I have had a fascination with ghosts for as long as I can remember. My bookshelf contains more than a few volumes on ghosts and the paranormal. I have never missed an episode of Ghost Hunters or its offshoot, Ghost Hunters International (or even Paranormal State though that one stretches credibility a little more). While I have always been a believer, and have had a few unusual experiences over the years, I had never actually seen a ghost with my own eyes.
Until last night, that is.
My girlfriend and I were watching American Idol in the living room. We were sitting on her couch. Suddenly, a mysterious ball of white light appeared in her bedroom, moved through the doorway, and passed by the bathroom, where it abruptly dissipated before my eyes. I sat there, staring into space, completely in awe of what I had just seen. Truth is, I thought to myself, Mark, you have finally lost your mind. I figured I had been hallucinating or something. Maybe a brain tumor was wreaking havoc with my senses. And then, my gf said, “What was that?!”
“You saw it, too?” I asked, turning to her excitedly. Relieved that I hadn’t lost my marbles, after all.
“You mean that big, white orb of light?” she replied.
“I sure did.”
Turns out, she saw it in her bedroom, but I was blocking her line of sight when it actually…umm…”shattered” into nothingness in front of the bathroom. I don’t know how else to describe what it did at that point. She missed the grand finale, if you will.
Now, I may believe in the paranormal, but I also take the TAPS approach, and try to look for alternate explanations before declaring something otherworldly. So I suggested we had seen the headlights from a passing car. Only that theory didn’t stand up, for three simple reasons.
1. She has room-darkening shades that were cinched tightly shut.
2. Her bedroom doesn’t face the street, anyway.
3. This ball of light was low to the ground; any passing reflection would have been much higher up.
Try as we might, we couldn’t come up with a single logical explanation for what we had just seen. It wasn’t a ghost in the sense that it resembled a human figure, but…what the hell was it?? Some sort of spectral entity? Ball lightning? (Indoors, and from a clear sky, though?) (And no, we hadn’t been drinking – not a single drop of alcohol for either of us). And there are a couple of interesting events to consider that have taken place recently that – while not proving the existence of something supernatural – at least give me pause.
A few nights ago, we were also watching TV in the living room, when I felt a cold spot around my legs. I am one of those people who is always warm, no matter the season or the temperature. This cold sensation lasted a few seconds, and was so noticeable I mentioned it to my gf the next day.
And, best of all (though probably not in her opinion), one night last week she awoke in the middle of the night and freaked out, because – as she related to me the next morning – she felt like somebody was standing over her bed, watching her. She turned on the light and, of course, nobody was there. But it took her awhile to fall back asleep after that.
All of this reminded me of the dream I had that first night I slept over her place. One so vivid and intense, I actually wrote it down, which in and of itself is strange because I rarely talk about dreams with anybody else (and, in fact, never mentioned it to my gf until today). In my dream, I awoke in an old stone building with half-oval windows. It was springtime; I could feel a gentle breeze ruffling my hair, and could smell jasmine on the wind. I got up and looked out the window. Across the way was a church, and beside it, a cemetery on a hill. My attention was focused on two particularly ornate (and obviously old) headstones, one of them a giant, moss-covered cross. Nothing else happened, and it wasn’t scary, but the detail in that dream was like nothing I’d ever experienced before. The colors were dazzlingly bright, and all my senses were alive. At the time, it was nothing more than an interesting dream. After last night, it takes on a new context – definitely seems a lot more symbolic in nature.
I don’t know what to make of this stuff. My gf has lived there since June, and it is only recently – err, actually, right around the time I entered her life – that these things have started happening. Particularly in the past week and a half.
One more thing: she’s got this old, metal nightstand beside her bed. Even though this sounds straight out of a movie, it came from an old mental institution that – rumor has it – was supposedly haunted. We have joked that a ghost might have formed an attachment with the nightstand and decided to follow along. Hmm.
It occurs to me that I’ve got the perfect plot for my next novel unfolding all around me…