September 21, 2002
A Spirit Named "Fred"By Jeff Belanger
"I ain't afraid of no ghost." It turns out there are others who would agree with Ray Parker, Jr. and his 1980s anthem for the Ghostbusters movie. Some people grow quite attached to the spirit that lives with them. They get used to having the presence there and find that the spirit may at times be helpful.
Ghosts have been reported to open closed doors for people with arms full of groceries, to warn residents of troubles in the house such as a fire or an accident with a child, and to become almost a member of the family.
Colette and her two-year-old daughter experienced such a friendly ghost in her brother's house in Manchester, England.
My brother moved into a house that was built on an old school field. During the Second World War, the field was occupied by air raid shelters. The houses in this neighborhood were built in the late 1990s.
While staying at my brother's house with my daughter, who was two years old at the time, she asked me who that man was standing on the open-plan staircase. I knew that we were alone in the house at the time, and I could not see anyone standing there. This really spooked me, but I forgot about it until a few months later when our second encounter occurred.
My daughter and I had just gotten into bed (she was sleeping in my bed) when she said, "Look, Mummy, there is that man again" and pointed to the closed bedroom door. Again there was nobody there. Then on another occasion a year or so later, we were staying again in the same room and were just getting ready for bed when there was a knock on the bedroom door. I thought that it was my brother and told him to wait a second while I got ready, but when I opened the door there was no one there, and my brother was downstairs in the kitchen and had not knocked on the door. We know that this is a friendly spirit, as we do not feel uncomfortable, and we have nicknamed him Fred.
Even if the spirit isn't as helpful as washing your dishes and dusting for you, there is a reason that some people feel very comfortable around the supernatural presence in their home. In some cases, it's possible the spirit feels like one of the family because it actually is a relative who has passed on.
If one accepts the existence of spirits, then you understand that they are people who once lived among us (or before us as the case may be). And like people, there are those who are mostly kind and good, those who are mostly malevolent, and everything in between. Just as there are good-natured people that we all enjoy being around, there are spirits that give off the same vibration. We make that connection to the energy we like and enjoy having the spirit around. And in turn, that spirit enjoys being around the people it lives with.
One friend who went to Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island, stayed in a dorm that was built in a very old mansion, and he believed he had a presence in his room with him. "I saw a glowing light that swirled around my ceiling," he said. "And the next morning my alarm didn't go off to wake me for class, when I know I set it like I do every night."
This university student successfully reasoned with his supernatural roommate. "Look," he said into his "empty" dorm room, "I know you were here first, but I have to live here, too-I have no choice. Let's just agree to get along and stay out of each other's way."
He went on to explain that he still felt like the spirit was there, but he didn't experience any more mischief. As the school year went on, he said he felt a friendship toward the spirit.
Spirits, guardian angels, ghosts, and the like are reported everywhere-in cities, in the country, in old and new houses. They clearly live among us, so we might as well get along.