Monday, March 17, 2014

1st Person Account: The Clocks

When ghosts are mentioned in Williamsburg, Virginia most think of the spirits of people who lived during the colonial era but the following story is of more recent origin.

I moved to Williamsburg in 1977 from Oklahoma. I had visited this historic community with my parents when I was young and thought it would be an interesting place to live and work.

I moved into a boarding house located in Lafayette Street owned by an elderly man named Alexander.

The first night I awakened from a sound sleep to see an apparition standing by the corner window about ten feet from my bed. I watched, as this female figure with a kindly face seemed to be observing me. She was slight of build with dark hair. My bed footboard blocked her legs but she appeared to be floating inches above the floor.

Her figure seemed to glow with a pale light even though the room was dark. I noticed that she was transparent for I could see the window frame and curtains through her.

If someone had asked me before this night what I would do if I ever saw a ghost my prediction would include running from the area never to return. But as I looked upon this ghost a sense of calm and well-being overtook my initial fear. It was almost if this entity was controlling my emotions. In fact, within moments I just went back to sleep.

The following morning I overslept. When I finally woke I found my alarm clock had stopped running during the night.

At breakfast, I mentioned to Mr. Alexander that my clock was broken and I needed to buy a new one.

Mr. Alexander shrugged in amusement and told me I shouldn’t bother. Taken aback by his response I asked him why not.

He then told me that he was with his wife in the hospital when she died and when he returned home every clock in the house with the exception of one had stopped at the exact time of her death. He had bought new clocks but during the first night they had all stopped at the time of his wife’s passing.

He then pulled open a drawer and showed me a collection of at least 10 clocks. They all showed the same time.

Above this chest of drawers was an old photograph of a woman. He saw me looking at it and stated that's a picture of my wife. It was the same woman I had seen in my room the night before.

He then took me into the boarding houses’ living room. He pointed out an antique clock hanging over the mantle.  He explained this clock was his wife’s favorite possession. It had been in her family for generations --it was the only clock that hadn’t stopped the night she died.

He then told me that the room I was staying in was originally his and his wife’s room. When he turned his home into a boarding house after her death he had moved into a smaller room so he could rent the larger room.

I stayed in his boarding house another week until I found a permanent residence. My alarm clock worked fine in my new home. I never told Mr. Alexander that I had seen Mrs. Alexander.

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