When Will Meysing of Oregon was 5 or 6 years old and growing up on a farm near Pilsen, he liked to sit in a rocking chair on the front porch of his home on summer evenings, petting a cat on his lap.
He was keenly aware of the sights and sounds around him as day turned to night — clouds floating in the sky, wind blowing through the trees, thunder clapping and a storm rolling in, insects chirping at dusk.
His mother had a difficult time persuading him to come into the house and go to bed.
One evening his Uncle Elmer, who spent nights with the Meysings while he helped Will’s father with farm work, conspired with Will’s mother to come up with a way to get him inside. He took a white bed sheet, draped the sheet over himself, got down on all fours, and crawled around the corner of the house.
He came around moaning like a ghost. Will jumped up out of the chair, dumping the startled cat, and ran into the house screaming, “Mom, Mom, I saw a ghost!”
“Yeah, if you stay out too late, you can see things like that, and you ought to go to bed,” she told him.
At least eight months to a year after he saw the ghost, Will was sitting in a pew at St. John Nepomucene Church in Pilsen before school one day, when the pastor, Father Arthur Tonne, talked about the Holy Trinity — the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. He gave the reading and came down among the students to interact with them.
“Do you kids understand what the Blessed Trinity is?” he asked. After an explanation, he said, “Has anybody ever seen a ghost?”
Will raised his hand, and Father Tonne said, “You’ve seen a ghost?”
Will related his experience, and there were a few chuckles around the church. The rest of that day and for a week afterwards, everybody was probably wondering, “Where in the heck did he get that?”
Father Tonne asked him where it came from.
“I don’t know where it came from or where it went, but it was definitely there, pastor,” Will said.
Older kids went home and told their parents about the ghost story: “The Meysing kid raised his hand and said he had seen a ghost.”
Of course, it got back to his mom and dad, and it caused a headache for them.
“Well, you never said it wasn’t a ghost?” he argued when they questioned him about the incident.
Then he got to thinking about what is imagination and what is reality? Imagination got him into trouble. His father had to call the neighbors and tell them to tell their kids not to pick on him on the bus because he claimed to have seen a ghost.
The experience changed Will’s life. It led him to realize that life is spiritual as well as physical and not to be taken lightly.