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A Shadow followed us
#1
For much of my childhood days in Singapore, my parents often worried about me as they felt I was prone to “seeing” things others couldn’t. It must have been during the late 1960s and I was about 4 years old at the time. My parents, older sister and I were walking along Cairnhill Road after weekly dinner at Grandma’s house. Singapore was a lot quieter in those days; cars were an expense most families couldn’t afford, so there was not much traffic on the road. It was already dark, about 8 or 9pm.
 
We had walked halfway to the bus-stop when Dad asked why I kept looking back. I told him there was a tall man in black following us. It was so long ago, I honestly can’t remember too many details about what I thought I saw. Only that it was something darker than the shadows under the few streetlights. I do remember this growing feeling of unease that made my chest feel too tight. My family couldn’t see anyone or anything and I burst into tears because no one believed me.
 
I wasn’t in the habit of making up tales to my parents. They were very strict with us and frowned on any fanciful ‘nonsense’. Children should be seen and not heard, and all that. When in public, we were not allowed to create a scene that may embarrass them. My behaviour seemed so odd that Dad hailed a passing taxi (a luxury for us at the time) to get us out of there. As we piled into the taxi, my sister looked back from the back seat but said she still couldn’t see anything out there.
 
When the taxi driver heard what had upset me, he nodded sagely at Dad and said that Cairnhill was particularly “unclean”. He advised Dad in Mandarin against having the family out on that stretch of road after dark in future. He reminded him that during the Japanese Occupation of Singapore from 1942-1945, the Japanese military secret police, the ‘Kempetei’ committed many cruelties to the locals there. Many restless spirits were thought to linger in areas where great violence had occurred.
There's life...and then there's the afterlife.
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#2
When we went home, my mother immediately made us all wash our feet. She believes in running water as a cleansing ritual. She explained that the water would 'wash' our trail and confuse any wandering spirit who might have followed by attaching itself to any one of us. There's also the practical reason of keeping our feet clean as our custom is to go barefoot at home. The floor stays clean for longer and it means less sweeping or mopping for her that way.

I was comforted that my parents didn't tell me I was just seeing things and left me to deal with my childhood fears on my own. For years after that, once a week my father would burn frankincense (looked like yellowish-grey pebbles) in a terracotta incense burner. He ran his hand over the smoke and placed it on my head, then fanned the smoke towards me and made me breathe it in. He'd always tell me that we were all under God's protection and there was nothing to worry about, but just in case...

Today, I still associate the scent of frankincense with protection. Icontexto-emoticons-01-032x032
There's life...and then there's the afterlife.
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#3
There’s a common paranormal idea that children and animals can sense spirits and see things that adults cannot see.  I don’t know how much of that is simply movie trope and how much of it has a sound basis in paranormal theory, but here is my interpretation of the concept.


Adults (sinners… and assuming you believe in some concept of ‘sin,’ we all do it) live their lives in a world shaded by various tones of grey.  Lying is bad, except when you don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings.  Sex outside of marriage is ok, if you truly love the person yr with.  Fibbing on yr tax returns isn’t really stealing, as the money is yrs in the first place and, hey… 'I never use the fire department.  I don’t visit any of the nation’s Natural Parks.  Why should I have to pay for things I don’t use?'

You know, that sort of thing   Icontexto-emoticons-08-032x032

Shadows are really just shades of grey between darkness and light.  It’s easy for creatures made of darkness to hide in the shadows.  But children are pure little balls of light, made up of love and trust and innocence.  I imagine it would be harder for a dark force to hide from them.  With that thought in mind, it’s easy to see how 4-yr-old little Jadeite might see a dark force following her family when the rest of her family did not.

Also, props to yr father for playing it safe and believing in you.  Most peeps write off the fancies of children.

I don’t know from ‘shadow creatures’ or anything else that doesn’t align with my Christian beliefs.  That’s why I don’t generally respond to posts in certain forum categories.  I’m not entirely certain I believe in shadow creatures, as I can’t explain them.  I do, however, believe in you.  And if this happened in the 60’s and has stuck with you all this time, I imagine there must be something to it.

Side question:  Jadeite.  Is that pronounced ‘Jade-ite’ or ‘Jah-deh-teh?’  Maybe 'Jah-dee-teh?’  Or something completely different?  My name is pronounced ‘Me-kah’, not ‘My-kah.’
 
Language can be soooo confusing…    Read The Rules
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#4
Mika, thanks for your kind words - it's taken me years to finally talk about my experiences. I think as children, we haven't yet learned to impose blinkers and filters on ourselves, based on what society tells us it's the norm to say and do. All our senses are still fresh and honest at that age. I've mercifully forgotten most of my night terrors when I used to wake everyone up screaming the place down. I tell myself now that they were mostly just dreams from an overactive imagination, nothing more. But a few memories have stuck in my mind. Mum and my older sister still remember the hysterics I had at the time. 

Went back to Singapore in March this year and did a walk down memory lane along Cairnhill Road, not too far from where this incident occurred. A whole world of change from my childhood. Many of those beautiful colonial houses and rows of terrace shops are gone. Tall modern condos and office blocks everywhere.

It was midday and I felt nothing 'off' about the place. All the shadows thankfully behaved as they should and nothing was out of place. I wonder if the building developers had the appropriate prayers and blessings to appease any restless spirits. In parts of SE Asia, many still observe the old rituals despite their seeming Westernised ways. It's an interesting blend, but it works for us.

My grandmother's house was in the area too; now that was full of activity. I'll tell more of my family's experiences another day.

I pronounce Jadeite as [JAY] + [DYT]:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16zHhzPbpag

Hey, I've been pronouncing your name correctly - 'Me-Kah'. It's a great name. The other way makes me think of 'mica' or some exotic silicon-based life form.  But still interesting.  Icontexto-emoticons-06-032x032
There's life...and then there's the afterlife.
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