Today we have Josh Smith guest posting on the supernatural/paranormal topic. Josh is a Software Engineer living in Colorado. Josh has been married for 15 years to a wonderful and beautiful woman named, Janice. His hobbies consist of hunting, fishing, boating, whitewater rafting and playing with his two small children. Josh Smith is a political junkie and is co-chairman of an independent political party in his area. He is a graduate of the University of Washington and a proud active alum of the Huskie Nation.
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My story will probably not be as long or as scary as most have been here on this blog. I have been something of a fan of this topic on this blog since it was started late last year. I've had quite a bit of interest in the paranormal since my experience in a small, rural area in the state of Washington. I grew up living in the deep forested area of Washington. I can't tell you how many camping trips and hunting trips I have been on since I was all of 8 years old. I usually went with my dad. But, since he was a shift worker at a local sawmill, he didn't get much time off while I was growing up as a precocious 12-year old. Luckily for me, my uncle was frequently available to go on these hunting trips and camping trips. But, this story is not about camping or hunting trips. It is about an apparition or ghost, if you will, that I would see quite often on Laurrine St. where I grew up. We lived in a very rural area, as I said. There were a number of abandoned houses on our street. We had an abandoned house in front of our home and on each side of it on Laurrine St. Our nearest neighbor lived almost a mile south of us. So, it was me, my dad and our blue-tick hound called (quite appropriately enough) Blue. My mom died when I was 2 years old and I had no siblings prior to her death. So, it was frequently just me and Blue by ourselves while my dad worked at the mill. My uncle and his wife (I refuse to call her my aunt since I had total disdain for her) would frequently drop by when they knew I was by myself. My uncle would bring me a home cooked meal since he knew I did not get that very often. He was a great guy.
The first time I saw the Ghost of Laurrine St. was in the dead of summer, early August, or the dog days of summer as it was called when I was a child. This was in 1982. The apparition would show up in the abandoned house directly in front of our house. The first time I saw it, I thought I was seeing things. But, this thing moved from room to room there. I knew my eyes were not playing tricks on me. It would frequently appear around 9-10PM, right before my dad came home. When he was home, I never saw it. I saw no reason to mention it to him, my uncle or anyone else for that matter. This went on for several months. Sometimes I went 2 weeks or more without seeing this ghost across the dirt road in front of our house on Laurrine St. Blue would bark at it whenever it made an appearance. So, I knew he saw it also. I was trying to talk myself into going over there to that house about 9PM one Friday night in December. I knew my dad was going to be working a double shift that night. So, he would not be home until about 6:30 the next morning. I was trying to convince myself into going over there this cold December night. Finally, when darkness came, I called for Blue to join me. We both left our house and started toward the abandoned house where the current resident was one ghost who kept a schedule of about 9PM just so I could see him.
Blue and I slowly started walking over to this abandoned house across from our house on Laurrine St. It was cold and it had been snowing since late that afternoon. I figured the temperature must be in the low 20s by now. As I pulled open the small gate to enter the yard, Blue suddenly backed up. I called for him to come on, let's go inside. He wasn't having any of it. I even tried to bribe him with my nearly frozen Snickers candy bar. He refused and ran back across the street. Calling him to come back had no effect. I thought, Blue probably has more sense than I do. Why was I going into this house anyway? Because it's there, just like Mt. Everest. The old stairs groaned as I walked up there and so did the small front porch. I turned the door knob and the door nearly fell inward. As it was, the top hinge came loose and the door was just hanging by the bottom hinge now. I peered inside into the darkness. Idiot that I was, I didn't think to bring a flashlight. But, after my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I carefully stepped inside. It seemed even colder inside the old house. I could barely make out shapes in the house. There was a stairway that seemed to be rotten. I wasn't going to chance that. There was still furniture inside that obviously had seen its better days. I was looking around for my old friend, the ghost. I had been inside the house for about 5 minutes looking around. I couldn't really tell what was what in the house. I decided it was not going to make an appearance with me inside. So, I made one last look around and headed for the door. "Why are you here?," the voice whispered to me. I froze in my tracks. I looked around and still saw nothing.
"I said, WHY ARE YOU HERE?' This time, it was not a whisper. It was definitely a booming voice that shook me to my very soul. I looked around me, about to pee in my pants, and saw the apparition near the staircase where I have witnessed it before. "I...I.....I....was just lonely and thought I would come over here to see what is going on", I breathlessly said. The ghost was not solid, but it definitely was the shape of a man. There was silence from the entity for about a minute. "This is my home. You were not invited here. You must go and go now", I was informed by the ghost. I wanted to ask this ghostly apparition if he was aware he was no longer among the living. But, I thought better of it. As I turned to leave, the ghost said, "I have noticed you staring at me from across the street. Why do you stare at me so? You must find something to do with your time. Do not come back to my home." It was apparent to me this ghostly figure had no idea he was dead or a spirit now. So, I went through the door as quickly as I could to find the anxiously waiting Blue at the gate wanting to escort me home. I looked behind me and saw the ghost staring at me now. I can't think of another time in my life where I was more frightened and puzzled as well. It was obvious this apparition was going to stay in that abandoned house until it falls down completely. It simply was not aware of its surroundings at all. I never went back there. The ghost had me convinced I was not welcome.
I continued to see that ghostly figure for the next 6 years until I left for college. But, I did not see it as often as I did before the incident where I and the ghostly figure met face to face. When it did appear, it would always appear about the 9-10PM time slot when it would make itself known to me. I never mentioned this to anyone except my wife and only then after we had been married for 4 years. She encouraged me to post this story somewhere. She believes me and what I saw on Laurrine St. as a small boy and on into my teen years. My dad passed away in 2007. I had to go back to take care of his affairs after the funeral. The abandoned homes on both sides of our old home were now gone. Nature had finally claimed them. But, strangely, the house across the street, the house with the ghost was still intact. There were new homes built within shouting distance of my home and that ghost house. But, for reasons I still don't understand, that one abandoned house was still standing, albeit in a decrepit state. I've not gone back to that area since 2007. It has too many painful memories and the fear I might want to go back to that ghostly house on Laurrine Street. I have the distinct feeling that ghost on Laurrine St. might still be waiting for me to come back.
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