I jumped up and yelled out as every hair on my body stood on end. I grabbed Alice by the arm and we both ran out the very doorway where I had seen the apparition not moments earlier. Again I went to my parents, frightened and excited, and told them what I had seen. They just seemed perplexed and bewildered. They didn't believe in ghosts. Even when strange things happened to them in the New Room, they simply made up some explanation, not wanting to admit the possibility of something from another world. I wanted to find an explanation, too, but there simply wasn't one that fit the laws of nature. You could argue that it was my imagination, but at the time I wasn't thinking about seeing a man in his twenties, or about the ghost. I was busy doing other things!

What makes this story even more intriguing is what happened the next morning. Alice came over early and we decided to go back into the New Room, to reclaim it for ourselves. As we entered the room we both saw that the deer head up on the wall had fallen to the middle of the floor. Alice fell to her knees and shrieked, "Oh no! Oh no! I can't believe it!"  She was shaking.

"Last night," she went on to explain, "when you continued to talk to your mother about the ghost, I came back in here to get my shoes. I sat down on the couch and looked at the deer head on the wall, and I challenged the ghost. I said, 'If there is a ghost in here, let this deer head fall. If there is a ghost in here, let this deer head fall!'" We both looked at each other in dazed disbelief as the deer head lay on the ground before us. We left the room once more. How could this be? What was this about? We didn't know.

As I grew older, I did some research to see if the room had been built over a graveyard, or perhaps an Indian burial site. Nothing turned up. Another friend, Jim Adams (one of the many believers who had experiences with the ghost himself), and I cut a hole into the crawl space above the New Room and explored the entire area to see if maybe my dad or perhaps the builder had hidden a body up there. We didn't think so, but it was worth a look. It turned out that the only thing hidden up there were some beer cans from the builders. Why this room seemed to be haunted remained a mystery to all of us children as we grew up and one by one left the house.

Later on my parents converted the New Room into an apartment. They added two rooms at the back and divided the New Room into a living room and kitchen. The woman who lived there for several years is the mother of a famous director and grandmother to two successful movie actors. She never heard or felt anything strange in the apartment. Years later, as fate would have it—and who says God doesn't have a sense of humor?—we now own the house, and my mother-in-law lives in the apartment.

The ghost in the New Room was a reality in my childhood and teen years. It was one of those things in life that never made sense—sort of a question mark and a shrug of the shoulders about my early years. As I grew to adulthood and became a husband and a father myself, I forgot about it. Then something happened to bring the memory back, and that memory would prove vital to solving one of the biggest puzzles of my life.