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Of Ghosts and Demons: A Confessional
#1
Rolleyes 
Introduction

Hi.  My name is Mika.  I’ve spent my life as a skeptical believer… meaning, the Christian in me believes that spirits can touch us, but the philosopher in me requires logical proof before.  And, honestly, none of this ‘paranormal’ stuffs has ever interested me.  Until last year.  I’ve always believed in ‘ghosts’ in the abstract.  Still, it was just last year that I encountered spirits, in actuality.

Those of you who know me know this story.  I’ve told it before.  This is not a thread seeking answers or asking advice.  In fact, the matter is settled and done.  I’ve moved on and, hopefully, my little spirit friends have, as well.  I can honestly say my life is 99% paranormal free.

They still give me a dime every now and again.  Just for smiles.  That’s the 1%.

This is more of a ‘sharing’ post.  I’ve noticed, over the past six months, that peeps are sometimes hesitant to share things they have experienced.  Some of them are fearful they might be judged.  And, as much as it pains me to admit this, we do have some forum members *cough* #Enemy No. 0 *cough* who can be… well, not exactly tolerant.  But I want everyone, member or not, to feel this an open place to share and not hold back for fear of judgment.

And so, this is my personal story.  100% hand to heart, kiss my Crucifix, non-fiction true, as I experienced it.  Feel free to ask questions along the way….

PS – Please do not disrupt this thread with alternate explanations as to what might be going on or warnings about any danger I might be in.  We’ve already bin through that in the original thread and I no longer work at the establishment where the spirits reside, so it’s all moot anyways.  This is just a tale for people who like to hear happy ghost stories.

PPS – These posts will often be long and self-indulgent.  I have writer’s block, stuck at the halfway point for my next novel… and I don’t know what to do with myself when I’m not writing.  To all my friends out there, please do not feel obligated to read this thread.  Typing this up is kinda my way of relaxing after a hard day’s work…

PPPS - For those of you not old enough to remember things like hand written letters, PS stands for Post Script.  That is, after the script of the message proper.  Think of it as 'additional text added as an afterthought.
  
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#2
Chapter One:  I think there are demon children in the woods…


I’m not entirely certain, before this one night in February of 2017, that I had ever bin truly frightened in my life.  I mean, I’ve bin through some things.  I was robbed, at knife point, working as a 3rd shift cashier at some convenience store.  I bin threatened with rape by a guy 3X my weight in an alley and held at gunpoint by some thug who thought I would be impressed by the fact that he had a gun.  I’m not entirely certain what that last guy wanted, as I brushed him off.  Twice.  I even had a naked guy wandering around a restaurant I was managing and dealt with a bomb threat.  I never actually felt afraid.  Intellectually.  I’m kinda stoopid that way, as I always seem to be able to talk my way out of confrontations.  The point being, however… I don’t fluster easily.

So anyways, I was working as a server at a sports bar and closed 4 nights a week, but Tuesday was my ‘volume’ night, which meant I got cut when things slowed down.  It was also the night I went to visit my parents.  They’re getting on in years, as I am, and so it’s comforting to stay the night sometimes.  For both my mum and pa and for me.

Only, not this night.

Turns out, I left my phone in my car.  I’m not one of you millennials, who can’t go 30 seconds without checking yr phone… but, I do have responsibilities all the same.  When I realize I’m missing my phone around 11pm, after my parents have gone to bed, and head out to my car to retrieve it.

Now, this part requires some context.  My parents live out in the country… Mid-Western style.  Half of our neighbors are farmers.  Some have cattle, some have horses… there’s even a pot farm down the road.  The nearest house is half a football field away, the nearest street light four times that.  To the other side is a small woods and across the street is an abandoned golf course. 

Needless to say, under the best of circumstances, going outside at night is… well, fairly creepy.

Still, it’s 2017 and I can’t let my battery go dead overnight, so I turn on the porch light and head out to my car.  I make it about 10’ and stop dead in my tracks because I hear something that chills me to the bone.
Out in the woods, too loud to be natural, I hear a distinctive sound.  Anyone who has ever worked with kids would recognize it.  I hear a small group of children laughing and giggling squealing with glee.

At 11pm.  On a school night.  In the middle of a woods.

I stood there, frozen in fear, until the sounds abruptly died out, about 10 seconds later.  And, for a moment, I honestly considered turning around and going back inside.  Instead, I forced myself to retrieve my phone.
I still remember the exact time, when I went back into the house.  11:07 pm.  Im not entirely sure that’s relevant but in retrospect… most of what I experienced did happen after 11pm.  Not all, however.  Hmmm… I never really made that connection before.

Anyways, I tried and tried and tried to find a rational explanation.  There are no small children amongst my neighbors who could have snuck out, late at night.  No responsible adult would let kids stay up that late on a school night and no sane one would take them into the woods that late without so much as a flashlight.  I know the difference between the sounds of children laughing and the sounds of teenagers laughing.  I wasn’t intoxicated and I have never taken illicit drugs in my life.  I don’t even smoke marijuana.  I was wide awake.
Keep in mind, I had never experienced anything paranormal in my life.  Well, when I was 3, my elder brother (by a year) and I saw a ghost, but… yeah.  I do watch horror movies and I had a girlfriend once who made me watch a season of Ghost Hunters when it first came out, but really…  ghosts?  UFO?  Eh.  Whatever.


So, after exhausting the possibility of a logical explanation, I decided… there must be demon children in the woods by my parent’s house…  8 D
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#3
Chapter Two:  They want me…
 
It was a week later, to the day, actually.  My parents are out of town and I’m watching over their house ‘cos my pa has all sorts of fancy, expensive stuff… while my place is full of crap no one would want.  At some point in the night, around 2 or 3 am, the power goes out.  This annoys the heck out of me.  At the time, I was thinking a much stronger word, but we gots little ones on the forums, so I’ll go with ‘heck’… so I turn on my phone flashlight and look around.  The next-door neighbor has power.  It must be just my parent’s house.
Now, the first thing the power company is going to ask when I call them is if there is a downed power line.  Part of me wants to just make up a ‘yes’ answer so they will ‘emergency’ the outage and I can get back to writing about zombies, but I do the proper thing and go out to find the power line.  I manage to find where it’s connected to the house… totally cools… and start to follow it to where the power line connects to the street.

Halfway through the yard, I realize that the power line is taking me to pretty much the exact point where I had heard those little demon children a week prior.  And let me tell you, there is no way I am going anywhere near that area of the woods.  I don’t care if it’s 12 noon and we’re having a cookout in the yard.  I’m brave, but I’m not that brave.  Instead, I gather up my things and spend the night back at my own place.

Fast forward another week.  My mum and pa are still on vacation, I’m still watching their house.  And mind you, this entails closing the bar and going back to their place every night in the early morning hours.  Except Tuesday.  On Tuesdays, I get off early.  And for those of you who live in a certain Mid-Western state, you’ll remember that 2017 was a mild winter, except for one blizzard.

Now, my parent’s place is about 30 minutes from where I worked.  I’m only so familiar with the area… I have a couple of routes I can take, but most of the backroads are foreign to me, so my options are limited.
My normal route is blocked off.  Police are routing peeps another way… so, I take route B.  It’s a longer drive, but I don’t know the roads well enough to try to circle around past the roadblock.  Also, the snow is a foot deep and the last thing I wanna do at this time of night is to get stuck, so I follow the longer route.

I make it from city A to city B and find the way home backed up as far as the eye can see.  I mean, literally, what would normally have bin a 30-minute drive ended up taking well over 3 hours.  Honestly, if I hadn’t had Robert Jordan’s ‘Wheel of Time’ series on DVD in my car, I would have ripped my head open in frustration.  Even so, I likely would have turned around and used the turnpike to come across my parents’ house the back way, had I not bin afraid of getting stuck in someone’s driveway turning around.

None of this seemed consequential to me, until… midday after… I realized, if I had taken that tempting back route, it would have taken me directly past the part of the forest where I had heard the creepy children laughing.  And 7 days prior, had I followed the power line, I would have found myself in that part of the forest where I heard the demon children playing.  And, if I had let curiosity get the best of me, and had wandered out to that part of the forest, 7 days prior, where I heard the kids laughing ang giggling and squealing with joy…

One time is happenstance, two is coincidence.  Three is a pattern.  And, if it were more random, I likely wouldn’t have thought anything about it.  But… every seven days?  Like clockwork?

There’s a little bit of backstory that I haven’t mentioned because, at the time, it hadn’t seemed… well, more than a curiosity.  I’m a math nerd and I notice patterns in numbers.  But after these three unlikely Tuesdays, something even stranger started happening and, to this day, I am not 100% certain what it meant…
 
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#4
Big Grin 
Aw Mika, I want to hear more! (I've just gone and read your original thread). No, I won't repeat any spoilers for those who haven't gone looking for themselves...

Some years ago, a friend of mine used to find dimes everywhere too. In her shoes, in the laundry, all over the house. At the time, she and her long-time boyfriend were undecided on the subject of getting married. She'd wondered if it was a departed relative of theirs trying to get their attention. You know the idiom: "to get off the dime" - to move and stop wasting time.

The strange thing is, when they finally went ahead and tied the knot, the dimes stopped appearing.
There's life...and then there's the afterlife.
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#5
I’m glad yr enjoying the story  Icontexto-emoticons-09-032x032 

Have no fear, hun', my intention is to tell the full story and stranger things are coming, the likes of which I’ve barely touched on.  But as I’m writing it as a story this time, rather than simple documentation, it’ll take me some time.  I'm a bit of a perfectionist and proofread my serious posts, like, 7 ways to Sunday.

And… Yay!  It’s nice to meet someone who also knows of the dime thing.  I had never heard of it myself, until… well, let’s not spoil what happens next…

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#6
Chapter Three:  What’s up with all these dimes?
 
A couple months before the demon children in the woods, I started to notice something odd about the change (coins) I was finding on the floor at work.  At the time, I was working as a server in a sports bar.  As peeps pay their server at the table, and the clientele is sometimes a bit tipsy, coins are bound to be dropped every now and again.  Most people will bend over to pick up a quarter.  Some, depending on how tipsy or wealthy they are, might make the effort for a dime or nickel.  Few people bother with pennies.  They’re basically worthless and dark in color, so in a poorly lit bar, they can be hard to find.

Me, I generally look for change as I make my rounds.  For one thing, I turn the tails up pennies heads up and place them on a table, so someone can find them and have good look.  Also, I have to sweep and mop at the end of the night, so I might as well pick them up as I find them.

I had bin working there for about 4 years and never really thought twice about the coins I found on the floor.  There was no noticeable pattern.  Then, maybe around the beginning of 2017, a pattern started to form.  More often than not, when I found a coin on the floor, it was a bright, shiny dime.  After a couple of months, it really got me wondering… I mean, you would expect pennies more than anything else.  Why is it always a dime?  For that matter, why is it never dirty or tarnished?

These things get under my skin.  I like to think I live in a logical world.  I should be able to box everything off… you know, cause and effect.  If they had bin pennies, well… no one bothers to pick up a penny.  If there were lots of coins in the bathrooms… eww!  No one wants to touch those.  When I see a pattern, there should be a reason for it.  Chaos theory.  You know, finding patterns in what otherwise seems to be chaos.

The odd number of dimes was, at most, a curiosity.  One drowned out by the three weeks of demons trying to get me into the woods.  But then, the ‘dime fairy’ upped it a notch.

The Friday night after the blizzard, I found 12 coins on the bar floor… 3 pennies, 1 quarter, 0 nickels and 8 dimes.  I already had dimes on my mind, so I did a quick accounting… math nerd that I am… and the statistical probability of finding that ratio of dimes to other small coins is about 1 in 25.

It’s just an anomaly, but a statistically unlike one… and statistical anomalies get me curious… so I randomly mention it to a co-worker.  I’m a nerd that way.  I think I can get hot women to like me by talking math.

Just kidding.  Hot women like me no matter what I do…  Icontexto-emoticons-06-032x032

Anyways, she tells me that finding a dime is a sign that a ghost is nearby.  I had never heard of that… I thought you were supposed to feel a chill or get goosebumps when a ghost was nearby.  Still, I ask my mum… she’s uber Catholic, says her rosaries every day and all… and she tells me that finding a dime can be a sign that the spirit of someone who has passed away is looking after you.

No one I know has recently passed away.  I s’pose it could be my grandma or grandpa… I loved them fiercely… but that was going on 20 years past.  Why now?

The next night at work I find… I forget the exact number, but I think it was 3 pennies I found, zero nickels or quarters… and 16 dimes.  Stranger yet, these were in the most unlikely of places.  One was on top of a tea urn.  Another was underneath a floor mat.  Late at night, when all the other servers had bin cut and I was pretty much alone, my last two guests of the night got up to leave, around 1am.  I was just a few feet away, sweeping, and as this man stood… on his chair, where he had bin sitting, was a bright shiny dime.

Seriously, I found a dime under some old dude’s butt.  Tell me something weird isn’t going on…  

Ghost

Strangest of all was pretty much the first and second thing I found when I arrived at work.  Right outside the entrance was a bright, shiny dime.  I made notice but didn’t think much of it.  The prior night’s eight dimes still felt like an anomaly.  Maybe half an hour later, I walk up to H____... the server I had mentioned the dimes to the previous night… to ask her about her nursing exam.  Midway through the exchange, she points to the floor and… right at the tip of my right foot was a bright, shiny dime.  I bend down to pick it up and… maybe six inches away, at the tip of my left foot, there were two more shining dimes.

I know what you skeptics are thinking.  She planted the dime.  And maybe she did.  However, the other two… there is no way that, dimes on my mind, I didn’t see the other two dimes, a mere six inches away.

Anyways, I pick up all three dimes and, as I’m standing… I notice another two dimes, shiny and bright, just to left of the two I had just picked up. 

Recap:  I look down and see a dime.  I bend down and see two more.  I stand up and see another two.  All within a matter of seconds and one square foot for floor space.


This continues for two weeks.  Ten nights at work.  And a pattern emerges.  Every night, I find a few dimes when I first come in to work.  When there are few peeps in the bar.  Then, late at night… 11 pm or so, after all the other servers have gone home, I find more.  Anywhere from seven to, I think the most was seventeen in one night.  Most of them when I am alone in the dining room with no one but my patrons.  I find them on top of salt shakers, under condiment caddies, in bathroom stalls… and let’s be honest here, when was the last time you found yrself in a bathroom stall, fumbling with change?

Over the course of two weeks, I found maybe a dozen pennies, half a dozen nickels and half a dozen quarters… and somewhere around ten dozen dimes.  You do the math.  And I know it doesn’t seem like a big thing.  I mean, I didn’t see the apparition of a woman dressed for a Renaissance fair.  There were no creepy shadow figures hovering over my bed.  But imagine yr alone in a bar late at night… the bartender is cleaning her area, maybe 100 feet away.  The kitchen staff are tied up cleaning up the kitchen and the manager is in the office, doing paperwork.  The establishment is empty and yr wiping down yr last table, move on to the stools and, when you look up, on the table you just wiped down is a bright, shiny dime.  You feel a chill, pick up the dime and turn to go and notice, on the stool you just wiped down, is another bright shiny dime…

Blueoh
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#7
Chapter Four:  Am I possessed?
 
Somewhere, towards the end of this two-week period of dime-spamming, I had a dream.  I was driving home from work but not to mine own house, but that of my parents.  They had since returned from vacation, but not in the dream, so it was still my place to look after their house while they were gone.  And fresh off the demon children trying to tempt me to play with them in the woods, I’m still nervous anytime I’m at my parent’s house after dark.  I won’t even look at the woods.  I simply pull into their long driveway and park besides the garage and rush into the house, fast as I can manage, chilled and goose bumped the whole time.

But not in the dream.

Instead, in the dream, as I approach their drive, the brakes on my car go out… as does the power steering… and I can’t do anything but coast to a stop.  Right at the woods.  Where the demon children had been attempting to lure me.

It’s hard to describe what happened next.  I was no longer frightened.  Instead, I became calm.  I felt a darkness enter me and well up inside, consuming me.  No panic, no fear… just the calm peace of utter darkness.  Like an atheist might imagine death. 

Now, I am one prone to lucid dreaming.  I’m not certain my use of the term meshes well with the standard ‘paranormal’ one, but basically… I tend to be self-aware in my dreams.  And never, dreaming or awake, have I felt something like the emptiness I felt when that darkness grew within my soul.

In the dream.

So, my car coasts into the ditch by the woods and I calmly get out and walk back to my parent’s house.  I can feel the bits of gravel underfoot, I see the broken remnants of a fence, off the to the left, in my peripheral.  Empty as I feel, I am still self-aware, and I thank my Goddess for one thing, and for one thing only.  That my parents are away.  Then I take out my cell phone and dial 911.  I ask them to send someone out to pick me up, as I fear I might hurt someone.



Now, it’s well over a year later.  Needless to say, I have not hurt anyone, nor have I had a desire to do so.  I also have not had another dream of the sort that I had that night.  At the time, I was scared silly.  I said double prayers and wore my crucifix for months, even though I hate necklaces.  But there’s something we gots to remember.

Dreams are the manner in which our minds relieve stress.  If yr an artist, think of them as doodles on a notebook.  Some of them turn out beautiful, some are total crap… but none are intentional.  They just happen.  And between the dimes, the demon children in the woods, and my faith… yeah, it’s not a stretch to see how I would have a dream about demonic possession.

Or… ooooo weeee ooooo… demons were invading my dreams!!!   Big eyes

Yeah... not so much.  I can joke about it now because, what happened next… over Easter, no less… set my mind at ease...
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#8
I wonder if your dream of dark emptiness was also a warning at the time. You were unafraid, yet you dialled 911. In your dream state, you didn't trust that calmness and worried about hurting someone. We can hurt others by appearing dispassionate and not displaying compassion or sympathy when they are in need. So maybe it was a reminder to yourself not to be complacent, or be lulled by a false sense of calm by the darkness and to be on your guard. Glad nothing more terrifying happened though.

I've got another thought about those dimes. Where do you suppose they came from? The Mint? Local bank? Someone's purse? I've read of people complaining their money was mysteriously going missing. I'd thought it could be due to their forgetfulness, carelessness or someone pilfering from them. And maybe in some cases, it's mischievous little ghosties playing "Robin Hood"!  Icontexto-emoticons-04-032x032
There's life...and then there's the afterlife.
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#9
Sometimes, a dream is just a dream.  Most times, actually.  


I understand the temptation to seek an interpretation for them.  Freud was all about that, and Descartes, and Jung, and countless others.  But sometimes I think it’s like looking at a Jackson Pollock painting and trying to determine a reason why this drop landed here and why that splotch was placed there.

*Pretention quota met for the month*

Sometimes, dreams have meaning.  Most of the time, that meaning is ‘I’m stresses over X, Y or Z.’
Dreams are the equivalent of doodles on a notepad.  Maybe one in a thousand dreams is prophetic, maybe one in a hundred represent some kind of subliminal worry or concern.  But most of the time… dreams are just dreams.  They are our brains manner of relieving stress.

Doodles on a notepad.

As to where the dimes come from, I can tell you right now… they filch them.  I know, as they have taken coins out of my pocket and left them elsewhere for me to find.

But that’s a story for a later date…

Blueud
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#10
Wink 
The itsy bit I know about Jung is that he coined the word "synchronicity" and the theory about "miraculous coincidences". Kind of makes sense too. Clever man wrote about this stuff years ago too. And that's before I was born (and that's a while ago too - hee-hee). Smile

Well, I'm certainly glad that the dream doesn't bother you now. Agree that most times, a dream is just a dream. Especially when I've eaten too late and my mind's gone on overdrive while I'm sleeping. I get some whackydoodle ones that way! Blueoh 

Looking out for your next instalment...
There's life...and then there's the afterlife.
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