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Aunt Molly's Haunted Attic

Aunt Molly's Haunted Attic

The Oak Cliff Ghost

For about four years, I lived on a house, in a historically beautiful section of Dallas, called Oak Cliff. It was a sweet frame bungalow, with casement windows. There was a huge old oak in the back yard, perfect for climbing and a tire swing. My daughter was five, and it seemed like a natural playscape for her. Too, there was a big fenced back yard, which I thought she would enjoy. There was a pretty pink ancient rose bush on the side of the house. The house needed a paint job, inside and out. There was old shag carpet with pretty hardwoods underneath. I talked with Landlord, and he agreed to work with me about the paint, carpet and hardwoods, so we made a deal, drew up a lease, and my daughter and I moved in. We fixed up the little house, painted the frame exterior white, put up a couple of shutters and the place began looking really sweet. I planted about 25 rose bushes, as well as about a hundred tulip and other misc. bulbs. As I began taking care of the house, which had been a rent house for many years, I began sensing that the house was "pleased" with me. Soon, weird things started happening. One time, I hit my hand accidentally with a hammer, and said an expletive under my breath. Something inside of my armoire slammed on the armoire door real hard. >From then on, any time I slipped with my language, something would slam inside the wall, for instance, or inside of a cabinet. It was exactly like a little old lady slamming her hand on something, because I wasn't being ladylike.

Then, other strange things started happening especially related to a table I had set out as a "picture" frame table, with table cloth, rather like the British have in their homes? Certain pictures would fly by themselves off of the table, and come crashing down. This would happen a few days before something catastrophic would happen to the person whose picture was in the frame.

Although the ghost never manifested itself to me, it did speak to me on two different occasions. Once, when my father was visiting and sitting on the front porch on a hot summer afternoon, and I was washing dishes in the back of the house, something kept telling me, "Bring your Daddy a glass of water", over and over again. Finally, I threw down the dishtowel, and brought my father a glass of water. My Dad said, "How did you know I was dying of thirst?" "I dunno'," I said. "Maybe I'm psychic."

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Then once I was undressing late at night, and I murmured to myself over a crush I had, "I really like "C", but I don't think he's interested in me." Something said out loud to me, "'D' is your competition." I said, aloud, "What?" and it said, "'D' is your competition." "C" been married to "D"for several years now.

It seemed the ghost could read minds as well. A very old friend guy of mine, Don, who'd been my friend for years, had prostate surgery. I was lying on my chaise lounge one night, watching TV. I was thinking of calling him, but then I thought to myself, "Well, I can't very well call him up and ASK him about that. What would I say, 'how’s it hanging', or what?" Again, something slammed inside my armoire really hard, like, "Watch your dirty mind, young lady." I immediately stopped thinking that.

Then one time, my child's father was visiting. He was sitting in the living room, and I warned him. "Um. You know. I've got to warn you. We've got a little old lady ghost in this house. She. Throws things. Books and stuff?" (She only did that when she didn't like someone, or more like APPROVE of them. Who knew how she might react.) Anyway, Maddie's Dad said, "Oh, hogwash." A few minutes later, he was sitting on the couch, waiting for my daughter to get ready, and all of a sudden he said, "What the...." and came running into the hallway. I said, "What?" He said, "Th'''...the books, they, cleared themselves all off of the shelf. By themselves. Like someone pushed them off of there with their hand." I said, "See, I told you!" Then I went to clean up the mess. I said to the ceiling. "Hey. If you don't quit making these messes, I'm gonna' have the priest EXERCISE you. I LIKE having you around, but not if I have to constantly clean UP after you, okay?"

The ghost was a little more considerate of me after that. A few years later we moved to a better neighborhood. No ghosts at the new place. I rather miss my little old lady friend. She kept me lady like at all times. I know she really loved all the rose bushes. She wasn't too inconsiderate of a roommate, after all. She certainly was discerning. I'll give her that.

UPDATE: 5/06/00 -- I forgot to mention that one of the pictures that kept throwing itself off of the photo table, (I don't know how else to describe it -- I have bought six or seven picture frames for it until I finally left it unframed) was a photo of my grandmother Mattie , when she was a girl, with her three siblings, circa 1910. In 1908, their mother died in childbirth in under grim conditions. By 1916, they were orphans, their father having gotten into some kind of trouble (Hey, it was Texas at the turn of the century -- not a game of Canasta, okay?) There was a great deal of shame, and secrecy about the matter. (My Grandmother had been farmed off as a servant / orphan by like age 13, and married at 17, and was a mother by eighteen. I knew absolutely nothing of her family history until like...five years ago. She was always interested in her husband's family line, as that is the part of the family that is decended from French Royalty and the Vikings. Kind of a "Bird with a Broken Wing" kind of't look at this...look over here...a distraction.)

(The De Bohun's: Molly's Viking/French aristocratic heritage...A 7th cousin told me my entire family history clear back to 900 A.D. through GenForum. How cool is that?)

Finally, one day, I hugged the picture to me, and said, "If I had been alive then, I would have adopted you all then, every last one of you, do you understand?" Then the picture stopped throwing itself off the table. Two years later, I met a prominent person from that part of the country, through a friend of mine. Not soon after, he showed up at my premiere a play of mine NYC. I was shocked to see him, as I had met him in Texas. I insisted he be comped in. Later on, he invited me to present a portion of my play as a staged reading in West Texas. I called my Mom, who lives in out there, and said, "Hey, Mom, wanna' come hear TABULA read aloud at a charity benefit?" She said, "Sure. Where will it be?" I told her the name of the city. Do you know where that is?" She said, "Well, sure. That's where your Grandmother was BORN, you idiot!" I said, "Yeah? Wild." So we went to reading. Afterwards, I went and visited my Great Grandmother's grave there, and laid flowers on her grave. Next to her, are buried two of my Grandmother's siblings, one who died as a toddler, one who died in the womb, killing its mother, accidentally and brutally. Strange, I had to have to take a trip to New York City to come back to my roots. I felt "led" there. It was very moving to me.

My Great Grandmother, Georgia Ademia Ford Foster, and fam'...(my Grandmother, Mattie (Foster) Shepard, is the black haired little baby in this pic, (Archer Co., TX, circa 1900.)

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Me at Georgia Ademia's gravesite...

Willie H. Foster, my (paternal G'mother's Dad): Dig this, Thomas Foster, Willie's bro. searched a lifetime for Willie, and never found him. However, Thomas's g'grandson Bob Foster, found me through the internet in an afternoon. ROCKIN'...
Archer County Texas - "Type" Foster in your "Find" tool: The Foster branch of my family...

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