Thursday, July 17, 2008

Scaredy cat

Copyright by Yves Lorson via Flickr.com
I'm from a family with apparent supernatural psychic abilities. All my life I would hear my parents make comments about a certain place having bad spirits or disturbances in the spirit world, etc. Even my sister could apparently sense a ghostly presence in certain areas. Whenever I hear my parents and my sister talk about all these ghosts around us that they can sense, it would always freak me out. In fact, a shivery tingly goose bumpy flesh crawling feeling passes me whenever I even think of their connection to the spirit world. In fact, I have that terrible sensation even now as I type. shudder.

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.

36 comments:

Kathi said...

It's SO nice to know I'm not the only chicken-shit out there.

Last night, I woke Jaime up to go to the bathroom with me because I thought I saw a ghostly shape walk down the hall. Yeah, just call me Suck-O Mom. I deprived my child of sleep because I imagined a shape.

The Ring scared the pants off me, too - but I can't believe you cut the kid's HAIR!!

*laughes.loudly*

JaneyV said...

I'm not so much of a scardy cat any more but in my teens i regularly slept with the light in - or not at all!

I genuinely believe that when we pass on we leave an energy behind - kind of an echo of who we were. If the energy is particularly negative we associate it with ghosts and malevolence but do we ever stop to think about why a particular place may make us feel happy?

Your dad's dramatic pause turning into a memory lapse made me hoot.

I only saw the last 5 minutes if The Ring - it was enough for me to know I wouldn't like the rest. I can't believe you cut Oldest's hair - how did you explain it to her?

Mary Witzl said...

I'm a real scaredy-cat too. I used to have a teaching job in Akasaka, Tokyo, late at night, and had to walk by a huge hotel that had burned down years earlier, filled with people. One of my students swore that it had been built near or on the site of a POW camp where terrible things occurred during the War. She used to scare the living shit out of me and I had to go all out of my way just to get back to the station. And old hospitals really get to me.

My eldest can sit through all sorts of terrifying movies and remain unmoved -- Exorcist, Blair Witch Project, and so on -- but The Ring left her traumatized. At 15, she actually climbed in bed with us.

As for the spirit thing, my sister has this too -- and I have actually seen a ghost. I have a friend who worked with pediatric AIDS victims and swore that she and several other patients sensed the spirits of the departed -- of whom there were sadly many. I believe her, too.

Damn it, now I'm going to have to go put the lights on.

Bernita said...

Can't say I'm chickenshit, but I once left a house after feeling that same sense of sick,black malevolence.

laughingwolf said...

never say 'never' ;)

during a funeral as a child, i was scared pretty badly by a woman who cursed the situation, then became 'possessed' by the entity she had cursed...

today, i just get visitations from family, including dad, who died in february...

they only 'look around' thru my eyes, i acknowledge them, and they move on after a bit, no muss/fuss

Precie said...

Is someone in the house campaigning for a new one?

I think I used to be much more attuned to Other things than I am now, cynical adult that I am. But I'm also, I think, less of a scaredy cat than I used to be.

And I don't think I've ever felt malevolent spirits...just delayed departures.

pjd said...

I'm a non-sensitive one like you, Ello. But I don't watch horror movies because I don't really see the point.

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.

This wasn't The White House, was it?

Sarah Hina said...

From one wuss to another: *snip, snip*

If my daughter looked like Samara, I think I'd throw her in a barn loft, too. You can never be too sure...

I had to laugh when your dad started snoring. :) Maybe not knowing is even scarier.

Charles Gramlich said...

I want to know about the girl in the closet. Tell me the ending. Please.

I once came upon a small valley in the mountains that scared the pee out of me for reasons unknown. I wouldn't go into it for all the money in Fort knox.

The Ring scared me pretty good too. I was spending the night alone that night.

Lisa said...

HA! I was kind of a chicken when I was younger, but now not so much, but "The Ring" did freak me out and when I was 18 and read THE SHINING, I had to sleep with the lights on the whole time I was reading and for a week afterward. I have no psychic ability whatsoever so when I run into someone who does, I always appreciate it if they DON'T tell me when they've sensed anything supernatural!

Merry Monteleone said...

The Ring scared the bejeezus out of me, but I laughed my head off reading about your daughter waking you up that way... sorry.

I'm actually the opposite - I'm the only one in my family that senses these things. Everyone's had their own weird family experiences... like my dad, he had a dream that my grandma was calling him, the same way she used to call his name out the window to come home for dinner when he was little... a few months later his anuerism ruptured... at the time, I was crossing myself but in retrospect, it's really comforting knowing she was waiting for him.

Me, I've had all sorts of weird things happen and most spirits really don't freak me out at all - movies freak me out more than the reality does. The house my mom bought when I first started college was the worst. That one spent most of her time in my bedroom and she was not pleasant... no one else believed me they just thought I was being over dramatic. Whenever my mom would do anything to redecorate, the spirit would act up. One time, she put up new curtains in the dining room, and as I was walking through, the curtains, rod and everything, flew off the wall and landed about two feet from the windows. For about a second I thought my mom would finally believe me, but she thought I did it.

It was a few years after I moved out that my brother had a friend of his spend the night. She was in my old bedroom for less than an hour before running out and saying she couldn't sleep in there. He had to drive her home... for some reason, after she said it, they all believed me.

preTzel said...

As an adult I sleep with my TV on and lights on. If I wake up in the middle of the night and need to potty I wake Mr. up who holds my hand all the way to the bathroom. I'm the biggest chicken shit on the planet. Scared to death.

I hate Bloody Mary.

Anonymous said...

For some reason, the only time I sense things is when youngest or Angus is sleeping with us in our bed . . . then I smell it.

(Yeah, I'm sure they experience the same thing only when they're near dad.)

Da' Man

Melissa Marsh said...

My brother has this sixth sense. He's told me some stories that made my hair stand on end. I think I have a tiny bit of it - I know I ALWAYS feel it when I go to my parents' old house (that my brother now lives in with his family) where I grew up. The basement is haunted, no doubt about it.

WordVixen said...

Ugh. I'm the same way. Rarely sense anything, but when I do, it scares the s**t out of me. I'm terrified of moving, because while I think we do actually have something where we live, it's never terrified me the way other places I've lived have. And then, my husband insists on watching Ghost Hunters. I've told him flat out now- no more houses. They can investigate forts and battlefields and I'll be fine (cuz you don't live in those places) but no more houses!

I won't watch horror either.

Chris Eldin said...

The part about your daughter getting her hair cut cracked me up! This is one of your classic posts. I can't add much---I do believe in ghosties, so these things freak me out.

Steve Malley said...

This was one of my favorite blog posts EVER!

Anonymous said...

In case you missed it on the prior post . . . done.

Da' Man

cindy said...

ell, i am just like you! i have no sense of such things (not even the two experiences you had--what was the type of building in the first?) but i am fascinated by this stuff. only the real deal.

i'm too chicken to watch the fake hollywood scary movies. i watch THE HAUNTED and that stuff always freaks my freak. eee!

i'm so glad you moved, too. i'm always shouting at the tele, WHY DON"T YOU MOVE? when the bad stuff starts.

Mom In Scrubs said...

Hey, Ello! I've been bad about commenting because of my recently-kicked-habit of Google Reader.

I love scary stuff, probably because I've never had my very own experience. I get mad when I have to miss Ghost Hunters (don't have TiVo), and I actually just bought a book about exercises to develop your innate psychic ability.

It DOES freak me out that I was allowed to play freely with a Ouija board when I was a teen. I'll NEVER let my kids do that!

Jennifer L. Griffith said...

I love your new blog look!!!

pacatrue said...

pjd, I lol'd at your comment.

Ello, omg, you only have 4 fingers!

Stuart Neville said...

I'm late to this, as usual, but here's my best scary story...

I went to college in Manchester in the north-west of England, and like most students, enjoyed sleeping into the afternoon. One Saturday, I had a dream than a neighbour of mine back home who had been battling cancer for a while had finally lost the struggle and died. In my dream, I wondered what I would say to his widow when I went home for the Easter break. I woke up from the dream with a start, and looked at my alarm clock. The time was 1:15pm.

Later that afternoon, my mum phoned and told me that my neighbour had died at 1:15pm.

I was more than a little freaked out.

****

Ello, you look very pretty (at least what I can see of you)!

JaneyV said...

Babe - is that gorgeous woman who's appeared in your new look (you're welcome!) blog YOU? My God woman you are HOT!

I like the hint of mystery.. and aside from all that it's a really beautiful photo!

And Da Man - well done, be sure to say lots of nice things!

writtenwyrdd said...

You get used to weird things when you're sensitive to them. But that stuff scared teh crap out of me when I was a kid.

The Anti-Wife said...

I've always known things - just known them without any reason. Sometimes it's very strange. As for scary movies - NO WAY! Bambi was even too much for me.

Sarah Hina said...

Ello, you tease! Pull your hair back and let us see that beautiful face.

I do love the pic, though. :) So glad you shared (a little).

writtenwyrdd said...

It is a nice picture, but keep the mystery going. People dig it, even when they say they don't.

Robin S. said...

Hey. At least you're honest about it.

I looked in my bedroom closet before I went to sleep for years and years...and years, because I'd seen this movie when I was younger, on a late night rerun, and I can't remember the name of it - but the camera at one point moves to the closet door, which is slightly ajar, and, as a crippled woman undresses in her bedroom, the camera does a closeup of this man's eye, watching her through the slit of the door, just before he kills her. That isn't a ghost story- but it still scared the hell out of me.

And, on another note - I love the look of your blog!

Lana Gramlich said...

You think YOU'RE a wuss? "The Blob" scared the living crap out of me when I was a kid. That's the ORIGINAL, low budget, jello on a garbage bag pumped with air blob. I was at least 20 years old before I could watch horror movies w/o irrational, overpowering fear. To this day, I don't prefer them, anyway.

Riss said...

I'm also late to this, but I'm here at least hehe. I'm a total wimp. Like, totally. Part of me was relieved when they made Johannes and Carola sleep downstairs-that means I wasn't in the basement alone..with the big sliding glass door...alone...As far as any sensitivity to these sorts of things, I've always had some sense but nothing I can really pinpoint. I will say I have an uncanny gut instinct. The times I've ignored it, I got into a huge car accident and ended up with chemical burns on the right half of my face. Among other instances. I listen better now. Energy is an interesting thing and it can leave impressions I think. I'm glad you are happy with your home now. And, really great new look and photo. (c:

Kappa no He said...

I had to be exorcised once. I'm much better now.

Carleen Brice said...

Oh, and beautiful picture!!

Carleen Brice said...

I had that bad feeling once looking at a place to rent. It was a lovely townhouse, but I couldn't get over the feeling that something really, really bad was going to happen if I moved in there. I've often wondered if anything happened to whoever rented it.

preTzel said...

Miss E -

Could you stop by my blog when you get a chance and pick up the little gift I have for you? Thanks!

J. L. Krueger said...

Ell,

I generally love haunted places. I seem to get along with most spirits. Wife and I frequently stay in haunted houses and castles in Scotland. When we eventually buy our house in Scotland, being haunted is one of the prerequisites.

Our favorite castle, Stuart Castle in Nairn, has a room that they specifically warn people about. Few stay in that room more than a single night. It is our favorite room in the castle and we've stayed there for several days at a time, but for us, the presence seems welcoming...welcoming, but very much there.

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