Ghosts

Ghosts

The world contains lots of ghosts, they are just memories left over from days that have long since gone, it usually takes a year for them to haunt their place of death and they sometimes visit their loved ones, it seems to depend upon the circumstances. We can’t interact with them yet and not everybody can see them, we can sense them though, well, most of us can. It’s that feeling you get when you know that you’re being watched even though you know you are completely alone, the feeling when you just know somebody is in the house downstairs, even though you’ve been down to check three times and the amount of times you’ve checked that the windows and doors are locked is bordering on obsessive compulsive. Anyway, that’s them, the ‘ghosts’, you don’t need to fear them, so far they’ve given us no reason to be afraid, it’s just slightly unsettling being watched when you can’t see the one doing the watching.

It’s very likely that it is someone you used to know coming back to see you or someone who used to live in or around your house and have come to visit their loved ones. We’re not sure if they can interact with one another or even if they know they are dead, all we know is that they want to talk to us for some reason.

It has been happening for about 10 years now and there are ‘ghosts’ from all different time periods, so far we’ve had Romans, Tudors, Victorians right up to the present day,  there are fewer visitors from the distant past, we presume they move onto somewhere else, they ‘crossover’ as it is generally called, it’s also not every single person who has died that comes back, we’re not sure why, some argue it’s because they don’t have any unfinished business or it depends on religious beliefs. So far there has been no correlation of religion, colour or creed, it’s just people of all shapes, sizes and colours.

Its most definitely one of the most prolific things to have happened in the last 100 years if not the single most amazing thing to have happened since time began.

I’m Matt by the way, I run the Facebook page ‘Ghosts – The truth and what to do with it’, we record and investigate the ‘ghost’ encounters in and around West Yorkshire, we’re not official, it’s more of a hobby really. We meet up once a week, report our findings, check out the latest sightings and eat lots of bourbons. People send us their stories and evidence of different sorts of experiences, people claiming that they have spoken to the ‘ghosts’, we once had a lady who was apparently in a relationship with one!

I don’t dismiss the claims of interaction with them, especially when I have experienced the very same thing. It was almost ten years ago when I had my encounter with a ‘ghost’, I’d been on the train heading to Selby from York, it was quite late, around 10pm, the sightings had just started within the last week and a paranormal investigator had been giving a talk on how we should be inviting these ‘spirits’ into our lives and that we are blessed to be given this opportunity. I wasn’t entirely sure about what he was saying, what if they weren’t ghosts? What if they were pretending? Or they were something completely different or what if they were dangerous?!

I went along to the talk to see what I could find out about this guy, if he was genuine or just trying to cash in on the latest craze. It was definitely an eye opener and some of the things he had mentioned were incredible, the evidence that had been collected by his colleagues on the apparitions was outstanding, even before they had become public knowledge, they had sightings of this kind dating back 3100 BC in Ancient Egypt, granted these sightings have been depicted through the use of hieroglyphics and we can’t say for certain they mean what we think they mean, it was some thought-provoking stuff though and I left with an open mind.

I had all these crazy ideas flying around my head as I walked to the train station, from the moment I had heard about these ‘ghosts’ I was a non-believer, however just 45 minutes worth of notions from this guy and I was hooked, the possibilities were now endless, it opened up so many more questions too, was there a God? A heaven? Did we have to believe that there was an afterlife now? What would happen to the religions of earth? Would chaos ensue or would we carry on regardless?

All of this and more was swirling through my mind as I hurtled towards home on the train, it was fairly quiet, a Tuesday evening if I remember correctly and it was getting late. I was furiously writing notes in my journal, as I do every day anyway, but this particular set of scribbling was a little crazy, I was so caught up in what I’d just been told I was barely paying attention to anything else. The announcement came over the internal tannoy to say we were approaching Escrick station and to take small children by the hand, take all your belongings with you if you wish to depart and all that jazz.

I glanced up from my scrappy notebook, just to be nosy really, looking to see who was getting off, who was getting on but nothing could have prepared me for what I saw standing on the platform at Escrick station. As clear as day, bold as brass were my Mum and brother, standing side by side. It might be a good idea to explain right now that I was born a twin, my identical twin brother, Luke, died in childbirth along with my Mum, there were complications throughout her pregnancy and it had been inevitable that one of us would not survive the birth, however if my mum had chosen to have a termination she would have lost us both. In the end the decision not only killed my brother but also her. I’ve never really had any obvious emotional scars from what happened, obviously I was just a baby, I grew up without a Mum, never had the bond with a sibling and I had the most wonderful father in the world who gave me everything I ever needed. The only reason I knew it was my brother was obviously because it was like looking in a mirror and for a split second I was standing, as a man, next to

my Mum, something I had never thought about before but for that moment it was highly emotional, I realised suddenly that she would never be at my side for anything throughout my life. They were gone as quickly as they arrived; I wasn’t sure if that was because they stay only for a brief moment or if it was because the train moved on. Either way, I had at least seen my Mum and brother, and it was an amazing experience if not a rushed one. There was also an important realisation I made that night, my brother was my age, the age I was at the time, which would imply that we continue to ‘grow up’ on the other side.

There are plenty of times over the years since my encounter that I am certain I have heard people calling my name or whispering to me, even talking in full sentences at times, I don’t find this to be too unbelievable not when we have a woman claiming to have a relationship with a ghost. I have a had some disturbing experiences, that I would prefer to dismiss as dreams, or nightmares, I’ve woken up in the dead of night with the intense feeling that someone was stood over my bed, not just looking but staring at me, Ive heard of sleep paralysis and how terrifying it can be but this was different, I would bet my life that I was not alone on those occasions, what I never understood was why I didn’t see those visitors when so many others are willing to say hello. I suppose I could just be imagining it, it could be hidden trauma, buried deep from the loss of my brother and Mum, I can’t see how that is possible when I never even knew them, I’m sure a psychiatrist would argue differently though.

*

It’s so lonely sat here in Matts room, we’ve not moved much since the accident, his Offspring posters are still on the walls, his guitar, his pride and joy, gathering dust on its stand in the corner of the room; so many times I’ve gone to pick it up, just to hear a chord being played, maybe it would bring a smile to my face? I doubt it, not much does these days. Mum tidied up a bit about a week after it had happened, his work uniform was left in a pile on the floor, some empty plates and glasses that had been left on his bed side cabinet, everything else has stayed put though. We don’t dare move a thing in hope that he might actually one day be back here, properly, as the Matt we all knew before.

Every time I look in the mirror it’s a reminder of what he used to be, he’s just a shell of a person now, an empty vessel surviving, not living. I can’t say there’s much living going on here really, we’re all just surviving, day to day, waiting for a miracle to happen.

It will be ten years tomorrow, the anniversary of the accident, there’s a memorial service, there always is, it doesn’t make the slightest bit of difference though does it?! It doesn’t make it any easier.

He was in the coma for about a year, we thought he would pull through, and there were a few times when he responded to us but nothing ever came of it. Then one day he just woke up, we were ecstatic, we couldn’t believe how lucky we were and to imagine the amount of times we had been so close to saying our final farewells just didn’t even bear thinking about. Our elation was short lived though, after a few days when the realisation crept in that Matt was no longer Matt, he had suffered from such a severe traumatic brain injury that there was pretty much nothing left of his previous personality, he no longer functioned in the way he used to.

He eventually learned all the basics again, how to walk, talk, eat that sort of thing but he seemed to have no recollection of who we were or of any part of the life he was living before the train crash.

He’s under constant surveillance now at a psychiatric unit in London, he’s been used as a test subject countless times, with specialists and consultants baffled by his unique condition, the brain activity that shows up on each and every test, something to do with cognitive regeneration, we’re not entirely clued up on it, and it’s something that’s known little about. It’s just a heart breaking experience every time we visit, he just looks straight through us as though we don’t exist, sometimes he has reacted to our voices, he seems to hear us, if only for a few seconds, other times there’s nothing. There has been a few occasions where it would be almost as if he was answering us, it was slightly unnerving to witness, it had obviously gotten to a point where Mum was at the end of her tether, she wasn’t sleeping and the frustration must have been unbearable, she suddenly screamed at him in the middle of the hospital and he turned to face her so urgently but it was still as though she wasn’t there, he looked straight through us with a look of pain and disbelief on his face.

He spends most days talking to his self now; he never talks to the nurses or the doctors, at least not directly. He writes non-descript notes on every scrap of paper he can get hold of, just snippets of information, sometimes it makes sense and could almost be communicative, then he slips back to non-sensical gibberish. There has always been one constant in his ramblings though, something that seems to crop up in every note written in every near ‘conversation’, hes always talking about the ‘ghosts’, it’s always about the ghosts. Maybe that’s all he has now, his own little world and his ghost writing, we’ll always be here though, waiting for him, just in case of a miracle ever happening and he can return to us, where he belongs.

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