Do you believe in ghosts? Spirits, apparitions, things that go bump in the night? Do you believe that a person's energy can exist without a living, breathing body?
I'm the most skeptical person about pretty much everything. I am that person who is looking for the catch or the angle of every story because, let's face it, there usually is one. But in the case of ghosts, or whatever you want to call them, I am a firm believer that they exist.
I've probably just lost some of you now, but that's OK. I get it. Like I said, I'm a skeptic, too. But my belief has come about through firsthand experiences. And secondhand through stories from my mom and dad because they have experienced similar things, but their stories are not mine to tell. I can only give you a glimpse of my own and let you decide for yourself.
This story is quite different from the ghost stories that you're probably used to. But it has left a lasting impression on me and I still don't have an explanation for what happened.
When I was a kid, around 4 or 5 years old, I lived in a townhouse with my mom and step-dad. We didn't live there very long, but I don't remember ever having any weird or creepy feelings about the place. It was just your standard 2-level townhouse. The living room and kitchen/dining area were on the first floor and there were 2 bedrooms upstairs. I had a little mattress on the floor in my mom and step-dad's room that I would sleep in sometimes when I had bad dreams.
So, one night, I'm asleep in my own room. I wake up because I'm really thirsty and I normally have a glass of water next to my bed, but I didn't remember to bring one up that night. I get up and I can hear the TV playing downstairs, so I think my mom and step-dad must still be up watching something. I head to the stairs and I can see that the lights are on down there.
I go down to the living room and my mom is sitting on the floor, playing with a deck of cards, and my step-dad is sitting in the recliner watching TV.
[So, here's where it gets a little weird. You normally think of ghosts as the spirits of people who have passed away, right? Well, at that time, obviously my mom and step-dad were alive. And every time I tell this story, I know it sounds ridiculous logically. But I can't explain it - I just know how it felt. And it was the scariest thing I can remember ever happening to me.]
I tried to focus my eyes because they both looked kind of blurry and I was still sleepy. But they never truly came into focus. I kept rubbing my eyes, but again, still blurry. My step-dad never turned away from the TV, not even to glance in my direction. I remember thinking, Why is he mad at me? My mom looked up from her cards, but didn't say anything. I tell her I'm thirsty and I need a glass of water. She still doesn't say anything, but after a long pause, she finally says in this strange, extremely angry, monotone voice, "OK. Go get some water and then go straight back to bed. I mean it - straight back to bed! You shouldn't be down here. GO BACK TO BED." She was yelling really loudly at this point.
I remember feeling very cold all of a sudden and I broke out in goosebumps. I felt scared - not the kind of scared where you think you're in trouble, but truly frightened and I didn't know why. I still couldn't see her clearly and it was really freaking me out. So, I ran to the kitchen, got my glass of water, and I went back upstairs. I never once looked back into the living room because I didn't want to get yelled at again, and the way her voice sounded really scared me.
As I was about to go into my room, I heard something coming from my mom and step-dad's room. I was still freaked out and didn't really want to go in there, but I thought maybe my cat, Randy, was in there and he wasn't supposed to be, and I didn't want to get in trouble. The door was slightly ajar, so I pushed it open and I could see my mom and step-dad laying in bed sleeping. The noise I heard was my step-dad snoring.
I felt paralyzed. I stood there for a few minutes and didn't know what to do. I put the glass of water down in the hallway because I was trembling and it was starting to spill. Then, I ran into their room and I jumped in the little mattress on the floor next to their bed. I pulled the blankets over my head and just laid there, my heart pounding. I had left the door open and I could still hear the TV playing downstairs. I was too scared to move or do anything or say anything.
After a while, I must have fallen asleep. I woke up sometime later, and it was still nighttime. The door was still open and I could see my glass of water in the hallway. Still scared, I closed my eyes tightly and I eventually fell asleep again.
The next morning, I woke up and the glass of water was next to me on the floor. I remembered leaving it in the hallway, so that brought on a fresh round of fear. My mom and step-dad were awake, but still laying in bed, and they were talking quietly. I started crying and I told my mom what happened. She said it was probably just a nightmare and that I had nothing to be afraid of. I explained about the glass of water and coming upstairs to find them in bed after just seeing them downstairs, and she said maybe I was sleepwalking, or that it was still just part of my dream.
I refused to go downstairs until they went with me. When we got down there, everything appeared to be normal. The TV was off. The lights were off. But the deck of cards was on the floor still, like someone was playing Solitaire or something and left them out. My mom didn't say anything, but she had a weird look on her face, and she picked them up and put them back in the box. And she said, "I probably just forgot to put them away, but don't worry, there's nothing to be scared of, it was just a dream." I felt this weird feeling in the pit of my stomach, like something bad was going to happen. But then it passed. And we eventually moved and nothing weird like that happened again.
So, there you have it. What do you think? Just a dream? Over the years, I kept going back and forth about it - I was young, it was probably just a dream, maybe I did sleepwalk (although I never have done so before in my life). But I could never shake that feeling that something strange had happened. So, I eventually looked into it more and there have been people who have claimed to see the spirits of those who are still living (Google "ghosts of the living" if you don't want to sleep tonight). And that it almost always was a negative experience - they felt scared, they felt like something wasn't right, or something sinister was happening.
So, as weird as it sounds, as much as it could be rationalized away as a dream, I 100% stand by it because I've never felt that way before in my life and never have since.
Tell me your thoughts, or if you have an experience to share, tell me that, too, in the comments below. Ciao!