As an adult, I wasn't always quite sure what to make of such stories. I've always believed in the supernatural, that's for sure, but am to this day, unclear on exactly what the entities we refer to as "ghosts" really are.
Sometimes angels, perhaps? Sometimes demons? Sometimes a bit of both?
Any doubt I had that such things actually existed was totally erased about 20 years ago, soon after we moved into our first Victorian home. It was a beautiful, quaint old Queen Anne style house, built just before the 1900's. I fell in love with the old place and immediately began my quest to restore her to her original splendor. The more I worked on the house, the more delighted I was at all the little surprises I'd find hidden behind walls and under stairwells. To this day, I remember the smell of the old wood wafting up as I scraped away a hundred years worth of layers of paints.
Within a few days of moving into the place, I had a very lucid dream in which I got out of bed and walked into the dining room. There I saw a little blond haired girl in a white nightgown standing just inside the doorway. I asked her what she was doing there, but she didn't answer. I turned away from her and started toward the front door, perhaps to show her the way out.
She followed me.
As I began to pass the big double doors that led into the parlor, she began to plead, "Don't go in there! Don't go in the parlor! It's bad .... very bad!"she kept franticly repeating the phrase.
At that point, I was startled awake. I was relieved to find myself back in my bed. It took me a while to sort through the confusion, however, as I wasn't sure whether the experience had been a nightmare, or had really happened.
I didn't say anything about the dream to the rest of the family. We had three daughters living in the house at the time and I didn't want to frighten them. Needless to say, I didn't spend much time in the parlor though. The little girl's warning was never far from my mind.
In the years that followed, there was always something unusual going on in our house. I learned later that I wasn't the only one having strange dreams and sensing unseen company at times. I became accustomed to hearing footsteps upstairs, when I knew that no one in our family was up there. Once, I went to investigate the source of the noise and was clearly "passed" by someone, or something, at about the middle of the stairwell. A chill went right to my bones, literally leaving me breathless.
Probably worst of all, I would often have nightmares about chasing an evil presence through the house, commanding it to leave but it wouldn't go.
It's funny though, how a person can explain things away in order to make themselves feel more at ease. We went on living in, and loving the house.
One evening, I was home alone and was busy working in the kitchen. I was standing at the stove with my back to the utility room area ... a room that had been built where the old back porch use to be. The back entrance to the house was through the utility room. From the corner of my eye, I saw someone walk through the room. Thinking one of the girls had come home, I went to check on them.
No one was in the room, and the door to the back yard was securely locked.
Again, a bone-chilling coldness began to overtake me. I moved quickly out of the utility room and back to my spot at the stove.
As I stood there trying to shake the fear, I sensed the presence of what I could only describe as a "tall man" enter the room. I felt him walk right up behind me, and I braced myself for what might happen next.
I can't explain it ... I couldn't actually see him, but he was as real as any human being I've never met. I expected the cold again, but as he moved closer I felt a wonderful, warm, comforting embrace. A sense of peace flooded over me and I suddenly felt more safe than I'd ever felt in my life.
Never again was I fearful in the old house. To this day, I believe the "tall man" was an angel of protection ... and an answer to my prayers.
I told my husband about the tall man, and he shrugged it off, as he did most stories relating to possible supernatural activity.
In 1994, our son, Adam, was born. Because his father worked nights a lot, and we didn't really have a room in the house to use as a nursery, Adam shared my room for the first two years of his life.
Adam was a delightfully imaginative little boy! As soon as he could talk, he created an imaginary friend he referred to as "his boy". As imaginary friends tend to do, "his boy" went everywhere with Adam. We loved hearing Adam tell stories of the escapades he and his boy had together.
Once he outgrew his baby bed, we knew it was time that Adam had a room of his own. The only available space in the house was the old parlor. It was conveniently located one room away from the master bedroom, therefore a more viable option than putting him upstairs or at the other end of the house.
Not long after he began sleeping in his big-boy bed in the parlor, Adam woke me up one night wanting to know if he could sleep with me instead. He was obviously scared, so I helped him climb into our bed and snuggled up close to him.
I asked him if he'd had a bad dream and he said "no" He went on to explain that he'd been in his bed, trying to sleep but his boy ... and a little girl in a white nightgown ... had come into the room and started jumping on his pillow. He told them to stop and they refused. This upset Adam and he started to cry.
Then, he explained, "A big tall man came into the room and told them to leave him alone." They paid attention to the "big tall man" and stopped jumping. By then, Adam was done with it all and decided he'd sleep with me instead.
I shuddered to hear my toddler son describe both the little girl, and the "tall man" I already sensed to be sharing our abode. I'd not mentioned my own encounters with them to anyone else but my husband. Certainly I never would have said anything to my youngest child about such matters.
We stayed in the old house until Adam was five years old, then moved to another beautiful Victorian home in another city. In the meantime, I'd taught Adam that he had authority over any unusual beings he might encounter in our home. I told he that he was an "anointed warrior" and therefore had no need to be afraid. Nothing could touch, or hurt him.
Oddly enough, Adam's "boy" did not move to the next house with us and neither did the little girl in the white gown. I've sensed a protective spirit from time to time since then, but not necessarily one I would describe as the same "tall man" Maybe he stayed behind too, to watch over the residents who moved into the Queen Anne home when we left.
One of these days I intend to stop by there for a visit, just to ask if they've met any members of the trio. I'm just not totally convinced that I really want to know ...