Hello, witches! Ready for part TWO? We saved the spookiest story for this episode. We hope you enjoy it!
Big thanks to our friends at Hunter Fan Company for sponsoring this episode!
-If you haven’t listened to part one yet, find it here.
-We now have transcripts available for this episode and all our archives. Thank you to everyone who gave us a nudge to make that happen. We appreciate you.
-Hope you have a spooky week. There is nothing to link in this episode—for the first time EVER. 🙂 xx
Miss an episode? Get caught up!
- Episode #58: Ghost Story Special
- Episode #57: Dream Bathrooms + Covid Halloween Plans
- Episode #56: Elsie’s Renovation + Emma’s Novel Updates
Episode 59 Transcript
Nova: Welcome to Mommy’s spooky podcast! (spooky laugh)
Emma: You’re listening to the A Beautiful Mess podcast. We’re back with the second part of our two week ghost story special and we are having so much fun with this. All the stories we’re reading are from our listeners and some of them are super creepy. This episode is sponsored by Hunter fan Company. We’ll share more about them later in the episode.
Elsie: So this week, I wanted to share my real-life ghost story, which happened two years ago when our daughter Nova was three years old. This is how I became a true believer. So I wrote down the interaction on the notes on my phone, and then I ended up posting it on Instagram stories. And that’s when I got like a thousand ghost stories within the next twenty-four hour period that really it was life-changing. I’ve always believed in ghosts, at least like twice as much ever since then. I will reenact, oh god, this is going to be so bad. (laughs) But I will try to reenact the conversation of what happened sort of exactly as it happened. So it’s my daughter talking to my husband, “Dada, who’s that?” “Who?” Nova points to the window. “Who’s that?” “Can you show me?” She points out the window again “right there.” “How many people do you see?” “Two.” “What do they look like? What are they wearing?” “They’re wearing white. They’re not laying down. They’re mad.” That is what happened. And we were like, uhhhh. Because we were looking we were standing there looking out the door and there was no one there. And also, if you didn’t know, our daughter is visually impaired, she can see like five feet away. It was not something like out in the distance. It was like she could see something that we couldn’t see. And we were very convinced that it was true.
Emma: I also like that she was kind of because it was bedtime, right?
Emma: I like that she was kind of a tattle tailing on these ghosts because they weren’t lying down. They weren’t going to bed and it was bedtime! (laughs)
Elsie: Well, I took it as like she thought they should be lying down because they’re they should be dead. But I don’t know. It can be anything. It could be anything. I mean, who knows? It’s a three-year-old and it’s a ghost story. But, yeah, we never saw anything in that house. We never had a feeling that it was haunted. But after that post on Instagram, I got hundreds of messages informing me that children can see ghosts so much more accurately and more often than adults can, which does make sense, I guess.
Emma: Yeah, I guess so. But I also feel like they would potentially not to be a skeptic, but they would potentially get it wrong more often than an adult too, right? Because they’re children.
Elsie: I mean, totally, yeah.
Emma: …imagination and just, you know, that type of thing.
Elsie: Yeah, that’s the thing. There are some children ghost stories in our reader submitted or sorry, our listener submitted stories. But I do feel like the other thing about it is that, like, you know, your own kid and usually, like, you know, if it’s coming from like a TV show or like we knew that this was just like either total a new imagination game that she came up with. And that was the first time, which it was also the last time. So I don’t know. Or it was real. Like she could see something that we couldn’t see. Like we felt like she thought she could see something. So take it for what you will. But, it was that was the closest thing I have in my life to a ghost story. And then the stories that came in after that were life-changing. And yeah, ever since we started a podcast, I was like, we have to do a ghost story episode so that we can tell some of these stories. So thank you to everyone who sent in a story. We got so many and they were so fun to read.
Elsie: This one is from Laura, “so I’ve had two different bedrooms in my lifetime that have been haunted, and every single person in my mom’s family, including the ones that don’t believe in ghosts, have seen at least one ghost in their lives.” OK, yeah I’m very jealous of that.
Emma: Brag much? (laughs)
Elsie: (laughs) “My absolute favorite family ghost story, though, comes from my great Aunt Marilyn. She was living alone at the time and could hear a squeaking in the ceiling along the boards. It sounded like footsteps, as if someone was walking around in her attic. She tried walking around and stepping in certain places of her floor, to see if maybe it was a reaction to where she was stepping on the main floor. But the sounds didn’t match up and she knew that there had to be a ghost in her house. Didn’t phase her. She was no stranger to ghosts, and she went on with her life. Shortly after she began smelling cigar smoke around the same time every afternoon. She could not stand the smell,” relate, “and she told the ghost, listen, I have no problem with you living here, but you cannot be smoking in my house every day. You either need to leave or at least go outside to smoke. And just like that, the smell and the footsteps were gone.”
Emma: The ghost was like, forget it. Nagging me, I’ll get out of here.
Elsie: He’s like, “I’ll smoke elsewhere” Yeah.
Emma: I wouldn’t want the smell of smoke though. Yeah. That would cause I would freak me out. I would be like is my house on fire. What is that smell?
Elsie: Cigar smoke is a very like you wouldn’t mistake it for something burning, I don’t think, I think you would know it was a cigar.
Emma: You just know is a cigar. Okay, well I guess that’s less scary but I do not if I, I’m like I don’t know where that smoky smell’s coming from. I’m like, I don’t like that.
Elsie: I love a story where you talk to the ghost and they clearly understood you.
Emma: Yeah, true. This next one is from a listener named Mackenzie. “In college. I worked in an art gallery in Juneau, Alaska, which is an old mining town nestled between the oceans and mountains.”
Elsie: That sounds pretty.
Emma: I know it sounds really pretty. I feel like a lot of these settings. I’m like, oh, this sounds so quaint. I want to go visit there.
Elsie: I feel like we’re hearing from a lot of our international listeners, don’t you?
Emma: Yeah. Which Alaska is not international, but is still pretty far away from where I live.
Elsie: Yeah, you’re right. It’s definitely in the US (laughs).
Emma: I tried to save you there, but you still just laughed at yourself. (laughs)
Elsie: Well it feels international to me because it’s really far.
Emma: Well it is very far away anyway. (laughs) OK.
Elsie: If I ever run for president you can use that quote to make me look stupid. Go for it. All right. Let’s continue.
Emma: I clearly was already trying to cover for you anyway. Ok, “the building that housed the art gallery was built in the late 1920s and was built into a hill. There was the downstairs retail area that you entered in the street below the building and an open loft that housed the office area, which also had a small door that opened to the street above the building. The gallery owner had shared spooky stories of strange occurrences in the gallery over the years, including an instance where three art pieces fell off the wall, one at a time in perfect sequence.
Emma: Yeah. That that would be kind of creepy.
Elsie: That is absolutely not an accident.
Emma: Yeah, that no, that sounds very weird. OK, “these odd events were attributed to a ghost affectionately named Hector. Any time there was an odd sound in the old building or a light flickered or we misplace something in the gallery, we blamed Hector. This art gallery had an epic gift wrapping station and on my way to a birthday party one night, I decided to pop in after hours to buy a little gift and wrap it. I had brought a friend with me and we were talking about how creepy it was there at night. While I wrapped the gift, I jokingly yelled out, Hey, Hector, don’t mind us. We’ll be out shortly. Then not a moment later, we heard multiple crashing sounds, like someone was falling down the stairs.
Emma: Ugh. “The little door to the street above in the loft was shaking loudly in its doorframe and a very large nightlight display crashed to the ground all at once.” Hector was like, What’s up?
Elsie: Yeah. He was like, “hi!”
Emma: “Though it was dark. We certainly didn’t see any person in there. We ran out and I locked the gallery back up. When I went back the next morning, I put the nightlight display back up on the wall and could not comprehend how it could have simply fallen off the wall. It still freaks me out to this day.” Yeah, that’s what you get for taunting Hector. (laughs)
Elsie: I love that. I think that naming your ghost is so great. I love it. I’m so into it.
Emma: Yeah, it would be bad if you got it wrong. They might, you know, find that annoying.
Elsie: Maybe it’s a little un humanizing. Ha ha ha ha ha!
Elsie: I mean it’s like how do you get it right? How do you know the right name? I guess you can do your research and guess, but how do you confirm that? Maybe they maybe they have to understand that you’re just doing your best.
Emma: They have to write it in the steam on the window, in the bathroom or something. I feel like that’s what would happen in a movie. (laughs).
Elsie: It certainly would. This one’s from Arielle.
Emma: Yay, our friend!
Elsie: Yeah! “My husband. I were staying with our in-laws and I was in the guest room changing into my pajamas. As I was changing, I placed my clothes into an old chair and immediately saw an orb figure outline hovering above the chair. Picture smoke from a candle right after you blow it out, mixed with the outline of a person. It was there for a couple of seconds and then drifted away towards the door. It was so vivid. I told my in-laws and they said that the chair was second hand and not from their family. That’s the only time I’ve seen or felt anything in their home. And I’ve been visiting there for over ten years.”
Elsie: It’s a good one.
Emma: It’s a good description, too.
Elsie: I like the idea that a ghost. Oh, sorry. Yes, it’s a very good description. Like how you imagine it goes would look. And I like, I like the idea that you might get a ghost from a piece of furniture, because I think that ups my chances as a person who likes to flea market.
Emma: I was going to say and it feels like then the flea markets just like full of ghosts waiting to find their forever home. (laughs)
Elsie: Yes, I am…
Emma: Or forever this lifetime. (laughs).
Elsie: I’m so in.
Emma: Okay, this is from a listener named Claire, “one dark winter afternoon while my father was at work and my mother was home alone washing dishes. My sister was a three-month-old baby sleeping in the other room. As my mother washed, she gazed out the window at the bare trees and snow. The hair on her arms raised and she shivered. She heard a rustling behind her and felt the presence of a woman walking toward her slowly. In her mind’s eye, she could see the woman, young, beautiful and in a wedding dress. Ehhh I don’t like a ghost in a wedding dress.
Emma: The rustling footsteps approached, and she knew with certainty that if she turned around, she would see my sister grown in the dress she would wear on her wedding day. And also, if she turned, my sister would not live to her wedding day.” Wow. How did she know that?!
Elsie: I know! I feel like this story might be leaving out some details, but I’m going to take it as she just knew.
Emma: Yeah, OK. I’m like, that’s a lot to know. Just in a moment. Anyway. OK, “the rustling continued and grew closer till she could feel the breath of the woman on her bare neck.”
Emma: “She stood resolutely and said, Go away, get out. I will not have you take my daughter! The rustling stopped and she heard the figure slowly retreat. The temperature raised in the room. But my mom stayed still, silently praying until she could no longer feel the presence. Then she ran to my sister’s room where she found her still sleeping peacefully. My sister did live to her wedding day and my mom says she recognized the dress.”
Elsie: Ahhhh! (claps).
Emma: How did she recognize the dress, if she didn’t turn around and look at this lady?
Elsie: The mind’s eye, Emma the mind’s eye. All right. So let’s take a quick break to hear from this week’s sponsor.
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This is from a listener named Jessica, “my grandma Grace grew up on a farm in Indiana with several siblings. Her older brother was a senior in high school when she was a sophomore. He fell seriously ill and was bedridden.” Aw. “My grandma was outside gardening and keeping an eye on him while their parents were out. She looked up and saw her brother standing in the doorway of the house. He smiled, raised his hand and a greeting and then sauntered back into the house. She was surprised because she knew he was very sick. Lying in bed upstairs. She got her things together and went inside to see if he needed something. She went upstairs and saw him back in bed. He wasn’t moving. She was by herself. So put a mirror in front of his mouth to see if he was breathing and realized he had passed away. She thinks she saw his ghost and he was saying goodbye.”
Elsie: Oh, that’s a sad one and a beautiful one.
Emma: Yeah, he was so young, just a senior in high school. That’s sad. It’s nice she got to say good bye.
Elsie: It is nice.
Emma: But that’s sad. Too young. This is from a listener named Imogen, which I love that name! “In the 80s, my grandfather owned a big house in Derbyshire that my mom would go and stay at from time to time. On one visit, she woke up in the middle of the night to the scent of rose perfume. But the smell was moving up and down the room. As she woke up, she got really freaked out and ended up running next door to my uncle’s room and insisted she sleep in his room for the rest of the night.”
Emma: Yeah, that’s. Yeah. “The next morning my mom told my grandfather what had happened and he told her that in the Victorian era, a woman had fallen down the cellar steps and died in the house. Again, my mom was totally freaked out and refused to sleep in that room again.”
Elsie: I like the Rose perfume up and down the room.
Emma: Yes, that seems very poetic and spooky.
Emma: Kind of romantic, I guess, too.
Elsie: I think it would be like way more creepy to, if you could smell a smell you knew wasn’t supposed to be there or if you could tell that it was like coming and going like it was moving…
Emma: As if it was on a person, right.
Elsie: All right, this next ghost story is from Katie. “Hi, I have a few, but this is the weirdest one to me. I was living in this incredible large old home in New Orleans.” UhOh (laughs), “and it was built in the late seventeen hundreds.” If you all don’t know, New Orleans has the best ghost stories that I’ve ever heard from the US. All the good ones.
Emma: Ghost central.
Elsie: Yeah, definitely ghost central. “And my boyfriend and I were sleeping. He’s the lightest sleeper on the planet and I could sleep through literally anything. I was woken up in the night by the loudest sound that sounded like an ice cream truck blasting in our bedroom,” which that is so creepy because that sounds really loud.
Emma: Yeah, that’s weird, and ice cream truck’s so like, you know, kind of cheerful, which is kind of creepy.
Elsie: Yeah, it’s very specific and it’s very creepy. “I looked over at him and he didn’t wake up, which was really weird. I realized it was coming from the storage closet down the hall. So I open the door. I saw a box my mom had mailed me with my old childhood keepsakes. The noise was coming from inside the box. I opened it and realized it was a carousel that my grandmother had given me when I was eight. And probably the last time I had played with it was when I was ten. I was thirty when this happened, I took the carousel and ran to the other side of the house to the living room, and took the battery out. It kept playing for at least five more minutes. I put a pillow and sat on it so not to wake him up. Then I started asking whoever was playing it to make it stop. It finally did after I started yelling so loud to the ghost to make it stop. I came to find out that when they put in an inground pool in the 80s that they were digging it and found two unidentified unmarked bodies that were probably from the 1950s, this house had been in the same family for generations and it had sold after two spinster sisters lived there and died in the 70s.”
Emma: Interesting. I like how she was so dedicated to not waking up her partner.
Elsie: I know!
Emma: Until she was like, all right, I have to just yell at the ghost to stop this noise. I wonder if her yelling woke him up.
Elsie: I mean, at a certain point it doesn’t matter anymore.
Emma: Yeah. It’s like you’re like, this is just insane and I need this to stop, so. This is from a listener named Vicky, “My husband Dave was trying to find a house to live in for university. He studied in Dublin and it was near impossible to find an affordable room for rent. On his search, he came across a room for let and paid a visit. The girl answered the door and Dave entered. She quickly took him down the hall, pointed quickly at the living room and Dave glanced in. This is when he noticed something was off. All the furniture was pointed at the wall: chairs, sofa, even the frame pictures on the wall were hung with the picture facing so you can only see the back of the frame.” That’s weird.
Emma: “The girl proceeded up the stairs. She stopped halfway and turned to speak to Dave. Remember, my husband is a ghost skeptic.” OK, that’s an important detail. “But his recount to me is that it felt as if all the energy was being drained from his body as she spoke to him. Woah.
Emma: “He felt like his blood had turned cold. He said it was almost like her face had changed. She looked so different to the girl who answered the door and her eyes were almost hypnotic and he could not look away.”
Elsie: Yeah. Oh, my gosh.
Emma: That’s weird. “He cannot remember anything she said to him, but was feeling worse and worse by the minute. A sense of dread and doom and anxiety, he says. They continued up the stairs and she opened the door to the room for rent. The room was nothing unusual or weird but was filled with belongings like someone was using it, books on the nightstand and even a guitar in the corner. When Dave asked was the room in use, the girl told him it had been. But weeks ago the previous tenant left in the middle of the night and never came back! Took no belongings that Dave could see,” which is obviously not a good sign. “Dave was obviously quite freaked out now. They went back downstairs and into the kitchen where a man was standing in front of a huge cooking pot, steam filling the room and laughing almost hysterically. The girl proceeded to take Dave outside in the back garden, saying he could exit this way. They stepped outside the back door and Dave realized there was no rear gate. It seemed to be completely enclosed. He said at this point, the feeling consuming him was so awful of dread and panic and almost a heavy, repressive feeling that he turned and ran right past the girl down the hallway and out the front door. He ran for a mile, he thinks, before he stopped. He tells me now that he has no idea what was going on in that house or why he felt so bad. But the lingering feeling stayed for two days.” Yeah, “and he will not recount the story ever again.”
Emma: My wonder is what happened to the previous tenant? Yeah, me too. I like did they truly run away and leave their stuff? Maybe because they so freaked out or did they get murdered?
Elsie: There’s so much here. So first of all. Yeah. Why did they leave in the middle of the night and why were you trying to rent out their room with all of their stuff still sitting there.
Elsie: And then why was she trying to take him into the backyard? Like, it almost reads like a like a story of someone on a drug trip more than a real life story.
Emma: That’s what I was thinking. And the person in the kitchen laughing hysterically. I’m like, that could be someone maybe a little bit high or something, because that’s a you know, also kind of a strange way to behave if you’re like, oh, we’re giving a tour to someone who might rent the room. You know, I would think you would be kind of on your best behavior. You know.
Elsie: I can see why Dave never wants to talk about it ever again. It’s just terrible.
Elsie: Like time is moving strangely in the house or something, huh? This one is from Shirley, “the usual things were happening, lights it’s not working properly. Cold water turning hot, the dog barking at seemingly nothing. The spare bedroom was extremely cold and above the door, someone had painted in red paint ‘Beware,’ you could like faintly see it.
Elsie: Yeah. Under another coat of paint. Ahh. That’s not cool. I like how she said the usual things were happening. This is a fellow horror movie fan, I believe. And out of this room is where my much younger sister in laws, who were aged five and seven, saw an old lady standing at the window in the front yard waving goodbye at them. They still remember it today. Someone or something had written the word ‘leave’ in the wooden front door. Well, we had another visitor at night, a dog who would come to us with what looked like little bloodstains on his fur.” Yeah, it’s like actually really scary. “One night I invited my best friend over so she could tell me her thoughts on the house. And that night for fun, we dyed my hair bright red. My favorite movie at the time was psycho,” OK, I can tell. “And so we had a laugh at all the little red splats in the shower daring ghosts out loud to put splats there in the morning if she was indeed real. So we washed clean the shower and my husband used the clean shower the next morning for work. Then my friend and I awoke and lo and behold they were back. Red blood splats. Ugh.
Emma: They were kind of taunting the ghost.
Elsie: They were, they were OK. Oh, that one’s like creepy because you don’t write ‘beware’ and like, ‘leave’ on someone’s house.
Elsie: That’s not cool. “I spontaneously decided to move to Nashville from San Francisco in the summer of twenty fifteen.” Oh, my gosh, this is recently. “I needed to find a place quickly.” That’s the year I moved to Nashville. “A friend of mine hooked me up with a spot fifteen minutes east of downtown Nashville. So we were almost neighbors. The property was on twelve acres. It was a beautiful stone house built in the nineteen twenties. The space I rented was a smaller building that was once ” unquote servants quarters.” It always is. “Back when…” I know this is a very southern thing. “Back when the house was farmland over a century ago, the owner of the main house was in hospice when we moved in and he soon passed away and his children were managing the property. Next to our house, there was a huge white barn with a red roof that was filled with all kinds of junk. So obviously we did some exploring. We found a dirty box of trucker hats from the nineteen seventies, almost all American Airlines. Eventually we learned that the property owner who had passed away, had been a pilot. We picked out some hats we liked, washed them and rocked them at the local bowling alley.” A little rude, I think (laughs). Don’t you think?
Emma: That’s a little, that’s a little stealing, but that’s OK. I mean, they weren’t in use, so I don’t know, they were left.
Elsie: Grey area, Brittany! “Within the first couple of weeks, my semi clairvoyant boyfriend always commented on the energy of the property. He said he felt a spirit occupying the “servant’s quarters.” He said he didn’t feel like it was negative energy, so I didn’t make too much of it. I spoke to my friend that got me the spot and she said that there had been a nanny living in the house where we were renting many moons ago. She had helped the owner take care of his kids and the property and had actually passed away in the house. About three months into living there,”
Elsie: I know! “The family decided to have an estate sale. They brought in one of those huge construction dumpsters and started cleaning out the main house. My boyfriend and I lived about sixty feet back from the house where the dumpster was. One night we were having a bonfire talking about what they might decide to do with the property and wondering if we needed to find a new living situation. He was wearing one of the American Airlines trucker hats we found in the barn. I heard some rustling coming from the dumpster and immediately assumed it was an animal.” I think fair assumption.
Emma: Yeah, racoon
Elsie: Mmhmm. “One end of the dumpster was a ramp that was down. We both started paying more attention to the noise. And out of nowhere, a translucent, silky looking figure appeared from the dumpster. It was a woman wearing a dress. She literally seemed to glide out of the dumpster and then suddenly disappeared. Strangely, it was how I always imagined a ghost would look my boyfriend turned to me and said, Did you see that? Tell me you saw that? And I said, yes, I did see that. We were both so stunned and spooked. Hair raising on our necks, he immediately got out of his seat, went inside the house and collected all the trucker hats we had taken from the barn, including the one he was wearing. He then took them over to the dumpster and sat them on the edge. He was convinced that the nanny who had once lived there was upset, seeing them throwing away the previous owners belongings. And he didn’t want to upset her more by taking things.” Very considerate, redeeming.
Elsie: “And even though I never believed any of this, I don’t think he was wrong. We sat and watched the dumpster all night,” which I would too, I would not leave that dumpster. I just want to see, especially if it wasn’t scary and, you know.
Emma: Mm hmm.
Elsie: I feel like it’s like less scary if you’re outdoors seeing it and you’re like, not like trapped in a room, you know what I mean?
Emma: Yeah, I would say that’s better, but I still feel like nighttime. It’s just spooky, though, because you feel like you can’t see very well or that’s how I feel. Nighttime scarier. Daytime ghost, not as scary.
Elsie: “About an hour after, we saw the first ghost, she came back once more. We saw the same translucent figure glide up the ramp and then we heard rustling in the dumpster. The family finished cleaning the house soon after and we never saw her again. But we still talk about it to this day. Since then, the beautiful house on the property was sold, as well as the three properties next door to it. Today, giant homes stacked on top of each other sit on the land,” which that’s like how all of Nashville is, is these tall, skinny houses. And that’s mainly why I wanted to read this, because everyone who lives in a tall skinny is going to be scared now forever. (laughs) And it says, “I hope the woman is now peacefully resting and isn’t haunting the shit out of a bunch of suburban families.”
Emma: Yeah, one can hope.
Elsie: Thank you, Brittany. Beautiful story. So for the record, Emma, I just want to say, do you feel like you believe in ghosts a little bit more now that we read all these stories?
Emma: Yeah. Or same amount.
Elsie: (laughs) So basically, no.
Emma: Well, I don’t know. I’d say maybe? It’s what I said in the beginning, though.
Emma: I don’t know. I think it’s just you have to see one.
Elsie: What about Nova’s ghosts?
Emma: Well, I believe Nova, but she also has an imaginary friend named Princess Taco, you know? So I don’t know. I mean, I don’t know. Maybe!
Elsie: Thanks so much for listening. Please tell your friends who love podcasts to give us a try. We’re just hitting the one year mark and we’re so excited to keep growing and continuing to put more time and energy into this. The best way for us to grow is to find people who already love podcasts but just haven’t heard of us yet. So please pass it along to friends or family. Anyone who you know, who loves podcasts. Thanks.
Emma: Thank you.