In My Experience: Do you believe in ghosts?

Dear Jeanne-Marie,
With Halloween getting closer and many costumes and decorations depicting
ghosts, I was wondering if you think there are ghostly spirits among us.


Short Answer:
Dear Spooked,
My answer would have been no had I not had a 'hair rising' experience in 1999.

In My Experience:
My daughter and I had been renting a tiny townhouse here in Chadds Ford
Township. She was about 4 years old and one of her favorite daily routines was
our short walk to the 'trash house.' Two doors down from us lived a very old
Chinese woman and like clockwork, she would be standing in her doorway watching
us deposit our trash each day. She never said a word; just a small smile, a
little wave, and then her door would close. She lived alone and she must have
looked forward to a daily glimpse of a tiny, Chinese girl who smiled and waved
back at her.

One day she wasn't at the door.
Was she hurt and alone? Could she have died? Just as I was about to call 911, a
car arrived with several Chinese adults. I approached and asked about the old
woman. Indeed she had died. The family introduced themselves and asked if we
were the people that their mother had talk about on many occasions. They were
happy to meet the little girl who brought their mother a special joy every day.

The adult children had bought
the house for their mother, and they asked if I knew someone who wished to buy
a home. Their mother would have wanted them to decide who would live her the
house. I said I wished it could be me but that I had very little money. This
wonderful family made private arrangements so that I would be able to buy the
house. Even before settlement, I was given the keys, and asked what color paint
and carpet I desired!

The day before settlement, the
son came to show me the clean, fresh paint and the new carpet. I could not
believe my eyes; it was beautiful. Before we left he spoke about how his mother
had such a strong feeling for my daughter and he had teased his mom about it —
dismissing her feelings with, "Oh Mom, you think all Asian people in
America are Chinese."

It was not until he asked in
what province my daughters was born did the miracle of our meeting become
apparent; his mother was from the same small town in China where by daughter
was born!

We stared at each other in
disbelief as a tear trickled down each of our cheeks. In two nations with
millions of people and on opposite sides of the world, we had found each other.
At the settlement of the property, I had asked for and I was given a small
picture of their mother in traditional Chinese dress, which I treasure.

Now you may be wondering what
this story has to do with ghosts.

After we had moved in, I felt
coolness in the hallway every time I passed from the front room to the back
room. I chalked it up to the basement door on one side and the closet on the

Until one day.

I was in the back room and had
asked my daughter to get something from the front room and she said in a
child-like, calm, matter-of-fact voice, "I can't Mommy. The old lady is in
the hallway."

That's when I knew.

Her spirit was in the house;
but what was keeping her here? Although I could not see her, I spoke and
reassured her that we were OK and happy to live in her home. I told her we felt
safe and grateful and she could leave if she wished but we would never forget

I never felt the coolness in
the hall again and my daughter never saw the 'old lady" again. But since
that day, her picture, in full traditional Chinese dress, sits proudly on my
end table with the rest of our family.


(If you enjoyed this story, please click the rating at the top. Thank you.)

*Jeanne-Marie Curtis came from Philadelphia to Chadds Ford Township in
1990. She has her BBA in HR Mgmt/Employment Law. She is the author of
Junctions by Jeanne-Marie (Every Woman's Journey and Journal) Available at Products/Books.

To submit a question: email Jeanne-Marie at



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