We call him Teddy. He lives in my Molly-Belle Suite guest bathroom. I've never actually seen him, but Aunt Belle has, and she described him to me. I have seen the hat Teddy wears, though, since she identified it clearly. It's similar to those worn by Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders.
The Teddy saga started out when hub came into the house one day to show me what he'd found in the bottom of his tool box. It was a medal — a gold, tri-corner shaped hat with a feather on the back on top, a tiny chain with the medal dangling from it. Two marchers with walking sticks are on each side of a shield-shaped sign with the words Gut Fuss Humes surrounding a phoenix rising, then a pair of hiking shoes beneath that. The German means something like: good foot home, I believe; at least, Google indicates a translation close to that, although some of the results also include things like hiking enthusiasts foot hume (foot home?). Any readers out there who speak German?
"I found this in the bottom of one of my tool boxes," hub said when he brought it in. "It was not in that tool box before."
"How can you be sure it just appeared there?" I asked.
"Because I've emptied out that box and reorganized it more than once. It was not in it. It just appeared there." Since we'd had similar incidents after we moved into our current haunted house, I believed him.
A few days later, Aunt Belle spoke to a new ghost she met in my house. His name was Teddy, and he told her to thank us for displaying the medal that hub had found. I had laid it on top of the supply dresser in my office, where I keep things with meaning to me. Teddy told Aunt Belle that he wanted his grandson to have the medal, but since he didn't know what had happened to his grandson, he was happy for us just to keep it out where others could see it.
Later, I called Sis and described the medal to her. She told me for the first time about the Volksmarch medals she used to receive when she was in the Army and stationed in Germany. To her, it sounded like one of those. They are non-competitive competitions called Volksmarches (volksmarsch in German), or "people's marches." When she visited, she confirmed that's what it was. Thus the story of Teddy the Bathroom Ghost began.
We've had several incidents involving Teddy over the years, most of which occurred to men in that bathroom. I'll tell you all about them in a forthcoming set of diaries, but the latest one happened the other day.
My friends from Lonestar, James and Armando, came over to borrow my DVD recorder and burn the evidence they got on their camcorders at the Beckham Hotel onto disk. It was a lot of tape, so I left them to it and went to Wal-Mart, where my photos from the Beckham were waiting to be picked up. As I walked into the store, my cell phone rang.
"Hello?" At first, all I heard was hilarious laughter. I knew it was Armando from Caller ID, so I kept walking and waited until he could control himself and talk.
Finally, he said, "You missed it! You should have been here!"
"What?" I prodded.
"It was James. He came racing out of your bathroom, cursing a blue streak and scared spitless. He said, '(Blankety, blank) bathroom. I'm never going in there again!'"
"What happened?" I asked, although I already knew: Teddy had struck again.
"He saw a face," Armando said. "He was standing there just zipping back up, and he said this disembodied face floated around in front of him. It stared at him with a mean-ass glare, then floated back behind him. He fled! He came tearing out of there, scared as hell but also mad."
Yeah, that's a man for you, I thought to myself. Mad at himself because he allowed something to scare him.
"It was Teddy," I said to Armando. "I warned y'all my house is haunted. And Teddy loves to scare men in that bathroom."
"Well, he did it," Armando said. "James is still pretty shaken up."
"I'll be home in a bit," I said as I hung up, laughing so hard, I noticed several people staring at me. I grabbed a cart, then called Angela as I walked down the aisle. She and I shared a bout of more hilarity. We both agreed we wished we had been there to actually see it happen.
After I hung up from my call to Angela, I realized this had been the third paranormal incident involving my two friends. Previously, James had seen Howard, my Head Ghost, and Armando had witnessed a spirit ball of energy in the Molly Belle Suite.
When I got home, Armando had left to run an errand, and I was rather surprised to find James sitting in my living room with only his little girl for company. His face was still white, and he very obviously didn't appreciate the fact that I busted out laughing the moment I came in and looked at him.
"Darned ghost," he said, and made a few more uncomplimentary remarks about Teddy.
"I warned you the house is haunted," I repeated around my laughter.
"Yeah, but I've never, ever had anything like that happen to me!"
"Was Teddy wearing a hat?" I asked. "A tri-cornered one?"
"I don't know," he said in a disgruntled tone. "I didn't notice. He floated around and gave me this horrible glare." He screwed up his face like the Scream mask. "It was just his head floating around in front of me. I saw it from the corner of my eye first, then right in my face. Then it went back behind me really fast, and I got the heck out of there."
"Armando said you won't go back in there again," I said, trying to sober up my hilarity. "I have another bathroom you can use, off the master bedroom. But … there's a ghost who hangs out in it, too."
"When a man's gotta pee, he's gotta pee," he said in a grumble.
"You know this incident is blog fodder for me," I said. "But I will ask for your permission to use your name."
He considered for a moment, then nodded. "Yeah, sure. It's a really weird experience."
"One day you'll look back on it and enjoy it," I assured him.
He didn't look like he believed me!
We're continuing to review scads of evidence from the overnight investigation of the haunted Beckham Hotel. It's going to be an awesome place to stay when Connie finishes the remodeling, both for paranormal investigators and for people who just want to experience a wonderful, relaxing weekend in a historical hotel in a delightful town like Mineola. We met with Connie this past week, and she was amazed at the evidence we already had. When we told her that we were still reviewing and would have more later, she was even more astounded.
I'm continuing to get reports of our findings from various SRT members who are reviewing our hours of tapes. I'll put as much as I can into the Beckham Hotel story in Ghost Hunting Diary Volume V, but I've already decided to do a separate novella-style book about this fascinating experience. Angela has scads of historical research, and we keep finding additional evidence. I'll have to cut the initial story off at some point, in order to get the book up for sale, but I'll continue working this one into an even longer version. Perhaps I'll brave the wilds of Create Space on Amazon for some paperbacks. Probably so, since I don't want any of what we found and experienced to be lost, and Connie would love to have books on the hotel to sell in her gift shop when the hotel re-opens.
In the meantime, there are four other diaries out there to read, plus the three Dead Man Mysteries. If you are in the mood for romance ;-), Google me under Trana Mae Simmons. Enjoy, and….