Greater Egret

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Strange Apparitions

Magdalena © Robert Sommers
I am not really a superstitious guy. I have had my share of paranormal occurrences come down the pike but I really don't dwell on them too much, being a fairly rational guy. Lately though I have been doing some thinking...


Maybe the craziest story I ever heard was Mike Doyle's. Mike was a world champion surfer and artist whose mother lived in my town. Mike was living in Cabo and called his mom one day, a wild, outsider artist and friend of mine who we in town affectionately called Mama Doyle. Mike told me that his late aunt answered the phone. The woman had been dead for several years. "Who is this," Mike asked? "It's your mother," came the reply, but Mike knew something wasn't right. His aunt had answered, not his mother. Planes, trains and automobiles, he raced back to town. He discovered his mother had expired several days prior and according to Mike, before his phone call.


The woman was in my gallery last month talking about her trip to France, which included a brief stay in a building that used to be a convent. She woke up to find a holographic nun standing with a stern look at the foot of her bed. In the morning the hosts asked her about her sleep, which she confided was pretty miserable.  "Oh, did you see her?" the hosts casually inquired. "The Mother Superior?" She told me she got creeped out and got the hell out of there.


I found this story on Robert Hunter's long untended site Hunter Archive, in his Library of the Uncanny section. Louis B. wrote it in August of 2001.

In the spring of 1978, I was living at home with my parents and sister. One morning, my sister told my mother and I about a strange incident that occurred to her the previous night. She said that she was laying on her bed on her stomach reading a magazine, when she felt a hand on her back, and the hand moved down her back until it got to her rear end, at which time she said it pressed down hard. She reached around, thinking it was my mother and she said she felt flesh. When she turned to see who it was, she said she saw an old woman kneeling by her bed. She closed her eyes, shook her head, and when she looked again, it was gone. My sister was very upset by this experience, and I told her that it had to be a dream that seemed very real. She was very adamant about it, convinced it really happened and couldn't have been a dream. Without any recent deaths in the family, or any previous experiences of this nature happening in the house, I was convinced it was a dream. The subject was dropped.

That night, just as I had gone to bed, something extremely disturbing happened to me. I had just shut out the light and was ready to fall asleep, when I realized that my bed was shaking! I remember pressing my hand down hard on the bed, to make sure it wasn't me shaking. The bed was definitely shaking!! I sat up , and at the foot of the bed, there was someone standing there! I couldn't make out if it was a man or a woman, but it definitely was the outline of a human being, and the reason I could make out the shape was there were light particles bouncing around in the shape of a standing figure! I think when I sat up, I actually scared it, because it backed away from the bed and just sort of faded away. It's a little hard to describe - It didn't disappear, or go through the wall - It just faded away! It took a while to fall asleep that night because I didn't know what it wanted or why it was there!
The next morning, I told my mother and sister about what happened and my sister reminded me of what had happened to her the previous night! I had completely forgotten about her experience but now I realized that she didn't have a dream. For some reason, there was a ghost in my house but I didn't know why. When my mother heard these stories, she told my sister and I that she understood what was happening here. It seems that our neighbor's mother had died recently, and not long after her death, her daughter-in-law, who was friends with my mother, told my mother that the old lady had a lot of bedsheets that hadn't been used and wanted to know if my mother wanted them. My mother took them, and she claimed that while washing them, she got a really creepy feeling, but chose to ignore it. After washing these sheets, she put them on my sister's and my bed. The same day she put them on our beds, the weird things started happening. "That old lady doesn't want you to have her sheets", my mother said. She immediately gathered up the sheets, threw them in the trash, and the "visitations" immediately stopped. My mother was right. The old lady didn't want us to have her sheets. It's been over 20 years, but I still shudder when I think about what happened to me and my sister. I've had a number of paranormal experiences in my life, but that one is definitely the eeriest.


Juleen works for Leslie. Her mother died in November. This is her story of her mother's haunting.

We lived in our home for eight months with no incidents. But shortly after my dad came out to stay with us after mom's passing, strange stuff started happening. My two children and I first experienced seeing a petite figure in the shadows, about 5'3" or "4 but never showing us her face. 

One day about two weeks later our dog started barking uncontrollably at about 2:30 in the morning. She never barks so I got up to check both around and outside the house. Gage, my son came inside a few minutes after I did, very shaken up. He asked me if I was in the living room talking to him when he was quieting the dog? I said no and he told me that a woman's voice has said "Come closer, come closer now!" Gage freaked and none of us could go back to sleep. Gage heard footsteps for the rest of the night and we watched the bathroom light turn itself off and on several times without human help. 

A few days later the three of us were playing a game in the living room when the dog once again went berserk. She was yelping and scared and wouldn't come out from under the kitchen table. As I bent over to console her I heard a voice talking to me on my left side. I turned around, thinking my daughter was there but there was no one in the room. This aberrant behavior lasted several days. The washing machine would start and stop on its own. Everybody in the house was pretty freaked out.

I talked to my father. We all had experienced all we could take. "Knock it off, Nancy, we've had enough!" he loudly snapped in the hallway. We never had another disturbance.


Leslie lost her mom last month, something that is hard to deal with and has left a considerable sized hole in our life. Leslie was doing laundry the night before last, matching the socks on the green and lavender quilt in our master bedroom. One black sock had lost its mate and she stuffed it in the sock drawer. She searched but couldn't find the lone straggler and finally went to the kitchen to get a glass of water. When she came back into the room it was sitting alone right there in the middle of the bed.

She and Juleen have also reported strange taps on their arms from unseen forces this week. Both of them independently.

If any of you have any similar stories to share, please spill.


WildBill said...

Sorry, no similar stories, but I do have a copy of The Demon Haunted World by Carl Sagan if you would like to borrow it.

You might also check out these TED talks for another point of view:
Michael Shermer on strange beliefs
Michael Shermer: The pattern behind self-deception

Helen Killeen Bauch McHargue said...

I've never written a poem. When I developed an acoustic neuroma and was thinking about my deceased sister (who wrote poetry) and what she would think about my lurching and deafness, I suddenly had the following poem in my head. I was in my car and when I came home I sat down at the computer and typed this straight out. Even though it's totally illogical, I think she dictated it to me.
Walking straight.
A challenge? Who would guess?
The brilliance of our gyroscope -
Its praises unsung, is a quiet miracle.

I stagger now and list left-wise.
Loopily, my destinations reached.
But I see eyebrows raised…
My aura broadcasts “Oddball”

Aging brings gifts in its wrinkled basket.
Becoming invisible was an unexpected pleasure.
Different again - I’m sticking out.
Looking crazy, looking drunk.

What did you say? I can’t hear you either.
Whisper something in the good ear.
Something kind.

Blue Heron said...

Beautiful Helen. Thank you. Love the last line.

I have read Shermer before - will try to give it a listen but don't want to ruin my buzz. Thanks, though.

Anonymous said...

I'm with Wild Bill and Carl Sagan. Face it you arrogant humans, you die just like every bug and ant does, and you don't get to keep going--that's it, lights out! What ever made hairless apes think they're so special?

Blue Heron said...

I will reserve judgement on the whole matter. Too many people that I love and respect, and believe, have been confronted with experiences that defy explanation. And how do I, or you for that matter, know that you are actually alive right now?

Anonymous said...

Some dead guy already answered your question Robert: "I think, therefore I am." (Cogito ergo sum.)
Although I will admit some seemingly living persons appear brain-dead to me, most of them driving on the 405.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for publishing my little poem. Don't think it's up to the level, generally, of your blog but I think it's pretty good for a ten minute burst. I was inspired by an article by Michael Shermer in the current Scientific American: 'The Believing Brain; Why science is the only way out of the trap of belief-dependent realism'. Kinda sums up my world view.


Blue Heron said...

If I had never eaten the acid, if I had never left my body, if I had never had the earthquake dream or the strange psychic link up with my mother 200 miles away I suppose I would give the rationalists a little more love.