Anyone Seen An Apparition?

mac

Administrator
Thanks Baob, it's actually terrifying. Dead people are not supposed to be! I still feel nervous in the dark. Terrifying, but thrilling!

I've told this short tale many times. :)

Some years ago - a LOT of years ago! - I was learning my stuff and notionally being helped by a psychic/medium. As we got to know each other better I began to organise venues for her to give demonstrations and teach. One night we got talking after folk had left one of the sessions.

Long story short my medium friend was frightened of the dark in a similar way to kids (and adults!) who are scared of seeing ghosts and ghouls when it's dark. I was amused at that but more shocked she'd be afraid of encountering 'things' in the dark given she was a psychic/medium.

I guess I'd also be startled and alarmed if I encountered something in my own home when it was dark because it's instinct. I would hope, though, I'd only be excited rather than scared once I realised it was a spirit visitor but until that actually happens I won't know! :D
 

Ruby

Significant Contributor
I suppose it must be instinctive to be wary when we can't see what's around us.

I was thinking about children's imaginary friends. I had one apparently, and my mother used to set an extra place setting at the table as she said I'd insist on it. Someone I know said their grand-daughter went through a stage of having one, and their dog would be looking in the same direction and showing signs of seeing the friend. Another said her three children had one, and as adults they had a discussion about it and they said they hadn't realised the child wasn't really there. This lady and her husband could sometimes see the faint swing of a skirt out of the corner of their eyes as their children ran about.
 

Ruby

Significant Contributor
An intriguing report popped into my inbox today: Santa Montfiori has seen Tara's ghost twice! It's interesting that twice is fine, but every day would suggest a mental disorder! (I'm joking).
British members will remember Tara Palmer-Tomkinson as a glamorous socialite and "it girl" in the 1990's, and her elder sister Santa as a novelist who is married to Simon Sebag-Montefiori, the historian and occasional television presenter. Their parents are old friends of Prince Charles, and I seem to remember the girls' unusual names have a connection to a South American grandmother, or somesuch. Anyway, apparently Tara is happy where she is! Santa has been dabbling in a few mediumship classes and has included her amazing experiences in a recent novel entitled "Here and Now". I will have to look out for it, as I very much admire Santa and Simon. I'm so glad for Santa that this has happened. It really takes all the gloom and doom away.
 

Ruby

Significant Contributor
Regarding the above post, it is understandable that people who have seen a ghost are interested in hearing from others who have had the same experience. We are eager to hear if others have more insight than we do. Our individual experience is necessarily limited. A notable feature of paranormal experiences is the absolute conviction that something out of the ordinary has happened. Most people are familiar with hallucinations and altered states of consciousness. They can't explain why, but they just know that their so-called paranormal experience had a very different quality. This doesn't seem to be a rational conviction, more of an emotional one. However, because we trust our rational, logical thinking over our intuitive side, when questioned by skeptics, we fail to make a good impression. Why this universal strong sense of conviction though, which refutes all normal explanations?
 

Ruby

Significant Contributor
Are we all just fooling ourselves though? I've only watched Derren Brown about once as I prefer just sleight of hand type magic tricks, but I read a TV review as he was on the box the other night. The reviewer said much depends on his absolute self-belief. He can subliminally plant words and numbers in people's subconscious. "He can't know for certain that it's going to work, but his confidence and charisma don't falter and it pays off". Apparently he made an atheist have a religious experience, and persuaded a woman she was dead by looking at her body in a car crash. He says he executes his psychological illusions to make a wider philosophical point, such as exposing charlatan psychics or challenging religious claims. Am I talking to myself on this thread?!
 

mac

Administrator
Are we all just fooling ourselves though? I've only watched Derren Brown about once as I prefer just sleight of hand type magic tricks, but I read a TV review as he was on the box the other night. The reviewer said much depends on his absolute self-belief. He can subliminally plant words and numbers in people's subconscious. "He can't know for certain that it's going to work, but his confidence and charisma don't falter and it pays off". Apparently he made an atheist have a religious experience, and persuaded a woman she was dead by looking at her body in a car crash. He says he executes his psychological illusions to make a wider philosophical point, such as exposing charlatan psychics or challenging religious claims. Am I talking to myself on this thread?!

On the last point, Ruby - yes!
 

Ruby

Significant Contributor
This is an interesting experience from a parapsychology course I took online in June. The guy's father had died earlier in the day, and he had gone to bed. He had been told of the death. He heard his father call his name. Meanwhile, his girlfriend was working late and had gone to the fridge to get a bottle of water. In the reflective metal fridge door she saw the father leave the bedroom and walk out of the flat!
 

Ruby

Significant Contributor
A strange thing happened today. I got up early and sat in the living room with a book, when I noticed something move outside the window in the garden, at the corner of my vision. When I turned to look I clearly saw a bright, thin upright shape move quickly behind our dining room, at right angles to where I was sitting. I doubt there's any connection to what happened later today, yet I can't quite dismiss the notion. We had a call to say my mother-in-law is dangerously ill in her care home, having suddenly become ill with pneumonia and sepsis and have been granted an end-of-life visit. So a sad end to the day, although she had a happy and healthy life and lived until her mid-eighties.
 

bluebird

Major Contributor
Ruby,

Perhaps what you saw was a reflection? I have a glass art piece, kind of a suncatcher, hanging in my living room window. It's about 12 inches tall and maybe 1.5 inches wide, in shades of green. When my heat comes on (it's forced air, and there's a vent in the ceiling), the suncatcher is gently moved by the moving air, and at some times of day (which determines the position of the sun) it casts quite a bright reflection/prism on the floor or wall. Maybe something in your home (a crystal, a glass, a metal picture frame, etc.) is creating a similar situation.

On the other hand, I have read accounts of people who are near death (and I'm sorry if that's the case with your MIL) leaving their bodies and visiting loved ones, even being seen by loved ones who didn't know they were ill or injured, and then regaining consciousness later -- in other words, the spirit was travelling prior to death, as opposed to afterwards. Maybe that's what you saw.

If she is dying, then I wish her a peaceful and easy transition, and peace for your family.
 

Ruby

Significant Contributor
Thanks Bluebird, she died late last night, but had eaten breakfast so it didn't sound as if it was too bad a time for her. This house has huge windows as built in 1960's and I'm used to reflections like that, but this was something different. I've no idea what it was, but it was on my mind all day. If it was something spooky, I've come to realise that outbreaks of psi are spontaneous and uncontrollable and I can just ponder them in the passing!
 

Ruby

Significant Contributor
We've arrived home from an overnight trip to see the family, and naturally there was mention of our son who died four years ago. I told my mother-in-law's friend and his daughter about the light, then thought I should have kept quiet. She is a highly no-nonsense career lawyer and I expected her to think me ridiculous. I'm not saying it's not for the brainy, but loads of people aren't aware that any serious research has ever been done or they think these phenomena are fictional if they give it any thought at all, which is doubtful. It's not a subject much raised in polite company. She then said her mother, dead many years, saw her father/grandfather appear after his death. She said her mother thought a long time had passed during the appearance, but found her cup of tea was still hot. Also she had experienced several apports. Well I never! These apparitional episodes are much more common than people realise.
 

Ruby

Significant Contributor
In my newspaper today:- Audrey Hepburn said as she lay dying in 1993 that she could see people sitting at the end of the bed waiting for her.
 

bluebird

Major Contributor
In my newspaper today:- Audrey Hepburn said as she lay dying in 1993 that she could see people sitting at the end of the bed waiting for her.
That's not an uncommon story; I know I've read other anecdotes in which dying people related similar experiences. The theory is that dead loved ones come to help the person who is about to die to transition into the afterlife. I don't know if that's actually what's going on, but I hope so -- it's a lovely idea.
 

mac

Administrator
Accounts of dying people seeing their family gathering around their bed are pretty commonplace and additionally medical staff sometimes 'break silence' by telling of their experiences of seeing patients talking to them shortly before they pass over.

Perhaps it happens for many but perhaps most of us just don't get to hear. We've held discussions here on ALF about signs and symbols. These are examples.
 

Ruby

Significant Contributor
I've recently heard about the strange experiences people can have in flotation tanks. Somewhere in the house I have a voucher as a birthday present for the Flotarium, a place local to me, but it was given to me in 1993 and I wasn't keen!
Parapsychologists have been experimenting with a researcher in a tank trying to discern what are the moving images of film clips played on a computer screen, then drawing them on coming out the tank (after the interval time of having a shower!) Results could be rough shapes: a jelly fish, mushroom, hot air balloon. Apparently the guesses have proved more favourable than chance for "remote viewing".
I think it was Michael Portillo I saw recently on television trying one out and saying what a remarkably strange experience it was.
It has long been known that sensory deprivation can lead to altered states of consciousness. Are the visions the creation of one's own mind or is the mind reaching out in some way and getting the information from somewhere else or some other entity or source?
It is similar to the Ganzfield studies in that all distractions in the environment are gone, and the mind is quietened completely. Is psi captured?
The tanks are to be found in health and beauty salons as the magnesium salts can be absorbed by the body and total relaxation is good for aches and pains. The water is at body temperature and it is impossible to sink! Having had spooky experiences I'll pass, thank you very much, but others might like to try it when life starts again after the pandemic.
 

Ruby

Significant Contributor
A few weeks ago a journalist who writes a feature column in my quality newspaper wrote about a "ghost" who appeared in his room in the night wearing Elizabethan costume. He found out in the morning that his son in the room next door witnessed a ghost an hour later dressed as a monk. It must have been convincing for both as they thought to defend the house against an intruder, and the son leapt out of bed with raised fists ready for a fight. The father said he was completely spooked, had never seen anything like it in his life, but was getting over it, and "beer helped".
 

mac

Administrator
The father said he was completely spooked, had never seen anything like it in his life, but was getting over it, and "beer helped".

Oh I'm all for that! :D Same remedy if you're feeling gloomy about being stuck indoors during lockdown. Or a G&T, or a whisky and dry ginger.....:D
 

mac

Administrator
I'd be concerned if there was anyone around to notice bar thee and me and most times there's only me!
 

Ruby

Significant Contributor
I've been reading this thread to see if I ever posted the following extraordinary story.
It was told on the Lincoln ghost walk. Stories told on these tours are not usually of this nature. The tour leader said that a middle-aged man had approached her as she was leading a tour group and said that he had been driving his car along a quiet country road when he looked in the rear view mirror and for a second or two saw sitting in the back seat a school friend who had died as a child. The shock caused him to pull to a stop which probably saved his life, as a lorry had swerved across the road in front of him out of sight around the next bend.
 

Ruby

Significant Contributor
A friend gave me a book called "Raising Faith" by Claire Waters which I found a worthwhile read. The writer's daughter Faith reported seeing apparitions in the house from the age of four and her younger brother was discovered to have the same ability. It seems to have been the matter of fact manner the daughter spoke about what she was seeing that made her mother pay attention. Parents know that when young children play their games are always changing, but the child was consistent in her reporting and she hasn't grown out of it now at the age of twelve. The writer accepted her daughter was experiencing visits from dead grandparents and sometimes strangers and she then delved straight into studying and developing her own psychic ability, and learning everything she could about the spirit world, which she readily accepts exists. Her husband thinks there must be a more ordinary explanation for what's going on. The writer was concerned and frightened for her children at the beginning but accepted that since Faith sleeps through the night despite saying spirit people are in her bedroom, there didn't seem to be any reason for immediate concern. It's a short read at about a hundred pages and I'd have been happy to read a lot more from this author. She came across as a really wonderful mother, and she writes well. One little fun story:- the family are at the fun fair, sitting waiting for a rollercoaster to start. The writer asks her daughter if any spirit people are sitting in the carriages alongside them. The daughter replies there aren't, but as the ride starts she says they have jumped onboard. "They wait for the empty seats!" I probably over think these things I know, but I'd have thought with the seeming ability to zip about and materialise and disappear at will, a fairground ride wouldn't really do a lot for a spirit person!
 

Ruby

Significant Contributor
"Nearing the End of Life. A Guide for Relatives and Friends of the Dying" by Sue Brayne and Dr Peter Fenwick.
This short publication has been distributed to hospices here in the UK. It can be downloaded from the internet and has helpful advice for those in this situation. It is interesting that it has information on near-death experiences which can include seeing apparitions, and it states that they are far from rare, and this information is out there in the mainstream. I expect a lot of people, if not most, will be startled to read this kind of thing. Many will rationalise it away as an adaptation of the mind to help the dying, but some cases of this phenomenon involve others nearby, who are able to see what the dying person can see, which is naturally difficult to explain normally. The authors don't claim any spiritual or afterlife beliefs in the booklet.
I saw Dr Fenwick on a Zoom lecture recently and his advice is that when we are in the hospice situation, we approach death with curiosity. He really stressed the curiosity. We have to let go of everything material and the whole here and now and the process will be easier.
 

Ruby

Significant Contributor
Something occurred me after I wrote above about Dr Peter Fenwick's advice to approach death with curiosity and let go of everything material. The parapsychologist Lloyd Auerbach investigated a haunting case in the 1980's which is discussed in Lesley Kean's book, "Surviving Death", the one which became the Netflix series. There is some information online about this case, which is exceptional in that the family involved, specifically the young boy, seemed able to get verifiable information from the ghost. Lois, her name was, had always lived in the house and had a lifetime of not enough church and a lot of partying. She thought this might not bode well for her, so when she felt herself slipping away in the hospital she concentrated very hard on her home, and ended up back there, where she was content and she liked the new family who moved in. Apparently she was still there years later in the early 2000's as the owners would still get the odd glimpse of her, long after the boy had grown up and moved away. Such an interesting story. I must buy one of Lloyd Auerbach's books but I refuse to get them from Amazon. Even the sight of their vast, hideous warehouses is depressing, so I'll go to my local bookshop to order one. Anyway, it seems that the advice to approach death with curiosity if we are physically able and conscious would be worth taking, so we don't limit our horizons, whatever they might prove to be!!
 

Ruby

Significant Contributor
I meant to read the book "Hallucinations" by Oliver Sacks and have now read the pages which deal with bereavement. From what I see, he doesn't include cases which are hard to explain, which of course is the usual criticism. Nor can I find any of these cases on a quick search through the rest of it. There is no mention of joint experiences, for example. And no mention of so-called crisis after death communications, where the ADC happened before the experient was told about the death by normal means.
This seems strange as they are not uncommon. A survey of ADC's was carried out between 2018 and 2020 by Evelyn Elsaesser and colleagues (results online under EE's name) amongst English, French and Spanish speakers and detailed accounts were obtained from a description of the participants' most important ADC and 194 questions. 1,004 completed questionnaires were received and 20.7% of these reported ADC's were the crisis sort.
 

Ruby

Significant Contributor
Betty White, the famous American actress, has recently died aged ninety-nine and apparently her last word was "Allen?" This would likely refer to her late husband who died in 1981, Allen Ludden, also a television personality, presuming there were no other Allens in the room. Well, you have to check it wasn't an Allen junior. How interesting, maybe Betty saw an apparition!
 

ravensgate

Significant Contributor
You're ruining the spooky atmosphere of the thread!
Well, let's see if I can bring some of the spookiness back, Ruby! What I'm about to share happened several years ago. We were eating in the dining room that evening (we usually eat in the breakfast room). Between the dining room and the kitchen is the butler's pantry. A swinging door is between the butler's pantry and dining room. That evening we left the swinging door open. Our rottweiler (a sweetheart who had no conception of fear, lol) was resting on the dining room floor, close to us. Suddenly something caught her attention. She stood up and began growling. She was looking at the butler's pantry, and after her growling she began to bark; she'd "charge" toward whatever she was seeing and then back off. This went on for less than a minute, but it was quite the experience for us! We wondered what was going on, we looked but could see nothing, but for Baby Anne (our rottie) something/someone was there and ticking her off to no end! Eventually she settled down and that was it. Odd, eh?
 

Ruby

Significant Contributor
Ravensgate, I'm really pleased to read that at long last someone has seen an apparition!
I'm quite envious of the idea of a butler's pantry, but don't want to ruin the spooky atmosphere of the thread with worldly matters.
This is very interesting. Wouldn't we love to know exactly what Baby Anne could see!
 

ravensgate

Significant Contributor
Ravensgate, I'm really pleased to read that at long last someone has seen an apparition!
I'm quite envious of the idea of a butler's pantry, but don't want to ruin the spooky atmosphere of the thread with worldly matters.
This is very interesting. Wouldn't we love to know exactly what Baby Anne could see!
I would love to know! However, that was not the only time one of our pets sensed "something". One day I was sitting in the living room reading a magazine, and my German Shepherd was at my feet. There are pocket doors between the living room and dining room, and those doors were open; they're also quite wide. Anyway, she started following something, as if watching someone walking from one end of the dining room to the other. It was rather unnerving for me! o_Oo_O
Still, I believe one of my "best" experiences happened when I purposefully left my digital recorder our in one of the hallways. I did this shortly after a group of paranormal investigators visited our home.... let's just say my curiosity was at a whole new level after their visit, lol

Anyway, just as I was about to conclude that nothing was recorded, surprise! The recorder picked up the sounds of a little dog barking. I say little dog based on the pitch of the voice. We never had small dogs. Seconds later this is followed by a woman's voice telling the dog, "Stop it; be quiet!" You can clearly hear her quick steps on the wood floor; it sounded like they were both heading toward the front door. It was a brief recording but very, very clear!
One might wonder if something from the outside was picked up by the recorder, but that's not possible because there are no homes around us.... and besides, why would you hear the footsteps on the wood floor? Now, moving quite a few years later, I happened to visit with a relative of the original owner of our home. She described her aunt as a rather short woman, energetic, who used to have a small brown dog. I then thought the scratches at the bottom of several doors might have been the small dog's claws!
These may make for interesting spooky stories, but I am interested in an explanation (yes, I always want to entertain logical explanations:D!).
I have heard and read about "spirit imprints" but I'm not sure these are imprints. How would you explain them, Ruby?
 

Ruby

Significant Contributor
I haven't a clue. I believe it's future science. I listen to the likes of Bernard Carr and get so far, not far at all to be honest, and then am lost. I don't really understand the implications of any of it, the double slit experiment and so on. "The observer collapses the wave function". I think your recorder is the observer?!? I'm on such shaky ground here. Von Lucadou's ted talk?
 

Ruby

Significant Contributor
I didn't answer the question about the recording of the woman and the dog because when I asked myself: does this solution sound crazy, or does that idea sound completely mad, unfortunately all of it did. It was a very simple exchange; a barking dog and a woman's voice and the pattering of feet on a wooden floor. But it is a clear and proper communication between the two, which makes it more interesting than what is often recovered from these recordings. The "spirit imprints" I have heard reported tend to be brief sounds that when slowed down or otherwise altered say things like, "Go away", and seem to be a tad .. menacing. Maybe what ghost hunters imagine while spending the night in haunted places, although some of the words the recordings seem to say can fit well in the context.
 

Ruby

Significant Contributor
When we were staying in Retford in Nottinghamshire recently we were walking as it was getting dark along a terraced street and passed a parked car which belonged to Retford Ghost Hunters! I was so pleased to spot it. Great car (didn't say "We Believe You!" though!). I wonder how the car owner deals with all the attention as she drives around. If you were next to that car at the lights you'd want to check out who's driving. I enquired online about the company and what they do is virtual tours to subscribers who pay to join in, so they make money and this helps to pay for the electricity and equipment used, which is the most up to date technology. If anything is spotted they have a lot of screen grabs to consult and they think this has already worked in the case known as the Metheringham Lass. It's always impressive if there's more than one observer. I wonder why ghost hunters assume one identity for a suspected spirit, expecting it to be that of a local legend. Are there not more there? Do places teem with spirits just as they do with us living people but for some reason only one or two break through to be perceived by us? Loyd Auerbach is an authority on ghosts and has a very impressive case history, and I keep meaning to buy one of his books.
 

mac

Administrator
I used to be a member of the Chesterfield Spiritualist church and we had a couple of guys who were regular 'ghost hunters' around Chesterfield, Derbyshire generally and probably South Yorks and Nottinghamshire. They got together with another older guy from our congregation whose interest was more in the psychic field than the spiritual one. (I felt.) Its leader, though, was very much as myself, a dyed-in-the-wool simple Spiritualist so we got on very well.

Those were my introductory days into matters of the spirit and the religion of Spiritualism, before I found I no longer needed church attendance or to watch mediums demonstrating their gifts in them. :)

You've asked "Do places teem with spirits just as they do with us living people but for some reason only one or two break through to be perceived by us?" and my response is kinda and no. Places that we experience aren't there in the world of the spirit so if some spirits are perceived by some mortals in some places it's because our places kinda overlay the 'places' where these errant spirits congregate or live.

I see them as close to the 'fringes' of our dimension's frequency (it's hard to find better words) and the fringes of their own but please do remember they aren't living in physical places the way we live in physical ones.
 

Ruby

Significant Contributor
"Overlay" seems as helpful a term as anything else I've come across to try to explain it. But why "errant"?
 

Ruby

Significant Contributor
On Saturday I ran into an acquaintance I hadn't seen for about a decade and when she asked after my two boys I had to explain that I'd lost one to cancer, aged twenty-two. This lady taught him one year at school and she was fond of him, so she was very sorry. I hate people feeling sorry for me and I end up saying that I've had a few experiences, in a wink, wink, cheer everyone up kind of a way. This has not always worked out very well. Anyway, this time it did, as she immediately told me that when her close friend lost her husband both of them saw him in the kitchen at the same time. They found out later as both were so shocked and struck dumb. I wanted to find out more, but we were standing just outside the ladies' and it was noisy and difficult to hear! But it is interesting that these experiences stay at the forefront of the mind, never forgotten. You'd think they'd both notice if the other was in shock, but maybe there were others around and it wasn't the right time to claim to have seen a ghost. Above all, difficult to explain this experience by ordinary means, obviously, as two separate individuals are witnessing the same thing.
 

mac

Administrator
It's heartening - and often surprising I've found - when one bumps into a friend with whom one can share such experiences. Occasionally I've thrown out a few 'teaser' ideas and found an eager listener who then shared with me their story.

A few winters back I got chatting to a friend in Arizona, someone I knew to be a staunch mainstream churchgoer with a Bible-punching husband. As I cautiously offered her a few thoughts she immediately responded in kind and we stood for half an hour discussing death and life in the beyond. Her words astonished me as her ideas were so similar to the teachings and principles that have guided my approach for so long. Not at all what I'd expected from her.

I thought we'd found common ground and would chat again some time but we never did. It was like we'd never spoken at all.
 

Ruby

Significant Contributor
We were at Barton Constable House in Yorkshire the other day. It's beautifully decorated for Christmas with stunning displays. It's not part of the National Trust and the volunteer guides were different too, some a little eccentric, so very entertaining it was too. A gentleman on the upper floor showed a photo of himself dressed up for Halloween and was telling us about how popular this late night event was this year. I said it sounded very creepy but I'd go if we lived in the area definitely. I could see he was wondering whether to tell me something more in earnest, and fortunately I was not about to laugh and said so. He said they were closing up one night when one of the staff said there might be another two visitors still to come downstairs and could he run up and take a look. Just as he was walking along the upper corridor he saw in front of him a figure in a black crinolin dress, only the lower half, walking along in front. He said if it was just him he'd think it was all in his mind, but the two last visitors that day also saw the same thing! Clear as us standing before him, he said. I love these stories! And collecting them too!
I feel like the last person in this particular house too and hope it gets busier here. The format is nice and clear. I checked out one or two other forums but this one is the easiest to read on my tablet. Maybe people do something to make the screen bigger rather than just manually moving it all the time, but that's all I know how to do.
 

bluebird

Major Contributor
Hi Ruby; thanks for sharing that story. It really has been soooo slow here lately, and I hope it gets busier too.

Happy Holidays!
 
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