Archive for September, 2014

The Tug Boat Captain

Posted: September 14, 2014 in Uncategorized

Ghost tours and paranormal investigations can cause participants to respond in very interesting ways. If they come to the moment as non-believers or if they are essentially unfamiliar with the subject matter, they may become unexpectedly excited as new ‘converts’. Some even become a little scared. Or some become excited in a way that is a surprise to themselves as well as to those around them. Others seem almost complacent, because they ‘already know’. Some reveal emotions that are normally kept close to the self. And some become very open, wanting to share their own personal experiences. Such is the case in this next story.

On a recent tour we hosted a private corporate group. They were engaged, attentive, polite and excited in anticipation of an enlightening and entertaining evening. As the tour began we walked and I shared some of what I call the ‘creme dela creme’ ghost stories of the city. The first place 0n our tour attendees get to sit is in the basement morgue of a former old hospital. There I introduce the guests to the entities of the old hospital and to the ghost stories that are attached to them. After, we mount a group investigation.
It is usually right in this moment…(the first moment in which guests can approach me one on one), that a person will decide to share some personal ghost story. And these are always amazing stories for me because they are shared in the spirit of a kind of ‘knowing’…no attention seeking, little or no ego…just a genuine desire to say to another in confidence, “Oh yes…I know this is real. It happened to me.”
On this night, as soon as the group scattered to begin investigating, a man named Tim approached me. Tim looked like he was in his early forties, thin in stature with thick blonde hair. He possessed a clean, neat look…though dressed down, his neat, coiffed appearance belied that of a professional business man in casual clothes. Up to this moment, he had seemed somewhat reserved, rarely registering any emotion on his face during the early portion of the tour. He said,
“I know all of this to be true.”
I was slightly surprised. I wasn’t sure if he had some special insight. Maybe he was going to reveal himself to be a medium. He said “My older brother died many years ago. He was a tug boat captain in Galveston. He had been a captain his entire life. No matter where he went, no matter how much he scrubbed himself and bathed, he always had the smell of that port on him…the smell of seaweed and salt water. It’s a distinct smell, do ya know what I mean?”
“Yes” I said. “I think I know what you mean.”
He continued. “One night, ten years after my brother had died, I was in bed asleep. My house was on the other side of Galveston, away from the port. I awoke to that smell…it was strong in my bedroom. I sat up in bed and there at the foot of my bed was my brother. I could see him as I see you now. He said ‘Go to Mom’s house…NOW!’ I didn’t question the experience I was having. I knew it was real. I grabbed a robe and left immediately. My mother lived four miles away. It was about one AM. I had called on the phone. There was no answer…and this concerned me. I pounded on the door. No response. I was so freaked out, I kicked the door in. There nearby, my mother lay at the bottom of the stairs. She had fallen down the long flight of stairs. I called 911 and EMS arrived very quickly. They took her to the hospital, and all though she was injured, she survived. She lived for many years after that night”.
All I could say was “Wow. Amazing”. He smiled.
He said “But, there’s more. I talked with the attending doctor later that morning. He said ‘It’s a good thing you went to see your mother at that time. If she had laid at the bottom of those steps for another hour or so, she certainly would not have made it. You saved her life’. I didn’t say to the doctor what I was thinking. It was my brother who saved my mother’s life. It was a ghost who saved her! Don’t tell me they don’t exist”.
I responded “I understand. And…yes, they do”.