Several years ago, during the New Year season, I found myself at the Cowboy Café in Sheridan, Wyoming. It’s located in the historic district of Sheridan and was chock full of really cool cowboy memorabilia, as well as excellent food. (The homemade strawberry rhubarb pie is AMAZING!) Anyway, towards the end of my meal, I made my way to the back of the restaurant to use the ladies room. After I closed and locked the door, I was suddenly hit by a strong feeling of apprehension. I really didn’t want to be in that tiny little room for very long and, for some reason, I was really worried the lights would suddenly go off. I hurried out of there as soon as I could and felt instant calm once I stepped away from the ladies’ room.
A few minutes later our waitress (who couldn’t have been more charming) approached our booth. I turned to her and said, “I have an odd question for you. Do you have a ghost in here?”
She laughed and nodded. “Yes, we do. We call him Tex and most of the people who work here have had some kind of encounter with him.”
Now, I’m hoping that Tex wasn’t sharing the ladies’ room with me, but I have a feeling he wasn’t too far away, which is what caused my apprehension.
I was going to write about Sheridan and ghosts this Friday, but after “meeting” Tex and the experience I then had when I arrived home (I’ll tell you about that in the next paragraph), I thought we could chat about how you know if you’ve felt or seen a ghost.
While we were gone, a really nice young man had stayed at our house to watch the dogs, cats and chickens. He’s a friend of my youngest son, so he’s been at the house a number of times. He’s spent the night, helped us with projects, and sometimes thinks of our place as his second home. And we knew he would take good care of everything. So, when we arrived home I asked him how the week had been. He said it was great, except for the barking.
Our dogs, both Bernese Mountain dog mixes, are not really barkers. They are knock-you-over-with- affection-ers, and, when you stand on the front porch and look through the window and see two 100+ pound dogs sitting on the staircase landing and staring back at you, they can be slightly intimidating, but they rarely bark.
“When did they bark?” I asked.
“At night, every night,” he admitted. “They would walk over to the staircase, look upstairs and bark. Freaked me out. I slept with the lights on more than one night.”
I looked over at Riley, the older of the two dogs, and I thought I noted a grin on his muzzle. Were they actually “seeing” something on the stairs, or were they playing mind games with this young man? Our house has been known to be active (protective) when we aren’t home, so maybe someone was making sure this young man was a friend? Or perhaps just doing the rounds every night.
I remember interviewing someone about the ghost in their house who said that their cat would often look up the narrow staircase and hiss. Not a good sign.
I have another friend who always feels a tickle in her throat when there’s something paranormal in her vicinity. When my sister walks into a house that has paranormal residents, she always feels that there’s not enough light in the room or she wants to paint the room with bright colors. Another friend can “hear” things in her mind and often feels lightheaded in the presence of something paranormal.
So, how about this for a unique New Year challenge – pay attention to how you react to your surroundings. Do you feel apprehensive, light-headed, or suddenly have a tickle in your throat? Do you feel like someone’s watching you? Do you feel like you’re not alone when you know you are? Maybe this is the year when you will actually see a ghost too!
Happy Friday! And Happy New Year!!!
Like what you read? Find more stories by Terri Reid here.