His Heart Was Still In Ireland
by Haven S.
In July 1997, I received a telephone call from a
cheerful lady who was answering my newspaper ad for autographs and old
documents. This is my actual means of making a living. I have been a collector
and dealer of autographs for over 25 years. She stated she lived in Thurmont,
Maryland and that she had a steamer trunk full of artifacts and documents,
mostly from the late 1800's. We made an appointment for me to come to her home
the following day.
It was late afternoon when I arrived and the
first thing I noticed was the house, a beautiful Victorian style house painted
deep brown with many high hedges and thick pines. A stereotypical
"haunted house" we used to see in the old horror movies. I parked
the car in the front and walked up the steep pavement and porch steps, each
footstep on the porch creaked and moaned. I knocked on the large wooden door
and almost immediately the door opened and a pleasant woman reached out her
hand for mine and introduced herself. "Just call me Mary, everybody else
does" she said. I said "OK, Mary. Thank you for inviting me to your
wonderful home." That was no overstatement, this place was like a step
into the past...gasoliers, pedestal sinks, sconces, bronzes, etc.
She motioned to the large sitting room where
a steamer chest was sitting by a beautiful daybed. She explained that her late
father had collected the contents and simply placed everything in the steamer
trunk. He had an interest in documents that described historic events. As
well, he had collected several older autographs. The trunk was used by him
when he immigrated from Ireland in the 1918.
I opened the lid and was hit in the face by
the typical musty aroma of old paper. I started to sift through the items and
quickly read over the papers to see exactly what was before me. Many of the
items were personal letters written in Gaelic. Included were soldiers
correspondence from France, no doubt during the First World War. Then I came
across a 7x9 inch photo of King George V of Great Britain that was signed by
the monarch. As I touched the piece, I knew there was a history behind it.
I sat motionless for a minute or so, long
enough to be noticed by Mary. She inquired if anything was wrong? I told her
that I got a sense of hatred and pain when I touched this photograph. She then
noticed what I was holding and sighed....then tried to hold back tears. I
explained to her that I was able to sense residual feelings and events and
that I had performed paranormal investigations for many years. She smiled and
told me why she was displaying tearful emotions.
Mary explained that her father was a member
of the Irish resistance in Dublin and that he had always blamed King George V
for the death of his brother during the 1916 "Easter Rising". Her
father was also captured by the British troops but managed to escape and make
his way to the United States. He always wanted to go back to Ireland to
reunite with family but was afraid that he would still be considered a
fugitive. He eventually got married and raised a family. He worked as a
gunsmith and bricklayer. Mary said he would pace in his study daily wondering
how his friends and family in Ireland were getting along. In 1935, he had
gathered enough money together to visit Ireland after he had received a visa
and safe passage from the British government. Then tragedy struck when her
father suffered a severe stroke. The money he saved for his trip was used for
his funeral and burial.
Mary then stood up and said "please,
follow me." We walked down the hallway into a study and library.
"This is where my father resides." Mary stated. "I hear his
footsteps and moans every night." I was speechless. I asked her if she
would mind if I tried to communicate with her father. She said "No,
that's not necessary. He wouldn't understand...besides, he talks to me every
I did purchase the items and the steamer
trunk. The signed photograph of King George V of Great Britain remains in my
collection and continues to remind me of the sad Irish immigrant who simply
wanted to see home one more time.
Phantoms and Monsters: A Personal Journey http://naturalplane.blogspot.com/
About the Author
Investigator of paranormal and cryptic
activity worldwide since 1976. Living near Baltimore, MD