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When I was a child, it was taboo to talk about experiencing ghostly presences. As I grew into a young adult, however, I was surprised to learn that not everyone took this same stance when it came to discussing the paranormal. Working as an aide at a nursing home on the night shift introduced me to a world in which it was normal to acknowledge things unseen.
This began when a man in the facility passed away. I had been the person to find him fallen on the floor before his final trip to the hospital. The other staff members were half afraid of this man because he was rather stubborn, demanding, and recalcitrant with them. He and I seemed to have an understanding however. I felt I might act the same way if I was in his shoes, and he must have sensed my empathy. It was enough to buy me a pass on his normally bitter behavior.
Shortly after the news of his passing reached me, I was talking with another aide in between rounds. She casually mentioned the hauntings on the 2nd floor.
“Hauntings?” I queried in surprise.
“Yes, you haven’t experienced anything since Mr. (X) passed?”
I admitted that I had not. Perhaps I had assumed that the slamming doors I heard up there had been residents taking a peak at me as I made my way to each room. After this conversation though, I decided to pay closer attention to what was happening as I walked around the floor.
On my next round, with each door slam, I tried to find the culprit. I’d open all the doors in the vicinity of the sound to try and catch a person up and about, only to find the residents fast asleep. Still, I couldn’t be sure that there wasn’t some old school pranking happening. After all, some of the residents openly admitted to me that they were bored there, so maybe they’d decided to take their entertainment into their own hands and mess with us staff members a little.
Then one night I was just stepping out of a room across from the utility closet, when WHAM! right in front of my face – in thin air – a door slammed. There was no rational explanation for it. Yet I tried to find one anyway. The only door remotely close was the one attached to that supply closet, but it was on a slow-closing hinge. I opened it just in case, to make sure it had not broken.
It had not. And there also was no one in there who could have been responsible for it shutting.
I just stood there jaw agape for a minute as it dawned on me that I had just experienced a door slamming where there was no door.
You think you’ll run screaming from the room in a situation like this. Rather than being scary though, it just felt surreal. And what I did next can only be explained as instinctive: in my head, I asked Mr. X not to do that to me again. And I told him I think he’d be happier moving into the Light rather than staying stuck in this stuffy old place with the rest of us.
My coworkers said they never experienced anything paranormal on the 2nd floor again from that night forward. Nor did I.
After this incident, I stopped doubting metaphysical experiences that I’d been taught as a kid to stuff away and pretend didn’t exist. Our society often deems the belief in ghosts foolish, yet the real foolishness lies in believing in the existence of a Soul beyond the body, then not acknowledging that Soul’s presence when It comes a-knocking.
Or a-door slamming.