For some reason, like the gardening gene, this sixth sense ability completely passed me over. There has to be a really really strong presence for me to feel it. And it has happened only twice in my life. Once, I walked into a building where I literally felt such a horrible feeling of malevolent evil that it frightened me so badly I ran out of there. I never knew what it was about that place that was so bad, but I would not have been surprised to find out that something really bad happened there. The only other time I sensed something otherworldy was passing by Ground Zero a year after the towers collapsed. I became nearly overwhelmed with a swirl of emotions, the strongest of which was incredible sadness, but it also felt scared and angry and so very confusing. But other than these two instances, I never sense anything else. It is an extraordinary blessing for me for I am a horrendous scaredy cat. Oh yes, loud mouthed, obnoxious, opinionated me is a big pansy. I can't watch ghost movies anymore. The Ring scared me so bad I had nightmares for months. In fact a few weeks after I saw the Ring, Oldest, who was about 4 or 5 at the time, walked over to my side of the bed in the middle of the night. She had had a bad dream. Trouble was she had long straight dark brown hair which was hanging down in front of her face, just like the girl in The Ring. To top it off, she didn't say anything cause she was still sort of sleepy, and just stood by my bedside waiting for me to open my eyes (I am a light sleeper) and notice her standing there. Well I did wake and I did notice her and I did scream my head off, which frightened her so much that she ran screaming back to her room and burst into tears. The next day I took her to the hair salon and had her hair chopped short. Yes I am a big baby.
Growing up, my parents loved telling ghost stories from the old country. And for some reason, their ghost stories were a million times scarier than anything you can read in the horror section at Barnes and Nobles. Their stories were always about real people that had really horrible things happen to them for doing things their parents told them not to do. They didn't need to turn the lights off and shine a flashlight in their face. All they needed to do is start with "Once there was this person..." in that serious quiet way they had, and my hair would rise off my neck. My mom's stories always had a murdered child or girl in them while my dad's stories were famous for the unexpected scary ending. My dad is the king of the long drawn out dramatic pause. He could really drag out the tension and suspense in a story with his dramatic pauses. Only problem was sometimes the pause started as a pause but ended as a memory lapse, at which point the suspense would be ruined. One time, in the midst of telling the dramatic conclusion to a particularly horrific ghost story, he fell asleep. I didn't realize he had fallen asleep because I had my eyes closed in fear. I only opened my eyes when he started snoring. I got real mad and poked him. He couldn't remember the end of the story. Til this day, I don't know what happened to the girl trapped in the closet with the decapitated body of her murdered boyfriend and the blood hungry forms of her now dead friends pawing at the splintering door.
But the thing is, what made their stories even scarier was when they would end a freaky story with a personal anecdote about how they were reminded of that story because on their way home that day they passed by some spot where they were opportuned by the murdered spirit of a child seeking its mother, or they felt the malevolent presence of evil spirits seeking to do harm. One time, my mother told me that there was an evil spirit of a child murderer lurking in the mailbox at the corner of our street. For a year, I walked all the way around the block to avoid that mailbox. One night my dad thought it would be funny to tell me that a ghost lived in floor of the hallway leading to the bathroom and that sometimes in its desperate attempts to take form, it would tickle his feet as he walked past. During the day, I would try my best to tiptoe across that floor, pulling a spiderman and nearly climbing the walls whenever I inadvertently stepped on a creaky floorboard. But at night, I would risk peeing my bed not to have to walk to the bathroom. I secretly think that they would do this to me and run behind their bedroom door and laugh their asses off at me. I was a difficult kid, always getting in trouble, always in the principal's office. This was their way of getting back at me. Sickos.
So when I had Oldest, Da Man and I had moved into a larger 2 bedroom apartment in a brand new building down the street from our old building. The new place was built on a site that had an abandoned warehouse. We'd been living in the apartment happily for several months when my parents came down to visit and stay in the baby's room with Oldest. Next morning, my Dad came out and complained that he didn't get any sleep. The moaning and groaning of disturbed spirits had kept him awake all night. My Mom announced that something terrible happened at this site. All of a sudden, I get a tingly disturbed feeling along with inadvertent shudders and wonder why it is I didn't sense this before we moved in and made this terrible mistake. A month later, my sister came to stay for the summer and began to tell me similarly, how there were lots of sad, bad and angry spirits at our location. That tingly feeling became a full firehouse alarm and I began to campaign strongly for us to move to a new house. A year later, we finally moved into our current residence. But before bidding on the house, I compelled my sister to come and walkthrough the house with me. Only after she proclaimed that she could sense no spirits anywhere, did I agree to buy the house. We've been living here happily for seven years now. And I have no intention of ever moving out.