When asked if I had ever seen a ghost before, my immediate response would always be "no". I have always been open to the possibility of their existence, despite the fact I am sure I haven't seen one. I figured I just wasn't as susceptible to ghosts as other people: until today...
Call it an epiphany, but the sudden realisation of what I experienced 7 years ago literally hit me like a truck. I honestly didn't think I would be one of those people who share their ghost experiences, but this is something I just can't keep to myself. My story isn't particularly terrifying, but I just want to know if there are other people who have experienced the same as me or something similar:
I lived in a neighbourhood on the outskirts of my hometown. In the time that I lived here, I met one of my neighbours who became one of my first ever friends when I was 9 years old. She introduced me to the neighbourhood and the woods where we would spend most of our free time. The woods surrounded the general population of houses in the area and you would have to cross a small stream in order to enter it. There was a play park right next to the stream where me and my mates would hang out before going into the woods to fight make-believe characters with fallen branches (don't ask). Since we would spend so much of our time outside, it was hard not to know every kid that lived and played in the area. In the woods, I came to know every nook and cranny of it by the time I was 12 years old...
I cannot recall the exact day, but it was summertime. The trees were luscious with bright leaves and it was brilliantly warm (which now confuses me). Like any ordinary day, I decided I would head down to the park to see if anybody was there and fancied hanging out with me in the sun. (It is worth noting, that I had not done anything prior to this event, which would have caused me to hallucinate or misperceive; I had slept plenty, was under no sort of stress and my days were pretty much the same from one day to the next). I followed my usual route down from my house to the park, when just before its metal fence came into view:
I saw a boy.
He was wearing a deep blue football shirt with what I'm sure had the number 6 printed on its back in white. (I assumed that he was a Chelsea FC fan who probably had young boy fantasies about making it pro). He had medium brown hair cut to an ordinary fashion and he was running through the natural parting of the trees, where the stream was most commonly crossed. He couldn't have been any more than 11 years old.
But, it was confusing. There weren't many kids that I saw enter the woods unless it was me and my friends. It just didn't seem right. I couldn't recognise him from anywhere. Although I was unable to see his face, I was certain that I didn't know any kids who wore those types of clothes in the area, and I knew a lot of them. He was so clear and vivid in front of me and yet, he just wasn't...normal.
It was as if he wasn't completely whole. It could have been the leaves from low branches that were partly shrouding the lower portion of his body but there just didn't seem to be enough of them to cover that part of him completely. Just a head, arms and a torso.
Despite his physical appearance, he didn't seem to be "physically there" (or "present")
I remember almost being able to see parts of the woods ahead of him appear through his body, as if portions of his torso were very vaguely transparent, despite the vibrancy of his shirt.
I could see him running and bounding, but the moment I looked away for the briefest second, he was gone. It just wasn't possible. No one moving at his speed could have possibly vanished within the fraction of a second that my eyes had diverted.
So I went after him. Mildly startled, I just wanted to know where he had gone.
I honestly thought he was real and that I could catch up to him. At least then I could rule out that my eyes were playing tricks on me.
I followed the small slope down towards the stream... I couldn't find him. To cross the stream you have no choice but to precariously step on stones to make it across and I'd heard no splashing had he chosen to run through the water instead. Within about 10 seconds I was in the clearing and only 3 directions he could have taken. One path led straight back to another part of the stream a very short distance away, the other led towards a hilly embankment covered with brambles and the other led you far deep into the woods, with no diverting paths for at least half a mile.
I could see the last path stretch far out ahead of me: and he was nowhere.
I knew this wood like the back of my hand and as to how long it would take for me to get to point A to point B. It was PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE for this boy to run as far as he did at the speed he did.
At the time, I didn't know what to make of what I had just experienced. I jostled with the idea that it was just a hallucination, but that was even more confusing to me.
But now as I look back on it: this was NOT a hallucination, I have never experienced one before or had reason to. This was NOT a misperception for I saw this boy in my direct vision, not in my peripheral. His clothes were so clear and so vibrant that they could not have been mistaken in the daylight of summer.
I know this experience may not seem like much to many, but finally coming to terms with the fact that I very likely saw a ghost all those years ago and never even considered it before is overwhelming. It just came to me suddenly today and I started to break down in shock as I began to realise the event more and more.
I immediately started researching into the type of ghost I might have seen when I stumbled across an article by 'The Association for the Study of Anomalous Phenomena' which states: "many people only realise they have seen a ghost after the event, when they realise there was some reason why the figure could/should not have been there".
As well as: "most ghosts are reported to look like solid, normal people". "A ghost... Does some 'impossible' thing. Or maybe they only see part of a human figure".
In another article by racked.com, it states: "Ghosts are projecting themselves in a way that they last perceived themselves. Even if they burnt in a fire or died in surgery; they still appear to be wearing clothing because that's how they best knew themselves".
These articles definitely helped clarify a lot of my understandings, but if anyone has any other information about what I had experienced I would appreciate it. One thing that has left me rather confused, however, is if it is normal to see ghosts in locations where it is warm? Or is it just a stereotype that ghosts prefer existing in places which are cold? (and I'm sorry this story was long). I honestly wish I could find out who this boy was or how he died, but unfortunately, I doubt I ever will...