This is not a ghost story, but one that is impossible for me to explain.
It started many years ago in London, England. It was a snapshot from a dream that I had as a child. Most people have little or no memory before the age of four, and I left London at the age of exactly eight and a half. So it happened some time during those few years. I remember nothing of the dream at all, except a picture of a tall narrow hallway in a building, with bright sunlight coming in from windows on the left. It was warm light, and there were colours of red, yellow and blue. It was a two storey hallway, with a walkway on the upper level, where people were walking, as they were on the lower level too.
I should add here that I lived in London in those drab post-war years. Not a particularly pleasant place visually. Lots of damaged buildings, mixed with piles of rubble and bricks. And rationed food, which of course is beside the point. Any reader that was there at the time would know exactly what it was like. It was a gloomy place, and there were certainly no new buildings or brightly coloured interiors.
I don't know how many readers recall childhood dreams, but I for one cannot recall most dreams for much more than a few minutes. One or two have stayed with me for an hour or two, but after that they are gone forever. This childhood dream however, has stayed with me for my whole life, and that may have been in part because the picture from it that I remember was completely out of sync with anything that I had ever seen.
I left England many years later and began a new life in Canada, and as I lived my life I periodically thought about that picture from the dream, half expecting to encounter it in real life. I have since traveled in France, the U.S., Canada and the U.K., but no luck seeing anything that even resembled the image from the dream. That changed suddenly a few years ago. I was teaching at a college in Toronto. Quite a new college, probably built forty years previously. There seemed to be new buildings and extensions being added all the time, and I was always casually on the lookout for my picture to reappear. It finally did, in a new wing that I was assigned to teach in. It wasn't close to the dream picture, it was exactly the same. There are always students and teachers walking to an fro on both levels, with the sunlight coming in from the two-storey windows on the left. The bright coloured light that I remember from the dream came from the daylight being filtered through translucent decals on the windows.
I no longer teach there, but I was on campus a few days ago, and in that wing. Nothing has changed. Still just like the dream.