After having been cooped up during our tour, my muttinsky Elliott is happily tearing around in the sunshine with the light keeper’s dog. They’re two black Lab blurs so similar that I call mine and end up with his.
It’s a gorgeous spring day and I’m even more in love with this little Lake Michigan harbor town. After stumbling onto the village, I started digging for ghost stories. I knew Caper Company Explorers would also fall for it’s New England-y charm, so there had to be ghosts.
The light station is reported to be haunted. Score! The folks who run it now as a museum have no ghost stories themselves, but they were warm and welcoming. A few phone chats later and my research partner and I are on a personal tour. Our host, Rick, has the dust covers off the furniture and everything is opened up — even the tower with it’s sweeping view. That early spring day, the marina below had empty slips, but in a few weeks, the place would be hopping. I’m aiming for this paranormal destination to be on one of our new Haunt Spots tours and Explorers will get to check it out for themselves.
Post tour, during the dog-romp and before we head off for a chilly picnic lunch in a nearby cliff-side park, I ask Rick if he can let me pop back inside to use the pantry — or rather, the room that used to be the pantry. Now that the light station is a museum, it’s the bathroom. No problem. He and my partner can watch the dogs play.
Rick unlocks the door and in I go. Up a few stairs and into the main area, I see dust covers are back in place and some of the furniture is moved away from the walls to the center of the room. He had obviously been battening the hatches while we took exterior photos.
Inside alone, the atmosphere is wildly different than when we were all inside together. Now I understand the sensation my partner was trying to describe to me just a few minutes earlier.
She’s not one to embrace heights, so getting half-way up the tower was a feat. We left her waiting on a convenient landing and I finished the climb with our guide. After we all descended, she told me of a whispery experience she had while waiting on the landing.
I believe that anyone who’s open to it has a dominant type sensitivity. Her’s is audio – usually in the form of EVP’s that are discovered later. So, when she heard an audible whisper that sounded like a suspicious accusation of “who are you?”, it was unnerving. It left her with the distinct impression that she was an unwelcome intruder.
Now, Hello, here I am. Another intruder. No longer in the company of the long time caretaker and guide. I’m alone. In the pantry. Mentally whistling a happy tune to keep my imagination from crowding in on me too much.
Before I leave the panty, I decide I’m going to poke my nose into the kitchen for a quick 2 second peep. The room left a distinct impression on me earlier and I was curious about how it would feel now that I was alone. Alone and unwelcome. Facing me, between the pantry and the kitchen is a shrouded rocking chair. I step through the pantry door and it rocks.
Every pore in my body clenches and I think my heart is going to explode.
Swallow. Breathe. Loose board?
Now I’m conflicted. Is this like when, during stupid movies like “Poltergeist” the entity clearly tells you to ‘Get Out”, but the stupid people studipdly don’t. They don’t get out! Stupid, stupid, stupid people. When an entity tells you to “Get Out” the only answer, if you really feel you have to answer, is “Yes, Ma’am.” And. You. Get. Out.
To poke my head in the kitchen, I have to skirt the rocking chair. My only excuse is that now I’m so scared that my brain is probably also deprived of oxygen and I’m not thinking clearly so off I go into the kitchen. I do not humiliate myself by running into the kitchen — hey, it could have been a loose board — but I walk calmly (Hah!) into the kitchen. I stay exactly 2 seconds. Maybe 1. And I calmly (Hah!) walk past the rocking chair toward the exit. I do NOT turn around to see what it’s doing. I don’t care a whit that it looks like it’s moving again ever so slightly out of my peripheral vision.
I do not run down the stairs screaming. No. I walk out and gently close the door behind me even though the handle now feels outrageously hot to the touch.
Time to go.
I didn’t tell Rick. He’s been so nice. And, he spends a lot of time there. Alone. The story will end up on the tour and if he hears of the experience then, c’est la vie. Besides, it could have been a loose board.
Susan Scot Fry