Part 2 of the October Haunted Blog: This true ghost story first appeared as “Annie” in ENCOUNTERS WITH THE PARANORMAL: VOLUME 2.
I believe I first encountered Annie in the main lobby and concession area of the Goldenrod Showboat. I had ventured inside with my video camera in hand and was left alone for a few minutes to soak up the atmosphere. I love moments like these and being given a chance to just listen to and feel a particular location. I could certainly feel the age of the boat around me, its golden years gone by, but I could also feel that it still had some life in her yet. That’s when I felt her near me.
I was looking out toward the windows, wondering what the splendor of the showboat must’ve looked like back in its glory days, when I felt a presence approach me. At first I thought it might have been Shana, but I knew she was back out on the deck with Jake. I turn from side to side, but nobody was there, and I suddenly felt a slight tickle behind my ear, a distinct sensation as if somebody was lightly playing with my hair. Whoever it was, it felt female in nature, and as quickly as the sensation had come it had gone.
Of course, this could have been anybody, but after what happened later that evening I do believe that this brief encounter was Annie saying, “Hello.”
Annie had been a young woman who lived on the Goldenrod Showboat many years beforehand in St. Louis along with her father who worked there. While she dreamed of being on stage, she had a fling with the assistant captain who encouraged her to perform as an actress and a dancer like many of the others who worked there.
One night, her involvement with the assistant captain came to a head as her father expressly forbade her from seeing the man. An argument ensued between father and daughter, and Annie ran off the boat into the dark St. Louis night. The next morning she was found as a corpse floating alongside the Goldenrod, and to this day nobody knows what truly happened to her that fateful evening.
Later that evening I’d visited, Shana and I were deep into our paranormal investigation of the Goldenrod, and we were exploring the second floor dining and dance area which is purported to be a frequent haunt of the spirit known as Annie. Since Annie is known to enjoy dancing, I asked her if she would like to dance with me on the small patch of wooden floor in the center of the room. I’m not a very good dancer, so I did my best to amble about in a circular fashion as Shana looked on. That’s when I felt it.
Similar to what I had experienced on the lower deck, I felt the sensation of somebody playing with my right ear and the hair around it. I laughed a little since it did tickle a little bit, and I told Shana about what I was experiencing.
Playfully, Shana spotted an opportunity for the spirit to get a little more interactive and suggested, “Annie, if you like his ear so much why don’t you go ahead and blow in it?”
Sure enough, at that prompting I felt a sudden burst of air inside my right ear as if somebody had just puckered their lips and blown directly into it. I gasped and laughed, “She just did!”
We had a good chuckle, and Shana suggested that Annie do it again. Sure enough, in my other ear I felt the same kind of sudden influx of air as if somebody had just blown into it.
We don’t know why this spirit was so forward and interactive that particular night. Perhaps I resembled the young man she had fallen for and was denied pursuing the night her life came to an end. Or, perhaps, she was simply in a happy, playful mood that evening. These are possibilities upon which we would normally follow up; however, we may not have that opportunity with Annie.
Just before the Goldenrod closed its doors at the end of March 2016, a medium was brought on board in order to afford the opportunity for spirits to pass on before the boat was to be destroyed. Annie was, purportedly, one of the spirits that did so. In a follow up investigation of the Goldenrod after it re-opened its doors, I made another attempt to dance with Annie in the same location in which she had blown into my ear. Something did happen, and it wasn’t Annie… but that is another story for another time.
More fantastic true tales like this can be found in ENCOUNTERS WITH THE PARANORMAL: VOLUME 2, part of the proceeds of which go to help the historic Goldenrod Showboat.