Do you believe in Ghosts?
by Richard Wilt

      That is the very first question asked of an individual if they relate an encounter with what they believe is or was a Ghost. While growing up my grandfather would tell me of having encounters with people that he later found had passed several years earlier. Most of his brushes with “Ghosts” seemed to always happen by meeting an individual while walking just before dusk. My grandfather never owned an automobile after he had an accident in 1934 when he was pinned by a cow against the wall of a stall while milking and resulted in a broken hip and he had to sell his automobile to pay medical expenses. After this he always walked or rode streetcars or trains everywhere he went. He met most of his Ghosts while walking the road from Pine Bluff to Shinnston which even today remains a country road.

      So, from my grandfather I always considered that there were Ghosts but I had never met one or had even seen one. When we moved from Bethlehem to an area in Shinnston that had been the scene of the 1944 tornado and could contain many spirits of people killed suddenly during the storm. .

      We moved into a new house which had built after the tornado but I never gave much thought of there being Ghosts in the area. This changed quite suddenly for me when my sister moved from home after graduating from high school and going to work. I inherited my sister’s room which was in the rear and in the corner of the house. The room had an outside door which led to a side porch. I was not the bravest little boy and I was always expecting someone to walk in the side door into my room so I always made sure that the screen door was latched and the door was locked. Doing this, it unnerved me when I would awake in the morning and many times the screen door was unlatched and the door with the key still in the lock was ajar. Each morning that this happened I would ask my mother if she had come to my room during the night and opened the side door. She always assured me that I must have just forgotten to close and look the door or was dreaming.

      This happened several times over the next months. I even tried something I had seen in a movie of putting a match stick in the crack of the door when I locked it and low and behold the match stick would be on the floor and the door was ajar the next morning . Due to this experience I became a very light sleeper and remain a light sleeper until this very day.

      One stormy night during a heavy rain I was sleeping when all of a sudden I heard the door creak and I sat up in bed and the door was standing open. After sitting up in bed for a few minutes I noticed standing at the foot of my bed was a very old Italian lady looking at me with a slight smile on her face. I jumped out of bed and she was gone.

      The old lady didn’t appear every night but sometimes three or four times a month over the next 10 years. I mentioned it to my mother and she just smiled and said I was imagining things or dreaming. I never spoke of the occurrence to anyone except my older sister, many years later I ask if she had ever seen anything like a Ghost in her room and she just laughed at me for believing in Ghosts.

      I never felt any fear when the lady appeared so I always slept very well knowing she was there watching over me. The last time I saw the lady was in 1956 after I had come home from leave from the Navy and slept in my old bed. When I left home in 1955 to join the Navy my younger sister inherited my old room but as far as I know the lady never appeared to her. To this very day, I wake up at night and notice a movement or shadow out of the corner of my eye. I have the feeling that there could be someone there watching me. I usually just smile to myself and say “goodnight” and far back to sleep.

      You don’t have to believe this unless, some night while sitting reading, relaxing or lying in bed you notice a slight dark movement out of the corner of your eye and turn quickly to see if there is someone there. If you do or you do not, just smile and say “goodnight” and go back to sleep knowing there is someone watching over you.

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