Hello. Pleasure to Meet You..

The first time that I met Dave’s mother was nerve wracking. Isn’t it always nerve wracking to meet your new and potentially serious boyfriend’s family? We drove from Westchester to Canandaigua, NY after work on a Friday evening and, since it is relatively long drive, we arrived somewhere around midnight. Along the way, he informed me that, not only was his mother at the house, his aunt would be there as well.

We reached Canandaigua and wound our way around the lake in the dark before finally reaching the driveway to his family home. It was beautiful even in the dark. The gravel driveway looked more like a narrow road and as we descended into the woods toward the lake, the trees grew dense. We turned a corner and below us I could see the house lights cheerily shining through the darkness.

Canandaigua Lake by Matt Callow

Dave led me into the house and with all introductions made and conversations had, my nerves quickly dissipated. With some plans made for the following day, we all began preparing for bed. Dave and I had wondered if we were going to be sharing a room and were happy to be told that we’d be together. As we walked down the hallway with our bags, I walked smack into an old but familiar feeling. There was suddenly a very palpable heaviness in the air. I continued walking to the end of the hall and into the bedroom. Calmly, I noted the feeling and that it seemed to fade when I entered the bedroom. My hesitation to exit the room again caused me to be the last in line for the bathroom. The energy was strong when I re-entered the hallway. The only way that I can describe the sensation is that you feel enveloped in heavier air. Everything seems a bit slower even though your senses are intensified. For me, it grows in intensity until I begin to feel a bit like there is electricity around me. My hair stands up, my heart pounds and I get clammy.

My steps quickened and I jerked the bathroom door shut behind me, trying not to slam it. The energy stayed on the other side, but I now knew for sure that it was there and it was strong.

Let me remind you…this was the first time that I was meeting my new boyfriend’s mother and no-nonsense aunt. I had only been dating Dave for a few months and I never shared that I have had experiences with spirits in the past. I mean, who would? “Hi, pleasure to meet you. Oh, by the way I see dead people.” Nope. Not me. Besides, I hadn’t really had a strong experience like this since my family farmhouse in Salem, NY. Truthfully, I never expected to have such a powerful experience again, yet here I was sitting on the toilet in Dave’s mother’s bathroom realizing that there was a ghost in his house trying to reach out to me. I sat there trying to gather courage to open that door. I was 12 again, sitting there counting to ten and willing myself to just open it and run to the bedroom. I was telling myself that I would NOT see something when I opened the door. I would NOT walk through a cold spot that would take my breath away. I would NOT be touched. Deep breath…Go!

I pulled the door open quickly, trying to ready myself to confront what I might see with some semblance of bravery. I saw nothing, but the energy in the hallway was intense. I willed my feet to move forward and step into it. I walked very quickly through the cloying atmosphere in the short space of hallway between the bathroom and into the bedroom. I shut the door behind me with a sigh of relief and leapt onto the bed. I tried to appear completely normal and, thankfully, Dave didn’t seem to notice that I was jittery and kind of clammy. He was exhausted from the drive. I should have been, but the adrenaline coursing through my body overcame any exhaustion that I had felt when we first arrived.

The conversation I was having with myself was anything but calm. Breathe, act normal, breathe, act normal…it’s in the hallway and the door is shut. I can’t believe that I’m feeling this again after all of these years. What are the chances? There’s no denying it. I need a TV to watch so I can tune in on something else…oh God, there’s no TV in here!

Dave turned out the light on his side of the bed. I stalled with some manic chatting and left my light on. I was sleeping next to the door. The light was burning and finally Dave said, “Uh…are you going to turn that light off?” Breathe, “Sure.” I slowly pulled my hand out from beneath the covers and turned the switch. It was lights out and an inky darkness washed over us immediately. I moved as close to Dave as possible. Clearly, he was done with chatting and he grew quiet. Quiet enough for me to register that the energy was in the room now. Quiet enough for me to slowly admit that it was a ghost…quiet enough for me to know that the ghost was standing by the wall on my side of the bed and trying to make himself seen.

He was a little boy. I could feel him trying to form. I could feel the electricity making my hair stand on end. Goose bumps formed on my arms and I grew impossibly cold despite Dave’s warm body and the down comforter. I began hearing slight murmurs or whispers which made my heart feel like was going to skip right out of my chest. Terrified because I hadn’t felt something this strong since I was 12, I slid under the covers to avoid the touch I was certain was coming. My biggest fear has always been that one would touch me.

Dave rolled over and laughed, asking me what I was doing. I was curled into the fetal position, under the covers and pasted against the small of his back. At that point, I didn’t really care if he thought I was insane. Finally I said, “Do you know that you have a ghost in your house?” He paused, “Yes, how did you know that?” From under the covers I answered, “Because he’s here.” Since I’d let the cat out of the bag and all outward representation of calm was gone, I blurted out, “Please turn on the light. PLEASE. Turn on thelightbeforeHETOUCHESME!

Dave moved quickly and I faintly heard the light click on, but stayed under the covers. He assured me that no one was standing on the side of the bed and, eventually, I sat up and slowly turned to look at the wall behind me. The feeling was gone. The atmosphere felt light and comfortable. The boy was gone. I laid back, a bundle of nerves and just tried to slow my heart rate and shaking. Dave was astounded and asked me what I had seen. I described how I felt like we had slammed into the energy as soon as we reached the middle of the hallway earlier in the night. In fact, I had been so surprised by my visceral reaction to its sudden appearance that I had looked at Dave, wondering if he felt it too. I explained that its strength had increased over the past 1/2 hour and it was almost as if it was following me, curious about whom this new person was. Dave looked shocked when I told him that it was a little boy, even though I hadn’t physically seen him, I had a “picture” in my mind. He was a blonde boy, maybe 10 or 11 years old.

Dave told me that he had seen the boy when he was a teenager in that very bedroom. He heard him and saw him manifesting in a bright light that had illuminated the darkness. He told me that his aunt had seen the boy too, standing by the side of her bed and had initially mistaken him for his brother Pete…a blonde boy, who was 11 or so at the time. I was entirely freaked out. My experiences never been validated like that before. It was actually kind of exciting to know that what I had just experienced was on some level, real.

With the room clear and the atmosphere back to normal, I was suddenly exhausted. I agreed to let Dave turn out the light and slept as if I was glued to him.

To my horror, the first thing I heard Dave announce to his mother and aunt the next morning was, “Kelli saw the ghost last night.” ….Good morning, pleasure to meet you. By the way, I see dead people.”