OK, so I mentioned in a recent post that I saw an apparition… here’s the story.
First, a disclaimer: I really hesitated to post this, what with it being the time of year when everywhere you turn you are bombarded with ‘creepy ghost stories’ and other horror elements. I didn’t want to seem to be playing into all that – but it’s too cool not to share.
It’s not actually creepy at all, or particularly exciting, and I chose the word apparition instead of ghost very deliberately as I don’t really have a firm opinion as to what things like this are, or even if there’s one single theory that explains it all.
Anyway, it started when I went with my partner and a friend to a place that is sort of a huge combination junk store/salvage shop/art studio, located in a large metal warehouse. The building is divided into long ‘streets’ (complete with street names and signs) along which there are consignment booths on each side of the streets.
We were working our way up and down each street and I had fallen behind because I got caught up rummaging around in a bin of old brass doorknobs. As I was heading alone towards the next booth on that side, I saw someone coming towards me from the other direction headed for the same booth. Dammit.
I have a very large personal space bubble, and I don’t like to have strangers in my space if I can at all avoid it. I also don’t like to make eye contact with strangers. The booths in this place were mostly pretty cluttered without a lot of room to move around for even one person, let alone two or more.
I do try to avoid ‘freaking out the neurotypicals’ so in environments like this I’ve developed a way of being aware of people in my peripheral vision without looking right at them, so that I can avoid them without appearing to have even been aware of their presence.
Because of this, I only saw this woman out of the corner of my eye. When she turned left into the booth I was about to enter, I instead veered left into the booth on the opposite side, pretending to be studiously looking at a display of doll clothes or some other crap I had no interest in, while I waited for her to move on.
After a few seconds I chanced looking directly across to the other booth, to gauge how far along she’d meandered. She wasn’t there – the booth was empty.
I was puzzled. I looked ahead to the next booth – there was no one in that one, or in any of the booths along that aisle. I could see my partner and friend about three booths ahead, but this section was otherwise empty.
Huh. She must have turned back, I thought – but I’d only been two booths down from an intersection, and those were all empty, so I backtracked around the corner and still saw… no one. Unless she’d sprinted away and hid (and that much movement would most certainly have caught my eye) then she had just vanished into thin air!
Once I eliminated all other possibilities and realized what had just happened, I wasn’t at all frightened, I just thought it was really neat! I hurried along to tell the others. I wasn’t able to really describe her because I had been busy trying to not make eye contact, but my sense was that she was taller than me, a bit heavier set or wearing bulky clothing which was also long, like a long coat, medium beige or gray.
What it was I saw, I can’t say for sure – except that I am pretty positive it was not an actual live person who managed to take off and hide. A ghost? I keep an open mind about those, but the building was only recently turned into a shop, and who would be haunting a warehouse? Or even if they were, would a ghost be aware enough to navigate a booth that would not have existed in their lifetime?
Maybe it was a spirit attached to one of the items in the booth? It was mostly old furniture, including a rather creepy looking huge clock.
Or maybe it wasn’t a ghost at all, and instead I was somehow seeing a replay or echo of a person who had actually walked into that booth,
Or maybe it was a time slip – what if there’s now some woman out there telling her friends about the sketchy looking woman skulking in a doll clothes booth across from them at the junk shop who just disappeared right before her eyes?
Featured Image: A pale-colored moth, with its wings extended, clinging to the rough wood siding at night under my back porch light.