My sweet oldest bambina, Molly, gave me the chills for the first time when she was just two-years-old. I still remember it like it was yesterday.
Her little sister, Zoe, was just a couple of months old and the three of us were lying on my bed. I was an exhausted, leaky, hormonal mess. Not only did I have a newborn and toddler to care for, but I had just lost my father unexpectedly a couple of months prior.
Molly looked at her baby sister and then looked me straight in the eye to tell me something that would both make my skin crawl and bring me immense comfort to this very day.
“Grandpa Jim was here and he said goodbye to me and Zoe,” she said.
Not to be outdone by her big sister, Zoe made her own discovery when she was around the same age.
We were having dessert at my mom’s house, when she looked behind us at the stairwell and jumped. It was probably just a shadow, but she leapt so fast into my arms that I spilled my tea all over the table.
She was shaking in her Pull-Up.
“What’s wrong?” I asked, looking around the room.
“There was a man on the stairs,” she replied, pointing a little index finger over my shoulder.
While I’ll never know for sure what Zoe saw, or if she saw anything at all, I do know that evening marked the beginning of eerie occurrences at my mom’s house.
Fast-forward to a few months later. We were sitting around the bar counter having dinner when we hear a loud CRACK. The window directly behind us had shattered.
My mom’s boyfriend figured that a ball or bird had hit the window and went to inspect the damage. However, there was no ball, nor was there a bird.
We did a little online research and figured it must have been the house settling.
Still, there’s a spec of doubt in the back of our minds that it could me something else. But what?
Around that same time, my mom’s stove would turn on to max in the middle of the night – the TV also started to go on by itself. I didn’t believe her until I witnessed it myself.
My 92-year-old grandpa, who is of sound mind, also spotted a man on my mother’s stairwell just like his great gran-daughter.
“Janine, who is that man?” he asked, later describing him as being a dark-skinned elderly gentleman dressed in a white cloak.
Molly would go on to give me the ultimate goosebumps that same summer.
I was sound asleep when I felt someone on top of me in my bed. It was Molly and her whole body was shaking.
“What’s wrong?” I asked, patting her back, trying to soothe her.
“Shh…” she whispered. “He’ll hear us.”
I didn’t press it, figured she was having a nightmare and fell back asleep.
The next morning I asked her if she had a bad dream.
“No, when I came into your room to sleep in your bed, there was a man standing there smiling at me,” she said
“It sounds like you were having a dream. Was it about grandpa Jim?” I asked.
“Maybe,” she said.
Later that day Molly was going through my bedside drawers when she came across my dad’s obituary.
“Who is that man?” she asked, carefully inspecting the photo.
“That’s grandpa Jim,” I replied.
“Mommy, that’s not the man who was in your room last night,” she said, describing a man with dark brown hair, who was taller in stature.
“It was somebody else.”
Some say children see ghosts because they haven’t been told they don’t exist yet and a belief system hasn’t been put in place by their parents and society. Others, chalk it up to having a wild imagination or nightmares.
Is my family being haunted? Do we have some sort of ability to see the paranormal? I honestly have no idea. I’m one of those people who has to see something with my own eyes to believe it.
If there is someone watching us, I hope they’re not judging the piles of pink laundry or my penchant for trashy reality shows and Chardonnay! If you want a real scare, you should see how much laundry and chips we go through in a week.