Firstly, I see ghosts. Sometimes.
The first time I ever remember seeing a ghost was when I was only about three years old. My parents and I lived in a little house in Saxapahaw, North Carolina, and it was Easter morning. It was raining cats and dogs, and I desperately wanted to hunt eggs outside. My mom and dad told me no, and that no one was hunting eggs outside in the rain. I wasn't the only one inside.
Boy, were they ever wrong. When I looked out their bedroom window, there was about twenty kids following behind one adult, in a perfect line, walking up to the top of the hill where the old textile mill was. In my mind, I just knew that they were hunting eggs without me!
|The ruins of a late 1800's mill in Saxapahaw, picture taken present day :)|
They didn't see a damn thing.
"But, b-b-b-b-but they're right there!" I screamed at my parents for nearly ten minutes, pointing at all those kids. They were going to get my eggs, dammit!
Again, my mom and dad gave me a weird look and assured me there were no kids out there.
I saw other things, too, but I don't remember many of them until I was in high school. My mom had just moved into the house that her father's father built from the ground up. She was excited with the move and loved the idea of being close to my grandma (who lived just a hop, skip, and a jump away), and she loved that she found old newspaper clippings in the walls when we moved in.
I loved the history of that house, too. My great-grandfather was a moonshiner. During prohibition, many men (and women sometimes) made homemade hooch in stills they kept hidden from the law. My grandpappy was one of those hooch runners. Southern Appalachia was full of them, but it was a good way to get your alcohol and a good way to make money during the Great Depression some years later, too. On the mountain that he lived on, he was the only living soul there that had a vehicle during the depression. Oh, and he had horses and livestock that he didn't have to slaughter to survive-although, I know they did slaughter their own meat. They just didn't have to.
Well, my grandfather made his living moonshining for quite some time, and he married my Cherokee grandma, Betty. Betty was quite a looker. Tall, long dark Cherokee hair that hung down to her hips (like my moms and mine), beautiful big brown eyes, and really nice arms. My mom takes after my grandma Betty. They look exactly alike!
Betty and my grandfather raised a small family in their little house up in the mountains. They had a young daughter and my grandfather and my grandfather's brothers. Well, when my grandfather was little, he was put in charge of watching my auntie (who was his little sister) while his parents were working outside. My grandfather was very little himself. Maybe seven or so...
Anyhow, he grabbed a rifle from his daddy's dresser and accidentally shot his baby sister. The bullet went through her and into a dresser behind her, bursting much of the wood from the end of the dresser. My great grandfather kept that damn dresser and my grandpa had to look at it every day until he left for overseas during WW2.
Years later, when I was just fifteen, I saw my great auntie. I was watching a movie in the living room, and turned off the tv and vcr, then settled down to sleep on the loveseat. Before I got to sleep, the tv turned back on, then the vcr started making a noise. I looked up, and just beyond the tv stand, in the bathroom doorway, was my little auntie-but, I didn't even know she existed until a few days later. She was pretty. She had her hair in pigtail braids, very long and dark Cherokee hair. She had freckles on her face like my mama, and she was holding a kitten. She didn't speak, didn't smile, just stared at me. Later, my grandmother told me about her, and it gave me chills and I remember crying for about an hour over her death. My grandfather struggled with that for his entire life.
A few weeks later, I was sleeping in my bedroom, but heard a noise and thought I'd heard my mama calling for me. I looked into the doorway and there was a woman that looked like my mom, but wasn't her. She had long hair, braided to one side, dark Cherokee eyes, and I thought I was going to shit myself. Luckily, I didn't. It was my great grandma, Betty.
I see ghosts from time to time, at the oddest times. I've seen miners walking home from the mine, carrying their axes and mining lights across the train tracks below my house. I've seen young, old, and in between. I'm sort of used to it now, but every time I see one, my heart leaps into my butt and I get chills.
I googled Saxpahaw, North Carolina a few days ago, though, and found out that the kids I saw were probably the children of Mill workers from the early 1900's. They went to school in the town and also worked in the Mill some, too. They were probably on their way up to the Mill when I saw them. I even found a picture.
|They took all my damn Easter eggs!|