Al and Jane had just bought a new house. It was a large, two story house with an upper porch and a large wrap-around porch across the lower front. It needed a lot of work, but they were determined to bring it back to its former beauty. They could feel a loving presence when they first looked at the house. Jane had asked the realtor for a history on the house, but she was unable to tell them very much.
The house had been built in the 1920's by a young couple named John and Abigail White. There had been several owners over the years, but none of them had lived there very long. Various reasons had been given for the sale, but none of them ever made a lot of sense. The last owners had started renovations on the house as it had sat empty for several years, but they left and put it up for sale about ten years ago. Al and Jane were the first ones to really show an interest in the house in all that time.
As the young couple started the work on the house, they noticed what seemed to be an image in the outside wooden walls of the house. It looked like a shadowy figure of a woman from around 1880.
They worked vigorously on the house, completing the master bedroom first so they could move in. A month went by and they had a few more rooms finished. They sat in the living room one night, resting and reviewing their plans for the rest of the house. They had been working all day, and both were worn out. Soon they dozed off while still on the couch. Suddenly Jane was awakened by the sound of a woman crying. She shook Al, trying to wake him. As he slowly responded, she told him of what she heard. Al tried to convince her that she had been dreaming, for he didn't hear anything. As Jane listened again, she didn't hear the crying. They went to the stairway to head for their bedroom. As they started up, Jane thought she saw someone or something at the head of the stairs, but as she looked closer, the stairway was empty.
The next day, while Al was at the lumber yard buying more supplies, Jane went to the courthouse to look at the records for the house. After receiving copies of the original land grants and property taxes, she headed for the library. She showed the copies to the librarian and asked for help. The librarian smiled, saying that over the years, many others had asked for information on that house. She knew right where to go to locate it. Jane followed her, wondering what was so interesting about this place.
The librarian had Jane sit at the microfilm machine, then brought her several reels. Jane asked if it was ok to use her cell phone to call her husband. She was told it was ok as long as she kept it brief. Jane called Al, asking him to pick her up when she called him the next time. She then got to work, viewing the files. She had thought to bring paper and pens, so she made copious notes. After about three hours, she put the last reel back in the stack, walked to the librarian's desk thanking her for all the information.
She hurried outside, anxious to see Al and tell him all she had discovered. As soon as he pulled up, she jumped into the van, chattering before she even closed the door. She had learned that within six months of finishing the house, Abigail had died in childbirth, losing the baby as well. John lived in the house for about another six months, and then he sold the house, moving on. Several of the succeeding owners often complained about hearing a woman crying and seeing a ghost who was a woman!
Al listened quietly until Jane seemed to be finished. He then asked her if she thought what she heard and saw last night was Abigail's ghost. Before she could answer, he also asked her if she really believed in ghosts. Jane thought for a moment, aswering that if he had asked her a week ago, or even earlier, she would have denied any belief. But after last night with the sounds and then seeing that figure, she didn't really know. She guessed that maybe she did. She added that the funny thing was, that the figure she saw looked very similar to the image they both had seen in the wood siding. That didn't really make sense that it would have been Abigail, for she had died in the early 1920's.
That evening, after working all afternoon, the young couple again sat on the couch talking of further plans and also of the information that Jane had copied from the library. Suddenly there was the sound of a woman crying. Jane looked at Al and before she could ask if he heard it, he questioned her in a whisper if that was what she had heard. She nodded, and made a motion with her hand for them to go to the stairs. They tiptoed to the base of the stairs, looking up as they reached them. Pacing at the top of the stairs was a ghostly figure of a woman, in clothing from the late 1800's. Jane called out to her. The ghost paused, then looked down the stairs. She started to fade, so quickly, Jane called out again. Jane asked if they could talk to her. The figure nodded and motioned for them to come up the stairs. Al and Jane slowly climbed up the stairs, holding hands. They followed the ghostly woman into their bedroom. She sat in the antique rocking chair in the corner, as Al and Jane sat on the foot of their bed.
Jane smiled and asked the woman if she could talk to them, she nodded and said yes. Jane then asked if she would tell them who she was. The woman said her name was Abigail Moore. Jane next asked her if there was a reason she was in the house, since it looked like it was built after her time. Abigail answered, "A lot of the wood used to build this house came from the house my husband and I lived in. The people who used the wood were my grand daughter and her husband, Abigail and John White. I never got to see her while I was alive, for I died giving birth to her mother. I couldn't leave them all alone. So I stayed."
"Are you the person we hear crying", queried Jane.
"No, that is my grand daughter, Abigail. She was named after me. She keeps crying because she lost her baby when she passed away. I try to comfort her, but sometimes, she just won't be comforted. I don't blame her, but I wish I could comfort her."
"Is there anything we can do to help her or you," Jane asked.
"I don't know. Maybe if you could find her mother and her baby?"
"Where...oh, do you mean to find their burial sites?"
"Yes, and maybe if you can, you could talk to them and ask them to come here? That might comfort her."
Jane looked at Al, and he nodded. They told Abigail they would try. She told them where she might be buried and suggested they look there for her daughter first. She also said she would try to find out where the younger Abigail was buried, for the baby was probably buried nearby.
For the next couple of weeks, they didn't hear any crying. They checked out cemetery records and finally found the younger Abigail, her baby and her mother's graves. They both spoke while at the grave sites, but never heard anything.
One night while again relaxing in the living room, they heard the crying. They both hurried to the stairs. However, Abigail was not there at the head of the stairs. They rushed up to their bedroom. Abigail was sitting in the rocking chair again, holding a tiny baby, surrounded by her daughter and grand daughter. The ghostly ladies were alternating laughing and crying. They all looked at Al and Jane, smiling through their tears. Almost in unison, they said thank you. Suddenly the room was empty and quiet. Jane stepped into Al's outstretched arms. She started crying as he held her close.
"Are those happy tears? Or sad tears?", Al said, smiling.
"Both - I am glad they are all together, but I am going to miss them. Do you think that loving presence we felt will go with them?"
"I don't know, Jane. We will just have to wait and see."
A year later, the house was finished and also there were three people living there. Jane gave birth nine months to the day they moved in. One evening while she tucked the baby into his crib, she heard laughter. She turned and was surprised to see the elder Abigail standing there. "I came back when I felt there was a baby here. I just had to wish you all well and to see your little one. He is adorable."
Grinning from ear to ear, Jane answered, "Oh, thank you, Abigail. We think he is pretty special, too. And I am so glad to see you again! I have missed you. Are you all ok?"
"Yes, now that we are together, we are all fine and very happy. And when we crossed over, we all saw our beloved husbands. That was wonderful! I also wanted to let you know that we all approve of how you have rebuilt the house. You both worked so hard, and you did beautiful work." Abigail then faded away, as did the image in the wood which had even shown through the paint.
The above story and images were created and remain copyrighted to susie, October, 2006.