Happily Haunted by Pa the Friendly Ghost

By: Guest Author , Contributing Writer
In: Old House Musings

Yet another spooky entry in our Ghost Stories Blog Contest, this one comes from forum member, Ms Fhionn.

My house is haunted by a very helpful and friendly spirit that I’ve named Pa. I’m uncertain of his gender, but I believe that he is male - hard to say as I’ve never seen him in full body apparition. I moved from metro St. Paul out to a small town where the western prairie begins in 2001. I bought a 130 year old house from an 120 year absent owner - my seeing it and deciding to pursue buying it at the very same moment the absentee owner called a local Realtor and after a great amount of thought had decided to sell it. It was a Sunday afternoon, 3 O’clock. A coincidence? I don’t think so. I’d dreamed of this house for many months and when I caught a glimpse of the side porch while I was coming around the corner I knew I’d found it.

When first entering the house it felt happy. I was careful. Touring the house I walked and stopped and really listened. All clear, negative wise, and so I signed the papers. During that period of my life I was very depressed as a long term relationship was coming apart with lies. The worst of it being that I knew the truth, but I couldn’t face it. I was sick. From the moment I moved in I never felt alone, and to be honest, between my dogs, my parent’s brief intervention, and the company of Pa, I wouldn’t be alive today. Before, during and after the move there were many very lonely months of despair and Pa began to make his presence known early on - I swear, if only to reassure me that I was not alone, and that things would be well again one day.

I should explain where the name Pa came from…Ma and Pa (as they were nicknamed by locals and family), or Llewellyn and Dorothy, were the last generation of the family to have lived here until death. The former owner was their semi-estranged and only child, John.

Most of Pa’s visual activity occurs in an upstairs hallway and in what is called ‘the woodshed’, a falling to pieces, sinking from floods last addition to the house. Three sided and attached as a train car to a former addition, it has a dirt floor and I believe it was at one time an outbuilding on the property. It was and is a workroom of sorts, several of the previous owner’s fathers and grandfathers old tools and stuff left there for me. From the first day it has been my favorite space in my new home. I immediately filled it further to the rafters with my own junk and stuff. It was a mess. One day soon after moving in I entered and found my garden shoes and boots all lined up on the steps. The day before I recall thinking I should tidy up the pile of footgear, and probably saying it aloud as I talk to myself far too much too often, and especially so during those dark days. I was gobsmacked, though very pleased to find them straightened and smiled. Pa. I opened my mouth and it just came out. Thank you, Pa. And so our relationship began.

The house had last been decorated and the electrical wiring and plumbing fussed with in the early 1930s, with some small changes of aesthetics in one or two rooms again in the 1970s. These were busy days for me, tearing out the 70s ‘improvements’ to return it more to it’s original interior. It was such a mess here that I once lost a toilet in my living room! Small tools and the like were dropped and forgotten often during the process to my great frustration in trying to find them again when next needed. So often Pa would find them for me, laying them out someplace clean and clear where I would be sure to find them first thing next morning. Certainly not where they’d been carelessly set down by me. Other than being very welcoming in this way, he didn’t make any other sort of presence of himself other than my feeling/knowing that he was nearby.

A year on my Parents became concerned about me due to the inevitable big break up and drove here from Colorado to ensure that I was well, both physically and emotionally. As there wasn’t a whole lot of brightness to share with them, of course I told them about Pa with the expected, “yeah, right, ha ha, glad to know you’re not alone, Dear”, in response. My Dad set to work making saw horses for me to help in the restoration work yet ahead. With the original wiring still intact, a fuse was blown as he tried to use my chop saw. It was Sunday, I didn’t have a replacement fuse and the few shops here that would have one were closed. So we put aside the project until the next day.

My Dad, always the early riser, greeted me with a smile when I came down for coffee. He said with a laugh, “hey, hon, where in the heck did you find those fuses? They’re too ancient to use, but I appreciate your digging them out for me as I haven’t seen those since I was a kid (1930s)”. Pa. That’s all I normally say when something unusual happens, or there’s a bump in the night. Just, Pa. My Dad paled and at first didn’t believe me as he had headed out to the woodshed first thing, and there he found a tidy cache of antique fuse boxes intact with the original fuses sitting right there in the middle of Pa’s old work bench in a beautifully cleared spot. Pa wanted to make sure he didn’t miss ‘em. Dad thought that it had been me who found them. He asked me to come and look as he knows me well enough to catch if I was lying. Nope. I’d never seen them before, though I can easily imagine that they would have been originally stored in the woodshed someplace, then left behind as junk by John when he cleared his late parents belongings from the house. Let’s leave it to say that my Dad is now a Pa believer.

As time and work on the house has progressed over the years Pa comes and goes in normally quiet ways, but he’s always near. As I mentioned, his other area of activity is in the upstairs hallway. He’s frightened a friend or two, and scared the living beejeasus out of two ‘boyfriends’ who stayed here briefly and mistreated me, bless him. Sometimes for me there is what seems a shock of blinding light, there and gone in a split second up in the hall, or a glimpse of shadow movement when the hair rises on my neck, though quickly settles for me because I know - it’s only Pa. What he did to those two boyfriends I’ll never really know, but they both mentioned Pa, the hall, and their problem with being up there when they were leaving.The swirling mist at the living room windows is what frightens company the most as at times it’s been visible from inside. I ignore it until they mention it - one friend actually screamed. I had to laugh, ok, I was bad 8-). Pa was just having a laugh. There is a photo among my pics that was taken intuitively one day when I was out with the dogs. A snap of them and my intuition turning me towards the window within the same second and a snap taken there. The ectoplasm mist was not visible to the eye that day.

I’ll end the story here and save more Pa stories for another day if you are interested in hearing more. For me, Pa is family, it truly feels that way, as though he’s always been here and only took me in through kindness. A very old woman in town once told me that “that house found you, and not the other way around. She paused and then said, “I know it did”. So it’s me and Pa and currently a wonderful man who gets the creeps, but trusts in my knowing that Pa’s okay. I feel Pa at his best on days such as the big day when I took up 100 years layerings of sub-floors and coverings, exposing the damp original floor boards below the great room. Over a week’s time the floor creaked and sang as it dried and warped back to life. It was breathing again as wood should, the sound and movement compelled me to dance there mornings. I sang and whirled a dervish of renewed health, happiness and long lost peace right along with those boards. In that way I sincerely bonded with my house and sense of place. It became home those mornings, and I know that Pa was very close and dancing alongside of me. It is meant to be happy here, and anyone or anything that endangers this contentment soon finds themself back where they came from. Funny thing……. That’s Pa.