Saturday, October 26, 2013

Day 5: Haunted Holland

Note: I begged Jennifer Graham, my awesome photographer friend, to let me borrow some of her famed cemetery photos for this post. All photographs are copyrighted. Please do not use without permission. I've included Jennifer's contact information at the bottom. I highly recommend liking her White Rabbit Creative Facebook page.    

When my oldest child was a toddler, we lived for a year in the Netherlands. Our neighbors joked that we inhabited the oddest house in all of Holland.  It was a brick row house that was built in the 1920s and ran eight meters across the front, like its normal row mates, but shrank to only one meter in the back—enough for a single door. When the rental agent showed it to us, we immediately fell in love with the oddball home and nicknamed it “The Wedge.” We signed the lease and drove out to IKEA to furnish our beloved wedge with modern Swedish decor. 

Soon, I became friends with our most interesting neighbor, an astrological adviser. Given her profession, I assumed that she was open-minded to the supernatural. I saw no reason not to ask her if she had noticed any weird occurrences at The Wedge or if she had heard stories of it being haunted. She looked at me, shocked, and said, “There are no haunted houses in Netherlands.” No haunted houses in Netherlands? My foot! I’m from the South. Everything is haunted (“got haints”). No amount of modern, minimalist furniture can excise persistent ghosts from the past.

The Wedge didn't possess bad energy. In fact, it was a sunny, cheery place.   My toddler son would giggle, wave, and carry on a delightful conversation in babble to an invisible person on the balcony.  Often I would return to the states and, alone at The Wedge, my husband would work late into the night.  He told me stories of how he had locked the balcony door, only to find it open again.  Once he looked into the mirror and saw the reflection of a man standing behind him. I guess my most interesting experience was waking up in the night to see a tall, reed-like man standing in our bedroom, wearing a dull 1940s suit, smoking a cigarette, and peering out the window.  He looked as if he had been drawn in charcoal.

I have since learned that these grayish, sketch-like apparitions are a particular classification of ghosts.  I understand that they can have yellow eyes. Luckily, I didn't get to see my night visitor’s glowing orbs.  

These were just isolated incidents in our time in The Wedge. I still remember the home with tenderness and warmth. Maybe it was so lovely there that its former inhabitant didn't want to leave.

Question: Have you ever had a supernatural encounter while traveling? If so, please share your story.

You can see more of Jennifer Graham’s work at the White Rabbit Creative photography websiteEtsy, Twitter or Facebook

Susanna Ives is a mommy and romance writer living in Atlanta. Her upcoming book Wicked Little Secrets will be available on December 3rd.  You can learn more about her books at, Twitter, and Facebook

Tag! Laura, you're next!


Maryanne Stahl said...

lovely photos. we do have fab photo opps here in Savannah when it comes to gravestones. your wedge house sounds charming.

Annie said...

Susanna! Great story. Nice ghosts. Extra spooky with the yellow eyes. Glad I waited until after dark to read. Not.

Susanna Ives said...

Thanks, y'all.

Tina said...

I keep trying to meet a ghost on my travels -- so far the closest I've come was our night at The Old City Jail in Charleston. And of course there is the bathroom at The Mansion . . .

Laura Valeri said...

Even if it was a nice ghost, it still would freak me out to see one.