Friday, October 30, 2009

More Things In Heaven and Earth . . .

from Emily Bryan . . .

It's almost Halloween, so I feel obliged to tell you a ghost story. Usually, I write fiction. This tale is real.

There are things that exist just on the edge of our ability to perceive them. They are as much a part of reality as the coffee you're drinking or the smile of a sleeping toddler. We just aren't aware of them most of the time.

Children are more apt to discern them, I think, because children haven't learned to filter out the parts of the world they can't understand yet. Perhaps that explains as well as anything what I saw at night in my bedroom when I was about 8 or 9.

It was a darkness. An amorphous blob that formed in the corner of my room, opaque mostly, but I was able to see through it around the edges. As I peered at it, the thing moved closer. If I shut my eyes, it retreated to the corner. Heart hammering, I'd open my eyes again and it would advance toward me.

Finally, I'd slip off to sleep in terrified exhaustion. It didn't happen every night. It may have only been a handful of times, but the experience felt very real. I didn't tell my mother. She'd only think I was being silly. I didn't even tell my younger sister who slept in the bunk above me. I didn't want to scare her.

Decades later, my sister, mother and I were talking and I finally told them about my experience. To my surprise, my sister began finishing my sentences. She had seen the same thing--the darkness, the advance and retreat, exactly as I had experienced it!

"Oh, girls," my mom said. "I didn't want to tell you when you were little, but before we bought that house, we heard that a man hung himself in your bedroom closet."

Well, thanks, mom! Hope you got a good deal on the haunted house!

What we saw, I have no idea. I only know both my sister and I saw it.

Ok, now it's your turn. Do you have a ghost story in your past? Know of someone who does?

PS. If you haven't entered my MERRY CHRISTMAS BALL CONTEST, now's the time! Don't miss a chance at a $100 B&N gift card on December 1st!


Patricia Barraclough October 30, 2009 at 9:44 PM  

We are in an 1898 victorian farmhouse. I've felt a presence, but not seen anything. People who have lived here before have asked if I've seen the white lady. She appears in the upstairs hallway before someone dies. My daughter said she say her the night before my cat died. Our son woke up one night and saw a girl of about 10 standing near the bed. Our middle daughter is the only one who has had a bad experience. We have a new addition to the house and she felt more comfortable staying there while she was housesitting for us with her newborn. She woke in the middle of the night to care for him and had a threatening feeling she was being watched. When she looked back through the kitchen, she could see a green shape taking form in the hallway of the old part of the house. At the same time, the hairs on the back our lab went up and she started growling. She headed for the green mass barking and growling. It vanished before the dog got there and she just turned around and came back to lay down near the sofa. It has been 11 years, but our daughter won't stay at our house. Our grandson stays all the time, and no one else has ever had a bad experience.
No, we aren't moving. I love this house and it likes me.

EmilyBryan October 31, 2009 at 5:15 AM  

Ok, all the hairs on my body are standing straight up!

This is one reason why I will never live in an older home.

And why I'm playing with the idea of images and experiences of previous owners imprinting on objects and a heroine who's sensitive to them for my current WIP.

Anna Small November 3, 2009 at 7:11 AM  

Wow! Scary stuff. When I was a teenager my family lived in England (Air Force brat). Our housing area was next to a British army base and had been built in the 1930s and all the houses (about 20) looked alike except for one in the middle - stood out like a sore thumb! One day, the mom in that house commented that her little girl (about 4) was talking all night long to a man in her room that no one else could see. Turns out, during WWII, a pilot in training had crashed into that house and died. That's why it looked different from the others, because it had been rebuilt. On another occasion, the family's neighbor was doing dishes (our windows all faced our own large, fenced-in backyards) and she saw a man walk right past the window. All the dads were at work on base, so she ran out to see who it was and there was no one there.

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