I've blogged a few times in the past in regard to my thoughts on religion. Long story short, I don't believe in God. I feel like it's too silly and ridiculous to take seriously. But, that's another story for another day.
While I don't believe in a heavenly force, I do believe in a supernatural force. I believe that ghosts exist. Why? I have had three very unique experiences in my life that have involved some sort of supernatural beings in some way or another. I'll share these three experiences with you and let you make your own judgments.
Tale 1: The Girl in the Backyard
My grandpa has always been a big part of my life. From birth until I was 15, I spent nearly every weekend and several days during the week with him at his house. I moved to Princeton at age 15 and still try to make several stops to see him whenever I can.
It was a nice Spring day in 1997. I was 11-years-old and at my grandpa's house. The sun was shining and - unusually for me - I was outside instead of upstairs playing my Nintendo 64.
I was walking around the side of his house toward the backyard, when I looked up and noticed a little girl near a fence at the end of my grandfather's property. She appeared to be around 6 or 7 years old and was wearing some sort of long, flowing nightgown type deal. She was very pale. It almost seemed like she was in black-and-white, while everything around her was in color.
I stared for a second and didn't quite know what to do. I wasn't startled, since the neighbors have a granddaughter that fits her description. She looked like she was looking for something on the ground. I put my head down and ran toward her.
I don't know what I was thinking or what I was going to do when I got to her. Maybe ask her if she needed any help finding what she was looking for, or if she needed help getting back to her house. I'll never know, because I got to where she was standing and put my head up. She was gone.
I was standing in the middle of my grandpa's backyard and nobody was there. I saw a little girl and ran toward her and when I got there she had disappeared. I stood there for a few seconds trying to let this all sink in. I didn't know what had just happened and it freaked me out. I ran out of the yard and back inside my grandpa's house.
Tale 2: The Voice Upstairs
The summer of 2000. I was about to turn 14 and by this point my life had only three real interests - The Simpsons, video games, and professional wrestling. That was all I was about at that age. For the most part, that's pretty much the same. Blogging/Tweeting has replaced video games, The Simpsons is like an old friend I think of fondly, and the professional wrestling love has never wavered.
On this occasion, I was spending the night at my grandpa's house. It was getting late and he had gone to bed. I wanted to stay up and watch a wrestling VHS I had rented (WCW SuperBrawl 2000, for you wrestling purists out there) and the only working VCR was downstairs. I usually spent most of my time upstairs, but my grandpa was sleeping upstairs and the VCR was downstairs, so that's where I was.
The tape ended and I was still awake, so I decided to stay up pretty late and sit downstairs and watch television. This was before staying awake late became a problem. That didn't start until college.
Usually at that point in life, I would stay upstairs and watch late-night television and my grandpa, whose bed was in the next room, would sleep and eventually wake up around midnight/1 a.m. and tell me to get to bed. Since I was downstairs, he couldn't hear the television and I could stay awake longer.
Around 2 a.m. I hear the unmistakable sound of my grandpa sleepily getting out of bed and hear the old, creaky boards groan under his weight. The footsteps stop at the top of the stairs and I hear my grandpa call out, "Christopher, get in bed."
I turn the TV off and head up the stairs. If you keep walking up the stairs you walk directly in the bathroom. I have to go, so I wait at the top of the stairs. I didn't hear my grandpa walk back to bed, so I assume he's in the bathroom.
I stand there for a minute and I don't hear anything, so I gently push the door open and see that he's not in there. I do my business and then head toward my bed. Since my grandpa just talked to me a couple minutes ago, I'm not trying to be too quiet. He barely had enough time to get in bed, let alone fall asleep.
I walk past his bed and hear him snore. I stop in my tracks. My grandpa is laying in bed, sleeping soundly. I heard him get up and walk across the creepy boards. I heard him talk to me. But, I never heard him walk back to bed. He didn't have enough time to get back in bed and fall asleep.
Freaked out, I got in bed and tried not to think about it. The next day, he never mentioned talking to me and I never brought it up.
Tale 3: Turn the TV Off
The third tale takes place near the end of 2005. I'm 19-years-old and a sophomore in college. I live in the dorms of Concord University, but this is one of the random weekends that I decided to come home and spend with my mom. When I say "spend with my mom," I mean not really, as she was out doing something and I was hanging out by myself.
I had a cat named Jed (I thought it was a fun name) that had died in August. Jed had been with me since 2001 and, it's always weird to explain to people who don't like pets, but we were really close and had a real connection. When an animal likes you more than anybody else, when that pet is "yours," that's what Jed and I had.
Jed died in late August and my mom decided to fill that void by getting two new cats in early September, Lucy and Nona. While today I have grown to love them very much, at the time, I was against getting them. I felt like it was too soon. But, alas, my mom got them and I had no choice but to accept it.
Since I was in the dorms and not home much, by this time in early December, I had only seen them a few times. I spent Thanksgiving Break with them and a few other days here and there. I was still getting used to them. They were only a couple months old at the time and very rambunctious.
I was on the computer in the hallway area off from the living room. I wasn't doing anything of too much importance - goofing off on Facebook, instant messaging, etc. The television in the other room was on just for some sound. The way our apartment was set up, the heat was controlled by the downstairs apartment. The old lady cranked the heat up way too much, so her heat rose to our floor, in addition to our own heat. So, we also had the air conditioner on.
I'm on the computer, listening to the television. The cats are running through the house at full kitten-speed. They're fighting, rolling around with each other. They're causing a ruckus. All of a sudden, the computer goes off, the television goes off, and the air conditioner goes off.
The cats must have pulled out the plug to the surge protector, I say to myself. I walk over to it and see that it's plugged in. However, the button on the side of it is in the "off" position. Somehow, the cats must have stepped on it and caused it to go off. I turn it on and set everything back up. I go back to my computer.
About 20 minutes later, it happens again - the computer, television, and air conditioner all switch off. Again, I walk over and see that the surge protector is plugged in, but switched off. I turn everything back on and sit back at the computer.
About 10 minutes later, it happens again! Computer, television, air conditioner, all off. Surge protector is plugged in, but off. I turn everything on and go into the kitchen. I'm standing in the kitchen wondering what just happened when everything goes off again! Computer, television, air conditioner, all off.
I walk into the living room and feel very uneasy. I turn the surge protector on and put the television and air conditioner back on. The computer is too far away. I sit on the couch and try to process what's going on. While sitting there staring at the television, it suddenly goes off, along with the air conditioner.
I'm frozen on the couch. I'm scared and can't move. Then it gets really freaky. I hear footsteps beside the television. I know I didn't just imagine it because one of the cats, Nona, was right where the footsteps were taking place. She was frozen to the floor and wouldn't move. She could hear the footsteps just like I could.
The footsteps only lasted a few seconds. They stopped and I sat there for a few more minutes. I got up, turned the surge protector back on (but didn't turn the television back on) and got in bed. I was so freaked out I didn't know what to do. I just went to sleep and tried to forget that it happened.
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So, there's three incidents in my life that have led me to believe in the plausibility of ghosts and the supernatural. What do you feel? Do you believe in ghosts? Have your own stories to share? Think I'm crazy? All comments, critiques, stories, etc are welcome.