Friday, April 8, 2011

Our Ghost Story!

It is with much apprehension that we attempt to relate our "Ghost Story" at Bunker Hill Vineyard and Winery. We understand that there are many people that are ardent skeptics and believe that ghosts are not real. For most of our lives, we, too, were skeptics. However, having experienced what we've experienced, our opinions have changed. By telling our Ghost Story, we are hopeful that someone can tell us 'WHY' it is happening and, that by telling our ghost story, we can empower others to tell theirs.

Our first ghostly experience occurred about one year ago. Lenora was in our wine fermenting room, kneeling down on the floor checking out a carboy of wine when she was "tapped" on her shoulder. Thinking that it was me trying to get her attention, she responded..."yes, what do you want"? When she received no answer, she turned around and no one was there. I wasn't even in the building!
A week or so later, Lenora was in the wine press room washing some fermenting buckets, when she heard her name..."Lenora"... clearly and loudly addressed from outside the window. I was not in the area. In fact, I never address her by her first name. It's always in a term of endearment.
For about four months, everything seemed to return to normal. Then, one evening, during grape picking season, around August, the ghostly experiences returned.
Outside our wine processing room and along the edge of the woods, is a small spot where our daughter/ granddaughters cat was buried. Our granddaughter had made and placed a small, rectangular, cement tombstone over the burial spot (see photo).

 The cat had been buried since 2008. On this night, Lenora had walked outside of the processing room and was startled to see that the tombstone had moved approx. 10 feet. The ground under the tombstone was disturbed. Thinking that an animal might have moved it, she replaced the tombstone and went back inside the processing room and to work. I was working in the wine fermenting room and was unaware of all that had transpired. A few minutes later, Lenora went back outside and noticed that the cat's tombstone had moved, again. This time, she left everything alone and got me. Indeed, the tombstone was laying 10 feet from the burial spot. I replaced the tombstone. I suggested that we set up our wildlife camera and focus it at the tombstone. It was motion sensitive. Having set up the wildlife camera, we were confident that if it moved again, we would capture its movement. We went back inside the wine processing building and called our daughter. When we related what had happened, our daughter became very quiet. It seemed that, earlier that day, that our granddaughter had drawn some pictures of the cat with some text 'expressing how much that she missed the cat and wishing that she could see her, again'. That was...eerie!
After hanging up the phone, we went back outside and, Yep, you guessed it...the tombstone was moved and was 10 feet away. A cursory check of the camera showed that several photos were taken and our 'new' battery needed to be replaced. We took the disc inside the house and opened it on our computer. Every photo that was taken was a 'washed out white'. No details could be seen.
The next day, we replaced the battery in the wildlife camera. Nothing else happened...for a while.
Around our vineyard, we have numerous solar lights. At night, they beautifully highlight our drive and wine storage and wine accessory buildings. A few nights after the last occurrence of the tombstone moving, several of our solar lights were moved, tops unscrewed and missing. This went on for several nights, then stopped. The missing solar lights are still missing.
On the west side of our wine processing/wine fermenting rooms is our vineyard equipment storage area. Shortly after the missing solar lights, Lenora was inside that area looking for a piece of equipment when she heard a voice loudly call out to her..."WHERE ARE YOU"! She said that it appeared to be in my voice. When she looked, there was no one there. At the time, I was out in the wine storage building.
Up to this point most of the personal experiences were related to Lenora. About three months became my turn.
On the east side of the wine processing/wine fermenting rooms is our small workshop area. I had been working on a project for the vineyard using our electric (plug-in) drill. With the project unfinished for the day, I laid the drill on the workshop table and closed up. The next day, when I opened the shop to finish the project, the drill was...missing. The electric cord was still coiled and exactly where I had left it. Although I'm not prone to absent-mindedness, I looked all around the shop area. The drill was not there.
Lenora had been away, running a few necessary errands. When she returned, I asked her if she had seen or moved the drill. She had not. When we went back to the shop, the drill was neatly plugged into the electric cord and laying exactly as I had left it the previous evening.
A couple of months ago, one of our daughters dogs died. We buried it near the deceased cat. They had been good friends in life. Shortly after the dogs burial, both tombstones started moving. Our wildlife camera continued to take pictures of a 'washed out white'. Our batteries continued to drain of their charge. About a month ago, a friend of our daughters arrived from Costa Rica. When they came to visit our vineyard/winery, and her friend was told about the strange happenings, she cut and placed two pieces of bamboo next to each burial. Ever since, things have been quiet.

A couple of weeks ago, a fabulous lady visited our Bunker Hill Vineyard and Winery. When we entered the wine processing room, she asked if we had had any strange things happen. After we related our experiences, she said that she felt the presence of an 80 year old man and that his name was Gerald, with a "G". She asked him to go to the light.
We're not sure if our Ghost Story has ended...or not. For now...all seems quiet.

************************Our Ghost Story..."UPDATE"*************************

Well, as so often happens, things may seem quiet, but it's only an illusion. Our Ghost Story has NOT ended. It continues to evolve and new chapters have been added. Below, are the latest experiences.
At the southeast corner of the Wine Fermenting building stands a large and beautiful maple tree. One recent warm and sunny afternoon, Lenora was standing under it's shade. Suddenly and unexpectedly she felt a gentle brush on the side of her left cheek as though by an unseen hand. There was no breeze or wind movement of any kind. It happened only once.
On another recent Sunday afternoon, we were sitting in our kitchen finishing up an early dinner. Off to the west side of the kitchen is the laundry room and the back porch door. Without warning, the screen door handle depressed and the door opened and though someone had either entered or exited the house. You can see the Wine Fermenting building from where we were sitting.
On two separate occasions, the Wine Cave door has locked itself...from the inside! On one occasion it happened in the middle of the day when we had guests. We had to excuse ourselves to get a door key. We now carry a spare key with us at all times.
Each evening, when we close up the Wine Fermenting building, we make sure that all the lights are turned out. It appears that someone would prefer that the lights be left on. It is not unusual for us to glimpse out our house window and see light coming from under the closed and locked Wine Fermenting building door.
A couple of nights ago, the outdoor floodlights on the Wine Accessory building inexplicably turned themselves on. These are not the type of lights that come on at dark. Their switch must be pushed up to the on position, to turn the lights on.
For now, that's the latest update to our Ghost Story. As info, we have still not found a Gerald (with a "G") connection to our buildings or property.,,but, we're still looking! Before going, we wish to thank all of our friends and guests for their interest, suggestions and sharing their own ghost stories with us.     

Larry and Lenora
'Salute and Happy Days'

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