Articles/Essays From Pagans
February 1st. 2019 ...
Paganism and Witchcraft in the Media
September 25th. 2018 ...
Understanding the Unseen
August 25th. 2018 ...
A Little Magickal History
Men and the Goddess
Back to Basics Witchcraft: Magical Creativity for Small Living Spaces
Kitchen Magic and Memories
Why the Faeries?
Magic in Daily Life
An Open Fire: Healing from Within
Cernunnos: The Darkest Wood in the Moon's Light
Gudrun of the Victory Gods
Ares and Athena
La Santa Muerte... The Stigma and the Strength
The Lady on the Stairs
The Wheel of the Year in Our Daily Lives
July 26th. 2018 ...
The Importance of Unification: Bringing Together Community Members to Invoke Cohesivity
May 29th. 2018 ...
Wild Mountain Woman: Landscape Goddess
April 20th. 2018 ...
Nazis Made Us Change Our Name
January 25th. 2018 ...
Finding Balance: Discipline Wedded to Devotion
November 15th. 2017 ...
September 30th. 2017 ...
July 31st. 2017 ...
Sin Eaters and Dream Walkers
July 2nd. 2017 ...
On Cursing: Politics and Ethos
June 1st. 2017 ...
The Sacred Ego in Mediterranean Magical Traditions
April 30th. 2017 ...
Tarot Talk: the Knight of Pentacles
March 30th. 2017 ...
Tarot Talk: the Ace of Swords
January 10th. 2017 ...
The Gray of 'Tween
Becoming a Sacred Dancer
Little Dog, Big Love
December 9th. 2016 ...
A Child's First Yule
November 10th. 2016 ...
What Exactly Is Witchcraft?
A Witch in the Bible Belt: Questions are Opportunities
On Death and Passing: Compassion Burnout in Healers and Shamans
What I Get from Cooking (And How it’s Part of My Path)
September 11th. 2016 ...
The Shadow of Disgust
August 12th. 2016 ...
When Reality Rattles your Idea of the Perfect Witch
Hungarian Belief in Fairies
Designing a Pagan Last Will and Testament
July 13th. 2016 ...
What Every Pagan Should Know About Curses
Magic With A Flick of my Finger
Finding and Caring for Your Frame Drum
An Open Mind and Heart
June 13th. 2016 ...
Living a Magickal Life with Fibromyalgia
My Father, My First God
Life is Awesome... and the Flu
May 15th. 2016 ...
Faery Guided Journey
Working with the Elements
April 2nd. 2016 ...
The Fear of Witchcraft
Magic in Sentences
March 28th. 2016 ...
Revisiting The Spiral
January 22nd. 2016 ...
Coming Out of the Broom Closet
December 20th. 2015 ...
Magia y Wicca
October 24th. 2015 ...
Feeling the Pulse of Autumn
October 16th. 2015 ...
Sacred Lands, Sacred Hearts
September 30th. 2015 ...
September 16th. 2015 ...
Vegan or Vegetarian? The Ethical Debate
August 6th. 2015 ...
Lost - A Pagan Parent's Tale
July 9th. 2015 ...
Love Spells: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
The Magic of Weather
June 7th. 2015 ...
A Pagan Altar
A Minority of a Minority of a Minority
May 6th. 2015 ...
13 Keys: The Crown of Kether
March 29th. 2015 ...
A Thread in the Tapestry of Witchcraft
March 28th. 2015 ...
On Wiccan Magick, Theurgy, Thaumaturgy and Setting Expectations
March 1st. 2015 ...
Choosing to Write a Shadow Book
February 1st. 2015 ...
Seeker Advice From a Coven Leader
January 1st. 2015 ...
Manipulation of the Concept of Witchcraft
Broomstick to the Emerald City
October 20th. 2014 ...
Thoughts on Conjuring Spirits
October 5th. 2014 ...
The History of the Sacred Circle
September 28th. 2014 ...
Seeking Pagan Lands for Pagan Burials
Creating a Healing Temple
August 31st. 2014 ...
Coven vs. Solitary
August 24th. 2014 ...
The Pagan Cleric
A Gathering of Sorcerers (A Strange Tale)
August 17th. 2014 ...
To Know, to Will, to Dare...
On Grief: Beacons of Light in the Shadows
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The Lady on the Stairs
Article ID: 16029
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 209
Times Read: 2,901
RSS Views: 57,453
Author: XntricRaven72 [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: August 25th. 2018
Times Viewed: 2,901
For as long as I can remember, I have been tied to what I call other realms. My childhood is filled with amazing yet what many would call unexplainable experiences… hearing voices of those who are not physically present, feeling a presence not physically there and even seeing someone who is but a reflection in appearance. I have even seen those who look so much like a physical person I mistook them for one.
I have had numerous encounters with things beyond this plain of existence yet I still find it difficult to name these experiences. I am extremely reluctant to label myself or to try to define those things that might not have a definition. I have shied away from using the word gifts yet for those of us who are sensitive to these encounters I guess gifts are a good name to use.
I am fascinated by all the experiences I am so fortunate to have. I remember feeling both nervous and excited by the footsteps of those I could not see in my grandmother’s attic. I would eventually leave the comfort and sanctuary of my grandmother’s bed to investigate. As I approached the attic door I did my best to be quiet, to be cautious and not alarm those whose footsteps I could hear. Slowly I reached out my hand and as soon as my fingers touched the delicate doorknob all was silent. Imagine me thinking I could sneak up on ghosts, spirits or magical creatures. It seems humorous to me now however I took it quite seriously then
Sometimes I would go back to my grandmother’s room and quietly climb into bed. Other times I would open the attic door and carefully make my ascent into the attic. All the while my heart beat faster and harder inside my chest as I felt a rush of anticipation mixed with nervousness at what I might find at the top of the attic stairs. I wondered if I would be greeted cheerfully by spirits or magical beings just waiting for me to be brave enough to enter. Would I recognize the figures before me, would they look familiar or be unlike anything I could imagine? Then fear would grip me and I imagined things hideous and gruesome creatures angry that I had dared try to spy on them or interrupt their meeting.
I pushed the fear off and did my best to control my breathing and rapidly beating heart. My Grandparent’s house was a magical and sometimes mysterious place and so again my bravery returned and I approached the top of the attic stairs. Each time I dared to go to the attic I did not see anything unusual even the dust remained undisturbed. Yet this did not douse my curiosity or deter me from trying again.
Any weekend or summer I spent at my grandparent’s house I anticipated what or whom I might see and hear. My grandmother assured me the footsteps in the attic were nothing to worry about. My incessant questions were not addressed in much detail however and it seemed my grandmother did not want to attempt a definite answer about who or what the sounds of footsteps belonged to.
Sometimes I heard other sounds more like voices whispering or I heard someone say my name yet no one was there. I saw images of people walking by in my peripheral vision though when I turned to look no one was there. These things quickly became a normal part of my childhood and though I was sometimes nervous most of the time I just accepted these things.
Sometimes I saw the shadow of someone sitting or standing in my grandmother’s room; this also occurred numerous times when I was at home or at someone else’s home visiting. Sometimes I heard a sound like someone breathing or I felt like someone was there but did not see anything. At times I was scared and called out for my parents but most of the time I just pulled the blankets up high and peeked out to make sure no one was coming closer. When I did feel scared or nervous my curiosity always outweighed my fear and I still wanted to see who or what might be there.
Usually my mother would tell me nothing is there I am only imagining things; there is nothing to worry about. My father, being more religious and superstitious, would tell me to pray or to say the name of his god out loud but usually that did not help.
My father told me he also experienced things like that as a child, he saw shadows, heard breathing in his room and other things. My father told me stories of demons that pretend to be the ghosts of those we love to gain our trust and insisted there are no real ghosts. My father also told me stories of demon possessions and hell and things that usually only increased my anxiety. I learned quickly I could not really speak to my parents about these things.
My grandmother, though religious also, took a different approach and told me she experienced all those things as well. My grandmother explained that she saw ghosts both peaceful and malevolent; she saw angels and other beings she did not attempt to name. She seemed to take these things in stride as I did and, though she did believe in demons as my father did, she rarely spoke of them.
One day that I will never forget, while visiting my grandmother, I was coming down the spiral staircase to the foyer making my way back to the kitchen where my grandmother was waiting.
A young lady with long brown hair was coming up the stairs toward me. The lady wore a skirt and a light colored blouse and she had the most beautiful and sophisticated face. The lady was walking closest to the railing and I the wall. I said hello, however she did not answer me. I said hello again in case she had not heard me. The lady walked right by me up the stairs and when I reached the bottom of the staircase I looked up and she was already out of view.
My grandparent’s house was a large house on Hale Street near West Beach in Beverly Farms, Massachusetts. My grandparents had decided to turn a couple of the upstairs areas of the house into apartments they would rent out to college students. There was a nice young man staying in the apartment at the top of the spiral staircase so I believed this lovely young woman to be his girlfriend or guest.
When I reached the kitchen where my grandmother was waiting I asked her who the young woman was. My grandmother said no one else was in the house. So I asked if the young lady who had passed me on the stairs could be a guest of her young male tenant. My grandmother told me that the young man renting that apartment had gone to visit his parents and was not even there and said she had not let anyone in. I felt perplexed and insisted that the young lady had passed me on the stairs I told my grandmother I had said hello twice however the lady did not answer and that did not sit well with me. I told my grandmother I thought it a bit rude she had not responded perhaps because I was only a child. Due to my insistence my grandmother finally answered “sometimes we see them in the house but they are nothing to worry about.”
In that moment I felt all the blood rush out of my body and I felt shocked. Had my grandmother just told me I had passed a ghost, a spirit, on the stairs and she looked so physical in appearance I did not know she was a ghost?
I had so many experiences before this yet to hear my grandmother state I had seen a ghost so calmly I was taken back. I asked my grandmother, “A ghost?”
My grandmother replied, “They are nothing to worry about they won’t do anything to you.” I still felt so surprised by grandmother telling me this and then she continued. She said, “Sometimes they appear in a human form and other times they look like something different.” She told me sometimes she saw figures in the house with human bodies and round heads. Other times the figures she saw looked like people. Later my grandmother told me other stories of her own experiences in the house. I loved listening to the stories my grandmother would tell.
As the blood returned to my body I felt the familiar rush of excitement and exhilaration and I wanted to have more experiences like this. My trips to the attic became more frequent. As I turned every corner or walked up and down the spiral staircase I wondered if I would see the lady again or another ghost or spirit so clearly like the lady on the stairs. I never did.
Years later, I would see the lady again though not the same way she had appeared to me on the stairs. I have often wondered who she is and if she is with me to protect me or she is attached to me for some reason. Perhaps one day I will know.
I spoke with one of my Uncles and he said he also had experiences in my grandmother’s house and told me that he and my grandmother had both seen the spirit of a man. I shared the story about the lady with him and he suggested perhaps she is a relative keeping an eye on me.
Several years ago I met a man who is a practitioner of Voodoo and he told me that I have a very powerful lady that stays with me and watches over me and that with her I have great power.
I wondered in that moment if the lady he spoke of was the lady on the stairs.
Throughout my life, including recently, I have experienced figures, shadows, the feeling that someone is nearby or the sound of someone saying my name. Sometimes the voice I hear is so close I can feel their breath brush across my ear. I have had dreams and visions of people that have passed communicating with me. My experiences are not limited to where I am. I have had these experiences anywhere I have lived, worked or visited. So perhaps I am simply sensitive or receptive to these kinds of experiences.
I know I am not alone in this. I have had numerous conversations with others who have had the same or similar experiences. Many people say with certainty that they know it is the spirits of certain loved ones who have passed. Some have told me they are visited and watched over by a parent, grandparent, sibling or spouse.
I have heard so many remarkable stories of experiences people have had and have so many of my own. I feel honored when people share stories of their own experiences with me. Some people are confident in the definitions they choose for these experiences. I however choose not to define my experiences too rigidly because while I believe them to be true and believe that some encounters are spirits of those who have passed there might also be other explanations.
My journey has been and continues to be a truly interesting one. My journey has taught me that labels are often only placeholder terms and definitions, explanations; interpretations can expand or change with time as we learn and grow. So I leave plenty of room for growth, learning, awe and wonder and I keep an open mind.
I plan to include this story and others about my experiences at my grandparent’s house in a book I am currently writing.
Location: Lowell, Massachusetts
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