by Karen Frazier, Managing Editor
My friend, Larry, believes he has moved into a haunted apartment. He recently moved to a new state and a new town to take a new job. He’s been living in his apartment for a week, and strange things have started to happen. He’s not so sure what to make of it.
Larry is a scientist, and his world-view tends towards the scientific. He’s well aware of my passion for the paranormal (he’s even been up to Wellington with me) and I would classify him as quietly skeptical. Open-minded, but I haven’t seen that there’s been any one thing to convince him that ghosts exist.
Which is why I was surprised to get a phone call from him telling me about the odd goings on in his new abode. A key that went missing and, after an extensive search of every vertical surface in the apartment, turned up on an empty table. A clock radio set to the static between radio stations and set to the alarm function that went off two hours before it was set for – first to radio static, and then to a voice shouting, “It’s time to get out of bed!”
Sure – there are explanations. There always are. A dream. Key blindness (this is a very real thing, by the way, and my family swears I have it. I lose my keys nearly daily and can search four or five times in one location before finding it exactly where I’ve searched.)
I find myself waxing nostalgic after talking with Larry. I remember those first tentative days in my haunted (??) apartment where I wasn’t really sure what was going on – but it sure seemed like there was something that sent a chill up and down my spine.
For me, it started as innocently as Larry’s key. A walk into the kitchen of the tiny apartment where a cupboard door was hanging open. I closed it, latched it, walked away. An hour later, there it was open again. Interesting, sure, but most likely a faulty latch. It was only over the next weeks and months that it began to dawn on me that I was not alone in that apartment.
It wasn’t one thing. It was a progression. A building. Almost as if a child was playing hide and seek with me, but wanting me to know it was there. An open door would latch shut. A latched door would open. A dripping faucet would make a squeak and turn on in the bathroom.
And then the noises started. Was my imagination running away with me? Was I having waking dreams? Did sounds travel from apartment to apartment in such a way that it felt and sounded as if someone was whispering in my ear?
Like Larry, I was of a scientific bent. Ghosts were characters in spooky stories I liked to read and spooky movies I liked to watch. They weren’t real. They were just a way to pass the time entertained and enthralled.
But each event built on another, which built on another. Each had many potential logical explanations. And yet, as each event unfolded, it was accompanied by a chill. A deep cold that would run through my body. Like someone had walked over my grave.
I moved into that apartment not ever even imagining that ghosts were anything more than fantasies on the written page. I left a year later and I wasn’t so sure. I put it out of my mind. After all – ghosts. Such craziness! I was a rational and intelligent woman. Who’d believe me if I told them? Soon I convinced myself that it was all imagination.
My haunted apartment lay dormant in my mind for years. If a show about ghosts came on television, I perked up momentarily as if trying to recover a memory that hovered somewhere just beyond my reach. But once again ghosts were relegated to flights of imagination.
Little by little, like a recovered memory, my apartment would come back to me. It would be a certain feeling as I went about my daily business. Just a little nibble at the corner of my mind accompanied by some sense of familiarity and a sense of unease – as if I was forgetting something hugely important.
What am I trying to remember? I’d ask myself. There was something there if only I could grasp hold of it.
And so I went – through my 20s and part of my 30s. With this important memory just outside of my ability to access it. I’d feel that feeling and know I was supposed to remember something. It was so familiar as it caressed the edges of my mind. It was as if I was dancing with an invisible partner who matched my steps but refused to allow me to touch it.
And then one day the feeling came and I grasped at a tiny cobweb of the memory and began to unravel it. One gossamer thread at a time, I pulled it apart until it revealed something to me. I had shared an apartment with a ghost. And I was ready to explore that experience fully and find out what really might be out there.
Since then, I’ve chased the shadows. I want to know what lurks inside. I want to know what drives experiences like mine and like Larry’s.
Larry’s experience is just beginning. Where will it lead him? Will it change his beliefs? Will it change his world view? Or will he, like me, somehow forget and move forward while his experience lies nestled and waiting to awaken him to possibilities he had never before considered?
Echoes of time
Brush against me
Pull ever tighter
I am lost
In a sea of what was
Waves of then
Droplets of now
Adrift in the past
A star shoots across the sky
Pulls silken strands
unravels the web
Enjoy reading Karen’s blog? Her new book, Avalanche of Spirits: The Ghosts of Wellington> is now available. Click here to buy.