The funny thing about brushes with the paranormal is that most often than not, I didn’t realise anything paranormal was taking place until after the fact. What I found very strange is how 'normal' the paranormal can feel while it’s happening:) In my experience- there were no cold spots, no hair raising on end, no shadows or apparitions, no warning that anything was amiss.
As a teenager- I actually tried to have a real honest-to-goodness ghost experience. (Doesn’t everyone?) I visited haunted places. (Not alone, mind you. I did stick to the rules of how-to-survive-in-a-horror-movie 101) The reported ‘witches grave’ hidden in the woods off a desolate road. The street that everyone says if you’re going too fast on, your car will shut down mysteriously due to the ghost of a driver who died going too fast around a corner. I even used ouiji boards!
And sat through the Warren’s (the ghost hunters who investigated the actual Amnityvill Horror incident) presentation at UConn every Halloween.
Alas, I can’t say I ever had a true ghost experience until I came to Europe.
My junior year in college I lived in a Paris appartment on the Rue Campagne Premiere, a few down from this building- the notorious art deco facade of Andre Arfidson created in 1910.
Another American girl and I were assigned the one bedroom apartment- one of the only ones owned by the program. The rest of our study-abroad class stayed at the Cite Universite. The apartment was old- perhaps constructed in the 1800’s. The front door opened into a hallway with the bedroom door at the very end. The door on the left led to a spacious bathroom with an old claw-foot bath. The right entrance-way led into a large living room with a small kitchenette off to the right side.
There was no way around it-our bedroom was creepy. It had a big condemned marble fireplace build into the facing wall- causing us to push our small beds into the room at odd angles. Mine had to block across the extra door leading to the bathroom in order to fit.
But the creepiest thing was the huge intricately-carved gold-plated mirror. It looked heavy and you could tell it was old by the way the mirror itself was yellowed and cracked in some places. It took up the whole wall above the chimney.
The first night in that room I woke up several times and could have sworn my bed was moved into a different place every time. Once I woke up and felt like I was in the middle of the room. Then I awoke but my head was facing the foot of the bed. I was too drowsy and out of my element to be frightened- I just figured it was jet-lag giving me the impression my bed was moving around the room while I slept.
And when I was awoken the next night by a piercing noise and a woman’s voice talking frantically in the night- I was sure it was just some parent calling and leaving a message on the answering machine- not realising the time difference. But in the morning, there was no message.
My roommate had some experiences as well- feeling as though her body was being lifted and flattened against her headboard until she was in a sitting position every time she fell asleep. When she finally got sick of startling herself awake, she ‘went with it’ and told me later that she dreamt my bed was no longer in front of the bathroom door- that the door was open and the light was on in the bathroom. And behind the big double windows with the wrought-iron barrier- a woman was trying to get inside. Even though we lived on the second floor with no platform or latter, she was there, behind the window, slapping the glass and trying to say something but my friend couldn’t hear her.
I also experienced what I later discovered was the ‘old hag’ syndrome. Several times- sometimes in broad daylight, while I was falling asleep or just waking up, it would feel as though someone had stretched out on top of me- like a heavy weight.
I couldn’t move or react. But I could see clearly that nothing was there and hear what was going on around me. I just couldn’t move.
Or the time I dreamt I was bitten by a snake and my hand felt pinched and swollen for a full five minutes after I woke but there were no marks.
I chalked it up to fatigue- I was going out and staying out late. Had a lot going on socially and academically. But I had never experienced the ‘old hag’ syndrome before then. And I haven’t experienced it since.
And yet, throughout all of that- I wasn’t frightened. Not really. It’s now, writing down the experiences- that I know in my gut that all was not right at our little appartment on the rue Campagne-Premiere. And probably still isn’t.
HAPPY HALLOWEEN Everyone:) I hope I was able to contribute some spook to your day! Mwahahahaha!
Have you ever had any close encounters of the ghostly kind? Did you realize something weird was happening while it happened or only afterwards?