Jersey’s untold ghost stories: Part two
This is part one of a five part series leading up to Halloween weekend. Each day we offer a true story as told to us by a NJ101.5 listener of things they cannot explain. They are in no way paid for their stories and they swear to be telling the truth.
Catherine is a woman not easily rattled. In the 90's she lived in a house in Pine Hill. It was an older home, built in the late 30's, early 40's. She lived there with her husband and daughters. She heard nothing unusual about the house and therefore was not predisposed to any fanciful notions of poltergeists.
One night, as a steady rain drummed on the roof, she woke with the feeling of someone nearby. She sat up and looked about. There was nothing in the room. But then through her open bedroom door she saw it. A man, about 5 foot 8 or 5 foot 9, standing at the top of the stairs. He was looking peacefully into the other bedroom, the way a parent might, to check on his sleeping children. As if he too felt a presence, he turned his head to look at her. Their eyes met. He simply gave a friendly smile. His hair was brown, parted on the side. He wore glasses. He was middle aged, late fifties. She noticed he was wearing a grey work uniform, the kind you might wear in a factory, with a name tag embroidered but she couldn't make out the name. He was right there, smiling at her, yet he was somewhat translucent. She could see him and she could see through him. After his quick smile, he just faded to nothing.
Catherine shook it off and didn't know what to make of it. Was it a trick of the light? A trick of the mind? She went back to sleep and didn't tell anyone. Didn't tell her husband because she didn't want to hear him call her crazy. Didn't tell her daughters because she didn't want to freak them out.
Time passed, and another rainy night came. The same thing happened. The same man. Same grey work uniform. Same smile. This should be enough to either make you doubt your sanity or fill your heart with dread. But she never felt scared of it. She felt a certain friendly warmth. More days later, and again on a night when it was raining outside, it happened a third time. She decided there was definitely something in this house. Yet she thought it best to keep her mouth shut and she never told anyone.
Finally, one night when she was sitting downstairs with her daughters, on a night oddly enough when it was raining again, she remembered her 12 year old daughter was the only one who hadn't completed her chores. Catherine told her to go up and clean the bathroom and off the girl went. A few moments later she was half calling, half crying for Catherine. She raced to her daughter to find her pointing to the bottom of the stairs. She could barely get out the words to tell Catherine she had just seen a strange man standing at the foot of the steps.
"What did he look like?"
She was told what she knew she would hear. Brown hair, glasses, middle aged, wearing a grey work uniform. Only then did she tell her family what she had been seeing herself. She calmed her daughter down and explained she felt no bad intent from whatever, whoever this was. That it just seemed to be somebody who was lost but friendly. It took awhile to calm the girl down, and probably not completely, but they eventually went on with their night without further incident.
The next day Catherine ran into their neighbor who had lived there even when the previous owners had. She told her they had had quite a night and went on to explain what had happened. Telling a neighbor they were experiencing something so hard to believe was difficult. But all she had gotten out was that they had been seeing "a middle aged man with brown hair." The neighbor interrupted. "Let me guess? Late 50's? Hair parted on the side, wearing glasses? And he had on a grey work uniform?"
The neighbor said it had been there for some time. She said his name was Anthony, and that he was a really good guy, but his wife was quite an angry, bitter woman. She used to constantly berate Anthony and give him a hard time about every little thing. One night he came home from work, wearing that same grey work uniform, said hello to his family and sat down in a chair in the living room and suddenly died. Others had known about the apparition, but they never told Catherine or anyone else in the family for the same reason Catherine had never told her husband or daughters. They didn't want to be ridiculed, and they didn't want the new family to be scared.