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The Howler In The Storm

This incident happened way back in the '70s, but it has stuck with me to this day. I was ten years old and my Mom, Dad, Sister and I all lived with my Grandmother in a 100 year old farm house in upstate New York. My parents and my sister slept in bedrooms upstairs while my Grandmother and I had rooms on the first floor. One night in early Autumn, when bad electrical storms can still roll through the Hudson Valley, I was raised from a sound sleep by an oncoming storm. Lightning brightened my room like a strobe light. The thunder rolled and the wind picked up. With the wind there came this other sound. It made goosebumps race over my body. It was an ungoldly howling. A wailing that didn't, couldn't have come from human lips. No animal I knew could wail like that. The Howler seemed to be right outside my window.

I was terrified. I jumped out of bed and raced to my Grandmother's bedroom. She was already sitting up in bed. I climbed in next to her and pulled up the covers. "What is that, Grandma?" I asked. She assured me that it was just the wind. I knew it wasn't the wind. And I knew she knew it wasn't the wind. The wailing came around the house. It got closer. It had to be right on the front porch, right outside Grandma's window! Grandma put and arm around me and held me tight. The hollowing was right outside her window now, just a few feet away from us. I burried my face in her shoulder. After what seemed like an eternity the sound began to move away. It faded into the distance as the storm hurried on its way down the valley. Somehow, I managed to fall asleep.

Early the next morning I woke to sunlight streaming in the window. Grandma was already up. I climbed out of bed. And peaked out the window. I saw her outside already with a mop and a bucket, cleaning the porch floor. I hurried to the front door and stepped outside. From there I could see what my Grandma was cleaning. There were muddy footprints all over the floor! They were little, tiny footprints. The kind that might be made by a tolddler. I got goose bumps again. I asked Grandma what made the foot prints. She didnt' answer and she kept cleaning.

At this point my sister, a year younger then I, came out to see what I was doing. She saw the foot prints too. I mention this because thirty years later when I was telling my wife this story, my sister was able to confirm seeing those tiny foot prints. She didn't hear the Howler in the storm.

Dave748 Dave748 46-50, M 55 Responses Aug 20, 2010

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The Ban Shee. People here in Ireland swear that she exists. She forewarns of death. Ive never heard her, but my dad said he did on the night a neighbour died. The 3 knocks on the door, was a warning that followed my mothers family. There would be 3 knocks on the door and when they tried to open it, it would stay jammed shut for a few minutes. It happened quite a few times. I have had two experiences and one where there were others around who heard it too.
Who knows, but its interesting and nice to think that in this modern age there still this spiritual thing in our make up.

I agree. I never heard of the three knocks phenomenon.

I was raised in the Hudson Valley too :)

Where did you live?


Yes, I believe so.

Bean an si (woman of fairies). I am skeptical of anything supernatural, but I had my own experience a few weeks ago, a man I knew to see occasionally came into my dream one night. I had not seen him for months but there he was in my dream. There was chanting in the background. The next day I visited my parents. My dad wasn't there. He was gone to that mans funeral. I was incredulous. He was only fifty. I told my dad I had dreamt about him the previous night. My dad went quiet but later admitted he must have visited me .

An interesting fact that lends credence to the Banshee theory is that I have Irish heritage. I didn't discover this until I visited only two years ago.

I am Irish born and bred.

You live in Ireland?

Yes in sunny south east !

That is where my ancestors hail from. Coughlin's from County Cork.

That is south west

Oh, sorry. I suppose I should know West from East!

No bother. Go n eiri an ta leat . Cupla focal Gaelic !

I listen to Gaelic music. I love it.

I suggest Clannad hauntingly beautiful used in a lot of films

I know of them. Very lovely music. My favorite band is a Scottish one, Capercaillie.

( I used to dispense his medication - the man was epileptic )

He must have had high regard for you and included you amongst the friends he would say goodbye to on his passing.Many other people would have had that dream as well.

I hope so . I wasn't a close friend of his but I sensed his loneliness and I always made a fuss of him to make him feel that he had friends. I dispensed his meds and always sat with him to see how he was. A youngish man ... He's ten foot under now and am sad.

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I did ask u if you were aware it was a banshee . Had a recent experience a young man died last sat. Had not seen him for several months. Yet he was in the most mundane of my dreams but there was a shrill bell sound in my head and I woke up . Two days later I met my dad and he told me he'd just been to his funeral. I was incredulous I had to sit down. I told my dad of my dream. He said " he was visiting you "

I think that young man was visiting you.

Scary but oh so true my dad was convinced too

Its a sign that death isn't the end. Good news indeed.

Wow is this real?

Yes, this really happened to me.

Dude. That is an amazing story. :) Scary sh** right there. :D

Scared me, I'll tell ya.

I would imagine. That world of unscientific stuff exists. I've had lots of weird stuff happen, too.

What has happened to you?

Albany. Are you familiar with the area?

Thank you! I've never encountered the howler again. I live in that same old house now. My Dad left to me when he passed in 2007.

Good luck Dave!

Nope! I'll just have to rely on my Louisville Slugger and prayer! :-)

They're not going to alert you to the Howler! lol

I have four cats, actually. :-)

I don't like the City either. But suburbia suits me fine. I always took my kids up to her farm during the summer. I found all that darkness too much. I love Chatham downtown. Very artsy. Lots of great little shops. I hope you have a dog or two living with you up there. Great place for them to live and to protect you.

Not too far from Chatham! It is a nice place to live. You know, my experience was the opposite of yours. When I lived in the city for a while I could never get used to all the lights!

Is that anywhere near Chatham, New York? I have a sister up there. Very isolated but beautiful. I don't think I could be comfortable with all the darkness at night. I need my streetlights!

I've heard all of those animals at one time or another. This was different.

Well that's just plain old creepy. That's why I prefer suburbia. Could it have been a wolf, coyote or a bear?

So creepy!! I wonder if he showed up there again one day?

I am there. Waiting.


With my wife.

Oh good..I suppose :)

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Hudson Valley.... Ulster County?

North of Ulster. Albany county.

I went to Albany county yesterday.Was up and around Berne .Your story surely fits that landscape.

It is lovely this time of year. I hope you enjoyed your visit.

Very lovely !We were going to Vorman's nose

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I envy you that. I am very interesting in my Celtic heritage. When the Coughlins came to America they married into the Kelso family. So I've got Scots and Irish in me.

wow , I love your stories, very interesting!

Thanks. I have a few more experiences to share.

awesome, I look forward to reading about it :) thanks for sharing.

You are most welcome.

Very good story, it kept my interest throughout. The goosebumps while reading were a plus, too :)
Thanks for sharing :)

Good read. Thanks for sharing.

You are most welcome.

Good story-will you be in my circle?

Thank you and yes I will

Very well written.

Thank you!

who do you think was the little toddler?

I think it could have been one of the shee.

Very scary experience, and your writing skill is very good! Even a bit poetic!

Thank you, I'm pleased you enjoyed it. My Grandfather was born in Quebec.

You are welcome. Quebec is such a nice place isn't it?

Yes, it is a lovely place.

yikes, i can imagine that would be scary for an adult, let alone a small child!

It made a huge impression on me.

I want to read more that was good

I will be posting more soon. Thanks!.

Welcome I'll have my hubby tell me when you post more. Looking forward to it


Wow! I have a similar experience at my great grandmother's house when I was a kid.

Did you? Tell me about it.

had a similar experience....foot prints on am impossible place where no1 can possibly walk it was a tight corner in a basement... size of about a 8 year old