It was the first weekend of December, 1992. A large bonfire casting it's luminous flames against the murky waters of the moat surrounding Fort Jackson offered a meager warmth to people gathered nearby. The usual rounds of beer and gin helped ease the bitter cold of that particular winter. The weekend festival had been a rough one. I was sitting further away on a nearby picnic bench when I saw one of my friends walk from the fire towards me. When it looked like he was going to continue down the path instead of stopping, I called to him, hoping he would stop. He didn't. He kept walking. Five steps down the path, he vanished. No Mark, no footsteps, nothing...he was just gone. Weird. Even weirder when I went to the bonfire and discovered that Mark was there...had never left the fire, and I had just seen my first full blown apparition.
That wasn't my first paranormal experience. Growing up in my mom's house, I had already experienced the bumps, shakes, and sounds in the night. Of course cabinet doors that creak open and beds that shudder and shake can be explained away. The voice that whispers "hey" or "Alex" in your ear while you are walking through the dark kitchen towards the bathroom can always be shrugged off as your imagination going haywire from late night novels. But this...I was wide awake, sober, and an adult (if you can call being twenty-three an adult). He was real, tall, dark, and right there in front of me and in not even a blink of an eye, was gone. It wasn't until later that I realized that even though the ground was littered with the fallen leaves of the trees around, his footsteps made no sound at all.
Now, don't think I went chasing after this phantom. No way, not me. I'm one of the world's biggest scaredy cats. Hell, I won't go down my hall unless I can turn the light on first. BUT, I am totally fascinated with the paranormal. Wednesday nights will find me sitting in my dimly lit living room following Jason and Grant investigate supposed hauntings around the US, and now even abroad. I am their biggest fan, not literally though...hopefully. Sometime in April, a few friends and I plan on visiting one of the spots they have deemed "haunted," the Myrtle Plantation located in New Orleans. I plan on being scared out of my mind. Hopefully, when it's time to leave, my mind will return.
However, there is one area of the paranormal I will never mess with...ever...and that would be the occult. Never. Ever. But a long time ago, I did. I was young. I was stupid. I was stupid (did I say that already?), and I will never do it again. I won't even go in to detail, but to needless to say that a Ouija board will never pass through my doors again. Heed my shadowed warning. They may seem harmless, slumber party cheap scare tactics, but they are nothing to trifle with. Even the heroic Jason and Grant won't mess with them. Enough said!
I know I'm not the only one fascinated with the "other" side. What is it about them that scares the living out of me, but keeps me compelled to want to experience more. Why do I thrill on the scare I get every time I turn on Ghost Hunters or Paranormal? What is it about the unknown that scares the living out of us, but keeps us coming back for more. Hrm...
My girls swear they have seen shadow people (and in my own house...creepy). I've had pots taken out of my kitchen cabinets and placed on the floor. Do you think I could get Jason and Grant to come over?