Friday, October 24, 2014

Ghost Stories

October's chill and darkening days bring to mind that the spookiest night of the year is close on our heels.  Plain Jane has invited everyone to share any ghost stories they may have.  She has a couple of stories herself that get the goosebumps rising on the arms, and makes you want to firmly close the cellar door!

My own ghost story involves a clock.

It also involves my dear grandmother, long dead and buried, and my mother (Violet), at the time of this story only recently passed away.

I've mentioned before that I helped my parents clear out all kinds of stuff from their country home in order to move into a house about a third of the size.

the country home
One thing that my mom was getting rid of was this little clock that was her mother's 
(my grandmother ... also named Violet).

Apparently, my grandmother was quite proud of her little clock.  She wasn't a wealthy woman, but the clock was something special.  I've never known the clock to be in working order, but at one time the clock had been sent to a clock maker for repairs. Inside is written our old address by the clock repair shop. 

My dad liked to fidget with all kinds of things, and quite frankly, he fidgeted with any special heirlooms of my mother's until they were ruined.  This clock was one such item. It used to have those nice sweeping curved wooden sides, but my dad chopped them off and put on these ugly straight sides.  I remember him in later years trying to get the clock working himself to no avail.  The convex glass of the door was missing, as were the hands. It was, as my mother often used to say "a source contention" between them. 

The clock sat on top of Mom's china cabinet all those years ... silent ... disfigured. The clock works were no longer even secured to the inside of the clock, 

but sat loose behind the little door in back.

I was rather sad when I saw the clock in a pile of things that Mom was throwing out. It showed she had given up on it ever being properly repaired. I decided to rescue it and bring it home with me.  I didn't tell Mom, and I just set it on my own bookshelf for a few more years as a little curio.

After Mom passed away and I started this blog, I decided to make something out of the clock, and brought it off the shelf and set it on the kitchen counter to have a better look at it and clean it up.

I took out the clock works and set them on the counter.  There's something old-world about clock works.  The cogs, the wheels, the springs and winders.  So complex yet all married together to mark the minutes in a carefully engineered way.  A bygone treasure.

As I was admiring the clock works, I suddenly had a strange sensation that there was a presence behind me.  I got a slightly shivery feeling across my shoulders that I was being watched ... I was not alone. Instantly I felt that behind me were Grandma and Mom, but I didn't put any more into it than that, and I didn't turn to look behind me.  And then, without warning, the clock works all started to move!  All the little cogs and wheels began to whir and spin, and I looked at it closer, quite fascinated.

It made barely a whisper as it came to life. It was beautiful with every little shiny golden wheel spinning all through the works. I watched as the springs gradually unwound on either side.  It was quite surreal as we three watched (for I'm sure two others watched with me ... perhaps with a shared smile).  It took a few minutes for the clock works to finally wind down and again be still and silent.

There was a small "key" that could be turned to wind up the clock, and although I wound the key gently, it wouldn't work again.  Once the clock wound down, I no longer had a feeling that anyone else was with me.  But I'm sure I had company moments before.  I've never felt that sensation again. It wasn't a scary thing, but a comforting thing, for I loved both of those women dearly.  Sadly, the cogs haven't spun since.

And if you were wondering what it was I wanted to do with the clock ...

I thought the clock looked very much like a little home with it's intriguing curved back door.  I had a tiny stuffed mouse that once belonged to my infant son.  I removed the clock works, and the clock has now become a secret house for a tiny mouse.

It still sits on my bookshelf, but only my son and I know what's actually inside it ;)

So there you go.  My one and only "ghost" story.  Jane has invited everyone to share and join in the fun.  If you want to read more, pop over to Plain Jane and see what other's have been saying.

Thanks for stopping by!



  1. Wow Wendy - that certainly got the hairs on my neck standing up! I've just read it through again to Little Sis and she was fascinated - not only with the story but with the beautiful photography and of course - the mouse house! What a magical thing to see all of those cogs working in such a way - and as you say - you weren't watching it alone. Thank you so much for sharing this - I'm just off to check the cellar door. ...! Jane x

  2. Interesting that you could feel the presence behind you to be a loving one and that their energy could make the clock works appear to move. I've never had an experience like this, only catching movement out of the corner of my eye inside our house when I know it's not the dog. It's not scary though.
    I like the secret mouse house you created with the clock frame.
    Have a nice weekend Wendy.

  3. Wendy,
    This is such an interesting story, I too have felt the presence of my Mother on many occasions and just like you it is never unsettling or frightening. It is in fact it is reassuring and comforting to me. However, the thing about your experience compared to my visits from my Mother, is your clock! How neat is that, that it began to whirl and come to life! I love that you turned it into a little house for a mouse!
    Have a wonderful weekend, Wendy-

  4. Well that certainly was eerie! And what a cute use for that clock. Love the mouse 'hobbit' hole!

  5. What a lovely story - and quite comforting too I think! I love that you kept the old clock and have turned it into something else magical so that its story will live on for the next generation.
    Hugs xx

  6. Ho ho ! excellent ! Very good show ! your pictures are well adapted to the story... and the story .. magical .... and the bunny .... keeps the secret !! Thanks for this story ! take care and see youy !

  7. I am sure that your Mum and Grandmother are with you every day Wendy, you obviously loved them both so very much, and I am sure that they loved and still love you too. xx

  8. I absolutely love this story! Its comforting to know we are not alone.
    Jane x

  9. That was a really nice story Wendy how lovely to have your mom and grandma visit, I love what you have done with the clock so sweet. I had lots of ghostly experiences when I was doing my nursing training but it was so long ago, I now wonder if I imagined it all. xx

  10. What I love most about this story, is that you have taken an object awash in sad emotional residue and, while retaining it's history, turned it into something warm and charming. Well done, that transformation!

  11. Lovely story! Gave me the shivers. It's so nice you could turn the clock into something warm and wonderful!!

  12. I really liked this story. I think it's very nice that you have turned the clock into something to enjoy and help you remember your mom and grandmother.

  13. I was really enthralled by your lovely story Wendy - from start to finish - and absolutely LOVE what you have done with the clock. I also believe in 'other' presences with us and am really happy for you that you had this beautiful experience!
    Want to thank you also for the very sweet 'welcome back' message you left for me on mine - you warm my heart! Love, Joy xo
    PS I do hope your Dad is coming along without too many problems ….. xx

  14. I find this quite comforting that you felt her presence. I too have this feeling especially when working on my Grandad's research papers for his book. He particularly made it known one evening when two shelves burst from the wall with some papers on. The next day a friend of mine (who is a retired Psychic - don't ask!) said that she had to tell me that a man has been asking her to let me know that he is frustrated that I had stopped concentrating on the man with bendy legs. I didn't have a clue what she was talking about but when I went home I put my ear phones in where a couple of weeks ago I had been listening to some recordings that the museum had made with him. His next words were "now, I must tell you about this man who knew everything about the River (Thames). He was born severely disabled and used to walk on his ankles..." I have not been distracted since!

  15. I've saved your post all read tonight. What a sweet ghost story with a happy ending. Of course I love that you made a little house for the mouse. How creative and fun. Sweet hugs, Diane

  16. Now that is some story Wendy! It gave me the chills!!!! I so enjoyed reading this one friend as I think there is something to be said about that feeling you get when you feel a presence and the fact that the clock worked at that moment is out of this world! I LOVE what you have done with the clock! How absolutely sweet is that! The mouse looks perfect in his new home and now you have saved that special piece for many years to come! A lovely week to you dear friend! Nicole xo

  17. Lovely story, I love the thought of the comforting presence of lost loved ones watching over us.
    And I love what you did with the clock! Totally cute!

  18. What a perfect 'ghost' story, and what a perfect little mini house :)

  19. What a fabulous story Wendy and I love that the clock is now a secret home for the little mouse. Delightful!


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