Things That Go Bump In the Night

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I had a very superstitious granny who would never go anywhere near a ladder, let alone walk under one.  She never allowed white flowers in the house, screeched like a banshee (odd considering she was afraid of banshees) if someone broke a mirror, had horse shoes over every doorway, and constantly threw salt over her shoulder.  I could write a novel more than 400 pages long about all the superstitions granny had, but I don’t have that kind of time now.  Old gran was Irish, see, and they are known as some of the most superstitious people in the world.

Did you know that in Ireland there are large plots of land and trees, called fairy trees, that cannot be touched or built upon because the Irish believe these areas are home to the “little people”—fairies and leprechauns and what not.  I’ve also heard of people putting milk and other things on their doorsteps for the “little people” to feast upon.

All these things probably sound strange to someone living in 21st century America, but I grew up used to it because I come from an old Irish family that still latched on to and practiced many of the old ways.  And while I don’t go berserk over many of the things old gran did, I’m still a bit superstitious at times.  And (I know I’m going to sound crazy, but I don’t care) I believe in ghosts.  Perhaps it’s because I grew up around an environment that encouraged these wacky beliefs, but then again ghosts might exist.  I can’t prove it either way, so I don’t even bother trying.

Have you ever had any experiences with the paranormal, the things that go bump in the night?

I’ve come across many things in my life that have completely freaked me out.  I used to live in an old apartment building, and it was said that it was built over a potter’s field (a destitute person’s graveyard).  My pets would stand by the doors and howl, and one time the doors blew open by themselves, even though all three locks on the doors were in the locked position.  I didn’t live in that apartment building for very long; the place gave me the creeps—especially after an area cop was found dead in the park right across the street.  He allegedly committed suicide.

I always had the creeps when I worked the graveyard shift for a hospital that was a mere half mile away from the old Alexian Brothers Hospital, the site of the 1947 exorcism that the movie The Exorcist was loosely based on.  The gangs took over that area many years ago, so it’s creepy just for that fact alone.  But, to me, there is a real sense of evil down that way that was there long before the gangs began indiscriminately killing people.


Image by paparutzi via Flickr

Not far from Alexian Brothers (now called St. Alexius Hospital-Broadway) is the Lemp Brewery and mansion, which is supposedly one of the most haunted places in America.  The Lemp family  was full of bad luck; some members of the family died of self-inflicted injuries, and some died in other tragic ways.  Many visitors to the mansion claim that they have seen or heard ghosts there, most notably a small, disfigured boy who looks down at them from a top floor window.  Of course a lot of things going on at Lemp these days are for show.  They give some pretty cheesy tours of the joint during Halloween.

So where are my fellow superstitious loonies that believe in ghosts?  I know you’re out there.  Please comment to tell me some of your experiences with the paranormal or any superstitions you have.  And skeptics, I invite you to come make fun of me haha.



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