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As Halloween draws near, I like to repost a series of true life tales about the hauntings, ghosts, and demons I experienced growing up, and later when I had children of my own.

While I don’t ”intellectually” believe in ghosts and the supernatural, I cannot deny that the physical and psychic phenomena which I and so many others–-indeed, all known cultures and societies–-have laid claim to, are “real.” The reality they seem to have is unexplained, often unverifiable, and usually fleeting and ephemeral. And yet they persist in haunting humanity.

Throughout history, people whom we usually credit with intelligence and integrity have reported ghostly experiences, among them the psychologist Carl Jung, President Theodore Roosevelt, and Sir Winston Churchill, as well as a host of current well-known celebrities, such as Matthew McConaughey, Kate Hudson, and Halle Berry.

I can neither explain, verify, nor dismiss the reality of the experiences that I relate here. I can only state that these things occurred as I remember them, or as others I trust related them to me. And most were witnessed by more than one person.

You can read the full series of ghost stories at the links below. I’ve included excerpts from each. Enjoy!

Every night after my mother heard my prayers and tucked me into bed, I would pull the covers tight over my head and stay there until I fell asleep. I knew somehow that no harm would come to me if I followed this ritual. And no harm ever did come to me.

I might well have been terrified had I heard what my parents heard at night as they slept in the room below mine.

We had already decided to move when my mother entered the small room upstairs that had been used for storage because it was “too cold” for human habitation. She was trying to move boxes out of the room when something unseen attacked her.  It threw her to the floor and pinned her down so that she could not move. All she could do was scream for help.

That night my mother woke from an extremely vivid dream where Margaret (her mother-in-law) had come to her weeping so hard she could not speak. She hung onto my mother so tightly it scared her. It felt as if Margaret was trying to climb inside her body and she had to fight her off. The next morning my mother . . .  discovered that Margaret had died that night. 

Shortly after moving in, I became increasingly afraid to be alone in the house. I was okay when Dale was at home. But as soon as he left for work, a creepy feeling overwhelmed me. As I walked through the house I was aware of something sinister and malicious watching me. It was as if the walls had eyes that followed me everywhere. As if I was living in the belly of the Beast.

Have you ever awoken from sleep to find yourself paralyzed with fear as if something dark and evil sitting on your chest has pinned you down? You try to scream or move, but find that you cannot. You are overcome with terror. It’s more common than you think. And it happened to me several times.

It was like a dark, evil twin had taken over me, and I was as horrified as my little friend by what was happening . . . I like to think now that it was that sad, angry, stalking presence that haunted our house that tried, unsuccessfully, to inhabit me . . . I had a taste of what true evil feels like, with all its sense of pleasure and power, and I did not like it. 

So are the ghosts, demons, and other supernatural beings that have haunted humans through the centuries, that make brief appearances and then disappear, “real”? I do not know, and I’m not sure if it even matters. They are real enough to those who experience them, as least while they are experiencing them, and then afterwards, one wonders.

Each of us make but brief ghostly appearances in this world we call real. We apparently spring from nearly nothing–-a few multiplying cells, and then disappear into nothing as our bodies disintegrate after a short visitation that can last a few days or a few decades. Are we “real”?

I’d loved to hear your ghost stories. Have you had any brushings with the supernatural?