With Halloween just days away, I’m always reminded of some real ghost stories I’ve shared with friends.
My Mom always calls me a scaredy-cat, and the truth is that I really am. You see, strange things have always happened to me since I was very young. I often describe it as me being an open receptacle for all things creepy.
Real ghost stories
Many people have told me not to be afraid of these experiences or that it’s “a gift”. To be honest, I know I don’t understand these things and I know I am fearful of them.
When I was maybe two or three years old, Mom was getting my brother and me out of the bath and changed for bedtime. My Dad has just received a phone call telling him that my grandfather had passed away. They didn’t tell us because we were both too young to understand. That night, while Mom was getting us ready for bed, I pointed to the corner of the room and said, “Look, Ma! There’s Grandpa and he’s smiling at us!”
My Mom was so shocked and freaked out. That incident didn’t scare me. I don’t really remember it, except for details my Mom has shared with me.
There were other strange events like the time when we lived in our old house in Roxboro. I know it may sound superstitious, but when you live in a house that is number 13, you can’t help but feel a bit freaked every now and then. When weird things start to happen inside your house, it’s hard not to be superstitious.
I remember my brother would always have a hard time sleeping because he would always see this apparition of a man either watching him from the foot of his bed or peering from his bedroom door. Then there were the odd happenings like cool air encircling my Mom’s head whenever she was in the basement doing laundry by herself or the fact that whenever she locked the side door to the basement, she’d always return to find it not just unlocked, but open just ajar.
Mom would always get mad at Middle Bro and me for playing tricks on her, but the truth is that we never did! We were both afraid to go down to the basement!
We learned later on that the previous owner of the house we had bought had committed suicide in the master bedroom. My father knew, but never mentioned it to us because he didn’t think we would want to live there if we had known. Needless to say, we ended up putting the house for sale.
Odd things happened when we put the house up for sale too. There were leaks coming from the ceiling, the sink started to leak, and the creepy part is that we found out that the previous owner was a plumber when he was alive. Maybe that’s coincidental. Maybe not. Who knows?
More ghost stories – This time overseas.
For some reason, when I worked in Japan, I had a few experiences that cannot be explained.
I had an afternoon lesson with these two brothers who were in middle school. Each Tuesday, they would come to their lesson on time. This one Tuesday, was like all others. The boys marched into the building very loudly, and made their presence known. This time, they went to the boys’ bathroom, but lingered for a while. The receptionist and another teacher were with me and we all heard the boys and saw them. I wanted to begin our lesson, so I knocked on the bathroom door. No answer. I waited a few minutes and knocked again. No answer.
I then got our male teacher to go to the boys’ bathroom and retrieve them. He opened the door and no one was there.
How could that be? We all saw and heard the boys enter the school!
Moments later, the boys arrived. They had been detained a bit at it took them longer to get to school. That was a really strange experience.
I told that to one of the Japanese teachers and she made a face. She really didn’t want to tell me, but she said the school was haunted. Apparently, the ghost of a little boy could be seen in the school at times. That was not the first strange experience I had while working at that school.
Not all encounters with the unknown scare me. When I was working in Japan, my grandfather passed away. I was unable to go to the Philippines for his funeral because I hadn’t completed my three month probation teaching at the school. I was terribly upset because I felt I didn’t get to say goodbye to my grandfather. I am one who needs closure when it comes to pretty much everything.
One evening, I was riding my bike on my way home from watching a movie with friends at another teacher’s apartment. As I rode in darkness, past the rice fields and toward the shinkansen, a familiar scent wafted through the air. It was the scent of Old Spice — the kind my grandfather always wore. The night air smelled like my grandfather. Then out of nowhere, there was an old man riding his bicycle beside me. I blinked and then he was gone. Nowhere to be seen! I took that as being my grandfather visiting me. I don’t know how else to explain it.
I still cannot explain that experience when I was riding my bike that night. I wasn’t afraid. I was shocked, but not afraid. I was left with a peaceful feeling.
I know people often fear what we do not understand. Do I believe in ghosts? I would like to say no, but how would I account for all the strange things that I keep experiencing? Although I do not believe all ghosts are menacing or scary, I still prefer to not have these kinds of encounters.
Do you have any ghost stories to share? Do you believe in ghosts?