Living With the Paranormal

Here's a story about my life that many of you might not know.

Even at a young age, I was already exposed to the paranormal. My nanny, who comes from a place here in the Philippines steeped in mystery and superstition, always told me bedtime stories involving creatures only found in our country. We have our version of witches that can cause sickness. We have women who grow wings on a full moon and leave their legs on the ground while they fly in search of their next victim. I can go on and on about local folklore, but it’s the ghost stories I loved best.

My nanny always told me I had the gift of attracting the paranormal. As a young child, what was I to make of the declaration? I listened to her stories and went to sleep having nightmares, but I always thought it was all in good fun. Only when I got older did I begin to understand what she’d meant about attracting the paranormal. And I honestly don’t call it a gift.

Even after I no longer needed a nanny, my fascination with the paranormal continued. I loved watching Halloween specials where they featured haunted houses, and I’m a huge fan of Ghost Adventures. But I digress.

In this letter, I wanted to share some of my brushes with the paranormal. Some are heartwarming while the latest one has left me sleeping with a nightlight on.

I first encountered the paranormal in high school. A beloved family friend had died. At the time, I knew very little of the concept of death. I mourned his passing, but didn’t expect he would visit me in my dreams a week after his burial. Some call this the visitation. Since we were close, I didn’t think much of seeing him in all white standing outside the house I lived in at the time. He waved at me, a smile on his face. Then he went into the house and disappeared. I opened my eyes soon afterward.

My second paranormal experience happened when I was home alone. My parents had gone to the supermarket and I was lying in bed upstairs thinking of watching television to pass the time. The grandfather clock in the living room chimed five times. At the last chime, the scent of flowers filled the room I was in. It was the sweetest of smells.

Instead of feeling fear, I felt a sense of comfort. I got up from the bed to investigate where the scent was coming from. I thought my mother had returned from the supermarket. I called down the stairs for her, but there was no answer. I searched the whole house, but I soon realized I was still alone. The funny thing is the smell was confined to the room I was in and nowhere else in the house. When I told my mother about this, she asked me to describe the scent. I recalled it the best I could and when I finished she said it was the perfume her grandmother loved to wear. She grew up with her grandmother—my great grandmother—so she knows the smell well. She told me it must have been my great grandmother checking up on me. Every year since, on November 1, at 5PM, no matter where I am, I get a whiff of her perfume. I light a candle in her honor since November 1 in the Philippines in considered All Souls Day—when we honor the dead.

My latest paranormal experience happened earlier this year.

They say dogs see what we don’t. I believe this because when we had a dog, he would follow me everywhere; especially to my room where he loved to hang out. One night, I climbed the stairs with him at my heels. Once we reached the hallway that led to my room, he stopped at the entrance while I stood by my door. My dog sat down and began barking. Not the straight kind of barking. He would bark then pause a beat then bark again, looking beyond where I stood at a dark corner of the hallway where the light doesn’t seem to reach for some reason. I called my dog’s name, asking him to come. I even had my room door open, but he wouldn’t budge. He just kept barking at whatever was beyond me. A chill raced down my spine. I went to my dog and picked him up, bringing him to my room. It was only then that he stopped barking.

Months later, I was just about to fall asleep when I felt the presence of someone in my room. I opened my eyes and reached for the lamp. I switched the light on and there was no one there. I turned off the light and went back to sleep. The next night, the same thing. This continued for about three more nights. By the end of the week, I was convinced someone was in my room watching me sleep. One particular night, I was already half-asleep when the corner of my bed jerked like someone was passing by and had stubbed a toe on it. I bolted upright. I flicked on the light, and like before, nothing was there. You have to understand that my bed is heavy. It takes a great amount of force to move it, let alone jerk a corner of it.

Since then, I could only sleep if my bedside lamp is on.

I’d like to think that it’s because I have the light on that whatever it was stopped harassing me. I’m pretty much crossing my fingers, because if my nanny was right and I do attract the paranormal, it’s going to be a long life.

Guess what? The Bizarre States podcast actually reads this story in their 99th episode! Check it out:

For reals. Do any of you have experiences with the paranormal? Let me know in the comments section. I'd love to read your stories.

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