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"Grandma’s House"

As a kid, my grandmother’s house was like a second home to me.

My parents had divorced while I was still quite young and as a result we ended up moving in with her for a few years. Even after we moved out, we spent a lot of time there.

Some of my earliest memories, in fact, are of waking up to the sounds and smells of my grandmother cooking in the kitchen, her television set to her favorite novela or talk show.

The house was very old and as a kid, there were a lot of things about it that gave me the heebie jeebies. 

The bathroom, for example, only had a standing shower with metal walls so old and full of grime that they had become black. As a kid I was scared shitless of those walls. And don’t get me started on the shower floor. It was just as old and gross and when it rained, worms would crawl up through the drain.

Needless to say, I bathed in the kitchen sink for most of my childhood.

It was in this house, however, that my love for all things paranormal began.

I fondly recall sitting around, listening to my grandmother and my uncles as they told stories about such characters as la llorona and la lechuza. Of soaking wet women who begged for rides near large bodies of water and later vanished.

It was during these storytimes that I learned about the old woman that haunted the house.

According to my uncles, she could be seen cooking in the kitchen or moving about the dining room, going about her business as though no one else lived in the house. She appeared to be a regular old woman…except for the fact that she moved about the house as though she were hanging from a rope.

As you can imagine, I spent my entire childhood avoiding her.

There were other stories too. Stories of curanderas who could cure you of an illness with herbs and folk magic and of brujas who took on the form of owls and sought revenge against others using black magic.

Through these stories I gained a respect for a world seldom seen and I also learned that some things are best left alone.

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Sometime during my pre-teens, my grandmother’s house was demolished and rebuilt. Dozens of years of history wiped out by bulldozers and workers that had yet to exist when it was first built.

During the demolition the front door was the last thing to come down. It managed to stand erect with no visible support for a few minutes before it fell. It was as if though the house was saying farewell to those of us who had grown up in the house. Or giving the demolition workers the finger. Take your pick.

The new house was up within a few months and the first thing to greet my family upon their return was the ringing of a phone…that had yet to be connected.

Yikes.

As time went on, I spent less and less time at grandma’s house. I just never felt as comfortable in the new house. Maybe it lacked the history of the old house. Maybe the old woman we feared as kids was watching over us the entire time and had moved on after the old house was destroyed. Who knows. All I know is that my love for the unknown began in that house and I would never change that for one second.

The Ghost Chronicles: 7/24/14 (Thurs)

Sat down tonight to write out the post about yesterday’s Bluetooth speaker incident.

I’m halfway through the post when I hear the sound of the front door opening and closing. This is followed by the sound of footsteps throughout the apartment and doors opening and closing.

I assume it’s my roommate Josh and continue working on the post.

Later, I peek my head out the door to say “hello” only to realize that no one is home.

I’ve now become so accustomed to hearing noises in this apartment while alone that I’m never sure who’s on the other side of the door…

The Ghost Chronicles: 7/23/14 (Weds)

After talking with a few friends, I have decided to start a record of all the activity occurring in my current apartment.

I will chronicle each event, as it occurs, in a straightforward manner.

This first documented event occurred yesterday, the 23rd of July.

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Went to take a shower today. As usual, I set up my Bluetooth speaker on the bathroom counter so that I can play some music through my iPhone.

I’m in the shower for a few minutes when suddenly I hear a crash on the other side of the door. Peeking my head out of the shower, I see that my speaker has fallen off the counter and on to the floor. Thinking that I’ve set it too close to the edge, I re-set it about a foot away from the edge.

This seems like a good distance. No chance of it slipping off again from the sound vibration.

I step back in to the shower and forget all about it.

No more than a few seconds go by before something comes flying at the shower door. Whatever it is bounces off and rolls away. I peek out and see that once again it is the speaker.

This time it has traveled a distance of at least four feet.

Something tells me it isn’t the vibration.

Does anyone know the significance of seeing owls in your window?

Lately I’ve been having dreams that feature owls peeking in through my window. Now I know that this image is significant in abduction lore as many alien abuductees recall seeing owls outside their window prior to being taken but I wanted to see if this “image” had any significance outside of UFO lore.

"Ethel"

The following story was told to a friend by one of his co-workers.

This is their story:

Growing up, Damian and his best friend would always play basketball in the old, abandoned lot next to his house. The lot, which had once been the site of a large mansion, was now nothing more than a concrete foundation and an old basketball hoop that the neighborhood kids would use during their free time.

Those who grew up in the area used to tell stories about the house that had stood there. According to these stories, it had belonged to a wealthy family and had once been the largest house on the street. The house had burned down several years prior and there had been rumors that someone had actually perished in the fire.

As with other stories that kid’s tell, Damian and his friend had passed the stories off as nothing more than local urban legends.

One day, Damian’s friend came over to his house with a Ouija board in hand. The two began to play with it and after awhile started a conversation with the board.

They asked the board if it could identify who they were speaking to. The board spelled out "Ethel".

Naturally they wanted to know to know more about Ethel but all they could get was that she had died in a fire.

Damian later did some investigating of his own at the local library. While going through old newspaper articles, he found something that caught his eye. It was an article about the mansion that had burned to the ground on the lot next to his house. Apparently the fire had happened while the family was away on vacation. Sadly, the family’s maid had stayed behind and had thus perished in the fire.

The maid’s name was Ethel.

From that day forward, they would speak to Ethel through the board daily and she would tell them details about her life. Eventually, as kids are wont to do, they grew tired of the board and stopped playing.

One day, sometime after, Damian’s mom came to pick him up from school. On the ride home, she asked him if he happened to know a woman by the name of Ethel.

Curious, Damian replied, "No, why do you ask?"

His mom explained that a woman by the name of Ethel had called the house several times asking for Damian. He was a bit shocked and told his mom about the board and the maid. They both dismissed it as nothing more than a coincidence and forgot all about it.

Later one evening, Damian was home alone when the phone rang. He went to pick it up and noticed something strange about the caller id. The number on the caller id was listed as unknown but the name Ethel appeared on the screen.

A chill went down his spine.

Rather than answer it, he let the phone continue to ring.

From that day forward the phone would ring daily.  Each time the caller id would list Ethel as the caller. Eventually it became a running joke amongst the family. The phone would ring and someone would immediately say, "Ethel’s calling again!".

The family never answered any of Ethel’s calls and eventually they stopped.

To this day Damian wonders what Ethel might have said had he ever answered.

Then again, maybe it’s best he’ll never know.

Who was behind the strange calls? Was it a prank? A coincidence? Or was it really Ethel calling from beyond the grave? We will never know.

Meet Your Demons: Agares (2nd Spirit)

[This weekly series will highlight a new demon each week and was created for informative purposes only. Please do not attempt to contact any of the entities highlighted in this series!]

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Agares -

From the Ars Goetia by S.L.  MacGregor Mathers:

"The Second Spirit is a Duke called Agreas, or Agares. He is under the Power of the East, and cometh up in the form of an old fair Man, riding upon a Crocodile, carrying a Goshawk upon his fist, and yet mild in appearance. He maketh them to run that stand still, and bringeth back runaways. He teaches all Languages or Tongues presently. He hath power also to destroy Dignities both Spiritual and Temporal, and causeth Earthquakes. He was of the Order of Virtues. He hath under his government 31 Legions of Spirits. And this is his Seal or Character (see above) which thou shalt wear as a Lamen before thee.”

Meet Your Demons: Bael (1st Spirit)

[This weekly series will highlight a new demon each week and was created for informative purposes only. Please do not attempt to contact any of the entities highlighted in this series!]

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Bael (Baal) -

From the Ars Goetia by S.L.  MacGregor Mathers:

"The First Principle Spirit is a King ruling in the East, called Bael. He maketh thee to go Invisible. He ruleth over 66 legions of infernal spirits. He appeeareth in [sic]divers shapes, sometimes like a Cat, sometimes like a Toad, and sometimes like a Man, and sometimes all these forms at once. He speaketh hoarsely. This is his character (see above) which you must lay before him or he will not do thee homage […]”

Meet Your Demons: Malphas (39th Spirit)

[This new weekly series will highlight a new demon each week and was created for informative purposes only. Please do not attempt to contact any of the entities highlighted in this series!]

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MALPHAS -

From the Ars Goetia by S.L.  MacGregor Mathers:

"The Thirty-ninth Spirit is Malphas. He appeareth at first like a Crow, but after he will put on Human Shape at the request of the Exorcist, and speak with a hoarse Voice. He is a Mighty President and Powerful. He can build Houses and High Towers, and can bring to thy Knowledge Enemies’ Desires and Thoughts, and that which they have done. He giveth Good Familiars. If thou makest a Sacrifice unto him he will receive it kindly and willingly, but he will deceive him- that doth it. He governeth 40 Legions of Spirits […]"

"Drive-Thru Terror"

Have you ever had a strange experience in broad daylight in the middle of a public place?

A few years ago I did.

I was in the drive-thru of a local KFC during lunch time on a Saturday. I had just pulled up to the speaker window and was waiting for the drive-thru worker to ask for my order when I happened to look into my side mirror. I immediately noticed a man dressed in all black stumbling along near the entrance to the drive-thru. He appeared to be wearing a suit and was holding a bouquet of roses down to his side.

For some reason something about him unsettled me right away. I instinctively moved to lock my car doors when suddenly he looked up and made eye contact with me in my mirror. His gaze was enough to make me flinch but what happened next made my heart skip a beat.

He smiled.

Not a friendly smile either. It was a smile full of malice.

I immediately went to roll up the window, to put as much between me and him as I could. As I did so, I looked in my rear view mirror. It was then that I noticed that he was sprinting towards me.

(All of this happened within a span of a few seconds.)

As he made his way towards me, I made a last second attempt to put distance between us by pulling forward. While doing so I looked up and realized that he was gone.

Looking around there was no place for him to have gone and yet he was nowhere to be seen.

Where did he go? Who was he? And most important of all: what would have happened had he caught up with me?

Let’s hope I never have to find out.

"An Encounter with La Lechuza"

A good friend relates a teenage encounter with the legendary lechuza. Here is the encounter in his own words:

"When I was in high school, one of my cousins told me that every night the lechuza flew over his house at almost the exact same time. We had heard that this meant there was a curse placed on someone in the home. We had also heard that if you threw salt over the house as the lechuza flies over it, you could break the curse.

So one night, we waited outside his house, salt in hand. Sure enough, we could see the lechuza flying over the house, so I grabbed the salt and threw it over the house. The bird went crazy and tried to come after us. We had to hit the deck because it kept swooping down on us. It was huge!

Eventually it flew away and never came back.”

GHOSTLY VIDEOS: The Whitstable Video

This (now viral) CCTV footage appears to capture paranormal activity in a Whitstable (UK) shop. Real ghost or hoax? You decide.

Local Legends: La Lechuza

"La Lechuza de Linburgo, Tejas" by Marco A. Sanchez

Growing up in South Texas one of the local legends that really stuck with me was that of la lechuza.

Spoken of in hushed whispers and in stern warnings to children, la lechuza was said to be a bruja (witch) with the ability to transform herself into a large, human sized owl. In this guise she would fly about at night terrorizing the countryside and tormenting any poor soul she encountered along the way. Stories were constantly told of people being tormented in their homes by la lechuza who would claw at their windows and doors in an attempt to gain entrance.

As with all legends, the stories told varied from person to person: Some described her as having the appearance of a regular owl but on a larger scale while others described her as a half owl/woman akin to the harpy of Greek myth. In some stories she was said to be a witch who was killed and cursed to roam the world in her present state while others claimed she had consciously made a pact with the devil to gain the ability to transform.

Regardless of the version told, one thing is for certain:

La lechuza is not someone you want to run into on a dark night.