I appreciate being able to share the following experiences (the most recent from last night), which have puzzled me since childhood. The scene usually unfolds in the following way: Sometime during the night I wake up to see a figure standing at the side of my bed. Rather than being a shadowy, indistinct figure, as described in other posts on this site, the figures appear as quite distinct, with memorable features.
For instance, one time I awoke to see a teenaged girl, with a round face and dark, wavy, shoulder-length hair, standing on the opposite side of the bed staring at me. She raised her hand slowly and I noticed that she was holding a lit cigarette. To my horror, she put the lit tip of the cigarette to her neck to burn herself. I jumped up from pure fright and she was gone.
Another time I awoke to see a small blonde-haired girl standing at the opposite side of the bed. She grabbed the bedcovers and pulled them back as though she intended to climb into the bed. I jumped up and she was gone. Another time I woke up and saw a teenaged boy standing in the room. There was nothing remarkable about him except his distinctly red, wavy hair. Another time I woke to see an older gentleman with longish gray hair, wearing a nightshirt and holding a candle in a candleholder.
There have been a few occasions when I have awakened to see cloaked figures by the bedside (only one at a time, not in a group). The figures typically have dark robes, although one time I saw a figure in a white robe. I find these figures more frightening, because in these instances, I cannot clearly see facial features.
There have been two times when I have woken up to see a figure with a very short stature - one time crouched on the corner of my bed and dressed in black, and another time standing at the bedside wearing a strange sort of outfit that included a hat.
I have to admit that I am not brave enough to try and communicate with these figures, as others have done who've posted their experiences on this site. In fact, I am terrified of them - so much so that I have jumped out of bed and run clear out of the room and down the hall in a panic.
Another thing I do (which is what I did last night when I woke to see the figure of a man standing on the opposite side of the bed) is grab my pillow and start swinging at the figure. I know it sounds ridiculous, but it is an automatic response. I woke this morning to find all the picture frames from the bedside table scattered onto the floor because of my defensive "attack" with the pillow during the night.
I want to clarify that these nighttime sightings and visits have happened since childhood and happen wherever I happen to be living. In other words, they don't appear to be "place related". In fact, my home does not feel haunted at all - it feels quite clear and peaceful. But my sleep is often disturbed by this host of characters who seem to appear with no discernable pattern.
I know a woman who analyzes dream symbols from a Jungian perspective. She theorizes that these figures are aspects of me that I am projecting and need to integrate. I don't want to close myself off to any possible explanation, even this one, but these beings feel very distinct from me and not at all like projections.
Has anyone experienced anything similar? It would be very helpful to know the details of your experience. Thank you.