Community Voices

With Halloween upon us, we think of ghosts and goblins, haunted house tours, caramel apples, hot apple cider and the tons of Halloween candy we’ll be passing out to trick-or-treaters.

The last couple of weeks, there have been dozens of scary movies on TV, including the usual ghost-story shows of hauntings and paranormal activity — which brings to mind a ghost story that happened to me in my late teens.

It was several years ago in early spring when I was awakened around 2 a.m. by a pounding that seemed to emanate from somewhere outside of the house.

My room was over the garage in my parents’ home, so I thought perhaps it was echoing from the floor below. It sounded like someone was hitting the side of the house or side garage door with a baseball bat, yet it seemed muffled, like a heartbeat. It reminded me of an early 1960s movie about a haunted mansion in New England.

I lay there in the dark listening and trying to figure out what it could be. I could feel my own heart beating hard and harder. Suddenly, my mother opened my bedroom door and asked me if I heard the pounding, too. I looked at her and managed to nod. By this time, I was sitting on the edge of the bed shaking with fear. The two of us looked wide-eyed at each other as we listened to the pounding until it gradually grew softer and then stopped.

Mom thought it could have been my brother banging on the door, as he sometimes forgot his key. So she went downstairs to check the front door. She even opened the door only to hear the wind blowing with no sign of my brother. Mom re-locked the door, then went to the back and side doors to check if they were secure, but all were locked tight.

The next morning, we talked about what we had heard. To Mom it sounded like someone was pounding on the front door. To me, it sounded like the pounding came from the side of the house.

What was even stranger was my mother had to step over our Springer spaniel, who was sleeping in the upstairs hall. If it had actually been my brother, or anyone else for that matter, our dog would have awakened immediately and barked.

A week later, my grandmother (my mother’s mom) passed away. Had we been warned of her impending death? One could only guess.

Months later, my mom was telling her brother about what happened. He also had a similar experience just before my grandma died, around the same time. Only he heard a loud pounding on his back door. What made him think it was something other than a prankster or one of his boys coming home late was that his boys were all home and sound asleep.

He, too, had to step over his sleeping Irish setter that was sleeping at the bottom of the stairs as he went to check the back door.

Happy Halloween!

Margaret Daum-Hill is one of several people in the Savage community who write for Community Voices.

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