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A Christmas Visit


First of all I want you to please excuse any mistakes I might make while writing this. I'm from Germany and have learned English only as a second language, so there might still be a little bit more to learn until it might be perfect.

My story isn't so much scary as a few others I have already read on this site, but I wanted to share it because I just don't know what to make of it.

The first part is about some kind of premonition I think. The second part about a ghost (perhaps).

This is not the first mysterious thing that happened to me at home, but since it is about my dear grandma I want to tell this first.

It started on the 25th December of the year 2001. I was 15 years old. We visited my grandma (my grandpa had died nearly 10 years ago already) to celebrate Christmas with her. (As you might know, we exchange presents here in Germany on the 24th and visit the other family members on the 25th and 26th.) We had a very good time and we made her promise that she wanted to come over to our house the next day to see our Christmas tree. She had trouble walking, but we live only a few hundred meters away from her so she agreed to come. I was very happy about that, because the year before she hadn't been able to come because of illness.

When we said goodbye she looked troubled and, out of nowhere, she asked me if I liked one of her nice glass jars. I said that I thought that they were very beautiful but that I didn't understand what she was playing at. She said she wanted to gift me one and that I could choose any one of them. I told her I was happy to only look at them for now and she could always gift it to me some other time, she had already gifted me way to much for this Christmas.

What she told me, and the look she was giving me then were very confusing for me: "You never know how much time you have left." I was very shocked but told her she had surely lots of time left and hugged her very long. My parents hadn't even heard the last part she said so I didn't speak of it. I wasn't even sure I hadn't misunderstood her.

The next day I felt relatively normal again. I didn't have any bad dreams and I had come to the conclusion that I was overreacting the other day. But I just couldn't get my thoughts away from grandma. I had never thought about the day she might not be with me any more.

Right then I had this scary daydream about seeing her house with the lights behind her front door on and me standing in her living room where her Christmas tree was still standing (with the lights on, but only in this room), knowing that the rest of the house was dark and empty. I felt very sad but told myself that I was unreasonable. Grandma was fine after all and she would soon be here! It was already early afternoon and she would never come after it got all dark.

It must have been two hours after my daydream when the telephone rang. It was my uncle who wanted us to come over. (He also lives very close to us, just next to my grandmother's house.) Grandma had died.

They told us she had just finished grocery shopping and was on her way to the bus stop when she suddenly collapsed. Someone called the ambulance and they tried to revive her for a long time. After that they had trouble identifying her and calling her relatives, so she was already over two hours dead when we arrived at her home, where only the front door light and the lights in the living room where on when we entered with my uncle.

I have never believed that you can feel when someone you love dies. All my life I have never felt anything the moment someone died or something horrible happened, so why did I have this vivid daydream just when my grandma collapsed? This is something that troubles me, but it was only the beginning.

Later in the evening that day we went back home. It was pitch black outside and very cold. I was exhausted after talking so much and being sad and just feeling awful. Suddenly, as I was standing in our living room with only the Christmas tree on, I heard our doorbell ringing and the same moment our camera went on (it's one of these electric doorbells that are combined with a little screen and speaker so you can see who is ringing and also talk to them). I couldn't imagine who would come at this hour and in this situation, so I was a little bit confused but went looking nonetheless. When I looked at the screen first I couldn't make out anything. Our movement-sensitive-lighting was on, but the image was so bad that I wasn't sure if I saw someone so I thought about talking to them when I suddenly got goose bumps.

In that moment I saw that the distortion in the picture looked like the simple shape of a human with a coat and I knew something was there! I was absolutely frightened and didn't dare open the door or even talk to them.

My first thought was that it could be grandma, who wanted to complete her visit, and I very nearly opened. But if it was her, why did I have such a bad feeling? So I tried to ignore it.

You should know that our doorbell until then didn't malfunction, not even once. But since then it will ring very often without someone pushing it (at least once a week but sometimes also multiple times a day/night). Most often when it gets dark and cold and always only when no more than one person is there to see it. We also had nights when no one was near the screen and it was ringing and showing a picture, but we never experience something when more that one person is in the room.

Sometimes the screen will show a normal picture (when a real person is actually standing there and sometimes even while I can't see someone, but only if the motion sensitive lighting isn't on) and all the other times it will be very much distorted. With distorted I mean that you can still see a picture but it is rippled and the contrast isn't right.

Whenever it rings and the picture on the screen is very bad I still get goose bumps. I don't know why, but I doubt that it is still my grandma who wants to be let in... What do you think? Should I ignore it? Or is there another solution? We also tried to fix the bell (switched every part at least once), but it just won't stop.

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Comments about this paranormal experience

The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, 7DaysToGo, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will participate in the discussion and I need help with what I have experienced.

7DaysToGo (1 stories) (2 posts)
10 years ago (2012-08-30)
Thank you for your further explanation! 😁
We didn't have any visitors that evening or the evening before that. All family members (there are not many left), had met with us at my grandmothers house. The only person to visit us was the pastor the next day.
But perhaps there was another emotion loaded situation once in all that years (that I can't remember) that could have been recorded. Perhaps it was activated because of all the turmoil? (I'm not sure if that is how it works)
It's good to know that something like that could be the reason.
BadJuuJuu (guest)
10 years ago (2012-08-30)
7days, I'm sorry, I forgot to mention one of the important details about residual hauntings. It's a detail that may or may not help you.
Living people can cause residual haunts. Since the "haunt" is just a replay of activity it can be recorded anytime. A repetitive or emotionally charged action is the most common type of event to be recorded. Anyone who may have stopped by your house that evening is a possible source for the image. I assume you probably had a relative or two stop by, and the environment would have been very emotional.
I really should have mentioned that before. Sorry. 😭
7DaysToGo (1 stories) (2 posts)
10 years ago (2012-08-30)
Thank you BadJuuJuu.:)
Your comment was very helpful to me!
I didn't even occur to me that this strange phenomenon could be some kind of "replay". I have felt very conflicted about all of this for years now, but to think that it might only be record of a moment in time and not some intention-filled ghost helps me.
I'm not absolutely sure why this had to be triggered at this day and only on that conditions (as I said- my grandma never came after dark) but it could surely also have been someone else's replay. Perhaps I should ask one of the families that lived here before us.

There is still something I can't explain: This house was built in 1899/1900 (we live in the neighbourhood of two old farms- this house has also always been a half-timbered house) and my mom bought it 1985 when it was completely refurbished- the outer walls, truss one cellar and part of the original floors still remain. The first 70 years it was home to two families until they both decided to leave the place- the years after that it became a rentable home for men that worked at a nearby company.
I'm absolutely certain that there has never been any kind of electric bell here before we installed ours. They used a doorknocker that was directly on the front door. The bell we installed is outside the house in front of the gate. In 1970 the original gate had been removed and only when my mom started to renovate this place a gate was set up again.
So I wonder who this visitor we see could be.

As for the premonition: There was a time (I was between 13 and 16) when I had the most unexplainable dreams that partly or even wholly came true- though it was never something important- and never more than two minutes of anything. This one was entirely different- it happened while I was awake (and that has never happened again). Perhaps it could be a family trait, but I'm pretty sure that my father (or any of my cousins or uncle) does not have such abilities.

My mom once had a strange dream when she was younger about some old castle in France where she had never been before but surely knew how it looked like inside and out. When she visited it with her father a few weeks later she could show him around. Our ancestors lived in south france around the 1680s before they were banished for being Huguenots. Perhaps it was some kind of memory of them- I like to believe that:) But she has no connection to my grandmother and neither has she had any kind of premonition. I wish I could speak with my grandma about this. We were really very close.
BadJuuJuu (guest)
10 years ago (2012-08-29)
I'm sorry for the loss of your grandmother, it sounds like the two of you shared a very special and unique bond.
I believe you did have a premonition, and it seems that she did as well. It could be that premonitions are a family trait passed down to you.
This image that shows up on your security video, I believe you are correct that it is not your grandmother. The way you describe it, it sounds like the conditions have to be pretty exact for the doorbell to ring and the image to appear. The weather, only one person in the room, fairly consistent conditions surrounding the activity always make me think a residual haunting is a possibility. A residual haunt is just a moment being replayed in time, no real ghost or intelligence is involved. Think of it as a video tape on a loop. Some residual haunts "play" randomly, others play when the conditions match the moment the residual was recorded. It could be that this bell ringing image is a residual that only plays when the conditions are right. Residuals are nothing to be afraid of in and of themselves. They are unnerving, but harmless.
And your English? Pretty darn good.

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