I’ve just finished watching a mini-series on the BBC called Remember Me, which was a good old-fashioned ghost story. It was supposed to be spooky. It had the lot. A rocking chair rocking on its own, doors slamming, unexplained phenomena, not to mention weird music and bangs to make you jump. It didn’t scare me though, I don’t believe in ghosts.
Nonetheless, perhaps Christmas is a time when we think about them whether we believe in them or not. Well, we all know about Scrooge and his ghosts of Christmas past, present and future. Certainly we think about loved ones that we’ve lost over the years. We might hear the echo of their laughter over the turkey, or their voice singing Christmassy tunes.
Whilst nothing has yet has convinced me that spirits walk the earth rattling chains, with their head under their arms, or that they are vaguely wafting about waiting to give us a fright, I have had one or two odd experiences that other, more open minded sorts, might put down to ghostly goings on.
In particular two incidents stand out as being just so real both at the time, and even in retrospect, that I am left with the feeling that, though completely explainable, these things were out of the ordinary.
The first time was when I was in Florida.
My father-in-law was a wonderful man, kind and jovial. Sadly he died aged just 64 from Mesothelioma, an asbestos related lung cancer. Before he died, and unbeknownst to us, he left instructions and enough money to make sure that we took our daughters to Disneyland and had a fabulous time. At the time we were scrimping and scraping our way through life, so this gift was unimaginably generous, and we were all extremely excited.
We spent our first week enjoying the delights of Disney, and the second at St Pete’s beach, which was equally wonderful in its own way. While we were there, I was woken in the middle of the night by the phone ringing. The girls were asleep in the bed next to us, so I quickly jumped up and sat on the edge of the bed to answer it before it woke them too. I remember the conversation exactly:
‘Yes, who’s that?’
‘But you’re dead’ (I know, I was a bit blunt..it was the middle of the night)
‘Don’t you worry about that. I just wanted to know if you’re enjoying yourself?’
‘Yes, yes, its fabulous and thank you so much, but…how are you ringing me, you’re dead’ (I know, rubbing it in)
‘Don’t worry about it, as long as you’re all having a good time. Are the girls ok’
‘Yes, they’re fine. How are you ringing me??’
That was it. I got no more, just the dialling tone. I put the phone back on the hook, lay back down and went back to sleep. When I woke up, momentarily, I believed it was real, but of course, it had been one of those really vivid dreams. I had wanted so much to tell him just how grateful I was that, without realising, I’d wished myself into dreaming of that contact.
The second time was when I was in a car crash. I was waiting to turn right into the road where we live. It was Friday evening and I’d dropped the kids off at St John’s (they were members from the age of six until their teens), so I was, fortunately, on my own. I was minding my own business, waiting for a gap in the stream of traffic heading towards me on the other side of the road, when there was an enormous thump. A car, travelling at speed had hit me in the back and sent me careering across the road into the oncoming traffic. I can vividly remember my confusion. I had no idea what had happened, just knew the car was moving without my having done anything.
Now it can only have been a split second, but as others will testify, time slows down, we go into slow-mo when something like that happens, and in that split second I quite clearly heard a voice. It sounded like my nan. She shouted at me
‘Kaye you have to steer….and brake..NOW.’
It woke me up from the shock and I managed to safely bring the car to a halt. As I say, a split second and I’m pretty sure it was my subconscious initialising a safety procedure. The car was a write-off, but apart from a bit of whiplash and shock I was fine, and I’m sure it was just the shock that left me with that slightly odd feeling.
Of course many people believe our spirits live on and equally as many have a belief in reincarnation. Again, I’m afraid it sounds far-fetched to me. But I can concede that often children seem wiser than their years, or people have skills they appear to have been born with. They have vocations or yearnings that would appear to have come from nowhere and I’ll be open with you here.
For many years, I have longed to visit Japan. I have a fascination for all things Japanese. Unusually for a Westerner, I can listen to, and get lost in, Koto music for as long as you like. I dream of mountains, and gardens, and cherry blossom. So much so, that in fact, I’ve often said that I must have been Japanese in a past life. But it is said facetiously. I don’t really believe it.
Or do I?
Let me know if you’ve had any weird experiences like this. I’d like to think it’s not just me!