The Ghostly Visitor
As Told By: Janie Bratton
Many years ago, my cousin June and Von, her husband, were ministers traveling around the United States and Canada,doing work for one of the major christian denominations. They would visit various churches and hold “revival” meetings for the congregations. June presented a program of gospel music, singing and playing piano, accordion and organ. She was one of those gifted persons who could play by ear, meaning she could hear the music first and then play it back perfectly. Von was a wonderful “dynamic preacher from the South”, as he was billed on the marque and on flyers that were circulated around the community in those days. Together they made one dynamic duo, perfectly suited to one another and to the work that was their life’s calling. One meeting that they held was in an old Southern city in Alabama. The home minister there was very nice and helped them to find lodging in a very large, old antebellum home, owned by one of the church’s congregation. The house had many rooms that one could get lost in very easily and had a bit of an eerie aura to it. The many old antiques and furniture in the house, that dated back to the Victorian era, gave one a feeling of belonging to another century. When darkness began to fall, shadows were cast about, giving the house an almost surrealistic atmosphere. The many old trees lining the drive up to the house also added to the increased darkness. The couple’s stay lasted two weeks and they seemed to enjoy themselves, as they enjoyed part of their time sightseeing. At the end of each evening of ministering and music, they retired to their very lovely, spacious bedroom for some relaxation. June would stay up each night and read romance novels, while Von slept. One particular night, while June sat up in bed reading, she heard a rustling sound, like that made by some sort of silky material. What occurred next she was not prepared for! At the side of her bed stood a woman wearing a very old fashioned taffeta dress; one with a high-neck collar. She was a very lovely woman with dark hair neatly put up on her head and wearing a very large, old necklace. June was frozen in fear and could not speak! Then the lady kindly spoke and said, “I must get over to the other side”. She then vanished as quickly as she had appeared. June knew that she had been awake each night and actually had stayed up waiting for the lady’s visits. The same thing happened repeatedly for the next several nights. She told Von of the strange nightly happenings, to which he added that she was probably dreaming. She told him that she had remained awake each night for the lady’s visits and had looked forward to them. The last night of their stay, the woman came at the usual time, saying “I must get over to the other side.” June found her courage and spoke. She suggested to the woman that she should try just walking to the other side of the bed. The woman looked puzzled, however, she took June’s advice and she walked over to the other side of the bed and vanished! June never saw the woman again. Years later, reflecting upon the experience, June began to believe that the lady may have meant the actual “Other Side”, and not of the bed. Whenever June saw or heard taffeta material rustling, she always remembered the softly spoken ghost in that old Southern mansion.