Dorothy: A True Ghost Story Experienced by Dolores Vivian Miller Muse
Events recounted took place in Toledo, Ohio, circa 1918. This is an interview of Dolores Muse by her daughter, Linda Kangas, circa summer 1998. Dolores' parents' names were Alma and Earl Miller. The names of the friends they were visiting have been forgotten.
Linda. When you were a little girl, you saw something really strange. How old were you?
Dolores. I would say about 6 years old.
L. Where were you?
D. I was at a friend's apartment with my parents. They lived upstairs from us in Toledo, Ohio. During the evening visit, my parents were working an ouija board with the grandparents of my friend.
L. What was the little girl's name?
D. I have no idea anymore.
L. You played with her on a number of occasions?
D. Yes, yes.
L. What happened?
D. We were in her bedroom. I don't remember exactly what we were playing, but my friend said, "Look, there's Dorothy!." I looked over at the end of the dresser, and there I saw Dorothy. She probably was 18 years old. She had long finger curls. She wore a pleated skirt and, what at that time we called, a middie blouse.
L. Like a sailor blouse?
D. Yes. And there stood Dorothy.
L. What did you or your friend do or say then?
D. Well, we went out to tell her grandparents and my parents that we had seen Dorothy in the bedroom.
L. How did her grandparents react?
D. They weren't a bit surprised. I think my parents were!
L. How did your friend describe the experience to her grandparents?
D. "Dorothy 's in my bedroom!" A couple times she said, "Dorothy's in my bedroom!" And all this time they'd been working this ouija board.
L. Did anyone get up to go check on Dorothy?
L. Her grandparents didn't get up? No. Your parents didn't get up to go look?
L. Did you think that the grandparents believed her?
D. Oh, yes! I think that probably wasn't uncommon.
L. Do you think your parents believed you saw something?
D. I'm not sure about that. But they asked me to describe Dorothy. And I said she had long finger curls and brown hair. She was wearing a pleated shirt and a middie blouse. And her grandparents said, "That's Dorothy."
L. Do you recall going back in the bedroom with your friend?
L. So you're not quite sure you went back in there at all?
D. I'm not sure.
L. How did you know that another girl hadn't just walked into the bedroom?
D. I think probably because she did not look like another person. I think she was more like an illusion. Kind of blurry but you could describe her.
L. Did she say anything?
L. Did she seem to look at either of you girls?
D. I don't remember that. To me it was a startling thing!
L. When your friend said, "There's Dorothy," did that get a response from Dorothy? Did she turn her head or give any physical response?
L. That happened about 79 years ago, and you remember it perfectly?
L. You've always remembered it?
D. Always remembered it.
L. You've told me about it many times.
D. It's so unusual! But I don't think it was usual to the grandparents,
nor their granddaughter. I've thought about it a lot, and I've wondered about it a lot. When the grandparents asked me what she looked like, I described Dorothy. And, they said that WAS Dorothy. And, I had never seen Dorothy and I didn't know there was a Dorothy. Evidently she was a relative, but they didn't say so.
L. And do you recall your friend or her grandparents ever mentioning anything after that about a spirit in their home?
L. Did your parents usually spend time with this couple?
D. Not too often, but occasionally.
L. As far as you remember, did they use the ouija board more than that one night? Or was it, maybe, just one evening's entertainment?
D. I think it was an evening's entertainment. It was different. My folks didn't know about it or understand it.
L. Do you have any idea if the ouija board played any part in the appearance of Dorothy?
D. No, but I always thought it did because that is what an ouija board does. It lets you communicate with those who are gone.
L. Do you recall ever having any other surreal experience in your lifetime?
D. Oh, I think we all have premonitions in our lives; but I remember nothing like that.
L. Dreams that you thought were really unusual?
L. How about your mother. Do you recall her ever mentioning to you unusual things?
L. Your dad?
L. Your grandparents?
L. Your children?
L. Your husband?
D. No. (Lots of giggling between us.)
L. Do you recall ever being in another house that might have had ghostly experiences?
L. Did that experience make a big impression on you?
D. It must have. I have never forgotten it.
L. You've thought about it over the years?
D. Oh, yes.
L. What do you think it might mean about life after life?
D. Or life after death?
D. Well, I read about sme people who came back to a house they had lived in. They came back and could be heard and seen as illusions, like. But, I never remember anything like that in my life. Except for Dorothy.
L. Do you believe you actually saw Dorothy?
D. Oh, absolutely!
L. And it wasn't something that you dreamed of or remembered incorrectly from childhood?
L. What do you think it means. What do you think it might possibly lead us to believe if it was real?
D. Well, it WAS real. Maybe there are some people that can come back; probably a minority. I'd have no idea why. Ah, neither the grandmother, grandfather or the little girl seemed afraid in any way. It was like, "Oh…" And the ouija board...I'm sure it had something to do with it. I think some people do, some people don't. You read a lot about it.
L. What do you think about angels?
D. Well, I think there are angels. Maybe that's a different version of someone who is gone.
L. What do you think angels do?
D. I would have no idea. None have ever come to me, darn it! (Giggles.)
...To ask me anything or tell me anything.
L. You're waiting?
D. That's about right. And they better hurry. (More giggles.)