Haunted Flower Shop

While in high school, I did house sitting and dog sitting. I had another job at a local flower shop.

The local flower shop would hire high school students from time to time when volume was high — Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day — graduations and weddings.  Then, there were funerals.

As you may have gathered, I was drawn to doing flower arrangements for funerals.

I also pretty much specialized in doing casket sprays and gravesite bouquets. There are many people who want to have fresh flowers on their loved ones graves, but they aren’t in the area to do it.  So, I’m hired.  Sometimes various cemeteries need someone to put flowers on graves for special occasions.  I’m hired for that, too.

While everyone else was into the “fun” floral arrangements, I was into the funeral and gravesite floral arrangements.  My friends worked “normal” hours, I worked “after hours.”  I enjoyed the solitude, but the flower shop was spooky.

There was nothing specific at first.  Just random noises: knocks on the walls, footsteps, scraping sounds of something being moved and doors opening and closing.

I could ignore it most of the time when I was especially busy, but then I’d get a cold breeze on the back of my neck or a whisper in my ear that I couldn’t understand I would get a bit spooked, but I knew I had a job to do and couldn’t run out screaming.

I could hear people talking. I thought customers got in, but when I’d check, no one was there.

The real problem was the mood swings I noticed with the owner and the various florists.  Sandra, the owner, claimed I left the back door unlocked when I left.  I know I locked up.  I kept the door locked when I was working.  Then there were the suppliers who didn’t want to make deliveries or claimed Sandra cancelled a delivery.  She claimed I was sabbotaging her business, that I was setting up my own flower shop and turning the suppliers against her.  I had little contact with the suppliers.  I had no idea how she got such notions. I offered to quit, but she cut my hours, instead..

That didn’t work out for her because I was making a reputation for myself with various mortuaries and cemeteries.  It seemed funerals were a big business.  People were asking for me, which made Sandra furious.

She did fire me, which was good.  With the help of my parents, I was able to buy out an old floral shop in town.  The man and his wife were very generous and helpful in getting me started.

I specialized in funerals, of course. I sent customers who wanted other floral arrangements to Sandra, but she became more and more angry with me.  Just the mention of my name was enough to set her off.

She came into my shop one afternoon accusing me of vandalizing her shop.  The police arrived to make her accusations official.  Fortunately, I had an alibi.  I had several witnesses who could account for my whereabouts on the night in question.  I had three big cemetery jobs to do.  I worked at night getting the graves dressed for Memorial Day. I worked from 6  in the evening through the wee hours of the morning.  I wanted everything done when visitors would be coming to the cemetery. There was the caretaker at each location who let me in and out. There was also the evidence that flowers were placed on the graves.  Fortunately, each cemetery was miles away from Sandra’s shop.

As my business was booming, Sandra’s declined.

I heard rumors that she was rude with customers and no one wanted to work for her.  I knew something wasn’t right at her flower shop.  It had to do with the paranormal.  Some force was causing Sandra’s problems.

Then, the unthinkable happened, Sandra’s flower shop caught fire while she was inside.  Her husband claimed he received a frantic phone call from Sandra saying she was trapped in the shop, she couldn’t get the doors opened, but the firefighters said the doors were unlocked.

I did the flowers for her funeral.  Once a week I put flowers on her grave.  I do hope she has found peace.

The lot that was once Sandra’s Flower Shop has been sold and a beauty shop was there for awhile, but it was sold and made into a dress boutique, which was sold and made into something else.  It is now empty.  It seemed no business lasted over six months at that location.  Whatever’s there doesn’t want to be disturbed.

Just to clarify, I’m still doing funeral and gravesite floral arrangements.  A business that seemed to find me has continued for more years than I want to admit. I have, however, sold my shop. I am on call for “emergencies” when mortuaries need casket sprays.

I do wonder if it had anything to do with the night my brother and I had our little adventure in the cemetery after dark. You can read about it here.

I have met some interesting “ghosts” over the years. But that’s another story for another time . . .

Thanks for stopping by!


Who Was That Guy?

Have you ever seen someone who seemed a bit out of place?

I’ve mentioned before how I’ve talked to spirits thinking they were real or saw something that really wasn’t there, but I know what I saw.  Well, Janet was working in a nursing home.  Basically she would claim she had seen just about everything and nothing in the realm of the paranormal surprised her. But what she saw one particular day did make her take notice and still gives her an uneasy feeling to this day.

This happened a couple of years ago in a nursing home in northern Alabama, but quite honestly, it could happen anywhere.  And it probably has.

The nursing home was built in the 1960’s and has always been a nursing home. Prior to it being built, it was farmland and had been for years.  Janet had worked at the nursing home for over 25 years when this incident happened.

Janet and a few other coworkers were in the dining room cleaning up one afternoon.

She had just finished cleaning the last table and turned around.  She saw a figure dressed in black:  a black suit, a black cape, wearing a black top hat.  The odd thing was that the figure was either a skeleton or very gaunt.  She remembers besides being dressed all in black, there was a mixture of beige, yellow and gray mixed in there, too.  She did a double-take, but the image was gone.  She mentioned it to one of the other women, on the off chance that she saw it, too.  She hadn’t, but she believed Janet.  The cook commented, “We see strange things all the time. It was just your turn to see something today.”

Seeing something strange was odd enough, but the unsettling part for Janet was that the woman who sat right across from this figure passed away before dinner.  She seemed to be healthy for a nursing home resident.  Her passing was a surprise to the nursing staff and other residents.

Janet is convinced she saw “the grim reaper.” Why she happened to see “him” that particular day, she doesn’t know, but she doesn’t want to see him again.

Quite honestly, Janet was afraid for her own life. It wasn’t that she wasn’t feeling well or had any health issues, it was just the idea that she saw “the grim reaper” and no one else on the staff saw him . . . or admitted to seeing him.

She had seen “shadow people” scurrying about at various times, but nothing like this figure dressed in black.  She had also seen a “lady in white” floating about the hallways and slipping in and out of rooms, maybe making her rounds checking on patients, but none of these sightings foretold of death.

There has been a resident ghost at the nursing home since before Janet started working there.

Many believe it is residual energy. It’s a woman who always would sit outside her door, waiting for the nurse to come to her room to check her temperature and blood pressure.  She had to know, first thing in the morning if she had a temperature and if her blood pressure was normal. It became an obsession with her.  It was something she needed to know before she would dress in the morning or eat breakfast. She insisted it be taken precisely at the same time every morning.  Well, even during her after-life, she’s waiting for her temperature and blood pressure to be taken.

One of the nurses thought it would be interesting to take this ghostly apparition’s temperature and blood pressure, but on several occasions when approaching “it”  . . . “it” vanished.

I suppose one of the ghost nurses needed to accommodate her . . . and there seemed to be ghost nurses hanging around the nursing home, too.

I hope you enjoyed this real ghost story and will leave a comment or share this website with a friend or two.

Thanks for stopping by!


The Practice Of Covering Mirrors After A Death

Where did this practice originate?

I’m fascinated by the folklore of our ancestors.  When it came to ghosts and ghouls they had very definite practices. The one I’d like to tell in this post is Why cover mirrors after a death?

First I looked to Europe, second to old Jewish tradition and third to the southern portion of the United States. Many interesting beliefs seem to originate from the south . . . from vampires to ghosts to voodoo practices . . . to covering mirrors with cloth.

Why Cover The Mirrors?

The thing is, when a person passes at home many people cover the mirrors thinking that the newly departed’s soul could get trapped in the mirror and not continue on their journey to “the light.”

There is also the belief that one’s reflection in a mirror is a projection of an individual’s soul.  Thus covering the mirror prevents others from seeing their reflections — whether mourner or spirits from beyond ushering the newly departed to their destination and the newly departed.

For some, mirrors are considered portals and by covering them, it keeps out any rift-raft from the spirit world.

Also, with all the mourning going on, it is believed spirits can enter the body of the living through the nose or the mouth.  While bereaved, one’s guard is down and covering the mirrors is a safety precaution from possession.

Evidently, many spirits don’t want to leave — so in their spirit form, they could indeed enter a body of the living through their nose or mouth. Thus, the practice for widows to wear a veil at the funeral . . . while others keep a handkerchief handy to cover the nose and mouth — and wipe the tears . . .

Some cover the mirrors in black and others with a white sheet.  Still others use a spray to prevent the mirror from allowing reflections. The mirrors are usually covered or masked until after the funeral.

When the body is removed from the house, it is advised that the deceased be taken out feet first. This prevents the corpse from looking back at others in the room and beckoning them to join him or her on their journey to the afterlife.

That’s kind of “creepy” . . . but . . .

I hope this was informative and answered the question of the ancient practice of covering mirrors after someone dies.

Now, I can’t leave you without a story. I’m sorry I don’t have one about covered mirrors, but this one is about a message from beyond the grave you may find interesting.

Granddad’s Message

Joe’s grandfather was in a nursing home.  He was well into his 80’s and suffered a massive stroke that left him paralyzed on his right side and unable to speak.

Joe’s sister, Emma, gave her grandfather a stuffed bear that when you squeezed it would say in a cute recorded message, “I love you.”

Although they visited daily, Emma wanted her grandfather to know they loved him and they knew he loved them, too.  He would squeeze the bear when he saw them in greeting and again when they left.  The nurses said he would sleep with the bear and squeeze it periodically throughout the night and first thing in the morning.

Days before her grandfather’s passing, Emma asked him, if he should pass, if he could send them a message that he was all right and arrived in heaven.  He squeezed her hand in agreement.

One year to the date of his passing, the bear was sitting on the mantle of their home, as it had since his passing, and precisely at 6:32 in the evening (the time of his death), the bear said, “I love you, I love you, I love you.”

I hope you enjoyed this post . . . and enjoyed the Real Ghost Story.

Thanks for stopping by!!


Reading Antiques Before Purchase

Psychometry is the ability to read objects.

All of us have this ability to a degree.  We get vibrations that are either good or bad.  We just need to spend some time with an object and see if we receive any reaction to it.  It may make you feel happy, sad, or any feeling along the spectrum.

It is no different from walking into a room and instantly feeling uncomfortable. Or when meeting someone for the first time — you do get vibrations . . . a sense of whether you want to get to know the person or want to move on . . . and sometimes run!

I noticed a woman at my favorite antique mall put on gloves before handling jewelry. 

Some people think its to show respect to the jewelry and the prospective buyer.   In her case, she gets very emotional when handling some jewelry pieces with her bare hands.  In one case, there was an emerald ring with two small diamond baguettes on each side of the emerald. It was a pretty ring and just about everyone interested in jewelry wanted to see it, but after handling it, trying it on and studying it, each woman passed.

I was curious.

I asked to see the ring.  I held it for a few seconds.  I didn’t want to try it on.  Actually, I felt something bad would happen to me if I did try it on.  Obviously, it wasn’t right for me, but what about the other women.  I sought them out and asked them what they felt when they handled and put on the emerald ring.

Julie wanted to know what I felt before telling me her story.  The other women were interested to hear what I had to say, which was helpful — I didn’t have to run after them, they were all eager to tell their reactions.

I was brief.  I explained how I felt sad just handling the ring.  I knew trying it on was the next logical step in the process, but I became frightened that if I did put it on, something awful was going to happen to me.  I didn’t get anything specific just a warning not to put it on my finger.  It was almost as though I heard a voice saying, “You’ll be sorry if you put it on.” It felt as though the ring spoke those words.  I wasn’t going to question it or tempt fate.  I accepted the fact that the ring was not for me.

Julie said she, too, felt sad.  The other women agreed.  When Julie put it on, she knew it was a “promise ring,” but it was a promise that wasn’t kept.

“I don’t know why I know that,” Julie said, “I just know it to be true.  I was going to buy it for my daughter, but I knew it would bring nothing but trouble to her.”

Gloria spoke up next.  “I got a picture in my mind of a young girl who was gloating about the ring and who gave it to her and what it meant.  She was bragging that Phillip was her intended and the girl she was talking to would end up alone with a house full of cats for companionship.”

Gloria knew she wanted nothing to do with the ring and the previous owner.  “She was just too cruel in her manner and attitude.”

Pat was nodding the whole time Gloria was talking.  “I got the same mean spirited picture in my mind, but when I put it on, I got the image of this woman being hit by a car when she left the place where she was showing it off to the other woman.”

Connie was next to speak up.  “I felt strong and entitled when I picked up the ring.  When I put it on, I felt as though it would squeeze the life out of me.  I got scared and couldn’t wait to get away from it.”

Elizabeth, the woman who was showing the jewelry walked by our little group.  I stopped her and asked about the emerald ring.

“We’ve had it for quite some time.  I show it several times a day, but no one wants to buy it.  We’ve marked the price down, too.  I doubt we’ll be able to give it away.”

I asked her how she felt when she handled it.  She paused for quite some time before answering. “The first time I held the ring I felt sad.  There were other times I would feel revengeful, like I wanted to prove something to someone.  The last time I became so angry when the person I was showing it to didn’t buy it.  I almost shouted at the woman, telling her she was wasting my time and didn’t know a good ring if it fell in her lap.”

Elizabeth was disturbed by her mood changes/ That was when she started wearing gloves before handling jewelry.

Is it possible to read antiques?

Yes, definitely.  You read the account of five women who handled the same ring.  Did we get a clear reading?  I believe it was close enough.  Do we know the truth about the ring and who brought it in to sell it?

Yes, as a matter of fact.  Elizabeth went to look up the information about the ring. She called the owner who agreed to come to the antique mall and meet with us.

Cindy seemed anxious.  She was curious about our reaction to the ring and also wanted to disclose what she could about the ring.

“This ring was passed down in my family.  It seemed whoever came in possession of the ring had bad luck in love.  It’s like the ring is cursed.”

When Cindy inherited the ring, she immediately wanted it out of her house.  She brought it to the antique mall to sell along with other items.  As Cindy explained it, “My great-aunt Sue was killed in her late twenties.  She was coming out of a small tea room when she was hit by an automobile.  She was wearing the emerald ring at the time of the accident.  Family legend has it that the ring was a “promise ring” from a wealthy businessman by the name of Phillip.  At the time he was engaged to someone else, but he was going to break it off with the other woman and marry Aunt Sue.  Obviously, that didn’t happen.”

She went on to explain how Sue’s parents got divorced shortly after Sue’s death.  Then the ring was passed to the eldest niece who’s husband was killed in a hunting accident.  There was one tragedy after another.  Either the niece or her boyfriend or fiancée lost their life or the relationship went sour.  Once the ring was passed to another, it was like a curse that she would not find happiness.

Cindy didn’t want to chance it.  She had been married for 37 years and her four daughters were each engaged.  Cindy didn’t want the curse to touch her family.

Well, there’s the story.

Curse or coincidence?

Is there something to a self-fulfilled prophecy associated with knowing the history of the ring and the owner’s fate that these relatives put into motion?

Or was there really a curse placed upon the ring by “Aunt Sue” as she was dying from her injuries — or was she killed instantly — that we don’t know . . . but I do believe it may have something to do with “Aunt Sue’s state of mind prior to the accident.

I do wonder if the “curse” applied only to Cindy’s family or if it would be passed on to the new owner. It does seem logical that it would — especially because it was centered around the ring — and all the women who handled it and tried it on felt it . . . 

I don’t believe it was an actual “curse” placed upon the ring . . . unless “Aunt Sue” put one on it — or perhaps it was just her negative energy that lingers.

I’m curious about cleansing it and perhaps contacting “Aunt Sue” in a seance to learn more about the woman.

I can only imagine she wasn’t too kind — a bit selfish perhaps . . . and with her bitterness of dying young and not attaining marriage is delighted by the chaos she has created within her own family.

I honestly can’t imagine gaining any pleasure from that . . . Perhaps she did place a “curse” upon the ring. And by not knowing the “curse” it may be next to impossible to reverse it.

I don’t know. I would, however, like to hear your thoughts on the subject of “Aunt Sue” and psychometry. Please leave me a comment below.

Thanks for stopping by! If you enjoyed this post, please tell your friends about TwoCansOnAString.com



Our Family Plot

I’ve always been fascinated by cemeteries.

I was one of those strange children who enjoyed the outings to the family plot when we’d visit my grandmother.  I didn’t know who was there and why we’d go.  I just knew it was important to my grandmother.

The great thing for me was standing quietly in a respectful pose, but that wasn’t all.  I would see spirits gathering.  Most often they were far away, but I knew they were there and I believe they knew I could sense and see them.

My Uncle John was always with his camera, but not when we went to the cemetery.  I thought it odd, because the pictures he could take there would be so much more interesting to me than the ones he took of people and places I didn’t know and didn’t really care about.

On one visit I remember it being cold and damp.

At the entrance to the cemetery was a stand that sold bouquets of flowers. My uncle and father got out to make the selection.

I distinctly heard, “Humph! I would prefer flowers from my own garden at home.”

I didn’t know who said it.  I reasoned it couldn’t have been my grandmother or her sister.  If that was what they believed, they wouldn’t have Uncle John buy flowers.

I was puzzled, but I kept quiet. In those days children were to be seen and not heard and I knew my place.

We drove the path to the family plot and got out of the car. My grandmother took the lead and we followed. I was more interested in all the pretty bouquets of flowers and the other people walking around. Real people and spirits.

“Such a waste of money!” I heard. “I don’t know what they were thinking.”

Then a male voice said calmly, “Marie, they come. Be grateful.”

I felt a chill and sneezed.  My mother didn’t want me catching cold and told me to sit in the car.

In the car, I met my great-grandmother and great-grandfather.

“Tell them,” she began, “tell them not to buy flowers, but get them from the garden.”

“I remember the day we planted that garden,” Great-grandfather said. “There was such a discussion on what to plant and how to keep it producing flowers all year.”

They continued talking and I listened, but said nothing.

“Are you hearing us?” she asked.

“Yes, ma’am,” I said nodding.

Of course, that was when my mother decided to get into the car.

“Who are you talking to?”

I immediately told her what I had learned about the flowers and the garden and how Great-grandmother wanted flowers from her garden instead of the over-priced ones sold by the cemetery.

The end of my conversation with my mother didn’t go unnoticed by my grandmother who wanted to hear the whole conversation. Evidently, she got chilled and came to the car.

I really didn’t feel comfortable talking about the spirits . . . and their talking with me to my grandmother or other members of the family. My mother didn’t encourage me to do so normally, but since we were “caught” my mother’s nod indicated it was all right.

That evening when the gates to the cemetery were closed, we went back.

My grandmother did play it “cool” by telling the rest of the family how she remembered collecting flowers from the garden to take to the cemetery. Then others chimed in also recalling those times.

Sitting in the warm house discussing how we would give Great-Grandmother the flowers she wanted seemed like a good idea, but standing outside the cemetery gates in the cold damp foggy night air, I wasn’t so sure.

I was still surprised by how went along with the plot to have my brother and I sneak into the cemetery.

We parked a distance away and walked to the gate.  My brother and I slipped through the bars. Gary held the flashlight and was the navigator and I followed carrying the flowers.

There was a thick fog covering the cemetery. It was creepy.  I didn’t know where we were or if we would find the right spot.

“It’s over there,” I said pointing.  It seemed the fog lifted for us to follow a path to our destination.

“Do you see them?” Gary asked.

“No, but I think they’re helping us.”

Now that I think of that conversation, I think he was referring to the headstones, not the spirits of our great-grandparents.

We did find the right spot with the help of friendly spirits.

Back at my grandmothers house, it seemed about the same time we placed the flowers on the headstones, her house was filled with the fragrance of flowers. I would have liked to have experienced that.

This early introduction to sneaking into a cemetery after dark may have planted a seed.

To this day I go to the cemetery after dark and place flowers on graves. Some cemetery gates are open and others have gates that close at dusk. I sometimes join a group of florists who place flowers on graves for holidays.

This seems to be my calling to remember those who have passed long ago.

I have met some interesting spirits throughout the years . . . I’ve also been spooked more times than I care to admit. But, in the end, I am so very grateful that I’ve been able to do this . . . and it began so very many years ago.

Thanks for stopping by!