Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Unexpected Paranormal Encounter

(Above: A photo of my son through a sheet of plastic with a backlight--using it for a ghost in a clock project for Etsy)


I have had plenty of experiences with paranormal events and the ones that really unsettle me didn’t happen inside of a dank hall or dusty attic when I was seeking them out; they occurred when I didn’t expect them.

Some of the most common types of unexpected spontaneous encounters include shadowpeople and visitations from dead loved ones. Upon occasion, we get the variety of spontaneous goosebumps, feelings of being watched, something touching our hair, a scent, a voice, but the ones that startle us the most occur when we are going about our usual life and then – bam! We come up against something that wasn’t supposed to be there.

I remember one time having such an encounter that stuck out in my mind because, as most of ya’all know, I have a wicked sense of humor. I was walking through a relative’s home back east (yeah, us transplants in the west call it “back east” and ya’all call it “out west.”) So, I’m walking into the guest room where I’m going to be staying and I reach for the light switch, turn it on, and I see a movement and look up and the closet door shuts with a dark figure going into it as it closes. It was man-sized. I was thinking, “who the hell is that?” because this relative didn’t have a man living there at the time. I don’t know why, but I just started laughing hysterically. I guess it was the element of surprise. I knew when I swung the door open, there’d be nothing there. There was nothing but some stored boxes on the shelf and nothing hanging inside the closet. I laughed pretty hard cause it was so absurd. The last thing I expected in this meek relative’s home was a shadowperson in the closet. The door had a lock on it, so I clicked it shut to lock it into the closet, then laughed even harder imaging a locked door would do anything.

Generally, when you run into something paranormal when it’s not expected, if you’re a smart person and not a goof-ball like me, you will probably find logic to be your first defense. “I must have left the window open,” “I must have been the shadow created by car lights…” You talk yourself out of the encounter all together because “it couldn’t happen to me,” or “nothing ever happens in this house,” or “I must have been seeing/hearing it wrong.”

The next time you think that ghostly encounters only happen in creaky old mansions and abandoned asylums, think again. The majority of paranormal encounters happen in Middle America, in our homes, our work places, our bedrooms and our bathrooms. They are not when or where we expect or coming in the form we expect. Many will go their whole lives without such an encounter, and a few will have it happen but manage to file it under “mistaken identity.”

If you have had an unexpected encounter when you weren’t ready, I’d love to hear about it.



    Now I'm supposed to go DOWNSTAIRS and feed the cats!

    and what about later, in the middle of the night when I have to pee!?

  2. Cindi;
    I'll tell you, the chances of anyone in a lifetime running into it is pretty rare, but the thing to know is that if you do run into it, you're just an invisible witness. You see or hear something and it's gone. It can't affect you and you can't affect it. Nothing more than watching a TV set.

  3. Lol at the Cox comment :-p

    Is it common for ghostly encounters to happen relatively around the time that someone has died? Because that's when all of mine happened... I had quite a few within the year that my grandmom passed.

    I remember.. I think it was around my moms birthday (maybe 2 months after my grandmom has died) we both woke up to a music box playing Happy Birthday... and we didn't have one that played that...

    I also remember laying in my bed a short time afterwards as well, and all of a sudden there was this strange light that shot out under my door, and then halfway across my room arched up and went out my window... I was like.. paralyzed with fear for 5 minutes because I didn't know what it was.

    I had a... Not so much a dream.. it was in that state when you're half awake, and half asleep... My grandmom was dressed in red and sitting there in a chair and was just having a conversation with me to try to sooth me (this was about a week after she died).

    Other random occurrences: Going through a toll booth, and I looked out the window and there was an old battered womans face staring at me up against the window. I blinked and it was gone. Candle holder exploded, Guardian Angel picture from my grandmom fell off the wall, went out about 7 inches, and broke the hand off a musical statue that she had given me after my recital.

    Just my two cents. I haven't had anything happen recently... it stopped about 5 years ago.

  4. Soraya;
    The first several ones associated with your grandmom sound pretty standard. You will find the visitation of dead loved ones in your sleep state. You are more receptive. When I lose someone I love (been through this dozens of times), I first have a dream they're alive and it seems normal, then over time, I have a dream that they're alive but I know they're supposed to be dead, so I'm not sure if I should tell them. Then, I have a dream they are dead showing up and talking to me. I often have had strange occurrences around the time of their deaths and a while afterwards. I think it's part of the process of assimilating the new reality for you. It's a comfort thing.

    Some of the other ones you describe, especially poltergeist activity could have had more to do with the age you were at--you're pretty young, so I'm assuming you were in your teens. Some of us girls in our teen years produce a helluva lot of kinetic energy and it shows up in crazy poltergeist-like activity. I still have a tendency to produce it but pretty rarely, about every several months.

    It sounds like you're a receptive person so it's entirely possible that in the future you will run into more such strange occurrences, but just know that there is something loving about you and sensitive about you that makes it possible to perceive what others may not be insightful enough to see. It can't hurt you, shouldn't scare you, but will sometimes surprise you when it's unexpected.

  5. Heh, My dream just skipped right to when she was dead, knew she was dead, but was comforting me. But yeah they all happened around 11-15, Then I had my whole situation start and I haven't had anything else happen. I have had others pass away (quite a bit, I think about 8 or 9 within a 6 year time period) but my grandmom is the only one who seems to have spawned anything. I'm assuming maybe because I was really close to her.

    I'd welcome supernatural activity, I find it fascinating. Maybe later in life :-p I try not to associate every shadow I see out of the corner of my eye as a spirit... Although I get them quite a bit :-p

    What would your opinion be on the picture coming off the wall though? That's the one that confuses me the most... I've had people try to give me scientific reasons that it all has happened - The candle holders, they say the candle got to hot and made the glass explode (even if it were lit for only 5 minutes), the picture coming off the wall was from vibrations (but how did it jump that far off the wall and specifically hit that statue, and in that spot too?)
    I ramble a bit, so I'm sorry. lol I just like having insight on it. Thank you much :)

  6. Soraya;
    The poltergeist activity is impressive and that picture coming off the wall was classic. Here's the story of the once particular incident that not only horrified me, but made me want to hunt ghosts and explain it. I was 14 and we were preparing to move from our haunted mansion to Arizona. I was in the breakfast room with my mother and sister. My brother and father were in AZ looking for a rental house. We had an oval picture on the wall of my mother's uncle from WWI. I was in the music room on the other side of the house. So, we're talking and boom! We hear a crash. We rush into the music room and I freak out. We had a folding dinner tray about 12 feet away from the picture and atop of it we had one of those huge deli pickle jars filled with pennies and we had been stacking the pennies into stacks of 10 to put into those paper tubes. The picture was beneath the folding tray, the legs were sprawled out. The jar was still standing and every penny was perfectly lined in their stacks--not one had dropped or moved. The picture was face down and not broken. A completely--in any stretch of the imagination--improbable occurrence. We had already had the ceiling crash down on us and things we packed unpacked again. I freaked out, got hysterical and spent the rest of my nights in the cottage out back instead of in the house. That was a classic poltergeist occurrence, but what causes them is still up in the air. I personally feel that it's a combination of spirit activity around girls who are psychically sensitive and in a very kinetic time hormonally. In other words, our PMS sets off the ghosts. har har. But, it is an interesting phenomenon. Poltergeist activity is very amazing. I saw two objects move on their own when I was a kid and it was truly brilliant to see!

  7. Oh wow. That beats my picture falling :-p That KIND OF reminded me of another picture falling that I had...There was a picture of me on the wall in the entry way... And I was in my room and I hear a crash, walk out to the entry room, the wood part of the frame, and the glass, were on the floor. The glass was fine, the wood was broken at the edges. And on the wall was the backing of the frame and the picture still on the frame. I was kind of stupefied from that one. lol I loved your story though. 12 feet would be enough for me to want to not be in the house :-p

    Here's a question unrelated... But kind of is at the same time... EVP's. If three people have recording devices, will it show up on all three or just one? I never understood EVP.

    Also... another one... I was on a Ghost Tour in key West... And they told us to hold our Cameras up to a light, and on a Digital Camera, there was a beam that came out horizontally from the light. No matter which direction you turned your camera, the beam would stay Horizontal. They said it was energy or something on the island... What is your opinion on that?

  8. Soyara;
    Yes, the picture thing--very common. Very weird.

    EVPs: I'm not a big fan of them for the simple reason that recorders are receivers and can pick up all kinds of signals so you can actually pick up, say, a phone or radio... But, most often you do not all get the same EVP. The only time I heard that happen ended up being an external sound--the moan of a motorcycle engine through a hole in the roof of a cave. Usually, just one recorder gets it. People believe it just depends on the proximity to that device because a spirit is not particularly "loud" when sending out its voice.

    That camera and the light thing is a hoot. Yeah, that was a total scam. It'd be the same if someone tossed dirt in front of the cameras as they flashed and got tons of orbs. In ghost hunting you have to be constantly aware of shooting anywhere near ceiling lights, lamps, bulbs, reflective surfaces because you will get that shit on the pictures and it ain't supernatural :-)

  9. Ah hah. I was thinking it was a scam, because I could have sworn the same thing happening on other lights that I had my camera up to. :-p
    Thank you so much for clearing these things up with me :)

  10. Soraya;
    Yeah, it's not that easy to capture phenomenon. That's why people got all excited about orbs and then finally figured out they were dust and particles near the lens when the flash went off. For years, people had many convinced it was phenomenon. It's like that saying about if it sounds too good to be true...well, if it's that easy to get phenomenon, we wouldn't have boring ghost shows that capture almost nothing all the time...

  11. Is there ever a case where an orb is actually an orb and not a particle by the lens though? Or are all orbs just particles?

  12. Soraya;
    Good question! Some camps, like TAPS, believe that there can be actual spirit energies shown in orbs and they differentiate them as having a light from within. Well, if you put a particle near enough to the flash--voila! I've played with orb phenomenon a long time. First, I took photos with throwing dust into the air, shaking a tree full of pollen, when the sprinklers were turned on, shaking our my hair... all kinds of things to find out what it looks like on the camera. I spent a lot of time looking at conditions in which orbs show up to be able to explain them away. I have, however, had a few instances of orbs I couldn't explain away. One instance was an orb that left a trail--it was moving so fast that it was a blur. Now, digital cameras can take a shot of a ceiling fan and the blades look stopped, so it can pick up very fast moving things. That impressed me a bit and made it hard to explain any particle moved that fast (nothing else in the picture had a blurring trail, so it was not camera movement). Another time was a few shots I took where the orb definitely appeared be behind something in the distance. Those still baffle me, but when it comes to orbs, you kind of have to throw them out as evidence. There could be something there occasionally but that they happen to look just like dust and moisture orbs...makes me highly skeptical. Hope that helps.

  13. Great article as always sis!!!!!!
    I very much enjoyed the comments too- I am trying to make myself more psychologically open to having a paranormal encounter-one that absolutely cannot be explained away - wrt Cox -I hope they figure out what is wrong in a hurry with your net problem!!!!!
    with me- Cox has been the worst advice and tech solving team on the planet- i wasn't mad the last time when i knocked myself offline for four days- cause it was my stupidity and the Cox tech that came over really cared - as opposed to most having an "oh-well" attitude - or worse- in the end i still had to go to a puter guy mom had from her real estate days- but i hope your problem is much simpler and can be fixed at no cost to you!!!!!!!!!!
    love and hugz to you sis- fascinating reports of the paranormal and just plain fascinating as always!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Hey Bror;
    My internet will be up until the hottest point of the day--then I guess the outside connections heat up. Argh! Well, the good news is that I get 3 days off in a row--first time since June 2008! Yeah, I seriously need a new job.

  15. many are screwed by nothing but! :P lol

  16. I think there have been some genuine orbs before, but i'd say the majority are fake, either particles or fakes.