British Columbia

Have you ever seen a ghost? CBC listeners share their stories of spooky encounters

CBC's The Early Edition asked listeners to share their stories of ghostly encounters ... read on if you dare.

From ghost-driven cars to voicemails from the grave, these tales seem to defy explanation ... or do they?

An unsettling Ouija board experience as a child was enough to turn one CBC listener off the board game for life. (Ghost River Theatre)

Have you ever seen a ghost? Or ever just sensed you weren't alone?

That was what CBC's The Early Edition asked listeners this Halloween and the stories poured in.

To mark the holiday, a collection of some of those terror-inducing tales have been compiled here.

Read on ... if you dare.

The man on the stairs

Carol Barber's three-year-old son was helping her stir a pot of soup in the kitchen of her Gibsons, B.C., home when it happened. 

"Mom, there's a man on the stairs," said her son. "He's smiling. You should turn around and say hi to him."

Barber knew they were alone in the house. When she turned around, no one was there. 

Sometime later, Barber and her son were looking at old family photographs and came across one of Barber's late father whom her son had never met.

"That's him! That's the man on the stairs," her son exclaimed.

Barber told her child to ask her dad to stay for a visit if he ever saw him again. So far, he hasn't dropped by the house again.

Three-year-old Ryan Barber, right, told his mother he could see a man in their home. Later, he saw a picture of his late grandfather Lyle, left, and identified him as the man he had seen. (Submitted/Carol Barber)

Message from the beyond

Beverly Rennicks' friend and next-door neighbour died suddenly this summer due to complications from pneumonia. She was a feisty personality, with an eagle eye and an opinion about everything that happened on her street, and her loss hit the neighbourhood hard.

One day, a few months after her friend had died, Rennicks noticed the light on her answering machine was blinking. 

When she pushed play on the machine, the automated voice told her she did not have any new messages. But then ... Rennicks was frozen in her tracks, as she heard her late friend's voice.

"Hey B., I hear you are trying to catch all those squirrels in your yard. Give me a call."

Rennicks was shaken. Since her friend died, she had been trying to catch nuisance squirrels in her yard and here was her friend laughing about it like old times.

The light on the machine blinked for over a week and then one day, she says ... it just stopped. 

The Rennicks haven't received any other calls from the beyond. Yet.

Long after Beverly Rennicks' friend died, Rennick says she received a message from her on her answering machine. (Shutterstock / Pablo Eder)

A ghostly game

Victoria Pearson and her friends used to play with a Ouija board as kids. 

The flat board is  marked with the letters of the alphabet, the numbers one to nine, and the words yes and no, and players place their fingers on a small piece of plastic and ask a question. The plastic is expected to glide across the board to spell out the answer. 

Some players believe ghosts are doing the guiding.

Pearson was playing with her brother and their friends and thought they were channelling their friends' dead grandmother.

To prove it, they asked their friends to take their fingers off the board and have them ask the board questions about their own grandmother only they would know the answers to.

The game got every question right, including details Pearson says there is no way her or her brother would know.

It was the last time the siblings ever brought out the Ouija board.

Mother take the wheel

Vancouver resident Lauri Solsberg was trying to see his mother, who was dying of cancer in a Toronto hospital, for the last time. 

His flight to Toronto was delayed due to high winds and when the plane landed at Pearson Airport an electrical storm made it too dangerous for passengers to disembark. By the time Solsberg arrived at his sisters' house, they had missed visiting hours.

At 3:a.m., the phone rang. It was hospital staff saying Solsberg's mother didn't have long and to pay their final respects, the siblings should leave now.

Solberg, his sister and her husband immediately jumped in the car. Solsberg's brother-in-law drove.

Lauri Solsberg and his late mother, Ethel Solsberg, who died in November 2000. At the exact moment his mother died, Lauri Solsberg said the car he was driving went dead but continued to move along the road. (Submitted/Lauri Solsberg)

Suddenly, he says, the engine cut out. The headlights and the dash lights went dark. But the car continued to glide smoothly, albeit silently, along the road.

That's when Solberg says he felt it — an electric current that travelled from his feet, through his torso and out the top of his head. His hair stood on end. 

For about 30 seconds, the car continued to move through the dark without the engine engaged. Then as suddenly as it had shut off, it turned itself back on. 

Solberg had looked at his watch. It was 3:30 a.m.

When they got to the hospital Solberg knew. 

"My mother died, didn't she?" he asked the receptionist.

She had died at 3:30 a.m.

With files from The Early Edition

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