While I was writing Maryland Ghosts: Paranormal Encounters in the Free State, my Uncle Bernie sent me more than 30 stories from throughout his life in the form of hand-written letters. After Maryland Ghosts was first published in 2012, and featured most of his Maryland stories, we turned his remaining letters into an unpublished collection to share with family and friends called The Haunted Letters: True Tales from a Ghost-Storied Life. Here is another one of my favorite stories from that collection:
Altoona, Pennsylvania (Blair County), 2010
It was December, the Christmas season of 2010, and I had returned from the grocery store, having shopped for all the gourmet items for our holiday feast.
When I grew up, one of the holiday treats on Mom and Dad's dinner table relish tray was watermelon pickles. My father loved them, and he grew up in southern Virginia, where his family always made them from the thick skins of the "old day" watermelons.
I displayed all of my purchases on the kitchen counter for Debra to see, placing four jars of watermelon pickles on the far right end of the counter, near our cupboard.
I went to the refrigerator and as I opened, then closed, the door, I saw my father, Bernard Lee Masino, in that right corner by the counter, from the chest up only, a partial body formation.
Dad was looking down at the watermelon pickles, smiling, wearing his old wool orange and grey plaid shirt. He was visible for approximately ten seconds, then vanished into thin air.
What a nice spiritual visit to have for the holidays.
"Visit for the Holidays," copyright 2016 Bernard W. Masino and Amelia Cotter (first appeared in The Haunted Letters: True Tales from a Ghost-Storied Life, 2013)