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Re: Christmas Ghost Stories

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  • Purplelilac1/Tammy
    Hello Richard, Thank you for sharing those stories with us. I found them very interseting and would nt mind hearing any more you may have that your willing to
    Message 1 of 3 , Jan 1, 2000
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      Hello Richard,
      Thank you for sharing those stories with us. I found them very interseting and would'nt mind hearing any more you may have that your willing to share. And if any other's on this list have some please share them with us all. I have some but i'm trying to get them typed out. Seem's it's alot more difficult to type them out them to just tell them with friend's and family around.
      Sorry to go on so long but i had to send an email telling you how much i enjoyed your stories <S>.

      Thank You
      -----Original Message-----
      From: Richard D. Hendricks <rdh@...>
      To: weirdwi@onelist.com <weirdwi@onelist.com>
      Date: Monday, December 27, 1999 10:49 AM
      Subject: Christmas Ghost Stories

      From: "Richard D. Hendricks" <rdh@...>

      Years ago there was a strong English tradition of telling Christmas
      ghost stories. Charles Dickens' *A Christmas Carol* was one such tale,
      as were the many famous ghost stories penned by M.R. James. Because of
      my "interests," I heard several this past weekend while visiting with
      family members. All were quite interesting, and give me much incentive
      for visiting again later when I can round up some of the people involved
      and ask them to give me their version of the stories. Sorta makes me
      think of Rusk County as Paranormal Rusk County.

      Among the stories:

      A young couple living in a trailer on the edge of Ladysmith. A ghost
      began appearing to the wife, showing up suddenly in mirrors or behind
      her when she was working. She was frightened beyond words. One day the
      couple were looking for some valuable coins they had stashed away. The
      coins were missing from their usual place. Finally the exasperated pair
      found the coins hidden away between the pages of the family Bible. The
      coins were arranged in a row, and the couple attached some significance
      to the passages that the coins appeared to be highlighting. The woman
      visited the Ladysmith News to find out more about the history of the
      land. Apparently on the grounds of the trailer court there had stood a
      farm house. Some tragic event transpired. There, on the yellowed pages
      of newsprint stared the face of the man whom the woman had seen in her
      trailer. She shrieked, and fled, and immediately moved out of the
      trailer, refusing ever to return. The couple sold the trailer ... Even
      odder, I know the people involved in the story. I have just enough
      details to pique my curiosity. I'm hoping to get more.

      A seasoned DNR employee, now retired, was walking in the woods north of
      Ladysmith and south of Winter near his hunting cabin. He is described
      as unfailingly honest, a straight talker, and observant student of
      nature. He's very well respected in the community, an odd honor for a
      man working in the employ of an agency which draws all sorts of nasty
      talk (and sometimes even battle!) from the surrounding hunting
      community. Something caught his eye. He stopped to watch, thinking it
      was a deer or something. As it got closer, he was horrified to see the
      image of a man gliding between the trees. He could see no feet on the
      man. Over the man's shoulders was draped a long black cloak that faded
      into nothing where his legs should have been. Atop his head was a broad
      brimmed black hat. The figure glided closer, the DNR warden scarcely
      believing what he was seeing. As the figure drew even with the warden,
      the head of the figure slowly swivelled to face him, like the slow
      turning of an owl's head, and the DNR warden felt the full blast of the
      figure's malignant glare. He too shrieked, and took off running through
      the woods. To this day he refuses to return to the area of woods where
      he saw the figure. Many other hardened hunters, heavy drinking hard-ass
      guys afraid of nothing, were so impressed by the warden's tale, that
      they too refuse to go into the woods where the figure was seen. I heard
      a variant of this tale from a couple of different family members,
      neither aware that I had earlier heard the story from the other.

      My brother, one of those aforementioned hard-ass hunter guys, also told
      me about a cemetery located somewhere between Bruce and Weyerhauser,
      perhaps in the Blue Hills, which he claims is one of the creepiest
      places he's ever seen. A school teacher from Bruce has told several
      tales of ghosts in this cemetery. I'm hoping to find out more about
      this one, too.

      My father, now 62, told me that my grandparents had a devout belief in
      the existence of evil spirits. Both my grandparents were very devout
      Catholics, and during the 1940s lived a very hand to mouth existence on
      a small farm southeast of Ladysmith. My dad said that the only spirits
      my grandparents seemed to believe in were the evil kind, and they
      practiced all sorts of rituals and precautions in order to avoid
      invoking the spirits' enmity or notice. On one occasion, furniture on a
      locked and seldom used porch was suddenly flung against one wall,
      resulting in a clatter that shook the entire family. An uncle, my
      grandmother's brother, was a devoted seance goer for most of his life.
      What really surprised me was that there was someone living in Ladysmith
      who conducted regular seances throughout the 50s and through the 70s.
      This uncle was hot for buried treasure, and often wrote letters to the
      spirits, hoping to trick them into revealing the whereabouts of their
      hidden stash. (There are also many stories told of buried treasure,
      somewhere in the Blue Hills near Bruce, to the west of Ladysmith.) I'm
      not sure whether he ever found any treasure, but my uncle did leave a
      handsome sum upon his death to the woman who conducted the seances.

      My aunt is a Catholic nun in the order Our Servants of Mary. She's now
      72. On October 24 of this year, her younger sister died. I attended
      the memorial service in Stanley Hallowe'en weekend. The service wasn't
      a traditional Catholic mass, although it was officiated over by a
      Catholic priest and scripted in large part by my aunt the nun. I think
      this bothered my aunt, who's very particular about the manner of marking
      passage. She held another service in Ladysmith, on the one month
      anniversary of my aunt Pat's death. At the conclusion of the emotional
      service, my grieving aunt looked up to see my dead aunt Pat waving at
      her, an ecstatic look on her face. Pat was as distinct and as present
      as any other warm-bodied figure sitting in the chapel. She called to my
      aunt the nun, saying "Thank you, thank you for doing this for me!"
      before fading from view. My aunt the nun says she felt uplifted at that
      moment, and her grief left her. Since that moment she's been filled
      only with happiness, feeling no more burden at Pat's premature
      departure. Even when asked point blank whether Pat actually physically
      stood there, waving, my aunt swore to God every word was true.

      Most of my brothers have practiced as commercial roofers through the
      years. I've done some commercial roofing myself, and it's the dirtiest
      hardest job you can imagine, being up on rooftops of large buildings
      under the broiling sun or in the teeth of windchills minus 30 or more.
      Roofers have a reputation for being no-nonsense, hard drinking, hard
      working, mean swearing SOBs who never darken the door of any church. At
      least some of 'em. And some of the nice ones even act like the bad ones
      when they're around the boys. And so it is with my brothers. I love
      'em all, but they can be a real pain sometimes. Anyway, a large group
      of them were in the woods some eight to ten years ago outside of
      Ladysmith. Built a huge bonfire. It was roaring some 20 feet into the
      air. Everyone was sitting around drinking, laughing, telling dirty
      jokes and whatever else. Someone decided to take a picture of the
      roaring flames, for posterity. When the film was developed, there
      standing directly in the roaring flames was an enormous figure that the
      guys all claim was Satan! It scared hell out 'em, you can be sure.
      Several of my brothers who were there -- and who saw the pictures --
      swear it is true. I remember hearing this story several years ago, too,
      well before the web site. One brother on Christmas Eve actually rang a
      friend who had a copy of the picture; he was going to have him bring it
      over for me to see. The friend said he was so frightened by the
      picture, that he couldn't bear to keep it any longer, and he threw it
      away. Supposedly another roofer still has the picture and my brother
      will try to get a copy of it from him. So, I'm still waiting. As you
      may know, it's often easy to interpret things in pictures that are not
      really there. Flames jumping and shooting and lights reflecting may
      conjure up all kinds of images. But, you never know. If I ever get a
      copy of the picture, I'll let you all know.

      And there's all the things that have happened to my mother over the
      years. But those are many and complicated stories which I'll save for
      another occasion.

      I think every family has ghost stories. You just have to get people
      talking, away from the television sets and radios and computer games.
      Family gatherings have a way of bringing these out. I'm sure some of
      you probably told ghost stories over the holiday. If not, think of
      gently bringing up the topic at your next family gathering. Start with
      one or two people in a semi-private setting. It'll help the teller be
      at ease and help to reduce any potential embarrassment. If you have any
      you'd be willing to share, I'm sure several here would love to hear


      Richard Hendricks
      Weird Wisconsin
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