Over the years, I've shared some of my own personal spooky stories of haunted vintage around Halloween:
2012- A Ghost Story
2013- The Haunted Antique Shop
2014- A Very Creepy ChristmasI've run out of ghost stories to tell but luckily, my friend, Katie volunteered to contribute a ghost story to Va-Voom Vintage readers this year! Katie blogs at KatieMullaly.com and she's here to share two true stories of her adventures in haunted vintage....
Ah, Halloween. Hello, you sexy beast. I realize it has become cliché to say, “Halloween is my favorite holiday,” (I hope you read that in a total valley girl mental voice) but it really is mine. Quite specifically, the ghost stories. I have had an inexplicable fascination with the paranormal for as long as I can remember, so when Brittany asked if I would do a little ghostly guest blog, I was like, “Um, YEAH.” Just to throw my credentials on the table, I am the co-author of such delightful gems as Scare-Izona: A Travel Guide to Arizona’s Spookiest Spots, Tucson’s Most Haunted, Finding Ghosts in Phoenix, and Paranormal Pandemic. So, you can say that I have been in my fair share of haunted places.
For me, it never gets old.
I could tell and hear ghost stories every day for the rest of my life and never get tired of it. I am particularly enamored of stories that I hear through the vintage grapevine. Creepy objects acquired at an off-the-beaten-path thrift store, estate sales that give you goose bumps, a dead bicyclist standing outside your car window, you get the idea. Luckily, I come to the blog armed with two of my own creepy tales just to share with my fellow vintage vamps!!
Recently, my family took a cross-country road trip to Pennsylvania, making lots of fun stops along the way. One such stop was St. Louis to visit Ms. Vavoom herself, and to do a little thrifting.
At our very first stop – A Salvation Army – if I recall correctly, I found a Marwal-esque bust that I immediately scooped up and put into my cart. I was smitten with her from the get-go. She was beautiful with her dark skin and turquoise scarf. The very next thing I put into my cart was a Virgin Mary planter. This becomes relevant later. Almost instantly, sh*t started getting out of hand. Everyone got sick from breakfast (Salvation Army does *not* have a public restroom). My faux pearl necklace became inexorably stuck and, even with my hubby’s help, would not unfasten. I had to break it to get it off my neck. The air dam on our Prius fell halfway off the car and my son ended up having to cut it off with his super-fancy survival knife. Our air conditioner stopped working in the car. Our washing machine sh*t the bed. Our house flooded. It was a ridiculously torrential sh*t storm, and I am sure I am leaving out other things that happened, but I am sure I hit the finer points.
I had placed her on a dresser at the end of my hallway, and I was never altogether comfortable with that arrangement. On the day that I was standing ankle-deep in water, I realized that I was tired of her judgy face and her clear disdain for my family and my home, so I pulled off my hoops and gave them to someone to hold, and took her down from her perch, quickly replacing her with the statue of the Virgin Mary. As quickly as the crapnado started – it stopped. Things began to right themselves. A sense of tension was gone. We were provided the means to fix the things that had broken and we have not looked back. Princess Dybbuk – as I dubbed her – is now living a new, fresh life with parapsychologists who have found no conflict.
The Treasure House
Working for an estate sale company has afforded me the luxury of being able to go through peoples’ things, and to regularly be in the homes of the recently deceased. One recent home was beautiful. Just filled with mid-century deliciousness. Gobs of it. I was literally running through the house with unbridled glee. I turned the corner of the hallway and entered the master bedroom (where I would do the bulk of my work at that house) and immediately felt like I wasn’t alone. I even told my coworkers the same. When I entered the room, I could smell perfume. The ceiling fan was swinging in a particularly aggressive way, and one of the slats from the vertical blinds that had been propped on the window sill flew from the sill and landed several feet away. As such, and given my experience with ghosts, I immediately began addressing the deceased homeowner by name and assured her that I would treat her belongings with respect and behave only in a way that honored her. She had the most beautiful clothes and purses, some dating back to the 40s (I know, right?). I began the process of sorting her things, and almost immediately found a box containing a stack of cash – a little over a hundred dollars. We all had a good laugh and the money was turned in. The following day, while sorting her belongings, I found a mirror that was in a plastic sleeve. It didn’t seem to fit quite right, so I pulled it out and looked inside. In the bottom was a small blue plastic bag. I opened the bag, reached in, and pulled out the fattest stack of cash I had ever seen in my life. Hundred dollar bills fell into my lap in clumps, and I just sat there looking at it. I was alone in the room, but I felt a great sense of urgency that was not my own. I counted it. I showed everyone. I took pictures. I stopped short of making it rain. I turned it in and went back to work. A short while later, I opened a forgotten medicine cabinet to find that it was filled with denture cream and tongue scrapers and let out an audible sigh at having to do it. I began pulling the items out of the cabinet on the bottom shelf and worked my way up. The last two prescription bottles I pulled out were dated from 1969 and 1972. In retrospect, they seemed to have been placed there rather deliberately because hidden behind them was a very large diamond ring. I pulled the ring down from the highest, furthest corner of the cabinet where it had been hidden and looked upon it with shock and awe. I immediately felt like this ring was for me. I turned it in, but couldn’t stop thinking about it. It was the most unique and lovely diamond ring I had ever seen. By this time, I was pretty emotionally drained because honesty mocks good sense and leaves you wondering why you had to find it in the first place. I could have easily shaved a few hundred off the top and no one would have been the wiser, but I am not a thief and even thinking about it now feels like a crime. Anyway, I was told that if no one else bought the ring at the sale, I would be allowed to buy it. The sale came and nobody bought it. When my supervisor handed me the ring, I was so relieved. At lunchtime, I couldn’t wait to show my hubby the ring (he also works for the same company). We went upstairs to an empty room where no customers were allowed. As I showed him the ring, we both suddenly heard a music box begin to play Somewhere My Love.
We looked at each other and smiled with a puzzled look on both our faces. We hopped up and started looking around the room. The room was completely empty save for us and a few empty boxes. The din of the shoppers could be heard coming from downstairs, but the music box was loud and emanated from the center of the room, and it sort of bounced around the room before stopping. After lunch, I asked a coworker who was in the room beneath us if there had been a music box. There was not. No one had seen or heard a music box. We had initially gotten a later-than-usual start on this house because the daughter of the homeowner couldn’t bring herself to leave. I found out after the sale – it was because she felt like her mother was still there.
Now, let me hear your story! If you have ever gotten something weird at a thrift store or an estate sale that gave you chills, I wanna know. Who knows – I might be writing a book.
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