Just in time for Halloween, I heard a wonderful ghost experience from an audience member at the May Memorial Library in Burlington, North Carolina, last week.
It was the true story of a Ghost Cricket. No kidding.
I was talking about the ways people experience ghosts, you know, by seeing one, hearing one, feeling an icy presence on the stairs... There are even ghosts you can smell.
I also had spoken about the number of times people have told me they dreamed a ghost of a recently-passed loved one who, in the dream, tells them where something (often money) is hidden.
When they get up the next day, they look in this dream-revealed location and that something (again, often money) is found. Apparently, it troubles people to no end when they die and forget to tell a loved one where to find the rainy-day cash that was hidden away.
Because I have heard explicit examples of this type of ghost visit, I advise people when they do see a ghost to be sure to ask it where the money is.
And up popped a hand from the seats in Burlington followed by the woman's story of a cricket ghost that appeared in her life.
A cricket shows up (well, the sound of a cricket) following the death of a woman's father. She has been staying in her father's house through the last days of his final illness.
The woman follows the cricket chirps all through the house for a period of three days. There's just one circket chriping, but it leads her over the span of time throughout the house.
Finally, she isolates the circket in her father's bedroom. Having drawn her there, the circket is no longer heard in other rooms of the house.
On the second day, the cricket only starts chirping when she enters his room. She leaves the bedroom and goes back. Each time she opens the door, the cricket starts chriping.
No matter where she stands in the room, though, she can't quite tell where the chirps are coming from. Until the third day.
One the third day, the cricket is clearly chriping away inside the dresser. Once she approaches the dresser, it shuts up. She opens and closes each dresser drawer in sequence. When she opens the fourth drawer, the circket chirps.
She takes all the socks and underwear out of the drawer. No cricket. But when she closes the empty drawer, the cricket starts up again. So she removes the drawer from the dresser and sets it on the bed next to the items of clothing.
The empty drawer starts chirping. Frustrated and thinking she might be going nuts, the lady finally turns the drawer upside down. And, you guessed it, there's the cricket. She reaches for it and it jumps away.
"I saw it, then it just left," she told me. "It just wasn't there any longer."
But something else was.
A cardstock business-size envelope had been taped to the bottom of the drawer. Inside, the woman finds a certain number [I won't say the amount here for privacy's sake] of hundred-dollar bills.
Over the course of several weeks, no other money was found while clearing out her father's estate. Oh, and the cricket that "wasn't there any longer" was never heard chriping inside the house again.