Don Most appeared on Celebrity Ghost Stories in 2010 and told a story about a ghost that he encountered on a terrifying drive home one night. Don Most is best known for playing Ralph Malph on Happy Days.
This occurrence definitely opened my mind up in a big way and made me become a believer. I mean, it’s hard to ignore when it smacks you in the face.
I grew up in Brooklyn, New York. It was 1972 and I was going to college. I had just finished my sophomore year and I was dating a girl who lived in New York State. She was younger than me. I was 19. She was 17 and very attractive. I had met her when we were doing a commercial together in New York. At that time we were seeing each other pretty frequently and on the weekend, I would sometimes go to her house to visit.
One evening, I overheard my girlfriend having a discussion with her mom. She was talking about her grandmother who had passed away. It turned out that they were both absolutely convinced that the grandmother was still in their house and was visiting them fairly regularly.
Even though I had known her for 4 or 5 months, she had never brought it up before. I said I’d like to hear more about it and they started telling me about all of these odd things that would happen.
The vacuum cleaner would turn on by itself. Appliances would go on and off. When the grandmother was alive she always used to sit in one particular chair. This was her favourite chair. They said they knew she was still there because sometimes the chair would be facing in one direction and when they came back, it would be facing in the opposite direction.
The kicker was when my girlfriend told me that she actually saw her grandmother sitting there. At this point, we were getting into territory that was like crossing the line for me a little bit. It was hard for me to really grasp this and believe it. I had a healthy skepticism I guess.
It was about one o’clock in the morning, so I decided to go home. I was driving along Pallisades Parkway and feeling pretty spooked because I was thinking about all the things I had heard that evening. The stories about the grandmother appearing in the house and sitting the chair were a little unsettling.
You have to understand that this drive was a pretty unnerving trip because you’re in the middle of the woods and, at the time, there were no street lights or anything like that. Sometimes, you wouldn’t see another car for 10 or 15 minutes. Eventually you go through the Bear Mountain Bridge and across the Bear Mountain Parkway. It’s a harrowing drive even in the daytime. It’s sort of this steep winding road and there’s a pretty sharp drop on the right side as you’re going home.
So I was driving along on this dark stretch of road and I started feeling a presence in the car with me. I tried to talk myself out of it, but all of a sudden, as I was driving through this very remote area, my radio turned on all by itself. It freaked me out so much I nearly jumped through the roof. I didn’t know what to do, but I kept going.
I was driving through a really dangerous stretch of the highway and I started feeling a presence in the car more and more. It got to the point where it was really palpable. I thought at first that it might have been my mind playing tricks on me, but it was really starting to feel like it was much more than that. It was almost like I could feel something right there with me.
Then, I happened to look around and, in the rear view mirror, I saw the grandmother. She was sitting in the back seat of the car. I was freaking out. I didn’t know whether to pull off the road. I didn’t know what to do. I was all alone.
I did everything I could to keep myself together at that point. I was determined that I was just going to keep driving. I was in the middle of nowhere and there was nothing around me, so the best choice for me at that point was just to keep driving and escape this.
When I finally got home and I just sort of snuck into my house, like a thief in the night and went to bed. I was just about to fall asleep when, all of a sudden, the overhead light came on by itself. I tried to turn it off, but I couldn’t. It just wouldn’t go off and when I looked behind me, she was there. I saw a hazy kind of image. It was that sort of a classic ghostly apparration. Then, suddenly, she went away.
I don’t know the rationale for what happened. The thing that strikes me most, when I look back on it, is that it seemed like she was trying to give me something concrete. Something that I would understand. Something to make me believe that it was real.
It was too scary to believe it. This was uncharted territory for me. She was in the car. She came home with me. This was another strong slap across the face for me to wake up.