Curiouser And Curiouser: A Possible Ghost Story

When we first moved to Charleston, which was at the very beginning of 2003, we moved into the ground floor of a large grey house downtown, a house with a wrought-iron gate that made up for the fact that the kitchen was essentially just a countertop and an oven in the living room, and that the only electrical sockets in the whole apartment were, bizarrely, halfway up the wall.

A few months after we'd moved in, my mother sent me a package containing some pearl earrings. I'd been saying for a while, I guess, that I'd like some pearl earrings, that they might be good for job interviews---my reasoning being, since I was 22, that what I lacked in experience, I could make up for in tasteful jewelry---and so she sent me a pair as a surprise. They arrived in the mail and I wore them for a few months, and then suddenly one day I couldn't find them.

I looked everywhere. I mean, seriously, I looked everywhere. At first, I looked in drawers and cupboards and jewelry boxes and makeup bags, in the obvious places where I could certainly be forgiven for thinking a pair of pearl earrings might hide. Then I got a little desperate and searched the freezer and the garbage cans, between the pages of novels, the barrel of the washing machine, the laundry hamper, the insides of all my shoes. I couldn't understand it: one day I took my pearl earrings off and laid them on my bedside table, the next day they were gone.

The searching went on for two or three weeks, until I finally gave the earrings up for dead. I'd lost them forever, I figured, one of those things you eventually just accept and stop obsessing over. They were great earrings while they lasted, I told myself folornly. Maybe they'd impressed a job interviewer or two.

One morning, about three weeks to the day after I'd first noticed them missing, I got up, made some coffee, and took a shower. Upon entering the bedroom from the bathroom, cucooned in a towel with hair wet and that slight squint particular only to short-sighted people who haven't yet put their contact lenses in, my gaze was immediately---and I can't express how immediately, how urgently---drawn to my bedside table. There sat my pearl earrings, plain as day.

And here's the really weird part: they looked so carefully placed there, so perfectly positioned, like someone had measured the distance between them with a ruler, making sure that both backs faced in the same direction, that both pearls faced forwards. They were at the front of the table, right in the middle, and they looked like they'd been put there, for lack of a better word, lovingly.

It was one of the most surreal and bizarre moments of my entire life. Ten minutes before, I'd woken up and they hadn't been there---hell, for three whole weeks they hadn't been there---and yet mysteriously, while I was in the shower, they'd reappeared.

Sean had left for work early that morning and I called him immediately. "Did you find my earrings?" I asked him. "Did you find them while I was sleeping and put them on my bedside table?" No, he said, he hadn't.

So how had they got there?

That's up to you, Internet; you can decide whatever you want. My own theory is that some sweet Southern belle who'd died years before had needed to borrow something pretty to wear, perhaps because her husband had just passed away and she was about to be reunited with him. I like to think she saw my earrings, thought "ooh, I'll just borrow these for a little while," and then came and put them back---like a good Southern belle would do; in fact, it's a wonder she didn't leave a thank you note on monogrammed stationery---once she was done with them, making sure to leave them in the exact place I'd be sure to find them.

So, feeling a little silly, I said a quick but effusive thank you out loud. I like to think that she heard me.

Aug 09, 2007

I had a similar experience with my eyeglasses and my keys in the house we've lived in since last September, so I completely see where you're coming from.

It's an odd feeling to be missing something for weeks and then suddenly have it appear in an area that you've searched a hundred times over.


Aug 09, 2007

Very odd.
Up until they were...returned, I was going to ask if maybe the cats had eaten them or something. I don't think I've ever had an encounter with a ghost, but I do believe they exist. (Hear that ghosts?!)

Also, thanks for commenting. :)

Aug 09, 2007

Oh my. I'm very sorry about that obnoxious smiley.

Aug 09, 2007

"it’s a wonder she didn’t leave a thank you note on monogrammed stationery"

It's probably because she just wasn't sure if that now, since she is a ghost, she should go by her maiden or married name.

Aug 09, 2007

Oh hey, I have an about next time you write a creepy post (one that scares the living hell out of me), you warn me not to read it all by myself at four in the morning in my unarguably creepy tree-house-like room in a quite Los Angeles neighborhood...mmm K? Thanks and goodnight.
(but seriously folks, I *heart* nothingbutbonfires).

jive turkey
Aug 09, 2007

Ooooooo! Very cool story. I think a skeptic would have a hard time explaining that one away. Glad you had what seemed to be a friendly spirit, and not one who caused the walls to bleed or something like that.

Aug 09, 2007

That's a ghost story I can get behind; if only the ghosts who "borrow" my various mislaid items -- I'm looking at you, you gym key card swiping hussy -- would return them with the clear affection as your Southern Bell. Teaches me to live with a bunch of Yanks.

Actually, I lost my all-time favorite pair of earrings about two months ago. I scoured our apartment, I pawed through my office desk, I silently accused the kitten of eating them. Just when I gave them up for sadly, irrevocably lost, we moved apartments. We had the movers pack us up and faced with the empty apartment, I forlornly mused, "Alas, alack, poor earrings!" But in the new shiny place, in the very first box I opened . . . there they were on top. Ghost? Eh?

Aug 09, 2007

Perhaps there is a viral case of "Earring Blindness" going around. It lasts about three weeks, and then one day you wake up completely cured.

Nah, I like the southern ghost-chick better.

Aug 09, 2007

Ah, those southern women, always so kind and considerate!

Aug 09, 2007

Strangely enough, I had a very similar experience with a pair of *pearl earrings* about a year ago in Baltimore. An aunt had given me the earrings not long before she passed away, so I cherished them and was very upset when they went missing from (yes) my bedside table. I looked absolutely everywhere, but after about a week I gave up and decided I was being a silly little materialist. But one morning I looked over at the bedside table and there they were, lined up neatly just like yours. Quite strange, eh? Still, I'm not entirely convinced that my then-boyfriend wasn't having a little fun with me.

Susan D.
Aug 09, 2007

My current house, unlike some of my past residences, is only mildly haunted. The primary manifestation is the movement of items from their usual location to some entirely unlikely place, where they lie undiscovered for months. My first engagement ring (it was broken off) disappeared from its little box in my dresser to the glass bottle recycling bin in the garage. That bin doesn't fill up often, and it's lucky that when I finally took it to the curb, a little golden gleam caught my eye. Not the only thing that's been weirdly moved, but certainly the most significant.

Aug 09, 2007

Charleston is one of the most haunted cities in the US. It all makes perfect sense...

Aug 09, 2007

A well-mannered ghost! How nice. So the South. I have a couple other scenarios: Southern Belle perhaps had a soiree to attend- maybe they last several weeks in heaven. Or the pearls fit perfectly with her best friend's outfit- and she knew just the store to get them!
In a world of bizarre and spooky ones, thanks for the sweet ghost story!

Aug 09, 2007

I had a jewelry ghost! I lost a favorite ring over a trip to visit my family over Thanksgiving years ago. Gone. Called airline, looked everywhere frantically, the whole drill. Months later, I moved to a new house--a very old log cabin that did turn out to be haunted by a friendly, or rather not evil, spirit who liked to freak me out by pacing downstairs every few days. Anyway...the very first night I spent in the cabin, I woke up to find my ring SITTING PRECISELY ON TOP OF ME ON MY BED. It "probably" came out somewhere in the move, but I'd like to think it was the ghost who was all "hey, welcome, here's your ring."

Sasha Ray
Aug 09, 2007

I was just introduced to your blog by Ms. Clink's post. Thank you for sharing this touching and chilling story with us.

Aug 09, 2007

I used to work in a restaurant built in a very old house, which was utterly and totally haunted. A revolutionary war captain had built it for his wife and many children, and supposedly she and a few of her boys (unfortunately died young, as was common then) haunted it. A few odd things happened to me, but something that used to happen with great frequency was that female guests would lose jewelry, call the restaurant looking for it, and we wouldn't find it immediately. Every so often someone would go in the attic to get something out of storage, and find random pieces of jewelry in a pile up there.

Elizabeth evidently liked her ghostly bling.

Aug 09, 2007

My ghost (at the aquatics facility) loved all things shiny. It "disappeared" jewlery, tools and once-while we were putting together a new piece of excercise equipment-screws. I mean, right in front of us, they were just GONE. Usually, the things were returned at some point but the screws, never made a return appearance. I'm fairly certain the ghost disliked treadmills.

Oh yes, tampons also went missing from our lockers frequently. Although, I'm still on the fence about that being the work of the ghost or a desperate female lifeguard. I mean, really, what would a ghost need with tampons?

Aug 09, 2007

That's very odd but at least you got them back!

Aug 09, 2007

OK, your story was spooky, but then reading everyone else's similar stories launched me right into heebie-jeebie territory. Who knew ghosts were so into accessorizing (Jacob Marley and his chains aside)?

Nothing But Bonfires
Aug 09, 2007

Yeah, the spirit world really needs to open a Claire's Accessories or something.

Aug 09, 2007

Ok... seriously.. every hair on my neck just stood up, I do think they were borrowed and returned, how interesting, and a little spooky, has anything else happened?

Aug 09, 2007

Hi! Decided to check out your blog after reading Clink today - great story, glad you found those earrings! Stop by if you get the chance...i've hopped back into the blogosphere myself!

Aug 09, 2007

oh and by the way -- as a side note, you should be glad to know that although i love harry potter...they aren't the only books i read! lol

Aug 09, 2007

I'm on the fence about my belief in ghosts, spirits, etc, but I love ghost stories, and this is a great one. My girlfriend (who is decidedly NOT on the fence and beliefs whole-heartedly) read this entry and was freaked out. It certainly sounds like a well-mannered southern lady needed to borrow your earrings. You know how us Southern girls love our pearls!

Just so you know, I wrote about mysterious lost-and-found items in my blog today as well and linked to your story.


Aug 10, 2007

First of all, first-time commenter, long-time reader.

I LOVE this post. I love the idea that there is this whole world of magic out there with ghosts and fairies and leprechauns, but for some reason, I can't quite bring myself to believe in them.

Great! Now I'm definitely going to be haunted.

Aug 10, 2007

I too am well spooked by this ghost jewelry-thief phenomenon. Could there be another explanation? Do mice like shiny things? (I considered then jettisoned the unobtrusive-indoor-crow theory.)

Aug 10, 2007

Ooh, very creepy/cool story. You know, in college, I was convinced that I, too, was being visited by a ghost that liked jewelry. Turned out it was simply a kleptomaniac girl who lived in our dorm. If she was from Charleston, I'd say we would have solved the mystery. ;)

Aug 10, 2007

That's scary. It's not one of those ones you can explain with science, either - like hearing voices ends up just being a gas leak driving everyone slowly insane. I sort of wish I could have had a ghost experience, and am also sort of glad I haven't and hope I never do.

Aug 10, 2007

Remember in San Diego when you thought a little girl rushed into your room, like maybe it was Summer, and was standing by your bed, so you locked your door, and in the morning your door was still locked and Summer hadn't been there?

Aug 10, 2007

maybe some pervert was living in your walls and spying on you through a little camera and wanted to borrow your earrings.

Nothing But Bonfires
Aug 10, 2007

Wow, Susie, I'd totally forgotten about that! That was really creepy. And yet San Diego seems like the least haunted place eve.

Aug 10, 2007

I like to think ghosts exist if only because I believe my mother is still near. Still around.

Except when I am having sex.

Aug 12, 2007

Oooh, great story!

I wish whoever swiped my very favorite star-shaped earring would bring it back. I miss it!

Terri B.
Aug 14, 2007

Very weird. Glad I'm not the only one who has had this experience. It is just too creepy when the "lost" item just appears someplace you've already looked at like a gazillion times.