Sunday, October 23, 2011

Of Hauntings and Ghosts

First a bit of background. The house we live in now is the same house that I grew up in. It belonged to the aunt that raised my mother. The core of the house was built in the 1930's and added on after the fact through the years.  When my wife and I were first married we lived in a single-wide on the property (we took the wheels off and everything.) We moved to Tennessee after living there about three years and returned to Alabama to live in the old house.

The old stories:

Dad was taking a shower here at the house and heard a woman's voice. He thought it was either my mom, my aunt (her sister) or both of them. There either was a conversation or not a conversation because the water was running. Bottom line; he gets out of the shower and nobody is there. Mom and my aunt have been next door the whole time.

There's another one from dad, about one of mom's long passed relatives sitting on the foot of the bed telling him to take care of mom.

My sisters, years ago, reported seeing a woman in a yellow dress in the house.

More recent stories:

Early in our marriage I worked second shift in an office. My wife had made a trip from our house to the old farm house (that was empty at the time) to pick something up and called me from there. Our oldest, less than two at the time, was with her in the house. About five minutes into the phone conversation we both heard what sounded like a wild cat caught in a fan belt, or a woman's scream.

Shortly after our son's second birthday she took him up to the old house to pick up his birthday cake that was in the refrigerator. Upon retrieving the cake she saw/felt something move in the house so she grabbed our son and quickly returned to the car. The whole way down the short gravel road he stood up in the back seat looking behind the car and urgently told her to "drive faster mommy, it's following us!"

Both our son and daughter reported seeing the lady in the yellow dress in the woods behind our little house.

This picture was taken with a very cheap, manual focus digital camera sometime before 2000. The only people in the house at the time were my wife, our daughter, and my aunt. Both my aunt and my wife are behind the camera. My daughter is the blurry figure to the viewer's left of the door (large rectangle of light on the left.) We have no way to account for the other figures in the picture- the hooded figure on the right, the other small child in front of "hoodie", or the forearm and lower leg on the far right. 

This is a very rough diagram I made of the layout of the room (on a post-it note.)

A couple of years ago, now all of us living in the old house, I awoke to see a woman's face on the ceiling of our bedroom. It was made of foggy swirls and smoke. I tried to wake up my wife next to me by whispering her name, never daring to take my eyes off the face. She was already awake. 

I asked her, "are you seeing what I'm seeing?"

"The woman's face on the ceiling?"

"So you see it too?"

"I sure do."

We watched it dissolve and lose shape, turning into a formless smudge and then fading away completely, Before the face lost resolution, I saw the skull underneath as the skin washed away.

I leave you with a picture I took a few Octobers ago when the wife and kids were on vacation and I was left to my own devices and Photoshop.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

October 15, 2011 - Green Mountain

This past Saturday was family hike day. The location was a trail in Huntsville, on Green Mountain. I've seen this trail called the "Old Scout Trail" the "Logging Road Trail" or just "The Trail That Meets Up with the Powerline Trail". Rather than try and give directions or describe the route I'll just post a link to the tracklog of our hike here.  

I can't really complain much about 6.5 miles round trip, as far as progress. The trail was a little weedy in a few spots and fallen trees from this past year's storms cross the path but the gnats were few and far between, the temps mild in the shade (except under the powerlines) and everybody was in a good mood.

I had been hoping for the fall colors I saw the last time I was here, back in 2009, but we just aren't far enough into the season this time around. Here are pics from that short hike I took all alone. We did manage to find some oranges and yellows here and there...

Ben found great joy in hurling these at my head when I wasn't looking.

...but just not in the leaves, except near the tops of the trees.

Last update it was Jake that wasn't in the pictures, this time around it's Ben. Jake and Chan were busy recording video for their various projects and even helped me find a geocache that belongs to a themed series that we've all thought are really cool. I'd say more, and if you really want to you could figure it out from the tracklog, but trust me, this one's worth the surprise. This is the somewhat spoilerish of a pic of them at the cache, but unless you know of the series you probably won't know what they're holding.

Here's E's collection of stuff that she gathered up for her own picture.

Here's the powerline trail that runs down toward Green Cove road. You can't see our house from here, but you can see my workplace and the Tennessee River.

More pics, including the grumpiest little monkey and unknown flowers can be found here.

October 8, 2011 - In the Weeds with Rhythm

I've had this need for a while now, this idea, that I should take my drums out into the pasture behind our house and set them up and just play in the field. It occurred to me that this might make for a decent photo-op. So I did. 

Esther took pics of Ben, Chan and me out in the grassy nothing, banging on drums and doing other things. Jake was invited but arrived as I was taking down the set. He's a busy guy. Things to do. E's pics of the drums in the weeds start here and then show up here and here. This was a learning experience for us both- I had a few ideas as far as what I wanted but neither of us have any real practice photographing musicians or drummers (see what I did there?) I managed to pull out a few shots that I thought were okay.

First he steals my hat, then my drums...

Esther got Chan all gussied up for the shoot.
Pics are keeping time over here.