In all the years of being a mortician, I have never seen a ghost, at least I don’t think I have. Talking about ghosts can be tricky. Did I see or hear something? Maybe I did, maybe I didn’t. Far too often people think that ghosts crowd around the funeral home and set up residency. My understanding of where ghosts set up camp is where they were most comfortable in life, at their home for instance, or their favorite places to visit, or even where they died. This makes more sense than ghosts hanging around the funeral home, a place that they have probably never visited before, around people they have never met. There is an argument that ghosts may stay with their body until it’s buried, sure, why not? Wherever a spirit, ghost or haunt ends up, I promise you I don’t see them at the funeral home, or do I?
I lived in an apartment above a small mom and pop funeral home. It was a really big space. There were three bedrooms and two full bathrooms that branched off a long and narrow hallway. There was a huge living room with big windows overlooking the parking lot and a small dining room and kitchen area. Plenty of room to share but I had it to myself, all alone. Of course, there were stories from previous employees who had lived in the apartment. There was supposed to be a small boy, that was mean and a trickster, who lived in the blue room (a small room painted dark ocean blue, it was mainly used for storage at the time), and there was a story of a woman in white that walked up and down the hallway. Bah! I had no concerns that these supposed spirits were fixtures in this space that I lived in. I do believe that the setting was ripe for these types of experiences though, apartment above a funeral home, dark hallway, dimly lit rooms and dark paint, these things lend to the perception of “otherworldly” things. I imagine the previous residents, who were also all alone during long dark nights, heard the nighttime creaks of an old building in the late hours and let their imagination run away with them. So, of course I dismissed the stories and settled in to the space.
To prove my point that there were no ghosts in the apartment, I decided to inspect the blue room. It was such a dingy place and the overhead light didn’t work, so I plugged in a lamp that gave off an eerie glow, throwing shadows into the corners, it just wasn’t enough light to penetrate the deep darkness of the room. The walls had holes from pictures that had hung on them from previous years and dings and scratches from people moving furniture around and not being careful. Someone had written on the walls, just drawings of things, I don’t even remember what they were. There was mismatched furniture piled high on one wall and boxes of old invoices and papers stacked from years of operating a mortuary. I can see where the stories had come from, the dark color, the dinginess, the shadows. It was a creepy room and cold, colder than the rest of the apartment. After spending some time in this room alone, I was satisfied that the stories were unfounded, turned off the lights and left the room but kept the door slightly ajar, just to prove I wasn’t afraid. Inky black was all you could see through the slightly opened door (even in the middle of the day, the light could not break through the darkness in there), I could feel the cold air from that room every time I walked passed it, so now due to the creep factor, I decided to close the door and ignore the room.
One evening I thought to do something productive. I loved taking pictures in cemeteries and now had collected quite a few of them and I felt it a good time to start printing these pictures out to make room on my camera. So, I fired up the printer. I created a queue of my favorite pictures to send to my small and very slow printer, it was so slow it took almost three minutes just to print one page (that might be a bit of an exaggeration). I got the printing started and headed out to the grocery store to avoid the painful wait of watching one line at a time as the little machine generated my pictures. When I got back to the apartment, I walked into the kitchen (the printer was on the kitchen table) and saw that my cemetery prints were turned around and upside down on the tray, a couple of them were even on the floor, like a wind had blown them. It was curious but I attributed this to a gust of wind created when I came home and opened the door from the outside. I knew that this was not really possible though, due to the fact that the exterior door was down a long hall that branched off of the main hallway and much too far from the kitchen, however, that was the only explanation I could think of. So, I started the task of picking up my prints and loving the way they turned out. As I picked up and looked at each one, I noticed that a couple of them had fingerprints along the edges (front and back), It was like someone with ink on their hands had held them and left the mark of their fingers. They were clear fingerprints, with the lands and grooves clearly showing where the fingertips had held the papers, I had no explanation for this phenomenon. I really didn’t know what to think. I couldn’t imagine anyone would have come in to the apartment so late at night just to check out my prints, and if someone did, why on earth would they scatter the pages and most curious why would their hands have ink on them?! I was baffled. In my reverie, I held these pages to examine them and turned around toward the hallway, I looked up and there she was! At the very back of the hallway was a woman in a white dress! I saw her clearly, I froze, slowly she started making her way towards me, almost floating. I quickly looked down for one more glance at my fingerprinted papers and when I looked back up, she was gone! She had just vanished!
I knew that there was no way I could have seen this, there were no ghosts in this place, I had not just seen a woman in white floating down the hallway near the room that I slept in! It wasn’t a scary experience like most people tell when they have seen this sort of thing, I didn’t feel threatened, I remember that she felt curious of me. Now whether I made that feeling up or not is certainly debatable, yet, that is what I felt at the time. I still don’t have an explanation, I cannot attribute this experience to a sheet hanging from a doorway or over tiredness or lack of food or too much alcohol. I question myself even now, how I saw her, how she could have been in my apartment.
Sadly, I no longer have these papers, they were lost along with many of my things during the years of moving and exes, so I cannot look at the fingerprints again and search for more explanations. So, are there spirits, ghosts or haunts wandering around at the funeral home? I have seen no evidence of that, or have I?