As I Was Going Up the Stair…

Yesterday upon the stair, I met a man who wasn’t there.


He wasn’t there again today.  Oh, how I wish he’d stay away!

photograph c2013 Naomi Baltuck

This is the first stanza of Antigonish, written in 1899 by Hughes Mearns.  It was inspired by rumors of a ghost roaming the stairs of a haunted house in Antigonish, Novia Scotia.  It inspired a popular Glenn Miller song in 1939, with vocals by Tex Beneke.

Click here for more interpretations of The Weekly Photo Challenge: UP.

Click here for more interpretations of Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Stairs and Steps.


    1. Thank you, JB! I’ve been saving it for five years–since we happened upon it in a staircase of the Wesleyan Library when we were checking out potential colleges for Eli.

    1. Thanks, Madhu. Yes, it was a temporary art exhibit that we were lucky enough to stumble upon–very unexpectedly. With the sun lighting it up from behind, it really was almost like coming upon a ghost.

  1. Brilliant photograph – what a lucky find!

    I’ve heard that rhyme since childhood – my Mum used to say it to me as a child. Can’t think where it’s from!

    1. My mom used to say it to me. I loved the photo, and wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to say about it, and then the poem popped into my head! Aren’t we lucky to have had moms who recited poetry for us? Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment.

    1. Dear Viveka,

      I didn’t create this figure; it was a piece of art made of bubble wrap and left on the stairs to haunt passersby.

      I really enjoyed reading your ghost story. I think some people are more receptive, and therefore more likely to have an encounter. My sister, who I consider a very reliable source, has had two “visitations.” I have never, and I wouldn’t feel bad if I never do.

      1. .. I thought you had put had put a figure from another photo and put it in the stairs.

        I think there is haunted places .. have seen on TV and we have quite a few homes in Sweden that is haunted.
        Some really badly … noisy and things are pushed over – I wouldn’t stay in home that is so noisy. I think the ghosts only show them to people that they neither feel comfortable or really dislike.

  2. When you meet someone who is not there, is it about your intention or fears? If it was our intention, alternate possibilities would open up. If it was our fears, we would send out negative vibrations to ensure the person is never there!


  3. See? Your synthesis as a storyteller is simply astounding. Themes, pictures, concepts, experiences. I enjoy each of your posts SOOOO much! Applause and smiles!

    1. Dear Scilla,
      You are really generous! I appreciate your constant encouragement. I feel the same way about your posts–they always meet the challenge, and then keep going into another plane of thought.

    1. Thanks so much! It seems that stairwells are often favored haunts. I don’t know why, but it’s a bottleneck, and I wouldn’t want to run into a ghost there, or anywhere else.

  4. I was looking at that statue, and you are right. It is so much more than simply bubble wrap. So much more than bubble wrap in the shape of a man. It exudes emotion. That, more than anything, draws me to this piece of art.

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