Boo! What Scares You?

Halloween is only a few days away and, everywhere, we see scary costumes, corn-field mazes and spooky ghost houses. It’s a fun time for kids and adults to let go and pretend.

Two Pumpkins carved into Jack-o-Lanterns for Halloween

Two Pumpkins carved into Jack-o-Lanterns for Halloween © MSN Clipart

It’s also the season, when we’re more acceptable of the world of the paranormal. Perhaps, we’re even open to tune in and listen for something beyond what we normally hear and see. 

Our bodies feel the subtle energy shifts, as Nature begins to slumber. The trees drop their leaves and the plants die with the cold temperatures. There’s a bite in the air and the sky takes on a different hue, as the sun slowly alters its path around the earth.

Underneath it all, there’s a fascination with death and the unknown; otherwise, why would zombies, Dracula and once-upon-a-time fairy tales be so popular these days.

Foggy weather in a church graveyard

Foggy Weather in a Church Graveyard © MSN Clipart

Does it scare you to talk about “ghosts” or entertain the idea of loved ones still being with you, energetically, on a different plane? Maybe, that’s what both fascinates and scares us, the unknown, the invisible and the obscure.

When I was growing up, my grandmother was comfortable with the invisible entities of her loved ones who had passed on – mother, father and 2-year old baby boy, Billy Bob. It was second nature to her to engage with them, when she saw them or felt their presence. I could feel their energy too and, even if I didn’t understand it very well, I knew it was real.

Though it doesn’t scare me to talk about spectral entities or paranormal phenomena (in fact, it’s intriguing), I do have a fear of death, when it comes to seeing an entity or someone dying. It’s something I’ve tried to change or learn how to become more comfortable with but, let’s face it, it’s hard to practice, when you can’t conjure up a spirit, whenever you’d like.

I’ve had two incidents where I was gripped with the fear of death. One was when my surrogate grandfather was in the midst of dying and the other was shortly after my grandmother died. In both situations, my loved one tried to tell me something important. The feeling still lingers and haunts me and I wish I knew how to understand it.

The first was when I was only 19. I went to the hospital one evening to visit my grandfather. As I stepped in the room, I could see him sitting up in bed but, as I approached, he opened his mouth to talk but nothing came out. Fear gripped me, as I briefly saw his arm go up and down and mouth open desperately trying to talk.

I instantly knew that he was dying and fled. I wish I’d had the courage to get him help and stay to the end but something took over and I ran, as fast as my legs would take me. When my sister found me downstairs later, to tell me he had died, I was still shaking and crying my face ashen. To this day, I still know that feeling. I send him my love and wish I knew what he was trying to say.

The second was shortly after my grandmother had died. I knew she was finally at peace reunited with the loved ones she had communicated with all her life from the other side. It was the night before her funeral and my sister and I had met with my aunt and uncle with plans of spending the night and going to the funeral together.

It was in the wee hours of the morning and everyone was in bed. My sister and I were sound asleep with her newborn between us, when I had this dream or vision ― you might call it. My grandmother appeared before me and she wanted to talk with me and tell me something.

Before I knew it, I was being forcefully shaken by my uncle with everyone gathered around. Apparently, I was screaming so loud it woke everyone up, except me.  I never heard myself scream. I was left with an empty feeling of the loss of my grandmother and more questions. Like my grandfather, what was she trying to tell me?

It was another example of gripping fear but interesting it showed up in my subconscious. I wish I had learned from her how to be comfortable with spirits and the world beyond. It makes me wonder what is so deep in my psyche that triggers this fear. I hope I will learn someday.

How about you – what makes you scared? Have you ever been frightened where you froze on the spot or ran? Maybe you have a phobia and are afraid of heights or spiders.

Pat from the ol’ kitchen table

15 thoughts on “Boo! What Scares You?

  1. I was sleeping in my dead grandfather’s room as a child and was awoken by a shadow standing silhouette-like at the window. I can still see it now 50 years later if I close my eyes. I felt at peace though…I didn’t scream like you but when I asked in the morning no one had come into the room and my sister had not woken in the same room as me. When I’m writing the Riduna Series I do feel that past family especially my Great Grand Mother Harriet Jane are with me…..going on a spooky walk on Friday night though. I’ll let you know Pat….thanks for the mention!

    • Wow – that’s an incredible story. No doubt it was your grandfather in spirit, Diana. Those types of things stay with you, I know, even after 50 years. I’m glad you are at peace with it. With me, it’s not that I’m not at peace with it. I just don’t know why I respond the way I do — it felt like an automatic reflex reaction I can’t control. I think I’m on the right track of finding out though. 🙂

  2. Pat, this is powerful stuff you share here! I’m not surprised that you were afraid of your encounters with your grandparents. My grandmother lost her younger brother to drowning when she was about 12 and he was 9 and she always used to tell me the story of how she saw him appear in front of her and she knew he was dead even before anyone told her. She also told me that she used to see her own father after he died. He was a Baptist Minister but suffered a great set back in his faith after losing his younger son when he drowned. These stories would scare me when I was younger but Granny would always tell me that there was nothing to be afraid of. She had a quiet faith her whole life and never seemed afraid of dying. She had been a nurse when young and before she married my grandfather.
    For me, it is my Christian faith that helps me with my own fears, the belief that God is with us and helping us through the dark, scary times and bringing peace where there is fear. I was never comfortable with the ‘spirits’ as my Granny was and still am not, so I understand all that you share here Pat.

    • Thank you, Sherri. It sounds like you had a close, loving relationship with your grandmother too. It’s the same with my grandmother I talked about in this story. I loved her dearly, still do, and she would be saying the same comforting things to me as your Granny. I have a strong faith in God, as well, and she was the greatest influence with that not only with Christianity beliefs and doctrine, but her psychic gifts served to anchor and strengthen my faith even more.

      I don’t want to have a fear where it’s like a reflex reaction. I want to embrace that same love I know translates between these worlds. I know I’ll get there and learn what it is. I can feel it even in this writing about it. 🙂

    • I know you do, Susan. I’ve read about them. I think the reason it’s scary for me has mostly to do with what’s going on in me. Death is a normal process of living that’s certainly true. I get that mostly in my head and some in my heart. I think that’s why your experiences weren’t scary to you is because you get it through and true 100%. I’m learning to get it to 100% so my experiences won’t be scary too. I’d love that. 🙂

  3. Wow…what a stirring post Pat!

    “Does it scare you to talk about “ghosts” or entertain the idea of loved ones still being with you, energetically, on a different plane?” – It does not scare me at all to think that spirits are all around us and I do strongly believe in the paranormal and afterlife.

    I remember as a small boy around 11 or so my grand,mother passing away. She had lived with my mom and I up to her passing so I’m sure her spirit was very strong in our place.

    One night soon after her passing I was snug in my bed and was in a deep sleep when all of a sudden I was woken by someone grabbing my leg and shaking it. I immediately jumped out of bed and yelled something or other – I’m a light sleeper – and found no one in my room. I looked in on my mom and she was sound asleep.

    To this day I never knew if it was my grandmother or something a tad sinister…and who knows, I might have just been vividly dreaming, but it has stayed with me for the last 41 years!

    Well, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it 🙂

    Thanks for a spooky post Pat and take care. All the best.


    • Hi Lyle. Thank you for stopping by and I’m glad you enjoyed the read. I loved your spiritual encounter and can see where that, too, would stay with you for a long time. It all seems so real and makes me wonder what it means or what is the point other than an attempt to clue us in to pay more attention. 🙂

      • You could be right Pat!

        As strange as this might sound, I always expected my mother, who passed away in ’98, would try and “reach out” from the other side to let me know that she is ok or to tell me that there actually is an after-life. To this day I have not experienced any such occurrences.

        Take care and all the best.


        • Lyle – perhaps, it’s in giving them permission to reach out to us. I never thought of that before. When you do, be on the look out for most subtlest signs. I’ll do that too with my grandmother.

          Take care and have a great weekend.

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