Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Ghost Jar

About ten years ago, I went to a bookstore where the editors of Weird NJ magazine were appearing for a signing and a talk. I had a friend along and we sat towards the back of what was becoming a very crowded room. The guys were witty and animated, telling the tale of how they ended up doing something out of pure love of the backroads and local legends of New Jersey. Something that ended up being very successful for them. They fielded questions from the audience. Where was their favorite place to visit in NJ? Where was the spookiest? Had they ever gotten arrested for trespassing on private property? Had they ever seen the Jersey Devil? And then they were asked if they really believed in ghosts. They said they always get asked that question at every appearance. And they said that they like to answer it in a specific way. The one guy reaches down and lifts up a large mason jar that looks to be painted completely black on the inside. The exterior was shiny, but the inside was completely black. At first I thought it might contain a black liquid, but it appeared light and easy to handle with one hand, so it had to have been painted or coated on the inside. It was a pretty large jar.

He holds it up for the crowd to see. We all lean forward. He slowly starts to unscrew the lid. The room is completely quiet and still. Just as he gets it open, I hear my friend whisper my name to get my attention. I ignore him since I'm trying to see what's in the weird jar. But the guy quickly puts the lid back on and seals it tight.

Then he said "Each of you just heard someone whisper your name." The room went insane.



I told my sister that story after the book-signing. And she practically called the local news. I think every friend of hers told every friend of theirs. I figured I'd give it a day before I told her I made the story up. She was too horrified and embarrasssed to come clean that she overreacted and believed her lousy brother without even considering the source. So she didn't recant the story to her laundry list of friends.

I bet there's a local legend in Pennsylvania now. One about a Ghost Jar. And how, if you hold it up just right, and unscrew it in just the right way, that you'll hear your name whispered in your ear.

9 comments:

Jay's Shadow said...

That was a great story! I love local legends like that. In the town where I grew up (Altoona Pa) they have one legend called "The lady in white". It is Still told to this very day.

The Frog Queen said...

I need to make a ghost jar now.

You know that you are a really bad influence right? :D

Not complaining...just letting you know :D

Cheers!

GhoulishCop said...

Well, you had me believing it...

Regardless, I like that story anyway. I just may tell it to some of my friends as if I had been there.

Rich

Pam Morris said...

bad boy, rot...

Jana said...

You had me believing it too darn it!
=/

The Captain said...

You sir are "Bad Ass"!

I'm telling you, you'd need to write a book. Your style of writing just speaks with a clear and comfortable voice that people feel at ease with.

http://www.nanowrimo.org/

Rot said...

: )

Anonymous said...

This reminds me of a kind of story my father would tell. Everyone says he has the gift of storytelling because of his matter of fact style of delivery. Its a lost art form and I wished I was passed down more.

Anonymous said...

AAAHHHH...shut my mouth! I was believing it too! *thinking* REALLY? And like an idiot...I fell for it. This is what happens when siblings pick on each other (pay back from childhood) and I'm still laughing!