like, “See? I told you. All those years ago, we weren’t lying. We saw something,” although we don’t know what we saw.

To this day, I still don’t know what it was. I’m quite a skeptical person, but we definitely saw something unidentified flying around. We still don’t know what it was. I’ve never seen them again.

JIM HAROLD: That’s really interesting. That’s really great how you saw the TV crew years later. That had to make you all feel like that was a little bit of affirmation and verification.

RACHAEL: Yeah, definitely. I was like, “Yes, we were telling the truth! We weren’t just being silly.” Yeah, it’s the strangest thing.

The next story took place around the same time. It was late at night; I was brushing my teeth before bed. Just to describe the room really quickly, it was a big room, and I was stood facing the window where the sink was because I was brushing my teeth, and the toilet is over to my left-hand side and the door is behind me to my right. I’m stood there brushing my teeth, not really paying attention, and I thought I could see a mist or something out of the corner of my eye by the toilet.

I turn to look instinctively and there’s nothing there. Thought nothing more of it, and then a few seconds later, as I was finishing brushing my teeth, I felt someone walking past me behind me and out the door. But as it happened, I got a really strong smell of cigarettes, like if someone’s smoking a cigarette and they walk past you, you can smell it. It was like that. But for context, the window was closed and no one in my family smoke. We’d lived in that house for at least 10 years at this point, so I can’t imagine it being a residual smell or anything like that hanging out in the walls.

It disappeared. It went really quickly. I just went to bed, didn’t think much of it, and the following day I mentioned it to my mom really casually. She looked at me and was like, “Oh, the people that lived in the house before us all smoke, and they moved out and sold the house to us because one of them died and passed away.” I had no idea. I just knew that people had lived in the house before, and I’d never heard much about them.

Also, the bathroom didn’t use to be a bathroom. It actually used to be a bedroom, and my dad had converted it into a bathroom a few years prior. So I don’t know if that person died in the house, if that was their bedroom, but it was just another one of those things where I had no idea about the connection to it, but it happened anyway. I was just like, ooh, that was a little bit spooky.

JIM HAROLD: Well, yeah, I can certainly understand that being spooky, by all means.

RACHAEL: Yeah, it really was. It’s quite an old house. It was built in the ’30s, just before the war, so it’s been around a while.

JIM HAROLD: Sometimes it’s been a good thing. There was one story – way back, we had someone who – I don’t know if it was a father or grandfather who had cherry pipe smoke tobacco that they used, and somebody would smell it and it was like a remembrance of them. Nobody else in the family had that. So I have heard this. But it could also be spooky, on the flipside, if it’s not someone you know necessarily.

RACHAEL: Yeah. It was very strange. Again, it’s one of those things that hasn’t happened since, so who knows?

JIM HAROLD: Well, thank you so much for being on the show. We love to hear from our UK listeners. If you’re in the UK and you hear this – I don’t know when this will air, but the end of June, we are reopening Campfire submissions at, and we always like to hear from our great UK listeners. Thank you so much for joining us today.

RACHAEL: Thank you, Jim.

JIM HAROLD: Yes, my friends, it is the end of another episode of Campfire, but we’ll be back next week with more great stories. A big thank you to all of our storytellers and to our sponsors. Please support them. And if you want to check out our back catalog going back to 2009 on the Campfire, check it out at and click on the banner for some great deals.

I want you to check out two other things, two podcasts that we do that are absolutely free. They’re newer podcasts. Unpleasant Dreams with Cassandra Harold. This week we did a show on the Enfield Poltergeist, so you’re going to want to check that out. That’s on all the podcast outlets. Unpleasant Dreams.

Secondly, check out the show that I’m doing with Dar, my wife. It’s called You Won’t Believe What Happened To Me, and that is basically a show that we do that is kind of like Campfire without the ghosts – strange stories, weird things that have happened to people of the non-paranormal nature. Believe me, some incredible things have happened, so check out You Won’t Believe What Happened To Me, also free wherever you get your podcasts.

We thank you so much for tuning in to the Campfire. We’ll talk to you next time. As always, stay safe and stay spooky. Bye-bye, everybody.

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.