Excerpted from Real
Ghosts, Restless Spirits, and Haunted Places, Second Edition
In the mid-1990’s, during one of our frequent speaking
tour engagements in which we lecture, conduct seminars, make local radio
and television appearances as well as do book signings, my husband
Brad and I had just completed several events on the West Coast and were
about to land at the airport in the beautiful state
The Washington event was sponsored by our friend
the late Benjamin Smith who picked us up from the airport, briefed us
on the logistics and updates regarding the next few days of our seminars,
and then with an extra twinkle in his eye enthusiastically told us of
a surprise he’d arranged for our overnight lodging. Ben could
hardly contain his excitement, but he made it clear that he didn’t want
to tell us too much about the castle where we would be guests because
he didn’t want to influence our opinions or experience of the place.
We had known Ben for quite some time, so during the
last segue of the drive from the airport enroute to our destination
we chatted, sharing old times and catching up on things before getting
back to the business at hand. As we neared Bellingham, it was
already far later in the evening than we had hoped to arrive, as inclement
weather, plane delays, and the like put us in past dark and served to
remind us yet again why we arrive in a city the day before our scheduled
There was little doubt to us that Ben had worked
long and hard to put this seminar together in his usual expert and efficient
manner, so Brad and I were certain his surprise had a great deal of
thought behind it as well. As we approached the “castle,” Ben expressed
his regret that we had not been able to view it first during the daylight
hours. Any question he might have had regarding our approval of
this overnight stay as opposed to our normal hotel accommodations was
dashed before he was able to complete the rest of his sentence in declaring,
“This is it.” I let out a squeal of delight as Brad simultaneously said,
“Wow! You weren’t kidding.”
We could see why Ben referred to the Bed and Breakfast
as a castle. Even through the black hues of a dark
and stormy night the proud, looming structure betrayed its magnificence
as it beckoned us into its Victorian elegance and enticed us with her
secrets. It almost seemed destined that we should arrive on a
stormy night with the stage set for an experience we were never to forget.
We entered through the kitchen where the owners greeted
us warmly, expressed their delight at our being there, and graciously
made us feel at home. Promising a more complete tour of the mansion
the next day when we wouldn’t disturb the other guests, (many who were
most likely already asleep), we were escorted to the room reserved for
us --passing the most incredible antiques and luxurious decor at every
twist and turn along the way through the halls and up many stairs.
During their many global expeditions, the owners
spared no expense in acquiring some of the most elaborate and unusual
antiques I had ever seen. And all these treasures had been carefully
selected and transported to the Bellingham Bed and Breakfast.
Representing what seemed to be every culture from the farthest corners
of the earth, there was nary a square inch that didn’t have some interesting
intrigue or history associated with it and a story to tell.
Differing themes embellished the guest rooms --each
one decorated in an elaborate, unusual motif and eclectic style reminiscent
of a bygone era, but styled with immense creativity.
After showing us the bathroom we would share with
other rooms on our floor, they opened the door to our most amazing room.
The wallpaper, drapes, bedspreads, lampshades, overstuffed lounging
chairs, as well as a canopy of sorts over the head of the bed, were
all done in a matching pattern with deep blue hues and an Asian flair.
Although lush, the room was illuminated by low lighting and it was somewhat
dark, so it was suggested that we leave a light on all night, in case
we needed to get up. We said our goodnights as we settled into
our room after a very tiring day of traveling. At that time in
our lives, we were traveling so much that it wasn’t unusual for Brad
and I to awaken in the night and forget which city we were in--so we
readily agreed to the wisdom of leaving a light on. We chose the
floor lamp with a large Victorian shade next to an overstuffed chair
on the other side of the room from our bed.
It was late and we were exhausted, so knowing we
were going to be up early, we settled into the comfy feather bed and
promptly fell into a deep sleep. A few hours later, I was awakened
to the pull of the bed covers to Brad’s side of the bed. I started
to tug some back to cover me, then noticed that Brad seemed restless.
Thinking he was just trying to get comfortable in a new bed, I fell
Once again was awakened, only this time when I rolled
over and looked at Brad, I saw that he was sitting up on his side of
the bed, holding his head in his hands. Thinking he must have
a bad headache or not be feeling well, I asked him if he was okay.
Getting no immediate response, I asked again, only a bit louder this
time. Suddenly I was startled beyond belief when Brad answered
me--from a prone position still under the covers and apparently not
happily awakened by me!
“Weren’t you just sitting up on the side of the bed”
I asked somewhat confused.
“What are you talking about?” Brad muttered.
“I’m trying to sleep!”
Shrugging it off as being overtired, I watched as
Brad pulled the covers back over his head and went back to sleep.
With his movement of pulling the covers over his head I could clearly
see he definitely was not sitting on the bed--now at least--and I drifted
back to sleep.
Sometime later, I awakened again and saw that Brad
was not in bed. Looking around the room, I saw him sitting in
the chair next to the lighted lamp. His demeanor was grim and
it looked as if he was in a great deal of pain with his head down --cradled
in his hands--almost like he was crying. Concerned,
I cried out to him. “Honey, what’s wrong? Do you have a headache?
Can I get you some aspirin, water or something?”
There beneath the covers next to me, grumbling with
great dissatisfaction that I disturbed his sleep yet again, Brad uttered
loudly, “I am trying to sleep, for heaven’s sake!”
With the sound of Brad’s voice, the solid image of
the man in the chair vanished! I dared not say another word.
At this point I was grateful that Brad fell asleep immediately, but
I lay there for a few minutes, pondering what in the world was going
This strange state of affairs continued on and off
on three or four more occasions. Two of the times I distinctly
saw Brad--or so I thought--pacing the room, back and forth, back and
forth, each time acting extremely upset and disturbed. Another
time, he was sitting in the chair again, holding his head and shaking
Finally, convinced that Brad was just not wanting
to worry me, I blurted out shrilly and loudly enough so that I was worried
that I’d awakened whoever was in the rooms next to ours: “Honey,
please, please ...tell me what’s wrong!”
With that outburst we were both awakened to a shocking
realization that the physical being I thought was Brad in distress was
not him at all. Aware that Brad was now really awake, I told him
what I had been seeing and experiencing. Without too much further
discussion, we decided if we were going to be at all coherent for our
lectures the next day, we’d better try to get some sleep. Suggesting
maybe we both had better take some aspirin, somehow, we managed to doze
off once more.
Mercifully, another few hours passed, allowing us
to sleep peacefully, until I was awakened by Brad’s hand clasping mine
ever so gently under my pillow. Thinking it odd that he would
awaken me, yet guessing he was just reassuring me--or himself --that
we were both really still there in bed, I squeezed his hand.
Dozing off, I felt the squeeze of my hand again.
This time, I raised up my head from the pillow, sputtering, “Why are
you grabbing my hand?” Then looking over at Brad, I saw that he
was facing the other direction with his arms and hands on the opposite
side. There was no way he could have just squeezed my hand, and
furthermore, he was sound asleep.
How I was able to drift off to sleep again, I really
don’t know, but I did, and thankfully, Brad didn’t seem to awaken even
with yet another of my outbursts. However, the tranquility was not to
A short time later, an electrical sensation pierced
my entire body as I was literally shocked into feeling something or
someone trying to get my full attention with yet another squeeze of
my hand. This time it was with a jolt that startled me to
the point of full consciousness. I was wide awake.
With total wakefulness, an awareness hit me and I absolutely knew that
the hand that had been squeezing mine under my pillow was a baby’s hand.
I could literally feel teeny, tiny fingers wrap around mine and give
a gentle squeeze. Seeing that Brad was still lying still and facing
the other direction, I knew that even if he had been capable of grabbing
my hand and rolling over fast in hopes of not being detected as some
kind of joke, his hand was ten times larger than the one I felt clasping
Just before the owners of the bed and breakfast had
said goodnight to us after showing us to our room, they described a
spectacular breakfast feast of homemade goodies that sounded too good
to miss. The meal was served in a formal manner in the dining
room at an appointed time, and as I glanced at the clock after this
final rude awakening, I knew it was time to get ready if we were to
be there on schedule. Sitting bolt upright with the many occurrences
of the night surging through my mind and body, I didn’t quite know what
to do next.
Brad rolled over and upon seeing me sitting up said,
“I guess it’s time to get up if we are to make that early morning breakfast.”
“Honey,” I said, “I don’t know how much you remember
of what happened last night, but I have to tell you about it.”
Quickly I described the events from beginning of
the evening to the present --ending with the squeeze of my hand by what
I felt to be a baby’s hand. I asked if he would convey my apologies
to our hosts for not making the breakfast, as I had looked forward to
it, but that I felt a guidance to stay and pray and meditate.
Brad’s first concern was for me, that I would need
to eat before our lecture and seminar, but he was persuaded that whatever
was going on was indeed more important for me to figure out. Acknowledging
that he remembered my awakening him with the weird proclamations of
his pacing, his sitting holding his head, and his squeezing my hand,
he asked what I thought it had really taken place since it certainly
was not he who had done these things. My answer was that I needed
to go into prayer and find out.
Brad dressed and went on down, telling me he’d try
to at least bring me coffee or something to nibble on. Telling
him not to worry, I went into prayer for guidance. It came to
me that there was an infant that truly was clasping onto me for help
and that it was somehow “stuck” between worlds not knowing where it
was. I filled and surrounded myself with light and a prayer for
protection as I was urged to pray the baby into the light. Praying
that God’s will be done and that I be led to what to do next, I felt
a baby’s hand grab onto me again and then felt the arms of a blessed
angel gently lift the infant with immense love and understanding and
carry it off to free it from the earthly realm of confusion.
An hour and a half must have passed before Brad entered
the room to find me still in prayer. His presence was exuberant
as he could hardly wait to tell me of the discussion that had ensued
at the breakfast table. Brad and Ben met before the others joined
in, so in addressing Ben’s surprise at my not being there, Brad explained
a few of my experiences. When the others, including the owners
of the bed and breakfast, were all gathered at the table, Brad explained
my absence by saying that I had a rather sleepless night. Ben
laughed and added that he wasn’t surprised at what I had picked up on,
said, “Wow, that’s why we wanted to put you guys in that room!”
With that, the owners of the mansion were too intrigued
to allow the details to wait, so they asked if Brad would mind sharing
what I had happen throughout the night. As Brad was recounting
the rest of the discussion to me, my first impulse was that of dismay
that this strange uncanny episode of mine was being made public when
I wasn’t even certain of what it was. But then, when Brad described
what the owners had told him at breakfast what had really happened in
that bedroom to the original owners and builders of the mansion, my
heart skipped a beat!
The original owner’s love and devotion for his wife
took form in the physical manifestation of his building the mansion
for her, and the two of them had eagerly hoped to fill it with the laughter
of children. The expectant joy on the night that his wife was
giving birth to their first child was suddenly turned to horror when
what seemed at first to be the normal screams of child labor changed
to screams from the midwife at something gone very wrong. As the
cry of a newborn baby taking its first breath of a life beginning, the
wailing and weeping of the midwife revealed the giving up of the last
breaths of the beloved mother’s life. The husband watched grief-stricken
as his dear wife’s life was terminated in what seemed a sacrificial
act of giving birth. It was as though this terrible scene was
etched in the memory banks of the very walls of this bedroom where the
terrible tragedy took place. It may have been that I had picked
up on the extreme emotions of a sorrow and grief beyond measure.
It was said that the owner was in such despair that
he constantly paced his bedroom, back and forth, and frequently sat
in his chair, holding his head in disbelief and anguish.
The second tragedy that I may have experienced was
when the child, while still an infant, succumbed to the dreaded Scarlet
Fever and died in its crib in the middle of the night in that very room.
The Father’s grief was so overwhelming that he was able to do little
more than pace and pace and sit on the side of the bed or in his chair,
holding his head, and no doubt his heart was broken.
Later, I was asked by the owners of the mansion,
who attended our lecture, if I would mind telling my story first before
we began our presentation. Because the owners had found it amazing
that without any prior knowledge whatsoever of the history of the house
or of the previous owners that I had seemed to pick up on so many details
as though I had seen it as it had occurred originally. Whether
it was an experience where I traveled back in time or was sensitive
enough to perceive an energy that was recorded in the ethers of
time and space --like a record or tape --or if ghostly manifestations
had called my attention to their unfortunate tragedy, it was without
any doubt a sleepless night in Bellingham--and one that neither Brad
nor I will ever forget!