When I was a child, we lived in a haunted house. It even looked haunted, with a long driveway lined by tall trees, which kept it in perpetual shadow.
I did my piano practice in the unoccupied cottage. Everything in there was covered with white dustsheets. All the time I was practicing, it felt like someone was watching me from behind. As long as I kept on playing, I felt safe. When it was time to go, I’d suddenly slam the piano shut, grab my music sheets and rush out as fast as I could.
One night I felt a thump right next to me on my pillow. It felt like a small creature then trotted down the bed and jumped off the end. With a sigh, I figured a cat had come in the window and I’d have to put it out.
I got up, put on the light, and started looking for the cat. It was nowhere to be found. Finally, I looked behind the curtains – and saw that the windows had been closed all the time. No physical animal could have got in…
Gardens as well as houses can be haunted. At another house when I was about five, the wild area behind the vegetable garden always felt eerie. In the garden of a friend’s house, some downright sinister events once took place.
“My daughter had a friend to stay, and they wanted to sleep in the caravan in the garden,” she said. “During the night, they heard a thump on top of the caravan. Then there was scratching at the door. It got louder and then started tapping. When they went outside to look, nothing was there.
At that time, I found a bird drowned in the pond, which felt like a bad omen. And there was a tree that used to shake as if somebody was climbing in it, when no one was there. So we decided to start having lots of jolly barbecues in the garden, to change the atmosphere. That seemed to drive away whatever it was.”
THE GIRL WHO SAW GHOSTS
Another friend told me how her daughter, Vicki, was able to see ghosts. On a visit to Kings College Hospital in London she said, “We were walking down the corridor and Vicki said she could see ghosts everywhere. They were lying on stretchers, sitting on chairs, walking along – the place was full of them. She was so frightened she was clutching onto me. I tried to get her to wait for me with the lady in charge of the flower shop, but she refused to let me go.
At another time, we were on a drive with my partner. We stopped at a church in the middle of nowhere. Vicki went with him to look at the churchyard – but came rushing out straight away and jumped back into the car, very frightened. She said she could see strange things over the graves.
One day when we were visiting friends, she said there was a little old lady sitting in a chair. For us, the chair was empty of course. We got her to describe what the old lady looked like, and what she was wearing. When they went through the family album, they found a photo of a great grandmother who was dressed exactly as Vicki had described.
One of the men did an experiment – he slowly tipped the chair forward and asked Vicki what she saw then. She said the old lady looked left and right, and then disappeared. That happened every time he tipped the chair forward.”
Ghosts are not always the spirits of dead people. They can also be astral projections from the living. A few years ago, a male friend and I were drifting apart because we had little in common. In the small hours one night, I went into the kitchen for some water. There was enough moonlight, so I didn’t bother to put the light on.
I nearly dropped my glass when I saw this man’s face hovering in the air outside the window. I must have been half-asleep at the time, which was why I could see an astral form. When the fright fully woke me up, the image disappeared.
Although most people don’t see the astral plane when in full waking consciousness, there are many other ways to sense astral projections and psychic connections. For example, when we see someone clearly in our mind’s eye, it’s often a sign they’re thinking about us. It’s also worth bearing in mind that negative feelings we think are our own may in fact be coming from someone else.
For many children, especially when still very young, the astral world can be as real as the physical. Sarah told me of an experience she had when she was about five years old.
“One night, I got up from bed and went into the kitchen where the adults were. But nobody took any notice of me. I couldn’t stand it! So I decided to go and annoy my sister, thinking that’ll get me some attention. She hated being poked. So I went to poke her – and my hand went right through her! That really frightened me. I went back to bed as fast as I could!”
Strange experiences can also occur in broad daylight, with normal looking people. This account was first published in my book Magic Past Lives. An acupuncturist who is now passed on told me about this strange incident that he saw on a train.
A man in a business suit was sitting diagonally opposite an equally conventionally dressed woman. There was an unheard exchange between them. The man then started reading his newspaper, holding it up like a barrier.
The woman became angry, and started flicking aggressively at his paper. When that didn’t work, she rolled up her newspaper and began to slap it loudly on the palm of her hand. The man continued to ignore her. It then looked like she was trying to beam bad vibes at him with strange and vehement hand gestures. He steadfastly continued reading his paper.
At the next stop, she got off the train. The others in the carriage gave a round of applause to him for withstanding what was clearly a psychic attack. My friend suggested to him that it might be a good idea to see an exorcist now. To which the man calmly replied, “I am an exorcist”.
The following account from one of my readers is also about a daytime experience with paranormal undertones – but this time with a very different vibration.
“A few years ago on a dark winter afternoon I was working at a community center. Three of us were standing around the reception desk. We were the only people there at that late hour. We were talking about how strange it was that that particular date was a traumatic anniversary for all of us.
In different years, but on exactly that date, one of us had been diagnosed with cancer, and the other two had bad car accidents. Now the day had come round again and we were all three together, talking about it. We couldn’t help wondering if another awful thing was destined to happen to us on that day.
All of a sudden, a nun in full habit – the only time I’ve seen a nun in full habit in that town – came rushing in, asking directions to a nearby highway. We told her how to get there and she rushed out.
Then a few seconds later, she came rushing in again. She pulled out a large plastic bag full of Virgin Mary medals, gave one to each of us and said, ‘These will protect you’.
We’d stopped talking as soon as she came into the building, so she couldn’t have heard our conversation. No further bad things happened to any of us on that day.
There’s no way of knowing if that was because of the talisman the nun gave us – but I still have it, and I carry it with me all the time. The three of us still talk about the day a nun came in and gave us protection against the bad luck of that date.”
Protection from the spirit world can take many strange forms. A friend of mine, Peter, once had a small factory. It had an attic that was hardly used – a few things were stored up there, but it was mostly an open wooden floor.
“We learned that whenever we heard ghostly footsteps walking up there, it was a warning from the other side,” said Peter. “When it sounded like a woman walking briskly along in high-heel shoes, it was about something wrong on the financial side of the business. Maybe someone was trying to pay us with a bouncy cheque – that sort of thing.
Then there was the slower and heavier footfall of a man. Whenever we heard this, it meant problems or dangers on the factory floor. We always checked our systems whenever we heard these footsteps. And they always turned out to be valid warnings.”
COMFORTING VISITS FROM THE OTHER SIDE
Many paranormal experiences come to us with the intent to help or comfort. This is especially true when the spirits of those who have recently passed over appear to loved ones to reassure them that all is well. They want their grieving families or friends to know that they are still alive, just living in another realm.
One of my readers e-mailed me with the following account:
“When I was a small child, I had a favorite uncle who passed over. I was at his funeral and felt such a loss knowing I would miss him in the future. Even though I saw him lying in the casket I knew in my heart that he was no longer there – that was just the shell of his body.
The following morning, as I was getting up for school, I saw him standing in the doorway in his favorite blue pinstriped suit. He just looked at me for a moment as though to let me know everything was going to be all right. Then he was gone.
I couldn’t tell anyone because we weren’t allowed to talk about such things back when I was a child. I know in my heart he came back to give me peace of mind. To let me know he would always be watching over me, even though no words were spoken.”
We live in a reality that is more mysterious than it seems. Countless people can recall at least one strange occurrence in their lives. Have you ever experienced anything that feels paranormal? If you’d like to share your experiences, you’re welcome to add your comments to this article, or contact me more privately through the Contact Page on my website.
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