I was with my ghost hunting group at the local cemetery. While there, we met Bertha who had a story to tell.

    She went on one of those tours of haunted places. She didn’t specify where and we didn’t press her.

    Bertha was 14 or 15 years old at the time. She was looking forward to this particular trip and the whole family was interested in taking pictures to see if they could capture ghosts or orbs or anything paranormal.

    When they arrived, Bertha recalled saying, “If there are any ghosts here, we mean you no harm,” as she stood in front of the massive building.

    She heard something fall, she looked down and on the cement walkway was a metal object. She picked it up and put it in her purse.

    She joined her parents, siblings and other tour group members up the steps and into the grand lobby. Bertha immediately felt a cold blast of cold air. She took pictures, but didn’t see anything. The cold air wasn’t coming from the air conditioning vents, but it was above her. She imagined ghosts flying overhead or giant orbs.

    Bertha wasn’t paying much attention to the tour guide, she was more concerned about how cold her hands felt.

    As we stood in a shady spot on this late June day in the cemetery, I noticed Bertha rubbing her hands to get them warm.

    Bertha continued. She began feeling dizzy as they climbed the stairs along with the tour guide. Bertha told her mother she wasn’t feeling well and would wait for them outside.

    She sat on the steps, off to one corner, to be out of the way of tourists, but visible to her parents when they finished the tour.

    The dizziness subsided, but she shook with fear. She was sure something there did not like her — maybe personally, or just didn’t like her being there.

    Bertha tried to calm herself down. She prayed for protection and immediately felt better.

    After the tour, she met her parents and walked to the car. They stopped at a restaurant for lunch before heading for home.

    She remembered her parents and brothers talking about the tour and what impressed them about what the tour guide said. She remembers her mother saying she took a lot of pictures and couldn’t wait to get them developed.

    When they were leaving the restaurant, Bertha picked up a quarter she found on the sidewalk and put it in her purse. It clinked with the metal object she picked up earlier at the haunted place. She decided to take a closer look when they got in the car.

    She brought it out as they were driving out of the restaurant parking lot. The car’s engine sputtered to a stop. Her father got out and lifted the hood to take a look. He fiddled with something and started the car. She was holding the object in her hand, but still hadn’t examined it closely. She opened her hand and looked at the broken bell-shaped object. There was a piece that fit in the top and there was no clapper in the bell.

    She turned it over in her hand to examine the writing that was inside the bell. The car once again sputtered to a stop.

    Bertha wondered if it had anything to do with the metal bell.

    Her father got the car running again, but he drove to the nearest gas station hoping someone could fix the car.

    Bertha put the bell back in her purse while they waited for her father to finish talking to the mechanic who could find nothing wrong. She was sure, the car trouble had something to do with the broken metal bell. She decided to keep it in her purse.

    Bob, one member of our group, said that one should never accept gifts from ghosts. It could have been a demon or some ghost that wasn’t being generous, but was a way of getting into her house.

    We all agreed, including Bertha who continued her story.

    “When we did get home, I put the metal bell on my dresser. A friend of mine came over and invited me to the movies. Mom and Dad agreed and my brothers joined us.”

    When Bertha and her brothers arrived home that evening, her mother and father were sitting on the front steps. Police cars were in front of the house and around the back.

    “Someone broke in the house,” her father said calmly.

    As it turned out, there was no break-in. The police could find no one in the house or around the house.

    Bertha told her parents about the bell she found that morning and went to get it to show them.

    The bell was part of a candle snuffer. The handle had broken off.

    Bertha pointed out the inscription inside the bell. She couldn’t read it — it was in old script and she thought in another language.

    Her mother cleaned it up with silver polish to clear away any soot and tarnish.

    Looking inside, she read a message that disturbed her. She threw it in the trash and put it out to the trash can in the alley.

    As it turned out, all their haunted tour photographs came out black.

    Obviously, something didn’t want them to have pictures of their visit.

    Eventually, Bertha’s mother shared what she read inside the broken bell. “A curse is placed on the possessor of this bell. May all your dreams be snuffed.”

    Even though, the bell had been thrown out, strange things occurred in the house. There were many fires in the kitchen and garage. The whole family seemed to suffer from Bertha’s picking up the bell.

    Her older brother broke his leg in a basketball tournament. Her younger brother got hit in the mouth with a baseball, breaking his front teeth. Her father lost his job, his boss and co-workers thought he was a jinx. Bertha had some traumas in her life, but she didn’t share them.

    She was wondering about curses and how to break them. Since we didn’t know about the original curse, we couldn’t help her, but referred her to someone who might.

    It is true that Bertha took a gift from some entity, her mother threw it out instead of giving it back. I wonder if that would have made a difference.

    Just beware of taking gifts from ghosts.

    Thanks for stopping by!!

    I hope you will share this real ghost story along with some others with your friends and family.

    Sharon