Thriller Writer Tj O'Connor

Part II: Paranormal Crap In The Hudson Valley and Beyond

Aug 16, 2023

If you’ve checked out my Supernatural Experiences Part I, you’ll already know I’ve had a few wild experiences when I was a kid. Now, sit back and hear Part II—Paranormal Crap in the Hudson Valley and Beyond

Between about 1969 until I escaped in 1979, my family lived in a basically haunted house in Linlithgo, New York. I say that because the owner, one Joe Cozy, died there—in the house. That house sits next to the town cemetery, too—of course, right? Old Joe died and hid (allegedly) a small fortune of money somewhere in the house. Or he burnt it in his woodstove. His brother, whom I can’t recall his name, sold the house to my parents and warned them that weird shit happened all the time. It did. Constantly. Chairs rocked. Lights turned on and off by themselves, and lots of cliché ghost crap went on. Lights as in I turned one room light off and another room’s light came on. Went, turned that one off and the first one turned on. I’d wake up to water running in the bathroom sink (when the water worked). Several Time, I went into the basement and the door locked behind me. The lock was on the outside, of course, and required the bolt to be latched. No, dear old daddy was not responsible. 

If you recall, I had a love-hate relationship with my dear old daddy—an abusive, violent sonofabitch. Okay, full disclosure, it was more of a hate-hate relationship. Dear old dad told me all the goings on in the house were my imagination. But “my imagination” kept him from the cellar and he didn’t walk about the house after bed. If he needed something, guess who he sent? 

About 1973, I was walking to the town store about two miles away far along the county road. It was near eight-pm if I recall, and wintertime so it was cold. In the night sky, I saw a huge bright red light coming from the Iron Mountain area (a secure storage area owned by the Feds), and it moved across the sky toward me. It made no sound. It moved erratically (today I know that these moves were against the laws of physics). After bobbing and weaving, it stopped mid-sky and two other lights—blue—flared off and positioned themselves horizontal to the main light. They all flew around a bit—noiseless and erratically—until they reemerged, formed the big light again, and then did one of those poof, zoom, gone, things. As in . . . straight up gone.  

UFO? Yes. I have to this day no flipping idea what this was. I do know that a few years later, Germantown (the nearby town I went to school in), had several UFO encounters that brought out the police and the State BCI. Never explained. Never. But they made the UFO files on Discovery and History channels. You know, the big time. 

Fast forward to about 2002 or so. I was Chief Operating Officer of an international security firm headquarters in one of the oldest historic buildings in Old Town Winchester. The building was famous for being a Civil War hospital. At one time, the Southerner’s allegedly killed several Union soldiers and hid their bodies inside the basement walls so the Union raids wouldn’t find them. (If I have the story right). I’ve never seen any historical record of this, but that is the lore. Anyway, I worked near long and late hours nearly every night and always alone. Weird things happened. Doors opened and closed (it was a wood everything, three story house with creaky wood floors, doors, and everything scary). Radios in staff offices came on and turned off. Lights did the same. Footsteps on the grand staircase outside my office. My office door opened when I was inside. No one was there. It became so widely known by the staff that three young members did their own ghost investigation with ghost hunting gear. They captured all those noises and sounds and something else. Something they would not explain to me, except to say they would no longer work in the basement or attic offices at night.  

Now, fast forward to my current home in Winchester, Virginia. I cannot even begin to explain any of the following: 

  • Ten years ago, I came out of the shower and was drying off after a workout. I heard something behind me and turned. A figure, my granddaughter’s height and size was standing there and ran from the bathroom into the hall. All I saw was a figure-the image of a child, hazy and moving. My granddaughter used to love to sneak up on me and I thought it was her. I went after her! Except, she wasn’t there. I was alone in the house. Even one of the dogs—Maggie Mae my chocolate lab—stood in my bedroom staring into the hall. moaning.  
  • Perhaps 2004 or 2005, Mosby, our yellow lab, was sleeping in the living room while my wife and I were watching TV. Suddenly, he jumped up, backed up growling, and stared at the corner of the room. He backed out of the room and stood in the hall-tail between his legs and growling. It took him an hour before he’d come back in. He did this several times and at one point, would no longer stay in the living room without me. 
  • During 2010-2018, I often slept in my office on the first floor on a mattress for months on end because three of my labs, one right after the other, had medical emergencies that forbid them from going upstairs. They would go nuts alone, so I slept in the office. Many nights, the TV in my living room would turn on. Alexa—the foreign spy in a box—would start talking with someone about jokes, music, etc. Often saying “I don’t know that one.” Or responding with the requested tune or telling a joke. The internal cameras in the house (they sent a notice to my cell) would activate in one room, then the next, and the next as though someone was walking around. During these events, whatever dog was with me would sit up and look toward the doorway of whatever room camera had just turned on. On a couple occasions, Toby—with whom most of this happened—growled and hid behind me. Our cat, if upstairs, ran like a nut from the room and down through her cat door to the basement. Very comforting.  

And the fun went on! Stay tuned . . . Part III: Paranormal in Virginia . . . continued cometh! 


I first fell in love with writing while in grade school and over the years continued to dabble with characters and stories whenever life allowed. Lately, I've focused my energy on pursuing this dream—interrupted only by life as a security consultant and the demands of two Labrador retrievers.

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