By Rick Hinton
Ghosts — imprints of a life once lived or harbingers of a future yet unfolding — are always with us, just sometimes buried. Sometimes in the night I feel them coming to call. Lately, it has been the strange rumblings from Kentucky from days gone by:
My grandfather Arnold’s sisters married into the Bell family. They had a home in Albany (close to the Tennessee border) that no one lived in, however they used it for reunions and large dinners. My aunt, June Loveless, remembers attending many of these. She also remembers my grandmother Lucille telling her the house was haunted. There were reports that while in bed, the covers would pull down. And, something about a picture that would move. The house has since burned down.
The Daffron family had a lot of kids that grew up in that small house on Sunset Drive. My aunt Betty Lou died in 1941 at the age of 2 from one of those childhood sicknesses that often turned fatal. My mother saw her after she died. It was a bright, sunny day and my mother was riding a horse on the graveled road across from her house. She watched Betty Lou playing in the air. She heard her chattering and giggling. Then, just as quickly, she was gone. It was her only appearance, at least to my mother. My grandparents wouldn’t comment upon it when asked; Arnold would light up another Pall Mall and Lucille would get a faraway look in her eyes.
My mother moved back to Jamestown after my father died. It was time for her to go home! She bought a house on a secluded bluff above Lake Cumberland, just across the ridge from Jamestown. Then … she got sick (spinal meningitis), and then had a stroke. She never walked again. I’ve written in the past in The Southside Times about the paranormal activity that accompanied the three years she was bedridden. It ramped up significantly in the final year and on the night that she passed, with me holding her hand, there seemed to be a release in the house I can’t explain. However, it was only temporary. It continues to harbor activity, and it is now my house. Retirement should be fun! I always had a strange
“vibe” about the house after she bought it. My wife, Laura, and my cousin Wade believe it involves the land rather than the house. They may be right. When questioned, my mother would just smile slightly. It would seem she had become the Kentucky girl with a zipped lip.
Arnold passed away in 1975. Lucille, 88 years young, died in April of 2004. A week before her passing she opened up, telling June (and I’m sure my mom) she was seeing her father and brothers in her dreams. I think the mind just knows when it is time to move on. It brings a glimpse of what is to come. At least, I would like to think that.
The house on Sunset Drive has been sold, yet June continues to live next door. She sees it every day. She stops to look. Memories are not always bad. They can certainly be sad, but also bring great comfort. And … if you listen really hard on those moonlit nights, when the crickets raise song, and the solitary streetlight casts a dim pale, you might just hear the sounds of grandkids raising a ruckus as they collect fireflies, drink caffeine and dance into their future.