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November 10, 2010
Smelling Grandmother's PerfumeRate this encounter: [Name Withheld Upon Request] - Greenwich, Connecticut - 1980s
My grandmother lived in Greenwich, Connecticut, in her house from 1905 until the mid-seventies, when she died. My grandmother had all her ten children at home. She did not travel very much, though she could afford it. She was very attached to her home from the beginning. In 1905, she and another woman wanted the house. She ended up with the home after a horse and buggy rode by and threw dust up toward the house. The other woman said she could not tolerate the dust so my grandmother was able to buy the house. Her life really "happened" in this three-story Victorian home.
After she died, an aunt and two cousins went to see the renovations the new owners had done. To their surprise, the new owner's had more to show them than the renovations. They had many stories of strange happenings in the home. One of the first strange encounters was seeing a 1905 map of Greenwich on their coffee table when they arrived home one day. Other stories involved missing objects, water running, and an actual vision of a woman -- who totally fit the description of my grandmother -- running up the stairs. (This is an image that makes sense to me because my grandmother always ran up the stairs even as she became an old woman.) While I have not been to the house, I know from other cousins who live in the area that there are many stories. But, on one of the visits I made to Greenwich to see other friends, I did experience what my cousins say was an encounter. My husband and I had just left a diner where we had had breakfast and were climbing into our old, Chevy truck... a truck that smelled like dogs, wood, manure -- the country where I am from -- when all of a sudden I was overwhelmed by the smell of "4711" -- a toilet water -- a toilet water that my grandmother used all the time. She carried a handkerchief in her purse that she had sprayed with "4711." My cousins feel this was her way of coming to say hi to me... I am not sure... I do know that the smell was strong and distinct in an area that already had other strong smells.