My First Meeting With Ghosts

Shadows: More Subtantial Than Ghosts

Shadows are the opposite of matter, but ghosts, in my experience, have even less substance.
Shadows are the opposite of matter, but ghosts, in my experience, have even less substance. | Source

What's It Like To Meet With Ghosts?

Have you ever met a ghost or ghosts? If you have, I think you'll agree that it's an experience that sticks with you as surely as any tatoo.

I had my first convincing, if unclear meeting with ghosts when I was seventeen and growing up in Upstate New York.

My best friend, Denny, and I spent summer days riding horses on his small farm, hanging out and generally ignoring the chores we'd agreed to perform in exchange for being allowed to ride.

It was a simpler America, then, a cliché, I know, but a fair description of a time without the universality of the Internet, hundreds of televisions stations and when important social initiatives like the Women's Movement, Civil Rights and antiwar activism were just beginning.

We were freer with our personal intuitions and beliefs and open to many more natural things than we are now.

As a culture, we're inclined to see ourselves as more sophisticated now, but in many ways, the progress has been away from the natural connections and associations that once made us feel whole with nature – every aspect of nature, including those we prefer to ignore now, as we strain to create distance between us and other animals and our natural history.

So, I'm starting to write about my experiences with ghosts or spirits as a personal exercise is keeping the subject active. Here is the story of the first time I really became aware of spirits or whatever they were.

I had a meeting with ghosts so startling it still makes me tingle with fear, decades later. Funny thing is, I don't understand why I felt afraid, then or now. Maybe I was getting too near a mystery that's remained unresolved throughout human history.

Sleeping Out

Denny and I were active, outdoors types. We loved to hike, ride horses, play baseball and, of course, try to meet girls. In a life like that, insomnia is a foreign word. Sleep comes in sweet layers of relaxation and peace.

Another thing we enjoyed doing was hauling sleeping bags out into the woods to sleep under the trees on summer nights. The idea that sleep might mean folding our hectic consciousnesses quietly into a spirit-based reality was not something I'd heard of. We went to sleep. We woke up refreshed. It just happened naturally.

The woods on Denny's farm were younger, maybe the most recent incarnation of a previously burned out grove, the trees tall and narrow, maybe thirty years old. We'd stretch out under the green canopy before it was fully dark, smoking Winstons and talking, a pastime that was still popular then. We talked about school, girls, what we hoped to do with our lives, girls again, and the struggles of trying to fit in.

About fifty feet away was an open field where we used to race the two horses Denny's father adopted. One was a beautiful palomino, the other a retired trotter guaranteed to bless any rider with saddle sores.

After dark finally settled in and as our talk diminished, the rocks began flying in.

At least, we took them to be rocks. At first, we thought someone was pulling a prank, but anyone would have gotten a sore arm or bored eventually. The steady deluge of rocks coming down through the trees and bouncing on the forest floor never lessened.

As they seemed to be penetrating the canopy from the direction of the open field where we rode our horses, there was always the question of how the mysterious thrower found so many rocks.

Rocks smashing down through trees will keep you awake, if only in fear of being hit, but the funny thing was, Denny and I simply accepted it as a harmless, supernatural annoyance after awhile.

So, there were ghosts throwing rocks. They were harmless. Let them be.

Of course, we thought it was a ghost or ghosts, some haunting, because no other entity would have been so persistent in a useless pursuit.

Did they or it want us to leave? At seventeen, we weren't about to be intimidated by ghosts with no more power than the ability to through rock after rock in our direction.

Or maybe it had nothing to do with us. Maybe some spirit was consigned in purgatory to throw rock after rock, all night long, into eternity. Who could know about such things anyway?

Our philosophical resolve was that they would eventually stop and we would get some sleep.

Starting Out Through The Woods

Then, it began to rain.

First, the gentle rhythm of drops set off a lively patter across the forest. I love rain, and this was pleasant to listen to. Eventually, however, the water found it's way through trees and branches and began to dampen the ground around us.

"Maybe it'll stop," Denny suggested, half-asleep.

At least, it had ended the rock throwing. But, the rain continued, gradually saturating everything.

Reluctantly, we bunched together our bags, holding them against our chests without trying to roll them up in the dark and began walking in the pitch dark back toward the house, maybe two-hundred yards away.

That's when it happened. The forest came alive with spirits. We had our meeting with ghosts.

The darkness increased as ghosts filled the air around us. It was eerie and disorienting because we hadn't a clue about what was happening. You could just feel something needy, not in the way Hollywood portrays selfish creatures out to overwhelm us, but more eager, almost clingy.

They hovered everywhere around us, not vibrating really, but charged in a foggy sort of essence. I had a feeling that we understood each other, but not rationally. The ghosts were there in a way that has no comparable explanation in daily life. We and they used senses we usually leave turned off, at least when awake.

I realize how inadequate that description is, but there is a word for it – ineffable – and it fits.

We kept walking blindly through the trees until we reached a clearing, and the ghosts were gone.

Country boys, we were closer to nature then, and although we considered the experience unique, we didn't consider it scary in the aftermath or anything to keep us out of the woods in the future.

We also didn't know what to make of it ourselves or of any adults with whom we could confide for guidance. Just as well, I suppose.

What stuck with me was the neediness. In our earlier histories, human cultures were much closer to birth and death as well as what may rest between in both directions. Confronted by spirits now, we are like strangers in a foreign country or we simply make ourselves blind. And maybe that explains the neediness. Maybe, as the result of our cultural advancement, we've deprived them of the connections we've shunned as primitive or animalistic.

I can't help wondering now if that thrower is still out there, rattling a more mature woods, night after night.

Maybe the ghosts in the woods are hoping for a return visit, living people to touch in their own unique way, with their own unique needs. I hope not. They're aren't so many ragged, imaginative boys in sleeping bags out there anymore.

The loneliness must be immense.

David Stone

Please check out my Amazon Author Page.

Real or Imagined

Have you directly experienced a ghost or a spirt? Yes or no?

  • Maybe, but who can tell?
  • Ghosts are wishful thinking or hallucinations.
  • Yes, of course. They're everywhere.
  • No, but I'd love to.
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What do you think? 8 comments

David Stone profile image

David Stone 2 years ago from New York City Author

Thank you, Rhonda. For me, it's like all the other wonders of this world. I wouldn't want to go without seeing as many of them as I can fix my sights on.

Someday, helping ghosts in trouble will be seen as a personal obligation.

Rhonda Lytle profile image

Rhonda Lytle 2 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

Dave, this was a joy to read. I really like your supposition that the spirits may be lonely. I think you have to be right. There's no doubt there's something beyond our plane of existence. What was once venerated and held in mystical esteem is now dismissed out of hand. I imagine they can't be happy about the change in the way humans interact or flat don't with them now days.

It's really good to see you here. God bless!

David Stone profile image

David Stone 6 years ago from New York City Author

Thanks, Ron. I am interested in all stories of this kind. I'll check it out.

Ron 6 years ago

Hi, David. I saw your small article on xomba, so I guess it's ok to comment here. I very much enjoyed reading your story, and look forward to reading others you write. I have left my website link in the form at the end of your hub. I wrote a story about my two encounters, both in the same house back in 1956, I call it "The Ghost at the Bedroom Door." I hope you enjoy it.

thevoice profile image

thevoice 6 years ago from carthage ill

terrific great hub thanks

David Stone profile image

David Stone 6 years ago from New York City Author

Dan, Kristal–I loved both stories. They open up perceptions about what "ghosts" or "spirits" are. This a seriously uncharted frontier. Too many experience to dismiss those dimensions as anything less than a touch in alternative realities.

Kristal 6 years ago

Interesting experiences David and Dan. Thanks!

I currently live in an old home alone (somewhat). I'm no longer sure what the interpretation of the word ghost is but I do not relate to the word as well. I simply believe some are more open to other dimensions than others and that time and space do not exist as we believe they do. In other words, everything is happening simultaneousy albeit on different dimensions, or energy frequencies if you prefer.

My experiences with other dimensions are extensive and lifelong but my current experience is quite unique and personal.

When I first set out to find a place I went searching through a local search engine. The plan was to find a few and set appointments for the following Thursday. Browsing through without seeing anything that peeked my interest, I was close to stopping for the day when I came across an post with a picture of a front door only. I turned and looked at the person who was with me and said Oh My Goodness, that place is home :-)

A long story short I sent off an email and voicemail and headed off to bed. The next morning I made an appointment for Thursday (the only one I made), finalized the deal on Monday and had the movers moving things in the following Saturday.

(She) made her presence known almost immediately. She's young although she did not die young. This was her childhood home and she sees it as such. I am considered the one making unknown and unexplainable noises in her reality. I have been skyping when she has made her presence known. Most friends have heard her. She's a rambuncious little one.

I have had five independent sources all tell me the same story: She is me and we are affecting the past, present and future simultaneouly. Five separate sources who do not know each other. Cool huh?

Because we exist within our own time and dimension we do not communicate we simply are made aware now and then of each others presence when the veil between these dimensions is thinner.

Am I the ghost or is she? Depends on who's perception you consult I guess :-)

I have had what I called in my younger years, the heebie geebie thing, my whole life and was very blessed with a mother and paternal grandmother who "believed" me instead of throwing that into denial. I believe all children communicate interdimensionally and imaginary friends are not imaginary at all. All so-called "paranormal" and "ET" communication is nothing more or less than this interdimensional communication in my opinion. And so it is as likely one will experience something negative as easily as positive.

Oh the stories I could tell :-)

Dan Carpenter 6 years ago

Hi David; when reading your story I thought to myself, I never had any experiences and then all of a sudden I remembered. This is not so long ago and the experience was more on the pleasant side than the one you spoke of. My partner of the day and I had purchased an 1880 home and were in the process of fixing it up. She knew the people who had lived there since her mom lived two doors down. In any event, I would hear this music in the night time just as I was about to fall asleep, and it would awaken me and I would listen to it for awhile and then fall asleep. The music was not every night but seemed to be happening when there was more love in the air. I hadn't mentioned it for fear of resistance. Then one day chatting with some friends and the topic of ghosts came up and I blurted out that we had a ghost in our house but it was a friendly ghost with varying sounds of music. My partner said to me "do you hear it too?" and the conversation went on. So happy to say, it was friendly and again seemed to be lulling us to sleep with the harmony of our vibration. Part of the discussion tried to determine the purpose of their presence. We bought the house from an estate and the son who lived there was a bachelor who never left home. His mom lived there until 91 when she passed on then her son became a recluse pack-rat. We believe that his mom was guarding him and seeing that he was ok. When he passed she was so happy that the house was cleaned up and refurbished that she continued to watch over us. Not much in the excitement arena, but it was good to know there was acknowledgement from my partner that I wasn't losing it. It became comforting to me and I would then intentionally listen for the music. Surprisingly enough, as the relationship was respectfully winding down, there was still that comforting music playing which was a turnaround from the previously thought of it only happening when our emotions were elevated. My take was that in the end all would be well, and so it has become.


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