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October 19, 2012

Real Ghost Stories

With Halloween quickly approaching, I know that everyone's minds begin turning to thoughts of ghosts and hauntings, among other paranormal phenomena. My thoughts are on ghosts and hauntings at all times of the year. This is partly because I'm working on a new haunted house novel, partly because I've written hundreds of articles on the paranormal and partly because I've lived in some paranormal active homes and experienced living with a haunting firsthand.

Talking about living with a haunting is not a horribly popular topic of conversation for most people. From my experience, I've found many people are reluctant to talk about their experiences--except with those with whom they have a deep level of trust--for fear people will think they're "weird" or "crazy". In fact, I've learned to be cautious of people who spout off about their paranormal experiences to the point it borders on or even crosses over into bragging. Such people often are desperate for attention or actually do have mental issues 


I can also tell you from personal experience that hauntings can be a highly stressful event for a person to endure. Some hauntings are peaceful and harmless, and those don't stress out most people who experience them. A person feels quite a bit of internal strife resulting from an aggressive haunting as that person wonders if he's really experiencing what he's experiencing. Second-guessing your own senses all the time begins to wear on you. As a person's fear level rises, his stress level shoots through the roof as he feels that his home--the one place he has to completely relax in--has been invaded by something he doesn't understand. Hauntings also place extra stress on the relationships between the people living in a haunted location, especially if one person doesn't believe there is anything paranormal going on in the home. People living in a haunted house also might feel cut off from the rest of the world, and so they're not as diligent at keeping up friendships, etc.

I'm not entirely sure what it means, but since I was a small child I knew I was "sensitive" to these sorts of things. At first my experiences were tame or not scary. It wasn't until I was in high school that I had my first encounter with an aggressive, even violent entity. The experience shook me to the core, especially since nobody really knew what to do about it.

Since then I've had many other experiences with aggressive and violent hauntings. It doesn't matter how many times I experience them, because it always stresses me out. I lived in one particularly active house during a particularly stressful time in my life. I was working full-time and going to school at night, which meant I was up late at night all the time. I constantly felt like someone was standing behind me when I would sit at the desk in the basement. I would also hear noises upstairs like someone walking around and doors opening and closing. When I was home alone in the daytime I would hear knocks on the front door and would catch glimpses of people running past the windows, outside the house. As time went on it became more aggressive as it started calling out for both me and my wife both day and night. At first we thought it was our kids, but they were always fast asleep or not even home. Late one night I heard a voice say "daddy?"crystal clear from the hallway that lead to the bedrooms. When I turned to look, expecting to see one of my kids out of bed and saw nothing, the same voice laughed sinisterly. Just a few days later I began feeling someone lightly placing his fingers on my shoulder or back while I was working or studying. That eventually turned to fingers grabbing my shoulder or poking me hard in the lower back.

The house I live in now is not active at all in the paranormal sense, and for that I am grateful. I run into people on a fairly regular basis who seem jealous of anyone who has experienced a haunting firsthand. These people fail to understand that while some hauntings are harmless and might even be "fun" there are many people who are terrorized in their own home by a force they find hard to deal with, leading to excessive amounts of stress and even depression.


8 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Guess I'm thankful I've only had one strange encounter.

Steven said...

Alex, sometimes I wish I were that lucky.

Yolanda Renee said...

I would much rather write about it than experience it. I'm a sensitive too, and one that runs in the other direction. I don't want to get too deep -- I don't want to know or understand. 'CHICKEN' in every sense of the word!
You're very brave!

Steven said...

Yolanda, I used to try to run away from it. I've found that confronting my fears is quite empowering. I still refuse to take EVPs or other recordings anywhere I actually live, and I absolutely will not even touch an Ouija board.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

The house I grew up in was haunted and I only told my best friend about it at the time. She spent the night enough times that she said she could sense something, too.

Steven said...

Diane, I'm glad you didn't experience anything aggressive. It's always validating when other people experience the same thing.

Annalisa Crawford said...

My manager at work recently told me he sees ghosts in the building. I've never seen anything myself, although there are a few rare times when I am alone in the room...

I really love reading about real hauntings, but only during the day :-)

Steven said...

Annalisa, I'm actually working on a non-fiction book about haunted local places. Real hauntings are much better than horror movies :)