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Itasca The Friendly Ghost


The digital alarm clock resting atop a night stand struck 1am.  Shadows of pecan limbs waved in the moonlight with a brisk gust of wind, projecting their dance onto the carpet in the master bedroom.  Moonlight streamed in through tiny holes in the lace trimmed curtains, its beams of light flickering as the pecan trees swayed in the wind.  Then suddenly, the wind stopped and the trees stood still.  

The couple tossed and turned, attempting to fall back asleep.  Finally, they both rolled over, lying on their backs, staring at a very still moonlit silhouette of a pecan tree projected onto the master carpet.

“Are you awake?” he asked.  “Yes,” she replied rubbing her eyes.  “The moonlight is really bright tonight.  I need to make blackout curtains for these windows”, she said with a yawn.

At the very window the moonlight was streaming into the room, a prominent white silhouette of a little girl appeared wearing a cloth cap with long ties on her head and a long sleeved night gown.  Her straight hair went just past her shoulders with long bangs framing the sides of her face.  Staring at the couple lying in bed, she softly turned to her right, floated across the room, and disappeared into the night.

“Did you just see that?” he asked still trying to process what he just witnessed.

“Yes, I did see that.  I saw it very clearly”, she replied with a shock on her face.  “I’m guessing she wanted us to know who’s been protecting the house all this time.  Nice to put a face to all of the strange things we’ve been witnessing around the house.”  With this thought in mind, she closed her eyes and drifted off to sleep while he still stared into the moonlit room unable to stop thinking about what he just saw.

The story you just read actually happened.  I grew up in a mid-1800s Victorian style home near downtown La Grange, Texas.  Over the years, there were some interesting and unexplainable things that happened while we lived in the house.  The story above was one of several events that took place.  Interestingly enough, my mother was the primary person that got to witness said events.  Occasionally my father would get to witness a few things as well, but they primarily happened to my mother.  Thankfully, I never had the pleasure of witnessing any of this, only getting to hear all of these stories well after they took place.  Cause, yeah, I have no idea how I would react to such an event and really don’t want to find out.

Some of the other events my mother witnessed was the power switch on our old rainbow vacuum cleaner turning on and off while she was hurriedly trying to clean up before guests arrived, her name being called loud and clear warning her of a water kettle that had burst into flames on the stove, and yet another peaceful silhouette of a little girl appearing in the window of the back door to the house.

My mother primarily attributes these events to the same peaceful looking little girl she and my father saw floating across the room that night.  Many years later, my mother was doing some research on my great great grandpa when she stumbled across a funeral notice for a little girl named Itasca Rives.

The scanned image of the funeral notice you see as a cover image on this blog states that Itasca was the daughter of N.C. & S.C. Rives.  The funeral took place at 4pm on May 9, 1876 from the residence of a P.V. Shaw with burial services at the house.  Exactly which house (either P.V. Shaw’s house or the family home) is not specified.  Based on research conducted in July 1995 by one of the head librarians (now retired) in La Grange, Itasca must have been born between February 1870 and May 9, 1876 making her only six years old when she died. Her parents, Natt C. and Seymoura Shaw Rives are buried in the Old La Grange City Cemetery.

Is the house the burial services took place at the same house I grew up in?  If so, where exactly was the little girl buried and what did she look like?  Is Itasca the same little girl my parents saw floating across the room so many years ago?

Welcome to a new blog series here on  A catchy title will be assigned to it at a later date.  In the meantime, Jemini will post more accounts of said friendly ghost’s encounters and present the latest research on the identity of the little girl who floated across the room.