Thursday, March 22, 2012

Tell Me Your Ghost Story. I'm Safe

I am that one person who is guaranteed to listen thoughtfully as you tell me all about that weird experience you had at age 6, or 16, or even last week--and not laugh at you.

Before I started leading ghost tours, I had no idea that so many people out there have had their own brush with the supernatural. For one thing, I never had... at the time anyway.

But since then, I have become the go-to person for folks to share their story. For example, when I worked at Carnton, and occasionally led ghost tours there, I got an email from a man who had visited the site 17 years earlier and believed the ghost of Carrie McGavock followed him home. He told only close family members until he found me and emailed me the story, and even allowed me to use it in my book Ghosts of Franklin.  

Just the other day I reconnected with an old high school friend on facebook (where else?). He messaged me his ghost story--and it's a good one. 

"Joe" collects old firearms, especially Revolutionary and Civil War guns.  One of the guns in his collection is an old flintlock horse pistol from about 1750 to 1775 that he bought from a man who said it had been in his family for centuries. However, the man did not like guns and had no children to leave it to. 

After Joe paid and they shook hands, the man said, "Oh, by the way I feel I have to tell you something else about the pistol. I did not want to say anything before you paid me because I wanted to 'be paid for the pistol not the story that went with it.'"

The seller went on:
"I have no proof of this but my father told me this gun was in the American Revolutionary War and was given to his great- great- great-grandfather on the field of battle by a French officer as he lay dying from a gunshot wound in the stomach. The officer said something in French that my ancestor could not understand and gave him his loaded pistol. He seemed to be in terrible pain from his wound and the American later thought the officer wanted him to 'put him out of his misery' with the pistol. The officer died not long after anyway." 

Joe continued:
"Well now here comes the rest of the story. He told me that strange things have happened around this pistol over the years. It could not be hung on a wall. It would always end up on the floor and it would not stay in a dresser drawer. If you put it next to the bed on a nightstand it would always stay there--no problem. His family felt that somehow the spirit of the old officer is somehow attached to this gun.

"I tested the wall story by putting it on the wall above my bed on a couple very long nails used to rest it on and sure enough at 3:45 a.m. that night ka-thump it fell off the wall and landed in bed next to my left arm. About scared the crap out of me for sure. I got up and locked it in my small gun safe I use for pistols that is at the foot of my bed. I take it out every so often to oil and wipe it down as I do my other pistols and last year I took it out for the first time and set on my bed getting ready to wipe it down it shocked me so hard I dropped it to the floor! Since then when I clean it I may get a tingle or two but not a shock. And from time to time in the middle of the night I will hear a thump-thump from my pistol safe. I am not afraid of it but I do respect it for what it is and feel I am now the caretaker of the pistol and what ever is part of it. I could never sell it and will hand it down to one of my sons one day. 

Interesting, huh? And then Joe said, as I have heard so many times:

You are the first person outside my family I ever told this to. My friends would think I lost my mind if I told them."

Yep, people will think you're crazy. I won't. I'll share it!