Originally posted July 12, 2009 at Gaia.com
Ghosts generally divide into two broad categories. Some appear to be conscious beings, simply humans in spirit form, that act in the present moment, but others seem to be “recordings” that are nothing more than imprints of people and events of the past and that under the right conditions play back like a movie. You’ve probably read, for instance, about incidents where entire fields full of soldiers from a long-past battle have suddenly appeared to onlookers, then faded into thin air. Such spectral manifestations repeat the exact same actions whenever they are seen, showing no awareness of the living humans nearby and making no attempt at communication.
Gina told me about this while cutting my hair, prefacing it with the same words that so many of us use: “I haven’t told anybody about this because they would think I was crazy.” Whereas if we would all start speaking up, we would realize that these things aren’t crazy at all and that they are extremely common! In many ways her story is a very ordinary tale of ghosts, but it is of special interest because it involves both kinds of apparitions.
For years Gina lived in a house in Albuquerque’s South Valley with her two children and at least three ghosts. She reported that at the old house she often saw a pair of little girls dressed in “old-fashioned” clothing, perhaps from the late 19th or early 20th centuries. The girls would always be jumping rope. They were always in the same area, doing the same things, wearing the same clothes. The place where they were seen was a wall of Gina’s bedroom, and she says that they appeared to actually go through the wall as they played.
The girl ghosts didn’t cause Gina or her kids any problems, but there was a somewhat more sinister presence as well. This entity appeared as an older man, and he acted like an automatous person rather than a recording. Whereas the girls never left their wall, the man could go wherever he wanted, and did, so that he was able to be more bothersome. When Gina’s nieces were staying with her, the man showed up in their closet and scared them. Gina’s boyfriend at the time once said that he felt like someone was staring at him and “breathing down his neck.“ There was never a specific sense of who this old man was or why he was making his appearances.
There was a more threatening manifestation as well. A friend told Gina that if she made it clear that the male spirit was not welcome, he would have to leave. I’m not sure where the friend got this idea, since troublesome ghosts usually seem to be much more difficult to dislodge than that. At any rate, Gina tried telling the man to hit the road, and the next morning her daughter awoke with a long scratch on her leg.
Significantly, the family’s two dogs refused to come into the house unless something outside was scarier than what was inside. Only thunderstorms and Fourth of July fireworks could bring them in, and then they stayed only in the living room, never going into any other rooms.
Gina moved across town, and none of the ghosts came along. The dogs now happily live in the new house with the family and go wherever they please. One has to wonder what the people who bought the old house are experiencing.