Growing up I was always known as the girl with the haunted house, the weird girl who thought anything related to the paranormal was fascinating. You know the stories you hear about creepy little kids? Well, I was one, and everyone knew it.
I would sleep in my closet growing up and tell stories of the ghosts I talked to all the time. My family coined the nickname Matilda for me, after the movie Matilda, because of these things I would do. Maybe it’s because I have a wild imagination, or maybe it’s because what I was experiencing as a child was real.
I experienced death at a young age and began trying to understand death and the afterlife during my early childhood. I am by no means psychic (and yes, those are real too), but I knew things that a kid shouldn’t know.
I’ll never forget (partially because my family will never let me forget) the day my grandma sat me down to tell me about my grandpa passing,. I told her it was okay and he was in a better place with no more pain before she even told me what happened. I was only five.
In my childhood room, I had clouds painted on the wall that I would talk to and when they were painted over I cried and cried because I didn’t want “them” to be mad at me. My dad is a huge skeptic, but even he can’t deny I was a creepy little kid.
I don’t blame people when they think I’m crazy after they hear these stories. Not even a little. When other people tell these stories I also ask a lot of questions, because it’s natural to assume what you don’t understand is fake.
My experiences with the paranormal didn’t stop in early childhood, as they carried into my adolescence and teens. I have heard noises that shouldn’t be there, seen things out of the corner of my eye when they aren’t there and have walked into an empty room just to feel a heavy presence.
Most of the time when the conversation of ghosts gets brought up I’m the one that has stories to tell. I have plenty of them that I don’t mind sharing, but on nearly every occasion I’ve had someone belittle me simply because I believe in the paranormal and they do not.
Everyone in my small town high school graduating class knew I had experiences with the paranormal. I was known as “the haunted girl.” I once walked into my journalism teachers AP Literature and Composition class during a lecture about Hamlet and was asked to talk about my paranormal experiences in front of a class that wasn’t even mine.
I’ve had so many encounters with the paranormal that it has become a part of my everyday life. I remember sitting on my basement couch, home alone, watching TV when every light in the house turned off. I would have just written it off as the power turning off, but the TV was still on.
Believing in the paranormal goes against every rational bone in my body, but I cannot deny that pit in my stomach I get when a room or a place just doesn’t feel right.
Humans are animals too, which means we have instincts. Listening to your gut works because of these instincts so when I get a bad feeling about a place I listen to that feeling. Whether someone believes that feeling is related to the paranormal or is just my imagination running wild, it doesn’t change that feeling. The universe is much too infinite for me to completely write the paranormal off.
I understand skeptics because naturally, I am one. There are times when people lie about their experiences and there are other times when it can be rationally explained. Not every paranormal experience is made up, some experiences can’t be explained away.
Even if you don’t believe in paranormal activity, you should still respect the person sharing that experience with you. The human mind is incredibly powerful, so even if something was nothing, it was still real to the person experiencing it.