Subject: Thanksgiving Ghost
From: Robert and Donna Herrick <>
Date: Tue, 12 Aug 1997 21:41:01 -0400

Okay...I'm being brave and posting this might get rather long because I do tend to babble…I'll apologize in advance.

In July of 1994, my much loved Granny died very suddenly. I was shocked and hurt and felt terribly guilty that I hadn't somehow known and been able to tell her goodbye. Though she was my best friend and we spent countless hours together, I was somehow afraid that she'd not known how very much I loved her.

I spent about two months grieving and feeling guilty when I decided to call her…to call her spirit, if I could, and tell her I loved her. I was afraid that my crying and grieving was preventing her from going on to some better place and I certainly didn't want that so, I sat one evening and called to her. I called in my head and out loud. Now, let me say this was difficult for me as I've had a couple of horrific experiences with "spirits" who pretend to be someone I love and then show themselves to not be that person at all and to be really quite evil. So, I was afraid one of these pretenders might show up, but I didn't think my Granny would let it hurt me. So, I kept calling.

That night, I woke up and saw my Granny standing in my bedroom door. I sat up and held out my arms. I immediately started telling her of my love for her, how I needed her and missed her. I was so caught up in my blathering on and on that I didn't notice that something wasn't right. The figure wore my Granny's pink nightgown and moved toward me with arms outstretched, approaching the side of my bed. When the figure got close enough for me to examine it in the light reflected from the streetlamp, I saw how withered and dried it's face was and how it was all stiff…but limp…like it was being supported form behind. I got the sense that it was like...her body, being held up by something else. When the fear hit me, I started to cry out and when I did, the figure opened it's mouth and let out this awful, low moan that was really loud and really deep and like...inside my head. I cried out and the thing disappeared. I knew it had been a pretender. So...I stopped trying to contact my Granny for fear of something else showing up.

The night before Thanksgiving, I was staying at my parent's home, rather sad at facing this first holiday season without my Granny. Traditionally, my Granny stayed over at my parent's home and woke early with my mother to help put in the turkey. We needed my Granny to do this because my mother is notorious for not hearing the alarm and oversleeping.

This year, I decided to take my Granny's job and promised to wake my mom at 3:00 AM sharp to stuff the turkey and put it in the oven. As it was after one when I finally laid down on the couch to sleep, I decided to just stay up until 3:00 and try to catch some sleep after the turkey was in. I turned off all of the lights, except the light over the stove and left the TV on. At around 2:00 a favorite film of mine came on and I was pleased that I could get wrapped up in the film as that might help me stay awake. I was right. I was awake. I looked at the clock around 2:45 and was relieved that my vigil was almost over. It was at that point that the hall light went on. At first I thought my mother had actually managed to drag herself out of bed at the right time. It was then that things slowed down. I could hear the TV, even recall the dialogue being spoken. I saw the cat jump up at my feet, I even nudged it out of the way. However, I became focused on the hall. I saw a shadow move down the hall at this incredibly slow speed. It seemed to take forever. It seemed like everything was slowed down, even the voices on the TV were sort of droning. I became very afraid and suddenly knew that this shadow making it's way down my hall was definitely NOT my mother.

I wanted to jump up and turn on the lights but just couldn't. I was literally paralyzed with fear. Just as the shadow reached the end of the hall and one more step would bring it into my field of vision. I turned my head down on the couch and put the pillow over my head. Everything was very still. It seemed like only moments later that I felt a hand on my shoulder, shaking me as if to wake me up. I suddenly felt really dumb because I figured that the shadow had indeed been my mom and I'd just made a total jackass out of myself. I removed the pillow and rolled over and there stood my Granny. She was wearing her favorite red and white dress. She shook me gently and said, "You have to get up. You have to wake Mommy to put in the turkey, her alarm didn't go off." I heard the words. Out loud. The cat jumped on the back of the couch to greet my Granny. I heard in my head that she didn't want our holiday dinner ruined. I jumped to my knees and leaned over the back of the couch to hug her, I was babbling about how I loved her and missed her. She smiled at me so sweetly and nodded, but when I tried to hug her, she backed away and sort of shook her head. She stepped around the edge of the sofa. I turned to look at the clock. 3:15. I looked back and she was gone. Just like that.

I woke my mother, who was exceedingly grateful to me for waking her. Had I not, dinner wouldn't have been ready until way late and the holiday would've been somewhat spoiled. She asked me how I managed to wake her right on time and I said simply, "Granny woke me up." She believed me, having had such experiences herself.

Though I've had many ghostly encounters, this was by far my favorite. I was wide awake, I know I was, and my Granny came to me. I'm only sorry I turned to look at the clock, if I hadn't I might have had more time with her.

Donna Herricks