Ghosts and Hauntings/Weird Encounter?
I live in a very rural area. That being said, my house is surrounded by three fields and woods. My parents live around about 1,000 feet away from my husband and I. I usually go to visit them daily, and with them living so close, I always just walk over. About a month or two ago, I decided to walk over to their house, late one evening. I had a flash light and as I proceeded to walk through the field, I saw a man walking towards me. I stopped and stared in fright at him. Then after a second of looking at him, I didn't feel so frightened....just confused. The man stared at me as well and had a tired look on his face. He also had a bit of a limp to his walk. Despite only seeing him for a few seconds, I distinctively remember what he was wearing. He had on blue overalls (white/grey shirt underneath), and a hat....(something like a poor farmer would wear in the 1800's). He also looked like he had a scrubby face, almost like a five o clock shadow. He didn't seem surprised to see me or anything..he just looked at me like I was a stranger on a street. He disappeared after about five seconds. I shined my light everywhere looking for him but he was no where to be found. I didn't feel threatened, so I proceeded the walk to my parents' house. I didn't mention anything about the man to anyone and I just convinced myself that I had imagined the whole thing.
About a week ago, my mom and I sat on her porch talking. She told me that a weird thing had happened to her a few nights before but she hadn't told anyone because she didn't want anyone to think she was crazy. She told me that she was sitting on her porch, (just like every other night), and all of a sudden she saw a man standing at the end of her driveway, staring back at her. She described his clothes as green army-type pants and a white shirt. She also told me that he was wearing an old 1800's farmer hat. She said that he was only visible for a few seconds, then vanished. She then got scared and went inside. After she got finished telling me her story, I decided that it was appropriate for me to share my story as well.
We haven't told anyone else, (with the exception of my husband), about our sightings. Before I heard her story, I thought mine, was just my eyes playing tricks on me. Now I am interested in who this man was. I wonder if he may have owned a farm on our land at one time. (I know for sure that there was once an old barn in our field in the 1940's and someone plowed a garden at the top of our hill...the rows are still there.) As for the garden, it had to exist more than 70 years ago, because my family has owned this land for that long and none of them had a garden there. Whatever this is, it's just so odd that my mother and I saw the same overworked man, wearing the same hat and 1800's clothing. I'm not sure whether I believe in ghosts, but this can't be a coincidence. I kind of hope to see him again sometime, even though it really freaks me out!
Should I be afraid of him? Maybe it wasn't even the same man that my mother and I saw. I found it odd for me to feel at ease when I saw him and my mother to feel terrified. She said that after he disappeared, she felt like he was standing next to her and it really scared her. After realizing what I saw, I felt somewhat protected and intrigued.
Thank you for writing to me at All Experts / Ghosts and Hauntings with your questions. I am certain that I can give you some answers as to what is happening on your land. The first issue that I will address is your concern as to whether or not you have anything to fear from this apparition. The answer is no. I am certain that this forlorn soul has no intention to cause fear or terror. The fear that was felt was a byproduct of the sighting, but was in no way intentional. You and your mother can put your fears to rest.
There are those who would call what was witnessed a "residual haunting". There is no such thing. A haunting is caused by an entity that is capable of action, reaction and interaction with its environment and some people. Correct terms would therefore be residual energy or residual phenomena. Again, in regards to your particular situation, it is neither. This ghost was obviously aware of his surroundings and aware of the people that he encountered. That implies an interaction which in turn implies intelligence.
There is a slight chance that in your case a phenomena called a "time slip" occurred. That is where one briefly enters a wrinkle in the folds of time/space. The occurrence is extremely rare, but not unknown or undocumented. Imagine if you will that you have a ribbon that is one foot in length. I ask you to puncture the ribbon one inch from both ends with a stick pin, but you can not lose contact with the ribbon. To do so you would have to puncture one end, drag the needle the length of the ribbon to the opposite end and puncture it again. It took time for the pin to travel the space between the puncture sites. That is basically how we perceive time/space; as an event preceding another event. But what would happen if we folded that ribbon [time/space] in two? One could then puncture both ends almost simultaneously. The one puncture would no longer be separated from the other by the space between them. In an over-simplified nut shell this is what the rare phenomena of a time slip is like. In your situation if a time slip had occurred then there is a chance that you would have encountered each other. It is impossible to tell if you traveled back or he traveled forward. If this was a time slip, then to the farmer, YOU were the ghost! So a time slip is a possibility, but I would not put my money on it. I believe that you and your mother encountered the third possibility... a ghost.
Without knowing who this gentleman is there is no way to know at this time how long he has been deceased. However, the chances are good that it has been awhile since his demise and therefore there is a good chance that he has been around for awhile. Should a ghost decide to return to a certain location to reside after his passing he usually does so shortly after death. In a very literal sense, the land is haunted, but seeing as how the term "haunted" carries such a negative conotation, I will say that the land is "occupied" by a ghost. I can not tell you why he is there as I do not know the man, and therefore can only speculate as to his personal agenda. I will therefore take the liberty to assume.
The first and most obvious reason, and the one that you picked up on, it that he was connected to the land in the past. Most people who own and run a farm do so because of their love of the work and of the land. This would be especially so if that person was a homesteader. The chances are excellent that this man simple stays earthbound to be on the land he so loved. As a matter of fact, I would not be surprised that he is happy that there are people living on the land that care for it. Some ghosts are downright territorial when it comes to their property. That is not the case here else you would have known about it long long ago as territorial ghosts have an agenda; to get whoever is on their turf or in their home OUT. Your ghost seems content, if not happy, to simply be on the land. Home is where the heart is - even if that heart has ceased beating long ago.
Another possibility is that this ghost is looking for someone. As two women have encountered him I am going to guess that he is looking for his wife or possibly a pet such as a dog [somewhere in that sentence is the makings of a country western song]. Or he could be looking for his old house. All are possibilities. However, if he is looking for someone he may be looking for a long time depending on where that particular someone is. If he remained behind to be near his wife for example, and she has since passed on herself, she may have gone into the light. His search on the earth realm will be in vain. If she remained earthbound herself to look for him there is still no guarantee that they will find each other. Strange as it may seem two ghosts can be standing right in front of each other yet be unaware of the others existence. It's that time/space issue again. Ghosts like this have my sympathy and pity.
I can not tell you why, after this much time he decided to make his presence known. I feel that perhaps he was in an emotional state when he saw you and your mom [this plays into the looking for someone theory]. That emotional surge may have inadvertently caused him to appear. It could be that for a brief moment you and he were on the same "psychic wavelength" so to speak. We all enter different states of consciousness over the course of a day. Walking down the road or sitting on a porch can cause a mental state of relaxation and that may have put you and your mother momentarily on his wavelength. [Let me explain that. Imagine the psychic mind as a radio. With a regular radio, just because we are tuned into one station does not mean that the other operating stations have ceased to exist. They are still broadcasting but we are tuned into a particular frequency. The mind may work in a similar fashion. That the majority of the living are tuned into various frequencies familiar to us and that the afterlife exists in a range outside of our receiver's (our mind is the receiver)scope of range. However there may be times when we briefly, usually via an altered state of consciousness, tune into their frequency and we can experience the broadcast first hand]. Your encounter with him was likely accidental and he was likely as surprised as you that he had been seen.
I hope that this has shed some light on what you and your mother encountered. Ghosts are unpredictable and I can not say if you will ever see him again. I would not go out of my way to seek him out. He has coexisted with you for sometime without incident. He is in his world, and with the exception of a few accidental sightings, he is content to leave you to your own life. However, if I am right in assessing this man I would not be at all surprised if on the rare occasion he would be there to help out if required with a task or chore. He sounds harmless enough. And if he is indeed looking for someone dear to him, I wish him well.
If you feel that I can be of any more help or assistance with this do not hesitate to write and let me know. Please share this information with your mother as I am sure that it will also put her mind to rest. The thing to remember is that ghosts are still human and the majority of us are just regular Joes. It's just that the nasty one's living or dead, get all of the press.
Good guys still exist.
Greg Pocha / All Experts / Ghosts and Hauntings