Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Do You Believe In Ghosts?
Oh boy, and doesn't that one question open up a whole can of worms?
I don't know about ghosts, but I do know of several first-hand, very unsettling experiences I've had, which have certainly given me serious cause to pause and consider.
In all honesty, I don't think I really do believe in ghosts, at least, well, not in the conventional haunting, earth-bound, chain-rattling sort of kind. I do know there is much more out here than our conventional senses usually trip over, having personally "tripped over" several unsettling occurrences myself from which, even to this very day, I have never yet found a rational explanation.
Odd thing is, it's mainly only happened when both my big sis' and I are together. Both of us have had our own individual accounts of some pretty strange and weird happenings going off around us, but for the large part, anything you might term "paranormal", mainly seems to kick off only when she and I are both together, under the same roof as it were.
Not that it's happened that often, you understand, but believe me, on the few occasions that it has, it's proved more than plenty enough for her and me!
I do have my own theory as to the trigger, and it certainly isn't anything to do with any Poltergeist activity. Each event came at deeply troubling periods in both my sister and I's lives. I truly believe our brains are capable of harnessing many unknown energies, which one day we may well be capable of understanding. My sister and I grew up uncannily close, less than a heartbeat apart. We knew without speaking, took it for granted, if something hurt one of us, the other would know. That's just how it was, always since forever.
I'll skip our childhood. It wasn't pleasant. My big sis' is over five years older than me, and she managed to escape home early by marrying another likewise, hapless soul, which is how I came to find myself living with both her and her new husband before I'd barely turned fourteen. This is when the first incident occurred. They had landed a live-in job as stewards of a Bridge Club (very pucker premises, so they were). It involved long hours, lots of mouse-traps, and endless, long, empty corridors. A cavernous, ancient building, it echoed long and loud well after the last patron left.
I hated washing up the bar glasses before bed. The bar was on the ground floor, our living quarters and the main kitchen lay two floors above, where my sister that night was busily rinsing off the cleared supper dishes (non-human dishwasher's being virtually unheard of, in those times). My brother-in-law-the-chef, cooking done, had eventually quit for the night and retired off to bed. Her duties finally completed, big sis' then saw fit enough to take pity, and joined me downstairs to help lend her hand with the last of the clearing up.
It was a stressful time, both of our parents were lying in intensive care, yet we still lacked the energy to discuss it.
That's when the glasses started to fall from the shelf above our heads. Individually, they flew from their perch, and one by one, crashed, to shatter against the far wall, a full twenty feet from where we stood, frozen.
When I say one by one, I don't exaggerate, we saw them go, each one at a time. Scared the bejesus out out of us - holding hands, we legged it as fast as our feet would carry us, up the stairs, inside to our flat, firmly bolting the door behind.
We sat up the whole night, drinking tea at the kitchen table, far too spooked to turn in to bed.
Next day, when we finally mustered the courage (with big brother in law in tow) to re-enter the scene, we were dumbstruck to find nothing but a fine powdered glass by where the skirting board lay - the glasses had not only shattered, they had completely disintegrated.
Then skip on a couple more years, to the time I visited my sis' and her husband for a couple of days. We were chatting in the living room late one night, and as usual, the conversation worked it's way round to - well, a painful subject. Like a toothache we couldn't leave alone, we almost always ended up prodding our emotions raw there.
A heavy crystal ashtray on the table beside us, gave a loud crack and "melted" into sands of glass.. and if you think that freaked us out, you should have seen the state of shock it left my brother-in-law in!
Time moved on, and we got along with our lives, May and Jim eventually settled down in Norfolk, and had a daughter, I by this time was living in London, and had opened my first recruitment agency there.
After eleven years, cracks began to appear in my sister's marriage, and she came down to stay with me for a week to give herself space to think. Their relationship was much a victim of outside forces, (taking a whole other post to explain), and they'd been through a lot.
She cut her visit short, deciding to return early to surprise him.
It certainly did, not to mention his future wife that she caught him in their bed with. Hey ho. It was a very long time ago, my sis' did remarry too, eventually, and both she and her ex have long since been able to put their differences aside. But back then at the time, it pretty much signalled the end of her world.
She threw him out, of course, and I dropped everything to hoof it up there. Frankly we were both in shock, Jim was like my big brother, I'd known and loved him since I was twelve years old, and when I'd had no where else to go, it was both he as well as my sister, who had had opened their door to care and look out for me.
Because of the untoward circumstance, he'd also hurriedly left without any goodbyes to his daughter, then only five, who virtually worshiped the very ground that he walked upon, and my poor sister had no idea at all of what to say, or how to comfort her.
Everything was a huge, bloody mess.
May couldn't face continuing to live in the same house Jim had been entertaining his mistress in, so we decided she should rent it out, and both she and my neice would, for now at least, move to live in London, with me. I lived alone in a large flat, and could easily offer her employment at the agency. It would take only a few days at most to tidy up her affairs, and to pack up what they needed to take with them, and that's exactly what we were in the throes of doing (in between the shared bouts of rehashed tears, anger, hurt and recrimination).
We'd both been using the scissors that day, cutting twine to tie round the packed boxes. We were tired and emotionally exhausted, and both of us in need of a break, so after tucking Jenny up in bed, my sis' and I downed tools, poured ourselves some wine, and flopped down to veg-out before the telly.
Except the channel kept changing every five seconds. It wasn't our remote control, we'd removed the batteries after the first full five minutes of that nonsense. Could have been some kid by the window with one, playing tricks - maybe - not that we spotted anyone (and we did look). Then the video-recorder came on, rewinding the tape in there. On. Off. On. Rewind. Off. On. Fast-forward. Eject. The volume on the telly is getting really shoutie by now. May leapt up and manually switched it off. On it came again before her bum could hit the sofa. No remote in the world could do that.
Freaked, we unplugged the whole lot at the mains, to finally win the battle. Silence. That's when I spotted the scissors lying out there where we'd left them. The blades are completely twisted around in on themselves. The force that must have taken - these are heavy duty almost-shears I am talking about here, not some flimsy set of nail scissors.
We fled up to Jenny's room, and found her sound asleep. My sis' gently woke her, and carried her through to her own bed. We would all sleep (or try to) together that night. But the night wasn't quite over.
With Jen snoozing by our side, we attempted to make some sense of the nonsensical. What the hell was all that about? We spoke each other down, calmed ourselves some, to the point where I even felt brave enough to venture back down to fetch up the wine (no way was May about to leave Jen's side).
Reaching in the fridge, I glanced at the clock. It has stopped. Crossing back through to the living room, I see the mantle-piece one in the living room has also stopped too - both the clock in the kitchen and the living room clock have stopped AT THE EXACT SAME TIME. They are battery operated.
The night wasn't through with us yet. My sis' eventually decided a long hot soak in the bath might do her well, and with me to stand guard over Jen, she took herself off to the tub. I heard her splishing about (she'd left the door ajar), as I flicked through the magazine I'd found.
Her scream brought me racing. There she stood in the doorway, still dripping wet, and white as a ghost, her hand outstretched.
"What?" I ask. Then I look down to her palm. She's clutching the remnants of what's left of the plug-chain - it's all snapped and twisted, broken into hundreds of tiny, little shattered metal pieces, not one link recognizable.
She had gone to pull the plug, and the chain fell apart through her fingers.
So, okay, this was HER, right? I mean, I was nowhere near this darn thing when it happened, yeah? I'm in the clear here, wouldn't you agree? I sure did. Much as I love her, hell, I'm even starting to feel relieved the bath-chain's exploded about her, sure, if we have to have one Carrie in the family, I'd much rather it be her as me, ya' know?
Only problem is, going back to the bedroom, as I pick up to move that magazine I'd been reading, I find the pages all loose. The staples holding it together have slid to the floor in a dozen pieces.
We left at dawn the next day, we couldn't drive away fast enough.
That said, it's been more than a decade since anything BIG like that has happened. Well, not unless you count the birds. Yeah, that's kind of weird. Happens a lot, birds landing on me out of the blue - and they stay, too - don't just swoop in and fly off, but make a proper hello of it. I actually had time to fetch the camera last time round and post a photograph here of it, jumping about in my palm - remember?
Myself, I just think we're a wee bit "witchy", my sister and me.