I never knew whether I really believed in ghosts until I
I had, when I was quite a bit younger, just under the age of consent,
stayed with my dear Aunt Addie in Brantford. She didnt know
it but I was planning to elope with a young man who was quite serious
and quite honourable but he was not looked on favourably by my folks.
We thought all would be well but I, foolishly, left a note explaining
my intentions before I took off. I was captured and put in a local
hoosegow jail cell until my dad came to pick me up. I was in disgrace
and the elopement didnt work out at all. This was a very agitated
and emotional time for me.
Ten to fifteen years later when I was older, if not wiser, I was staying
with my Aunt again, although she never quite forgave me for pulling
such a dirty trick on her in the past. I was staying in the same room
I had been in on the night of the failed elopement many years ago.
Well, I couldnt sleep or rest. I felt agitation. I sensed, I
never saw, but I sensed, the presence of a young girl who was very
agitated and full of excitement and full of anxiety. She was very
much there. I wasnt just reliving something that had happened.
She was there. That room was haunted and the ghost was me.
My earlier self.
Time moves on. My brother was in Chatham. My mother had just moved
into an apartment and he was finishing things up at the house where
she was not going to be living any more. He was just checking to see
if anything had been forgotten and he spent the night there. He didnt
get very much sleep because he was tormented by the vision, and I
dont know if he actually saw her, of a little red-haired girl
who would not let him sleep. She was agitated. She was upset. She
was moving around. She wouldnt let him sleep.
I had red hair when I was a little girl. I may have left some trace
there, some psychic imprint. Im wondering now how many other
places I may be haunting that Im not aware of. Its as
if a place where something emotional has happened becomes like a photographic
negative taking an impression of highly emotional events or circumstances.
Thats my guess.
My third ghost story isnt about my ghost. Its about the
ghost of a church member. I was active in and ran the Sunday School
at St. Stephen in the Fields in Toronto for a time. A long time church
member had passed on, just before I joined the congregation and I
was aware that she had been very dedicated to the church. I knew her
husband quite well.
I played guitar at the Folk Mass, which was held before the regular
service at this Anglican church. They tried to get me to sing modern
made up white hymns but I claimed I didnt know how and mostly
played Southern gospel hymns, black and white, which I coerced them
into learning. Our little folk mass was quite simple and in colloquial
At a certain point in the Mass you do Prayers for the Living and then
you do Prayers for the Dead. One time, while we were having the Service,
there was quite a commotion in the church. Doors were opening and
closing with loud bangs. Winds were blowing. There were rattling noises.
prayer books fell down. This was a ghostly agitation.
Somehow or other I knew sometimes you just know things
that this was the lady who had passed lately, who had been so dedicated
to the church. I began, because she was so active with banging and
winds blowing etc., to put her in the prayers for the living. Then,
I stopped myself, I waited and under my breath, I put her name
quietly spoken no one else heard me in the prayers for
I felt and I still feel at this time, thinking of it, this tremendous
warmth. Someone came up behind me and put their arms around me and
gave me such a warm and loving hug. Of course no-one was visible there,
but all the noises stopped and everything was quiet and peaceful from
then on. I realized that sometimes ghosts dont know that they
are dead. I had, almost accidentally, done this lady a great favour
by telling her that she was indeed amongst the departed and that she
could now move on in peace. She was no longer needed at the church.
Her duties were done.
These events are very subjective and personal but they are also very
Do I believe in ghosts? I have to because I have been one