Photo courtesy of Stacey Humphreys and Jimmy Smith.
As reported in one of my earlier blogs, March 6, 2020 was one of the most hallmarking days of my life. It was a night when a home of grandeur in my eyes was featured on the Travel Channel in an episode of, “Haunting in the Heartland.” More significantly, it was a night when I got to view the episode with my friends who own the home. Getting to be with them was the most rewarding component of the entire evening, and it was without doubt one of the very grandest nights of my life. Just as with another haunted property I got to make a part of my life, it has been the people who have owned these homes and given them identities that have imparted to me the most reward when speaking of the trek of ghost chasing. My life has been made so much better by knowing these individuals. And, as mentioned beforehand, the evening was my chance to revisit a hallway of mystery that Steve Shippy prominently mentioned in his airing on the Travel Channel.
It is safe to say that as I erred on the side of defeatism in my earlier forecasts, Beulah, the resident ghost of the hallway of Linden Hill and its adjoining architecture, won the March 6th showdown. Beulah has the upper hand in all things contested. If she makes herself known, she wins by confounding the mind of her mortal challenger. And, if she doesn’t make herself known, she wins by leaving the open-ended question as to when she might make a return appearance someday? Unfortunately, for my yearning eyes, she opted not to reveal herself on March 6th by leaving another boggling remnant of an account associated with a hallway of questions. However, I think Beulah did leave her imprint on the evening by winning more than just a cowboy style confrontation in a narrow corridor. She also won the night by having her story told, and it’s because of my belief in the power of story that I am more than happy to concede the victory to Beulah.
Yes, there are many different dimensions to consider when hosting a discussion about ghosts. The role of story is one, and investigation is another. The date of March 6th was meant to be Beulah’s night, and I am glad that it was. My emphasis on investigation and evidence took a backseat to the more dominating feature of the evening. Instead, a ghost had its stage expanded to that of a worldwide platform. Whether talking about Yellow Fever victims, or about the plight of a daughter who suffered from mental illness, the ghost of, Beulah, came to be the spokesperson of that piece of the netherworldly realm hosted by the house of Linden Hill.
The storytelling, at its core, became much bigger than my affinity for pressuring a ghost to avail itself, if it so exists. My aspirations became secondary in their projection upon the evening. Instead, the story itself became free of the walls of Linden Hill and was shared with the cosmos. After getting to know the home’s current owners and the granddaughters who once lived in the home, Linden Hill is not, in its entirety, a dark tale. Although lightless aspects of the story do certainly exist, I state my conclusions based on two factors. For one, the current owners have done such an amazing and noble job of turning Linden Hill into a place of goodwill, in defiance of some of the more morbid points connected with its lore. And, two, I had a lovely conversation with one of the family line’s granddaughters. She made reference to the fact that the home had been a place of refuge and love for her and her sisters. The presence of a ghost merely added to the specialness of the family bond.
Therefore, I can find a way to be grateful that I have gone yet another evening without seeing a ghost. A fellow must know when to bow gracefully in repose. If selfishness enters the picture from any angle, the beauty of the discussion about ghosts becomes tarnished. Beulah’s night was much more important than my own. A rendezvous in the hallway of intrigue is now forced to be pushed back in rescheduling, if ever even reintroduced at all.
But, as is prevalently often in the case of ghosts, deference may be necessary. Where failure is encountered today, there is the ever persistent placing of faith in the hopes of tomorrow. I believe I can attest to that of which I speak. Last Friday evening, while at the home of Linden Hill, and while sitting in loss to giving Beulah the chance to reveal herself to me in her well-walked hallway, something unexpected happened. I was asked if I would like to try the house around the corner? It is said to have a ghost, too, and it is reported to have somewhat of a nasty attitude. But, unlike Beulah, its story has not been told. Needless to say, I accepted the invitation, and a showdown, minus a hallway, has again begun.
As I sit and type these words, I just heard a noise….
I am now at the house around the corner.