Tag Archives: spirit

Paranormal Animal Encounter – Part 2

Wolf

Image courtesy of Evgeni Dinev / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

My grandmother would often recount a story to the family of an experience she once had when she was a new transplant to Washington, D.C. She didn’t yet drive, relying on bus transportation to navigate the city.

Details as to where she was going are hazy in the family memory. Was she headed out to a job site, or was she headed home from one? Grandma was a talker, so unfortunately the tendency was to drift off into an almost-meditative state when she was in storytelling mode, which was pretty much anytime you were with her or on the phone. (This is why you should tune in to what older folks are saying, for those questions you’ll have later.)

The other details are clear. One evening, she said the bus she was on let her off at a stop. It continued on before she could catch it once she realized this was not the right location. The night was oppressively dark. She was in an area outside of D.C. that was still rural at that time, well before its later development into mega-suburbia.

She could see nothing around her, including any houses. It didn’t help that her eyesight was always poor. Now it was compounded by a pitch-dark night with no streetlights to aid her. A dog appeared by her side, startling her. Friendly, wagging its tail, she didn’t fear it. The dog began walking, looking back in the way an animal will do to indicate it wants you to follow.

With no other options, she followed. Soon she saw that the dog had brought her to a house. Relieved, she went up to the door and knocked. The homeowner opened the door, and Grandma explained how she had been let off at the wrong stop. She mentioned how thankful she was that their dog had rescued her and brought her to its house, since there was nothing and no one else around.

The homeowner said, “What dog? We don’t have a dog.” Grandma described the animal, of which there was now no sign.

“Never seen a dog like that around here. No one we know has a dog like that.”

Without the dog there as proof that she hadn’t been seeing things, she let it drop and accepted a ride back to civilization. But she remained convinced that the dog was a ghostly spirit that had assisted her in her time of need.

Have you ever had a paranormal pet/animal experience? Please share if you have or know someone who has!

 

Beautiful, Haunting, and Mysterious

graveyard

Dad lives across the street from a graveyard. A pragmatic man who sees the world through a thick lens of logic, he says it’s the best neighbor you could ever have. Even so, he has had some paranormal experiences that he has made some semblance of peace with by not giving those experiences any more heft by discussing them.

Mom won’t drink water that comes from his tap. “Corpse water” is how she refers to it, making the rest of us stare down into our steaming cups of coffee and wonder if she’s right, and if so, whether those juices were boiled out or if they linger in our brew. She stops at a nearby Dunkin’ Donuts on the way, refusing to take the chance.

Our visits are all-day affairs, as we have to travel there and then the time goes by at a rapid pace. A loner who requires massive doses of alone time, I usually need to escape the boisterous noise (of which I do admittedly play a hearty part) and seek a pocket of solitude for a short while. Often I go to the backyard which has as sprawling a vista as you will find in a very populated state, with each year marking the encroachment of new construction and people that are beginning to swallow that mountain view.

The other option I have is to cross the street and enter the graveyard, which is attached to an old church and serving its departed congregants. I have been an infrequent visitor because, though open and right off the road, it feels like a private space and I am respectful of that.

And yet, it’s a space that beckons.

The graveyard is weathered, the earth lumpy and the gravestones worn. On my first visit, I carefully made my way down the rows, mindful of two things. One, not venturing too close to the church so as to avoid being obtrusive. Two, the placement of my feet. What is the length of a casket in the ground, hidden from sight? Was I stepping on someone’s legs? There was no tell-tale settling of the grave sites to guide me, as the landscape itself had settled in a haphazard way.

I read the names and dates, some stones’ inscriptions more legible than others. One stone in particular, small, sitting off-kilter, and obviously old from its gray color that could have blended into any abandoned quarry, immediately halted me.

She sleeps! Be still.

I don’t recall if there was a date indicating the span of life. Maybe it had been sanded away by the elements. All I know is that those words have always stuck with me because they were such a concise use of language. Though spare, the words had depth of meaning that held an unfathomable mystery as to what prompted them.

Since then, I have on multiple occasions tried to again locate the stone and have not been able to do. Perhaps those words have finally been etched away. Still, it seems odd that I can’t find it in such a small cemetery. Just another enigma, along with those beautiful, haunting, and mysterious words, appropriate for a graveyard and yet not something in the realm of what you’d normally find on a headstone.

Was “be still” an admonishment not to arise and trail her spirit over the earth? Or was it a wish that she would be at peace and rest easy, maybe deserved after a hard and bitter life, or an agonizing and lingering death.

I don’t know the answer. And that is the allure, why it still sticks with me. The story behind the words endures as intriguing, but ultimately taken to the grave.

This is the background inspiration for a short story I will post next week. Thanks for reading!