His Name Was John

My Dad was a self-employed antique dealer. He started when my Mom was pregnant with me by collecting clocks and repairing them in his garage. Eventually, he started going to auctions and estate sales and our family home became the antique store. When I was about 10 he built a two story barn next to our house and transferred the business next door. I grew up around old things. Creepy furniture with grotesque snarling lion heads or medieval faces protruding from them. Old books and faded pictures of people who never smiled. Crude medical instruments you wouldn't even consider using on your dog nowadays. I remember once finding a photo album of tin type pictures...all of people in their caskets. It was some kind of "Book of the Dead." My younger sister and I always played among these artifacts, careful not to break anything. At a very young age both my sister and I "saw things" we could not explain. By the time we were teens though....our ghostly visitors had pretty much faded into the past. Until "John" showed up. I was in my early 20's and working for my Dad. The first time I saw him I thought he was the UPS man. I saw a tall figure in a completely brown outfit standing at the back door. I waved and stuck a finger in the air to say "I'll be right there!", turned to set down what I was carrying, anf turned back toward the door. He was gone! I walked outside and looked toward the road for the large brown truck and there was none. Never thought anything about it except maybe I was losing it. Until I started seeing the same tall, brown clad man everywhere. Fleeting glimpses, sometimes with a brown military hat. I never told anyone. My sister came home late one night and was fumbling with her keys at the back door. She dropped them in the darkness and cursed about how she couldn't see where the light switch was. She remembers saying..." Dammit, I wish I could see!" The light over her head suddenly switched on. The switch on the wall in the on position. My Dad thought he saw a customer in a brown suit go around the back of the store and enter the back door. He thought it odd since no one but us were allowed back there. He went out to find nothing. My Mom kept hearing the kitchen cupboard doors slamming in the middle of the night. She thought my sister was having a midnight snack. She would get out of bed to find an empty kitchen with cupboard doors wide open. There were mysterious footsteps from upstairs in the antique shop and a large cold spot where we felt our hair stand on end. There were items that would come up missing. I would blame my sister for taking them and we'd argue. I yelled at the ghost that I named "John" to put it back because it wasn't funny anymore and the next day...it was exactly where I left it. Eventually, my entire family found it a normal part of our lives. We thought maybe he was attached to a certain item in the shop that meant a great deal to him. We believed he was killed in the war because of his brown military like outfit. Our local newspaper did an article on it for Halloween one year but about a year later our "John" disappeared. We figured he left with the item when it was sold to someone else. So...possibly someone out there bought more than than bargained for. Regardless.....it gave us all a new perspective for the spirit world. Now whenever something out of the ordinary happens....something unexplainable....I think of our friendly ghost. I truly believe that anything is possible and that we are never alone. 

emptyheart emptyheart
41-45, F
6 Responses Apr 2, 2008

i really got goose bumps at one point in this great story.<br />
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they took pictures of the dead because it was really hard to get a portrait of live people, and that was the fashion. because the way the old cameras worked there was a slower shutter speed so anything that moved was blurry. i heard they sometimes would drug children to stop them from moving, just prop them up in a chair.

Thank you for sharing .................God bless you..................:)

love ghost stories, glad this had a good ending!

Very good story. Thank you for sharing it.

It was a cassette tape of a song that my sister and I were playing over and over and over. We were trying to learn the words so I guess you could say we over-played it. Maybe he was tired of listening to it and needed a break! Giggle!

This story was really gripping, and spooky! I personally hate those "Books of the Dead," I saw one in the movie, 'The Others' and it freaked me out because I'd never heard of them until than. However, somehow, I still have a weird interest in them.What was the item that "John" wanted and took with him?