Of my many experiences, one of the most puzzling has been from my early childhood. I was six years old, and we had been living in a house that was built for us about seven months prior to the incident.
From the first few weeks that we lived in the house various oddities started happening around the house. Windows that were closed tightly would suddenly be found open, locked cupboards would be found unlocked and wide open, their contents at times in disarray, and the stereo system in the living room would at times switch on in the middle of the night at full volume, giving everyone in the house a tremendous fright.
My brother, who was fifteen at the time, and myself usually got the blame for these events, even though we were usually fast asleep in our room when these things happened.
On several occasions I would wake up at night for no apparent reason and not be able to fall asleep for hours afterward. As a rather impressionable child of six, I usually hid under my sheets during these nights, imagining a multitude of ghouls, ghosts and monsters stalking around the room, and the strange events of the previous months did not help the situation very much at all.
It was on one of these nights that I had woken up in the early morning hours. Feeling a bit braver than usual, I decided not to hide under my sheets that night, and simply tried to get back to sleep. It was a few minutes later that I heard a strange ticking sound from the other side of my bed. Along with it came a very oppressive feeling which made it hard for me to breathe. Feeling thoroughly frightened, I turned around slowly to come face to face with a skeletal form of an old woman with sparse wisps of hair clinging to her head.
I felt completely paralyzed as she brought her face closer to mine. I couldn't breathe, not to mention scream a protest! When I finally found my breath again, I let loose with a very shrill scream, and the old woman suddenly compressed into a luminous sphere which hovered for a while, then zipped straight up through the ceiling.
My brother and parents all rushed to my side in an instant, but I was quite hysterical, and couldn't coherently explain to them exactly what happened. They chalked it up to a nightmare, and nothing was said of it for a very long time. She never reappeared, but strange little things kept happening throughout our stay in the house.
Fast-forward many years ahead.
My brother and I got together a few months ago, and decided to chat about strange experiences we've had over the years. My eyes started watering and chills ran down my spine as he related to me a tale of an old skeletal woman he'd seen next to his bed when he was six years old. I finished his story for him before he could, mentioning that she compressed into a luminous ball before disappearing. We were both stunned. Both of us had had the same experience when we were six years old, respectively.
We decided to ask my father if he had ever experienced anything like that, but he assured us that he would have remembered something like that. He did tell us, however, that my great grandfather used to tell him of an old woman who would scare the children in the night on the old farm they used to live on, though neither my father or my grandfather ever saw her.
And that is my tale of what seems to be a family ghost who sometimes skips a few generations.
The old woman seemed completely solid and quite alive, though terribly emaciated, as if from some wasting disease. She was not transparent in any way, and had all the coloring of a live human.
She wore something that looked like a simple single-piece brown dress made from some unremarkable, but rough-looking material. (All these details were clearly visible, since our room was never completely dark. My brother always had a dim lava lamp on at night as we slept.)
As for the ticking sound that drew my attention to the old woman the first time, it sounded like the ticking of a very old grandfather clock. How that fits into it all is beyond me.
The fact that she compressed into a luminous, colorless ball after my scream and left via the ceiling also has me asking the question, what exactly does that? I've so far not read or heard of any other accounts where any other apparition has done this. Usually the apparition just disappears in the blink of an eye, and does not turn into something else for a better mode of transport.
Well, I suppose that is all I can think of adding. As things stand, I do not believe I will ever be able to find out who the old woman was, since she only appeared to me once, and her connection to my family seems to go way back into several generations past.
Thank you for reading, friends.