ghosts, Halloween, Judith Sterling, medieval romance, paranormal, Phantasmic Friday, Soul of the Wolf, Stockholm, Sweden, Yuletide
Welcome to the last Phantasmic Friday of October. Halloween is less than a week away, and I’m loving it! I love the Yuletide too, which is probably why my second medieval romance, Soul of the Wolf, is set in December of 1101. It’s also the season in which today’s true ghost story begins.
Christmas of 1992 found me packing for Sweden, where I would study for the next six months under a Swedish Institute scholarship. At the time, which was long before I met my husband, my Swedish-American boyfriend arranged for me to stay in his grandmother’s empty house in Stockholm for the week leading up to nyårsafton (New Year’s Eve). It was a small, quaint dwelling with numerous knick-knacks and—as I would soon discover—a tragic past.
The bedroom where I slept opened onto an alcove, above which the trap door to the attic was poised. My first night, I woke with a start…to darkness and an acute sense of someone hovering in the alcove. The space was alive with creaking floorboards and a bluish light.
A flashlight? An intruder?
My heart pounded. I shifted in bed to gain a better view.
No one was there. Or so it seemed.
I slid out of bed and tiptoed around the house, just to be sure I was alone. The doors were locked, and by the time I climbed back into bed, the strange light was gone. I fluffed up my pillow and rearranged the bedcovers.
Then a scraping, scratching sound filled the alcove. Had rats infested the attic?
A sudden rush of emotions slammed into me. Despair. Dread. Distress. Not mine but another’s.
Every night brought the same experience: the light, the sounds, and the mood. When the phenomena ceased, I sought sleep again, but as you can imagine, it took a while before I drifted off.
Months later, I learned the truth. My boyfriend’s uncle had committed suicide years before. He’d hung himself in the alcove, not ten feet from where I slept. If I’d known that at the time, I would’ve tried to help him move on. I hope he has since found peace.
I’ve enjoyed sharing some of my paranormal experiences with you this month. Believe it or not, they’re just the tip of the iceberg! Not surprisingly, the supernatural finds its way into almost everything I write. Check out My Books for more information.
Wishing everyone a safe and fun Halloween!