Warning: This is a long post! I've broken it into segments, but you may want get yourself a cup of tea or coffee and settle down for an interesting read!
Have you ever had a situation where something strange happens--something that is not totally normal and has no explanation that you can think of--but not creepy enough to be determined as a "ghostly encounter"? Perhaps an electronic turning on for no apparent reason--but then, maybe it was you that left it on and you just don't remember? Or the TV suddenly turning off by itself--but maybe it's just a glitch in the system? Or a door that suddenly opens---but could there have been a draft?? Or pictures falling off the wall--but maybe the house settled and you just didn't feel it?
I have had these strange things happening to me most of my life. I have learned not to talk about it because most people look at me like I'm crazy.
It started when I was about 15 years old. My grandfather passed away recently, and suddenly, pictures and books would fall off my ledge for no apparent reason. I never really thought much about it until a friend happened to be over when a picture just suddenly tipped over and fell. She looked at me with wide eyes while I just shrugged my shoulders and said, "Those things fall over all the time."
"By themselves??" She asked. "That's not normal!"
The Bathroom Door Incident
Not too long after this, another strange thing happened. I had been alone watching TV, when for some reason, I happened to look at the bathroom door. It had been closed at the time, and suddenly, the knob turned and the door open. I froze. When I could finally move, I ventured into the bathroom to see if one of my brothers was in the bathroom, hiding behind the door. Of course, no one was there. I ran outside to wait for my parents to come home, to scared to go in by myself.
Odd things like this would happen throughout my lifetime, and the older I got, the more I became aware of it. I was not into ghost stories and hated (and still do) horror movies or mysteries. Nancy Drew mysteries was about as far as I could get as far as "scary" goes, and I read those only because there always a logical explanation behind the mystery.
Wherever I went, it was always the same thing--strange.
I grew up, moved out and would continue to experience these strange things on occasion.
However, it wasn't until I was married and had kids that it seemed to get worse. Strange things would happen in our house and it always seemed to happen when I was alone. I'll never forget the time when the kids were asleep and Dennis was away on a fishing trip. I had been watching TV when suddenly there was a loud bang from the basement. I practically jumped out of my skin, I was so scared. I ran downstairs, thinking that something must have fallen over, but I was very surprised to
At first, I was relieved that it wasn't anything major. But then, I thought to myself, "Wait. How could the laundry soap fall off the shelf?" The shelf wasn't broken or slanted. The laundry soap was huge (one of those extra large size that has a spout so you don't have to pick it up) and it was full--too heavy to have slipped off by itself. There was only one explanation--it had to have been pushed off.
(Not the actual picture of the soap --->)
Getting the house blessedThe only person I confided in about these things was my mom. She believes that things like this do happen (oddly enough, a lot of Catholics out there do not) and was worried, so she suggested I get the house blessed. So we did and things calmed down for about a year or two, but soon, things began to happen again.
Eventually we moved into our current house. I wanted to beat the ghosts to the punch and asked our parish priest to bless our house only a week after we had moved in. And yet, about a year later, I began to experience unsettling things here too.
Our priest was kind enough to come back to say exorcism prayers, as I was now worried that it was demons bothering us. It's one thing to bother me, but another to bother my kids!
Things calmed down once again. But soon, the "odd" things began to happen again--though not as scary as demons screaming. I finally resigned myself to the fact that this was just something that was going to continue to happen to me, even if I didn't like it or understand it.
And finally, today.
For the next two years up until today, things continue to happen off and on. This post is already so long as it is that I could never tell every story. So I will tell the latest one that just happened to have happened today--and it's the reason why I was inspired to write this post.
This morning, I had told Max a story about a friend of mine that had died recently. Funny that I should talk about her; she had been on my mind a lot and I thought to myself that I really should have a Mass said for her.
Then Max went to do his schoolwork and I went in the bathroom to get ready for the day, when I suddenly heard my bedroom door slam shut. Thinking that one of the kids went into my bedroom looking for me, I crossed the hall and opened my door, only to find no one inside.
I found my kids in the living room and asked who had went into my room. They told me no one. Of course, I couldn't help questioning their honesty, because it had been obvious that someone had closed the door. But again, they told me no one went into my room or slammed the door shut.
I should clarify here that there were no windows open, no drafts, and the door does not open and close on it's own. In fact, for it to close at all, it needs to be slammed shut because the frame is so warped that there's always a gap. And the fact that the door was shut tightly confirmed to me that I had not been hearing things when I heard the door slam.
I reopened the door once again, making sure that it stayed open, and thought to myself, "Ok. The door is now open. If I find it shut again, I know that there's something else going on."
I sent the kids downstairs to play and went to do the dishes. Then, my phone, which was in the bedroom, began to ring. I noticed it sounded kind of muffled, which was odd. I went to go to my bedroom to answer it and stopped dead in my tracks. The door was closed!
I had not closed the door, I was sure of it. The kids had not closed the door, they were downstairs. No open windows, no drafts. Only a broken door that never shut all the way that was now tightly closed.
My friend that I had talked about in the same bedroom only ten minutes before came back to mind. How odd that this strange thing occurred only minutes after I had been talking about her in the same room where now the door was closing on its own.
The thought finally occurred to me: Could it be my friend reminding me she needed prayers? After all this time of persistent "nagging" thoughts in my head that I should be offering Masses, could it be that she was now trying to get my attention in a more obvious way?? Would God allow such a thing? And yet, why wouldn't He? He is a merciful God that wants all of His children in heaven.
The moral of the storyThink of that horrible day--9/11.
When the first plane crashed into the first tower, we all thought it was a horrible accident. But when the same exact thing happened and the second plane crashed into the second tower, we knew it was deliberate. Someone was trying to get our attention.
It was about a year ago when someone told me that these things could very well be a soul trying to get my attention. I had brushed it off, thinking that I wasn't "holy" enough for something like that to happen to me.
Well, I was wrong. You don't need to be holy for souls to reach out to us for help. We are all part of the Body of Christ, and it's not unusual for souls to remind us their need for our prayers. I can't help but wonder how often these souls are tapping us on the shoulder, trying hard not to frighten us, but only wanting to get our attention that they still exist, they are still around and they still need prayers. Why do we have such a hard time believing that?
I have a Mass scheduled to be said for my friend, and I hope that it brings her relief. If not, I am sure that she will let me know.
Keep your eyes and ears open, your heart and mind open. Don't feel you are insulting the one you love to think that perhaps they are still in Purgatory and weren't as holy as you had thought. These souls are in such need for prayer that they rather we remember their sins as people that walked the earth rather than saints in heaven...
...if only we would take notice and remember to pray for them. Then maybe they won't need to tap our shoulder to ask.