apport, doppelganger, Friday the 13th, Halloween, Judith Sterling, paranormal, Phantasmic Friday, Salem Massachusetts
It’s Friday the 13th! We’re nearly halfway through October, and Salem, Massachusetts is abuzz with all things Halloween. Needless to say, I’m in my element and excited for another Phantasmic Friday. So get cozy and read on for more adventures from my “paranormal past.” 🙂
As a little girl, I believed anything was possible. Truth be told, I still believe it. Perhaps the magic of that conviction links three uncommon events which happened in a common place: the living room of my childhood home.
On the first occasion, I was ten, and my older brother and his friend, Carl, invited me to play hide-and-seek. Carl was the first “seeker,” and once he started counting, I scampered to the living room and crouched behind a chair.
I’m invisible, I thought. I’m part of this chair.
I repeated those phrases in my mind again and again, then held my breath as Carl entered the room. He searched the entire area, but when he reached my hiding place, he merely glanced behind the chair, then dashed off to another room.
When at last the hunt was over, we plopped onto the living room couch. He turned to me with knitted brow.
“Where in heck were you?”
“The living room,” I said.
His face transformed into a mask of shock. “I checked the whole room. There’s no way you were in here.”
The fact he hadn’t seen me was strange, but my reply was even stranger. “How do you know? Maybe the molecules of my body changed to make me invisible. Maybe there are doorways we don’t know about. That wall right there could’ve opened up to let me pass through.”
He cocked an eyebrow. “What are you? A ghost?”
Well, yes…in a way. If ghosts are earthbound spirits with unfinished business, I suppose we all qualify; we’re just attached to physical bodies at the moment.
A few weeks later, the second event occurred. My little brother and I were sitting on his bedroom floor rolling a ball back and forth. At one point, he went for gold, and the ball whisked past me and out the open door to the living room. I jumped to my feet and hurried to retrieve it, but it was nowhere in sight.
My brother was close on my heels. “Where is it?”
I shrugged. “I don’t know, but it has to be somewhere.”
We began a search that left no corner unchecked, no cushion unturned. Then we investigated the surrounding rooms, only to come up empty-handed.
Was it an example of what parapsychologists call “apportation”? Or the possible result of a portal? Your guess is as good as mine, but we never did find that ball. It was just gone.
Fourteen years later, I was home from college, and because my parents were away, my little brother and I had the run of the house. Naturally, he threw a party, which involved loud music and a lot of beer. I holed up in my room for the duration, and around 1:00 a.m., the house emptied. My brother turned off the living room stereo and cleaned up. Then we went to bed.
I was just dozing off when a blast of heavy metal music jolted me awake. Without a thought for my glasses, I bounded out of bed, down the hall, and into the living room.
I glared at the blurry figure illuminated by the blaring stereo. “What do you think you’re doing?”
Unmoving, my brother stared at me.
“Answer me!” I shouted. “What are you doing?”
“Nothing.” He turned down the music.
With a huff, I made a dismissive gesture. “Whatever. Just shut that off. I’m going back to bed.”
Silence clipped the music as I turned toward the hall. Then I took a step forward…
“Jude, who are you talking to?”
I whirled around. My brother stood way over in the dining room, but he should’ve been five paces to my right.
He flicked on the light switch and joined me in the living room. “I thought you were asleep. Why did you turn on the music?”
“It wasn’t me. I thought you did it.”
He shook his head and lifted a hand to his stomach. “I was throwing up in Mom and Dad’s bathroom.”
On the opposite side of the house.
I frowned, wishing I’d worn my glasses. The figure in front of the stereo had looked fuzzy, but it had my brother’s height, build, and thick, shoulder-length hair. It also sported his boxer shorts.
My brother saw it too, though from a distance that made the figure appear even blurrier than how I’d seen it. So what happened?
Bilocation, a phenomenon supported by quantum physics which I’ve experienced in a variety of ways since. History is peppered with stories of doppelgangers, including doubles of Elizabeth I, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, and Percy Bysse Shelley, to name only a few. It’s a strange, beautiful world we live in, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
If you enjoyed reading the true account above, check out My Books. Whether I’m writing fact or fiction, the supernatural always finds a home in my work. Happy Friday the 13th!