As employees at Shaker's, we are encouraged to stay at least one night in the penthouse upstairs after we get hired. I did my overnight stay a few weeks ago. During most of the night, nothing unusual happened. I had an absinthe cocktail and took some fun photos and started getting ready for bed. Now, I was brave enough to stay alone in the penthouse, but not so brave that I was going to sleep with the lights out, so I laid down to sleep with every light in the place on. As I was just about to fall asleep, I looked down the foot of the bed and saw a woman standing in the hallway. She was wearing what seemed to be a simple white cotton nightgown or slip. Her hair was wavy and an auburn brown color and just past her shoulders. She was petite (just about 5'2 with a small frame. She had large striking brown eyes. I only saw her for a second before convincing myself it was just the absinthe and I needed to go to sleep.
The same unfamiliar woman appeared several times in my dreams that night, but she didn't appear as a person normally does in my dreams. She wasn't like a character or an active participant, but every time I looked over to my right as I was dreaming she was just standing next to me watching the dream with me. The next time that I worked, I spoke with one of the tour guides who has been at Shaker's for much longer than I have and asked her if anyone has seen Molly before. As some of you readers may know, Molly Brennan is our resident spirit who inhabits the third floor, as she lived and died there in the late 1920s. She told me that a couple of people have seen her, and asked why. I told her that I thought I had seen a woman in the hallway as I was falling asleep. She asked me to tell her what she looked like and confirmed that my description matched the way that several spiritual mediums have described Molly Brennan's appearance.
As if that wasn't uncanny enough, something happened the following weekend on my tour. I decided to share my experience of seeing Molly with my tour groups. I was upstairs in the penthouse and about to walk my second group of the night back down the stairs when I realized I forgot to tell them the story. As I'm walking down the hallway and started telling my story, I saw Molly again. My tour-goers were mostly behind me in the bedroom at that moment, and as I'm finishing my story I turn to face them. When I turned my back to the bathroom, the light went out. I hadn't noticed, but what I did notice was the change of expression on my group before someone started yelling about the bathroom light going out. I went back over to my group to calm them down, and as I passed the place where I had seen Molly standing, the light went back on. I reassured my group that it was an old building and sometimes these kinds of things happen, and went towards the bathroom to check if the lightbulb was loose or needed to be replaced. As I approached the bathroom the light went out yet again. I went back to the group, it went back on, I went back by the bathroom it went back out... Now, this happened several times before I went over to the bathroom one last time. As I did this, the curtain that closes off the kitchen door blew out at me with a strong, cold gust of wind. I went into the kitchen thinking that someone had left a window or the door to the roof open, but both the door and window were closed.
Although the experience was unusual, it didn't feel scary or threatening. Actually, quite the opposite. It felt welcoming, excited, and even joyful. It is the impression that I got that after so many years of being invisible to almost all living beings, Molly felt excited and happy to be seen and acknowledged.
I was so glad that my entire tour group was able to witness this as well as another tour guide who was shadowing me, because I doubt anyone would believe me if they hadn't. The thing with the lights has now happened on two of my tours since then. Always upstairs, always, when I am near the bathroom. It kind of just feels like that's her way of saying hi to me now... like she's my ghost friend.
-Colleen Hardy Tour Guide