Greetings, YGS members. I'm taking the plunge today by submitting two of my own experiences.
I visit this site because true stories about paranormal experiences fascinate me. I've had a number of encounters myself and it's comforting to compare them with what other people have witnessed. But actually coming across something paranormal always throws me into a panic. I don't go around looking for ghosts; in fact, I try to keep my "radar" turned off. It helps some, but it doesn't always work. Here are two examples. I'd really like your opinions about them.
I: Thursday Night Visitor
About fifteen years ago I was employed as an editor for a company in mid-Michigan that owned a dozen local newspapers. After I'd been with the company for about a year, the two papers I worked on were moved to "new" offices in a nearby county seat - one of those places in central Michigan that still has a quaint downtown with Greek Revival architecture. We were in a renovated older building that sat next to a huge (reputedly haunted) cemetery.
From the first day I walked into the newspaper office, I knew this wouldn't be a comfortable experience for me, because I felt an unseen presence at the far end of our suite. My office was near the front; if I walked the length of the suite, before I reached the half-way point I would sense I was crossing an invisible line. Goose bumps would start to pop out on my arms and I'd start feeling chills. I had a sudden urge to turn and run from the building, so I always stayed as far away from that part of the office suite as possible.
Some of you have described being able to "see" a spirit in your mind. That's usually been my experience. I gradually came to realize that the ghost in our office was a youngish man, maybe late thirties or early forties, with brown hair and eyes and some kind of beard. He was dressed like a worker or a farm hand: denim overalls, a checkered shirt, and heavy boots that were muddy - and he seemed to be smiling. He gave me the impression of being friendly. I think maybe he was even amused that he scared me, but I never felt he intended to threaten me. He probably wanted someone to pick up on his presence.
Every Thursday I had to work late into the night, "laying out" my two newspapers and sending them online, page by page, to Production. I never looked forward to working there alone at night, but that's not the way things started off. At first several other staff members stayed late on the same night to finish their own papers, but organizational changes moved them to offices in another town; so eventually I worked alone in the building one evening a week. I came to dread Thursdays, because our resident ghost always paid me a visit.
First there would be muffled bumps and knocks from the far end of the suite. Then I could hear footsteps moving toward the middle area, where our computer server was located. After a few minutes of unidentifiable banging and creaking sounds, the footsteps would start again - heading straight to my office door. Then I could sense the man standing in my doorway.
I would crank up some music as loud as I could and refuse to look in the "visitor's" direction. He didn't enter the office, but I could feel him watching me from the doorway. When I was ready to leave, he usually walked behind me right to the outer door. I couldn't shake off the shivers until I was safe at home.
Finally, in desperation, I decided to call in my own personal ghost buster - my husband. I knew from past experiences that my hubby somehow (unconsciously) acts as a ghost repellant. I don't understand how or why this works - he's actually "tone-deaf" when it comes to paranormal experiences - but spirits avoid him. So I asked Hubby to drive straight from his own job in another city to sit with me on Thursday nights until I finished my work. He's a sweetie-pie. He agreed to sacrifice his Thursday nights, and Hallelujah! It turned out to be a perfect solution, because the presence kept its distance whenever Hubby showed up.
It wasn't until I left the newspaper for a different job that I discovered a few of my co-workers had also run into the ghost. We traded stories about being alone in the office and what we thought the entity looked like. Sharing the creepy experiences with my former work friends made me feel a little better.
Several years after I'd quit that job I found myself in town again near the newspaper office, so I decided to stop by for a visit. I was in luck: Two friends from the old days happened to be there instead of out covering stories. We took a fifteen-minute coffee break to catch up in the back office, where things were quieter. Now remember, the suite was in an older building, so the door to this room was solid wood, with a panel of frosted glass and an old-fashioned brass door knob.
Suddenly the door knob rattled; then it slowly turned. The hair on the back of our necks stood up as the door swung wide open. We all jumped about a mile! Of course when we checked there was no one in the hallway...
II: John King Bookstore
John King Bookstore is on West Lafayette Street in downtown Detroit. It's located in a huge four-storey turn-of-the-last century building that was once a glove factory. They specialize in used and rare books, and at one time they had around a thousand volumes.
Not long ago I heard a rumor recently that John King was going to close because it was failing financially. I hope that isn't true since it's such a unique place. Books stacked from floor to ceiling in such rough order that an employee couldn't tell you if they had a particular title without first doing a vigorous search. The place smells musty from yellowing pages and disintegrating leather covers. Even though I've only been there a couple of times with a friend, "Caroline," who introduced me to the place, John King has made an impression on me.
Caroline is a fan of the supernatural, even though she hasn't experienced anything of that sort herself. Once we stumbled into a conversation about ghosts. She was enthralled when I admitted I'd encountered some spirits; so as we were driving to John King a few years back, she told me one of the employees said the fourth floor was supposed to be haunted. The spirit was thought to be a man who'd worked at the glove factory long ago. She asked me to check it out and let her know if there really was a spirit hanging out.
I said ghosts scare me and I never go hunting for them.
But it's a huge building, very quiet, with usually only a handful of customers wandering by themselves from floor to floor. Caroline and I went our separate ways because we're interested in different types of books, so I ended up browsing alone through empty book-lined rooms. After we'd paid for our books and gone to the car, she asked excitedly if I'd picked up on anything. I had, even though I was trying not to.
I told her I hadn't run into anything on the fourth floor, but on the third floor there was a gentle older male entity who had once worked at the book store. He'd been in love with a young woman who also worked there, although she only thought of him as a friend.
So the next time Caroline went to John King she told one of the employees what I'd said. The employee immediately remembered two former colleagues, one now deceased, whose friendship seemed like the kind I'd described.
Experienced YGS members, would some of you please offer your opinions on the following question? If a person is sensitive to the paranormal but uncomfortable with it, can she/he block it out completely? I've been trying to do that for years, but it never quite goes away. Suggestions are welcome.