Every since I was a wee one, I have had creepy encounters with our much deader cousins. Like most kids, I saw the ooogy boogy shadowy creatures that vanished around a corner when you tried to stare them down. While I didn't SEE dead people as a kid, I knew when they were around. My skin would try to crawl off of my body, or there were places that other folks had no problem walking around, I was aware that there were folks hanging about that would prefer that anyone with a pulse pick up and kindly move along. I never really talked about it, and I have no proof that my tingles and feelings were anything more than gas.
My only other super powers are that elevators tend to show up and open up as I am walking up to them, with no one in site, and in some ancient ass buildings that have nothing resembling modern equipment AND if there is a person that I know, and that said person is in a city in which I am in, and I don't know that they are in town, I tend to run into them. That second power wigs me out in that it has happened on the beach in Florida (ran into two friends from Minnesota), five times on the island of Puerto Rico (ran into five friends from Minnesota on five separate occasions in five separate locations on the island), in a gay bar in Denver, in Times Square, and, most recently, I ran into my Non-Romantic Life Partner (who lives in Indiana) a block from my house in New York as he was on his way to a gay bar (he hadn't told me he was in town.....sneaky).
But, in the last couple of years, my third eye seems to have been propped open and given a monocle. A couple of years ago, I was sitting on the floor of the beautiful old Victorian home I shared with three women in Oakland, chatting with David on Facebook. It was a beautiful morning, about nine a.m.. I was sitting in the "family room," when I looked up and out of the door into the foyer. The sun was shining through the front door, and a white woman in a old white lacy night gown took two steps up the stairs towards the second level. With her second step, I could see the heel of her foot clearly and the nightgown was kicked up a little bit as she walked up the stairs...then she disappeared.
I told David I'd seen a ghost. Packed up my computer. Left a bright yellow post it note on the fridge that said, "I SAW THE GHOST," and then I beat it up out of that piece and headed to work.
Fast forward to just a few months ago. when I woke up from a dead sleep feeling like someone was trying to choke the hell out of me. I could feel a weight on my body, and when I opened my eyes, standing next to my bed, clear as shit, was an old white man dressed in a frock coat, buckled shoes, hose, and a three corner hat. He was holding up a deed or some other legal document in his hand, and he looked mad as Hell. I thought I was dreaming, and I even closed my eyes and opened them again to see if maybe I was. No luck. Dude was still standing there. I sat there staring at this old creep for about 10 minutes before he finally faded away. I even tried to wake up David, but he was too far gone into Morpheus' world. You can bet I prayed my ass off and called on the name of the Lord before finally drifting back to sleep. The next day I lit up some sage, and I haven't heard from that dude or anyone else lately.
That is until last night.
Last night, I was minding my own bidness (that's right BIDness). I was sleeping and having a relatively traumatic dream about my little cousin Lonnie David (he had somehow hurt his leg and was having to do some sort of toddler physical therapy) when I woke up to see a possible white/possible mixed-race dude...from approximately the same era as old three point hat man. This man, however, did not have a deed. He was barefoot wearing old cotton pants with a drawstring waist, he was shirtless, and he was angry. I got the distinct feeling that he had been a laborer of some sort. AND, at some point, the man had been confined in a tight place with chains, because I found myself pounding the wall over and over again wanting to be let out of somewhere. I didn't get the feeling that he had survived the Middle Passage or anything that dramatic, but at some point, his ass had been in some type of bondage. When I saw old man three point hat....I did some research and had some help from my pal Adam Waterman and discovered that where I live used to be a very large farm owned by an old family that basically held this land for about two hundred years from the 1600s to the 1800s. There had also been workers that lived along the river nearby, and even closer by there had been a family cemetery for the family that owned this land. My guess is that the workers that lived around here were also buried in the vicinity. At least one of those workers is still hanging around.
While I walked away from my first ghostly experience in this apartment with the distinct feeling that the old man in the hat was trying to let us know clearly that this was HIS land, this second ghost was just angry and wanted folks to know something about him or to remind someone that he had lived. The anger from both was palpable, but I felt much less direct animosity from the second than the first, though the second one was not trying to be my friend either.
Looks like its time to smudge again.
In the last year, I've been visited in my dreams by Yemeya and Ogun. I have been visited in the waking world by two ghosts. If I might make a suggestion, I would like to be visited next by a leprechaun with a pot of gold...cuz if I am going to have to interact with spirits and stuff....at least I could make some coins off of the whole experience (well...not Yemeya and Ogun....I don't mess with Gods...no I do not).