Subject: A skeptic's story.
From: (Emmett Hoops)
Date: Tue, 15 Oct 1996 02:40:14 GMT

Here's a story I have to share with you. It's about an experience that led me to this newsgroup; that led me to become skeptical of my own skepticism.

Six years ago, my wife and I decided to become caretakers of a small museum in rural New York State. It's in Essex County, which, despite its size, has a population of 35,000. The museum itself was (and is) in an isolated part of this county. We lived across the road. One morning, I went over to the museum to open up and put out the US and NYS flags. As I was getting the flagpoles (which we kept on the staircase) I heard the distinct sound of bedsprings in a mattress, upstairs. I called after my daughters, whom I had suspected had gotten in the museum before me, perhaps with a second set of keys, which I didn't think existed. (I was right: they didn't.) I checked out the door, and there were both my daughters, playing in the front yard, across the road. The hairs on my neck stood up. I went into the front room, directly underneath the upstairs bedroom. I heard the bedsprings again, and this time I heard footsteps. I was sure someone was up there, for sure my wife.

I went upstairs, confident of finding her. I did not. I am getting chills just writing this, as I have never written it before. What I did see was a rocking horse moving rapidly back and forth. I was terrified. For some reason I knew at once that nobody was there, that this was dreadful, that I had to get out of the house. I ran. I went across the road and told my wife what had happened. When she told me that she thought I had been checking out the bed the morning before, but hadn't gone upstairs to check, we both felt the terror of the unknown. We nevertheless gathered the courage to go back in the house, whereupon we heard nothing that day, nor ever again, out of the ordinary.

Last year, I read a 1967 news clipping featuring an interview with a previous caretaker, who described a night filled with the sounds of mirrors crashing and the sounds of a mattress being jumped on. I knew then that this was something I could never explain satisfactorily. I haven't done a good job conveying the terror I felt, but I feel I have to explore this more. If indeed this was a ghost, then I must change my belief system. If it was not, then I need to revise Newton's Laws.