True Ghost Story -Part 1
Living with Ghosts.
A few years ago, i had signed a contract to set up a Spa for a well known resort. It is an isolated place with acres and acres of golf courses. During the first few months of my employment, I had been staying in a hotel room at the main hotel. I was comfortable staying there and got used to the hustles of hotel workers going about their duty and guests arrival and checking out at any time of the day. After that, i was transferred to the resort's service condominium. I was busy and under enormous work pressure to really care where I was staying, part of me was relief to have some solitude and a spacious place to myself with a proper kitchen to utilize.
On the sixth month of my service; my relatives who was on holiday, decided to come for a visit. I was thrilled and invited them to stay with me as I have two bedrooms. They had stayed for one night, because they were planning to visit as many other places as possible within the holiday duration. I was glad to have some company even if it was such a short visit. We sat outside on the balcony enjoying the night breeze and catching up with each other's lives. It was well after midnight when we said goodnight and turned in for the night.
The next day at breakfast my cousin brother had asked me whether i had come in to check on them during the night. I thought it was strange but decided to drop the matter. I said, "no".
A few weeks later, my aunt had escorted my teenage cousin sister over to come stay with me and help me with taking care of my newborn babies; while waiting to start college. There were times that i saw both ladies behaved in a peculiar way but i had dismissed the thought as my being overly sensitive and when my aunt left, i was certain that my cousin sister's nervousness was due to missing her close knitted family. They called everyday and exchanged many text messages between them.
One evening, my cousin commented that i smell so sweet, and without thinking i told her that i thought it was her perfume. Two seconds later we were staring into each others eyes, with obvious discomfort. As if on cue we didn't speak about it but we were reading each other's mind (Old folks mentioned that a sweet scent accompanies unearthly spirits). We didn't let the twins out of sight and added a plea of protection as we prayed together and holding a sleeping twin each, before we went to sleep that night.
I was on maternity leave and still manages the operation of the spa via phone which is a number of times a day and i was quite self absorbed, yet I had noticed something out of the normal about the place. It could have been days earlier (if i had paid enough attention), but i didn't let it become a concern. There is this 'void' quality about the place. Like everything that you see is there but isn't there at the same time, the place isn't real; like an illusion. As if there was another side of existence to it.
The only time that i had really experienced intense discomfort about the place was through dreams. One very vivid dream was seeing this lady in a loose and long flowing red gown swimming, yes, in the air; going from one room to another searching. In the dream, I was with my friend Jamie and the children. Jamie was afraid and crouched next to me, hiding her face, her back facing the doorway. I had pleaded that she hide and protect the children, but she didn't budge. I was really weak and breathless, lying nearby. When i saw there was no other options, i tried to get to the children and that was when the lady (she was beautiful, flawless white skin with long black hair) reached us. She had a very sad look about her. I braved myself and speak to her, "Please let us be". She didn't utter a word but i knew she heard me all the same. Before she turned away, she had looked at me with forlorn eyes. Then I woke up with my heart racing. In the other dream I was falling down into a big opened crack in the earth that seemed to go on forever, I woke up before reaching the bottom, gasping for breath. It made me think of a bottomless pit.
One year later, I went back to my hometown to visit my relatives. After a late lunch, I stood near the sink, washing dishes with my aunt. That was when she asked me a question that took me by surprise. We had been talking about the place I used to work and she was referring to that condo when she said, "Why didn't you tell us, your place is haunted?"
I was sure I had heard her right. I didn't know what to say to that because i didn't know either. When i told her as much, she gave me this look of disbelief. But when i insisted that i was unaware of such things and please can she enlighten me? I guess my shocked and confused reaction finally convinced her.
As told by both my aunts.
Told by Aunt Lily
When she visited the first time, she was aware that something was amiss but refused to believe that it was more than the usual feeling of being in a new place. She was there with the whole family, her husband and five children, from her eldest, a twenty two years old young man to the youngest the family's beloved baby; a three year old boy. It was during the night that she felt the most discomfort but had ignored it the next morning.
Less than a month later, on the second visit with my cousin sister, she felt a strong presence in the condominium, especially near the dining room and hallway and the spacious wet kitchen area that overlook the golf course. The worst is my bedroom's bath. And the thing that worries her the most is the sound of night bird outside my room.
Honestly I was having goosebumps at two in the afternoon on a hot sunny day in my aunt's kitchen. She had to tell me, the night bird is not a night bird at all. I learnt from aunt Marie later, that it was a big bird another form that the banshee's took. She said the sound would become louder and urgent whenever the babies cry. And i have heard it the whole time i was staying in that condo. Now, i am scared senseless. I also remembered my staffs who was worried about me in my last term of pregnancy; telling me to be careful when i went home around eleven at night since the other staffs had seen a huge bird flying in the sky between the bungalow area where the spa is situated and the condominiums.
It was a few days later, after speaking with those who had visited my place and call an aunt in another city who had stayed with me and my cousin sister that i finally got the whole story stringed together. Best still, we heard my uncle's experience for the first time.
Told by Aunt Alice
When she went to sleep on the first night at my place, she had heard a ladies anklet's bell walking near her while she was in bed. She had turned and saw a ladies feet rushing past her heading towards the balcony. Thinking that it was me, she finds it strange after a couple of minutes, that I hadn't slide the glass door that opens to the balcony yet. Recently,the glass door hadn't slide well and gotten stuck. Someone had slide it forcefully which caused it to slid out it's rail and dismantled from the wall, leaving about two centimeters gap at the edge near the wall. She had looked up to see lady slid through and disappeared outside. Imagine a person slid through a couple centimeters gap.. My aunt was afraid but she didn't say anything about it. Thinking that she might scare my seventeen years old cousin who was obviously nervous about something. Her story reminded me the time my cousin brother Paul who asked me if i had went to check on them during the night.
All the while that she was staying with me in that place, aunt Alice had been trying to be brave because the presence of other entity was very strong. Many nights, she felt like someone was strangling her. There was once that she actually saw a big dark man trying to choke her. An avid church goer, my aunt fought him with prayers and pleading God to help her. Once, she had a gruesome dream of watching a heavy set, very fair man lying dead in my bedroom's bath tub. She said, the man seemed to have suffered from a heart attack; he was lying on his back and his face shows that he was in sudden pain or unexpectedly shocked and held that look and posture frozen in death.
Worst, she reminded me that the bird call outside my room was even more excited whenever i was struggling to breath during the time i was suffering heart failure. She told me, it was only patient and belief in God that kept her steady and continued to stay with us. And there is Karline my young cousin sister that she didn't have the heart to just up and leave me to bear with the situation.
I had favored the shower room outside to my bedroom's bath. So i did not make use of it much but occasionally bath my newborn in there. I was uncomfortable using it. And Faith was always bawling while her head turned to the bathroom door or looking at either the wall overhead the bed; this is where the bird creature made the most sound from the outside(Then again, who knows whether it wasn't already inside?).
Told by Brother Paul Lester
Remember when he asked whether I had went in to check on them on the first night that they visited me? Well, this is why.He went to bed like the rest of us after our night chats on the balcony infront. Sometime during the night, he woked up to the feeling that someone was present. He sensed a person passing by him, but he had ignored it and went back to sleep. Not much, actually. But sometime at dawn, he saw his father in the same bed with him. he didn't question it. After all, he had slept with his uncles and cousin brothers too many times to find it strange, growing up in a close and affectionate family.
Told by Uncle Austin (probably one of the most horrifying in this story yet )
A while after everyone went to bed, he had a need to use the washroom. When he got up, he saw a lady sitting on the dining table watching them. he is an educated and opened minded man; somehow at that moment a memory of a long forgotten advice came to him. Not the christian side of him but the generation of taboo side of him, he did something like his ancestors had passed on to his parents regarding situation like the one he is facing now. It seemed to work, and the lady got up and walk to the front door and disappear through it. He did bring himself to get a leak; but he forget about the couch he was sleeping on and join his eldest son and wife on the bed. He never speak of it (my uncle Austin is a private man though very easy going and opened) until his son asked him whether he had come across any strange incidents at my place; during my visit and the family's adult night gathering at the porch. That was well over a year after it happened. Frankly, I don't get it. How he managed to just not talk about the eerie incident and for a very long time, considering it isn't a common occurrence.
But then again, this is the way of the men in my family. Avoid unnecessary worries upon the members.
My cousin sister's Karline scary experiences
She had been oblivious to the presence in the condominium on her first. it was probably due to the excitement of being together as family and that she had spent time out in the pool and the surrounding areas with the others more than inside with her parents, brother and I. Strangely, during the second time, she had this creepy feelings about the place. Like someone was always eyeing her and she sometimes feel someone watching her in her room at night. In the bathroom where she hand wash the newborn's clothing, her hair would stood on end and she would suddenly feel uneasy because the presence of someone nearby is very strong. Through her peripheral view, she saw a woman peeping at her through the opened bathroom door with her face half hidden!
And several time during the time she had been staying with me, she had this nightly visit from this woman. One night she wake up struggling to breath as she had felt like someone was pressing on her, and she saw a woman standing nearby moving and disappearing through the door.
I had to give it to my young cousin because she persist to stay with me even when these things that she went through and I can imagine the suffering of living in fear. Because I have been there myself.
When everyone had shared their version of the condominium's haunting. I was really scared. I do question them about why am i spared the disturbances? The adults all agreed that I was strong to have overcome the haunting's effect; especially being very pregnant at the time and an easy and favored target of the banshees (Asean tales). What they were implying was 'strong' energy as in 'fierce' aura. Regardless. I believed it was my prayers. I do pray and mumble or just plan speak to God about my feelings. I had been thinking eversince, regarding the whole episide. Maybe it is not the 'strong' thing as my aunts and uncles believed. Maybe it was me in my work busyness and the load of personal stress and health problems; I didn't have the capacity to process anything else that is happening around me. Unconscious to the present to be aware of anything. Then again, if an entity were out to get me, it would have done so. So many possibilities.
Truth is; they are a lot more incidents that I hadn't write here within the four to five weeks that Karline had been with me. And other strange reports from my staffs and colleagues regarding the place. The living room of the unit i was staying faces the road and it can be seen clearly by passers by who travels through; the staffs three storey apartments are right infront too, and they can look up and view the unit. Sometimes I would go back for a couple of nights to the city to visit my relatives and friends, there is this one time when I returned from one of those short trip, a colleague of mine had reported that someone was in my unit late at night. He knew that I would only leave the hall lights on and turned the rest off. He had told me he passed my unit a few times during the nights that i was away and found my bedroom light on almost everytime. I can imagine that he was worried that my staffs are using my unit for their own personal reasons. I told him that i've asked my staffs and they say they didn't go there, and i trust them, i offered an explanation that he could have mistaken the units; even when he was vehement. I said it could be the unit service cleaning, (we all know the room services staffs, they never work in any units after five and for special requests; never after seven in the evening). Seeing that I wasn't going to do anything about it, he didn't mention it anymore. Now, all the things that i was told and warned in the past; signs that i had ignored or avoided has become evidence of all the things my family is telling me.
All I can tell is, I'm glad I hadn't known. I don't think I can add another burden of mind during that time. After I had digest everything about that place, i had trouble going to sleep and I became very frightened at any time of the day. I spoke about it with aunt Marie who has her fair share of the paranormal; she had been very understanding. Now, i am no longer afraid but whenever I think about staying in that condo with it's ghosts, it still amazes me. All said, I'm thankful that everyone's fine and ever confident that I am not alone - someone watches over me.