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A Voice From Beyond?


The year was 1980 and I was 14 years old. My parents and two younger sisters were living in Saudi Arabia where my father was stationed as part of a phone system upgrade project for the Kingdom. The school for expatriates (Americans, British, Canadians and others from all over the world) only went up to grade 9 in Saudi Arabia and so for the grade 10 school year I was sent back to Canada, to live with my grandmother in a small Ontario town, not far from Ottawa.

My grandmother lived alone, my grandfather having died long before I was born. She was very religious and very involved with her church community along with her regular Sunday attendance. My family didn't practice any religion and never went to church so it took some getting used to on my part being away from my family for the first time, living in a small rural town and living in a religious household. Further complicating things I inadvertently crossed the school bully early on in the school year and found myself a pariah at the local high school where I was the new kid. To be succinct I had a hard time adjusting to this environment and as a result I stopped going to school.

This upset my grandmother deeply and she sent me to see a Dr. Who prescribed some kind of anti-depressant. I just threw the entire bottle out the window. Drugging me was not the solution. I would take my bike and go to the library or find a park on a nice fall day and read books. At night I would stay up and watch late night TV like The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.

The apartment was on the second floor of a house by the railroad tracks on the north edge of town. It was old and musty and the floorboards and steps up creaked. There was only one entrance to the place and if anyone came in I would be able to see them coming up the stairs and pass by the living room where I watched TV.

One night in November I heard my grandmother sobbing from her room which was down the hall. I knew I was the cause of her distress because I had stopped going to school and she didn't know how to deal with me. Then I heard her talking. At first I thought she was talking to herself, as this was 1980 and there were no cell phones and she did not have a phone in her room. The only phone was in the hall and she wasn't in the hall.

Then a man's voice responded to her, "Don't worry Anna." he said. Chills ran up my spine and I froze in my chair. The voice was deep and clear and in the house and yet I had been in the living room all evening and no one had come into the house. I heard her sobbing some more and one more time the voice spoke, "Everything will be alright." I remained in that chair until dawn. I'll never know if that was my imagination, my grandmother speaking in a different voice to herself or perhaps, as I imagined at the time, it was the voice of my grandfather's spirit comforting my grandmother. Whatever the case I have never forgotten that moment nor the feeling of creepy dread that crawled up my spine as something from the other world seemed to pass into this one for the moment.

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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, TomThomson, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

shelbyloree (5 stories) (285 posts)
7 years ago (2017-03-21)
Twilight - I believe she moved to Canada after her 9th grade, when she was 14, almost 15. The experience happened when (I assume) she was 15/16, after dropping out of school for a bit, not when she was 14.

I'd second gramps' voice, but grandma may have had a visitor you didn't know about too. Maybe the neighbor, maybe a boyfriend, maybe just a friend.

It's not too far fetched, my husband's grandma had a boyfriend for a year before any of us found out, and even then it was a top secret kind of thing. His mom still doesn't know and she's in her mom's house all the time.

Sounds like a very stressful time for everyone.
AugustaM (7 stories) (996 posts)
7 years ago (2017-03-21)
Hey Temilicious and Twilight:) I was 14 in the 10th grade and 16 as a senior. I have a December birthday so I started a little early. I went to school (1st-12th at least) in Va. I was always the odd duck youngest kid and absolutely felt like I was the only one in the world but, to be sure, there were others like me:)

Hi Tom! My college roommate when I was at McGill was from a rural town outside Ottawa - Charleton Place. I remember going home with her for Canadian Thanksgiving - driving up to the little town reminded me of nothing so much as the scene from 'The Wizard of Oz' when Dorothy and company are approaching the Emerald City - all flat fields as far as the eye could see with a wee blip popping up in the middle like an island... Charleton Place.

I hope your grandmother heard the voice - seems like it would have done her fathoms of good! Did your hearing it have any effect on you? Did you go back to school? Was the voice right?
Temilicious (7 stories) (99 posts)
7 years ago (2017-03-21)
Greetings Tom,

I'm also curious; did your grandma hear the voice as well, or maybe experience something else like being enveloped by a warm feeling when you happened to be hearing the voice. Did you ever discuss it with her at a later stage? Whether it was your grandpa or a guardian angel, I really hope it brought you guys closer. I was raised by my gran so I have a sensative spot for them.

Just a quick side note to Twilight, I too was 14 in grade 10. I started school in the early nineties and it was not uncommon to have early starters back then, but I'm in South Africa.

Thanks and welcome Tom.
spiritwaiting (42 stories) (843 posts)
7 years ago (2017-03-20)

I was originally drawn to your experience here because the Grandfather I talk to so much about in several of my own experiences his name was Tom"Teddy"Thompson.Today happens to be his wife whom has since passed birthday my Grandmother. The only difference in the name is that you don't have a P in your last name.

I love your experience, because like you have written, I to was sent to live with my grandparents I had both living at the time but I was a bit younger than you. They lived in a rural area also, and the way they lived was also different from how I had grown up.

I remember being stressed out and anxiety plagued me, different school, different life altogether. But I did eventually love it, because my grandparents showered me with so much love it almost protected me completely from the world.

I also love this story because it reminds me of how Grandparents and loved ones will always watch over us, in our hardest times. And its truly great you were able to catch a glimpse of one coming through to comfort your grandmother.

Sorry for the long comment, I'm sentimental at the moment.

Thank you for sharing
Twilight1011 (9 stories) (321 posts)
7 years ago (2017-03-20)
Thanks for sharing your experience. I'm with Tweed on wondering if your grandmother heard the voice speaking to her, or if she was praying, and didn't hear someone comforting her 😕? Also, I had a question with your age. You said that you was 14, and in the 10th grade? I'm not sure how school systems outside the US are, but when I was 14, I was in the 8th grade, but since my birthday was in November, past the school mark, I had to wait another year to start. That being said, other 14 year old kids would be in the 9th grade too. But definitely not the 10th. Otherwise, 16 year olds would be Seniors in high school, instead of 17 & 18 year olds. I'm not saying that you weren't in the grade you said, I'm just asking if the school system is different outside the US, of when y'all start school? Our age for starting school here is 5.
Argette (guest)
7 years ago (2017-03-19)
Tom, that account was well done and the experience you had was sweet.

Ladyglow, we are in sync tonight. I also want to know what happened next.
Tweed (35 stories) (2501 posts)
7 years ago (2017-03-19)
Oh dang, I didn't mean that you mistook hearing her possibly praying out loud for this other voice you heard. I meant maybe you heard her praying out loud, and the other voice as well.

I really shouldn't be allowed near a typewriter after 10. 😆
Tweed (35 stories) (2501 posts)
7 years ago (2017-03-19)
Hi Tom,

First congrats on packing so much info into such a short post! Seriously that impresses me. You're a great writer. 😊

If you remember how the voice sounded, maybe you could describe it to some of your family members who knew him. Just a suggestion, I guess you've probably already thought of it though.

I guess it's possible your grandmother had some kind of underlying psychiatric condition. But I'd think this would have shown itself at other times, not just this once off. I like the idea your grandfather was comforting her. I'd also love to know if she heard him, or maybe she was simply praying out loud when you heard this voice?

Very intriguing, thanks for sharing.
whitelightlady (1 stories) (13 posts)
7 years ago (2017-03-19)
Wow! I would have been scared out of my mind too. I was only a year younger than you in 1980. Thanks for sharing.
lady-glow (16 stories) (3158 posts)
7 years ago (2017-03-19)
TT: welcome to YGS.
This is a fascinating experience but, what happened next? Did you decide to go back to school? Was that the only time you heard the voice talking to your Grandma?

I imagine those times were difficult not only for you, but for your Grandmother too, and even for your Grandfather in his spirit form and he was just trying to reassure his wife that everything would be fine.

It is sad that we have been taught to fear spirits and to forget that love never dies.

Thanks for sharing.

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