I promised to write a guest blog about my most intense ghost story for A Book Lover’s Library today, but due to an error (mine), we posted my first ghost story instead.
Please accept my apologies. Here’s the story I promised to tell today:
Supernatural phenomena play a prominent role in my latest novel, Secondhand Sight, and it occurs to me that some readers may believe it’s silly for adults to believe in ghosts. Earlier on this blog tour, I recounted my first ghost encounter, one of many I experienced at my friend’s truly haunted house.
As I explained in part I of Why I believe in ghosts, if I had only one or two similar experiences, my rational mind would most likely have found a way to explain them away. But one particular experience could not have been a figment of my imagination. I know what I saw.
More importantly, I know what I felt…
Jim and I were playing chess, each of us sitting hard backed chairs with a short table between us holding the board. The room was barren of furniture except for a rocking chair, positioned where a spectator would have had a perfect side view of the game, except that chair was empty. The room was well lit, obviously, so we could see to play the game. I don’t recall the time of year–probably fall, given it was comfortable enough for us to play chess in an attic room.
It was Jim’s move.
The sense of movement distracted my attention from the game. I glanced over to notice that the rocking chair had begun moving in a distinct rhythm, just as one might expect if someone was sitting in the chair, enjoying the relaxation of rocking.
I turned and stared at the chair, giving it my full attention.
Usually the ghosts in the house were usually more subtle in their behavior. Whoever, or whatever was sitting in the chair, definitely wanted me to take notice.
As I watched the rocking chair with rapt attention, it suddenly stopped moving and quivered, just as one might expect if a person stood up and used the armrests to push themselves upright.
Next, in the blink of an eye, I distinctly felt movement as the ghost deliberately brushed past me on its way out the door. Just for good measure, the prankster ghost lightly traced his or her invisible fingers across my shoulders, sending a chill down my spine and causing the hair on the back of my neck to stand on end.
Though by this time I was a seasoned veteran of a number of pranks performed by the supernatural residents of Jim’s house, I was completely unprepared for this degree of intimate contact.
To say the least, the experience unnerved me quite a bit. I can’t even remember who won the game.
After that night, nothing anybody could say would convince me the experience was nothing more than a parlor trick, played by my friend Jim. Penn and Teller couldn’t have pulled off that stunt.
I’m not gullible. I don’t believe in vampires or the Loch Ness monster, but I also know that some experiences cannot be rationalized or simply explained away. Just because the phenomena cannot be reproduced on demand, or manufactured in a laboratory, doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen.
I know what I felt. I also know what I didn’t see.
No human, or visible entity touched me that night–but something did.
So, when Dan Harper is confronted by an unseen, unknown entity and has inexplicable experiences in my novel Secondhand Sight, I know exactly how he feels—and from my own personal experience.