History and Hauntings: Casper the Friendly Ghost
Over the years, I have amassed a few ghost stories. I’m looking forward to sharing some of them with you! Before we begin, I’d love to ask for YOUR ghost stories! If you’re interested in sharing some of your own personal haunting experiences with me, so that I may share them here, please email your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Can’t wait to read them!!
In my mid-twenties, I lived in a cute, historic apartment in downtown Salem, Massachusetts. The apartment had beautiful details: hard wood floors, crown molding, a fireplace, built in shelving in the kitchen, and even a small service elevator in the back hallway, which likely had been the original servant’s quarters. It was in a part of town known as The McIntire District, because of the architect who’d designed the homes. We had a plaque near the front door indicating the home had been built in the late 1700’s. The front of the home contained the original wrought iron fence, posts to tie up your horses, and foot scrapes on the stoop to remove the mud from your boots.
When I first moved in, I’d often feel movement at the foot of my bed while I was settling into sleep. At the time, I just assumed it was my imagination. I’d left a pet cat at my father’s house, and I just thought I was feeling phantom movement as a reaction to missing him. Later, I adopted my own cat. She made a favorite spot in the kitchen where she’d sit…. And stare at the wall… for hours on end.
My roommate and I would often get in silly little fights because of items being moved. Candles would blow out. We’d leave the kitchen and come back in to open cabinets. More than once we’d come home and the front door would be open. He’d always said that he’d heard the apartment was haunted, but we’d still end up just assuming the other person was causing the mischief and would often bicker about it.
When he moved out though, the mystery behavior continued. I no longer had a roommate, but I couldn’t deny that I was not alone in this house! My friends and I started calling our friendly ghost Casper. Ghosts are famous for being able to affect technology, and Casper was now loving to play with the lights in the hallway. One time, I had two friends over and we were had just started a movie. The movie suddenly switched to an old black and white silent film. We watched it for a little while, thinking it was a strange part of the movie, but when it didn’t go away we tried to pause it, change the channel, anything to get our movie restarted. Nothing would work, and the old silent movie kept playing. We had to unplug the entire TV to get it to stop.
Eventually, my landlord sold the building and my rent went up so significantly that I had to move. As I was packing and preparing, the ghostly activity picked up in a major way. The regular behaviors increased in frequency, but there was also an air of distress to it. I suspect that poor Casper didn’t want me to move!
One night, I was sitting alone in my bed watching TV and I felt movement at my feet. I assumed it was my cat, and turned to pet her. As I turned, I watched the pillow next to me indent to the shape of a human head. This was where I drew the line! I jumped up and told him to leave! I told him I didn’t mind sharing an apartment with him, but he was not welcome in my bedroom and certainly not in my BED. I spent the night awake on the couch anyway.
I decided that I wanted to try to communicate with the spirit, and see evidence of the spirit, so I would often talk to him and ask him to show himself in photos. I had a whole camera full of photos of orbs and weird flashes of light in my apartment. One time, a water bottle sitting on the table began to rock back and forth, and as soon as I brought the camera up to try to capture it the camera malfunctioned and shut down. There are photos of what looks like a face in the mist hovering above my couch. There are photos of sunny rays of light beams coming from between my curtains, even though they were taken late at night. Unfortunately, I can’t find the photos anywhere, and the camera has long since broken.
I never did discover the identity of my Casper. I looked up the history of the house, and I know that the man who owned it had been involved in a murder trial at one point, but it was to testify as a witness. Perhaps he was a disgruntled servant, an old family member who was tied to the home, or any number of things. Looking back now, I think he felt to me to be a young man, and I don’t think he wished me any harm in any way. Someday I’d love to go back and see what feel I can get for it!