Brief encounters of a paranormal nature usually remain in a mortal’s memories for a lifetime. These accounts, although short in duration, length or detail, will hopefully add an extra chill to this season of hauntings and Halloween for all.

The Eerily Angry Organist

An Upvalley home originally constructed decades ago to serve as a church was converted into a residence in the recent past. The remodel was carried out with great regard for the original design and character of the building. During that remodel nothing out of the ordinary occurred at the site or to anyone involved with the project.

But when the property owners moved into their new home, they quickly realized they were not alone. Another being, an entity from the past, made its residency and opinion undeniably apparent with its organ “concert” of religious music, of the hell-fire and brimstone variety, very early one morning. Although brief, lasting less than a minute, the mortals were too scared to go back to sleep.

These eerie, frightening and ear-piercingly loud organ “concerts” could only be heard inside of the old church. They also occurred sporadically. That unpredictability as well as the intensely angry energy accompanying the “outbursts” drove the property owners out of their new home.

Since their departure, the subsequent residents of the church turned residence have never endured the eerie organist’s frightening “music.” Recently, however, one of the residents mentioned hearing the faint and sweet sounds of a children’s chorus singing a hymn. But does that mean the eerily angry organist is waiting in the wings?

Birthday hugs from beyond

Miles away and worlds apart, a downtown Napa house was the site of recent and loving messages from beyond.

Within the bungalow, a husband and wife created many wonderful and heart-warming moments for their daughter and her three children. Those children, now adults, own the house since their grandparents’ and mother’s deaths.

In mid-July 2017, after days of clearing overgrowth, dealing with vermin and no hot water for bathing, the middle sibling of the three current property owners reminded her husband it was her birthday.

Embarrassed and apologetic for forgetting, he asked her what she wanted for her birthday. Her reply? “A hot shower and a glass of wine.”

About an hour later, after enjoying both, she joined her husband in the living room feeling relaxed and refreshed.

Shortly after sitting down, she began to smell the scent of her grandfather’s signature pipe tobacco. As it grew stronger, he began to materialize until she could clearly see him sitting in the easy chair across from her. He turned towards her, smiled and blew her a kiss. Then all of a sudden her grandmother was standing next to her. The grandparents both proceeded to embrace their granddaughter before disappearing.

And there was another birthday greeting to come.

Overwhelmed by the experience, the woman wept with joy. As her husband was comforting her, she felt her mother’s presence, just before her mother materialized next to her. The mother enveloped her daughter in a warm, calming and reassuring embrace for what seemed like a long time — but not long enough, at the same time. The mother released her daughter from her hug just before she dematerialized.

According to the mortal woman, those birthday hugs from beyond assured her that she was remembered, being watched over and, more importantly, loved very much.

The Phantom Bakers

Another comfort for most mortals is food, however, one particularly spirited preparation of foods leaves some a bit unsettled. This paranormal activity occurs in the heart of Napa Valley, around the Oakville-Rutherford area.

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Today both towns are very small communities, but during their heydays as railroad and postal stations in the late 1800s and early 1900s, both communities were bustling towns with thriving businesses. One of those enterprises was a bakery with a reputation for creating exceptional goods.

While the bakery and its building are long gone, another building, a residence, stands on that site. According to the current occupants, at least once every three months, or so, two to four phantom bakers arrive in the house’s kitchen around 4 a.m. and begin to prepare for hours of baking. The sounds of bowls, pans and utensils being set out alert the mortals of their arrival.

While no forms or figures have ever seen, the humans have witnessed kitchen utensils and even food items move, float and hover above and around the kitchen. The mortals have also heard faint, disembodied voices talking about people and events of their era.

While all of this paranormal activity can be unnerving, if not mind-boggling for the mortals to handle, according to one residents, the hardest aspect of these ghostly gourmets is the fragrance of their freshly baking goods filling the house. “Your mouth is watering because you’re anticipating enjoying those delicious treats. But there’s not a crumb to be had, well, not for humans anyway.”

The Ghostly Gardener

The final tale of this spirited Napa Valley sampler takes place in the north Napa area where a ghostly gardener has been seen toiling in the yard of a mid-century era home. She appears to be an older female attired in a long-sleeved shirt, pants, garden boots, gloves and hat. Although a full apparition, her facial features are too faint to distinguish.

She never acknowledges any living being, such as pets. Also, she appears on rare occasions and only after dusk. Typically the ghostly gardener’s appearances are prompted when she disapproves of the current, mortal, resident’s choice of planting materials, especially a plant known as Society Garlic.

The mortal resident reached this conclusion after repeatedly finding her newly planted Society Garlic plants ripped out and placed in a neat pile every morning after a ghostly gardener’s appearance. She has finally stopped planting Society Garlic in the yard.

Since then, and on rare occasions, she has seen the ghostly gardener strolling through the garden — with approval.

Whether a believer or not, may this Napa Valley sampler of the ghostly kind add a bit more spirit to your Halloween!

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