|My husband and I are both work-aholics. I almost think it fair to say we spend more time at work than we do with our kids. Not that we want to, but with the way life is these days... Well, we do the best we can.
When my sister-in law called and told us about an upcoming family reunion, we welcomed the chance to take a break, and go spend some time enjoying ourselves with our kids at a place called Surfside Beach. It wasn't a long vacation, but it was nice and we enjoyed getting away from all the stress.
We were so close to Galveston that on the day we left the reunion, we decided to go ahead and take a bit of a detour and go see some of the sights. We went and toured the Submarine. We visited the historical district and admired many of the huge mansions that lined the streets.
Then, we decided to tour Bishop's Palace. Now, let me tell you a few things about this place, in case you don't already know. It is owned by the Catholic Church located across the street from it. They won't let you take any pictures inside the building. They won't let you tour the third floor. They say this is because of Insurance.
If there was anything to lend to the idea that the building wasn't sound, then I might fall for it. But after a couple of experiences I had there, I don't think so. You see, while we were standing on the huge wrap around porch, I had the urge to take a picture of my son in front of the Atrium. It was as if I just knew that there was something there that I couldn't see with my naked eye.
I took the picture, and tucked the camera away, knowing that I couldn't use it on the guided tour. When the tour began, I was amazed by the size of the house, and the extensive artwork.
The first couple that had lived there had lost two or three of their children to Yellow fever back in the early 1900's. The mother had been an artist, and she painted pictures of her children that had passed away on the walls and ceilings. There are also children's faces carved into the molding all throughout the house.
When we had first entered, I had seen this lady with auburn hair walk past wearing clothing that was the style at the time that the house was built. I had thought, oh wow! This is going to be neat if they are actually dressing in period clothing.
However, when the tour started, the people wore regular clothing. The woman I had seen was now nowhere. Odd, I thought, but maybe my mind was playing tricks on me?
The second room the first tour-guide took us into was the study. On either side of the desk in the room were portraits of the original owners of the house. The man looked very distinguished. The woman was very somber, with a graceful look about her... and auburn hair, done in the same style as the woman I had believed I had seen when I first entered the building.
Now, I am sensitive. I see things that other people can't. Or at least, they are too smart to admit they see it, so I keep my mouth shut and continue on the tour. When we get to the second floor, The second tour guide begins to tell us more about the rooms. When the Bishop had lived in the house, he turned one of the rooms into an alter room.
I am a Christian. I believe Christ died on the cross for our sins. I accepted him as my personal savior when I was eight years old. I also know that when I set foot in that room, I felt as if a huge weight was being pressed into my chest. I felt pain, and was completely repulsed by the room. I don't know why that was. But I was not the only one. Besides my daughter, and my husband, who also didn't want to go into that room, there were several other people that started into it, but changed their minds right before they entered. In the end, there were about eight of us that were left standing outside of that room, waiting for the guide to finish with it and lead us somewhere else.
We continued on the tour, and I felt nothing else, at first. As we finished the tour of the second floor, my husband and I were standing next to the spiral staircase that led to the third floor, that the guides had said they would not take us on because of insurance purposes. We stood there as the guide spoke of the different rooms that were upstairs.
During this time, my husband kept looking up the stairs, with a strange expression on his face. When I leaned over and whispered, "What's the matter?"
He answered, "I feel like there is someone watching us."
I backed up a step so I could look around him and up the stairs that were forbidden to us. What I saw above us made my breath catch. There, at the top of the stairs, was a child that was staring back at me with a sad look on his face. My heart ached for him. I felt like in that instant, he was trapped inside that fantastic house. A prisoner of the people that owned the place, but yet would not speak of the ghosts that were there.
During that entire tour, no one spoke of any ghosts. No one mentioned any haunting, although I could feel the spirits all around me as we had walked through the rooms.
When we finally left, I wondered what would have happened if I had dared to take a picture inside the house, instead of only on the porch? As it happens, when we got home and developed the pictures that we had taken, I was astonished to find that in one of the window panes of the atrium above my sons head, there is what appears to me to be the profile of someone that I know wasn't there when I took the picture.
Now, Some people look at this picture and see nothing. Many people have looked at it and see it instantly. I feel like it is too important to the people that are looking for validation of life after death, not to share it.
Take a look. Be the judge. Perhaps it is just a casting of the light. Maybe there was just some kind of mist in the atrium that day. Who knows? All I can say, is I knew something was there when I shot the picture. To me, it's all the proof I'll ever need...
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