As you read Hazel’s Real Ghost Story, you may wonder as I did of how much is real and how much imagined …

    I have a friend who told me when she was a child how she would rock her grandfather’s rocking chair and have long conversations with him.

    She was very aware of her own imagination at play. This was abruptly brought to a close by her mother who was afraid that her daughter could invite the ghost of the grandfather . . . or something else.

    This was running through my mind when I met Hazel and heard her account of the antique telephone …

    You decide for yourself.

    Hazel had an old antique telephone she found at an estate sale.

    She set it on her grandmother’s antique desk.  It was a novelty item– it was not plugged in. Hazel felt closer to her grandmother and loved ones who had passed. As she sat at her grandmother’s desk, she imagined the letters her grandmother penned at that writing desk and the calls that would come in. An invitation to tea? Family coming for a visit? Birth announcements? Wedding announcements? It was a lovely way Hazel liked to pass the time.

    She remembered the days of party lines and by counting the number of rings would indicate that the call was for you or for someone else.

    That thought just entered her mind when she heard the old telephone chirp out two short and one long ring. It did it several more times before Hazel answered it.

    “Hello?” Hazel asked timidly. She felt a bit awed by answering the old telephone that wasn’t plugged in.

    “Is that you?” came from the antique instrument.

    “This is Hazel.”

    “Oh, wrong number.”

    Was this a call from heaven? Hazel wondered. She thought about this. Grandma was that you? Was it for someone who owned the telephone?

    The more she thought about it, the more she thought the antique telephone was connected to the previous owner. She wondered how she could make it hers and receive messages from her loved ones.

    Was Hazel asking for trouble?

    She got out a smudge stick, lit it and allowed the smoke to envelope the antique telephone and antique desk.

    “This telephone and desk are one,” she said. “The desk belonged to my grandmother and now the telephone belongs to her, too.”

    Hazel thought a moment and added others thoughts she had to this ceremony she was conducting.

    “I will receive messages on this telephone from my grandmother and loved ones who have passed. This is my direct link to them, just as in the days when they were here on this earthly plane of existence. I love you all and miss you.”

    Hazel allowed the smudge stick to burn as she placed it in a bowl on a trivet and meditated while sitting at the old antique writing desk.

    The telephone interrupted her meditation with one long and two short rings.  Hazel thought that must be for me, since the two short and one long was for someone else. She answered it by saying, “Hello, this is Hazel.”

    There was laughter on the other end of the line.

    “Who is this?” she asked.

    More laughter.

    Hazel wondered if it was children playing a prank as in the old days. “Do you have Prince Albert in a can? Well, let him out!” Referring to the pipe tobacco.

    That thought brought a smile to her lips as she hung up the telephone.

    Hazel truly thought she had made a connection with the beyond. She just hadn’t connected to her loved ones.

    A few days passed and the antique telephone remained silent.

    She thought that since it was an old telephone, maybe an old number would reach her loved ones. She got out an old address book that belonged to her mother and looked at the list of names and numbers. Some numbers were scratched out and replaced with newer ones. She found one for her grandmother who had died in the 1960’s and using the rotary dial she placed her call with great anticipation. She also wondered how much this call was going to cost, but since the antique telephone wasn’t plugged in, she dismissed the thought as mere foolishness.

    She heard ringing through the instrument. She was making a connection, if only someone would answer. It just kept ringing. She tried another number. The old number that belonged to her parents. She got a message of “That number is no longer in service.”

    Hazel wondered how far back she had to go in order to connect with her loved ones. With determination she dialed number after number.

    Exhausted from her efforts, she went into the kitchen to make dinner and think about this some more. She was truly obsessed with making a connection. She got out an old recipe book that belonged to her grandmother and even made the raisin oatmeal cookies she always had in her cookie jar. Hazel even brought down the old cookie jar from the high shelf above the refrigerator.

    She almost fell off the step ladder when she heard the antique telephone peal out three short rings. She set the cookie jar on top of the refrigerator, stepped down to the kitchen floor and dashed to the telephone.

    “Hello?” she answered breathlessly.

    “Stop! Just stop what you’re doing!” and the line went dead.

    Hazel was delighted! She had no intention of stopping. She made a connection!

    It happened when Hazel was drinking tea and eating raisin oatmeal cookies around 2 in the afternoon. The antique telephone would chirp out three short rings. Hazel would answer it and receive instructions. She would follow them to the letter from cleaning out cupboards to running errands. She was also instructed to go to a particular thrift shop to buy what her grandmother referred to as “house dresses.”

    Everyday Hazel would have her tea and raisin oatmeal cookies at 2 P.M. anticipating her telephone message. She was obsessed and some believe possessed. Her care provider never heard the antique telephone ring, but she would see Hazel run to answer it and bake more cookies or do something in another room or even get out in her car. Sometimes she would take a nap.

    Whatever possessed Hazel, didn’t seem dangerous to her family, just odd. The care provider thought differently. She did file a report and the family dismissed her and hired someone new.

    Hazel seems happy enough with a new care provider, her tea and raisin oatmeal cookies and telephone messages.

    Is this really happening? Is it all in Hazel’s mind? Is the antique telephone haunted? These are all questions I can’t answer, but I believe something is going on with Hazel and that old antique telephone.

    Please leave me a comment.

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Sharon