Unexplained Experiences

From ghosts, hauntings, religious sects, cursed artifacts... all the usual things that keep you up at night.
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Cousi
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Unexplained Experiences

Post by Cousi » Thu Aug 23, 2018 5:56 pm

As we go through life, we all experience things we can't explain. Some of us have had more of these experiences than others. I've had quite a few, one of which I related in the Lost Civilizations thread. I kicked this thread off as a place where we can share them, if you're willing.

This next one took place when I was in high school, I think during the summer between my sophomore and junior years. During the previous school year, a bunch of us got snowed in at the school overnight due to a sudden blizzard. Although there were teachers and chaperones (and one seriously pissed off DJ), there were far more students than adults. Late into the night, we started telling ghost stories. A friend of mine related not so much a story as a bunch of experiences she and her family had in their house. Her house was haunted, you see. It was an old house, built on property that dated back to pre-colonial times although the house itself has been built in the mid 1800s. There were odd things that happened like the salt shakers suddenly containing sugar, things moving around in the kitchen. The kids had gotten into trouble several times because the parents thought they were playing pranks. Over time the accusations got loud. During one such lecture, an ornamental knife that was hanging on the wall as decoration slid on it's display peg until it was point down. My friend saw it move and pointed it out to her parents. They scoffed but the lecture stopped and over time, they stopped raising their voices to each other in the house because every time they did, the knife did the same trick.

Anyway, during the summer she and I and a number of other friends had gone out to the movies or something. I don't really remember. I drove a few friends home and she was the last one I dropped off. I was exhausted because it was like 1am and she offered to let me sleep on the couch. I accepted, called my mom and fell asleep quickly. I woke up suddenly to the sound of dogs barking and fighting. I heard them scrabbling up the stairs and I quickly followed them because I heard my friend's sister screaming. I met her father in the hallway and we both tried opening the door but we couldn't get it to budge. Finally she opened the door and apologized; she'd had a nightmare shew as being chased by wolves. I asked what happened to the dogs and everyone looked at me funny and asked "what dogs"? I told them what had woken me up and they all looked at me weird. Her dad said they don't have dogs and dogs don't like coming into the house. Thinking maybe I'd just had a nightmare too, possibly there were dogs barking outside and we heard that which is what caused us to have similar dreams. That's when my friend's sister asked who scratched her door.

We looked at her door and there were deep scratches in it, not unlike a dog's claws. They were on the side of the hallway where her father and I had been trying to open the door. I was done. Feeling suddenly wide awake, I drove home. The family stayed in the house for a while but the house caught fire and they moved afterwards, before we'd graduated.

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n11pilot
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Re: Unexplained Experiences

Post by n11pilot » Thu Aug 23, 2018 6:06 pm

That is absolutely fascinating. That probably isn't the feeling that you've taken from the experience. I can only imagine the fear that you and your friend's family must have experienced. It is one thing to face a threat that is familiar, that has the same vulnerabilities that you do. What you went through is something else.

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AeroDillo MkII
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Re: Unexplained Experiences

Post by AeroDillo MkII » Thu Aug 23, 2018 11:56 pm

Probably the weirdest I've ever had was a single incidence of sleep paralysis. Which was fun, because evident a lot of people don't know what it is until it comes out left field one night and BAM.

Anyway, this was back when I was living in an Airstream. As a general rule, living in an Airstream is more fun on paper than in practice because 1) everything's tiny 2) there's no storage 3) repairs are twice as complicated and three times as expensive as fixing a standard house and 4) because using a travel trailer for a primary residence usually means you get loud and/or drunk neighbors, close proximity to highways and other thoroughfares, and traffic at all hours. The regular police helicopter overflights and the Friday-night announcements from the middle school ballfields adjacent were an added bonus.

Suffice it to say you either get good at sleeping through thunderstorms, trail derailments, domestic disturbances, and the occasional exchange of gunfire (I exaggerate...sort of). But overall I'm pretty adaptable. Or maybe I'm half-sloth.

Either way, once I'd been settled amongst the local gentry a couple of months I got to the point where only two things would reliably wake me up before the alarm. One was somebody beating on the front door...probably because the whole trailer shook, and earthquakes are pretty rare in this part of the country. The other was a loss of power. Word of advice - trailers suck without electricity. Take my word for it.

But on with the story.

This was probably in the fall or winter. Relative to the rest of the U.S., the latter half of the year is pretty mild. Most of the time it gets cool. Sometimes it freezes. Rarely do we get snow. At any rate, I woke up around five or six one morning, well ahead of the usual alarm bells. It's fairly cool because apparently the half me that's not a sloth is a polar bear and I very seldom run heat in the winter.

No big deal. I go to pull the blanket over and get back to sleep, only weirdos and postal workers and agents of the devil being up and about in the single-digit hours of the morning. It is known.

Except I can't move. Nothing on the left, nothing on the right. Can't wiggle my toes. Can't turn my head. I can open my eyes...that's about it.

And that's when it got weird. Because in addition to the usual clutter of my tiny armor-plated home, there was a dude standing next to the bed. Dunno who he was. Didn't say much or move or...really do anything except stand there and stare at me. He was dressed a century or so late for a funeral - white shirt, black coat, black hat - had that somber, severe look about him as you see in old photographs of somebody who's buried his family, lost his savings, and watched his farm blow away. There was not one damn thing alive about him except the face.

And what a face. What threw me wasn't the color, so much. It was everything else. For one, his skin was silver. For another, he glowed. I don't mean glowed like neon - I mean like the moon at night. A kind of cold fire, if that makes any sense. Sort of generated light and pulled it all back in at the same time. The eyes had the same quality but different shade. Like brass rings with bottomless centers.

The whole time he did nothing. Didn't move. Didn't talk. Just stood there.

And stared.

Worth mentioning for anybody who's never bunked in one is the miniature scale of the living quarters. This particular Airstream had two berths at the tail end, both slightly smaller than the racks you'll find in a college dorm. Between the two ran a narrow walkway maybe two feet wide. Suffice it say that your aluminum condo gains mobility at the steep cost of elbow room. Meaning anybody standing in the aisle is pretty well within your personal bubble.

I'm not sure how long he stuck around. I'd close my eyes and wait, and when I'd check again he'd be there. That went on an hour or so maybe before he wasn't, and once he'd gone I drifted off. Come the first alarm there was nothing amiss. I got up, got dressed, and went out to meet what promised to be another fine drab winter day.

One thing I couldn't quite get my brain around - first thing I checked once I regained positive motor control - was the front door. I locked it every night and checked before I'd head aft and crash. Equal parts sense and paranoia, I guess. One never knows what lurks in a trailer park in the ungodly hours of the morning, and even with the haze still fresh in mind I wondered that it should be unlocked.

...strange coincidence, I suppose.
Last edited by AeroDillo MkII on Fri Aug 24, 2018 1:57 am, edited 3 times in total.

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n11pilot
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Re: Unexplained Experiences

Post by n11pilot » Fri Aug 24, 2018 1:55 am

:shock:

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Cousi
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Re: Unexplained Experiences

Post by Cousi » Wed Aug 29, 2018 4:41 pm

I've never experienced sleep paralysis but I can't imagine anything worse than being a prisoner in your own body. :shock:

I've had a number of different experiences, not all the terrifying kind. I loved being in the Coast Guard and being out at sea. There's something very humbling and almost spiritual about the sea; you realize you're just a small life form on this really big world and that's okay.

Our homeport was in the San Francisco Bay on a small little island between Alameda and Oakland called, imaginatively enough, Coast Guard Island. The majority of our patrols were in the Bering Sea, which is a little bit of chaos personified mingled with icebergs, ice flows and general nature gone wild. I was an FC; a Fire Controlman which meant that I supported, maintained and operated the radar-guided guns we had on board. One night, the ship's surface radar had gone wonky and while the ET's got it back up and running they were using our surface search. Around midnight, I got word that we could shut our radar down. Since ours used considerably more power than the non-weapons guidance system, they didn't like running it unless there was a need for it. So I climbed the seven decks to get to the radar room and powered it down. We were on our way back to Kodaik prior to heading home. The patrol mostly done except the travel.

The radar room was located on the 07 deck; six floors above the main deck and on the same level that the lookouts used. We normally had a live lookout, but not always. I don't fully understand the operational determinations for why and I won't guess. Anyway, I go up to the 07 deck and there's no one on watch. I'd said 'hi' to the folks on the bridge and they'd not said anything amiss so I didn't think much of it. I did notice the moon was particularly bright and the weather was particularly nice.

Then I got to the 07 deck or flying bridge as we called it. This is the unparalleled best view on the ship, by design. From here, we can see 360 degrees with just a few steps around the closet-sized radar room. My jaw dropped as I looked out. It was a cloudless sky, although the full moon's light drowned out the lesser celestial lights near it, the glory of the Milky Way was on full display. The moon hung about two hand's widths above the horizon off our foreward starboard side. Beneath it was a heavy cloud bank, limned on top by the silvery lunar light. Against all odds, the Bering Sea was calm. The most calm I'd ever seen her. In almost mirror like clarity, I could see the cloud bank's reflection in the water, with the silvery lining beneath it and beneath that the full moon's. There was a cool breeze blowing on the air and I felt a sublime rush lifting my heart. This world is capable of heart-stopping beauty and that's what I was witnessing. For a precious moment, I felt the eternal in myself touching the eternal nature of the sea and sky. I could see pinpricks of light on the surface of the water, but I honestly don't know if those were the tips of ever-present waves or reflections of stars. I'm a passable artist but I've never been able to capture that moment as clearly as I still remember it. It's a memory I'll always cherish.

It was magnificent.

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n11pilot
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Re: Unexplained Experiences

Post by n11pilot » Thu Aug 30, 2018 1:06 pm

Cousi, that must have been one incredible sight. I've never had the pleasure of seeing the stars like that from a ship but I have seen them from the desert. It is amazing what you can notice when you are away from the clutter of your fellow man for a bit.
Last edited by n11pilot on Thu Aug 30, 2018 11:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Cousi
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Re: Unexplained Experiences

Post by Cousi » Thu Aug 30, 2018 6:28 pm

Isn't it though? There are some really odd similarities between the desert and the sea. What I love about looking at the stars unfettered by the trappings and light noise of civilization is the sheer shocking number of them. The absolute totality and eternity of depth that can be seen is simply mind-boggling.

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AeroDillo MkII
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Re: Unexplained Experiences

Post by AeroDillo MkII » Thu Aug 30, 2018 11:18 pm

Another oddity that you never really notice until you camp in the middle of nowhere for a while is the visible distance and readily apparent character difference in quality of man-made and natural light.

There exists a similar oddness in aviation that comes from flying hard IFR without blinders (in english, flying in clouds with zero-zero visibility without using a training hood, though that's probably the inverse effect; like being in the middle of absolute featureless nothing rather than picturing yourself against the universe.

Kind of a flying, buzzing sensory deprivation chamber.

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n11pilot
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Re: Unexplained Experiences

Post by n11pilot » Thu Aug 30, 2018 11:47 pm

AeroDillo MkII wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 11:18 pm
Another oddity that you never really notice until you camp in the middle of nowhere for a while is the visible distance and readily apparent character difference in quality of man-made and natural light.

There exists a similar oddness in aviation that comes from flying hard IFR without blinders (in english, flying in clouds with zero-zero visibility without using a training hood, though that's probably the inverse effect; like being in the middle of absolute featureless nothing rather than picturing yourself against the universe.

Kind of a flying, buzzing sensory deprivation chamber.

I had one instructor describe the lack of visual input under long term IFR as "Milk bottle claustrophobia". I think that is close to being accurate.

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AeroDillo MkII
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Re: Unexplained Experiences

Post by AeroDillo MkII » Fri Aug 31, 2018 12:47 am

Pretty much. The world gets very small and very loud. And usually very warm, very fast.

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