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Readers' Stories of the Paranormal

In the routine of our everyday lives, it's often easy to forget how remarkable the world can be. Yet every once in a while, the commonplace, the "normality" of the day-to-day is shaken up by astonishing, sometimes eerie events that are not easily explained. Take, for example, these true stories from readers of fleeting ghosts and shadows, amazing coincidence, and startling premonitions:

Girl of His Dreams
In 1974 in high school, I fell asleep during class and had a strange dream. I saw a beautiful woman of Asian descent standing next to me talking to me in some strange language. She then disappeared like she was being beamed up in "Star Trek" and I woke up screaming, "Who are you?" I started having the same dream on a monthly basis for the next seven years. One day I was in South Korea teaching for the US military. That morning I had the last dream I have had in this series. In this last dream the woman spoke to me in Korean, which I understood by then, saying "Don't worry, I'll meet you soon."

That evening, I stepped off a bus and stood face-to-face with the girl in the dream! I proposed three days later, married her six week later and we have been married almost 20 years. I can't explain how this happened, other than to speculate that we knew each other in a prior life, had some sort of tragic love affair and vowed to meet somehow in the next life. - Jake A.

Followed By the Shadow Man
The first time I saw the words "Shadow People," it really startled me because the term perfectly described something a close friend of mine encountered years ago. One sunny afternoon, he and I were walking through a heavily wooded area of a park and he all of a sudden became very agitated and wanted to leave. I pressed him for several hours as to his change of mood.

He finally told me a story about when he was 11 years old. He and his older brother shared a bedroom. In the middle of the night he awoke to see a black outline of a person standing it the center of the room. He couldn't see details such as arms or legs, but there was definitely a neck and head, and the top of the head was a little wider and seemed to him to be the brim of a hat. He was sure that this was not a shadow because he could not see through it (streetlights shined through the windows, so the room was not pitch dark). It seemed to have some depth to it. He said that he ducked under the blankets and stayed that way for several minutes. When he peeked out again, the thing was still there, but it had moved to another spot in the room. After about 10 more minutes of hiding under his blanket, he looked out again and saw the thing standing right next to his bed and it seemed to him almost like it was leaning forward a bit. At this point he started crying and put the blanket back over his head. He did not remove the cover until his mother came in to wake him in the morning.

I asked him why he was thinking about this incident now and he said that he saw "it" in the woods where we were walking. - Diane W.

Cemetery Ghost
My daughter, my husband and I do some charity cleaning with others at a turn-of-the-century cemetery, Evergreen Cemetery. As the men and my daughter were pouring water into a dirty vase, we were talking about eight more graves we needed to really clean that we had just found among bushes and thorns. I then noticed an elderly lady walking slowly toward a grave. It appeared that she was reading it. So I told my daughter to wait there while I went to see the lady. My daughter kept on washing other vases. I started walking toward the grave where I had seen her. As I kept my eyes toward where she was... she disappeared! Etched on the grave she was reading was the name Isabelle. Was it hers? The gravesite was very old and dirty, so I brought over some flowers from the ones I donated and placed them on her grave. One week later, her grave was cleaned again but now with fresh planted flowers! It seemed Isabelle knew that some of her relatives were coming to plant them for her as she wished.

Faerie Rock
When I was about eight or nine, I went to a Girl Scout camp. I had heard that faeries lived there, but wasn't really sure. There was a rock close to our cabin that we called Faerie Rock. It was covered with many different colors that no matter how hard we would try to wipe them off, we couldn't. There was a large hole that went into the middle of the rock, but we couldn't see the inside. A few of us stuck our heads in there to try to see some things. Some said they saw a head or something, but since all that happened to me was a fantastic smell when I peeked in, I wasn't sure if they were telling the truth. That night, our last night at camp, I was having a hard time getting to sleep. All of a sudden, at around 1:00 a.m., someone else who was awake yelled, "Look! Faeries!" Sure enough, when I looked through the window next to her bed, I saw a group of small lights flying by. They were a bit bigger than fireflies. Seeing that really made me a believer of faeries. - Carrie M.

Impossible Phone Call
My uncle died a week before Christmas, 2001. This devastated his family, his son and daughter more than any. In April, 2002, his son was at work and left his mobile phone in the car while he went to a shop. On return he had three missed calls registered, two from his wife - and one from his father's mobile phone. He was really distressed by this and is searching for an explanation. When his dad died, they removed the sim card from the original phone belonging to his dad and gave the phone to a grandchild. The sim card was thrown away into the refuse. We hope that it is a sign. Could dad really be trying to ease his son's pain by making this effort from the other side? - Sonaya

My Son Saw a Ghost
On April 20, 2002, I had just put my baby daughter to bed and told my son to go brush his teeth. A few minutes later he came into my bedroom and said, "Mom, I just saw a ghost." We had not been talking about ghosts, nor is he the kind to make up stories. I asked him exactly what he saw. His reply was, "It looked like an army man because of his hair. He had a plaid shirt, glasses and a moustache." Then I asked where he had seen the ghost, to which he answered, "It came out of the mirror in my bathroom." Trying to lighten the mood, I jokingly asked him, "What did it do, sit on your sink?" He was very serious and scared. "No," he said, "it stepped through my sink and looked at me. Then it went back in the mirror."

By this time I was a little scared. We went back into his bathroom, but nothing was there. I told him I believed him, and we said a prayer and went to sleep. About an hour later, I noticed that it was becoming very hot in the house. It was nearing summertime; we'd had temperatures in the 80s and 90s, so we keep the air running even at night. I went downstairs to double-check, and the heat was turned up! I definitely did not turn it on, and my son is too small to reach the thermostat. My husband was out of town at the time. We live in a brand new house on a military base. We are the first family to live here. I'm just wondering if a soldier got killed somewhere nearby... and can't find his way "home."

Coincidental Tunes
My friend and I experienced a very strange coincidence several years back that still has us scratching our heads. She had purchased a new CD - a compilation of songs from the '60s. We went for a drink after work that night and I asked her if we could have the bartender play her new CD on the stereo. She was hesitant because she was afraid we'd forget it, but agreed. Well, of course, we did forget it and when I realized it the next day, I told her I'd call the bar and ask them to hold the disk for me until I could pick it up after work. I called the bar, asked the bartender to look for the CD, and read him the rundown of songs on the disk from the empty case my friend had given me, so it would be easy to locate. He quickly found it and agreed to hold it for me until after work. When I went to pick it up, he handed me the CD - and to my shock and amazement it was the wrong one. This CD had every single song, in the same exact order, as my friend's CD, but they were "covers" by other musicians, not the original recordings of the songs. Isn't that bizarre? - Jean-Chris M.

The Clerk's Final Farewell
My husband Frank and I run our own business. Our junior clerk, Darren, was more like a brother and friend than an employee to us. We knew he'd been having some rather traumatic times with his girlfriend, but as he was simultaneously doing brilliantly at university, we assumed that he was strong enough to cope with romantic tangles.

We bade goodbye to Darren shortly before Christmas, 1989 as we were setting off on a two-month tour of the country. He seemed quite cheerful when we asked how his love life was, and we were happy when he reassured us that everything between them was fine. When we returned to Melbourne, Frank decided to go to the races at Flemington the following day, which was a Saturday. When he returned, he said to me, "Guess who I saw at Flemington? It was Darren." I said, "I never knew he gambled. In fact, I thought he was against it!" My husband replied, "Well, he did look a bit sheepish when I spoke to him." I said, "Are you sure it was Darren?" Even as I spoke, I realized it was a silly question. Darren was a very unusual looking youth - one could describe him as "pretty" with his soft features, beautiful complexion, and doe-like eyes. Frank confirmed that it was Darren, looking as he always did. He had greeted Darren, who had smiled, as though embarrassed to be caught betting, and then the crowds separated them for a moment. My husband saw Darren walk away, then turn once again to give his usual, enigmatic smile before disappearing once more into the throngs.

Frank then realized that he hadn't reminded Darren to come in and do the bookkeeping. He asked me to ring Darren and arrange for him to do this task the following day. I rang Darren's home, and his girlfriend answered. When I asked for him, she became rather cagey. Finally I said, "Look, I'm his employer and we need him to do the books." She said, "Yes, now I know who you are. Darren doesn't live here anymore." I said, "Well, can you give me his new address and phone number then?" Eventually, after a lot of hedging about, the girlfriend told me that Darren was dead.

I nearly fell over with the shock. I asked if he'd been killed in a car crash en route home from the races the previous day. She was very taken aback and told me that Darren had never been to the races in his life. I said, "Yes, he was at Flemington. My husband saw him there yesterday, but forgot to mention the bookwork to him, which is why I'm ringing now." The girlfriend responded shakily, "That's not possible. You see, he died on New Year's Day, by drowning himself."

We visited the grave, checked the obituaries and spoke to the police who'd been in charge of the coronial enquiries. It took many weeks before the realization of his suicide fully sank in, and my husband, a rationalist who does not believe at all in the supernatural, was very perturbed. He reasoned that he must have seen somebody who resembled Darren. To this I replied that when they had met, near the bookmakers' booths, they were only a meter apart, and Frank could hardly have been mistaken at that short distance! Personally, I keep an open mind about ghosts. I like to think that Darren was saying farewell to us and I sincerely hope, wherever he now is, that he has peace. - F. Lata
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