A listener is physically attacked by a haunt in her home. This and much more strangeness on this episode of Jim Harold’s Campfire!
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When ghosts attack – next on the Campfire.
Welcome to our gathering tonight. Here we share stories of ordinary people who have experienced extraordinary things. Sit back, relax, and warm yourself by Jim Harold’s Campfire.
JIM HAROLD: Welcome to the Campfire. I am Jim Harold and so glad to be with you. What we do here is we share real stories, true stories of the strange, the paranormal, the supernatural. Could be ghosts, could be UFOs, could be strange cryptid creatures, or my favorite, headscratchers. Whatever they are, these stories are amazing and they are true. Welcome to our program today. I appreciate it.
We’re going to get to the stories just in a moment, but I thought you might want to hear about free stuff – specifically how you might be able to win a free book. Get all the details over at jimharold.com/giveaway. Some restrictions apply. Go over there and find out how you can be entered to win in our Spring Book Giveaway. We’re giving away two books every week to two winners, and I hope you win a free book. Jimharold.com/giveaway, and of course, some restrictions apply. And now, on to what you’re here for: some fantastic Campfire stories.
Mackenzie is on the line from Virginia, a newly minted listener via Astonishing Legends. If you haven’t checked out Scott and Forrest, which I know many of you have, but if you haven’t, please do. We’re so glad to have her on the show from Virginia. She’s lived in a haunted house for five years, and a lot of stuff has happened. She’s going to tell us about some of them. Mackenzie, welcome to the show and please tell us what happened.
MACKENZIE: Like you said, I’ve been living there for about five years. I actually just recently moved out within the past two weeks.
JIM HAROLD: Congratulations, think.
MACKENZIE: Yeah, it wasn’t a scary house. I’ve lived in a very scary house. This house just always had a dark vibe. Anybody who went in always said it just felt like you were in a cage inside this house. For the entire five years, there were always little things going on. I’ve had a pan fly off the stove, a measuring cup that flipped off the counter without being touched and then balanced on the edge of the counter, things that would fling off shelves for no reason.
It never hurt anybody, although one time – I know you’ve talked about how children and adolescents, there’s a theory that that can increase activity. Well, once I had my new twin infant niece and nephew over, and they were over and there was this heavy book that was up on top of the shelf. I’d never moved it; it’d never been touched. It always had been up there, for years, and I had my nephew next to it and out of nowhere, this book just flops off the top shelf and lands almost near him. It was so scary. No reason for it. So I got him out of the room and was like, “All right, no more of that, that wasn’t okay,” kind of just shouting to the house. [laughs]
There were a lot of scary little things like that, but there were a few big ones that really freaked me out, and they always coincided at the same time because we’ve got hurricane season out here. So whenever we knew a hurricane was coming, we would go outside and we’d clean everything. My husband was in the Navy, so he’d be gone and I would just do it by myself, put everything up in the attic, make sure nothing’s on the ground, take care of everything outside, make sure nothing can blow around and destroy things.
Three separate years – the first year, I was going up into the attic and I was on like my twentieth load of things into the attic, and I go up and put everything in my hands up there and behind me I hear, “Hello?”
JIM HAROLD: Oh man.
MACKENZIE: It scared me so bad I about cannonballed down through the attic. [laughs] We had one of those little pull-out ladders, and I went down as fast as I could. It sounded to me – the way I could say it is it’s almost like I startled somebody. It’s almost as if I had poked my head into a different time when somebody was up there sorting something in the attic and I scared them. It sounded like they were as confused as I was, hearing it. I didn’t go back up into the attic after that. I just called it a day and waited for my husband to get home before I continued cleaning any more. So that was really scary.
Another time it was the same thing, another year of going up into the attic, doing many loads up and down, and I was walking up very precariously – the ladder is pretty broken, and the bottom part of it is limp. The hinges are destroyed. My husband doesn’t even go on the ladder because he’s afraid it’ll break under his weight. So I was carrying things in my arms, no hands on the ladder, just walking up very carefully, balancing, and I get up past the third rung and I feel the whole ladder lift and then drop.
JIM HAROLD: Oh my.
MACKENZIE: I almost completely fell. I had to fully lean forward onto the ladder and push things up out of my hands. I look down while I’m holding the ladder and I see that the entire bottom has been kicked in. So I had to balance and get my foot down to kick it out to the right spot it was supposed to be. That was actually one of the things – if you ever do get a chance, there is a video of it happening because I’ve got security footage in my garage.
JIM HAROLD: Oh gosh.
MACKENZIE: It’s the wildest thing because it just lifts for no reason. It might make sense of the way I’d stepped on it, but the hinges were completely broken, so it’s not like I accidentally sprang something. It was very scary, and that felt ominous because I almost fell off the ladder and could’ve really hurt myself. So once again, I stopped cleaning for the day and went inside.
But the top craziest thing that happened was when I was cleaning the porch one day. I was sweeping, I had my headphones in, and we have this giant window in front of the house that I was sweeping in front of. I had my headphones in, was looking down at the ground, was home alone; my son was taking a nap – he was toddler – in the crib. I just hear this bang, bang, bang on the window, like somebody had, with the flat side of their fist, hit it. I looked up and I saw a man inside the house, and he was waving me in as if he had something to urgently tell me and he wanted me to get inside.
JIM HAROLD: So there was a man who you didn’t know in your house, waving you in.
JIM HAROLD: Oh boy.
MACKENZIE: Immediately I looked behind me to see if my husband’s truck was in the driveway, like maybe I didn’t see him come home and I had my headphones in, but it wasn’t. So I immediately panicked. I ran inside, checked everything. There was nobody there, and the back door and the garage door was locked. And I always lock the windows, so there’s no way anybody could get in. There was nobody in the house, nobody in the garage. I even did a perimeter check around the backyard. There was nobody there. Checked the camera footage, nothing.
So I called my friend and I was on the phone with her, explaining everything that happened. I was like, “There was a man. I saw him, but he’s not there. I think it was a ghost.” I’m talking to her on the phone, standing in front of the glass window, looking at what is now a completely clear window. Before, it looked murky and I could see this weird – it wasn’t a clear image, but I could tell that it was a man in a plaid shirt.
I’m staring at this window, telling her, and I look down and then I hear the bang again, and I look up and he’s there. I screamed. That was another one I sent you as well. It’s just me getting the crap scared out of me, but just as proof that something totally terrified me, just looking in this window for the second time. I’m on the phone with her and I’m like, “I need to get off the porch,” and I just walk off. I went and got my son through the back door because I didn’t want to go through the living room. [laughs] It was very, very scary. Those were definitely the three most intense times.
Then the last thing that’s one of the biggest things that happened there was we found headstones in the backyard.
JIM HAROLD: Oh boy. Well, that might explain something.
MACKENZIE: Yeah. I did call the funeral home because they were relatively new headstones. I called the funeral home near us, because I looked up their obituaries. The man had only died five months before we moved into the house. He built the house. He was the only previous owner. So I had some information, called the funeral home, and they said they had been cremated and that they had gotten the headstones removed from a plot of land previously. But I still don’t know where the remains are. They didn’t have children, and from what neighbors say, they had a bad history with their family. So my biggest concern is that they’re buried under there with the headstones. [laughs]
JIM HAROLD: Oh man.
MACKENZIE: But I don’t have any real idea, and we live in between the Battle of Great Bridge and the Great Dismal Swamp, which has its own old, very intense history. Yeah, there’s a lot of stuff. I don’t know if it’s just the previous owners or if there’s just a host of people that keep coming through. [laughs]
JIM HAROLD: A lot of times when people have a haunting, they’ll say, “Oh well, it was kind of sweet and gentle” and things, but it sounds like this had a little harder edge to it. I mean, some of the things – knock you off of a ladder, potentially, have that book drop where there’s a young child that could be very hurt by it, these kind of things – it seemed a little more sinister.
MACKENZIE: It definitely did. It’s weird because there’s another house that one day I hope I can call in and tell you about that I lived in that was truly terrifying. We all left hating each other, and it was a really scary experience any time we were in that house, especially alone. That was terrifying. This didn’t seem as ominous, but it was a lot. There was just constantly stuff happening for the whole five years that we lived there. There was at least once a month something falling or moving or footsteps all the time. And then the big things. I never did get hurt; nobody ever got injured. But it was always like it could happen. That’s where the scary part came in. But it wasn’t dark. It was just crazy.
JIM HAROLD: Yeah, that’s just frightening. You said that you lived in two different places like this. Do you think that it’s just a coincidence? Do you think you’re more sensitive to these things? What do you think?
MACKENZIE: I think I might be more sensitive to them, but it didn’t really start until I was in my twenties. There were a few things that happened when I lived in Tennessee that weren’t scary, but just unexplainable. But I have to assume – I feel like I have to tell people, I’m not crazy, I’m not schizophrenic, I’m not hallucinating these things. I check with my therapist. [laughs]
JIM HAROLD: The thing is, that incident with the ladder, that’s not something – you know what I’m saying? That’s not like you think you saw something. You were physically – and you’ve got video to prove it. So no, I believe you 110%.
MACKENZIE: Yeah, I think that I must be, because stuff happens way too often. I have no idea how to communicate or how I would even go about – I would like to if I could, but I don’t even know where to begin with that stuff. But stuff does happen all the time, and I’m very much tuned in to it.
JIM HAROLD: And I should mention that Mackenzie has generously agreed – that video that we talked about earlier that she sent, about the ladder and getting almost knocked off the ladder – she has video of it and she’s going to post that over at our Virtual Campfire Group. If you’re not a part of that on Facebook, it’s absolutely free, and you just go to virtualcampfiregroup.com and request admission, and you will be cleared by an admin. We keep very close on that so we can keep it a good, positive group, and it very much is. So Mackenzie, thank you so much for doing that.
MACKENZIE: Thank you.
JIM HAROLD: Thank you so much for sharing your story tonight on the Campfire.
MACKENZIE: Thank you.
JIM HAROLD: Lakeisha is on the line from British Columbia. We’re so glad to have her on the show. She recently found us, just in the last couple of months, just by googling “spooky true stories,” and she found the Campfire. We appreciate it. Now, she is going to tell us about a childhood experience. I am not going to ruin it; it sounds extremely spooky. We’re so glad she decided to tell it on the Campfire. Lakeisha, welcome and please tell us what happened.
LAKEISHA: Thank you. This story takes place when I was seven. I’m 24 now, so it was a couple of years ago, quite a bit. We moved to this new town, and the town that we moved to, we moved into these new townhouses. The way our townhouse was, it was at the beginning of the entrance into the little cul-de-sac of townhomes. Growing up where we lived, it was always really, really hot in the summer, so me and my sister would camp out on our balcony and we would sleep under the stars and spread all our blankets and have a little camp out there.
Outside, the way our townhouse was, we had a huge backyard that was shared with all of the townhouses that lived in that one section, and there was this giant tree that was right outside of our balcony, and that tree is very important because it’ll come into play later in the story.
So I’m seven years old, my sister’s eleven, we’re camping out on the patio. Same thing that we’ve done for a while now, but this particular night I had what I thought was a dream. In my dream, I saw these hands come up onto the balcony – and the balcony was on the second story. I saw these hands come up on the balcony and it kind of pulled itself up, and it was this little girl, but where her eyes were supposed to be, there was nothing. It was like black holes.
I just remember feeling so afraid, and I snapped myself out of it – what I thought was waking up from this nightmare – and I woke up my sister, and I remember I made up some kind of excuse. I was like, “I think there’s a bug on me and I freaked out,” so I made us go inside. We didn’t spend the rest of the night out there, and we never slept on that patio again because I was too afraid of what I dreamt out there, or what I thought I dreamt.
Fast forward two months later, and us and all of the neighborhood kids are playing out in the backyard. I was sitting under this giant tree, and my oldest sister comes up to me and my second oldest sister. Our oldest sister comes to us and she tells us, “You guys shouldn’t hang out around that tree anymore.” Which we thought was kind of weird. We were like, “Okay, why? Can you tell us why? Is there something wrong with the tree?”
She tells us that a couple of days ago, she was hanging out around that tree as well, and this man came up to her that lived in the neighborhood, and he told her, “Hey, you should stay away from that tree.” When she asked him why, he said that his neighbor was coming home one night, really late at night, like 10:00 or 11:00 – and like I said, you have to cross that tree in our townhouses to get into the complex. So he was walking past that tree and he saw a little girl playing around it, which he thought was weird because it was really late at night.
So he went up to her and he was like, “Hey, where are your parents? You should really head home. It’s super late,” and she wasn’t responding to him. So he went up to her and he touched her shoulder, and when she turned around, he said that it was this little girl, but she had no eyes. Where her eyes were supposed to be were just black holes. He ran home and he said that she chased him all the way home, back to his house. The next day, he started packing up his house and he and his family moved out.
It gave me goosebumps when my sister told me this because I didn’t tell anybody about what I thought was a dream. I kept it to myself, just chalked it up to a bad nightmare. And then this man comes along and he sees this exact same little girl, and he describes her to a ‘T’ of what I saw. It just told me that wasn’t a dream. I definitely saw something that night. [laughs]
JIM HAROLD: That is chilling.
LAKEISHA: Yeah, it was. I still get goosebumps thinking about it.
JIM HAROLD: The fact that you had that verification with the man seeing it – ooh, that’s chilling. And particularly any time you see a child or something, like a child ghost or a child demon or whatever it might be – do you think it was a demon?
LAKEISHA: Part of me does. If not a demon, just a really evil entity, because the energy that it gave – I remember feeling so afraid when I saw this thing, and it stopped me from ever going out on that balcony and camping out again. I never wanted to be out there, especially by myself.
JIM HAROLD: I don’t blame you.
LAKEISHA: It was just like dread and fear. And then hearing this guy’s story, it was like, “Ah, great, it wasn’t a nightmare. It was real.”
JIM HAROLD: But it hasn’t scared you off from spooky stories because you were googling them not too long ago.
LAKEISHA: Yeah, I love everything spooky. Growing up, a lot of stuff happened in our homes around my sisters, around my family. We’ve seen a lot of spooky things. And in that house in particular, a lot of spooky thing happened. I have a headscratcher that I’m going to tell you when I can get another slot.
JIM HAROLD: Excellent. Well, Lakeisha, thank you so much. I certainly appreciate it. Thank you so much for being a part of the Campfire.
LAKEISHA: Thank you for having me.
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You’re listening to Jim Harold’s Campfire.
JIM HAROLD: Lauren is on the line, and she has a very poignant story about her brother. Lauren, thank you for joining us, and please tell us what happened.
LAUREN: Okay, Jim. Thank you so much. Actually, this is a perfect night to do this. This would’ve been his birthday, so he would’ve been 43. He did pass away. There were three children: my older sister, my brother, and me. My brother was born with something called Vater syndrome and also cerebral palsy, so he was never able to walk or speak. Basically he just had tons of health issues his whole life. But anyone that was around him were like, “There’s just something about this kid.” He kind of looked like little Forrest Gump, if you remember in the early years, little braces, glasses. Just a really neat kid. We always said I would never wish having those disabilities on anybody, but the perspective that he brought to our family was really amazing.
That being said, this isn’t scary; it’s just kind of uplifting, heartwarming, which I thought we could use right now.
JIM HAROLD: I like those kind of stories.
LAUREN: A little bit of a headscratcher, your favorite. Actually, most of these are not any of my experiences. I’m the one that’s obsessed with spooky and paranormal, and these have all happened to my sister and my parents.
I was actually out of the country when he passed, but my dad said – he was in the hospital, and the minute he passed, he noticed that his watch stopped at the minute of his death. Then they said a minister had come in to see him and give blessings, and as soon as the minister left the room, the watch started back up again.
And then he just kind of had this aura about him anyway. His name was Timmy. He would have all these little toys, because mentally he probably wasn’t above maybe two or three. Anyway, he had this power to make toys that should not be working anymore somehow start up working. We’d have some toys after he passed that we’re like, “This hasn’t worked in years,” and all of a sudden it would make a noise or the sound would go off.
The nightlight in his room had stopped working; my dad was like, “I need to change the bulb, just haven’t got to it,” and he was taking the hospital bed out of my brother’s room and he said all of a sudden the light was back on, it was working. It sort of was flashing, doing this weird thing. It was one of those light-sensitive lights. But it kept doing that.
And then proceed to – I want to relate it to – my sister had three sons, her oldest of which was born a month after my brother passed away. And then her middle nephew also has a birthday today, so my brother and my middle nephew would share a birthday. But different things would happen with her kids. None of them had ever met my brother, but they would be staying at my parents’ house and say things like, “Are we going to see Uncle Timmy tonight like we did last night?” My mom was like, “Did you see him before? Are you seeing his spirit? What’s going on?”
And then my sister said one time she was in the car with her oldest son, and the song “Here Comes the Sun” came on from the Beatles, and he’s like, “Oh Mom, I love this song. Timmy was just singing this to me.” She’s like, “What?” “Yeah, Timmy was just singing this to me and telling me everything’s gonna be okay.” Just things like that.
My sister definitely had several instances – she’s like, “I don’t know how to explain it. I could smell him, he was around.” My mom had a visitation, she thought, on Christmas Eve where she felt somebody sit next to her. She was in that twilight sleep and she had this feeling like everything’s going to be okay.
It’s a lot of stuff that you could chalk up to “oh, whatever,” but it just gives my family hope that he’s gone to a better place, but he’s still with us at the same time. And most of all, we always say – my oldest nephew that was born basically a month after my brother passed away – his name’s Drew – I always think of him as like the reincarnation of my brother. Basically he has some similar freckles, facial features, he takes after my dad. It’s honestly kind of like even though he’s 20 years younger than me, it’s like hanging out with my big brother.
Now he’s in the same town that I am, going to college, and it’s such a neat feeling to be able to finally get that big brother time.
JIM HAROLD: Well, I’ve got to tell you something. There’s so many parallels in your story to some things that happened to me personally. You may or may not know some of these things because I’ve talked about some of these things on the show, but years ago. My brother was severely autistic, and he died very young. I don’t think he was quite as young as your brother, but he died in his late twenties. My wife and I were headed back to West Virginia because that’s where my family was originally from; I was born and raised in Ohio, but my family is from West Virginia. Moved back there once my parents retired, and my brother passed away unexpectedly.
My wife and I headed back to West Virginia to go to the funeral, and we came back – I hate to date myself, but this was before iPods, even. This was like when basically you listened to CDs, tapes, or the radio. It was 1999 when he passed. We were headed back ,and we’re flipping through the radio stations, and if you know what that’s like, when you’re traveling, you get a station, you lose a station, you get a station, you lose a station.
So we tuned into a situation – I think it was either in northern West Virginia or southern Ohio – that was one of these Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, that kind of music. I’ve always loved that kind of music, along with – you mentioned the Beatles, also one of my favorites. But anyway, what happened was this instrumental music started playing. I said, “Man, this is familiar.” The DJ comes on and says, “Of course, that’s Lawrence Welk with his big hit from 1960, ‘Calcutta.’” The funny thing is, Lauren, my brother had a TV show that he loved to watch growing up. It was on reruns, and it’s the weirdest thing because he would like shows like Soul Train or American Bandstand, and then he would like The Lawrence Welk Show.
When that came on there at that time, my wife looked at me – and this is way before Paranormal Podcasting and before Campfire – and she said, “That’s your brother.” Because he would write – he could kind of write letters where you could see what it was. I mean, he couldn’t write sentences, but he would write “Lawrence Welk” when he wanted to watch Lawrence Welk and hand it to somebody so they’d turn the TV to the right channel. That was a big thing for him. Kind of an odd thing, but he loved Lawrence Welk. And he got that message to me.
So I feel in your story, I know exactly where you’re coming from because I feel so many parallels.
JIM HAROLD: Lauren, thank you so much for joining us and sharing your story and spurring me on to re-share mine. It’s been a while. Thank you so much, Lauren.
LAUREN: Thank you so much for having me, Jim. I appreciate it.
JIM HAROLD: Marlene is on the line from Florida. We’re so glad to get to speak with her. She’s going to take us back a few years to when she was around eight years old and some strangeness that ensured. Marlene, thank you very much for being on the show. We appreciate it. Please share your story.
MARLENE: Thanks, Jim. I’m originally from New York. Grew up on Long Island, lived in my home most of my life with my parents, siblings. When I was about seven or eight years old – to give you a little background, my grandfather had passed away maybe a year before that. From hearing from my mom, I heard he was a carpenter. At the time, I’m young, so I don’t remember much about him. My mom used to always say that he was a carpenter and liked to build things. So when we moved into the house, he always promised that he would help the family do some work around the house.
Unfortunately, he got cancer and never made it out to the house. So now we go on a couple of years. We had a four-bedroom house. I slept in one of the bedrooms on the main floor, and my siblings slept in the upstairs part of the house. One night I’m sleeping, and for some reason I remember waking up, and I started hearing these noises. So, like any typical little kid, I covered my head with my blanket. I was scared.
Then the noises started becoming louder. We had a basement, because in New York most houses do, and I’d hear walking up the basement stairs. Then I would whoever it was stop at my bedroom door, like looking in. But I was so afraid, I wouldn’t take the blanket off my head. And then they would go down the hallway into the bathroom, close the bathroom door, open it again, come out, walk the same path, and walk upstairs to where my siblings slept and then walk back down, come back downstairs, and then I would hear hammering and sawing and all kinds of commotion.
This went on for about a week. I never told anybody because I was scared. Then one day, I heard my brother having a conversation with my mom, and I said, “Oh, I hear that too. I’m not the only one hearing these things.” My mom’s logic was, “Maybe it’s your grandfather coming to visit and doing things that he promised he was going to do.” I was like, okay.
So this went on for a couple of weeks, and then one day I got the courage to go down the basement stairs in the morning so I could see if anything was being done. Because all I heard was the hammering and the sawing and the walking. I said, “Wow, something’s got to be going on down there.” So I snuck down the steps and I’m looking around – nothing has changed. I don’t see anything moved. The only one that was working in the basement at the time was my dad, but it wasn’t my dad because he worked nights.
This went on for a couple of weeks and finally it stopped. I don’t know why. And then I stopped thinking about it. You know, you’re little, you stop thinking about it. Then years go by, and me and my siblings are having a conversation about some of the things that would happen in the house. We got into the conversation of hearing these noises and I said, “Oh my God, I forgot all about that.” My brother said the same exact thing that I was hearing – the walking in the bathroom, the walking up the steps, the walking in the basement, the noises of hammering and sawing. I was like, “I’m so glad that it wasn’t just me.”
But the funny part is nobody else heard it in the house except for me and my siblings. Mom didn’t hear it, Dad didn’t hear it. Nobody else. Just me, my brother, and my sister.
JIM HAROLD: Do you feel like the reason you guys heard it was because he wanted to get the message to you that he was still around in some way?
MARLENE: I think so because even though I was scared – I wouldn’t look above my covers – it wasn’t an evil feeling. It was just like, “Hey, I’m checking in on you.” They would stop at my door, and then he would go to the bathroom and everywhere else. So it might’ve been that. That’s what me and my siblings think happened. But at just eight years old, you think the worst. And I’ve always been a fan of paranormal and horror, so of course, my imagination was running wild.
JIM HAROLD: Right. In retrospect, now that you’re an adult and you’ve had quite a bit of time to look back on it, how do you feel about that? Are you glad that he visited? Does it bring you some kind of comfort? What are your thoughts?
MARLENE: Yeah, I’m glad he did because we were able to tell our parents, “Hey, I think he was here and I think he got to see the house even though he couldn’t when he was alive.” And like I said, after a while it went away, so maybe he was just there to say, “I’m here, I’m doing what I can,” and then he left. He gave us enough time to let our parents know what was going on and what we were hearing.
JIM HAROLD: Makes sense. Marlene, thank you so much for being a part of the Campfire tonight.
MARLENE: Thank you so much, Jim.
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JIM HAROLD: Jim is on the line from Denmark, and we’re so glad to speak with him today. He takes us back to his college years and tells us about some strangeness that ensued. Jim – I’m not sure if it’s Jim or James, which you prefer. I know for me, it depends on what stage of life, because some people know me as Jim; my parents always called me Jimmy, my family called me Jimmy, and then in school, especially in elementary school and stuff, they always called me James. So I always know what stage of life – if I don’t know the voice, I’ll know, they must’ve known me back then. So I don’t know if you prefer Jim or James, but either way, we appreciate it. Thank you for being on the show.
JIM: Thank you for having me on the show. Jim is fine. James on the paychecks, Jim in person.
JIM HAROLD: There you go. That’s right. All right, tell us your story.
JIM: In 2006, when I transferred to the University of Illinois, I moved into an old fraternity house, one of the older ones on campus that was built back in 1932. It’s remained in my fraternity’s hands ever since, with the exception of a few years here and there. Anyway, when I moved into the house, people told me about the ghosts, spooky people, and I always just thought they were just trying to impress the new guy.
A couple weeks into it, middle of the week, cold January night – to set the stage, I live on the third floor of this 21-bedroom, three-floor mansion, and I was the only one at the time living on the third floor. Also, mind you, I could hear anyone that came up because we had fire doors on both sides of the floor, and they were very loud and you could hear anyone coming out. So middle of the night, I get up to use the bathroom, come back, lie down. It’s just a mattress on the floor, and we had the old water radiators. When those kick on, they make a certain noise. I’m not thinking anything about it; I’m just falling asleep.
I started noticing it’s getting louder and louder. I think maybe it’s just broken, I’ll report it in the morning. But then it got to a certain pitch where I started hearing what sounded like a female voice calling my name. It said it several times, and it was running through my head. I didn’t hear anyone come up. I knew all the guys’ girlfriends, and it didn’t sound like any of them. In that instant, I buried my head into the pillow and didn’t want to look up.
I kept this to myself for a couple of years because who’s going to believe me? Anyway, fast forward maybe four years, I’m at an alumni golf event, and I overhear the table next to me, some guys that were in the house about 10 years prior, and I hear the same exact story – only they were in the room further down the hallway. The radiator kicks on, guy hears a female voice say his name, spooks him out of his room, and he goes across the hall and stays with another guy. To me, that validated the story because I thought, what were the odds that someone would make up the same story that I never told anybody?
I never really knew at the time what it could’ve been. The house had fallen on hard times and people would say it was maybe a former chapter advisor or a house mom. Others thought it could’ve been residual energy. So many people passed through that house, and it’s college, so you had good experiences, bad experiences, that maybe something stopped there.
Then the second story involving the house, I stayed there in the summer of 2007, and my best friend and I were there. I was upstairs on the third floor and he was on the ground floor watching TV. To give you his background, he’s no-nonsense; he tries to explain everything away, which is perfectly fine. All of a sudden, he comes up and he’s pounding on my door. He’s literally white as a ghost. He’s asking me if I was downstairs. I tell him no. The house was locked up, so no one was getting in.
He tells me he was watching TV on the big screen TV and he saw a shadow walk by behind him, which would’ve been the pool room. So he thought it was me, yelled out my name – no answer. He gets up and looks, doesn’t see anything, shrugs it off. Same thing happens a few minutes later. He gets up, he looks in the pool room, he looks outside just to see if there’s maintenance people, anyone cutting the lawn, anyone coming back from summer school – nothing. So he goes back, sits down, and he’s thinking about this, and then he sees the shadow outline again on the TV. He looks behind him, doesn’t see anybody – looks at the TV and sees the full figure.
JIM HAROLD: Oh man.
JIM: Then he panics and runs upstairs, tells me. So we come on down – and this is the middle of summer in Champaign, Illinois, so it’s 90-something degrees out. I feel that ultra-cold spot that you hear sometimes that supposedly may happen with a ghost or hauntings. We didn’t have air conditioning in the house. So we freaked ourselves out and picked up and left for the next 10-12 hours. We did not come home for a while.
JIM HAROLD: Well, it makes sense. It’s an old building. I do believe this idea that places are charged with a lot of energy, mental energy, physical energy. Young people, those kind of things, from everything I’ve heard, tend to be supercharged, and college dorms, you’ve got – not to be crude, but the hormones are going through the roof. Young excitable people. It would seem to be a place that would attract energy.
JIM: Right. I’m part of the alumni corporation now, and I’ll ask guys from time to time if they’ve heard anything. But everyone says no – but then again, there are so many more members now living in versus when we were there, when it was really quiet and very few people there. I can never explain that way. But looking back at it, I thought it was pretty cool to experience that.
JIM HAROLD: Well, Jim, thank you so much for sharing your story. I believe in these old buildings, these things definitely exist. Kind of a cool thing to be able to look back and say, “I experienced a ghost in my college dorm.”
JIM: It is. Thank you again for having me on the show.
JIM HAROLD: Next up on the Campfire is Jay from California, and she has a story about a beloved pet named Benny. Jay, thank you for joining us. I know you found out about us from the great folks over at And That’s Why We Drink, Christine and Me – good friends, great podcasters, and we always appreciate them spreading the word. Check them out, too. Jay, tell us your story on the Campfire today.
JAY: Thank you for having me, Jim. My story takes place in late 2020, when my dog of 10 years, Benny, fell ill. We rushed him to the vet, and sadly, after a few days of testing, we found out that his condition was terminal and that there was nothing we could do for him. We were faced with having to put him to sleep. It was an easy decision to make because we didn’t want him to suffer, but of course, it was very difficult for my husband and I.
Prior to losing him, we had considered adopting another dog so that Benny could have a playmate. But unfortunately, this was during the height of the pandemic, and all the shelters were closed to the public, and adoptions were on a first-come, first-served, appointment-only basis. The waitlist was very long, so we just never got around to it.
Fast forward about a month after losing Benny and I received a phone call. It was from a woman at our local shelter, asking me if I wanted to keep my appointment for that today. I was taken aback. I don’t remember ever making an appointment, and I told her as such. I added, “I’m sorry, we’re still grieving. I just don’t know if we’re ready yet to add another dog to our family.” She was very understanding, and she said, “I’ll give you five minutes. Just scroll the website, and if there’s any animal that you think you might be interested in, call me back and we’ll keep your appointment.”
So I hung up the phone and I thought about it, and I thought, you know, it won’t hurt to look. So I started scrolling through all the photos and I came across one of this dog looking straight into the camera with this big, goofy grin on his face. I just thought, I’ll just go and see what happens.
JIM HAROLD: Uh-oh. [laughs]
JAY: Right, famous last words. So I kept my appointment, I made my way back down to the shelter, and I was sitting in the meet and greet area, and all of a sudden this huge dog comes whipping around the corner, practically dragging the handler behind him, barreling straight towards me. I remember thinking I got catfished because he was just so much bigger than what he looked like in his photo. But he was really friendly. He ran right up to me, licked my face so hard that my mask fell off, and then he dropped down to the floor for me to give him belly rubs. I couldn’t help it; I was grinning ear to ear, and it took me all of two seconds to decide, “That’s it. You’re coming home with me.”
So my husband and I adopted this dog. We named him Guinness and we brought him home. From the very beginning, the similarities between Benny and Guinness were apparent. From the very first night that we brought him home, Guinness jumped into bed with us and immediately curled up to sleep directly on my legs, which is how Benny would sleep every night. He dug through a basket of old dog toys that we had and he gravitated only to the ones that were Benny’s favorites.
There was even a specific spot in the backyard that Benny used to like to curl up and sleep in to get some sun, and the very first time we let Guinness out to the yard, he made a beeline for that spot and sat down to sunbathe. My husband and I were in awe at all these similarities that kept showing up.
About two weeks after settling in with us, I decided to take Guinness to my parents’ house because they hadn’t had a chance to meet him. I hopped in the shower to get ready, and afterwards, as I was toweling off, Guinness poked his head in the bathroom to see what I was doing and he started licking the water that was dripping on the bathmat. I kind of chuckled to myself and said out loud, “Guinness, did Benny teach you that?” because it was the same thing, another one of those things that they shared in common.
I finished getting ready, loaded him up in the car to make the drive to my parents’ house. My house is a little far from the nearest freeway. There’s a main road that’s pretty much a straight shot to the nearest onramp. It’s about five miles away, and depending on traffic, that can take up to 20 minutes. It’s important to note that parallel to this main road is a major route for trains. Every day, dozens of freight trains and passenger trains coming and going, all the time. As I’m sure everyone who’s ever seen a train is familiar with, they tend to attract a lot of graffiti and street art on the sides.
I take the same route to work every day, so I’m seeing the beautiful murals, the big bubble letters, tagging, all that kind of stuff every day, and this day was no different. I was stopped at a stoplight, looking straight ahead, kind of zoning out, and out of the corner of my eye I can see a train chugging alongside me. All of a sudden I snapped out of it and I looked up at the train as it was going by, and at the exact moment that I looked up, the exact train car that just happened to be going by when I happened to glance up, I saw, hastily scrawled in black spray-paint, the words “Benny was here.”
JIM HAROLD: Whoa, whoa, whoa. [laughs]
JAY: My jaw dropped. I immediately burst into tears. I didn’t even have the wherewithal to grab my phone and take a picture. It just happened so fast and I was so overcome with emotion. But afterwards, it just occurred to me that this was a message from Benny, letting me know that he had a hand, or a paw, rather, in sending Guinness our way. I think he taught him how to be part of our family. So that’s my story.
JIM HAROLD: That is so neat. So you feel that he wasn’t reincarnated, per se, but Benny was there giving him a guiding paw, as it were.
JAY: Yeah, I don’t think they’re the same dog, but I definitely think he taught him a thing or two of how to fit in with our little family.
JIM HAROLD: I’ll tell you, that is a great, great story. Every dog – and I’ve never been a cat owner, but a dog owner – every dog is different. Each one has its personality, each one has a way of carving its way into your heart a little bit differently, but they’re all special. And I think they do live on, and hopefully someday down the road we’ll all be reunited. Jay, thank you so much for this very sweet story and sharing it on the Campfire tonight.
JAY: Thanks, Jim.
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You’re listening to Jim Harold’s Campfire.
JIM HAROLD: Anthony is on the line from North Carolina. He’s been listening for a couple of years, and you’ll notice by his sound he’s a fellow podcaster. We’re going to ask him about that at the end of the show. He’s going to tell us about some encounters he had in a family home in Virginia years ago. Anthony, welcome to the show. Thank you for joining us. Tell us what happened.
ANTHONY: Thank you, Jim, for bringing me on. I enjoy your stuff. All your podcasts you do are amazing, and I do enjoy it. And your daughter, Unpleasant Dreams, love that podcast. Listen to every episode.
JIM HAROLD: Thank you.
ANTHONY: I don’t have a lot of big long stories with this one. I have more little vignettes, I guess you could call them. But the weirdest one I heard yesterday – I talked to my mom. She and I both have been in touch with the paranormal. We’re more sensitive than say my dad or my brother.
She said something about she heard someone walking around in the house one time, and it was in the middle of the night. She thought it was me and my brother. Come to find out, she had left some croutons on the counter – and this was something she’d learned from being in Italy, where she had an experience there too; she saw an old woman who had recently passed away – but something about there’s a tradition in Italy where if you leave little things out on the counter, if they’re gone, it’s actually a good spirit when they’re gone the next morning.
JIM HAROLD: Interesting.
ANTHONY: Unbeknownst to me, she had left these little croutons out and they were gone the next day after she heard these footsteps the night before. Nobody in the house was up.
This house was also one of those houses that sat on top of a very big hill at the back of a subdivision. It was backed up to the woods. It was a really creepy house. You never felt alone in that house. You always felt like someone was afoot, so to speak. There was another night where the cabinets in the kitchen were opening and closing.
JIM HAROLD: Oh man, that’s poltergeist.
ANTHONY: Yeah, we’re not sure what it was exactly, but my dad and mom heard it. My dad’s a big skeptic. He heard it too. No one was up. That was a little freaky moment. My brother one night – this is one of the crazier moments – woke up and saw an old woman standing beside the foot of his bed. And when I was talking to my mom yesterday, I didn’t know this, but she said she had seen either this same spirit or a wisp of her at one point in time. So that was another strange moment.
I’d go to bed with the TV off; it’d be on sometimes in the morning. I was one of the kids that had a TV in my room. Some kids do, some don’t. One of the weirder moments was I was talking to my girlfriend back in the day – it was ’89 or ’90, I guess, and we were dating – and I distinctly heard these footsteps walk from my parents’ master bedroom into my brother’s room. They were across the hall from each other. I remember this vividly. I told her, “Hey, I think someone is in my house.” I got up and looked down the hallway and there was nobody there. But to this day, I know I heard those footsteps. It was as clear – when you hear something going across a wooden floor, you know what that is.
JIM HAROLD: Oh yeah.
ANTHONY: Another weird moment, I was watching a basketball game at the time and I had this cold spot, almost like a cold net, just settle down on top of me and envelop my whole entire body. I don’t know where it came from. It came from the ceiling and just lowered itself down upon me. Of course, I hopped up, I looked around, might’ve knocked my Doritos over in the process. [laughs] I checked the window and there was nothing going on around me. I cannot figure out to this day what that was, but I still remember that cold spot.
My mom also was cooking one time. She heard these little footsteps walk up to her and touch her on the shoulder.
JIM HAROLD: Oh man.
ANTHONY: Yeah. We would always hear voices outside from time to time, and a car door would close or something and nobody was outside. Now, we don’t know if it was the sound carrying from down lower in the hill up to the house or if it was something spiritual, but it was very odd when it happened.
A couple more little quick things. One night, the ceiling popped in my room – I think I was in there doing homework – and my cat named Magic stared at that spot in the ceiling so long and so hard that I actually got up and left the room. I couldn’t be in there anymore. It was one of those houses where you never felt alone, and there was one specific room you didn’t want to go in. It was always a little weird to be in that room.
But the strangest thing about that one room in the back where I had the cold spot, where I heard the footsteps go into and my brother saw the old woman – it was the coldest room in the house. It was always ice cold, and it had a separate thermostat in that room just to try to get it warm enough. I think whatever was going on in that house was emanating from that room itself. Those were some of the little moments I had in that really haunted house, so to speak.
JIM HAROLD: Do you have any historical knowledge of the house, what might’ve generated this?
ANTHONY: The person we rented it from, my mom said his wife might’ve passed away there before or something. I’d never heard that before until she told me that, so I don’t know. I’ve heard some other stories around the neighborhood. Some people had some other incidents at their homes. So maybe it was something else in the area. I really don’t know. But to this day, those are stories that still stick in my head completely. I’ll never forget them.
JIM HAROLD: Yeah, I could see exactly what you mean, and no wonder. You’ve got really nice sound. First of all, thank you for sharing those stories. You’ve got really nice sound because you, too, are a podcaster, and you were telling me about one you do about classic rock with some of your friends. Give us about a minute on what it is and where we can find it.
ANTHONY: Me, Jimmy, and Chris – they should be listening to this now; if they’re any kind of friends at all, they should be listening – but anyway, we work on this little podcast called the Audible Extacy Podcast. It’s kind of a play on words. We dive into classic rock, hair metal, speed metal, thrash metal. We dive into Jimmy Buffett, we dive into you name it. We’re just three friends, sitting around chit-chatting, having a good time, and that’s what we do each week. We try to publish about three times a month. So that’s what it’s all about.
JIM HAROLD: Very cool. Anthony, all I can say is stay spooky and keep rocking.
ANTHONY: I appreciate that. And Jim, go Steelers!
JIM HAROLD: Ooh, sick burn. Oh, oh, oh.
ANTHONY: I know you’re a Browns fan. I was going to wear my Steelers shirt but I didn’t do it today. [laughs]
JIM HAROLD: [laughs] Go Browns and stay spooky. Thanks, Anthony.
ANTHONY: Stay spooky, Jim. Thank you so much.
JIM HAROLD: Lisa is on the line from Southern California. She’s been listening a few years as a Plus Club member, and we appreciate that. She’s also a psychic medium, former podcaster, an author, and she has an experience that ties into this and all of that in a very unique way. Lisa, thank you for joining us today, and please tell us your story.
LISA: Thanks for having me. This story takes place about two years ago. It has to do with the podcast. It’s not an advertisement for a podcast because we don’t really do it anymore. We just haven’t been able to since COVID; we’ve been very busy, and I’m not a good editor like you are. [laughs]
JIM HAROLD: I need a lot of editing. [laughs]
LISA: Well, that’s the hardest part for me.
JIM HAROLD: It’s not easy, it’s true.
LISA: So I was doing this podcast with my best friend who is really interested in true crime, so we put it together. I was emerging as a medium. I was just learning at the time, and I opened very quickly. It’s different for everybody, but that’s how it worked for me. Anyway, we did this podcast called Detective Medium, and she would research a true crime case, a missing person or an unsolved murder, and I would try to connect to the victim. She wouldn’t tell me anything or much about it, and we’d see how well I did. She would then tell the story.
So we were doing this one episode and it was a young lady from Michigan, where I grew up. I connected to her, and first of all, when I started doing mediumship, I would initially almost always get the mode of how the person passed as the first thing in order to verify or identify the person. So I was used to, at the time, getting a pain in my body or something like that in a certain spot, and it would tell me what happened. The chest would be a heart attack, so on and so forth.
All of a sudden, you can hear me on the podcast go, “My eye hurts.” I even said, “You guys can’t see me, but I’m covering my eye.” I said at some point, “I’m going to guess she was shot through the eye.” Sorry if that’s graphic, I apologize. But my friend could not verify. We knew it was gunshots. Apparently what happened was she went out with friends, they were in a parking lot at night, and there was some sort of misunderstanding with a gang situation and the car got shot up by an AK-47.
JIM HAROLD: Oh my.
LISA: I know, it was horrible and tragic. I said at that point, “I can almost guarantee that’s what happened, that’s where she was shot,” because at this point my eye is red and swollen and very painful. We finished the podcast and everything, and she looks it up, and if I remember correctly, she did get enough information to know that she was shot through the head, so on and so forth.
Anyway, we finish up, I disconnect – so I thought – and my eye kept getting worse. The next morning, I was in so much pain and my eye was bright red. I thought, what is going on? I actually had an appointment with one of my mentors at the time, and she connected. I told her the story and she said, “She’s here. She’s attached to you because she’s angry and she doesn’t want to move on. You’ve looked up this case; she wants you to solve it. She wants you to find the murderer.”
I was kind of shocked because I didn’t feel her other than my eye. That was actually the first time when I learned to help people move on into the light, which was an amazing experience, and I’ve done that since. So it was very important and valuable, and there was a reason for the whole thing, at least in my opinion. But as soon as we did that, my eye started getting better and it was fine.
JIM HAROLD: I guess you said other times when people come through to you, you feel where they had pain or maybe where there was some kind of injury or disease or whatever it might be?
LISA: That is true, absolutely. I think it was worse at the time because I hadn’t completely opened and I hadn’t been able to connect as well, or perhaps my other senses weren’t as well-developed. Now I can get information in other ways, so I haven’t experienced it quite that badly that often since. But I do still get information like that. But usually it’s just to let me know and then it subsides.
JIM HAROLD: Is that something that you welcome, or does it bother you? How do you feel about it?
LISA: I have no problem with that. I’m taking it in as information. When I do a reading or something and I connect, typically I’ll close my eyes just so I can filter information, because I’ll get things – when we talk about stories on the podcast and stuff, you picture when somebody’s going to appear to you, there’s this full-body apparition that comes right here and starts talking to you, right? But it’s not like that most of the time. It’s very subtle. I think a lot of it is just we don’t pay attention or we dismiss things, quite often.
One of my strongest senses is empathy, and that comes through sometimes for me in physical ways. So yeah, I take it as information, because as soon as I acknowledge it, it typically goes away.
JIM HAROLD: Fascinating. It’s fascinating to me any time I get to talk to someone with psychic gifts and these abilities. It’s always interesting to see what they experience. Lisa, thank you so much for sharing your experience tonight on the Campfire.
LISA: Thank you so much, Jim.
JIM HAROLD: Yet another great Campfire. I can’t believe that we have such great callers every week. Such fascinating stories, and you can tell yours over at jimharold.com/campfire. As of this recording on Thursday, May 5th, 2022, we have the submissions open. So if you want to get in on those submissions, hurry up, because who knows when we may close them just because we get so many submissions. And we’re very thankful for that, don’t get me wrong. So please submit, but we have to pause them from time to time, catch up, and then we reopen them. It’s just like that. We appreciate each and every one of our storytellers.
Also, we appreciate our sponsors. Please support them. They, in addition to our Plus Club members – a note about that in a moment – make this show possible. So if you listen for free and you’re not a Plus Club member, you have actually two entities to thank. You have our great sponsors (please support them) and you have our Plus Club members.
And a message about Plus Club membership. People say, “Jim, I listen on Apple Podcasts. I listen on Spotify, iHeartRadio, Stitcher, and I only see 13 episodes. But I’m new and I understand you’ve been doing this since 2009. There’s hundreds, over 500 episodes of the Campfire. Where are all those shows?” Very easy: jimharoldplus.com.
If you want to know how to get the archive of Jim Harold’s Campfire, going back to 2009, 500+ episodes not on the free feeds, go over to jimharoldplus.com, click on the banner, and you will find out all about our Plus Club. Not only do you get Campfire, you get back catalog of the Paranormal Podcast and eight exclusive episodes of various shows on various topics we do every month that have never been on the free feeds. It’s a great deal. You can get your first month for 99 cents, or if you say, “Hey, I’m all in, Jim,” you can get your first year for $49.99 – with our promo codes, of course, both of those offers. But we think they’re great offers, and really very high satisfaction on the Plus Club.
I can’t remember the last time, literally, somebody wrote me and said, “I’m dissatisfied with the Plus Club.” People love it. And we’re so thankful because, really, that’s what made us say, “Hey, we’re going to take the jump to do this full-time” almost 10 years ago. So thank you so much, Plus Club members. And of course, our sponsors, too. So check that out at jimharoldplus.com. I hope you’ll join up and get the access to all those hundreds and hundreds of Campfire stories. It’s probably thousands at this point. It’d almost have to be, wouldn’t it? If you’ve got over 500 episodes, there’s more than two stories every show, so we’re up into the thousands. So check it out, jimharoldplus.com.
Thank you so much. We appreciate it. Thank you to our storytellers, thank you to our sponsors, thank you to our Plus Club members, and thank you for listening to this show. We appreciate it. We’ll talk to you next time. Have a great week, everybody. Stay safe, and of course, as always, stay spooky. And Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there. 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.