The ghost at the end of the hall
"No Passing Zone" Jack Dollar
The paranormal has always been something that has interested me. I am fascinated by the possibility of spirits roaming around in a house that was once theirs. A grave encounter I had with the paranormal at age seven encouraged my beliefs.
The house I lived in at the time was interesting, to say the least. My room faced the spiral staircase that was just outside my simple, small room. It was nice for a seven-year-old. However, a detail I didn’t like was the position of my bed; it faced the long and menacing hallway. The creepy spiral staircase was right outside my room. I called those stairs creepy because they would always creak when you stepped on them, no matter how much weight you put on them. You put one foot on them, creak. Set your backpack on them, creak. You put the smallest amount of pressure with your pinky on them, creak. However, there were times that I liked the noise because that’s when I would know my mother was home.
When she would come home, my mom, my sister, and I would watch Ghost Hunters on our lumpy living room couch. I would also venture on my own to watch videos about ghosts on the family computer. I was addicted to the stuff—typing away loudly on the computer looking for anything ghost-related, watching all sorts of videos about transparent figures, spooky audio recordings, and things that go bump in the night. Whether they were videos explaining what ghosts were or just simple videos to scare me, it didn’t matter. If it was ghost-related, I watched it.
Strangely enough, staring at that threatening hallway, I always hoped for the chance to have a paranormal experience of my own. However, what I didn’t know at the time was that I was going to have one very, very soon.
One night, while I was drifting off to sleep, the window above my bed let in a cool breeze that brushed up against my head. I heard a noise. Thump. This wasn’t scary at first. I just chalked it up to my mother leaving for work. Then I heard it again. Thump. This one, for whatever reason, caught my attention. I slowly sat up in bed, the cool air from the window now gently brushing against my back. While rubbing the sleep out of my eyes with my closed hands, I noticed something at the end of the hall. It was in front of the bathroom door. At first, I didn’t know what it was, then my body froze in fear when I realized what I was looking at.
It was a white figure, with the vague shape of a person floating. Not standing. Floating. It wasn’t completely solid either. I could make out the bathroom door the apparition was floating in front of. I held my blanket tight to my chest and watched in paralyzed fear. Then, the figure started to slowly move forward. Towards me. I was shocked in both interest and fear. My mind tried to explain what I was seeing, but it couldn’t. As the figure slowly approached my room, I prepared for it to enter. But it didn’t. It went left, towards my creaky, creepy stairs.
If I said that was the scariest part, I would be lying. The scariest part was the lack of noise that was made because when the figure went down the stairs, it was silent. My stairs—my creaky, loud stairs—didn’t make a single sound as that thing floated down them.
After that, I grabbed the makeshift rosary I made in CCD the previous Sunday and clutched it to my chest. The morning after, I told my sister what happened. I didn’t tell my mom because I thought she wouldn’t believe me.
After that experience, my seven-year-old belief was set. Ghosts are real, and I just had an encounter with one.
Even now, I still think about that experience and try to rationalize what I saw that night. Sometimes I think it was a ghost, other times I think it was just my imagination wandering off, a product of watching so much ghost-related TV. Looking back at the experience, that time period was definitely the peak of my belief in the paranormal.