This is the real ghost story that I promised earlier this week. I apologize for the lack of my usual writing flair. The three-day migraine that I’m in the midst of seems to have stripped me of all creativity!
The following creepy occurrence kept me out of our basement for pretty much the rest of my teenaged years. What do you think it might have been?
As a teenager, I had an obsessive love-hate relationship with all things otherworldly. On one hand, I adored talking about and reading tales of poltergeist, demons, and monsters; but on the other hand, they scared the living crap out of me and forced me to sleep with the lights on whilst I pathetically begged my mother, in much the style of a three year-old, to sleep with me. By the time I’d turned 15, I’d read every ghost story that my small town’s library had to offer, and I’d listened in awe to every creepy story that my friends had to tell, but despite my burning interest, I had no personal ghost stories of my own to share. With my easy spookability, I’d certainly imagined ghoulish hands reaching from beneath my bed to snatch any limb or appendage that accidentally exited my covers during the night. I’d additionally witnessed demonic profiles and ghostly pictures haunting the shadows on my walls as I’d attempted to fall asleep. However, these spooks were merely figments of my very active imagination, and it wasn’t until January 1, 1980 that I had my first, and thankfully only, supernatural experience.
I remember the exact date because it was the last day of my winter break from school, and like most 15 year-olds, I’d put off doing any homework until the last possible moment. I’d gathered my books and headed downstairs to my usual study spot, our basement rec room. I’d just spread my school stuff out on half of the ping-pong table and settled into a chair swiped from the card table when I felt a swift, icy breeze sweep across my back and neck. Adrenaline shot through me and the hair on my arms instantly rose. I scanned the room for the source. The basement was completely underground making a wind of any temperature impossible. Our house was still decorated for the holidays, and I watched in terror as the wind that touched my neck ruffled the Christmas cards arranged atop a bookshelf on the opposite wall. From the shelf my eyes were instantly drawn to the slightly swaying branches of the Christmas tree situated in the corner directly beneath my bedroom. A cold, horror filled me as a foggy mist began surrounding the tree. The mist weaved and moved through the branches, and condensed around the nativity scene arranged on the tree’s skirt. My mother had long ago painted the figures for this crèche in a ceramics class, and my father had crafted the wooden stable that housed Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus. Atop the stable’s entrance was an angel. I stared in disbelief as the ethereal fog thickened around it. I tried to call out to my mother, but no words would escape my lips as I watched the tiny cherub shake and rock from side-to-side. I remained frozen, feeling an overwhelming sense of evil, as its quaking and quivering continued. Finally, the angel dropped from the nail that it had once securely held it and hit the carpeted floor. It was then that I was released from my stiffness; then that I could scream and run breathlessly up the stairs to the security of my family.
At first, my parents naturally blamed my experience on my overactive imagination and my above average desire to put off schoolwork, but I think my mom eventually began to believe my tale after several sleepless weeks of being called to my room in the middle of the night. My friends thought my encounter was awesome and all had their theories about what I had seen. Was it a ghost? A demon? What do you think?
Have you ever had a ghostly encounter? Tell me about it.