A few days ago, I asked friends on Facebook if they had had anything spooky or unexplained happen to them over the years. Here’s a sampling of the stories I received. Editing has been very, very light, in order to retain the original words and tone.
Let’s start with Kate Duggan, who’s a high school teacher in California. She shares a story from the house where she lives and then some strangeness from the school where she teaches:
I live in a house built in 1914. When we moved in 34 years ago, there was something…something…about the downstairs bedroom (which we made into a TV room).
No one wanted to be there after dark. Weird. Much later, when friends moved in to stay for a few months, strange things began happening. Lights going on an off (completely at random), the room being too hot at one moment, too cold at the next. My friends reported seeing stuff in the middle of the night. And these are friends who don’t believe in crazy stuff. Very, very strange. Another friend told me that it was a ghost. Yeah, right.
I got really sick of it, so I decided to do something. I went in and announced that whoever was there was dead. To go away. I burned salt and rubbing alcohol in a dutch oven and invited the “ghost” to move on.
“You are dead. Go away,” I said.
I swear that the next part actually happened: the lights went off — and it was exactly as if something lifted off the room. A presence or something. The lights went back on. I have never felt it since. My friends were completely shaken up — well, so was I. I have not felt it since.
I have since had a number of encounters with “something strange.” A few friends believe that I am something of a witch. I can get rid of some nasty stuff, or at least so I have been told. Always with light. Always.
In another case, the administration at my school forced me to move my classroom from a room in the new building to a room in an older building. I had to move over the summer. That was the strangest room ever. I could barely stand to be in it for longer than 45 minutes–which was something of a damper on moving in.
My good ftriend Kari was moving from the room next door, and I asked her about my new room (which had no resident teacher in it for any longer than a semester for the previous five years). She told me that there was a ghost in residence in one of the four rooms that shared a common office (my new room was one of them), but to not talk about it, because she didn’t want anyone to think she was nuts.
The ghost was a former student who had committed suicide and stuck around (this is general knowledge at school — yes, the girl had had a class in that room 10 years ago). She talked about encountering the “student” only in the early morning (she got to school early for zero period, usually at 6:30 a.m. every day). When “she” arrived, the temperature in the room would suddenly drop, and there would be a creepy feeling of being watched.
I never experienced this. I simply felt that all the oxygen was being sucked out of the room and had a horrible feeling of oppression. I really wondered how I was going to be able to teach there in September. I did the salt and rubbing alcohol burning thing again — quite a trick with school smoke alarms. And I invited the person to move on.
I have been in the room now for four years, have had no trouble, and kids hang out there a lot. And I spend a lot of time there without feeling like all the oxygen is being removed from the room.
Next comes a story from a woman in the U.S. Northwest who wants to remain anonymous:
When I was 16, I was kind of a troublemaker. I was hanging out with a group of kids that I worked with at a pizza shop.
At this time my dad and I lived way out of town — almost a 45-minute drive down remote country roads.
One night this group of friends had a party at someone’s house, where a Ouija board was brought. I had always been raised to never mess with anything supernatural, so I knew in my gut it was not something I should mess with, but I didn’t want to be a weirdo, so I played along.
The game was mostly uneventful, but it was what happened on the drive home that was terrifying to me.
It was early in the morning, and I had been up most of the night. As I was driving down the country roads I noticed a figure standing on the side of the road near a sharp turn. It was a young man wearing all black from head to toe.
He looked evil, menacing even, and as I drove nearer, I remember feeling absolutely terrified that I had to slow down at the turn to pass him. I could feel his eyes fixed on me. I did not look at him again as I drove past, but was so terrified by the experience I never spent time with those kids again.
And never played with a Ouija board again.
The experience solidified the reality of dark forces in this world, and has kept me away from any possible “gateways” ever since.
Next comes a story from Steve Smith, who’s a writer who lives in North Carolina:
My wife and I, with her siblings, used to rent a beach house for one week every year, both before and after we had my daughter. This particular incident happened well before my daughter was born.
During one such vacation, I took a stroll by myself. As I got closer to one of the other beach houses, I could make out a blonde woman about the same height and build as my wife, standing on a deck. Beside her was a blonde girl of about five. The woman began waving, and as I got nearer, I could hear her say, “Do you see Daddy? Wave to Daddy!” The little girl then started waving, too.
I looked around, but there was no one besides me on the street. I assumed the woman had simply mistaken me for her husband from a distance and would realize it in a moment. But even when I was right in front of their house, they kept waving at me as the woman said things like, “Say ‘hi’ to Daddy.” Unfortunately, I had the sun in my eyes and couldn’t make out their features, beyond the fact that they were both blonde and that the woman could have doubled for my wife in a general way, including the fact that she was wearing the kind of dress my wife favors.
Just when I was sure they must be able to see that I was not who they thought I was, they disappeared. That is, they turned as if to go inside their house, which is what I assume happened — but then, the sun was still in my eyes.
I wondered about the odd incident all that week, and told my wife about it, saying, “Maybe it was a vision from the future of a daughter we’ll have. Because I think that’s what she would look like.” I even went back by that house a few times, but never saw the woman or girl again.
A few years later, of course, we did have a baby girl, who turned out to be a blonde like her mother. Now I wonder if I had I been given a glimpse of her, long before she was even conceived.
Heidi Hurd has a story about the bedroom of her home when she was growing up in the Midwest:
Growing up, I felt like when I went into my own bedroom, that I was interrupting something, that spirits wanted me to leave so they could resume what they were doing without me in the way.
I was young enough that I didn’t think it was spirits, but in my mind it was witches. But now that I’m older I know that I was imagining spirits, without the vocabulary for it.
As I got older, I had a problem with my light bulbs burning out all the time in the room. Sometimes I’d turn on my light and pop, a light would blow. But sometimes the bulb would explode and melt the light fixture.
By the time I was older, I was used to the feeling in my bedroom, but my friends were creeped out by it. I never told them about the feeling I got in the room, because I would have felt too silly as I don’t believe in ghosts. But they were very uneasy in the room.
What’s weird is we built the house. Nobody lived in it before us. My mother sells dogs, and over the years she’s had people come to buy them and tell her that the house is haunted. These are people who claim to be people who can see spirits and the like. None of these people knew the others. It was just random customers who would state it matter of factly. Strange, isn’t it?
Kent McManigal is a blogger who lives in the U.S. Southwest, and he has several short stories that he’s written about previously on his blog:
This first one happened in the mid 1990s.
We were sitting in Sunday School, which was held in the auditorium of our little log cabin church in Gunnison, Colo. The preacher’s wife taught the class, and we all sat in a semi-circle in folding chairs. She had her Bible open on her lap, and her empty styrofoam cup beside her chair on the floor. I was sitting almost directly in front of her.
As she was talking, I saw something suddenly fall from about shoulder-height into her cup. The cup rocked and everyone looked. She picked up the cup, looked in it and there were 2 or 3 coins in it. There was no way they could have fallen out of her Bible, or from her pocket.
There was no balcony or anything, and there wasn’t anyone who could have tossed the money in from somewhere else. She just kinda said, “Huh,” and went back to talking. No one else in the room seemed to think anything too odd had occurred. I couldn’t concentrate anymore, trying to figure out what had just happened. I never did.
Years pass. After my life got turned upside down, my second wife talked me into moving to Pennsylvania (against my better judgement) in the summer of 2000.
The house I moved into was very strange. When I was downstairs in the half-basement, I would clearly hear footsteps on the hardwood floor above me, but when I would go (stealthily) upstairs to look, heavily armed, no one would be there. The cat would also react. I could hear the front door open and close, and someone walking across the floor towards the top of the stairs. I’d would be prepared to shoot the home invader, but none ever appeared.
Once my friend Amy came to the house and opened the door. I was thinking it was just the same old routine that I heard at least once a day, when she called my name. I just about jumped out of my skin.
I would also hear voices that seemed far away. I could not understand what was being said. My then-wife Angel was scared to be there alone. But she was very superstitious anyway and claimed that her childhood home had been haunted by a ghost they called “Stella.”
Finally, I was living in my pet store in Gunnison, Colo., in the spring of 2004 when I experienced this.
One afternoon I was cleaning under the counter and found a knife catalog that was several months old. I looked at it and decided to add the company’s website to my “favorites” on my computer. I am not a good typist, and was even worse back then, so I have to concentrate on anything I type.
After entering the web address, I put the catalog on a small landing halfway up the stairs and started cleaning the shop. About 15 minutes later, I took a break to read the catalog, but the catalog on the landing was different than the one I had left there.
It had changed. It was from a different company. The pictures on the front were similar, but not quite the same as when I placed it there, and it was older than the catalog I had found earlier. No one had been in the store during the elapsed time to switch the catalogs. (It wasn’t a busy day; that’s why I was cleaning under the counter.)
I looked around the store, wondering if I could have been confused. Then I remembered adding the website to my favorites, so I went to the computer. Being from a different company, the web address on the back of the catalog I now held was a different one than the one I had entered earlier.
The website for the original catalog was on my “favorites” list but had not been moved to the proper folder yet, just as would happen to a new addition. This is how I knew it was the one I had just added, and not one I had put there at some earlier time. (The “new” catalog’s website address was also not in my “favorites” yet.)
I was completely bewildered. I decided to try to get my mind off of the bizarre occurrence, so I began surfing the web. I was not searching for anything related to what had just happened, but was just browsing randomly, yet one of the first websites I went to had an account of “reality shifts” where something changes in your reality, as had just happened to me, but no one else seems to notice. Now I was really in shock.
Over the next few days, I looked for the original catalog just in case I had imagined the event, but it didn’t turn up.
I never did see the original catalog again. I had also never seen the replacement before the instant it appeared in place of the other one. I love knife catalogs and look at each one until it is memorized, so I would have remembered it.
Thanks to all who contributed their stories. It seems that everyone has at least something in his life that he can’t explain.