This experience is something that I personally feel was paranormal, but I wonder sometimes, knowing that the power of suggestion is a very strong and real thing.
In 2002, my father passed away. The two of us were never close; in fact, for most of my life we were constantly fighting over his drinking and the generally abusive atmosphere of the home.
A year after his death, I was slowly beginning to look into forgiveness. Being a (frustrated and unpublished) writer, I decided to write about our relationship. I wrote about how he seemed to be seeking a positive relationship toward the end of his life, and how I wished he might have lived a bit longer to see if we could ever be cordial with each other.
I was quite lost in thought while writing, sitting at my computer long after everybody had gone to bed.
While he was alive, my father (there's no delicate way to put this) had a very particular odor about him. He was a very large man, overweight, and loved strong foods like gourmet cheeses and sausages. He ate so much of them that he literally carried the odor of garlic/sausage with him if he had not showered. He also sweated profusely due to his size, and his general body odor had taken on a strange smell after a round of chemotherapy. I know this sounds gross, but I just want to make it clear that he had a VERY distinctive smell. All the things I just mentioned were always lingering underneath his cologne. I have never smelled anybody since with the same odor.
Due to his excessive sweating, if you walked by him in our narrow hallway, you could actually feel a moistness or humidity coming off him. Again, I'm sorry this sounds so gross, but it relates to my experience. I can still remember the combination of moisture and odor when walking past him; it was akin to a very brief garlicky sauna.
Back to my story. Although most of you have probably guessed it by now. As I sat at the computer, lost in thought but very much awake, I was startled to smell and feel that odor and humidity pass behind me. It was extremely real, as though he had literally just walked behind my chair. It was gone in an instant, and even though I checked all the downstairs rooms, I couldn't find any source. Nobody had cooked with garlic or sausage that day, and it was during winter in northern Minnesota, so humidity was a joke.
I ended up turning on every light and calling my mom because it shook me up so badly. She is open-minded and conceded that maybe he had been there. Why he would choose to show himself in a rather unpleasant manner is beyond me.
Has anybody else experienced anything like this? I've read of olfactory (smell) apparitions before, but never read a contemporary account of one. This has never happened since, by the way.
Also, please don't take my admission of being a wannabe writer as a bad thing. This story (and others I will post) are one hundred percent true. If I was going to make something up, I would put it in my file of many many fictional tales that someday will make me rich, ha-ha. I wouldn't disrespect any of you with fiction. I only mentioned that I am a writer to make the act of sitting down and writing about my father a little more understandable.
Comments very welcome!