When I was two years old, my family and I moved into a quaint little neighborhood in a small city outside of San Antonio, Texas, where I still reside today. It is a quiet place, with virtually no crime (most of the people who live here are retired Air Force families from nearby Randolph AFB). The streets in this neighborhood are named after ancient civilizations and important figures in ancient mythologies.
One particular street was named Gothic Drive, after the Gothic tribes which ransacked Rome towards the end of the great empire's reign. As one would expect, this street was constructed in a way which mirrored the Goth's macabre reputation. Trees are planted so close together that sunlight is obscured and most of the street is blanketed in shadows, even in the middle of the day. The houses on that street, though small, are Victorian in design and are always dimly lit at night. Hedges and vines line the trees, adding to the eeriness and mystique of the street. In spite of the dark aesthetics, I never felt uneasy or disturbed when I walked or drove through this street... Until one night, when a stranger appeared.
The year was 2007. It was a clear, moonlit summer night, and I was driving home from a (particularly bad) date. The radio was tuned to my favorite station, and my thoughts were geared heavily toward what had happened earlier that evening. As I turned on to Gothic Drive, the beams of my headlights struck something unusual on the other end of the street. Once I got close enough, I was able to make out the figure of a slender woman who was dressed in a black outfit of some sort. Soon I was able to see the figure almost as clearly as I can see the laptop in front of me now: it was a nun.
The sight of a nun in my neighborhood was unusual, but not so unusual that I paid much attention to it. I remember shrugging my shoulders and saying to myself, "that's weird" and continuing on with my commute. Then something strange happened: when I looked back to catch another glimpse of her, I saw nothing. She had disappeared!
I am a practical and skeptical person, so I initially wrote this incident off as a "product of the situation" that I was in that night. I figured that my heightened emotional state from the bad date had caused my mind to "play tricks on me". Why my subconscious chose a nun as a manifestation of my frustration, I could not seem to figure out... Until I realized a few weeks later during a brisk midnight stroll that my explanation was dead wrong.
It was later in the summer, and I had decided to go out for a late-night walk to alleviate some boredom and burn off some energy accumulated in the form of energy drinks (I know, it was stupid to drink those kinds of drinks so late at night. Gimme a break!) These late-night strolls were part of my nightly routine, thanks to the fact that my neighborhood is relatively safe and I am usually not the only one out and about that late. The neighborhood was quiet that night. Everyone seemed to be in bed, with the exception of one jogger and a few stray cats... And a raccoon. I hate those things. Anyways, I deviated from my usual route slightly and decided to walk through Gothic Drive - something I rarely did because it leads to the main road in my neighborhood, and I typically did not like to venture out that far. Tonight was different; I seemed to have been emotionally drawn in that direction. The houses on that street were unlit, and the street lamp was off. I slowly made my way toward the end of the street. Suddenly, the street lamp lit up brilliantly... And there she was, standing in the rays of the lamplight!
I was not afraid... Not even close to being afraid. It was apparent that she wasn't an ordinary woman, or even from this dimension. Her dress was black; even the bright light from the lamp above her seemed to be absorbed by her dark ebony rainments. She appeared to "float" slightly above the ground, and didn't seem to have any feet. For some reason, I could see her face quite clearly, even though I was more than twenty feet away from her. She was a comely woman, with dark eyes and soft crimson lips. She was smiling! I walked toward her, shouting "howdy" or something to that affect. The nun didn't move or speak. As I approached her, I blinked once. She vanished.
I was in shock. Had I really seen a ghost? Was my imagination playing tricks on me? Then a terrible thought hit my mind: was I hallucinating? I have a history of mental health problems (depression and different anxiety disorders) and I knew that schizophrenia can cause one to lose touch with reality and even have hallucinations. Was I going nuts?
My fears were relieved when I found out that I'm not the only one who has seem the nuns. My brother told me saw her one night while driving home from night classes at a local community college. Many of the neighbors I've talked to say that they've encountered her on different occasions. They told me that her facial expressions tend to reflect the moods of those who cross her path. If you're angry, she will have an angry expression on her face. If you're happy, she will smile, and so on.
The mystery of the ghostly nun fascinated me, but my focus soon shifted away from her when school started up again. I did not think much about her for several months after that. Then, one night, I saw her again. This time, things were different.
I had stormed out of the house after a vicious verbal exchange with my mother over something absolutely stupid and trivial. I had no intention of returning home until after my mom had gone to bed, so I decided to take a "long walk", which meant going down the main road. To access that road, I turned onto Gothic Drive. I did not expect to see the mysterious nun, but sure enough, there she was. She stood under the street lamp, looking straight at me. I could see her face from where I stood.
She was not smiling this time.
I could feel hatred and pure anger emanating from her. The expression on her face was beyond menacing. It seemed as if she was ready to lunge at me and rip my heart out. Her eyes were dark and piercing. She knew what had transpired in my home a few minutes prior.
This time, I was afraid. Deathly afraid.
I turned around and ran home as fast as I could, looking back occasionally to make sure the woman wasn't following me. When I finally reached home, I locked the door and apologized to my mom for starting the fight earlier. I told her what I saw, and she forgave me and helped me calm down.
My frightening encounter happened in February 2008. I have not seen the nun since, and frankly, I don't want to see her again. This experience has certainly turned my skepticism of the paranormal on its head. Prior to these last few experiences I had never seen anything that I could not explain through logic. I certainly have a more open mind when it comes to the paranormal. I still wonder about the nun from time to time. Who is she? Why is she wandering the streets of a suburban town? How is she able to sense our emotions and reflect them back at us?
I may never know.