When I was younger, about eight, I saw my first ghost. We were hiking in the Appalachian Mountains, back country camping. I was terrified about sleeping in the woods near the top of a mountain, but my mother said we would be just fine. "Animals are terrified of daddy," my mother said with a teasing tone. Holding my mother's hand I trusted her, but I was still nervous.
We hiked up along the Appalachian trail until my father decided it was time to settle down and set up camp. We found a nice clearing, the sun was setting. I looked up to my mother to notice that she was pale and her hand was tightly grasping mine.
"Todd, can we set up camp somewhere different?" My mother asked, still clutching my tiny hand. She was not liking the vibe the woods were giving. I sensed it too, I was afraid. My father shook his head, "It's getting late. I'm not searching for firewood in the dark." I remember asking to go home, the small clearing seemed to give a ominous vibe.
After hot dogs and marshmallows, we crawled into the 6 person tent my father had purchased. My father fell asleep in mere minutes but my mother and I could not sleep, "Emma? Are you asleep?" I lifted my head, "No, mama, I'm scared. I can't sleep."
"Hush, it's fine. We're safe inside the tent" she comforted. I finally fell asleep and woke up in the early hours of the morning. I came out of the tent and saw my mother sitting on the ground, meditating. She meditated every morning, with a cup of Earl Grey tea.
I came up to her and tapped her shoulder, "Mama? Can we take a walk?" Mother opened her eyes and got to her feet, "Sure, let's not go too far. I don't want daddy to worry."
We hiked near our camp sight when my mother suddenly stopped. I followed her gaze to see a hazy image of a man leaning against a Birch tree about 20ft away. He was just a hazy image, but he did not seem threatening, just calm and solemn. He lifted his head and looked in our direction. I rubbed my eyes and he was gone. My mother just looked at me and I understood that the man was not threatening, just calm, and sad.
After that I have never seen a ghost, but I will never forget him, never.