My father was driving in his car on the I-75 expressway in Dallas, when suddenly a co-worker appeared next to him in the passenger seat. My father said he looked like a flesh and blood live person, but there was no way he could have transported himself into a moving car that was traveling 60 miles per hour down the highway. My father was startled and could barely keep the car from hitting the guard rail.

His co-worker looked at him solemnly and said, “Go help Momma.”   Then just as suddenly, he disappeared.

My father instinctively drove to the man’s house, which wasn’t far from the next exit. As he got out of the car and started walking towards the house, the man’s wife opened the front door with a stunned look on her face.

“George just got killed in a car wreck,” she said as she stumbled down the front steps and almost fell down.

“I know,” my father told her. “He just appeared to me in my car and said to come here and see you.”

The sightings that happened in the house where I grew up were the most unsettling to me.  My grandfather had lived in that house until he died of a heart attack in 1963. When my family moved into the house, I was given my grandfather’s old room.

One Sunday evening while we were watching the Ed Sullivan show on a black and white console TV, my father was lying on the sofa enjoying the program. He was holding a glass of water, taking occasional sips, when it suddenly slipped from his hand and fell to the floor. The carpet kept the glass from breaking, but the impact sent the water sloshing up into the air. My mother and I turned to see what happened. We expected my father to say something, but instead he was staring out the door of the den into the hallway that connected the bedrooms to the kitchen. His mouth was partially open, trying to form words, but nothing was coming out.

“What’s wrong?” my mother asked.

Finally, after a few moments my father answered with one word, “Ross.”

Ross was my dead grandfather. My father said he had just seen Ross walking down the hall.

“He was wearing a white sleeveless undershirt and boxer underwear with black socks,” my father said. “He seemed to be carrying something back from the kitchen heading towards his bedroom.”  That’s the part that sent chills through my body.  He was going back into MY room.

My father got up and searched the hall, with my mother and me close behind him. The door to my room was closed, and I know it took a lot of courage for my father to turn the door knob and fling open the door.  But when the door swung open, Ross wasn’t there.  I made my father search the closet, the bathroom, the shower, and even under my bed.  Still, no Ross.

Needless to say, I kept the lights on and didn’t sleep much that night. I  wondered if the other kids at schools had similar things happening to them. This type of thing couldn’t be real, or could it?

There were additional sightings of Ross around our house for the next few years. One night my father woke up and found Ross standing by the side of the bed with a cup of water in his hand.  My grandmother and grandfather had separate bedrooms, and my mother and father had my grandmother’s old bedroom. My grandmother had been sickly, and Ross would often take her medicine and a cup of water in the middle of the night.  When my father saw Ross standing over him, he reached out to try to touch the ghost. As he did, Ross turned the cup of water upside down and poured it on my father’s face.  Ross then disappeared as my mother woke up and looked over.

“You’re all wet,” she told my father. “What happened?”

Another time my father was working on a car in the driveway.  My mother was out grocery shopping, and I was playing in the backyard.  After working for a few hours, my father decided to go inside and get a drink. As he entered the kitchen through the backdoor, he suddenly found Ross sitting at the dinette table eating.  Ross was facing the other direction, so my father slowly walked up behind him. Just as he was about to touch Ross’s back, Ross dissolved up into the ceiling, and the chair in which he was sitting flew back from the table and hit my father in the chins.

My brother Gary, who was 14 years older than me and had become a clinical psychologist, talked with us one day when he was in town for a visit about the Ross sightings.

“One theory is that people have some type of energy essence that they leave behind,” Gary explained. “It’s an energy like electricity or x-rays that people normally can’t detect. But some people have the ability to turn their radios into that frequency and see that essence. You are not seeing the dead, but old etched memories of the past.”

This made sense to me. In all of the Ross sightings, he had been wearing his underwear, getting a drink of water, or eating in the kitchen. Perhaps this phenomenon was just some type of time warp and not a haunting after all.

Eventually, one evening after one of these sightings, we had just finished searching the living room for Ross, when a powerful Texas thunderstorm hit with a fury of lightning strikes that seemed to be landing all around our house.  Everyone was frightened by the sightings of Ross, and we didn’t know what to do.

“Do you need us to do something?” my mother asked the emptiness of the living room.  “Do you want to tell us something?”

“Ross?” my father asked. “You need to stop doing this. You are scaring everyone.”

I remember the storm grew very intense at that point and the wind knocked some things into the front door. We thought it might be a sign from Ross, but as my father opened the front door expecting to see his dead father-in-law, he was instead greeted by sideways rain pelting him in the face.

The sightings inside the house stopped at that point. Ross did still appear to my father a few more times, but he appeared outside a door or window, or standing in the backyard.  The last time my father saw him was after my grandmother Nanny died.  In this final sighting, Ross and Nanny were walking together in the backyard holding hands. They stopped and looked at my father and smiled, before walking off out of view.

That night hospital room, as my father lay in his hospital bed, and as I lay beside him on the cot, we talked about the supernatural, religion, and death.  He retold the stories of the sightings about Ross and other psychic encounters.

“I’ve always wondered about why this happened to me,” my father lamented. “What was I supposed to do with this?  I’ve often wondered whether it was a gift from god or a curse from the devil.”

“It’s a gift,” I told him. “It’s telling you there’s something more after this.”