Sammie

Ghost stories from previous experience provide comfort

Oct 23 • Opinion • 398

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Over fall break, my family and I decided to go on a ghost tour in the historic town of Lewiston, N.Y. The tour was called Haunted History Ghost Walks. It was a mix of history and legends.

Before going on the walk, my sister’s fiancée and I got into a little argument. Basically, he thinks ghosts and spirits are a bunch of baloney, while I, on the other hand, am very convinced that there are paranormal things that happen on this earth.

When we were on the ghost walk, the tour guide told us a story of a woman working on a Saturday morning in an old funeral home. She was the only one in the building and when she went to use the restroom, she heard rustling of paper and movement in her office.

She returned, papers were everywhere, the drawers of her desk were open and the office was in disarray. But what stuck out to her the most was the distinct smell of aftershave; the same kind her father, who had passed away, used to wear.

The tour guide explained that when an invisible entity makes itself known that is called a poltergeist. The most common characteristic is things are in disorder and sometimes there is a distinct smell.

One of the things I liked the most about our tour guide was that after every story, he would let us make up our own mind.  After every story, he would say, “you decide.”

I had a very similar experience. About two years ago, my mom and I were visiting my Nana. My grandfather passed away five years ago and is buried in the small cemetery located next door to my Nana’s house.

One fall day we ventured over. It should be noted that the cemetery is  extremely small and when standing at either end, you can see the entire place.

Upon entering the cemetery, we walked over to his grave, which is under a giant maple tree.

All of a sudden, I turned to my mom and said, “Mom, doesn’t it smell like cigarettes?” As we got closer to my grandfather’s grave, there was an overwhelming odor of cigarettes and all three of us could smell it.

We looked around the cemetery and no one else was there. But what was so strange was the closer we walked to his grave, the stronger the smell became.  Ironically, my Nana had a similar experience several weeks before when she visited herself.

For anyone who has ever lost someone, you spend weeks and weeks looking for a sign from him or her. Considering my grandfather smoked, it seemed too obvious. There are no coincidences; everything happens for a reason.

I have never forgotten that day because for me, while a bit eerie, I felt like my grandfather was there with us, even if it was just for a short amount of time. If you’ve ever experienced something like that, it’s almost indescribable and talking or writing about it doesn’t seem to do it justice.

And if you haven’t, well, you decide.

 

 

SAMMIE JANIK

janik001@knights.gannon.edu

 

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