Someone Else’s History

A few weeks ago, while checking our post office box, I noticed a flier stating there would be an estate sale in the next town over. It caught my eye because it had postcards listed items for sale. I love to collect old letters and old postcards. So Jeremy and I made plans to go check it out.

Unfortunately, Jeremy had to work Friday morning, which was the first day of the sale, but he was done by 10 am. He brought home breakfast for us. After eating and taking care of the puppy, we head out to Monticello, where the estate sale was taking place.

I should have known that we would have lots of luck at the estate sale when the first thing we saw while walking up to the house was a sign that said: “Look Out For Ghosts”. The garage was where customers were supposed to enter the house. It was filled with typical yard sale stuff. After not finding anything of interest, Jeremy and I went inside to check out the rest of the sale. I found some interesting charms and pendants at a jewelry table. Jeremy looked at a few chests that were in the living room. He’s looking for something big enough for all of the cards he has collected over the years, but the ones he found were too big, too small, or the locks didn’t open.

In the kitchen, I was surprised to see the postcards that were mentioned in the flier. There were about ten boxes STUFFED with postcards. On the far right were a few boxes that were separated by state. On the other end of the table where the boxes were set up, an older gentleman was sorting through postcards that were a random assortment. I started looking through some of the postcards in the same boxes that he was searching through. I was caught off guard that the postcards were dated in the early 1900s. I think the gentleman didn’t like me like looking through the boxes with him because when a worker came by, he asked how much each box would cost. He bought three boxes for $150. After he left, I continued to look through the remaining boxes. I picked out about two dozen postcards, all dated between 1903 and 1913.

I also found a box of portraits from the late 1800s and early 1900s. I decided to buy all the pictures because I’ve been wanting to start collecting those as well. Most of the photographs were taken at studios in Terre Haute, Indiana, about two hours from here. I want to research the various studios to see if I can date the portraits.

While I was looking through the postcards, Jeremy had gone downstairs to see what else there was. He found where they were selling books. He brought me a large stack of paranormal and true crime books. We decided that we had found enough treasures and started to head back out to the garage. On the way out, we noticed a laundry room. We poked our head in to see what they had for sell in there. We were surprised to see a navy uniform hanging up. The tag said that it was from WWII. Hanging beside it was a wool coat. Jeremy said that the wool coat was the same type assigned to be worn with the uniform in cold weather. He tried the coat on, and it fit him perfectly. We decided to get it and the uniform. The outfit is the same type of uniform Al, one of our spirits, would have worn while serving. We thought that he would like to have it even though the patch might be the wrong one. We plan to clean it up and put it in a shadow box to display it.

This trip to the estate did make me think of a question I often get- how do I go to sales like this without bringing home new ghosts? The answer is haunted objects aren’t as common as Hollywood, paranormal shows, and eBay leads you to believe. Before COVID, I went to yard sales, estate sales, and thrift stores often. In all the times I’ve bought things from these sales, I only once brought home something that had a spirit attached. That’s how we ended up with Rampu. If this something that worries you, cleanse the items with sage smoke. I don’t recommend using holy water or anything religious like that because it may end up offending the spirit. Sage is typically a religiously neutral way to cleanse items. If you need more help, let me know. I have various techniques to use, but they vary on what the object is and who the spirit is.

I am hoping that yard sales and estate sales start happening more often soon. I know things are crazy with COVID but I feel like we were able to safely go to this one. Illinois, like many places across the country, seem to be going backwards in phases but somethings seem to be open back up. It’s kind of confusing about what is allowed and what isn’t.

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