I have been asked by readers of my books and columns in the Rome News-Tribune, “Do you believe in ghosts?” That is a good question that deserves a good answer.
Have you ever looked up the definition of “ghost”? I thought I would look in the dictionary and see what Webster had to say.
Mister Webster says a ghost is a shade, spook, shadow, spirit, wraith, death-like, phantom, specter, cadaverous, corpse-like phantasm, poltergeist, … and he goes on and on with his definition. Take out the dictionary and see if you have ever seen or heard a ghost.
There are things that go thump and bump in the night. Have you ever walked into a dark unfamiliar place? You stop because you hear something that made a noise. You stand still and listen. If you stand still long enough you will hear another thump, and then voices.
When this happens, the mind has done told the feet to move. The feet move and then the place has become Haunted.
A woman in Germany once told me something that I will always remember. She said some people are gifted with the ability to see and hear things others can not. That there are people who could stand in a room full of people and be the only one to see, hear or feel a poltergeist.
She gave me something to think about when she told me that. I have been in places where the hair stood up on the back of my neck and goosebumps ran up and down my back. A cold chill would finish it off.
I have in mind an incident that happened to me about 10 years back. I went by the Rome Area History Museum to see if they needed any more of my books. I was talking to a lady when the director then, Russ McClanahan, came in. We talked for a few minutes and he said he had a box of pictures of police officers.
They were pictures of old officers who had been on the force many years ago. Russ asked me if I would look at them and see if I could put a name to some. I went upstairs, where he put the box in front of me.
He left and I began to look at the pictures. I have to take off my glasses to see up close. I remember that I pulled them off and placed them on top of another box that was on the table.
It was quiet up there, for no one was on the second floor but me. I was looking at the pictures, laying some aside to come back to. Some that I knew, I would put together by themselves to put a name to.
I do not have any idea how long I was there before someone began to talk and make noise.
I tried to concentrate on the pictures but could not, with all the talking and noise going on. I got up and went to the door and looked out. I could see no one. It was so quiet, if a mouse had run across the floor I would have heard him.
I turned to go back into the room with the pictures when a cold chill went down my back. I could feel the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Goosebumps were lined up and tunning up and down my arms.
I sat back down and began to sort out the pictures. I would look at a picture and place it in a pile. I would never look up when I placed the picture in the pile. Then the voices started again.
I got up and went to the door. The voices and a sound like shuffling feet sounded from a room next to me. I went over and looked in. There was no one in the room. Then I got the cold chill, hair standing up and goosebumps.
I walked out of the room and began a search to see if someone was pulling a prank on me. I checked the second floor from every big spot to the smallest. I was convinced that no one was up there with me. No one that I could see or want to keep company with.
I was standing by the elevator and reached out to punch the button when I remembered that my glasses were lying on the table with the pictures.
I walked slowly back to the room with the pictures. I went in and began to look for my glasses. They were not on the box where I had left them.
The pictures that I had taken from the box and put on the table were back in the box. There, on top of the pictures, were my glasses.
I put on my glasses and, with a cold chill, I headed for the elevator. I punched the button and the elevator door opened. I stepped in and, as the door closed, I swear I heard a girl’s silly giggle.
I went up front and told the lady that I had to go.
Do you get the idea I am afraid of ghosts? No, not necessarily, but I know there are some weird things in this old world. Chalk this up as one of those things and move on.
There are some people who believe that there are ghosts in the History Museum.