One question we commonly get from visitors is about ghosts in the Homestead. We tell them that if there is a spirit, it is a friendly one and we believe it is Frances, Gideon and Mindwell’s son that lived here with his family. Frances died suddenly in 1896, and his son, Gideon II died just six days later. Last week was the anniversary of these sad days. That may explain why I experienced a lot of unexplained incidents on Saturday.
We had a lively wedding and reception going on Saturday evening. The guests were coming in the back door and the front doorbell started ringing. Sean, the docent on that day, answered the door and no one was there. This happened two more times and quit.
Later on in the evening, there was the sound of an old-fashioned telephone ringing near the wicker porch. Everyone checked their cell phones – no one had a call and we never found the source of the ringing. It rang for quite some time.
Upstairs, I found the ceiling fan on in one of the offices. I had been up there earlier to use the copier and it was not on. OK, I guess, one of the guests may have come into the dark room, looked up and pulled the ring to start the fan. But it isn’t likely.
About 9 pm I needed to get something out of a locked safe. The lock (the kind you push in) was engaged. I went to another part of the office to look for something else and when I glanced over at the safe, the lock was sticking out – unlocked. I was able to get into the drawer and I locked it, tested it, and checked on it later. It stayed locked.
People I’ve told this to tell me to start talking to the spirits and say they must like me! I don’t feel threatened by them, but this is the first time I was a bit spooked! In the past, I would turn off all the lights before I leave and as I’m driving out, I see the light on in France’s bedroom. We played a game with one of the pole lights in that room a few times too.
The woman that was the Social Director before me had several encounters with Frances. She claims that he caught her when she was falling backwards and that she saw a faceless figure in the hallway one night.
In the bedroom that we call the Girl’s bedroom, there is a beautiful sleigh bed with a coverlet. There is always an indentation in between the pillows – even after you straighten the spread out. I joked that it is the ghost of a cat that likes to sleep there. A few months ago, I was going through some photographs that are on our computers and found a collection of photos of Tommy Granger, a big kitty that lived here in the 1930’s. Now I know who it probably is!
I hope that the Granger Ghosts continue to make themselves known in friendly ways. I wish I could sit down and have a chat with them too.