It is not as if I am one of those people who is followed through their lives by ghosts and entities that cannot be explained. I do not jump to the conclusion that I am having a ghostly encounter every time something a bit unusual occurs. I was not raised in a haunted house where objects reeled through the air and demonic voices terrorized the family. But, I have had my share of seemingly paranormal experiences that simply defy explanation.
My first encounter occurred when I saw a teen. My family had just returned from the graveyard. In those days, mowing and caring for family graves was common. After that sweaty afternoon of working on the graves, we returned home. My mother prepared homemade pizza and I sat down to rest.
A hallway ran from the kitchen to the living room. Just as I lifted a cold drink to my lips, a man suddenly appeared in the living room. I can see him to this day with a white tee shirt and jeans. The odd part was, he only had one arm. He peeked into the kitchen and when he saw me looking, he immediately jumped out of sight.
I did not know what to think.Was I going crazy? I had never had any mental problems and did not think I did now.
I was dumbfounded and sat in silence, unsure of what I had seen. I listened but there was no indication anyone occupied the room. When I revealed what I had seen, the house was searched and no one was ever found.
Over the years in that house, there were other subtle occurrences, but nothing to get frightened about. Doors that had been closed would suddenly appear open. On occasion, we would hear what sounded like someone snoring upstairs when no one was there. On several occasions, members of the family observed a red glowing light in the yard. They described it as looking like the coal of a cigarette, yet no one was there.
Basically, we blew it off, which probably accounts for my reaction when I encountered someone who did believe in ghosts.
It occurred when I was in my early twenties. It was late fall and night fell quickly. At the time, I was selling cosmetics and delivering new catalogs. I approached the home I had visited often and noticed the lights were dim and group of people were standing around a candle in the dining room. I know what you are thinking, but remember, I was young and did not think about the fact that I was interrupting anything. I must admit that in retrospect I suspect I interrupted a séance or some type of ritual.
I rang the bell and waited. No response. I rang it again and a towering bald man, who I presumed was the man of the house, came to the door. The hallway was dimly lit and I could hear voices in another room. I spoke to him briefly and gave him the catalog. I commented about the new house number that had been installed near his door. He explained to me that keeping a number on the house prevented ghosts from entering the home.
Being young and foolish, I laughed and said, “Well, my house doesn’t have a number and I don’t have any ghosts.” He laughed a deep laugh that suggested I might be wrong and added that I might want to put a number up.
As I left the driveway, it suddenly became incredibly dark. The winds began to howl and leaves swirled through the air. Tree limbs swayed and dark shadows darted all around me. I looked around in fear. The man was gone, but the night had suddenly become very eerie.
I was overtaken by fright and by the sudden sharpness of the wind, but the worse part was the shadows, as they seemed to surround me. I turned and ran the two blocks to my home feeling as if something was behind me. When I entered the apartment the winds ceased and I could breathe again.
I do not know what happened on that night long ago. Maybe a sudden wind arose. Maybe something more. I do know that I have never forgotten the house or the images of those shadows as they swooped and dived around me enveloping me in fear.
Although I may not fully believe, I always make sure wherever I am living has a number on the building. There is no sense in taking chances, is there?