The year was 1986. I was dating a young man from a little town outside of Savannah, Georgia. Ours had been an immediate attraction but no one comes without a past. In his case his last relationship still haunted him, I could tell. It was never completely clear why they were not still together because the connection between them was intense, almost palpable. His last love had been a student at the Savannah College of Art & Design. He had told me that she had had some involvement with things paranormal, with people in Savannah who had frightened him, really. He only disclosed so much and I did not press for more but I was no stranger to things paranormal and accepted his impressions. My own sense said that the attachment this last love felt for him was not over, though she did not want to be with him. I cannot explain the seeming contradiction but only try to convey the sentiments as best I can.
We were living together in the North, I was in college & when spring break came, we decided to visit Savannah & his family. We arrived in town first. It was a rainy March day. As we drove through the town I had an eerie feeling. I love all things Southern so this was truly unexpected. There was a heaviness in the air as we drove through the town and then a chaotic energy as we walked along an area with some pubs. The raucousness of the Rangers from the nearby base who frequented the pubs [the ones they were allowed in, anyway which was not all, as their reputation for brawling & such proceeded them] seemed tilted over the edge to something menacing as if the alcohol had opened them to the chaotic, dark energies which had entwined with their own inner demons and all come out to play. I was not sorry to leave the town and head to his parent's home some 30 miles away.
The drive was peaceful and I was relieved to be out of the town, somehow. His family home was beautiful, like something from Southern Living Magazine situated on many acres of lovely pastureland. The home was beautifully appointed with antiques in every room. This was my South, my home, my Dixie that I idolized. I was relieved. His family was kind and welcoming though they chided me for being a Yankee [which other than my accent, I'm not] and made self-deprecating jokes about their Southern attributes ~ a particularly Southern & I think British form of humour. It had been such a long drive and already a very long day that I went to the room which was to be mine with great relief and exhaustion. I then did something which I never do and that was fall right asleep as soon as my back hit the mattress with all my clothes on. Mine was not a restful sleep though as I was soon beset upon by a terrible nightmare.
From an area beside the door to the bedroom, a large African man, a sort of priest in a mask, a number of other people and the former love of my beau surrounded my bed [I had developed an image of her in my mind and knew this was her, somehow though I had never seen a picture.] They were discussing what to do with me. The African priest pulled a dagger and drew it full back to strike into my heart! To my horror in this terrible dream I could not move, not scream, not escape...'We cannot, she has a cross over her heart,' I heard my boyfriend's ex say. The priest relented and I awoke, in a panic which I contained as my mind raced though the very real seeming nightmare I had just experienced. I do not wear a cross, much less one over my heart but as funny as it may sound, the stitching of my bra, which I was still wearing having fallen asleep in my clothes, did indeed form a St. Andrew's Cross over my heart!
I anxiously awaited morning when I could see my boyfriend and tell him what I had experienced. Morning came and I told him my tale. "She was involved with satanists in Savannah," he told me about his ex. "I didn't want to scare you but that's what it was." 'Do you have a picture of her, here?' I wanted to see if the image I had seen was a match. He disappeared back to his room and reappeared with a photo...it...was...her ~ in every detail. "Is this where the group came toward you from?," he asked, pointing to an antique chair by the door. "Yes." He moved a stack of blankets away and revealed an ornate, elongated, dark teak wood chair back inlaid with abalone & pearls. The image the inlay patterns of the chair back cast was not difficult to imagine as an African mask! I had not seen the chair back before; however, as it had been covered. "My ex always said this chair gave her the creeps."
I'm not sure what to make of the idea that the ex saved me in the dream, in essence. Perhaps she'd gotten in over her head with the satanist crowd, was still stuck with them but had relented. I did not have any further experiences in the home during our stay. We steered clear of town though. The dark energy I had felt there might be attributed to the satanists which evidently are there, to some degree.
There was plenty to see in the countryside including a haunted swamp reputed to still have Highland bagpipes echoing through it at night on occasion~ volunteers who had come all the way from Scotland to fight for the Confederacy and died in battle.
I had hoped we had seen the last of disturbing paranormal things once we returned to our home in the North but that was not what happened. Terrible dreams plagued me on occasion where my boyfriend was being lifted away against his will and I was trying to hold on to him. When I awoke it was NOT POSSIBLE to wake him. Wherever he had been in the astral, it was not a usual & perhaps not even safe place.
I decided I had to do something. We had gone to a science museum and a docent had shown us a rattlesnake. The snake shed the skin of its rattle & the docent presented it to me. Something told me we were still dealing with the African priest and that an offering could send him away. I thought he might accept the snakeskin as such & I burned the snakeskin in our fireplace with this idea in mind.
We never had a paranormal problem again though the young man was soon gone out of my life. We were together for a year but it had been a rather eventful, if not entirely pleasant one.