I’m living with a ghost in New Jersey
I’m not insane. I’m a normal person, just like you. Ok, so maybe I’m not normal. Me and my hyperbole. But still. I’m sane. I’m sane, and I have a ghost living in my house.
I’m not one to easily believe in such things, but sometimes some powerful truth reaches out and grabs you no matter how practical a person you are. During my divorce, I moved into this house in 2006 with my son who was then under three years old. Shortly after I got a dog. After a while, we added some fish. Now? We’ve added Nancy the ghost.
Not long after I moved in, I heard some odd noises in the house, and they scared the bejeebers out of me. I cannot recall the full context, but I believe I heard someone other than my son calling “Mommy”. It was so odd, and so scary, that I blocked out the specifics. Being a person of relatively sound mind, I chalked it up to being in a new house under very new circumstances. I talked myself into believing I was just on edge, which was understandable under the circumstances. It was an unfamiliar old house, I was on my own with a young child for the first time, and I was going through a divorce. Clearly, a life in transition.
There had been rumors about ghosts living in this house from before I moved in, but I wasn’t sure I could sign onto that. I began to question my reticence when a neighbor came in to let my dog out while I was at work, and her daughter saw an old woman at the top of the stairs. The woman was gone by the time the child’s mother got to the landing to look.
Then one night about a year after I moved in, my boyfriend at the time, Andrew, and I were in bed. I heard an erie, high pitched, girlish voice say “MOMMY” from the room adjoining my bedroom. Then I heard it again. It was long and drawn out, like: ”MOOOOMMMMY”. It made the hairs on the back of my neck stand at full attention.
The room where it came from is not near my son’s room, and the voice was not my son’s. I turned quickly to look at Andrew, and he nodded and said, “I heard it too”. My first thought was that it had to be my son, “how could it not be my son?” I thought as my mind raced for an explanation. I got up out of bed to investigate.
Barefoot, I walked across the wide wood planks of my second floor landing to my son’s room, where the door was ajar as always. He was fast asleep. It wasn’t him. If he had spoken from his bed, the voice would have come from the other wall of my bedroom. The high pitched, almost creepy voice came from inside the adjoining room of the master bedroom.
Confused, I turned from my son’s room to walk back and was then facing the staircase down to the first level. I then saw that the baby gate was not up. Since I’d moved in I’d been putting a baby gate at the top at night, just in case my son got up in the middle of the night. I didn’t want him to accidentally fall down the stairs in a sleepy moment. I fixed the gate, and wondered if that had been the reason for the disturbance.
I broke up with Andrew quite a while ago, and I’ve been with Dan now for over a year. I’d warned Dan about this odd stuff in my house. He was very kind to not call me the cookoo bird that I know he thought I was when I told him. The ghost then saw to it that he knew I was not nuts, at least not about this.
A few weeks ago we were both in bed sleeping when Dan heard “MOOOOOOMMMMY”. He says it woke him. He was groggy, so he thought maybe it was my son, or maybe he had dreamed it. Just when he was about to go back to sleep, he heard it again, loud and clear. This time, he was certain it was not my son. I never heard it, because I was fast asleep.
I mentioned this to my neighbor, who is apparently a medium and spiritual guide. She offered to come over and see what she could pick up. From her visit, we learned that this ghost dislikes my dining room. There was a disturbance whenever she walked into the dining room. I spend a lot of time in the dining room on the computer writing and facebooking, and sometimes working. Tina looked at me and said “What do you do in here? She hates it here”. Then Tina moved to the kitchen. She said the kitchen was a place the ghost liked. She liked the fish. She wanted me to know the white fish was not named Cindy (my son named our boy beta fish Cindy. The ghost, rightfully so, thought this was absurd). She also wanted me to know that she liked our playroom, but that she wished she could have a toy of her own. ”All the toys are boy toys”, she said.
Tina says that this ghost is a young girl of about 10. She likes to be called Nancy, although we suspect this is not her real name. She did not come with the house. She was drawn to the house because of us. We were already here when she arrived. Tina communicated with the ghost a bit, who asked if she could please show me when she was around more often. She also told us that my son, who is now 6, has no idea she’s here, and that she’d never scare him. She wouldn’t promise, however, that he’d never see her, which was a bit disturbing.
Nancy did not want to tell us who she belonged to. Initially she admitted that she came from someone Tina and I “both knew”. Questions to figure out the identity were met with some anxiety. The chain tina carries to sense these spirits began to twirl quickly. Time to switch subjects.
Tina explained that Nancy was saying she liked our house because there was so much here that she never got to have. She felt like she never got to have a mom, and she never got to have all those toys. She liked being here, because she felt on some level, that I was like her mom.
Tina said that Nancy wanted me to know that she thought if I’d paid better attention, I’d have noticed her more often. She told Tina that if I would just listen, then I’d know she was there. Then, she told Tina to tell me that she only wakes us for a purpose. She then explained, through Tina, that Adam had been having a nightmare the night she woke Dan, and she had wanted me to go to him.
Nancy also clarified that it had not been her at the top of the stairs when my neighbor’s child saw an old woman. Nancy explained that while she is the only consistent entity here, sometimes “others come and go”.
After talking extensively with Tina about the things she sensed from Nancy, it was finally time for the night to draw to a close. Tina walked up the block to her house, and I was jittery all night. Since then I haven’t really seen or heard anything else, although there have been episodes where I’ve smelled a super sweet smell of candy and vanilla in the dining room when I’m writing.
I’ve put a little pink VW bug in the play room, which has since gone missing. I don’t know if the children moved it, or if Nancy did. The dog is sometimes hesitant to enter the playroom, and sometimes needs coaxing to go out through there to get to the yard.
I’m not sure what I believe about all this. I can tell you that I do believe something is happening here in this house. I have a pretty strong sense that whatever it is, it’s not malevolent. What it is, exactly, I cannot say.
During the last snow storm I sent an email to Tina, asking if she thought perhaps Nancy might like to help shovel. Apparently, the answer was no. Oh well. Can’t blame a girl for trying.