When A Skeptic Sees A Ghost….

Growing up, I saw a lot of apparitions in the home of my childhood. I was not really afraid of them…more intrigued. There seemed to be something in that house though…or maybe in the area the house was built on…that was quite negative in nature. Ironically, it would not be me that would see an actual manifestation of that negativity. That honor would belong to my mother…the skeptic.

The account she gave me later truly got the chills going…mainly because I did know what a skeptic she was. It was late at night..she had been reading in the living room after everyone else had gone to bed. When she stood up to check the lights and go upstairs…she saw it.

Standing there in the partition between the living room and the dining room stood a tall dark figure…it appeared hooded, from what she told me. She blinked her eyes hard and looked again…it was still there. She was paralyzed…her feet literally froze. She didn’t want to keep looking at it..and yet she couldn’t look away.

As she looked on, the figure raised an arm…and pointed toward the basement. She had never been so frightened in her life. Everything in her brain was screaming “This isn’t happening!!!” She finally found the ability to move and ran up the stairs as fast as she could. She was nearly hysterical, waking my dad and telling him to go downstairs and look.

He went down…and of course there was nothing there. He was even more skeptical than she was..telling her it was probably some shadow from the dim lighting. She felt a little better with my dad awake and reassuring her…so she went upstairs to bed and tried to put the incident out of her mind.

Years later when she told me about it, she still looked scared…and she never bought my dad’s explanation. She told me she didn’t know what it was, but she has never had such a strong sense of negativity as she did that night in that house.

A few more years passed, and Troy Taylor’s revised edition of his “Haunted Decatur” book was published. In it was a story he had dug around through the newspaper archives to find…an old, forgotten ghost story from this town’s past.

In 1903, several sightings of a black, hooded, gliding figure were reported in the west end of town…in particular, the very street, indeed, the very BLOCK that my former home stood. Some of the sightings could have been attributed to mass hysteria…after all, everyone was looking for it! However, the story had never been told to my mother…and she certainly wasn’t looking for a ghost that night!

I’m certainly not trying to say that this proves my mother saw a ghost. However, hearing the story of the “gliding ghost” in 1903 and of course the area of the sightings gave me a LOT to think about. Whatever my mother saw that night…she’s not the skeptic anymore!


4 thoughts on “When A Skeptic Sees A Ghost….

  1. I think any time we see or hear something out of the ordinary, when we’re alone, it gets our blood pumping. I think we feel most vulnerable at night because that’s when we sleep and when we’re pretty much defenseless. I realised this last year while staying in a haunted bed & breakfast with a friend. So, I decided to ask whoever was there to not do anything to us at night – i.e. climb into bed with either of us – because it would frighten us. Was there anyone there or was I talking to the air? I don’t know, but it made me feel better. And I know my friend didn’t think I was strange for doing it.


  2. How interesting! A “travelling” ghost is a pretty novel idea! He just wandered in and out of houses in a general area? And the sightings were concentrated to 1903? I wonder why? And I wonder what made him appear to your mother, many years (I assume) later? Perhaps he’s appeared to others, who haven’t wanted to publicize the fact.
    And what’s with the ominous pointing to the basement? I wonder if any of the other witnesses reported the figure pointing?


  3. … might be interesting to look up the story in the 1903 papers for that area… Do you have a month and day to go with the year? I’ve been doing some li-berry research for my first article. I wouldn’t mind checking for something.


  4. According to the book, the first sightings of this ghost were on November 13, 1903…and the last one that was taken seriously was on November 17, same year.

    Of course there were several incidents that happened afterwards that the “ghost” took the rap for…a woman falls asleep with a gas lamp next to her bed still lit…bed catches on fire.. .the ghost gets the blame…poor ghost! He was framed!


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