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eight bits

New England haunted house in the news

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About ten years ago, a little girl living in the comfortable Boston suburb of Newtonville began talking with a nice grandmotherly lady upstairs whom nobody else in the house had met and whose feet always floated above the floor.

The girl's parents researched the imaginary friend's name, Mrs Woodman, along with another name they'd heard from their daughter, Gridley. They discovered that a real Jane Gridley Woodman had lived in their house at the turn of the Twentieth Century. The little girl's Mrs. Woodman had seven children, as had Jane, with the same number of boys and of girls as Jane's children.

The visits lasted for years. At some point, the apparition began to ask the little girl for a favor. It was just a hint at first, but Mrs Woodman became more and more insistent as time went on.

http://uncertaintist...-for-halloween/

The article links to current video from a regional mainstream news station. The blogger then addresses some of the unreported issues, especially "How could a child know those things?" There are other issues, however, like electrical and electronic phenomena. As demonstrated in the video, the news crew itself experienced technical problems in the "hot" area of the house. There is also an indication that some earlier residents of the house saw Mrs Woodman independently of the family who lives there now.

Enjoy.

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Cool story. I personally don't believe in ghosts but if they do exist I think it must be sad. To be attached to a location and unable to leave or be a part of life there.... I can see why some would be very angry after a while.

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Yes, there is a potential sadness to the idea. This particular story has some of the classic "unfinished business" aspect of the ancient Greek ghost stories, where the dead wish to be remembered or honored by the living. But that seems to be only part of the story.

If Mrs Woodman is there, then she doesn't seem stuck. She has no special connection to the house besides having lived there for about 23 years, at one point in her life. I don't think she died in that house, for example, nor when she died had she lived there for years (apparently... that's a loose end), and she definitely isn't buried in the house or on the grounds.

She also seems to be interested in the affairs of the living, like the recent renovations to the house, being a grandmother-figure to the girl, etc. I can see why the now-teenaged witness finds it comforting when the lights dim in a way that suggests Mrs Woodman's continued presence.

It is almost as if Mrs W is content to be there, "settled in" rather than being "stuck." At least that's one interpretation.

I just think it's very interesting, whatever the root of the phenomenon is. The film telling of the story is also very well made, IMO.

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It was a interesting read thank you for sharing this.

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I hate it when people put an apostrophe in Halloween. Are we still hiding from Sam Hain or whatever?

It's like naming a shopping center Ye Olde Towne Centre in the US. WTF? Someone need to use up an entire box of old sign letters or have a finger cut off for each letter left over? How about Town Center and lose the pretentiousness?

What was I talking about?

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I think because children are the most flexible to believe and accept things. Like some will think they can fly like superman or use sword like ninjas... In this case that ghost can easily communicate with the child.

It is really strange if it is true and needs more investigation. Now that we are going with the parents account, in addition to the child make it harder to be true. How can this be proven real?

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Thank you for the kind words, Crumar.

Ethyl

I hate it when people put an apostrophe in Halloween.

I've never encountered an objection before, neither to including nor to omitting the apostrophe. It's good to see someone who is sensitive about language. However, the word is a contraction. To include the apostrophe is ordinary American English, not "antique" and certainly not faux-antique, or worse, misplaced and faux-Olde English, as your example is.

Perhaps it's best, then, if we avoid the subject of the name of the fiftieth state, Hawai'i :). So, did you like the article and the film? What do you think about Mrs Woodman?

Hi, Spky. In a way, they are doing what I think I'd do with a haunt. They are less concerned with proving her existence, than with living with her, especially since she is such a comforting presence in their lives. I also think it was good of Mr and Mrs Kahn to take what their daughter said seriously, and even to invest effort to follow up. That seems very healthy.

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Ethyl

I've never encountered an objection before, neither to including nor to omitting the apostrophe. It's good to see someone who is sensitive about language. However, the word is a contraction. To include the apostrophe is ordinary American English, not "antique" and certainly not faux-antique, or worse, misplaced and faux-Olde English, as your example is.

Perhaps it's best, then, if we avoid the subject of the name of the fiftieth state, Hawai'i :). So, did you like the article and the film? What do you think about Mrs Woodman?

I realize Halloween is a contraction for All Hallows Even, but it's not widely used anymore. I'm not that sensitive about language as you seem to be about your thread.

Since you asked, I don't believe any of the Mrs. Woodman yarn, but I was trying to be nice and post something a little funny. I don't usually watch films but I did watch this one and I didn't find any one of the people believable except for the female newscaster at the end who seemed frightened.

And if you want to talk about Hawaii for some reason we can. It's not a contraction it's an 'okina and Latin.

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"but I was trying to be nice and post something a little funny".

Thanks for the laugh!

Edited by praetorian-legio XIII

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I've never encountered a conversant spirit, but have seen residuals, the first being a gent at our farm who trudged up our dirt driveway in the middle of a hot August day, appearing to be in a brisk wind and fighting his way through it. This fellow was dressed for winter weather, including a hat with earflaps, a warm winter jacket, brown corduroy pants and heavy barn boots. As he passed the barn, he disappeared as quickly as if someone had flicked off a light. Had he not been dressed so inappropriately for the weather I would have never really paid attention as it was such a normal thing for someone to be walking up a dirt road to the top of the hill.

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Ethyl

Thank you for your comment, and for your time in watching the newsfilm.

moonshadow

I wonder if the difference between "residual" and "conversant" is somebody engaging them. In your story, "you didn't know what you had until he was gone."

I don't know, of course. Anyway, there is something very New Englandish, very Down East, about seeing somebody absurdly wrongly dressed for the weather, and being neighborly enough not to ask :) .

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moonshadow60: interesting post. I strongly believe that people see ghosts without realising it if the spirits blend in with their surroundings. I have experienced that myself. You said if he had been dressed appropriately you would have not have paid attention to him. A friend had a similar experience. Some years ago she was going to a cemetery to put some flowers on a relative's grave. It was a very cold day and she was well wrapped up. As she was approaching the cemetery there was a man sitting on a bench outside. She acknowledged him, he did the same to her. Everything normal apart from the man being dressed in a short sleeved shirt in the middle of winter! She literally took a few steps past the man, thought it was odd the way he was dressed, looked back and he was gone, with nowhere for him to go without still being in sight. Did she see a ghost? She certainly saw something which she not explain.

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That's it in a nutshell, eight bits. Had I made eye contact with the fellow, it is more likely than not we would have slightly nodded our heads in each other's direction and that would be the entirety of the encounter, if he was a New Englander.

Fran; exactly! I doubt that anyone expects to see a ghost in the daytime and really, why would we expect them to be any different than they were during their earthly existence? I am assuming not every spirit is a haunt, or at least I've never met one, thank goodness.

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