The Blackboard Ghost

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There it was in green and white-a message scrawled  on  the blackboard in the penmanship of an old, unsteady hand: ” If G-d is with us,  who can  be against us.” Above it, written in the same white chalk, was a Hebrew phrase in  perfect right-out-of-the-prayer-book print.

The six of us  looked in amazement at these words, not believing what we  saw.  This was impossible. No one had been in the house since the board had been erased earlier that day. The third floor of Annette and Steve’s one-hundred-year-old Victorian home had been converted into a playroom  for their  two young boys.

Having just moved into the  house a month before,  the kids used the room to their  greatest creative advantage. Its  novelty had  not worn off  yet. The room was a conversation piece,  and when guests arrived, it was  the most  popular feature on the house tour.

Annette and I had  been chatting with our husbands when  my brother came downstairs. “I love the blackboard on the wall?”

“What? ” screamed Annette, as we all  flew up the  stairs to  confirm the sight.

The appearance of this chalk message was unexplainable, but a strange coincidence put this  handwriting  in a  more supernatural light.  Annette and Steve were trying to refurbish the home in  the style of the 1940s.

The man who lived at the house then was in his eighties and lived nearby. Annette invited him to  dinner the following  week,  to pick his brain  about how the house had looked and where  to put  several artifacts  they  had found  lying around  the property.

Annette and Steve were very excited about learning about the  house in its glory days. Apparently, this  gentleman  had been very attached to the residence and his life there.

Two days after the discovery of the unexplained  hand, writing, Annette received some sad news.  The former owner would not be coming to dinner after all. He had  passed  away two days before.

Did the  former owner send a benevolent message about  his life  and feelings for this place? We’ll never really know,  but the  timing gives us reason to suspect it.

Malerie Yolen-Cohen

Stamford, Connecticut

March 1999

 

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