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I Don’t Believe In Ghosts… But I’m Scared Of Them

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When I was 18 I was attacked by a ghost.

Man… That last line was so big that I don’t even know what to write after it. It’s too huge.

But it’s true.

It’s a simple story, almost too simple, but I guess that’s why life is different from movies; things are a lot more “cause and effect” in the movies. In real life sometimes things just happen.

I was lying on my bed; it was probably about 10 pm. At that time my family was renting a second floor apartment of a two family house on Chatterton Ave. in The Bronx. My bedroom was actually a small storeroom that was outside of the apartment but right next to it. My door had its own lock and key and I could come and go without anyone noticing me. I had a window and my solitude and a little room to do what I wanted.

I’d made the room my own the best I could, by drawing all over the walls with Sharpie markers. Every inch of the walls and some of the ceiling were covered with images I’d stolen from Keith Haring and other things: bits of poetry, lyrics, made-up drawings. mathematical formulas, bisected trangles, vaguely mystical forms and shapes. I was a pretentious goth/industrial teen and this was how I expressed myself – badly. It was like my own pathetic little pseudo-mystical, rock and roll apartment.

It was a good deal for someone my age, even though the room was tiny. It was little more than the size of a prison cell, actually, maybe 6 by 8 feet. Just big enough for a bed, a dresser and a few square feet to walk in or whatever else I was doing at the moment. But as I said, I could come and go as I pleased; I never really complained.

That night I lay on my bed, listening to the radio. I may have been reading, I don’t remember. It would be a safe bet, tho. I was always reading. Anyway, I was lying on my back; my head was facing the door to my room. No one came in. The knob never turned. It was quiet…

And then suddenly someone sat on my bed.

No one was there. I was alone. But someone was sitting on my bed. The depression in my bed was clear as day, just an inch from me. Oh, fuck. Ohfuckohfuckohfuckohfuck… And then it got worse.

Man, even as I write this I’m going cold. My chest is slick and clammy and my heart is palpitating a bit. My hands are beginning to shake. I’m really fucking edgy. The memory is hazy and vivid at the same time. The events are actually a bit hazy now but the emotional recognition is really strong. I remember deep, serious fear. I’m feeling it right now. You know when you know, you just fucking know, that someone is behind you? That’s what I feel right now. But of course, as I turn around I’m alone. Or at least that’s what it looks like.

I’m lying there on my bed, totally freaked out. I want to run. I want to scream. I decide to try and… nothing. I can’t move! I can’t move! I’m paralyzed! Holy shit, I’m paralyzed.

Suddenly there’s a weight pushing down on my chest and I feel someone hold me down. I feel the hand. I feel the weight of a person shove me into the bed and pin me there. Oh fuck again. Oh really, really, really fuck, oh fuck. This is really bad. I’m not gonna make it. Something I can’t see has got me and I’m going to die.

I reach for my voice again. Nothing. I try again. It’s a struggle to do it but I finally get something. I scream out for help. My voice is low and hoarse, and sounds an octave lower than my normal speaking voice. Holy shit, is it inside me? Is it controlling me? Stopping me from screaming? Am I possessed? Holy shit, holy shit, holy shit! I scream again…

“NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!”

It’s low and it’s hoarse but I get it out. And I’m let go.

Just like that, I’m released.

It’s gone.

I freak out and get out of the room immediately. I run into the main apartment where I feel safer. I tell no one. Who would believe me? I’m fucking scared out of my mind and it takes days before I’ll go back in there. I don’t even want to look at the door to my room.

I know… Maybe I was dozing. Maybe this was all a dream. Maybe. But I don’t think so. I remember afterward thinking, “I’m awake. I’m awake. Don’t let yourself be psyched out into thinking you were dreaming ’cause you weren’t.” They’re going to want to tell you were hallucinating, but this was real.

What’s funny is that I’ve always considered myself a scientist. I love physics and math, and I love the logical answer. As a scientist I need to look for the most likely answer. And there IS a likely answer. I have certain sleep issues and always have. I have insomnia and sleep apnea. Apnea, in case you don’t know is difficulty breathing while sleeping. It mainly happens to heavy-set men and it causes your windpipe to relax while sleeping and collapse. You wake up and catch your breath and it happens again and again, potentially waking you up dozens of time a night

Now I don’t always have apnea, but I always have insomnia. I don’t usually sleep ’til I’m exhausted, usually about 4 or 5 am. I more collapse than sleep. And I do it to myself. I dunno why. I’ve just always felt that if you were sleeping you were missing good stuff somewhere. So I don’t sleep. It’s an old habit and I can’t shake it. Of course, now that I’m 35 it’s a little harder to do but I still do it every night. Here’s the kicker: There’s a type of narcolepsy that can develop in people with sleep disorders. This narcolepsy has been known to cause hallucinations and sleep paralysis in people. (Sleep paralysis is when you’re half asleep and your muscles are so slack they no longer respond to your will. It goes away when you wake up.) People have vivid fantasies and can’t move. There’s some speculation that this is the origin of medieval tales of demons that attack while people sleep. Here’s the problem: I was awake. I know I was awake. I made myself remember that I was awake so that I would never second guess myself. As a “man of science” I have to reconcile myself to that fact. It was real. I was there. I wasn’t asleep.

So, slowly I came back around. I don’t know what caused this in the first place. Chance? Bad Luck? The drawings on the walls vaguely resembling some mystical something or other? I dunno. Soon I’m able to go in to my room and sit down again. I can hang out in there alone. I can lie on my bed. I can listen to the radio again. I can get on with my life. And it all gets a little easier.

But I can’t stop staring at the door.

And I never, never stop thinking about it.

To read more of my pretentious, self-involved crap go to: Rats Live On

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About Star

  • http://www.mondoirlando.com Aaron, Duke De Mondo

    Star, i totally 100% loved this!!!!!

    and i must ask, what time you get up at? i too batter on till 6 or 7, for those same reasons. i’d be missing out. also, plenty caffeine. but i find it insufferable to wake any earlier than 4PM.

  • http://www.ratsliveon.com Star

    Hey Aaron –

    Thanks for the good words. Good to hear from you. I’m up till 4 or 5 but I have to be up pretty much by 9:30 or so. I know a lot of people have to get up waaay earlier than I do so I don’t complain, but it still sucks. I don’t remember the last time I wasn’t tired. In fact what I do remember about the last tim eI got 12 hours of sleep was being amazed at how rested I felt. I was like, “Holy shit! Is THIS what people are supposed to feel like?!!”

    I’ve never even acknowledged it to my self before, but after writing this I realized that one of the main reasons I don’t want to go to sleep is that I really don’t want to be in bed at night (as in “The Spooks are gonna GET YA!”) I didn’t even know how heavily this experience had imprinted on me ’till I wrote about it.

  • http://www.temptationwaits.com visualsimplicity

    If you know about sleep paralysis and read about the incidents that occur with this (such as the one this one, you should realize that what happened to you is a cookie cutter incident of what normally happens. And yes, you were pretty darn sure you were awake, the thing is, sleep paralysis occurs when you are awake (or half-awake).

  • Bennett

    I’m with The Duke on this one. Great and convincing piece!

    Normal sleeper here. In by midnight, up at six or seven. Feel sorry for folks with problems, especially after reading Insomnia by King.

    Thanks for the well written post!

  • http://www.temptationwaits.com visualsimplicity

    Oh and I’ve had a few incidents of sleep paralysis and the first time it occurred, I was completely freaked out. However, I realized that it was nothing really, and since then, it has happened a few other times but without the sense of dread or anything. I just usually lay through it until I come out of it naturally (although I have a few times try to force myself to come out of it because I think I might be late for something–since it does usually happen when I decide to take a nap in between events).

    (oh and sorry for the horrible written previous comment–I should have previewed).

  • http://spaces.msn.com/members/dorksandlosers Tan Hoang

    I’ve actually experienced that same thing whenever I slept on the couch in my family room. I would wake up and I couldn’t move because something was pushing on my body. It freaked me out. No one believed me, and everyone thought I was crazy. It wasn’t until my brother told me that as kids (we slept in opposite sides of the room), he once woke up, looked at my side of the room and saw a huge white thing hovering over me. At least I’m not the only crazy person in my family.

  • Revtim

    visualsimplicity hit the nail on the head, that’s classic sleep paralysis.

    It sounds absolutely terrifying, I’m very glad that’s never happened to me yet.

  • http://www.ratsliveon.com Star

    Hey –
    You’re all right, that’s classic sleep paralysis. I had everything: the paralysis, the visual halucinations, the auditory halucinations, the sense of spirtual “otherworldliness” or “menace.” Yup it’s all true. I’ve been reading about all of it ever since it happened. Here’s the problem: while I’m not given to the supernatural (other than this experience) and I tend to use Occam’s Razor as the path to the truth, and I’m well aware of what the mind is capable of, the truth is it’s all academic. I know I was there and so was someone else. And not to get too metaphysical, but even if you take the sleep paralysis route, at that depth of halucination and terror I’m not even sure there’s a difference. It’s like the old quentum physics rub: is it is or is it ain’t? Is it one or the other? And if it’s only one or the other in the observing what’s the difference between 2 states? Particle or wave, solid or ephemeral, real or deeply halucinated?. I dunno. But I’m still fuckin freaked out.

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    I’ll focus on the most useful thing your experience proved, leaving aside the whole question of whether it is “real” or a “hallucination.” You can defeat any such attacker with a resolute order for it to go away, just as you describe doing in your account.

    In fact, you don’t even need to be able to vocalize the order. Just think it with enough focus, and it will work.

    This may sound too simple to be true, but it is true. A good friend of mine has had similar experiences, and he always succeeds in ending the attacks by simply ordering the entity to go away.

    It doesn’t really matter whether this works because the entity is imaginary, or because the entity cannot “possess” you without your permission. What matters is that it always works.

    Always.

  • Duane

    Well, Star, that’s a hell of story. I believe it. I wouldn’t have believed it, except that I had an experience in 1991 that made me a believer. Here is my experience with what I can only guess was a poltergeist.

    I apologize in advance for the ridiculous length of this post. It is edited down from the original, which I wrote up years ago, so as not to forget the details.

    The Tale of the Corsican House of Poltergeists

    A Recounting of Some Passing Strange Phenomena What Actually Happened In A Foreign Land

    I hope you enjoy it!

    The out-of-towners…

    I had just started my first year at my new job, post PhD. Cargese, in Corsica, is the site of the NATO Advanced Institute, which hosts a yearly summer school on a specialized physics topic. In 1991, it concerned the interaction of laser light with matter. I applied and was accepted for a 2-week expenses paid trip to summer school. My then-wife accompanied me.

    So we flew into Paris-Orly and took a connector down to Ajaccio on the west coast of Corsica. The plane was full of summer schoolers. There was a bus that was chartered to take us up the coast to Cargese (maybe a 2-hour drive), but we rented a car. We got lost, and finally found our way into Cargese, about 2 hours behind the rest of the crew.

    We go to the hotel we’re supposed to stay in, and we find out that our room has been given away, because we are late. The school director shows up, rips the guy (the clerk) a new one, apologizes profusely to us, and the director says she will give us a room if we don’t mind that we’re not going to be with the others. There is something about 1/2 mile away. We’re so exhausted from the trip that I say, “Yes, fine, let’s go.”

    We pull up behind this 3-story building on a narrow street. Across the street is an ice cream shop (for the tourists), a cleaners, and a cafe. In we go, up a very wide curvy stairway to the 3rd floor. She lets us in, and we find a living room full of antique furniture, a wood floor with thick rugs. And it’s big, with a spectacular ocean view. Lush gardens lead down a slope to the ocean, maybe 200 yards off. A couple of very old Catholic churches frame the view. It looks like a postcard. (Later, we found a postcard with our “house” in it.) French doors from the living room lead out onto a balcony that runs the length of the building. There are other doors back into the house at the master bedroom and at the kitchen. The director continues being apologetic. I wanted to say, “Are you fucking kidding?” but I try to play it cool. You know, “Well I guess this will just have to do.” We really hit the jackpot. This is how rich Corsicans live.

    We had thus rented the 3rd floor of a 3-story house. The 3rd floor consisted of the main living room, from which large double doors lead to the stairway to the street, two bedrooms, a kitchen, and a bathroom with a bath and shower. No toilet. The toilet was outside the main house, but inside a spire that could be entered from the balcony.

    The Mona Lisa girl…

    On each of three walls were photographs, altered to make them look really old. On the north-facing wall was a young girl, on the west-facing wall, a middle-aged woman, and on the south-facing wall, a bearded, distinguished looking man, heavy-set and Italianesque, sort of a slimmer version of Pavorotti. The woman was smooth-skinned, small eyes, fairly plain, but attractive enough. The girl was captivating. She looked to be about 10-12 years old. The look in her face seemed to convey wisdom, and a powerful lifeforce or something. My wife was similarly impressed. I took a snapshot of the photo and showed it to my Mom, who said something like “It’s hard to take your eyes off of her.” So, I am not alone in my estimation of the girl in the photo. I have it somewhere, but damned if I can locate it. We inferred that these were the photos of the family that owns the place, which was later confirmed.

    One day my wife took the car and drove up north. I’m home by myself on a Saturday. Nothing specific happened, but I had the creepiest feeling all day long. I took the girl’s picture off the wall and put it in the chair opposite to where I was sitting (comfy chairs). I wanted to stare at those eyes. After awhile, I felt like I was being scrutinized by her, and hung the picture back on the wall. Nothing much here, just a full day of uneasiness. I went out for awhile and walked down to the “beach.” I felt lonely and out of place.

    Where did you last see it?…

    In the living room was a long, rectangular, wooden dining table, big enough to seat 10 people. There were six wooden chairs placed around the table. For the first few days I had the gumption to go over my notes from the day’s classes, and spent some time going over the schedule for the following day. I used to use black Bic pens, exclusively for working. I was lugging around a briefcase back then, and I had brought a couple of pens with me. So I would scribble a page or two of calculations then drop the pen, maybe read a little, or get up for another cup of coffee, or stand out on the balcony. When I’d reach for my pen again, it was gone. OK, I had papers strewn about the table, with an open book, and my open briefcase sitting there, a cup of something usually. So I would have to pick up every fucking thing and look everywhere for my pen. Gone. I would essentially clear the table looking for the thing. OK, this happens to me enough that I don’t think anything of it other than how much I hate when that happens. I give up and grab another pen from the briefcase. Maybe I tossed the other one into the briefcase? No, that’s not my habit. Besides, I can count to two. I get up to go wash the sweat from my face (no AC in this place — it’s uncivilized, I tell you). I come back and, that’s right, there’s the goddam pen right where I had left it. This happens, like, three nights in a row.

    I was wearing sandals during the day. They slip on and off very easily. I would sit down at the table and slip them off right in front of my chair under the table — just like I do now, except I don’t wear sandals anymore. If I wanted to go out on the balcony, I would put my sandals back on. So I’m feeling around with my bare feet for my sandals and I can’t find them. I lean back to see what the deal is, look under the table and they’re not there. What the fuck? My wife, who constantly moves my stuff (which I really hate) probably put them in the closet or something. “Where did you put my shoes?” I holler. “I didn’t put them anywhere,” she says. I look under the table again, and lo and behold, there they are at the opposite end of the table from me, maybe eight feet away from where I was sitting. Did they end up over there because I kicked them off under the table? No. I just slip them off. This happens about three times during the two week stay (when I say about, it might have been three, it might have been four, but it was more than
    two).

    Home alone…

    My wife would be at home during the day when I was at school. Because of the heat, she would often take an afternoon nap in the master bedroom. On a couple of occasions, she heard the front door opening, then closing, followed by footsteps across the creaky wooden floor. Creak, creak, creak. Every step we took in the living room was accompanied by a creak. She would yell out “Duane?” in that way that one would when you wanted to tell someone that you are back here in the bedroom, and ask why are you home so early. No reply, and no more footsteps. Well, you can imagine that you would either jump up off the bed to see what’s up, or go hide in the bedroom closet. She chose to get up, assuming that I was sneaking up on her. Imagine her surprise to find that there was nobody in the living room, nobody in the kitchen, nobody on the balcony. Was it the downstairs neighbors? No. We never heard a peep from them except when they were out on their balcony. We never heard their doors or footsteps. This happened to my wife about three times, always mid afternoon.

    Sanity check…

    The door to the master bedroom would often close by itself. It happened often enough that we both noticed it. I stood by the door once, moved it into the open position, and sure enough, after a minute or so, it would swing shut. I tried closing the windows in the master bedroom, and noted that the door then would not move. Aha! It was just the wind. Just to show you that I am not entirely credulous.

    There were rats, Dad…

    One night I’m laying in bed, sweating it out, staring out the window, praying for wind. A rat appears on the windowsill beyond the foot of the bed. The little bastard jumps onto the dresser and trots his merry way along. I reached down and found a shoe, which I threw at it, missing, but the little fucker turns around and hops back out the window. Windows closed from then on. I hate rats about as much as possible.

    One morning, I got up to go get breakfast, and I noticed this puddle of fluid on top of one of the cabinets against the living room wall. I inspected it by eye for a minute. It was maybe 6 inches by 6 inches, roughly circular. It was colorless, but I could tell that it wasn’t water because it was thick, I mean in the vertical direction it was maybe 1/4 inch thick. Water doesn’t do that. It had no discernible smell, so I decided to give it the touch test. I dip my forefinger into it. Room temperature. But it’s quite viscous, like airplane glue, if you know what that’s like. But it’s not sticky like glue. I don’t know what the hell it is. I know that it appeared sometime between 11PM and 7AM. I entertained the notion that it was some kind of rat excretion. Others have said the word that had later crossed my mind, but, since this happened just that once, I don’t know. The word was “ectoplasm.” Do rats vomit up odorless colorless gluey goo? I simply add this incident to the logbook and make no conclusion.

    The old switcheroo..

    In the kitchen was a four-burner stove. You turned on the gas and started the flame by putting a lit match to it. There was a jar full of six-inch-long wooden matches for this very purpose. We didn’t do much cooking but we boiled water for coffee quite frequently. Instant coffee, although, of course, real French coffee could be had just across the street. I like my instant crappy American coffee when I’m working. I took my turns washing dishes. The way I wash is to work while I’m waiting for my water to boil. If I don’t finish, I continue the next time I’m boiling water. So I’m over the sink, which is about 4 feet leftward of the stove. I’m making a lot of headway on the dishes, so I notice that the water is taking too long to boil. I look over at it, and the boiler has been moved to another burner, one with no flame. Oh, no wonder. I move the pot back onto the burner, the water soon boils, and all is well. I think nothing of it. This happens again a few days later. Weird. Am I cracking up? I mention this to my wife, and she says that this has happened to her, also. OK (1) turn the nob to start the gas flow (2) strike match and put the flame to the burner (3) adjust flame level with nob (4) put water into boiler and put boiler on burner — the one with the blue-colored flame. I have it down. Three times this switch happens, within view of our peripheral vision, which is hard to understand.

    The Munchkin room…

    The master bedroom was the hottest room in the house during most of the afternoon. We were home and wanted to take a nap. We decided to go into the other bedroom, on the other side of the house. It’s much cooler there. The doorway was such that I had to duck down a few inches. All the furniture is very nice and antique looking, but it’s all shrunk to about 2/3 normal size. The bed is only about 5 feet long. The window was cranked open as far as it would go. Street sounds came in, and provided the white noise that sent us into a deep sleep. Time passes. We were both lying face down, sort of sprawled out, my feet hanging over the edge of the bed. I wake up to a violent shaking of the bed. Let me describe the shaking. It’s side to side, not head to foot. The foot end of the bed is shaking more than the head end. The shaking rate was about two back-and-forth cycles per second. The bottom of the bed is moving about a foot in each direction — a total amplitude of about two feet. I push myself up on my elbows and crane my head to see what the hell is going on. The shaking starts to damp out, and ceases entirely after maybe four seconds. That’s four seconds after I look back, right. End of incident. It was very much like someone really strong was shaking the bed from the foot end, then quit all of a sudden, once we woke up. Earthquake? No. We asked around.

    Mirror, mirror…

    On the right-hand wall of the master bedroom, there was a vanity-type mirror setup. It was against the wall about two feet beyond the foot of the bed. One night I woke up in my usual sweat, and noticed a kind of swirling in the mirror. The angle is such that the mirror doesn’t present its full face towards me, but the swirling seems to take on the appearance of a woman, dark hair gathered on top of the head, whiteness and faint redness, swirling, then fading away to nothing. Duration, about 10 seconds.

    Boo! …

    My wife was over the kitchen sink, washing up some dishes. I snuck up behind her and grabbed her from behind, just under the armpits, and lifted her off the floor. She’s like, 105. She yells out “Duane!”, and turns around to confront me. But I’m not there. I was in class. In fact, nobody was there. Just my wife, looking through the kitchen doorway into an empty room.

    The ice cream vendor and a unifying theory (maybe) …

    My wife had struck up a friendship with the staff of the ice cream store (du glace, sil vous plait, as I recall). One day during week 2, the subject of their conversation turned toward our house, and it turned out that the vendor had been in business at the same location when the owners of the house had lived there. He knew them in passing. He told my wife that the little girl had fallen from the balcony from just outside the kitchen door and died from the fall. It seemed that many things fell into place after we heard that.

  • Nancy

    Star (& Duane) – mesmerizing. Now I’ve got to go read up on sleep paralysis. One of the things I always feel cheated about in life is that everyone else has interesting experiences w/ghosts, but I never do. In my family, it was my mundane, prosaic, engineer-scientist-skeptic father of all people who got to see our ghost – or whatever it was:

    When I was in grade school, we lived in New England in a 300+ year old house right on the ocean, in a town famous for various 17th century goings-on. It was January, bitter cold, clear as a bell – and daylight. 1.30 pm, to be exact. Dad was taking down the Christmas lights on the house, when a little girl dressed only in a brown dress, w/long hair in a sort of ponytail, came trotting up the drive from somewhere (he hadn’t noticed her before), passed his ladder by about 15′, and disappeared around the corner of the ancient detached smokehouse/stables/garage. Dad being a responsible adult, he was alarmed this little kid was wandering around in this weather without a coat or (from what he could tell) shoes, so he got off the ladder and went galloping after. He circled the garage twice before he looked down and realized the only footprints following the path she’d taken were his own. He saw her a couple times more, always in January, and always on a crisp, cold day in broad daylight. He always chased after her around the garage, and never found anything but his own prints. We found out later from the mailman that others had seen her, too. I did extensive research in the local graveyards & city records, but was never able to say who she might have been, or why (or if) she walked, and why she only showed in Jan. in the middle of the day. I mean, aren’t ghosts supposed to happen at night in the dark? And she wasn’t at all filmy or ethereal: Dad was absolute she was as solid as he was; he didn’t believe in no ghosts, even after he didn’t find any prints. I don’t think he ever reconciled that in his mind; just found it preferable to ignore it. I, on the other hand, spent hours – days, even – on the lookout. If I thought putting out food bait would have drawn her, I would have. Nada, nothing, not so much as a whiff of ectoplasm. Some of us are just lucky, I guess. ;)

  • http://www.ratsliveon.com/ Star

    Let me tell you, you can keep that kind of luck. I always thought I’d be levelheaded, logical, and methodical if it ever happened to me. Wrong. That kind of fear is primal. You don’t want it.

  • Nancy

    Dad didn’t seem afraid, just puzzled, annoyed, and frustrated. But then, she didn’t go sit on his bed in the middle of the night, either. I’m sure he must have puzzled and puzzled til his puzzler was sore and finally just ditched thinking about it because he couldn’t chalk it up to anything he could believe it. I do wonder if she’s still there and anyone else saw her after we left.

  • Corvus

    Sounds horrifying and creepy. There’s no question that your experience of it was indistiguishable from “reality” (whatever THAT is). I still think the description sounds definitely like sleep paralysis, which also figures in some “abduction” experiences. Check this excerpt:

    “A rare form of sleep paralysis is associated with terrifying visual hallucinations. The individual is wide awake yet paralysed, and envisions some creature trying to harm them. The best described vision is that of a small malevolent creature that straddles the victim; the creature either compresses the chest or attemps to strangulate the victim, and the feeling is that the creature is actively trying to kill the sleeper. This experience is depicted in Fuseli’s Nightmare (1781).”

    http://www.lakesidepress.com/pulmonary/Sleep/sleep-paralysis.htm

  • Revtim

    Star: supernatural or natural, I’m sure it was an utterly horrifying and 100 percent realistic thing to experience. My best wishes that this doesn’t happen again.

  • Eric Olsen

    super super story Star, and subsequent thread, which I had to cut short jsut before Duane’s story because I have to go home.

    BUT, let me say I had a very similar experience, with one notable exception, and I totally buy your conviction of another entity being present.

    I’ll get to my story as soon as I can.

    Thanks!!

  • http://www.ratsliveon.com Star

    Thanks Eric and Duane and all for the opinions and good wishes and for sharing your experiences. All I can say is that in the 35 years I’ve been on this earth the most important thing I’ve learned is that I know very little of the way the universe works. When I was young I used to think I was an unsung genius. Now I know I’m just a typical smart-ass. Ghosties, or goblins or just mathematical theorems, don’t be too sure of what you think you know.

  • http://www.temptationwaits.com visualsimplicity

    I just want to say that I didn’t mean to sound offensive with my first comment or anything. I noticed in your post that you mentioned sleep paralysis and thought it was strange that you didn’t come to the conclusion that that was all that was. However, your explanation sort of makes sense. I suppose if that’s the way you feel, you can’t really change it despite the knowledge.

    But just so you know, you’re not alone in the bout against this. The Old Hag strikes quite a few of us. I just chalk it up to the scientific explanation though and it hasn’t really terrified me ever since (as I’ve stated before). I just wish the same for you.

  • miss fern

    These stories have come as a great relief to me, because several months ago, something happened to me that really scared the BeJesus out of me, and made me question my own sense of reality. I’m not a stranger to paranormal happenings, but this was so different from the usual strange phenomena that I had become accustomed to, because I initially thought that what had happened involved a real-living here and now- person!
    It was very early in the morning ( I,too am up at all hours, doing my artwork, as has been my habit since high-school(some 30 years ago !!) I joined my husband in bed, and fell asleep right away. I woke up to the sound of the alarm clock, and my husband getting up to go into the shower. I lay there, searching for the optimum sleep position, when suddenly, I felt my husband crawl onto my back, and start writhing around all sensually. He’d never done anything quite like this before, and I was surprised at the large amount of weight pressing down on me. As this went on, I started to wonder just what he was trying to do..as he felt fully clothed to me, and I was also wearing all of my night clothes! I started to ask him what he was doing, but he pushed my face into the pillow, and mumbled something like ‘shut up’. I was starting to get scared, when I heard the sounds of our son stirring, making his way to the bathroom. I felt the weight lift itself from my back, as if it was being pulled straight up from above.
    Reflecting on how odd it all seemed, I fell asleep. The next thing I knew, my husband was standing over me, kissing me good bye, as he was going to work. I told him to drive safely, and I’d see him later.
    I put the incident out of my mind, but the next morning, at breakfast, something suddenly reminded me of the previous morning..and I said to my husband..” What were you trying to do yesterday, in bed?” He looked at me, all puzzled, and said “What do you mean?”
    I reminded him of the encounter, and he just sat there , looking at me. Figuring he was teasing me, I said..”yeah, right..you didn’t ‘do’ anything!”
    Then my husband got a worried look on his face, and I realized that he really had no idea of what I was talking about ! So now I panicked ! I started to cry, and got a bit hysterical, as I realized that it wasn’t my husband on my back !!
    We went over all of the possibilities .. the cat was on me ( he only weighs 10 pounds..I think I know the difference between a 10 pound cat and a 140+ pound man ! Or the possibility that someone had broken in…but no one was seen, and there were 3 people in the apartment, all awake at the same time! There was also no sign of someone coming in through the window..one had an air conditioner if it..and the front door was still locked, with the chain lock still intact when he left for work ! We thought about calling the police, but it was pretty clear that they would think we were all a bit crazy.He also suggested that it had been a dream, but I was so fully aware of everything, and the sounds of people (my son) moving around the apartment were all very real..I mean I KNOW I wasn’t dreaming ! To this day, we haven’t solved the mystery, but it’s not the first time strange things have happened here. We live in the apartment my grandparents lived in for over 50 years, and when my brother took over the apartment after they passed away, he swears that at night , whenever he was in bed, he would hear our grandfather (Pop-Pop) singing with his friend, Lester, a song that they had recorded at a carnival many, many years ago. My brother was much younger than the rest of us, and there’s no way in the world that he could have possibly ever heard them singing that song, as the record was lost before my brother was even born !
    We all think it was my grandfather’s way of getting him to want to move, because he wasn’t taking good care of the apartment. As “luck” would have it, my brother got a sudden offer to move,with his job, to Hawaii. At the same time, we were losing our own apartment, and had to relocate immediately, as the landlord was giving the house to his daughter. We moved in, and restored the apartment to it’s former glory, replacing many of my grandmother’s antiques..and on one ever heard my grandfather sing with Lester again !

  • http://Ghosts Dave

    One night i was lying in bed, it was about 4 am and suddenly there was this vibration on my bed like someone or somthing was grabbing at my sheets, I turned on my light and there was nothing there, HOLY FUCKEN SHIT!!! i was scared out of my misery. The next day my mum took me to the docter cause she thought i was crazy
    BUT IM NOT.

  • http://Ghosts Dave

    P.S= I do not have any animals

  • http://www.myspace.com/x15 Douglas Mays

    hhhmmm…to respond to belief in ghosts….OK, I believe in them but have no problem with them being around.

    I am naturally someone who has no problem in the world of mystery or mantic arts or whatever. It is just there, like air or water or anything else. If you know how to read the gravity of planets you’ll find that this astrology stuff is legit. The Chinese have a good 10,000 years of information on the subject. Analyzing information. Doesn’t that make it a science?

    Anyway, my take on ghosts is this. I had no opinion until I first moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico back in 1985. That is a very old town. They have buildings that are several hundred years old and such.

    so I step out of the van and step onto earth. WOW!!! It hit me right off the bat. I could tell that alot of something was happening in the spirits of the domain around there. Man, could I ever feel it. OK, I am a Scorpio. They say our sensors are pretty in tune with such stuff.

    Anyway, I lived a few years there and I swear I have had visions of those ghost type things. Straight down at the end of the first floor hallway of the LaFonda Hotel one might grasp a sighting or whatever you call it. Then at a friends funeral (suicide) it was unbelievable what was streaming thru the room. WOW, it was like a hell of a light show to me. And more, but Santa Fe is good for ghosts or spirits or whatever.

    Then even here in Seattle there was a nightclub called the Colour Box in Pioneer Square during the grunge years. A room that catered to the modern grunge/alternative scene. I promoted a few shows there, never saw a ghost, but many claim that in the lobby there were ghosts. Cool! But they probably never paid cover charge. Ah, the advantages of being a ghost.

    Anyway, don’t fear your ghosts and they probably won’t bother you. Can probably have a load of fun with them actually.

    BOO!
    DM

  • Dr Dreadful

    Some good stories here.

    I tend to be skeptical about ghosts: it seems to me that most sightings are easily explainable as natural, rather than supernatural phenomena. The incident with Duane’s Bic pens, for example: I’ve been there! (I mean I just put the frickin’ pen down right here and now it’s gone – kind of thing. Turns out I did indeed put the pen down, but six inches to the left of “right here”, and I then absently put a piece of paper over it…)

    I’ve never seen, heard or smelled what I would term a ghost, although I’m from England and have been in many a house, church and castle which was supposed to be crawling with the bastards. Nothing. I’ve been on guided ghost walks (in Edinburgh and York) which “guarantee” you’ll see a ghost. Still nothing – unless you count guys in latex zombie masks jumping out at you inside a tomb…

    My only “ghostly” experience, therefore, is rather mundane compared to some of you folks’. I used quite often to walk to a park in the South London suburb where I grew up. There was an alley between two streets which served as a kind of cut-through, and halfway along this was a row of lock-up garages which belonged to the apartments or houses on those streets. I was walking past these one day when I got an intense feeling of something malevolent. The kind of feeling that makes your skin crawl and your hair prick and you want to be somewhere else – now. I walked on and the feeling passed. The same thing happened the next couple of times I went past the lock-ups: this sensation that something horrible or evil was present nearby. I developed a severe aversion to taking that short cut again. Never have since.

    I believe that in the terminology of those who study these things, that sort of manifestation is referred to as a ghoul.

    Not saying I believe that’s what it was; could just have been my overactive imagination; could’ve just eaten too much cheese before going to bed the previous night. Just putting it out there.

    As Douglas says: BOO!

    Sweet dreams…

  • http://www.myspace.com/x15 Douglas Mays

    Dr. D, eating too much cheeze before bed, or Mexican food….Oh, those kind of ghosts! Odor, some sort of vapor? Perhaps shapes and colors?

    Bean-O helps that ghostly problem. Yeah, blame it on the ghost!

    Maybe we should get back to talking about football.

    best,
    DM

  • Dr Dreadful

    Ghosts make lousy footballers. Especially as goalkeepers. The ball tends to go right through them.

    Hmm… come to think of it… was Bruce Grobbelaar a ghost?

    ;-)

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Doc D, now that was funny, ROFLMAO!

    On a serious note, there are no ghosts because there is no afterlife. When you’re dead, you’re dead. When the movie is over, the screen goes blank; The End.

  • Nancy

    I dunno, Chris; there’s entirely too many incidents & too much evidence that at least something happens to some people after they die. Maybe that’s what Hell is: you go *poof* & entirely go ‘lights out’, as you put it. At any rate, the Lord didn’t make me – or anybody else as far as I know – the repository of all His knowledge, so I’m willing to believe that something else awaits, that there is other life in the universe elsewhere, and even that there really are sasquatches in the woods somewhere. After all, “they” (popular wisdom) spent years insisting coelecanths were extinct. Not sure I believe in alien abductions, tho….

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Nancy, I’m unaware of any evidence at all. There are a lot of stories like the article above but absolutely no evidence.

    Neither life on other planets nor the existence of sasquatches or coelecanths has anything to do with it unfortunately. The Lord didn’t make you ‘cos he doesn’t exist either. It’s long past time that we humans started accepting more personal responsibility for what happens during our time on Earth and stopped handing off the burden to entirely fictitious lords, gods or ghosties.

  • Nancy

    I guess I’m mired in the Neanderthal, Chris. In the abstract I tend to agree with you, but when it gets down to brass tacks, I side with the ghosties, ghoulies, & gods, altho I’d never go so far as to support organized crime religion of any sort.

  • http://www.myspace.com/x15 Douglas Mays

    Dr. D! Good point about Bruce G. LOL!!!

    Chris! The movie might end and the screen goes blank. The problem is that the sequel comes out! My Life 2!

    God, I hope that movie gets a better rating….Well, actually I should finish watching this movie. LOL!

    Anyway, the ghost issue will only be answered when we get there. Funny how no ghosts have chimed in to this thread.

    best,
    DM

  • duane

    The word “ghosts” often serves as a catch-all term for a class of phenomena experienced by many people. A decent fraction of these people are “reliable witnesses,” in the sense that they can describe fairly accurately what happened. I consider myself a reliable witness. I had ONE set of experiences that spanned a 2-week period of time (#10). My wife-at-the-time was there with me to corroborate. I figure that the single term to best describe my experience is “poltergeist.” That does not mean that I believe in the existence of a spiritual realm populated my trans-dimensional mischief makers. I’m using a convenient term to classify my experience, since it resembles other similar accounts.

    What is not known is the underlying cause of such phenomena. I will side with Dr. D and Rose in saying that there probably are natural explanations for these occurrences. For historical reasons, the usual interpretation is that there are “spiritual entities” meddling in our physical world.

    Certainly, this idea has crossed my mind, given the coincidence with what I experienced and the death of the little girl. It’s too obvious a connection to ignore. But maybe it just IS a coincidence. I’m willing to grant that. However, that does not change in any way what actually happened. It remains unexplained. There is no natural explanation at the present time.

    If future science manages to discover a cause-and-effect link — who knows, altered states of consciousness, dark matter, merging universes, time warps, collapsing wave functions, and ??? — I will be all over it. For that would represent an entirely new class of physical phenomena operating in the natural universe with which we currently have no familiarity. It would be a major step in understanding the natural world.

    It is a sign of mental health and rationality to be skeptical of accounts that purport to have encountered ghosts, aliens, mythological creatures, levitation, witchcraft, angels, demons, etc. I was once a devout skeptic. If I had not been at that particular place at that particular time, I still would be. Which is not to say thatI still don’t view ghost stories with a critical eye.

    My suggestion is that these type of phenomena are rare, some fraction of them are recounted by people free of mental deficiencies, free of the need for unwarranted attention, free of the desire to make a profit (see Amityville, e.g.), and that it is very unlikely that a given person will have a direct experience of this kind during the course of a lifetime. If skeptics can accept that, then we are are left with something that is currently unexplainable. If people infer that my description of a set of experiences is based on belief in a spiritual world and afterlife, they are likely to conclude that I am an irrational person, and that, therefore, my entire story is unreliable. I claim that rationality and descriptions of “weird occurrences” can be, and often are, consistent.

    People reading here don’t know me. I don’t expect them to believe me uncritically. But try to entertain the possibility that what happened really happened as described, then strip away the associations to the putative afterlife, and you will be left with something that defies logic and science as we know it.

    Christopher Rose demands evidence (#28). I have no evidence to offer you. What evidence would satisfy you, other than to personally witness such an occurrence? Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. I have been behind that slogan far longer than you (I’m guessing you’re 15 to 20 years my junior). I unwittingly gathered extraordinary evidence in person. Would you and other skeptics be willing to grant credence to at least to some fraction of the thousands of eyewitness reports of “ghosts,” disassociate these occurrences from theories of the existence of a spiritual realm, and accept that there currently unexplainable phenomena on the “record”? I choose the word “unexplainable” deliberately, not to be confused with “unexplained.” Currently. Unexplainable.

  • Nancy

    Good comment, Duane. You said it well.

  • prettyprincess

    i believe in ghost because i saw one before