Monday, October 31, 2005

The day I believed

Sometimes things just fall into place. I was thinking that – with all the Halloween ghost stories abounding in the blogosphere – I might just tell you a story, and then I decided I’d post something else this evening. A few minutes later, I was leaving a comment on Sher’s blog, and the word verification box was staring me in the face… it was asking my to type “ouiaj”. All things considered, I don’t think that’s a message I can really ignore… do you? So, the story then… and trust me, every word is true.

Thinking back, it feels like it was another life. So many years ago, another person occupying this body of mine. Still, it was me, and Gill, my partner at the time, was kneeling on the floor by my side. With us, and forming a circle on the floor, were about half a dozen of our friends, and in the middle of that human circle was a ouija board. The house, part of an old Victorian terrace adjacent to Hadley Wood, was dark and quiet, and although it wasn’t All Hallows Eve it was winter, and it was approaching midnight. The wind was rattling the old sash windows and causing the flames from the few candles in the room to dance, and the shadows moved as if they actually had some kind of life of their own. It was perfect, and we were scared.

To begin with, we just sat there waiting, and willing the glass to move. The questions were basic, just requiring a yes or no answer, and looking round I could see the concentration on my friend’s faces. We must have sat there for over an hour, and we were fast beginning to think that nerves and flickering candles alone weren’t going to be enough to forge that link to the spirit world we were all quietly yearning for.

The air, when it hit us, was like a cold breath that filled the room. Phil, who’s house we were in, said “Fuck it. The door must have opened downstairs.” Looking pale, even in the candlelight, he walked out the room, full of bravado, only to reappear a minute later with a puzzled look on his face, “Strange”, he mumbled, and sat down again. And so we started again. “Is there anybody there?”…

We watched with a mixture of fright and disbelief as the glass moved under our fingers. “Yes”, it spelt. We all looked at each other for even the slightest sign that the glass had been pushed by one of us, but it was evident that we were all just as shocked as each other. “Do you have a message for somebody here?” Again, the glass moved under the lightest of fingers. “Yes”, was the answer.

“Who is your message for?”, Phil asked, his voice now noticeably shaking as he spoke. Slowly, very slowly, the glass moved to the letters that spelt my name. I looked at Gill, and she stared back at me, eyes wide, disbelieving. I could feel the hair on my neck standing on end, and I looked around the circle, feeling all eyes burning into me. “What is your message?”, Phil asked, looking at me as he spoke.

We waited what seemed like an eternity, but thinking back it was probably no more than ten or fifteen seconds. But – as we were beginning to think it must have been somebody pushing the glass after all, it began to move again. And it spelt something that was utterly meaningless to me.

“Barry hex ill”.

I looked at Gill again. “What? 'Barry hex ill'... who the hell's Barry??” I looked at her hoping for some kind of revelation, but she shrugged her shoulders. “No idea”, she said. And after that, despite Phil, and then Val (his wife) repeatedly asking questions – asking for some kind of explanation – the glass never moved again.

We packed the ouija board away after a while, and all went downstairs. The lights went on, the drinks started flowing, and the truth is that we thought no more about it. It was as if the spell we’d been under just moments before was completely broken. And the next morning, when the phone woke me up a lot earlier than I’d have chosen, I could barely remember what we’d been feeling in that dark, cold room the night before. It was Mum, and I knew immediately that something was wrong.

“Mum, calm down and tell me what’s going on. What is it?” I asked her, trying the best I could to emerge from the deep sleep I’d been in seconds earlier. I waited for her to speak.

“I’ve got some bad news. I’m sorry to wake you up with it, but I thought you’d want to know.” I felt my stomach churn as I asked her again what was going on.

“It’s Uncle Barry. He had a stroke last night, around midnight… a bad one. And they don’t know if he’s going to pull through.”

Let me assure you that this story is true, down to the smallest detail. I’ve never forgotten the chill I felt at those words, or the look on Gill’s face when I put the receiver down and told her what Mum had said to me. And since then, I’ve never quite been able to say that I don’t believe…

19 comments:

it's all about me said...

Blimey. That is either a stunning coincidence or...
I used to do the ouija a lot when I was younger and also had some weird experiences (although some of those experiences could probably be attributed to too much cider, trippy weed and general teenage hysteria). However, I am sure that there's something going on there - although I still maintain that bloke on the telly who does the seances is full of sh*t.

Networkchic said...

Oh those boards are very strange indeed. For awhile I actually got obsessed with one and couldn't stop using it. I have to tell you that something happend that scared the living daylights out of me, and I have not picked one up since. I do believe, nothing good comes from the likes of one of those boards. Great post.

WDKY said...

Sara, can that really have been coincidence? REALLY?

Thanks NWC. Yes, ouija boards are... strange, for sure.

Parveneh said...

Creepy. I will never use a Ouija board. Too scared of what I may actually contact. What can I say, I rather live in an ignorant state than find out what is "out there".

Don't think my fragile mind can handle that type of truth. :-)

E-E said...

....wanna hear somethin' super scary?
I used to work in a pubs dept. of a large company. I was having horrific dreams, where someone was choking me and I would wake up gasping in fits of sweat.
My b/f of 7 yrs and I had just broken up, and I was left in the house alone for a while to try and sell it, so, natch, I am sure the dreams were anxiety driven.
Well, an editor of the pubs group overheard me telling a coworker about my dreams.
She walked right up to me and said, "I know exactly what your dreams are about."
(Like I even asked her to begin with, right?)
She said: "You were brutally murdered in a past life and this is your past trying to work itself out..."
Of course, THAT helped my nightmares. Bitch.
But, THIS is, in a nutshell, why I am freakin scared to DEATH to go near one of those ouija boards.
!!!
no thank ya.

Sher said...

Although I don't have a Ouija Board, I have had enough weird things happen to not question what's on the other side...

WDKY said...

Parv, I'm sure you'e not really that fragile... and Happy Birthday.

Emerald - spooky. It does make you wonder...

Sher, I'd like to see your other side, as it happens.

it's all about me said...

wdky - I'm not doubting you at all. There's a whole other level of stuff going on out there that we don't know much about, and it's probably best that we only get the odd glimpse of it.

WDKY said...

Yes, I agree. This really is weird, but it's especially weird to me. It had quite an effect on me, for a long time afterwards.

Sky said...

wdky, I have never had any personal experiences with them but I will tell you that my best friend of 20 years and her mother had used it once and the "spirit" claimed to be her father. After continuing to "talk" to "him", they realized that it could not be him. They immediately got rid of the board and will not even talk about it any further to this day.

emerald-eyes, I have heard that also just can't remember where..the same goes if you have birthmarks. In many cases, you were burned in that particular spot in a previous life.

NewYorkMoments said...

I don't have any scary Halloweenie/supernatural type stories. Unless you could the 2 times I was regressed...But those aren't really scary.

k o w said...

That story is... well shit I literally just got a cold streak running up my spine.

ladylongfellow said...

Very cool story! My word verification is Ufong...lol...maybe I should tell my UFO story!

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

Creepy!

I read this in the middle of the day, and I kept looking behind me.

Caterpillar said...

Holy shit that's scary and freaky and all that. And it's the reason I've never touched a ouija board. I can see why you were affected for a long time afterward. I'm glad that at least it was a long time ago for you.

check said...

that was freaky!! i do believe in this stuff and am also scared of it..i guess the less we know the better...

sirreene said...

wdky, that's hysterical. Great one!

WDKY said...

Sky, there are so many stories, aren't there? Its spooky for sure.

NYM - post about them and let us be the judge of whether they're scary or not.

KOW, that's a compliment indeed ;-)

LL, thank you. Yes, lets have a good UFO story!

Sarah!! Hi, thanks for leaving a comment. And... watch out behind you....

Cat, it was scary... very scary!!

Check, knowledge is power ;-)

Sirreene, thanks! But it was true, I promise you.

Ladyred said...

i myself haven't had any 'supernatural' experiences of this nature, although we did play with a ouija board in high school but i don't trust anyone and i'm sure the girls moved the marker so i didn't put much trust in that. then again we did ask silly questions. haha.

nice changes to your blog. i'm not on much but i am trying to drop by now and then. i'll have to catch up on the prior goodies......

hell no vowels in my blog, crap. although it does start with "vd..." that better not be any kind of sign.1!