Saturday, August 11, 2007

Why, hello there, Saturday

And when we put down the book at last,
lean back, close our eyes,
stinging with print,
and slip in the bookmark of sleep. . .

from a poem by Billy Collins


Nancy P said...

Better hurry to get your chores done, or family man will get to the hammock before you do. We're dealing with a pro. :)

olivia said...

LOL Nancy.

Good morning to you and everyone else. I'm hurrying to get my blogreading done before my rels show up -- I'm having a FM kinda w/e, and NOT the good napping kind ...

Have a lovely w/e!

GreenMinute said...

oh Fam Man,

"After the [War Between the States] Mr. Wilson was one of many wandering around the country to find work."

Whoa Nellie! Are the names and dates written on the wall? I am VERY curious. Would you mind telling me where this house is situated?

I believe there may be more to your Mr. Wilson that you currently recall. But I only say this because the circumstances are classic folklore of the period.

Is there anyone else in your family you can ask about Mr. Wilson?? Just in case they remember another tidbit or two?

As a licensed (ha ha ha) ghostlorist, I must tell you that you have given us the first third of a traditional, near archetypal, American ghost story. No doubt true, btw.

And you have shared with us the final third. In short, your childhood tradition is textbook "real ghost" material... but... without the middle.

Becase Mr. Wilson was used by your parents or g-parents as a Boogie Man (the last third of the story), I am wondering if the middle of this family tradition exists in anyone's memory at all.

Given the writing of Mr Wilson's name and dates... well, this becomes quite a special survival of a family created folklore event. I am not kidding. Very special, indeed.

Someone needs to document this one before it's gone.

GreenMinute said...


FamMan, now I'm guessnig the back of a piece of furniture?

T. B. Wilson is likely Thomas?

P.S. If you don't want to hang the location on the web, you can email me directly

Hope you don't mind my interest in Mr. Wilson. :-)

katiebird said...


I didn't know you're a ghostlorist. I work with a woman who's a ghost-hunter. Her stories are fascinating.

GreenMinute said...

Good morning, Katie.

I have a friend, Joshua Warren, here in Asheville, who is ghost hunter, too. :-)

But I don't hunt actual ghosts. I do, though, collect ghost experiences from people who have them. I generally use this as background material when I am asked to talk publicly about ghosts.

IN folklore research, this is called "primary source" material.
I call them "first-person ghosts" :-) I love it. I have written up one or two, but I my interest is more in building a working catalog of ghost encounters and other ghost experiences than in writing them.

For the past 12 years I have conducted an annual week-long "Real Ghosts" seminar for the state of NC up here in the mtns. Last summer, the GSM National Park system had my wife and I appear at their visitor centers throughout the summer, telling local (Appalachian) "true" ghost stories. So, I TALK about ghosts a lot. :-)

But I like hearing about them even better. Much better, in fact.

Family Man said...

Good morning everyone.

I'm late getting in because I've been doing the most unslackerly thing. I've been mowing the lawn. I'm just in to cool down and get some water now.

Hurry to the hammock? Nancy is my slackerly legend proceeding me. :P

Olivia I'll see your rels and raise you another rel that got in last night. ;)

Hey green. I'll be happy to send you some info. For right now, Mr. Wilson died when my grandfather was young. So I'm guessing it got passed down to my father and then to us from my grandfather.

The sig and date were originally on an outside wall of the house. A bedroom was later added so his sig is now between the back bedroom and the parlour. Once I get through with my chores I'll talk to FMom and ask her some more about Mr. Wilson.

Hi KB. I've never seen Mr. Wilson, but who know...... :~)

Well it's back to the lawn. God how I hate yard work!

GreenMinute said...

Mowing the lawn? Lots and lots of water! lol

Thanks for checking on mr. Wilson for me, Fam Man. Much appreciated.

Nancy P said...

Hi, O, gm, kb, fm!

Did the tub, cleaned the kitchen, on to the vacuum!! Oh, the glamorous life of the writer!

fm, GET that cousin of yours out of my hammock! :) Or, wait. . .is that YOUR cousin, Olivia?

If a hammock rocks when there's nobody in it, is it a ghost?

Nancy P said...

Green, have I asked you this before? In your ghost collecting, do you ever run into stories I can only classify as Pet Dies, Mattress Sinks?

After my most beloved dog died, one night I felt the mattress sink in just the place where she always jumped up. I've heard that's not an uncommon experience. (I didn't look. I don't know if I was afraid to see her, or not see her. And man does this comment feel familiar, as if I also made it on an earler post where we talked about ghosts.)

GreenMinute said...


There's a test, Nancy. Sit on the hammock. If it tickles...

Kelly McCullough said...

Good morning from my borrowed computer. (waves)

I'm patiently waiting for mine to come back from the repair service-serious hardware problems and will resue regular blogging and commenting whenever that happens.

Nancy P said...

lol, gm. If it tickles and I leap up with a startled, "Oh!"

WAVING back at Kelly!

GreenMinute said...

It's been a bit since you told me about your ghost puppy, Nancy. Part of the reason so long ago I started looking into ghost dogs and dog ghosts to begin with.

I've also heard an interesting reversdal to this one, Nancy. I was on a publicity tour a few years back and was on a Mobile Alabama TV station early news. It was always VERY early news when I got a spot on TV, btw.

The host lady "interviewing" me started talking to me just before they were going to air. Local news is still live and I am not sure why.

Her daddy had a little dog that at bedtime he would tickle and pet. Every night, the dog lay on its back in bed while he rubbed its tummy. The dog liked it so much, he would toss rapidly from side to side and then slow down like a clock and fall asleep.

The lady told me when her daddy died (recently) her mother said the little dog still jumped right up there at bedtime. It rolled over on its back and swung from side to side while its belly was, apparently, being petted. Then slowed down and fell asleep.

I liked this story a lot. Her father having recently died, however, my TV host's emotions were near the surface. She'd started to cry a little as she told me the story.

And when the camera guy did his 5-4-3-2- and pointed at her, she broke out bawling.

He switched the camera to me and I sat there and held up my book. Then the camera operator started making frantic duck-quack gestures with his free hand.

And I started answering the standard questions I wasn't asked for 3 minutes. "Yes," I said, "there is a difference between ghost dogs and dog ghosts..." I doubt anyone noticed the difference.

This also happened to me in Montgomery the next day. The lady started telling me about her encounter with a dog just after the funeral of her husband's lifelong best friend. The funeral had been only two days earlier and she started crying just before we went on air for my 2 minutes of 5:30 AM Tv time in wonderful downtown Montgomery Alabama.

She did the interview just fine, but there were tears running down her face during all of it.

In truth, most of the ghost experiences I hear are told through tears. That's why I like Mr. Wilson so much. There is no crying in Boogie Man haints.

I hope.

katiebird said...

(how could I forget?)

Is this a ghost story?

When my mother's aunt died (in California) she stopped by my mother's bedroom (in Lisbon) to say goodbye. So my mother knew before anyone else in the family that my aunt had died.

katiebird said...

Nancy, I see our little dog out of the corner of my eye all the time.

I love it that your's made one last visit to your bed.

GreenMinute said...

That's my trick, Katie! I tell someone's experience and then say, "Is that a ghost story?"

But your Mother's experience is much easier to answer. :-) Yes, that is a ghost story, Katie.

GreenMinute said...

I wonder if I can stay cool in this heat wave by getting chills reading this blog?

Spooky taters, this morning.

But, dang, I gotta go. :-(

katiebird said...

Thanks GreenM -- I'll tell her. She doesn't believe in ghosts.

Her family is full of denial. Her mom could levitate tables. But she stopped because she didn't believe in it.

GreenMinute said...

P.S. Here's Joshua's ghost hunter site if anyone wants to get into the techy stuff of ghost hunting. :-)

GreenMinute said...




"Her mom could levitate tables. But she stopped because she didn't believe in it."

In Lisbon? What? Katiebird, you're killing me. :-) I have to hear more...

... but I have to go for now.

Dang, dang, dang.

katiebird said...

Gm, I'll be around most of the day. If you want to talk later.

Nancy P said...

Such fun to read you guys today. Gm, I like taking some credit for your pupping ghosting. :) And I LOVE your ghost-puppy-tickle-belly story.

Katie, thanks for telling me about seeing your dog out of the corner of your eye. And, wow, love your ghost stories, too.

Sometimes when I'm on a book tour and yet another stranger picks me up at the airport and I know we have to spend a day together, I'll ask if she's ever seen a ghost. And suddenly what could have been a boring, strained long time turns fun and lively and fascinating. My experience is that most people are bursting to tell their ghost and other-strange stories, but leery of doing so if they suspect the other person will disbelieve or mock them. Green, I'll bet some of people who've told you their stories feel happy and relieved to get to spill it all out to somebody who's sincere in his listening.

Jen said...

Katiebird, I had that experience just last night!

I had bad nightmares all night (I'm prone to them; it's a post-traumatic stress disorder thing) from which I kept waking, trying to shake them off (unsuccessfully, alas), and at one waking point around 4am I saw an old friend I've not seen in nearly 20 years standing at the foot of my bed as solid and clear as if she were physically there. She gave me this head-cocked-sideways with a half-smile expression that was common to her when we knew each other as teens, and then she sort-of got all...loose. Almost smokey or wispy. And then she went directly up, through the ceiling, and disappeared. I've no way to contact her or her family, but I am now wondering if she checked out last night.

(This isn't the first time I've had this kind of thing happen, but I'm sort-of a skeptic and I remain agnostic about the nature and mechanics of these experiences.)

Nancy P said...

Geez louise, Jen. Well, one thing you aren't skeptical of, and that's the fact that you had that experience, whatever the heck it was. I hope it isn't what it sounds as if it might be. Let us know if you find out any anwers.

I have NO understanding of the mechanics of any of the "strange" stuff--which seems increasingly "normal" to me--but then I don't understand how computers work, either. And yet I am typing on one. I think.

(((Jen))), I hope you have a feel-better weekend.

Jen said...

Thanks for the hugs & good wishes, {{Nancy}}; always reciprocated. I'm fine, just really exhausted. This particular friend wasn't one of my closer ones, although I certainly cared for her.

Re: mechanics...I'm not used to not understanding the precise mechanisms by which things operate. To use your example, I build computers, and I've been writing code since I was a kid so I have an excellent understanding of how these machines operate.

Consciousness is pretty much the only thing about which I've been very curious that I've never felt like I understood. I don't really have a need to fill the gap with a leap of faith, though, so rather than latch on to any particular belief system, I remain agnostic. :)

FARfetched said...

I've dealt with the chicken houses… after that dose of pure stinking evil, ghosts aren't too scary. I *did* come up with a classic Weekly World News (soon to be RIP) story though: "DEVIL CHICKEN INJURES FARMER!"

Green, we'll be going past/through Asheville Friday, on the way to spend the weekend at my mom's summer cottage near Linville. I'll remember to wave as we go by...

KB: Her mom could levitate tables. But she stopped because she didn't believe in it.

If that's not a joke, it's still funny!

Well, if I don't get a nap now, I'm not going to get it done. Hope everyone has a better weekend than FM and me....

Nancy P said...

lol, far.

Hurry, beat fm to the hammock!

katiebird said...

Her mom could levitate tables. But she stopped because she didn't believe in it.

I'm getting ready to run off, but this is both true AND a joke. Or I should say a play on words.

She didn't believe in it exactly the way people don't believe in abortions. It's not that they don't think abortions exist. It's just that they don't want to do abortions themselves. And also don't want other people to do them.

According to my mother her mother thought there might be something devilish or satanic about the ability to levitate tables. So she stopped.

And no one ever mentioned it to us kids/cousins until just a couple of years ago. It was almost the family's deepest-darkest secret.

And now it's on the Internet for everyone to read!

Nancy P said...

If anybody has the time, check out the final comment on yesterday's post and tell me if you think it's genuine or spam. It's from "candy." And my apologies to candy if she's genuinely sweet. :)

katiebird said...

{{Jen}} I don't know what I'd do if I had a 'dream' like that. And how weird that I would mention my mom's story just when it happened to you.

I think my mother was also uncomfortable with her experience. And in fact usually follows the story by saying there's nothing in it. Partly because she wouldn't believe it if it hadn't happened to her.

But, how can there be nothing in it?

Do you have anything light & distracting in the house to read? Like PG Wodehouse or something?


Jen said...

Oh, I'm not freaked out by it, or uncomfortable, or anything like that. Although, it was a bit unsettling while it was happening because I was definitely awake, and had been completely aware of the dream content I'd been experiencing while asleep (my dreams are often semi-lucid, I know that I'm dreaming, it's kind-of like watching a movie), and they were completely unrelated to my friend, so the image of her seemed to come out of nowhere.

Generally, I find all of these sorts of experiences fascinating. :)

Nancy, fwiw, I couldn't make a spam call on that comment in the last thread.

Anonymous said...

I have chills reading all of these posts at once. I take the ghost tours of cities I visit - St Augustine, FL has a great one, since the city is so old. I wish I could say I've seen ghosts, but so far I haven't been that lucky. Your tales are great, folks! The story I'm working on involves ghosts, so it's doubly interesting for me to read about this stuff - and file it away for future reference.

Waving from Maumee, Ohio tonight - 10 miles from Toledo. Looking forward to hammock time next month...til then, I'll have to enjoy it vicariously through all of you.

I'm finally on east coast time!

Have a great Sunday - more driving tomorrow, but a short day. I'll get back online in September - til then, will have to catch up as I can.

Night, all!

katiebird said...

Hi Beth! I'm sorry I missed you. (waving anyway)

Jen, I'm glad you're not freaked out.

And me? I just got back from seeing Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix and WOW. It was at an IMAX theater, in 3d (at least the end)

AND we (can I say who was we?) went out to a lovely little Italian restaurant that I haven't been to since high school.

Honestly, I couldn't have had a better time.

That movie was incredible. I only wish I had seen it before the last book came out because (no spoilers, I promise) when certain characters came on the screen, I couldn't help but cry a little -- just 'cause I knew what was in their future.

And, sorry, but I'm not even going to try to untwist the tense of that sentence.


Nancy P said...

Jen, thanks for checking. Maybe she'll come back on and give me hell for being unwelcoming. That would be good! Then I'd know it was real.

I'm the one who got to go to the movie and out to dinner with kb and have such a great time. Thanks to Mister KB for going out of town and leaving her at loose ends on a Sat. night. I'd already seen the Harry Potter movie, but I liked it just as much this time and the 3D--wow. I love 3D.

Waving at Beth!!

katiebird said...

I wish I could rewind it and do it all again. I wouldn't change a thing.

Except maybe I'd have ice cream the next time.

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