“I would see a tall, thin shadow man in the corner of the room. He would appear to be watching me. Then, he would disappear and I would hear a loud shout in my ear. I could feel breath on my skin as he scolded me.” J.K. recalled of her time in her haunted home.
“It seemed like the perfect house.”
Thus begins countless stories of ghost hauntings and terrorizing encounters that force unsuspecting homeowners to flee for safety. This was certainly the case for newlyweds J.K. and her husband, Doug.
“When we first looked at the house, we knew we wanted it instantly. Along with the modern floor plan and convenient location near our families in Northern Florida, it was in pristine condition.” Explained J.K. “The original owner of the house was an elderly man named Gary, and he was a clean freak. Every piece of furniture was covered in plastic. The floors were covered in long protective runners and there wasn’t a speck of dust to be found. It looked like a museum! At the mention of our pets, he snarled as if he had swallowed a bug.”
Gary’s realtor discreetly disclosed that he was being admitted to a hospice center after being diagnosed with a fatal condition. The sad circumstances aside, J.K. and Doug were thrilled to have found a beautiful home to begin their lives together as husband and wife.
Two months after they had moved in, J.K. experienced strange apparitions and aggressive taunting.
As J.K. went about her day and moved from room to room, her heart would stop at the continuous and startling sight of the shadow man. A tall, thin dark shadow with the distinct features of a man hovered in corners awaiting her arrival. His shouts of “Dog!” or “Sofa!” sent her into a panic as she ran to check on her canine companions. Often, she would find her dogs sleeping, soundly on the sofa. Other times, the shout seemed to indicate their need to go outside and relieve themselves as she found them waiting by the backdoor with wagging tails.
She kept her experiences to herself as Doug wasn’t even remotely open to the possibility of the existence of ghosts. Eventually, J.K. was forced to break her silence when the shadow man appeared as a full apparition to her while she was taking a shower.
After rinsing her hair, she opened her eyes to the sight of a skinny, dark mass with the subtle features of a man staring a piercing glare into her eyes.
Running, wet and screaming for her husband, she explained the ghostly intrusion and came clean. She described the repeated sightings and harrowing shouts into her ears. Doug understood her hysteria at the thought that a strange man had appeared in her shower, but tried to convince her that it was a trick of the light or simply her imagination.
As if awaiting his chance to prove his presence, the thin shadow man brazenly appeared in the shower with Doug, later that night. J.K. described his scream as deeper than hers, but the path traveled bolting from the bathroom was the same one she had previously ran.
Without admitting that ghosts exist, Doug, going forward, simply used the shower in the other bathroom.
For J.K., the apparitions and scolding continued for two more years until the couple, taking advantage of the then, booming real estate market, sold the house and upgraded to a much larger floor plan in preparation of their growing family.
The couple’s new home was ghost-free and they soon put their experiences behind them. Subsequently, Doug was now free to shower in the bathroom of his choosing.
A chance run-in with their old realtor revealed that the elderly man, Gary, had passed away just two months after selling to the newlyweds. J.K. had since accepted her ability to sense spirits or ghosts, although she was, admittedly, not entirely thrilled about it. In hindsight, she made some sense of what she now believes, was Gary’s ghost, returning to his beloved home.
“Gary’s home was his sanctuary. The plastic covers, the floor runners and you could eat off the bathroom floors. He was so attached that I believe he returned after he passed.” J.K. surprisingly assumes some responsibility for his posthumous actions. “I can see where a shedding dog on the couch could aggravate him.” She then became a bit less apologetic. “However, the shower incident was something I never recovered from. Even in my new home, I look for him when I step into the shower.”
While J.K.’s domestic life was calm and secular, she encountered another apparition while making a connection between beloved belongings and water.
J.K. managed a large pet supply store and would often arrive early in the morning to perform early care and feeding of the live animals. Typically, she and one associate would clean cages and fill water and food bowls securely behind locked doors until it was time to open the store.
“One morning I caught a glimpse of an elderly man walking along the wall of fish tanks. He was dressed in a plaid suit and a matching fedora hat. After seeing him I asked my associate why she allowed a customer into the store before opening but she explained that she hadn’t let anyone in. When I went in search of him, he was gone. That’s when I knew it was happening again; I was seeing ghosts.”
The sightings continued for another three weeks until one morning the associate confronted J.K.
“You’ve seen him too, haven’t you?”
To confirm their mutual sighting, J.K. asked, “What was he wearing?”
The young associate replied, “A plaid suit and a weird old fashioned hat. He was walking along wall with the fish tanks.”
J.K. believes that spirits and ghosts use the energy from water to manifest much like they draw from the heat in the room to appear to our senses.
“Gary would use the water from the shower while the man in the suit used the water from the aquatic tanks.”
She also believes that they were emotionally attached to their physical surroundings and objects while physically alive and returned in hopes of reclaiming them.
It was clear that Gary loved his pristine home and they were intruders. But, what of the man dressed in the plaid suit in the pet store?
J.K. explains. “My store neighbors a hospice center that houses the personal belongings of those who have passed while in hospice care. If the gentleman’s clothes were not claimed by his family after his passing, they would be sent to the center next door to be sold.” She pauses and smiles. “I’m willing to bet that he went there to find his favorite suit and hat.”
Incidentally, the wall that houses the fish tanks is the shared wall between the pet store and the hospice center.