What’s the Weirdest Experience of Your Life?

Over the past few weeks I’ve posted a bit about fictional “weird” in the context of the anthology we’re editing. But how about the real “weird”–instances of the inexplicable or of odd epiphany or reverie or absurdity in your lives that you can’t quite shake or rationalize?

Let’s run this for the next week, through Friday night. I’m counting on you to use the honor system and not make anything up. If a lot of people decide to share, we might just gift a couple of people with some free books.

40 comments on “What’s the Weirdest Experience of Your Life?

  1. John Sundman says:

    In 1976, walking across a bridge over the Raritan River, I found some colored plastic samples lying on the road. The orange one said “orange”. The blue one said “blue”, etc. I picked them up and took them home & put them on my dresser. The next day I walked across a different bridge over the same river. I found a booklet of color samples from a paint store. Each color had a name. I picked that up and took it home & put it on my dresser. The next day I called my friend Mike, 2 states away, to say hello. His brother Bob answered the phone. I had not spoken to Bob in 3 years. I said, “Hey Bob, how have you been. Tell me something I don’t know.” Bob replied, “Colors, John. Listen to the colors. Colors are speaking to us, we just have to listen to them.” I said “thanks Bob.” Mike wasn’t home. I went out for another long walk and looked closely at all the colors.

    This was during a time of my life (1974-78) when this kind of thing happened fairly frequently. Doesn’t happen so much any more. I don’t have any theory why that is.

  2. David Mynning says:

    When I was about 14 years old I came home one night at about 11pm and pulled one of the many books off the shelf, and opened the book to a random page to begin reading. It was the Bible. When I opened the book and began reading, I was overcome by a sense of a spiritual presence in the room, which seemed to grow stronger and stronger. I did not ask for any kind of visitation, and I certainly was expecting none. I didn’t believe in ambient hallucinations, and I certainly would have gone insane if anything were to materialize before my eyes.

    So I resisted the visitation, pushing it away out of fear and disbelief. Eventually the sense of any spiritual presence subsided and disappeared.

    I have never had a similar experience before or after this. Whether I was visited by Jesus Christ, an angel, or something else I can’t say. But there was definitely something there.

  3. Laurel says:

    Over the last year or two I have had a recurring dream in which I am some kind of male university professor in a 1970s academic setting. I have murdered someone and covered it up, and now someone is trying to blackmail me. Each time I have the dream the story has advanced a little more. I wake up each time in a horrible panic and have to remind myself that I have not murdered anyone, also, I am not a man, or living in the 70s. It’s giving me the heebie-jeebies.

  4. John Vise says:

    I was driving down an empty stretch of highway in eastern montana when I saw Raven sitting on a dead tree. Not just any raven mind you, no ordinary bird could have that many colours hidden in the blacks of its wings. Huge and massive, with a beak that looked like it could have chisled mountains. A single eye peered at me, the other so dark and hard that it either had the worst case of birdy cataracts ever, or it was what I knew instantly it was. An old stone or gem that had been popped in to replace his original missing eye. All this seared into my head in an instant, as I was going about nintey miles an hour (back when Montana had no speed limits) I was neither drunk nor stoned nor anything else, and thought about stopping, but knew just as I knew about his eye that I should not stop and come to him. I should make him come to me.

    Which he did, later that week. But those dealings are more private. I still have the feathers I made him pay for services rendered.

  5. John Sundman says:

    Footnote: I used to live in a very big Victorian house. My children believed it was haunted, I later found out, and the real estate agent who sold it to us was terrified to go in it after dark. I sometimes felt a ghostly presence and one night said out loud, as I was sitting by the fireplace reading, “I know you’re there.” We lived there 9 years and I never thought much about it. The guys to whom we sold the house, however, were convinced the place was profoundly haunted and had all kinds of paranormal “experts” come and channel the spirit, and so forth. They even had a segment about it on one of those TV shows about haunted houses. I put some of this into my first novel, Acts of the Apostles. It was really so un-weird that I didn’t even think about it when I first saw your topic. If there was a ghost there, it was a very low-energy ghost.

  6. Kai in NYC says:

    I was lying shattered from a two hour run on the bed in the smallest, third bedroom at my lovers’ (the apostrophe is correctly placed; it’s a long story and not this one). The day was sweltering, midsummer, and I used to prefer that bedroom because the window had no air-conditioner. The artic air in the other bedrooms stiffened my muscles and turned my joints to creaking, rusty steel after I had been running. Sometimes, when lying on a bed in perfect exhaustion, the body releases completely and a sense of being held arises, a sense of there being no effort at all on one’s part. That was my feeling then. Closing my eyes, I felt my body as a field of vibrations: sore, heavy, alive, so tired and in so much pain. But wallowing in the heat of the close room on the comfortable bed, I felt content and at peace. Then I felt something—not one of the house’s other two men— move in the room, and my eyes snapped open. A dense shadow sprang from the floor, clawed intangibly at my feet, drenching my body in terrified chill, then dispersed into thin air. I released the most unrestrained bellow I was capable of. One of the aforementioned burst into the room and began clapping loudly when I shouted, “A spirit,”—I sat up on the bed—“a spirit was in here!” (Clapping, some Africans believe, chases away inauspicious influences.) The third lover, a psychiatrist, came after more slowly and needed only to glimpse the tableau and hear a word or two before wandering off again, satisfied I had been dreaming. The clapper fussed and bustled, but calmed when he saw I was calm. “So you’re all right?” he asked, his hand on the juncture of my neck and shoulders. I nodded, wonderingly, holding out my arms, then squeezing at my thighs. “It’s gone. All the soreness is gone.” Still seated on the edge of the bed, I swung my left leg, flexing the knee—which did not twinge in furious protest, or click audibly, and had, along with every other muscle and joint, lost the heavy soreness and fatigue accumulated from weeks of marathon training. I smiled at him. “I’m fine.”

  7. John Connors says:

    Becoming a cyborg. Absolutely hands down, completely weird experience. As a cochlear implantee, the moment of first switch – on is a moment of great anticipation and shattering anti-climax. My personal experience was that I heard nothing at first, but gradually became aware of a sensation as if something was moving inside my skull. After awhile I connected it to hearing again, but those few hours when my brain was processing those signals but not recognising them as auditory input were supremely weird. Even now there is the fact that the implant beeps at me when the batteries are nearly drained – I’m experiencing a sound that has no existence as sound and nobody else can possibly perceive: the functional definition of an auditory hallucination.

  8. Samanosuke says:

    When I was 20 my dog spoke to me. He was lying under a shrub at the time; he lost the ability to speak when he came out from under the shrub and did not regain it by going back under the shrub. I’ve ruled out all possible mundane explanations. Everybody who would have had knowledge of certain events my dog referenced in the conversation had solid alibis. I know it wasn’t a dream because people I called during the event later confirmed that I had called them and said what I remembered saying. If it was an auditory hallucination then it was the only one I ever had.

  9. Charles Tan says:

    In college, I had a stalker who pestered me via cellphone. When I told this to my best friend, he wished he had a stalker, and I told him be careful what you wish for.

    The next day, he forgot the first four digits (the phone company’s number) of his other friend’s new phone number so he sends a text message to all three possible variations. One text message got through to this friend… while the other went to my stalker. My stalker started pestering him.

  10. John Sundman says:


    I have a few other weird instances I could relate but don’t want to hog the thread. Is there a limit? Please advise.

    So far, I think Charles has the best story for general consumption. My “colors speak to us” experience was (along with a bunch of similar experiences) pretty epiphanic for me, although I don’t supposed it generalizes very well.

    Charles Tan’s story, contrariwise, would have made a great episode of the original Twilight Zone (which I am, yes, old enough to have regularly watched when it was broadcast. Which reminds me, I have a Rod Sterling story and a Sterling Rod story. But like I said, I don’t want to hog the thread & will shut up unless/until given the green light).


  11. Cora says:

    In October 1989, I went to our local fun fair, the Bremen Freimarkt, with my family. There was a new attraction that year, one of those “houses of horror”. At sixteen, I was theoretically too old for that sort of thing. Besides, I knew that “houses of horror” were essentially rip-offs. Nonetheless, for some reason I wanted to go in and persuaded my Mom to go with me.

    The outside of the “House of Horror” was decorated with a painted cityscape that was in the process of being attacked by King Kong. “This is so silly”, I said to my Mom, “Look, they have King Kong attacking San Francisco and climbing the TransAmerica building when everyone knows that King Kong attacked New York. But then San Francisco had the big earthquake in 1906 and New York never had one. And the posters say, ‘Experience an Earthquake’.”

    So we went in and it was the usual disappointing rip-off. There was the falling elevator trick, there was the collapsing mineshaft complete with rattling floor (billed as an earthquake simulator) and there was me, full of teenaged cockiness, loudly explaining to everyone around how the tricks worked and saying over and over again that all this was just a joke compared to San Francisco 1906.

    The next morning, I heard on the radio that there had been a heavy earthquake in San Francisco that very night, the so-called Loma Prieta earthquake, and that there had been several deaths. I got a little shiver down my spine – after all, I’d made stupid jokes about earthquakes in San Francisco the night before and a few hours later, there really had been an earthquake in San Francisco, the worst since 1906. But then, it was all coincidence, right? After all, the skyline of San Francisco had been plastered all over that “House of Horror” ride and the thing did boast about their oh-so-realistic earthquake simulator.

    A few days later, I went back to the fair, this time with my best friend. We walked past the “House of Horror”. And I pointed it out to my friend and said, “See, that’s the ride I told you about. The San Francisco earthquake simulator.” But then I looked up at the painted cityscape and it wasn’t San Francisco at all but New York. Okay, so fairground art isn’t the best, but this was utterly and unmistakably New York. And King Kong wasn’t climbing the TransAmerica building but the Empire State Building, as was only right and proper. Besides, there was no mention of an earthquake simulator anywhere on any poster outside the “House of Horror”, just the falling elevator and collapsing mineshaft. And there was nothing at all to suggest any link to San Francisco.

    I had a few precognitive flashes during my teens and early twenties, but never anything on this scale. And while there have been dozens of different “Horror houses” at the twenty Freimarkt fun fairs I’ve attended since then, I’ve never seen this particular one again.

  12. Ailelie says:

    Waking up once from a dream I don’t remember, I looked around my room and didn’t know where I was. I expected to wake up in a blue bedroom (or something blue). I saw an old poster on the wall and became even more confused. ‘What is that doing here?’ I wondered. ‘I had one of those back in college…’ Then I looked around again, realizing that I was in my ‘old’ dorm room. ‘It’s just as I remember,’ I thought, until logic caught up and pointed out that I was actually in my bed, in my dorm room, and I’ve never had a blue bedroom. (Later, in Japan, I would buy a comforter because it had blue on it and seemed like it’d fit the bedroom I had once expected). As silly as it is, I am still looking for that bedroom. It wasn’t Japan b/c the windows were wrong and the curtains were red. It isn’t here in Philly because I’ve no color at all, save for cream and wood. Maybe the next place I live.

    Everything else is deja vu. Walking around or seeing something and thinking– I’ve been here before. Or, I dreamed this. I know I did.

  13. My friend and I are stumbling home from a bar just off the UNC-G campus in Greensboro, NC. This is about as urban an area as it gets in NC.

    We both stop, staring across the street, and my friend says, “Is that… a horse?”

    Sure enough, some dude across the street is riding a horse down the sidewalk. Big horse. Dude’s wearing a cowboy hat. And he’s talking on his cellphone. At 1:30 in the morning.

    We watch him and his horse slowly clomp down Tate Street until he’s out of view. Then we look at each other, he says, “No one’s ever going to believe that,” and we both walk home.

    Not supernatural, no. But weird as hell.

  14. Palmito says:

    Once I was playing poker with some friends and I was in a very unfortunate day. For all night long my best game was two pairs, I have lost all my money and was playing with my third rebuy. I was very bored and drunk and then, all of a sudden, I thought to myself: “Oh God, you’re really not on my side. I’d rather to sleep but before I wanna know if there’s anyone listening to me up there. God, if you exist, please prove it to me right now giving me a very good hand. I know this is stupid but it would be very nice of you if you give me a little sign of your existence. It’s not for the money, it’s for my ‘intimate proof’ of your existence that I beg you to reveal to me”. Then I got a Royal Straight Flush. It was very shocking.

  15. Lucas Wolf says:

    Weirdest experience of my life? I wasn’t even conscious during it.

    Late 80s, I’m visiting the UK with family (mother, aunt, uncle, and my two cousins). I’m only 8-9 years old, and we’re tooling around Wales in a this huge white rental van. We decide to spend the night in a small, charming beachside hotel called the Oxwich Bay. I tire myself out exploring small tidal pools, wading in the cold Atlantic water, and after dinner, we retire to our rooms. I fall asleep and wake up, unaware, until we’re driving away of what bizarre and macabre events I missed only due to the fact that I am a deep sleeper.

    As we pass out of sight of the hotel, my mother and uncle finally break their silence and relate the whole tale:

    Early morning, my mother is awakened by strange knocking on the door to our room. Leaving me sleeping in the bed beside her’s, she rises and opens the door to find a bloodstained young man, pale and staggering. She’s a retired nurse, used to the sight of blood, but even she was shocked by the state he was in. She took him inside, lay him down, covered his wounds (he had tried to kill himself –incisions ran across his wrists), and, this being an old hotel without phones in the rooms, ran to my uncle’s room so he could hurry down to the front desk and she could return to take care of the dying man.

    As she ran down the hallways, she was horrified to see smears of blood running across the white plaster walls, and clots of it congealing on the thin carpet floors. Apparently, light-headed from a lack of blood, the young man had stumbled around the floor for a while, before deciding to knock of our door. Having alerted my uncle, my mother hurried back to our room. She told me later she realized then that she had left a bloodstained, delirious man laying at the foot of her son’s bed, and was praying that I didn’t wake up.

    Long story short, my uncle found the man at the front desk (apparently he had locked the hotel doors, a fire violation and disaster waiting to happen), and they called an ambulance. The paramedics joked that they had gone so fast along the narrow, winding country road that the locals would be eating mutton for a month. The young man was apparently a soldier gone AWOL, who had panicked and taken drastic measures.

    Thanks to quick cleaning by my mother, uncle, and hotel staff, no one was the wiser when they awoke, and I was left with the creepy feeling that a man was dying mere feet from me, and I never knew it. That only sheer luck and a deep sleep kept me from waking and stumbling over a scene from a horror movie (and potentially years of therapy and a potentially lucrative career in horror fiction).

  16. I often experience profound senses of deja vu for situations I’ve never encountered before. They tend to group. I believe they’re the product of precognizant dreams. Last one was watching headlights play along the top rail of my deck while sitting outside with my wife in the dark. Both the lights, the deck, the color of the sky, the very leafs in the trees (just leafing out) all keyed into this memory. I’ve even had this experience while typing stories. Not so much remembering the story line, but seeing the actual combinations of words on the screen.

  17. Amanda le says:

    This one happened when my daughter was about 3 years old. We were sitting in the car and she started to tell us about the dream she’d had the night before. It had obviously had a strong emotional impact on her (although nobody but me remembers this now) because she was really angry as she told the story of the dream. I had been half tuned out as parents often are, but I focussed and listened to the dream and it seemed oddly to me that she was describing what it might be like to be trapped underground, the walls so close, no way to escape.

    ‘And then,’ she said, ‘the bird died.’

    I got that creepy feeling all in my hair and my skin. I couldn’t think of why she would know anything about trapped miners. We hadn’t watched anything like that on TV, it wasn’t the sort of thing we talked about, and as far as I know it was completely out of her experience. ‘What bird?’ I said.

    ‘It was a little yellow shadow,’ she said.

    In my mind I could see Welsh miners, their lights guttering out as their canary falls to the floor of its cage. My daughter’s given names are Welsh, and we have Welsh ancestry on both sides of her family.

  18. Greg Bossert says:

    I spent my childhood living in Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA, in the ’60s-’80s, in a dorm, and next to the Lampoon building, with the occasional sabbatical abroad: there were precious few moments that were *not* weird, wonderfully weird, for the most part, and only occasionally dark and scary (though those moments can be wonderful, too…)

    I was surprised what popped into my head, though, when I saw your post; it wasn’t one of the stories I tend pull out over dinner to describe my strange upbringing.

    When I was ten, my family spent four months in Portugal. This was back in 1973, before the revolution, and though my family was struggling financially back in the states, we lived like lords in a tiny feudal village west of Lisbon. We stayed in an honest-to-goodness palace, on a little hill planted with cypresses under the greater rise of Sintra mountain. Sintra was a strange place, covered with mists and African plants left by the Moors in the 9th C.

    One day, my parents called me outside. Some species of butterfly had descended on our hill, by the thousands, tens of thousands; I reckon now that they were resting midway on some migration between the continents. They covered every surface; when I stood still, they covered me, head to toe, a gentle prickling, and an utterly alien scent. They were gone before nightfall.

    I haven’t thought of this in years; I wonder why it came to mind now?

  19. Anne S says:

    When I was about 11 years old I was sent to a rural convent boarding school about 50 k from home. Unlike most of the other boarders who lived in the area, I and another girl from the same town, didn’t go home at the weekends. We both were regularly the only boarders left on the weekend.

    Both of us had this weird spooky experience when we were lounging around in the empty dormitory. All at once we both froze simultaneously and were afraid to move and speak for about five minutes or so. The spooking was silent and not caused by anything obvious in any way, but it happened on several different occasions. After the frozen period we’d resume what we’d been doing before as if nothing had happened.

  20. I’m still working in the lab – high tech as all hell, and not at all conducive to visitations of any non-empirical kind. Let me just add that this was in the Southern Hemisphere, in July (which, there, is winter, remember…?)

    So, I walk into the lab this one morning… and I smell hyacinth. VERY STRONGLY. Completely out of season and out of context, to the point that I was going around asking people who had brought the hyacinth scent in Nobody else could smell anything at all and looked at me as thought I was quietly demented.

    Until I brought it together. The date was not just any July day, it was July 5, my birthday. My grandmother’s garden used to be thick with hyacinth and it’s a scent I strongly associated with her. She had been gone several years by that time but she and I have always always been very close.

    I have no doubt whatsoever that the spirit of my grandmother dropped in to wish me happy birthday that day.

  21. Aidan says:

    I’ve encountered some weird things on my travels: the Belarussian ATM that had instructions just in Russian, but after I tried a few random buttons it came up with a message in English: “Why was my monkey delivered badly dead?”

    A surreal experience was being in La Paz on Bolivia’s Day of the Sea. Bolivia lost the last piece of its coastline more than 125 years ago in a war against Chile, but they still remember the anniversary.
    I was near the front of the crowd when I saw the Bolivian president march past, followed by school children waving “We want our sea” messages, war veterans and people dressed in zebra costumes. The zebras were part of the city’s plan to get cars to stop at zebra crossings. To help pedestrians cross the road, people dressed in zebra costumes would stop the traffic.

  22. Hellbound Heart says:

    weird and unsettling……i love my mother with my soul but every time she tells me about her latest dream we all sit up and take notice……
    she dreamed that my brother would lose his leg in a motorcycle accident….it happened…..
    she dreamed her brother would die in the near future….it happened…..
    she dreamed that her sister would get cancer……it happened…..
    there are just too many instances of my mother’s dreams coming true……..
    where these dreams have their genesis god only knows……

    i’ve had a pre-cognative experience like that only once, it was not long after my daughter was conceived and before anybody knew anything…..i woke up in the dead of night, thought with perfect clarity “i’m pregnant” and promptly went back to sleep…..even though none of the scans showed the sex of my baby somehow i knew she was a little girl, there was no question about it…..i guess it’s not weird but i think it might show that our brain can delve into things far more deeply than we think…

  23. Matt Cardin says:

    1) I experienced an ongoing cycle of sleep paralysis during the 1990s. They were brutal, shattering, and psychologically transformative. The episodes included the requisite hypnagogic “visitations,” which for me occurred in the form of one of the so-called “shadow people” of popular paranormal lore (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shadow_people). I hadn’t heard of any of this before it happened to me, so discovering later that it’s a widely known phenomenon, and, especially, viewing some of the various attempts at drawing the shadowy figures (do a Google image search for “shadow people”) and finding them instantly and pointedly recognizable, was, shall we say, moving.

    2) In 2003 I sold a putatively “haunted” couch for my mother-in-law on eBay and found that glowing orbs of the classically paranormal sort appeared around it in the photos I shot. They only appeared when I was the photographer; other people couldn’t get them to show up. I described the whole thing live on the air to George Noory on Coast to Coast AM. I have no doubt the orbs were lens flares, but it was still an interesting experience.

  24. Matt Staggs says:

    I once went to a tiny county fair or carnival on the outskirts of Hattiesburg Mississippi. Nothing seemed that unusual at first: just the typical collection of carnie folk and mechanical amusements just this side of safe – probably. Then I saw a very crowded tent at the far end of the fairgrounds. I pushed my way inside and found a group of men and women standing around what appeared to be an enormous roulette wheel. Instead of a ball, one of the men placed a gerbil on the wheel and spun it round. Apparently there were bets of some sort being made, and wherever the hapless rodent ended up resting determined the winner of some sort of dubious prize. I didn’t stick around.

  25. Laurie says:

    Once a sea of birds descended on and covered my backyard (a fairly large backyard) and the woods next to my house. There were two kinds – seagulls and some kind of common black bird, and they though they seemed to be traveling together they segregated themselves into clearly delineated sections. I guess they were migrating, but it’s the only time I’ve ever seen so many birds in one place. Totally not kidding about the “sea of birds” bit either – you should have heard the noise. This amazing, breezy, fluttering-screeching-singing sound.

    There was this odd sight when I was a kid – it was late evening, and I was in the backseat of the car as my parents and I drove across a bridge. Across the river we saw SEVERAL tornadoes zipping around, at least 4 or 5 of them. (And we live in NC, not the midwest.) I’m not sure how we could even see them, since it was mostly dark already – it was like they were backlit. Somehow none of us were really frightened by the sight, although my mother especially should have been having hysterics, given her fear of storms. We just sort of watched them, fascinated, until we were off the bridge. It’s such a surreal memory that I asked my parents if I’d dreamed it, but my dad remembers it clearly. (My mother, however, has no memory of it and insists she must not have been there, even though my dad and I both remember her being right there in the passenger seat.)

    Just a month or two ago, I kept hearing this dripping sound right outside my back door for days on end and couldn’t locate what was leaking. Then finally one day the sunlight was angled just so that the liquid sparkled and I could see it clearly – and I followed it up and realized that the tree by my porch was melting into huge puddles on the ground. It was, of course, only that some branches had recently been trimmed, and the spring weather was making sap gush from the wounds, but it was such a supremely weird and unexpected sight that my immediate thought was “OH MY GOD THE TREE IS /MELTING./”

  26. John Sundman says:

    Early in my Peace Corps stint I was wedged between two big men in the middle seat of a “taxi brouse” Peugout 404 station wagon on a very hot day barreling along a sandy stretch of Highway 1 in northern Senegal near the Sahara. I was wondering about Islam when out of the blue the man next to me said, “I think you’ve been wondering about Islam. Let me explain its basic tenets” which he proceeded to do in a very articulate and nuanced fashion. (This conversation took place in French; I was the only white person for 50 miles in any direction. I was in western clothes, everybody else in African robes.) If I were a superstitious person I would have converted to Islam on the spot, for it was as if an angel had come in response to my thoughts. An hour later, we were flagged down — somebody’s car was stalled– this really was the middle of nowhere–and our driver got out of the car, quickly diagnosed a clogged fuel line, sucked the sand and gas out of the line & the car started right up. The only compensation he would accept was water to wash the gasoline out of his mouth. Because of his love of fixing things, love of helping people, refusal to accept pay, he reminded me of my grandfather–a retired auto mechanic who could fix anything. I told this to the “angel” of Islam. He said, “Your grandfather, is he still living?” I thought for a moment, and said, “no, I don’t think he is.” I was not surprised to learn by mail two weeks later that my grandfather had died, and was later able to fix the time of his death pretty much to the minute that the African driver had unclogged the fuel line. I *do* believe that some kind of spiritual mojo happened that day, and that the universe somehow allowed me a farewell visit from my grandfather. So maybe I *am* superstitious. I basically don’t understand the first fucking thing about fuckall. It’s all mysterious to me. Apologies for thread-clogging if this is out of line.

  27. Charles Tan says:

    If all else fails, there was the time when I appeared as an anonymous person on Facebook, which freaked out JeffV.

  28. J. Everett says:

    I was six and she was ten. We were in a small hotel room on vacation and I was in the bed with my parents and she on the rollaway, but she woke me up, fully dressed in her swimsuit, and begged and pleaded in whispers for me to go swimming with her. Eventually mom and dad woke up and told her to go back to bed.

    When she was twelve we found all of her bedclothes outside in the laundry room. Pillows, comforter, sheets, everything. Between her room and the laundry room were three locked doors, one of which required a key, and two screen doors with latches, and two small sets of stairs on the back porch. When we started looking for all of her sheets in the morning all the doors were locked and the sheets were folded on top of the dryer. We never found the pillow cases.

    Later she walked into the kitchen and tried to light the trash on fire under the sink. This was back when we burned all our trash because the city didn’t pick up that far out. If mom and dad hadn’t been up. God knows.

    Our rooms were catty-corner to each other at the end of the hall. Our parents room is on the other side of the house. It was her screams that woke me up hard. She was begging for her life and sobbing and screaming like rape. This was when she was home from college and I had started powerlifting, so when I hit her door at a run I destroyed it though it was a hardwood door older that both of us. For my troubles I got berated by my sister and punished by my parents. She was sleeptalking and I think that’s the only time we ever woke her up, during.

    Her roommates have all reported similar occurrences, but after that last time when I thought she was being murdered it never happened again around me. But it wasn’t over.

    My college roommate said that he can’t always tell whether I’m asleep or awake when I sit upright in my bed and repeatedly call his name until he looks at me. I say things like: “I couldn’t chop down the tree with the tricycle, so I used a frozen trout,” or “You know that gun I killed Jesus with? I can’t sell it on ebay.” It upset him. It even disturbed me. I go on early AM walks and he doesn’t know if he should try to stop me because I almost got hit by a car one night.

    One night back at the home I set my own mattress on fire and then went back to sleep in it. They couldn’t determine how the fire was actually started, and the room filled up with so much smoke that it smothered the fire. No one knows how I made it out, least of all me. We had to replace everything in that room, including the walls and floors. But the part of the mattress where my body lay didn’t burn they think because my weight compressed the fabric and cloth and it didn’t have enough air, like a phone book doesn’t really burn well.

    My ownmost going-to-sleep worries me. I make sure I’m sober before bed because I don’t know what affect alcohol might have on my actions while I’m unconscious. When I have a lucid dream, I have to call people the next day to make sure that I didn’t really etc. Or I get calls in the morning wanting to know if the message or conversation from last night was true.

    Despite the tremulation with which I approach sleep, the strangest thing is the sense of liberation while waking. Like I can be a spectator of part of my life that I do not consciously control but that I’m completely responsible for and sometimes I can’t piece it all together. I never quite know what I am, a dislocation that make me feel better.

  29. While heading to design school one morning many (many) years ago, friends and I had stepped off the bus at one stop and had to make our way past another nearby to get to the college. A bus was pulled up at the stop. The female driver was slumped over the steering wheel, crying. In the doorway of the bus, a large man was lying, back on the ground, feet up the steps into the bus. He had no arms. He was wearing a dress which had flipped up to reveal his naked lower torso. He appeared to be unconscious. This image has stayed with me for almost 30 years. Nothing uncanny or apparently supernatural, but sure was weird.

  30. Sean says:

    Three years ago, I was out running as part of my weekly exercise regimen. It was a hot day, and the sun was shining in my eyes, so it took a while for my brain to focus. In the distance, another runner was running towards me. As the silhouette became more and more defined, alarm bells started going off in my head. This individual had the same facial shape, hairline, and physical build as me – I was witnessing an encounter with my doppelganger! At first, my mind couldn’t process what was going on, and it felt like my brain was splitting in two. I kept saying to myself, how can I be running towards me while I’m physically running in the opposite direction; how’s that for an internal existential debate! I kept running and eventually my mirror double and I briefly occupied the same space. Thankfully, this spatial alignment was anticlimactic and the world did not end. We then continued on our merry ways, never encountering each other again. Completely true, and the weirdest experience of my life!

  31. Jake Chambers says:

    One of the most gratifying experiences in my weirding-way life was reading Hunter S. Thompson’s aphorism: “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.”

    I don’t know if they might be more accurately described as instances of déjà vu or presque vu, but one regular category of the weird in my life has to do with knowing, or almost knowing, things that haven’t yet temporally occurred.

    A recent experience was, after making love to my girlfriend and reaching a profound Tantric un-state of dissolution of being, we looked deeply into each others’ eyes and simultaneously said, “I see you.” This was weeks before Avatar premiered and we learned that this was a pivotal line in the movie.

    My girlfriend saw the movie before me and called me after leaving the theater. Before she could say anything, I said, “I see you.”

    Knowing that I never want to know anything about a movie before I see it, she didn’t let on. But after I’d seen it and we both realized the “weird” so-called coincidence, that greeting still summons the love magic for us as we continue to enjoy riding the weird train express, hopefully all the way to the Far Shore.

  32. Mike says:

    I was leaving my brother’s house one evening while it was still light, the main door to his duplex on the side of the house. Walking to my car, with the garage on the left, a small figure, between 3 and 4 feet with a top hat and beard went from left to right, disappearing out of the field. Not sure what I had just witnessed, I started to run, because the skeptical part of my brain thinking it might have been a kid, but as I passed where the garage was there was noone there at all and nowhere to run. I admit to being part Irish.

    A similar experience, but witnessed by two other people, back in my psychedelic days, down at the local park after midnight some time. Silhouetted figure starts to flit through the basketball court. We’re across the park, say 50 feet, watching. Silhouette seems to be playfully shouting, goes up for a basket with no ball and then leaves the court area into a grassy, dark part of the park. Despite the fact that there is no exit from the entire area besides in our direction, figure ducks behind a tree and is gone. We spend the next 20 minutes trying to figure out where the figure could have possibly gone.

    At a party with my brother, also during the same days. All part of a crowd in a back yard watching a rock band play. Senses are heightened. My brother and I, for no reason we could account, knew we had to leave the party immediately and followed the intuition. As soon as we got out to the road, we went down it about 1/4 mile and realized we were lost, so reversed direction and ran into people who said the cops had just busted up the party.

    Experienced an unearthly growl during a religious exorcism experience when I was very young. Played a great impression at that age, until I realized that two cats fighting can sound just as reptilian. First time I had a lucid dream and became conscious in a dream was strikingly weird, consciousness was achieved when I realized, sitting at my office desk, that I never kept the place that messy. And prolonged, disciplined, insistent attention to meditation and ritual magic also tends to blur the lines between the mundane and imaginary in both unsettling and ecstatic ways.

  33. Laurie says:

    Once my boyfriend and I were lying on the bed with the lights off in the afternoon, just resting. Spontaneously he lifted his hand and stared at it like he was concentrating on something. I stared at his hand too and as I watched, a flaring green light started dancing around it. I tried it myself with my own hand, with the same result. We just stayed there for a while watching the green light around our hands. We both saw it, we were both sober, and neither of us have ever done any drugs harder than alcohol or weed. I figure it was an optical illusion of some sort – I occasionally see auras around things or people, usually green, and it seems to be an afterimage sort of thing, so I figure this was too – but it was pretty weird.

    There was another instance where we both saw a bright, swirling green aura around our drunk, unconscious friend – I looked at her and said with surprise, “Green!” and he looked over and smiled with a sort of childish delight and said, “Yeah!” (Disclaimer: neither of us were drunk in this instance, but we weren’t really sober either, so.)

    Then there was a time we were at the grocery store late at night picking up dinner. A old-ish man, well dressed in a long black coat, kind of rich-looking, was also there, and happened to walk up beside us. I got the creepiest, coldest feeling from being near him, I don’t know why, but I couldn’t help staring. It was like he was radiating this sort of soul-sucking aura. When he finally walked away I turned to the b/f and opened my mouth to say how creeped out I was, but before I could speak he said, “Wow, that guy had the blackest aura.”

  34. John T says:

    Not me, but my Dad. He recently retired from teaching IT at a boarding school in the UK. It was built in the mid-nineteenth century as the flagship school of a string of similar boarding schools in Southern England. The Founder (as we shall refer to him) demanded that the school be built right there, with a chapel on that specific hill, even though it’s hardly the best place for it.

    When the school was rewired for broadband – the whole phone network, offices, classrooms, Houses and all – Dad was made to liaise with the people laying the fibre optic cable and oversee the whole thing, on the basis that his IT room was going be a major beneficiary. They needed to know where all the wires and pipes were, naturally, so that they didn’t damage anything major or spend weeks digging a trench for their cables only to suddenly discover a pipe running across their path. Dad couldn’t help them. Turned out the ground plans for the school showed the pipes in the wrong places, and no one who’d ever worked on them had kept any records of it. So they had to survey the whole site from scratch.

    They found the staircases that stopped at walls, where larger Houses had been subdivided over the years. They found the underground pipes that led from one House straight down the middle of a field. And they found the crypts. Completely sealed-off crypts underneath the school, joined by a network of stone channels barely tall or wide enough to crawl through, if there were any way of getting into them. There was one right under the main drive, just in front of the chapel; the drive keeps subsiding at that point, and all anyone can think to do is to keep resurfacing it. It’d cost money to do anything more than just patch over it, after all. Hollow, sealed stone crypts crumbling away underneath the school buildings, that no one knew about or had any record of. No one knows if the Founder put them there himself or built over them. He demanded that specific site, that’s all anyone knows.

    The cable people laid their cables and left again. Dad gave his now fantastically detailed survey plans back to the school. Nobody said anything about it.

  35. James Kenyon says:

    I was a student at the New School In NYC in 1984, and was fond of late night rambles through the village, at a walking pace that has been described as “not unlike a freight train”. One night, I was drawn up short, seeming to be halted in mid-stride, for no apparent reason. The next instant, a plate of glass, maybe from a large window, shattered on the street in front of me, sending shards of glass everywhere. I was completely unharmed. The only other night- owl pedestrian was across Thompson Street from me, and hailed me, saying “How did you know that was going to fall? you had your head down, and were going along pretty well”. I had no feeling of premonition, only a sudden stop for no reason. The window would have put me in the hospital. I have done many small kindnesses to others over the years, but have no reason to suspect I was being saved for some future act of greatness. We’ll see how it goes…

  36. Kater says:

    I have really loved these stories, so I thought I’d add one of my own.

    When I was a child, perhaps eight or nine, I went camping with my parents at a place called Dogwood Lake, in Arizona. I went for a walk around the lake, and at one point I noticed clovers under my feet, so I did what any child would do and looked for four leafed ones. I found one. Then I promptly found five or six more. Not all of them were four-leafed, but more than I’d seen anywhere else.

    I’ve never seen any ghosts or had premonitions, but sometimes I can make the card I want turn up in cribbage, just by thinking about it.


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  39. morg says:

    one time me and my friend were both really high and we saw my new eastern indian neighbors in front of my house. we were just driving by and we both looked and saw that the whole family was standing in front of a small tree. Then, the father of the family for whatever reason, reach his head up really high and started nibbling on the one of the leaves of the tree like a girraffe would. Not freaky or anything just really odd.

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