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Thread: Ancestral apparitions and fiendish forebears

  1. #1
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    Ancestral apparitions and fiendish forebears

    Anyone have any ancestors who have a ghostly legend or story about them? A Welsh ancestor on my paternal grandmother's side is believed to have been a certain William Watkins, a captain in Cromwell's army during the 17th century civil war that led to Charles I's beheading, who is said to have ended up as a restless spirit. According to notes I made during a conversation with my late grandmother in the 1990s, William's father-in-law was a loyalist who hosted the king one night at his home so perhaps that familial conflict explains the restless fate that apparently awaited him. My grandmother told me that William's spirit is said to haunt a well near his Breconshire home in the form of a bee. I admire the unconventional nature of his haunting and wonder how many other paranormal progenitors are out there...
    Living DNA Cautious mode:
    South Wales Border-related ancestry: 86.8%
    Cornwall: 8%
    Cumbria-related ancestry: 5.2%
    Y line: Peak District, England. Big Y match: Scania, Sweden; TMRCA 1,280 ybp (YFull);
    mtDNA: traces to Glamorgan, Wales, 18th century. Mother's Y line (Wales): R-L21 L371

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  3. #2
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    No ghostly legends, as such. But shortly after my mother's father died -- actually, while we were at my grandparents' house for the funeral, since we lived several states away -- my mother said she saw him, just standing there.

    At the time, though, I remember it as being pretty creepy. But I always felt a little creepy in that house. It might have had something to do with an event that happened when I was much younger.

    It was Christmas eve, and my grandfather put on Santa mask on and peered in the window of one of the side rooms. Only, I didn't know it was my grandfather. I saw him and freaked. In fact, I don't think I ever went into that room alone again -- not even after my parents told me what was going on.

    But back to my mother ...

    I always consider that my mother was naturally grieving over her father's death, and she also found these visits home very stressful in the best of times. Her mother was highly critical of my mother, and always had been. But while her father was alive, he acted as a sort of buffer between them. In fact, I remember being shocked one time when my grandmother and mother had been arguing, and he actually shouted at my grandmother to shut up. I think that's the only time I ever heard him raise his voice to her -- or to anyone, for that matter.

    Besides that, from what I recall my mother says this "visit" was late at night, and I figure she might have been sleeping or on the edge of sleep. In any case, I don't think she ever saw him again on any of our subsequent visits to see her mother.

    Some time later, my grandmother sold the house and went to live with her widowed sister-in-law. After that, we no longer had a reason to visit the house. And eventually, Hurricane Rita not only destroyed the house -- Rita also wiped out the entire neighborhood where the house used to be.
    Last edited by geebee; 11-18-2018 at 02:21 AM.
    Besides British-German-Catalan, ancestry includes smaller amounts of French, Irish, Swiss, Choctaw & possibly Catawba. Avatar picture is: my father, his father, & his father's father; baby is my eldest brother.

    GB

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  5. #3
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    There was supposed to be a banshee that followed my grandfather's second cousins. Their house was also supposed to have been haunted with furniture moving and stuff like that. They had a priest say mass in it and kept the host in the house. It was my 3x great grandparents' house. My mum's cousins who had lived in the house had no descendants and the house was sold on. There's no one living in the house at the moment though.

    My grandmother saw a man at the end of her bed the night before she died. She had been very contrary and unlike herself up to that point with a very restless night calling for my mum constantly. She asked my mum if she could see the man at the end of the bed and Mum said she couldn't. She wasn't frightened though. Mum didn't ask any other questions but I think that he could have been someone she recognised. Her husband and brother had been dead at that stage but I think the way she phrased that it could have been someone who Mum had never seen before since I think she would have said, 'Do you see [name] at the end of the bed?' if Mum would have known them. I think that it could have been my grandmother's father who she saw who had died when she was 16. It could have been anyone though. My grandmother didn't push it any further and had a peaceful sleep after that. In the morning, she wanted her family around. Mum told her that she'd be back later in the day since my dad's sister was in town to visit and had invited us to dinner in her holiday home (my great grandparents' house). We got a call from my cousin at about 14:00 to say that Granny had died. It was only afterwards that Mum realised she should have seen the signs that she possibly knew she was going to die when she had been contrary the night before, had seen someone and wanted her family around in the morning. My grandmother had been ill but seemed to be improving so Mum hadn't expected her to die so soon.

    I was only 6 when my grandmother died so it was only in my teen years that Mum told me any of this. The family in the haunted house had also died before I was born so I never saw any evidence of either having occurred.
    Ancestry: Ireland (Roscommon, Galway, Mayo)
    Paternal ancestor (Y): Martin Kelly b. c1830 in Co. Roscommon (Uí Maine/Hy Many)
    Father's mtDNA: Catherine Fleming b. c1831 in Co. Roscommon (H27e)
    Maternal ancestor (mt): Anne McDermott b. c1814 in Co. Roscommon
    Paternal great grandfather (mt): Mary Connella b. c1798 in Co. Roscommon (T2a1a8)

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  7. #4
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    No, but I wish I did.

    I lived for a while in an apartment building that was the former headquarters of gangster Bugs Moran (it was a hotel then, and he operated in its penthouse). It was within a couple blocks of the site of the St Valentine's Day massacre (where 7 members of Moran's gang were wiped out by Capone's gang in 1929 (on Feb 14, of course), although Moran lived for many more years). The building where I lived was supposed to be haunted by Moran and some other member of his gang (I forget), but I saw no evidence of that and suspect it may have been marketing.

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  9. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by FionnSneachta View Post
    There was supposed to be a banshee that followed my grandfather's second cousins. Their house was also supposed to have been haunted with furniture moving and stuff like that. They had a priest say mass in it and kept the host in the house. It was my 3x great grandparents' house. My mum's cousins who had lived in the house had no descendants and the house was sold on. There's no one living in the house at the moment though.

    My grandmother saw a man at the end of her bed the night before she died. She had been very contrary and unlike herself up to that point with a very restless night calling for my mum constantly. She asked my mum if she could see the man at the end of the bed and Mum said she couldn't. She wasn't frightened though. Mum didn't ask any other questions but I think that he could have been someone she recognised. Her husband and brother had been dead at that stage but I think the way she phrased that it could have been someone who Mum had never seen before since I think she would have said, 'Do you see [name] at the end of the bed?' if Mum would have known them. I think that it could have been my grandmother's father who she saw who had died when she was 16. It could have been anyone though. My grandmother didn't push it any further and had a peaceful sleep after that. In the morning, she wanted her family around. Mum told her that she'd be back later in the day since my dad's sister was in town to visit and had invited us to dinner in her holiday home (my great grandparents' house). We got a call from my cousin at about 14:00 to say that Granny had died. It was only afterwards that Mum realised she should have seen the signs that she possibly knew she was going to die when she had been contrary the night before, had seen someone and wanted her family around in the morning. My grandmother had been ill but seemed to be improving so Mum hadn't expected her to die so soon.

    I was only 6 when my grandmother died so it was only in my teen years that Mum told me any of this. The family in the haunted house had also died before I was born so I never saw any evidence of either having occurred.
    Your banshee story reminds me of a personal anecdote concerning another harbinger of death that I believe has a place in Celtic culture: the owl. One morning I was driving my daughter to school through the Kentish countryside (it was midsummer and about 8.20am) when she spotted a wooden owl on a fence (I've seen it up close since). As we drove by she said she thought it was a real owl and we had a chat about it, with me dismissing the idea and saying it must have been an ornament. Suddenly I jumped in my seat when an enormous owl swooped down right over the windscreen and flew with us for a second or two before disappearing over a hedge. I'm not a superstitious person but the event was so remarkable that I immediately remembered the old stories and hoped it wasn't an omen. My mother died within the next two weeks. She'd been ill for many years but the end hadn't been expected at that time.
    Living DNA Cautious mode:
    South Wales Border-related ancestry: 86.8%
    Cornwall: 8%
    Cumbria-related ancestry: 5.2%
    Y line: Peak District, England. Big Y match: Scania, Sweden; TMRCA 1,280 ybp (YFull);
    mtDNA: traces to Glamorgan, Wales, 18th century. Mother's Y line (Wales): R-L21 L371

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  11. #6
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    Not an ancestor, but the church I was baptised in has a ghost story - "At midnight on 12 August 1560, under the moonlight in St Leonard's Churchyard, occultist and scholar Dr John Dee summoned the spirit of a man who had died before giving the whereabouts of a considerable amount of money. It is said that he was successful and the spirit did indeed tell the occultist the whereabouts of the wealth, but not before also predicting to Dee the fate of many of the locals, which is said to have later come true."
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walton-le-Dale

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