I’m starting the Halloween theme for the whole of October. Here are some of my personal paranormal experiences:
A guardian mimic, a haunted convent school, an oak tree and a shattering lightbulb. These are the personal stories that I tell in good company. Normally during Halloween but usually as a diversion.
I’m not given to asinine whimsy and flights of fancy, but sometimes the unexplainable has happened to me. (Skeptics should stop reading at this point or suspend their disbelief.)
1. The Guardian Mimic
My parents bought a house in North London when I was eight years old. After we moved in, I’d experience the sensation of someone sitting on the side of my bed. This did not really bother me because I was a heavy sleeper. In the late afternoons, I went out to the back garden to play and sit on the edge of the lawn, which was paved with stones. The edge of the lawn faced the kitchen window. That summer, as I sat on the lawn’s edge making daisy chains, I heard my mother calling me from inside the house. I went in and found my mother in her bedroom but she stated that she had not called me. At that moment both of us heard a crash from the garden. My mother ran down to the kitchen and looked out of the window. She started screaming because several large roof tiles had fallen off the roof and landed on the spot where I usually sat. The daisy chains I’d been making crushed under the shattered tiles. After that incident, I no longer felt that someone sitting on my bed. Although I’ve been very grateful.
2. The Oak Tree
When we moved into that house, there was a very old and gnarled oak tree in that same garden. When we first moved in, my brother took a spade and repeatedly hit the trunk of the oak with the edge of the spade (because he was bored). I remember he became violently ill after that. Our gardener sawed the smaller branches off that oak tree and had an accident afterwards. I gave that tree a wide berth and only picked up fallen acorns. After we moved out of that house, I dreamt (on a few occasions) that the oak tree had taken the shape of a stooped elderly man. I was nine years old and unaware of superstitions about oak trees. (Druidic rites, fairies, mistletoe, etc…)
3. The Boarding School
When I was fourteen, my parents sent me to school in Singapore. During my first week, I heard stories of haunted toilets, ghostly nuns and phantom soldiers walking across the field during dusk. When the older students told me I didn’t believe them but accounts persisted. The most scary incidents involved animals – me staring down a black mamba on the footpath and getting chased by a rooster.
During my last day, there was a final parting incident. The toilet consisted of three cubicles and the middle cubicle had been occupied for most of the afternoon. When inspected from above and below, it was found to be empty but the door was still locked from the inside (it was a thin corrogated metal door with a flimsy metal latch). Some girls pushed on the door but it still would not budge. Throughout the evening the toilet door remained locked. Early next morning I found the door open but a story was spreading around the breakfast table: the last girl who’d gone to sleep the night before (at 11pm) had been brushing her teeth in the toilet. She heard a male voice say, “Hello.” from the supposedly empty and locked cubicle. Bear in mind that the toilet was on the first floor and the cubicles had no windows, so it was not a case of an intruder speaking from outside. All the girls were accounted for and in bed by 11pm that night. The last girl to sleep was visibly shaken that morning. I checked the cubicle for any nooks and crannies to conceal a tape recorder or a small radio, but there were just smooth tiled walls and the sheet door.
4. The Lightbulb
August-September marks the 7th month on the Chinese Lunar calendar. It is the Hungry Ghost month when spirits are supposed to wander the human realm before the Mid-Autumn festival. Superstitions abound during this period – don’t go swimming because you’re more likely to drown, don’t come back late at night, don’t get married etc…because the vibes are very ‘yin’ and heavy…I never really subscribe to all that.
However, three years ago during the 7th month I did feel that the ‘veil’ was thinner than normal. I’d glimpse faces looking into the windows (and I live on the 11th floor) and one afternoon I heard a man’s voice whispering to me while I was half-asleep. The voice told me to go with him. I was more annoyed than spooked, so I yelled, “F**K OFF AND GET OUT!”.
As soon as I yelled that, the ceiling light bulb in my room popped, flew out of its fixture and crashed to the floor. No more incidents since then.
5. Extra Hotel Room Guest
This is my mother’s story; when she was in her twenties, she took a trip with a friend to Kuantan, Pahang (another state in Malaysia). They checked into a hotel and settled down for the night. During the night my mother heard sounds in the room as though made by someone wearing an ankle bracelet. She looked across to her friend’s bed and saw what was thought to be her friend sitting at the foot of the bed. My mother called out to ask, “Why aren’t you asleep yet?”
The friend did not answer. At that moment, my mother saw that her ‘friend’ had long waist-length hair (whereas the real friend had short chin-length hair) and she screamed in fright. This woke my mother’s friend, who sat up from the other end of the bed. The friend switched on the room lights and the apparition disappeared.
If you have had any strange experiences, you can leave them in the comments. I’d love to read about them.