Monday, June 5, 2017

Ghost Story #3: Rose Marie

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Ghosts was first published in 2012, and featured most of his Maryland stories, we turned his remaining letters into an unpublished collection to share with family and friends called The Haunted Letters: True Tales from a Ghost-Storied Life.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), 2003

Debra and I had just returned from a trip to Chatham, Virginia to share time with our Chatham family. It was the next morning, and Debra and I were having hot coffee in our living room.

Debra sat across from me on a sofa, and I across from her on another sofa, reliving our most recent Chatham visit.

The white form of a lady suddenly entered our living room from the front foyer of the home, approximately three feet off of the floor. Her form hovered, not in between us, but just to my right and Debra's left. The lady was dressed all in white and seemed to radiate/pulsate white light.

I did not look directly at her but kept her in the periphery of my vision. Debra continued to look straight at me and I asked her if she was observing what I was seeing. Her response was, "No. What do you see?"

I responded, as this lady in white stood there, "I am seeing the ghost of my cousin, Rose Marie Meadows!"

She was killed in 1955 in a tragic auto accident when I was eight years old. I told Debra that I believed Rose Marie had come home with us from our trip to Chatham. Her form hovered there for about another 20 seconds, then abruptly turned, heading back toward the foyer, and vanished from sight.

We had actually been to the Chatham family cemetery during our visit, which holds the grave site of seven of my Meadows relatives, Rose Marie's grave being the oldest. When she was killed in 1955, I wasn't allowed to go the funeral. She was 17, and like I said, I was eight. The summer before her death, she had visited and stayed with us on Valleywood Drive in Wheaton, Maryland, for a week. She was kind, caring, and thoughtful, and much appreciated by our family.

Her brother Bill had been driving the car. He was taking her and her date to the prom. She and her boyfriend were both killed in the accident. Her brother, to this day, says he doesn't remember anything that happened. Shortly after her funeral, Bill enlisted in the Air Force and went away for four years. In my opinion, a good thing.

Rose Marie would have been 73 today had she lived. Her death tore a hole in our family's heart that still hasn't healed. I hope she rests in peace.

"Rose Marie," copyright 2017 Bernard W. Masino and Amelia Cotter (first appeared in The Haunted Letters: True Tales from a Ghost-Storied Life, 2013)