Ghostly Encounters

I’ve had several encounters with ghosts over the years, my interest in them, among other paranormal activity, was always strong but genuine encounters had me become a believer. It’s one thing to hear of another persons tale but when it actually happens to you, it takes on a different meaning when having to deal with it in reality.

My first meeting with a ghost was in the early 70’s in my parents house in Burnaby, B.C. They had just gone out to do the weeks shopping. This left me in charge of the house for a few hours. I got out of bed and went upstairs to make myself some breakfast. Just before I did I heard a creak on the stairwell that didn’t sound familiar or was the house settling. Once I was upstairs I did a quick check around but found no one. Still I felt I was being watched, a feeling that persisted throughout the morning. Later on, I went into the living room to see who was playing major league baseball. As I was looking at the TV listings I heard a woman sigh. I looked up expecting to see her standing there but I saw no one, then I felt a hand caress my cheek. Fortunately I felt no malice from her, just genuine concern. Thinking about it since, I wonder if she wasn’t so much a ghost but my spirit guide or guardian angel at that time.

In late 1976, my maternal grandmother died suddenly during the night from a heart attack. Not long afterwards I had two dreams that were essentially the same. In both dreams I went to answer the telephone. Each time it was my grandmother telling me everything was fine and that I didn’t have to worry about anything.

For 18 months I worked the evening service at a downtown United Church in Calgary, Alberta. Occasionally I filled in during a weekday evening service when a bible college held services at the church. When everyone had left I was doing my last security check making sure everything was locked up for the night. As I was checking a panel by the front door, a presence made itself known just a couple of feet away from me. It was one the eeriest moments of my life as I didn’t see anything but definitely felt someone there. Next Sunday afternoon I told the head custodian of my experience. He told me it was the ghost of a former live in caretaker, who had died in a fire that had levelled the church some years before. I had three more meetings with the former caretaker. They were of the benign variety, one in the downstairs kitchen, another in the sanctuary and the other as I was eating my third or fourth cheese sandwich. I could sense the caretaker didn’t approve of my eating arrangement but what could he do about it? Just haunt me I guess.

Until very recently I worked three years on the night shift at a Nelson hotel that dates back to just before World War One. Since then it has played host to a number of ghostly clientele. One of the well known ghosts is a young girl by the name of Giselle. She liked to play tricks on the housekeepers and has a good rapport with one of the night desk clerks. I had some experiences with hotel ghosts. One night I was coming out of the bar and heard a noise on the stairwell. Nothing was there so I went into the kitchen to investigate some dishes I heard clanging. Nothing was found but I continued on through the dish pit area and into the hallway to the banquet room. Twice in this area I felt the temperature drop significantly. As soon as I stepped into the banquet room I felt an invisible being that distinctly didn’t want me there. I told the ghost that I worked there and it was part of my duties to do what I did.

Other incidents weren’t so dramatic but were interesting. One morning I was making coffee standing next to the coffee machine. The part that holds the grounds came sliding out and was dropped on the counter. I just looked over and said; “yeah, right.” One morning I heard a young girl call out “hello” from the hotel lobby. I went to the lobby in less than five seconds and found no one there. I found that rather spooky. I’ve heard an old man groaning several times without finding what or who was causing it. On my last night shift I was standing over the sink in the men’s washroom in the tavern. The cold water tap went on by itself. It must have been one of the ghost’s way of saying good bye. I heard a small racket upstairs one night. My search found the ice scoop had been dropped from its secure position on top of the ice machine and was hanging just above the floor. There was no rhyme or reason for it just to drop the way it did.

So there you have it, several encounters from real life that has me convinced that there is more to life than what we give it credit for.

Ron Murdock
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