Happy Halloween! As it's the season of ghost stories and horror movies, I decided to take a break from sharing recipes with you today to share two unexplained experiences I've had.
I don't entirely believe either way whether ghosts exist or not. I definitely don't think there are spirits lingering around waiting to pop out from behind things and yell "BOO!" at you, but I do think there is a possibility that residual energy can exist after someone has passed, regardless of how they have passed.
So if you're into ghost stories or are just curious as to what's happened to me, read along!
The Ghost at the Church
My friend, C, used to live in a neighborhood behind a church. The church was on the main street with a school behind it and fields for the school kids to play sports. In the spring, a carnival was held there every year. Across the street from the church was a shopping center with a grocery store and various shops. Back then, there was a Dairy Queen. C and I were best friends and saw each other nearly every weekend from the time we were kids to teenagers, despite going to separate schools. If we weren't at my house, we were at hers.
The day after Thanksgiving I went to her house. It was around six or seven at night and already dark, but we were bored and decided that we wanted ice cream. She didn't have any, so despite it being cold we decided we were going to walk up to the Dairy Queen and get some ice cream. Two of her friends that were sisters were hanging out with us and decided to come along.
The church parking lot is a circle shape with the church in the center. There's entrances on either side, one facing her neighborhood and the other facing the field. We always walked through the parking lot, around the back of the church facing the field and to the main street. We're chattering on about random nonsense as we make our way around the part of the church that faces the field. I don't know if it was the yellow glow of the light in the foyer or what caught my eye, but I turned to face the church and saw a man. He was older and dressed like a farmer. I didn't think much of it at first until I realized that I could see through him and he was hovering about a foot off the floor. My brain immediately thought "that's not real" so I casually said "Do you see that?"
I realized later I never indicated where I was looking, other than my head being slightly turned, but everyone else turned their head directly to the church foyer and said yes. I can't remember who, but one of them even responded with "the farmer". We stood there for what could have been anywhere from a few seconds to a minute, just looking at him. His head was bowed and his arms hung limply at his sides. He was wearing a hat, a plaid flannel shirt and what appeared to be corduroy pants. He never looked up at us or even moved. It was as though we were looking at a life-sized photograph.
Eventually C said that we should go and she and the two sisters started walking again. I hung back for a few seconds, just watching before starting to walk again, keeping my eye on the man in disbelief as to what I was seeing.
We got our ice cream and took the same route back to her house but he was no longer there. And for whatever reason, which makes no sense to me, we didn't ever talk about what happened for nearly a decade. Yet we talked about ghost stories all of the time. It was the late 90's so we were watching horror movies on a regular basis and yet, nothing.
To this day, I still can't forget how incredibly calm we all were during the experience. I guess I expected it to be something like what you see in the movies, you're scared or startled or something, but no, we were completely calm, like it was something we'd seen every day in our lives. I joke when I tell people the story that it was the most uneventful ghost sighting ever.
In my 20's I decided to do some research on the area and found out that the road in front of the church was named after a farmer who sold his land for the church and school to be developed. I can only assume it was him.
Dream of the Recently Passed
I was 15 years old when my maternal grandfather passed away in July. He had been living at a fancy assisted living home about three hours away from us but we went to visit him every time that we saw other family in the area. We weren't close at all. He had suffered a stroke some years before and walked with a cane that he liked to shake at me and my cousins if we did anything he deemed out of line. Basically he was your stereotypical cranky old man. So while I was sad that he had passed away, it was nothing like the grief and sadness that my mom and her sisters were feeling.
Two days after we got the news that he passed away, I had a dream. Now, I rarely remember my dreams and I almost never dream in full color. My dreams have always been in pastels or sepia style where everything is muted and just a little bit fuzzy around the edges. People also don't have faces in my dreams. I always know who they are, but they are never distinguishable by face.
As in every family, you always have some family members that aren't as close to others. In my dream, my mom and my one aunt were there who I'm really close with. But also were two of my cousins that I'm not. One is nearly 20 years older than me and the other nearly 10 years younger.
So in the dream we receive the news that my grandfather has passed away. He's still at the assisted living facility and the facility asks us to come see him before they take away his body. (For some reason, this is not weird to any of us.) We're standing in the doorway of his room at the facility. My mom, aunt and older cousin are in the door frame and myself and my younger cousin are in front of them. My grandfather is lying on the double bed on his side, facing away from us. "Go say goodbye Nichole" my older cousin tells me.
Younger cousin and I walk around the side of the bed to face our grandfather. I think "I have no idea what to say". My younger cousin pats his hand and says, "I'll miss you." And then my grandfather opened his eyes. They were always blue, but now they were this brilliant shining blue, like when the sun catches the sky and the ocean at just the right angle, making it twinkle and shine so brightly that you need sunglasses to look at it. Behind him is this white glowing light, fuzzy around the edges. I realize I can't see the family members in the doorway anymore, they're blocked by this light. He fixes me with a stare and clear as day says "Tell them it's alright. I'm okay and it's nice here." I nod and say yes. His eyes close and the light fades and my cousin and I walk around the bed again back to the rest of our family, who I know didn't see the light or hear him talk.
Then I woke up. Now, you'd easily assume the glowing white light was him passing on to heaven. Except, I'm not religious and I don't believe in heaven. So why would I see this? And where is the "here" he told me about? His speech pattern also baffled me. The stroke had affected his speech and he tended to stutter over some words and mumble. In my dream his voice was strong and clear. Every single word was properly enunciated. I can't explain any of this. Had we been close, maybe it was how my brain was processing grief. But we weren't and I feel as though there was some significance to the people who were in my dream. Never had the five of us gone anywhere together before without the rest of the family being there.
I didn't share the dream with anyone, knowing the grief was still really strong and I just didn't think it would help. Some years later, much of the family had gathered for some holiday or another and we got to talking about my grandfather. My aunt, the one in the dream, brought up that one day she had been driving past the graveyard where he was buried and thinking about him when the radio answered a call for a contest and asked the caller to state their name. The man had the same name as my grandfather. It prompted me to tell everyone my dream and I realized I probably should have said something sooner because multiple family members told me that they were hoping someone had a sign from him after he passed.
So I hope you enjoyed my two stories and if you have any of your own, please feel free to share them in the comments. I love reading them!