The Woman in White

WMy Attendant Services aide had a friend drive her to our house one day when her car wasn’t working. This was seven months before Emma’s passing and just after we had situated her in the hospital bed in the living room. The aide’s young girlfriend had recently undergone surgery that sent a blood clot to her brain, so then she had to have a brain operation. After that she had a stroke (after she was at my house) that left her with limited mobility in one leg. While this young woman was here, however, she was sitting in the dining room with the aide and me and she was very antsy. She had to get up and go wait outside. One evening two weeks later our aide asked me if I knew the history of my house. It was built in 1894. I said, somewhat. She told me that her friend had to get up and leave because she saw in our dining room a woman dressed in a long white gown, “not a nightgown, but a long, white flowing dress;” the woman had dark hair.

I said, “Oh, The Woman in White. Everybody’s seen her.” (Most often walking in the yard between the two historic homes a few houses up, in the next block. And for generations. Her story has been published in books.) It gave me goosebumps. That is absolute confirmation of the existence of The Woman in White. This young friend of our aide was not from our town and could have no knowledge of the Woman in White legend. I had seen shadows in the house recently, assumed it was a ghost and let it go on its way. I had seen Emma smiling at or speaking to someone I couldn’t see. I rather assumed it was another of our deceased relatives here to visit Emma: “Cousins Alice and Doris were here today. Did you see them?” she would say to me a year or so earlier when she could still speak. One caregiver said that she believes the dead are more alive than we, because they are no longer inhibited by this tough material world. Many hospice and nursing home nurses have told me that it is quite common for their patients to see those long-deceased loved ones, and these nurses believe that the visitors are actually there.

About 25 percent of the population of our historic town are ghosts, it would seem. We all see them, especially the children see them. Most of them are friendly spirits; some, the children, are pranksters. I ask any who live in a historic home around here and each has a ghost story to tell. The Woman in White is probably the same woman and shadow that my next-door neighbor’s grandsons have seen in their bedroom opposite mine. A workman in one, unoccupied, of the aforementioned historic homes up the street would buy a small box of doughnuts each morning, set it on the kitchen stove and go about his work. When he returned to the kitchen, the doughnuts were set out, one on each of the burners of the stove (not lit). It’s somehow comforting to have this Woman in White. I had only sensed her since Emma began sleeping in the hospital bed in the living room.

My friend Jackie said, “Oh, that is so cool. … It is like she is attracted to people not well. A Caregiver.”

This fits because one of the two houses up the street was a former doctor’s office (with a leather floor in the examining room) and the other is said to have served as a Revolutionary War infirmary and later is thought to have been a stop on the Underground Railroad.

Our Woman in White came to the end of her life long ago, yet kept on. It is as if she digitally remastered herself to continue comforting the ill.

Samantha Mozart

18 Responses to The Woman in White

  1. Jeri Burns says:

    “…the dead are more alive than we…” I just LOVE that.

    Beautiful writing, and although I came into this story mid-stream (this is the post you alerted me about when you visited me), it carried carried carried – and makes me want to read more. I am so there in that house with that woman in white. How chilling that others saw her who weren’t aware that she could be there.

    Yes we do agree on something profound – storytelling matters. My blog is usually not ghost focused, but very much focused on that. Still the ghost stories matter in so many ways too… the story of your devotion to your mother is incredibly touching. I look forward to really delving in.

    • sammozart says:

      Thank you, Jeri. I am glad you came by and commented. Yes, the dead being more alive than we is definitely food for thought. Since my mother’s passing I am becoming more aware of this aspect. And I now believe — just in the past few days — that when my uncle was dying of cancer back in 1973, my sensing a man visiting me, in the form of a dark shadow, was indeed he. This intrigues me and I’d like to learn more.

      Thanks again for the After Party. 🙂

  2. What a strangely comforting tale. Ghosts can be creepy, but not always. I was convinced my mother’s house was haunted while growing up (I’m still not convinced it’s not), and I saw plenty of creepy and unsettling things there. But there was one time I saw a woman watching me when I woke in the night. It wasn’t scary though. And when I woke the following morning, I felt sad she was gone. I think it’s lovely you have a caregiver ghost in your neighborhood.

    • sammozart says:

      Yes, our ghosts are mostly like the people who are living in our town now, Sara — no doubt the ghosts’ descendants. They are kind, open, warm and friendly people.

      You are yet another child who witnessed an otherworldly spirit in human form. She was watching over you — because she knew you were tuned it and would someday write about these phenomena, as you do. How special.

  3. Marsha Lackey says:

    Thank for the beautiful response! Your experiences have given me the chills. Loved both posts and you!!

    • sammozart says:

      I probably could talk endlessly on this subject of otherworldly beings, Marsha. Thank you.


  4. Hilary says:

    Hi Samantha … my mother for quite a long period would on occasions talk to her relatives who had passed on … the ones I knew and then we’d go on a journey with them … and I’d keep it in my mother’s time frame with them, and the practicalities of doing it in the 21st century … my mother was very happy … I never saw them. We ended up having a very happy gossipy chat all on the same wave length … just in somewhat different time frames … My mother had her marbles, but it didn’t matter if she lost them at time – it was good for her imagination to wander off … or her soul to explore the transition phase .. cheers Hilary

    • sammozart says:

      Hi Hilary — How wonderful you went on the journey with your mther and relatives. I do wonder if your mother had really momentarily lost her marbles.

      My father, in good health a few years before he died at 90, said to me, “I wonder what it’s like when you die.” “Let me know,” I said. I thought he never did let me know, but maybe this is his way and simply haven’t recognized it until now.

      Intriguing. Thanks, Hilary.

      • Hilary says:

        Hi Samantha … to a point I think she was in both dimensions … I wasn’t going to make a fuss … my sister-in-law tried to get my brother to correct her … but if it didn’t matter – why … I could see no sense. My SIL is/was a nurse too … Common sense is so much better at times …

        My mother died and went down the tunnel to the light – but decided she didn’t want to go then … and so lived for another 5 years, in bed and fed via a stomach tube … it was fine … we mostly had good times and she knew what was what …

        Cheers Hilary

        • sammozart says:

          Interesting that your mother changed her mind and lived another five years, Hilary.

          Re correcting them, my aunt lives in a nursing facility and at 101, her mind goes in and out. I just mostly agree with her, because, as you say, why correct her at this stage. It’s fine. She and I are just glad to have the contact.


  5. Susan Scott says:

    Ah, visitations from the other side helping with the transition. I remember when some days had passed by after my father’s death, and we were in the sitting room, night time, curtains not drawn. Mike who was about 7 or 8 said, oh look Papa Jim has just passed by. When my mother died a few years later he was in the bath when I told him. He was about 12 and that afternoon he was out knocking balls on the tennis court. He said o, Mama Psi came by to say hello. He distinctly heard her and paused awhile to catch her –
    When I dream of my parents who are often at the dinner table I know that they’re visiting and are nourishing in same way or the other – thank you Samantha for this affirming post.

    • sammozart says:

      Isn’t it wonderful, Susan?! That Mike saw them, as children often do, but then later had no fear and took the time to say hi and pass the message along, that’s special.

      I am so glad — honored, really — to have received the affirmations. Interesting, too, how the children are often visited by their grandparents, as was my younger granddaughter visited by my mother (my daughter, as well).

  6. Marsha Lackey says:

    Well!! You know my reaction!!! I am delighted that your mother had all those visitations, assisting her in her transition Home. Too have the awareness of loved ones that had gone before her, in communication with her. I hope we all understand that we have these experiences. The Woman in White must be a comfort to your town. I loved this post as I do the previous ones. Thank you for sharing. Love you very much my friend!!

    • sammozart says:

      Yes, I believe it’s a little step over the edge of consciousness to be aware of these visits, Marsha. Of course I thought of you when I was writing this post, Right up your path, I know.

      Yes, Mother must have done something right to have had all those visitors. I like to think she would be well set with compassionate guidance on her journey as she passed.

      I don’t know how much of a comfort The Woman in White, specifically, is to our town. She is a popular curiosity, though. I think, in addition to her, we have other compassionate spirits here, especially in the Pope-Mustard Mansion(1700s), three doors up from me, where the donut guy was working. The woman who owns that house has many stories to tell of her compassionate spirit housemates — a Revolutionary War soldier, possibly The Woman in White, and a prankster child. They wave to her and she waves back, says hi, and she has felt a compassionate hand on her shoulder.

      What interests me is that in the first few months after we moved here, I was out in the backyard one windy November day, and I said to myself, “Oh, we have ghosts here in this town, lots of ghosts.” That’s before anybody had told me about the ghosts and their stories.

      Anyway, I could go on.

      Love you, too, Marsha.

  7. Pat Garcia says:

    Hi Samantha,
    This is interesting because I remember my mother telling me about my grandmother seeing people they could not see. In fact, the day before my grandmother died, she told my mother that my granddaddy had been there and told her to get ready. He would pick her up when he came from the market. And the next morning, she crossed over in my mother’s arms with a smile on her face.

    I have had two experiences that I consider heavenly experiences that have shaped my life. One a visit from my grandfather on my father’s side and then a visit from my grandmother on my father’s side.
    They were very real. So I believe that we are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses that have gone on before us.

    • sammozart says:

      Healthcare professionals who daily deal with the dying mostly all say the same thing, Patricia, that they believe the dying receive visits by those who have gone before and that the dying travel in their last days.

      I do believe, as you, that we are surrounded by these witnesses and guides — especially now, after sensing the presence of The Woman in White and having that confirmed. Now I can reflect on the presence of others I sense, and be pretty sure they are here. What an honor and blessing to be visited by your grandparents. Yes, and the more powerful of these visits are life shaping.

      Sometimes my daughter and I have simultaneous sensings, even though we live miles apart.

      I really do want to find out more about this.

      Thank you.


  8. Gwynn Rogers says:

    We do have a mansion with ghosts over in Port Gamble, but nothing close by to me. The only spirit I have sensed has been my brother… however, I just typed “mother” so maybe mom is trying to get a word in here.

    Beautiful description.

    • sammozart says:

      Yes, Gwynn, quite possibly both your mom and brother are there watching over you.

      Our town’s ghosts are friendly spirits, thankfully, except for Elizabeth, who is said to be nuts.

      Thanks. 🙂