How I Became A Believer
Nearly a year before the movie Poltergeist began scaring kids around the world, I had my first (and not my last) ghostly experience.
I was sitting at the dining room table sorting through my most recent pack of Topps baseball cards, the ones I managed to purchase by sneaking a few quarters out of my dad’s suit.
It was a hot and humid Minnesota night. The air conditioner was acting up and the only relief was the gentle breeze blowing in through the patio doors.
Desperately trying to avoid cutting my mouth, I chewed the pink-powdered laced, sharp-as-a-knife, bubble gum from my newly opened pack.
The rotary telephone rang.
“Brrrrrinnngggg,” the phone chimed on that evening in July of 1981.
“Answer the phone,” I bellowed to my sister as I marveled at my new Butch Wynegar, Rusty Staub and Willy Randolph cards, amongst others.
Even though the phone was on the kitchen counter two feet behind me, my sister answered the phone, amazingly with only one eye roll as she walked past me to lift up the receiver.
“Hello?” I heard her say in to the phone.
“Hello? Who is this?”
I turned around and noticed she had a panicked stricken look on her face.
As she handed me the phone she whispered, “Can you hear that noise on the phone?”
I grabbed the phone thinking she was playing a joke on me when I heard what sounded like the clicking of the phone receiver picking up and then hanging up. Then I heard it again. And again. And again.
The only people that were inside the house at that time were myself, my sister and her friend. We were all now standing right next to each other.
Besides the kitchen, the only other phones in the house were in the upstairs bedrooms.
As my heart began to race, my first instinct was that someone was in the house in one of the upstairs bedrooms.
I looked up the stairs towards the three bedroom and one bathroom doors, all of which were closed.
My sister grabbed a knife from the kitchen and yelled upstairs, “Hello, is someone there? I’ve got a knife.”
I went back to the telephone and again listened to more noises of the upstairs phone receiver picking up and hanging up again.
By now the three of us were getting scared and we didn’t know what to do.
There was no way to reach my parents who were out for the evening.
“We need to call the police,” I remember saying to my sister.
My sister dialed the police and screamed someone was in the house and our parents were not home.
It seemed like forever before the police arrived (in reality it was about 10 minutes) and after a gun-drawn search of the house, no one was found.
We thanked the officers and they assured us it was okay to call them as it was “better to be safe than sorry.”
After the officers left, I began thinking of the strange things I had been seeing in the house over the prior several months.
Lights turning on after being turned off.
Bedroom doors opened in the morning even though they were locked from the inside.
The creak of the stairs when no one was there.
Several hours later my parents arrived back home and we explained the situation and how the police came to the house.
We told them how scared we were and all I kept on thinking was that perhaps it was not someone, but perhaps it was a ghost.
I went to bed that evening fully thinking that there was a ghost in our house.
Several months later I awoke in the middle of the night startled by a series of thumps coming from downstairs.
I looked at the clock. It read a little past two in the morning.
Rubbing my eyes, I noticed that my bedroom door was opened. I knew I had closed it when I went to bed.
As I walked over to close my door, I heard the creak of the stairs as though someone was coming up.
Photo by Atanas Teodosiev on Unsplash
My heart pacing, I peeked out from my door and saw what appeared to be an elderly woman walking up the stairs carrying a mop and bucket.
I couldn’t move. I couldn’t scream. I felt paralyzed.
As she reached the top of the stairs she stopped and looked directly at me. I closed my eyes is disbelief of what I was seeing.
When I opened my eyes, she was gone.
For approximately the next three years I couldn’t fall asleep in my bedroom without the light of my headboard being turned on at night.
The lights never turned on by themselves again. My bedroom door was never opened in the morning. I never heard the creaks on the stairs when no one was there.
Years later I would enter the death care industry and I had no fear of ghostly experiences. I was acutely aware of paranormal activities that could potentially be surrounding me on a daily basis.
I have seen probably every imaginal way someone could die, from natural to grizzly deaths. None of which fazed my in any way. It was my job to care for the deceased.
During that time period, I had numerous paranormal experiences that cannot be explained, many of which occurred while working for the medical examiners office.
Yet because I am so keenly aware of paranormal activities, I no longer fear my next ghostly experience.
I simply embrace those experiences by saying out loud, “Hello.”
Approximately two weeks ago I was working out on my treadmill around ten in the evening.
As I was huffing and puffing, I felt a sudden chill come over me and a sudden drop of temperature in my exercise room.
Four feet from me was a stability ball I utilize for stretching my back or for abdominal crunches.
Suddenly, the stability ball started to rotate in a slow circle.
I continued to walk on the treadmill while I watched the stability ball slowly rotate for a minute or two.
And then out loud I said, “Hello. Can you please stop doing that?”
Within ten seconds, the stability ball slowly stopped rotating and within a minute completely had stopped.
At that same moment, the furnace kicked in and the vent above my head started to blow hot air upon me.
The temperature rose and I stared back at my treadmill and finished my walk.
After my walk, I went over to my stability ball and said, “Thank you.”
I then proceeded to lay down on my stability ball and perform a series of abdominal crunches.
As I turned off the lights, I simply said, “Goodnight.”
As published on Medium.