Updated: Jul 22, 2021
The following was posted in October 2019
Do you believe in ghosts?
Samhain or Halloween is a time for connecting to our ancestors. It is a time to reach out and potentially even attempt contact. The veil is at its thinnest on Samhain, so many use this time to attempt contact with their loved ones who have left this plane.
So, because Samhain is almost here, I thought this might be a good time to write a little about my experiences with "ghosts", and invite you to comment and tell me yours.
Spoiler alert: My answer is "yes", I DO believe in ghosts. I really do. I believe unwavering, completely, and have no qualms about my belief.
While I haven't "seen" them, I have lived with them, felt them come to a place, and felt them leave. I have no proof, nothing scientific, no cool images caught on film of eerie sound recordings, but I know I have been in places that were occupied by spirits other than the living ones.
Here are a couple of my experiences...
The Little Boy
My cousins moved to a house in the 1980's that was new for them, but it wasn't a new house. It was a small house, a Cape, with 2 stories. There was a long hall in the upstairs that connected a couple of bedrooms.
There were the cliche cold spots up there, times I walked up those stairs and felt a cold blast when there shouldn't have been cold (summer in New England with no air conditioning), but there was more. The sound of running, light, like a child, running up and down the hall upstairs, when the family was all seated to dinner.
My Aunt lived there for a bit before a child in her new neighborhood came to the door to ask if her little boy could come out to play. She told the child that she didn't have a little boy. Her kids were all in their late teens and early 20's. The child was insistent - "but he's in the window upstairs". She thought it was pretty strange, but then she found out that the house had burned a few years before she bought it. And yes, a little boy had died in the fire.
I felt the cold in that house myself. And I heard the footsteps, myself. No hearsay. And when her minister came and blessed the house to release the spirit, the footsteps and the cold were gone. And they never came back.
My grandmother lived with me from the time I was born. She lived downstairs in one house, then we moved and she lived upstairs. She was there when I got home from school, she was there at family meals, she was there every day of my life.
My grandmother passed in 1988, just as I was graduating from college. I was just finishing my school, and starting to try to find someplace to live. Since her apartment was vacant, my parents offered my grandmother's apartment to me. It was much nicer than anything I could have afforded normally, so I took it!
I spent several weeks packing things up, cleaning and sending things to various family after my grandmother died. I cried a lot and missed her tremendously. But there was something strange about the way the house felt.
When I came into the house, I would swear I wasn't alone. I could "feel" the sense that someone was there. I would often walk around the house calling, is someone here? No reply.
On weekends, I would often paint - I was a painter and was still actively doing canvases at that time. I used to have a studio in my grandmother's back room and she would often watch me, and chat with me while I worked in the last couple of years of her life. When I'd start to paint, I'd often feel cold and have an overwhelming sense of being watched.
Nothing about my situation felt menacing, it just felt...like I wasn't alone. I had never had that kind of feeling in that house before. I worked hard to convince myself it was my overactive imagination.
A couple of notes here (you'll see why below...):
My grandmother had a dry, persistent throat problem for over 20 years at the end of her life. She could be heard clearing her throat over and over again. It drove her crazy.
My grandmother was buried in a pink suit. She made it herself. She was a talented seamstress. Pink was not a common color for burial, but my mother and her sister loved the way she looked in that little suit, so they thought, why not.
After a few months living in that apartment, I was having some friends over for a Tarot party. I had met a talented Tarot reader, and invited her to come read for several friends. The evening of the party, the reader arrived and as she took her coat off, she started to clear her throat. She apologized several times, saying she didn't know what was going on. She had no allergies and hadn't had an issue - it came on suddenly as she walked into my apartment and continued until she left. She told me later it stopped as soon as she left the building.
The reader began to read for the folks there. We had decided I would go last. Each of my friends in turn went in to have their cards read, and came out looking a little let down and somewhat confused. One said, "I don't know, she isn't that good". Then another came out and said "none of what she said made much sense to me".
Finally, a third friend came out looking a little peeved and said, she kept saying "who was buried in pink?" And I told her no one, but she kept asking. The others chimed in "me too! She asked me that too!" Then I got a cold pit in my stomach and went in to speak with her.
She was still coughing and clearing her throat. And she looked pretty uncomfortable. She asked me, do YOU know who was buried in pink? "Yes", I said, "I do, it was my grandmother. She died about 6 months ago. This was her apartment."
She was very nice, but she packed up her stuff and said we could do this someplace else, but not there. She explained that it was "not cool" at all to invite her to read there without warning her. I guess I should probably have known better, but I didn't. I was 26 and while I was very drawn to metaphysical studies, I was not well educated on this subject. I have learned a lot since then.
I lived with Nana for about 3 or 4 years after she passed. She was there much of the time, moving through the rooms of her apartment, bringing chilly breezes in my cozy house. I sensed her a bit less over time, and she gradually began to fade. One day I came home to that apartment, and I knew she was gone. I can't really tell you how I knew, but I knew. And she was gone - I never felt her presence again.
When she left, I grieved her loss all over again. I had learned to feel comfort from her presence and felt empty when she was gone.
Over the years I have had other experiences. Premonitions about a loved one about to die, sudden overwhelming feelings that I HAD to see them immediately. I have felt the loved ones who have passed visit briefly and and recognized the "feel of them" when they visit.
Imagination? Maybe. I don't believe in coincidence. I believe in magic, and the magic comes from you and me. Even after we move on...