(This a short excerpt from a story I am working on. It is based on true life. Happy spook-tober!)
“I have a story about ghosts,” Skylar said to Stein while trying to search for something meaningful to say in that awkward moment. “I mean…I never have seen… a ghost but…..I experienced something strange one time.” She looked at Stein and then looked around at the darkness of the forest outside their car and at the solitary rail bridge ahead.
“I was younger. I went to the city with my Dad. We went to a summer festival that day. There were festival tents all around this old Victorian mansion. It loomed above the wide lawn. It was all brick and three stories tall. I didn’t like the house. It gave me an odd vibe I couldn’t shake. Yet, my Dad asked me if I wanted to go on the historical home tour with him. I said yes. We got in the house and were ushered into the living room space. It was an elegant old home and well furnished.
The tour guide began explaining the history of the house to us. She talked about the owners and the number of times it had transitioned from family to family. In the early 1920s, it had been turned into an orphanage after the Spanish Flu epidemic, for kids who’s parents had died from the flu. It was run by nuns and priests. Then for a while, it was supposedly a psychiatric hospital. In the 1980s, it was turned into a historical home and they began giving tours and stuff.”
She paused and looked at Stein. “The tour guide began telling us about the hauntings there. Supposedly there is a Lady in Red that haunts the place, a young woman who had a botched abortion and died. She is crying and she begs at the front door to see a priest. There are some other ghosts there too…..children from the orphanage. And they say there is a very malevolent ghost there too on the first floor, a psych patient that committed suicide.”
She paused again, “That day, I followed the tour group into the hallway. I was standing in the hallway on the wood floor and I felt cold air coming up from the floor. It felt good cause it was summer. It was real cold like air-conditioned air. I felt it all around me but the others didn’t seem to notice it like I did. I remember looking down at the floor thinking the cold air was coming from a hole in the floor leading to the basement. I stood there for quite a while in the cold spot.”
“We continued to the dining room and I stood off to the left of the big table. The tour guide was talking but all of a sudden, I felt faint……..very very faint. Not sick but like I was gonna pass out. And I was having trouble seeing…. like the room was darkening before my eyes. I was so worried that I would faint on an antique chair and break it. So, I rushed over to the next room to the right. It was a library or den or something. My vision was getting worse and worse and I knew I had to get out of that house immediately.”
I stumbled my way to the front door, jerked it opened, and rushed down the concrete steps groping for the handrail. My vision was narrowing, the blackness was overtaking my sight. I bumped into a few people awkwardly and went around the corner of the house stumbling. With my hands in front of me reaching out to grasp air, I could barely see. My vision was decreasing to a tiny pinhole and then suddenly…… wham! I hit my face on the concrete sidewalk. I blacked out about one foot away from a tent spike sticking out of the ground and tied to one of the festival tents. I didn’t just faint like they do in the movies. I slammed my face into the sidewalk really hard as if I had been pushed by someone. When I came to, there was a crowd of folks gathered around me asking if I was okay. I was trembling and the whole right side of my face and neck was bruised, swollen, and bleeding from cuts.”
“I had barely missed putting my face through a tent spike. If I had hit that tent spike, I would be dead for sure.”
“The cops and ambulance came. They asked me what had happened. I told them about the cold air in the hallway. I told them I thought maybe there was some chemical in the air and maybe there was a hole coming up from the basement. I asked them to check because I was worried about it. Maybe it was carbon monoxide. They checked the entire hallway.”
“There was no hole in that hallway. There was no explanation for the cold air at all.”
“I didn’t think much of it. I figured over the years, I’d just blacked out but one day I told a friend that was big into paranormal TV shows about it. She said…..well, she said I might be something called a sensitive. She said maybe I was empathetic to ghosts, that I could feel things deeply…..more than others. Starla said I experienced a cold spot in the hallway that day because I felt the presence of a ghost standing beside me, lingering around me. I felt it but could not see it. And the others, could not feel nor see either.
My friend said it might have been the malevolent ghost. It may have been trying to hurt me intentionally and pushed me towards the tent spike on purpose…..” She trailed off. “To this day, I still don’t really know what happened. I have never ever seen a ghost but perhaps, I felt one nearby that others did not feel. My friend said this is a gift. That I should use it, to help others so I began researching more about the paranormal world.”