Let me start off here by saying that I while I am a very spiritual person, I’m not really one to believe in ghosts. But a few things have happened to me recently to make me wonder.
Several years ago, I started attending writer’s retreats twice a year. If you haven’t been to one, I highly recommend it (but I did have a bad experience once that you can read about here. Make sure you know what you are getting into).
For a few years now we’ve dumped that cabin atmosphere and moved into a big, really old house. The advertising for Weisel Hostel says it is a hundred years old, but from the architecture and the ruins around it, I’d say it is probably closer to 200 years old.
I think the age is an important detail for what I’m about to discuss.
Now remember — I am not the type of person to scream “ghost”. I’m not even sure I’m screaming “ghost” now. But during my two hour drive home today, I found myself piecing things together.
Let me preface a little of this saying I LOVE shows like Ghost Hunters. I find the whole idea of it all, and the science behind ghost hunting very interesting. Especially when they debunk things and find out it is animals in the attic, or faulty wiring, or some sort of radio waves in the house. I find all that more believable than an actual ghost. Even when they record something and play it back, I rarely can hear what they say is a voice from beyond… so call me a hostile witness, because I don’t believe any of this.
But you be the judge.
The first time I stayed at Weisel Hostile in Quakertown, PA, I slept in the bottom bunk in the women’s dorm between the two windows. Now, You need to understand that this is a house built out of stones and mortar. I an sleeping in a bed pushed up against an outer wall, between two original windows. And it is November.
I woke up in the middle of the night freezing. I mean, not just cold… I mean, run out in the snow with bare feet kind of cold. I thought my feet were going to fall off. I was so cold I couldn’t even move. There were five other women sleeping in that room. No one else was cold, so I figured it was just because I was between the two windows, so the next night I piled on the blankets and was fine.
I remembered that experience, though.
The next time I went, I got there early and scoped out the bed right next to the radiator. I also had an extra blanket to go over my feet, and I had big wooly socks to sleep in.
All was right in the world! Nothing happened at all the second trip.
Fast forward one or two retreats. Again, everything has been fine for at least two trips. Nothing happened. I always have lots of blankets and layer when I go to sleep.
This time I am in the common room. I am busting out my word count like nothing! I am on such a roll that I’m afraid to stop. Slowly but surely, everyone else goes to bed. But there I was, still busting out words at 2:00 in the morning. (I am estimating that time. I know it was really late.)
Anyway… I am working at my laptop, and someone walks into the common room from the hall, past the two easy chairs, plops down on the couch next to the fire, and stares into the glowing embers. I stop typing, and am about to look up and say “You can’t sleep?” and I realize there is NO ONE THERE.
I stared at the empty couch.
After a minute, I decided I must be more tired than I thought. I packed up my computer and went to bed, saying “goodnight” to the empty seat by the fire, just in case, but laughing all the way up the stairs.
I really didn’t think too much about this. The whole thing just turned into a funny story I would tell the group now and again. Because, seriously, I know I was just really tired and seeing things.
But after this weekend, I am seriously wondering.
This is what happened:
I got to the hostile early and scope out my bed by the radiator (This has been “my spot” since the one freezing night)
The hostile is strangely warm. The fireplace is broken, so they must have had the heat pumping like crazy. It was almost hot when I went to bed. Remembering how cold it can get, I still wore pants, shirt, and socks to bed, but I didn’t bother with the extra blanket on my feet, because the heater was making the bed a toasty paradise. So, off I went to sleep.
In the middle of the night, I woke up FREEZING. Had someone turned off the radiator? I reached over and touched it. Nope. Still warm. So why was I so cold? My feet actually hurt. I thought about my fuzzy jacket laying across the top bunk, but I couldn’t get myself to move enough to go get it. You know how it is… tired and all… so I just braved it out and eventually went back to sleep.
That brings us to last night.
Now… No one is allowed to say I’m crazy. Ya hear? Because I am sure there is a logical explanation for what happened to me that has nothing to do with freak temperatures, or vision problems.
This is what happened…
I go to bed, and since it is so freakishly dark in the middle of the woods, I leave the light on in the hallway (probably mistake number one)
I then hung my laptop bag off the top bunk at the foot of my bed (mistake #2)
I remembered the freak cold in the middle of the night, so I grab an extra blanket and put it over where my feet will be. Despite the temperature being fine, I wear my sweats, two shirts, socks, and also my fuzzy jacket to bed. Hey, I was ready this time!
So, ready for a night in the arctic, I eased down into my bunk and cuddled in with my kindle.
Now, I have to admit mistake #3.
I was reading Death Becomes Me by Elizabeth Holloway… and the freaking GRIM REAPER is chasing the main characters, and there is this little girl with no eyes… so I am probably in a bad frame of mind to be sleeping in a somewhat unfamiliar place.
Anyway, as I’m reading, I see a shadow at the base of my bed. I stop and look, but the shadow is gone. I laugh at myself, because I know it’s the laptop bag.
Suddenly I realize my feet hurt. They’re cold? I’ve only been here for a few minutes. I check the radiator. It’s cuddly warm. I guess there is a draft from the window again. I go back to my reading. The shadow pops up again.
Why the heck did I hang my laptop there? I totally know that is what I keep seeing.
I thought of getting up and turning out the light in the hall, but then if I had to go to the little girl’s room in the middle of the night, I’d probably kill myself. So I left it on.
Three more shadow sightings, but I just ignored it. It was my imagination. I knew it was. I am, after all a logical, adult. I’m not afraid of things that go bump in the night.
The funny thing was that I really wasn’t scared. I never thought ghost. Not even for a second.
When I turned my Kindle off, and laid my head down to sleep, I didn’t even check the foot of my bed. I never even thought of looking under it.
I’m serious… I was not thinking supernatural, paranormal, or ANYTHING like that. I just closed the scary book that I was reading, cuddled into my pillow, and closed my eyes.
Now, I want to say I only closed my eyes for a second. I’m willing to say it was longer than that. I want to believe I fell asleep. In a way, I do believe I fell asleep. I just would be lying if I did not say that I don’t THINK I fell asleep.
I THINK I had only closed my eyes for a second.
Now remember … I am not a nut case.
Someone tried to push me out of the bed.
Yes. Physical. A push. I moved. Someone pushed me.
I gasped out loud and my eyes popped open to see who it was, and I was facing the wall. Only about six inches between my body and a few feet of two hundred year old stone and mortar.
I looked toward the center of the room, expecting there to be someone there, messing with me.
The room was empty, except for my roommate at the far side of the room, sleeping soundly.
Being a logical person, I decided I must have fallen asleep for a fraction of a second. Strange, though, that I have never had that kind of experience (being “pushed” awake) anywhere else. I did, right then, at least consider the possibility of a ghost. Especially since I was freezing.
Was I afraid? Oddly enough, no. I’d slept in that very bed at least six times. Nothing had ever happened. If it was a ghost, they were probably just messing with me. After all, I sleep in that bed twice a year. Maybe they feel like the know me?
I remembered a ghost show that I watched once where a woman said the ghost in her house would hide her keys, but return them if she asked. So I cuddled back to my pillow, closed my eyes, and said aloud, “I’m really tired. Please let me go to sleep.”
And that was it.
Except one more strange thing. I don’t know how long that I did sleep, but I woke up later really hot. I had to take my jacket off.
So, there you have it. That’s my story.
When I told my roommate the next day. You should have seen the look on her face. “Weren’t you scared?”
And honestly, I really wasn’t. I never felt threatened.
Will I sleep in that bed again?
The more I think about it, I definitely will. If there is something there, it left me alone when I asked it to. If there is something there, I don’t think it is anything to be afraid of.
For the record, I really do think I was just punchy when I saw the person by the fireplace.
And I really do believe I fell asleep for a fraction of a second, and dreamed that someone pushed me.
Other than the house being old and drafty, I don’t know how to explain the off and on freezing cold (that no one else seems to experience.)
Funny. I just laughed at myself for even typing all this out, when it is late and I need to go to work tomorrow… But I find this fascinating.
So, go ahead and make fun of me in the comments. I’m making fun of myself.
I still don’t really know if I believe in ghosts. But I might give him/her a gender-neutral name and make sure I say “goodnight” next time so I don’t get a shove for ignoring him.
Have you ever experienced anything strange like this?