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This Weeks Story
January 16 , 2001

"Eternal Flames"
On the Altar the candles
seem to have a
mindset of their own . . .
or do they?

Joe McKenzie

Todays Story

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Eternal Flames
from Joe McKenzie
Hailing From: Calhoun, GA
Where it Happened:
At a friend's church

I can't imagine anything spookier than the inside of a large, dimly-lit church at three o'clock in the morning. Nonetheless, that is where I found myself one early morning in the winter of 1977.

I was staying over at a friend's house one Friday night after school. He lived across the street from a large Methodist church where his congregation was sponsoring an all-night prayer vigil (for reasons that I have long forgotten). Steve (my friend) had signed up for the 0330-0400 slot because that was the only slot left. Since I was staying over, I agreed to go with him to the church.

It was mid-November when we left his house and outside it was very cold and windy. When we entered the church, we were happy to get in from the cold. As soon as we closed the big double doors behind us, I was immediately left with the impression of a large dark cave with a lighted altar far off into the distance. There were no lights, just candles glowing on the altar in front of us. It was so dark that we could not see the entire room we were in.

After taking off our coats and placing them on the front pew (it was very stuffy in the church) Steve went up to the altar, knelt, and began to pray. I just sat on the front pew behind Steve glancing around the church. After praying, Steve lit up a piece of straw and started to light one of the candles that were still unlit. It was at this moment that a strong, icy-cold wind blew in from behind us and briefly blew out all of the candles!

I sat in fear as I watched all of the candles begin to relight themselves (sorta like trick birthday candles). However, Steve's candle did not light back up.

Steve looked back at me and calmly said, "Someone must have come in the church."

He shrugged and proceeded to relight his candle when another strong, icy wind blew from in front of us and again blew out the candles! Yes, I said the wind came from the direction of the altar! Again, the candles began to relight themselves -- all except for Steve's candle!

I half-jokingly (and quite nervously) told Steve that I thought that someone did not want him to light that candle. Steve, a little nervously this time, said he didn't believe in that nonsense and there must be something wrong with the heating system.

When he lit his candle a third time, I almost ran to the altar next to Steve when that icy-cold wind blew from behind us and extinguished the candles again!

And again -- you guessed it -- all of the candles, except for Steve's lit back up.

This time, Steve and I knelt and prayed good and hard for about five straight minutes. When I finished, I offered to light a candle (I took care to light a different candle than the one Steve had tried to light), and it stayed lit.

We had no more encounters with that ghostly "wind". Needless to say, after I lit the candle, we left that church in a hurry!

As a final note, Steve and I noticed a person standing by the door in the shadows as we left the church. I saw an old woman dressed in a black overcoat and black shawl. Steve saw a man dressed in a monk's habit standing in the very place I saw the woman standing! I do not know why we saw different things, but to this day, I will not go into a Methodist church late at night!


Oh Oh, my next comment is going to sound like a throwback to my earlier days on Ghostories . . . here goes:

Sounds like there was a Methodist to the madness ... LOL

Yes, feel free to groan....

Ahem, ok, well, all I can do here is to thank you for sending it in and tell you I really appreciate your support for Ghostories. Those moneys go to keep your story online for as long as I run the site, which so far has been almost 5 years now and I expect will be at least another ten, God willin'.

I do wonder about the different "people-images" you saw as you left. A monk or a woman -- I guess no one will ever know -- the main question would be, if you both did see something totally different (not your friend interpreting a quick glimpse at a monk to be a woman in a dress), then the main question is "why?" And, moreover, why his candle would not stay lit. Perhaps, years later, he may have discovered why it kept going out. Have you checked on him lately? If you have any follow-up, let us know. For now, thanks again, and thank you for your supporting Ghostories

(PS.. anyone can offer to send in something to keep Ghostories online, you don't have to write a story, all you have to do is send me (Keno) an e-mail and let me know -- and we can take it from there. All moneys go toward editing, posting the stories online for our readers, and keeping them online for a long, long time.)



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