Our granddaughter Shenay often spends a weekend at our house since her mother's demise two years ago. Shenay has a history of 'seeing' or 'knowing' things, with the result that I tend to believe what she says.
One weekend night, Shenay was safely tucked up in bed and asleep, or so I thought. I had let Zeus our black Labrador indoors and given him his nightly bone before retiring to the bedroom. My husband Ray was still at his PC playing his war games, wearing his headphones. I was just about to climb into bed when I heard a soft cry - "Mom"! (She calls me Mom.) I pricked up my ears as the sound had been soft and I thought that I was hearing things. The cry came again, this time a bit louder. I hastily donned my slippers and gown and dutifully rushed to Shenay's room down the passage. I found a trembling little girl, sitting up in bed. Without switching on the light, I sat down beside her and put my arms around her shoulders. Naturally, I asked what was wrong. The answer I got surprised me.
"Mom, I can hear footsteps!" "Really?" I replied, "Where?" "Coming from the kitchen... I think", came the quivering reply. I listened intently but heard no footsteps. I asked her if she could still hear them, the answer was "Yes!" Again, I listened carefully - all I could hear was Zeus chomping away at his big bone in the lounge. I let out a peal of laughter, realizing that Zeus' rhythmical gnawing did indeed sound like footsteps. After explaining to Shenay the source of the sounds, she settled down with a giggle and went to sleep.
The following sleepover weekend we had an almost repeat performance. This time, there was a noise in her bedroom, right next to her bed. This time I switched on the light, searching for the source of the sound which so terrified my little girl. "What did it sound like?" I asked. "Like two feet in slippers stomping on my carpet, one after the other" came the reply. Puzzled, I bent down to inspect the carpet. All I could see were Shenay's slippers, neatly next to her bed, plus a clothes hanger. Thoughts whirled around in my mind for a second or two, and then I asked, "Did you forget the hanger on your bed?" "Yeees" came the drawn-out answer, in a tiny voice. At once, I knew that I had solved the mystery. The hanger had fallen off the bed, first one end landing on the carpet, then the other. I demonstrated to Shenay what had happened. After that, we both had a good laugh.
On the night of Friday 2nd May, I was called because Shenay said that it felt like someone was watching her from outside the window. This I took far more seriously. I asked if she could see anything; her answer was in the affirmative. She said it looked like a big black shadow. I opened the curtains to see if anything was causing a shadow to be cast on the curtains, but there was nothing in front of the streetlight. I closed the curtains again, making sure that there was no chink of light coming through. Shenay was still extremely uneasy, saying that she felt very scared. I switched on her night-light, which she has never used before except to get a drink of water. This still did not appease the little soul. I tried explaining away her feelings, but to no avail. Eventually, I took her hands in mine and prayed. I called on the saints to protect her and guard her while she slept. I called on the spirit of her mother too. If this did not work, I figured on lighting an incense stick of Dragons Blood for her to smudge the room, but luckily, it wasn't necessary. After the prayers, she managed to settle down and sleep peacefully.
Of course, I have no idea if what Shenay was feeling was real, or just in her imagination - but I wasn't taking any chances. If it scared her, it was real to her. Fortunately, she has had no further incidents.
We still joke about the hanger on her bed though.