I REALLY Don’t Believe In Ghosts but…..

Originally Published March 2015. Updated August 2020.

I don’t believe in ghosts. I don’t. I can’t believe in ghosts because I believe when you die – you’re dead. That’s it. Game over man. Game over.

You are no more.

I also think if ghosts are real we’d have some kind of hard evidence, or scientific explanation for them, right?

But… I’ve also experienced things, that while they could be explained as coincidences, imagination, and maybe paranoia… I still can’t quite shake the feeling that maybe, just maybe, there really is something to ghost stories after all.

The Apartment

I’m not really sure what it was about that apartment, but there was always an underlying feeling of unease there. I couldn’t walk down the hallway without turning on the lights, even though we lived there for 4 years. It wasn’t anything to do with how the apartment looked – it wasn’t an older place. It didn’t have any bad history. It was a nice apartment in a nice suburb. But it still just had a weird “vibe”.

In the first few months we lived there I was having nightmares every night. It was mentally and emotionally exhausting waking up every morning after a night of running for my life. A few times I’d startled my partner calling out in my sleep. Even he was a little creeped out by my constantly disturbed sleep. One night I woke up to my partner leaned over me, hand out protecting me against nothing. He couldn’t explain it himself, he just said he felt like there was something standing next to the bed trying to hurt me.

We actually moved our bed from the master bedroom into our office to try to stop the nightmares. We also started burning candles to try to “clear the energy”. When the nightmares and the constant creepy feelings stopped I told myself that the rituals of banishing bad spirits tricked my subconscious into not being afraid anymore – whatever it was it worked! I was finally able to sleep easy.

Our Son Was Born

When our son was born those feelings came back – that feeling of being watched. It wasn’t even unpleasant and sometimes it felt almost friendly; like the comfort of not being alone.

As our son got older there were times where he’d turn suddenly, as though he’s heard something, and smile and babble at nothing. It really bothered me – it felt like my son was talking to a stranger. One day when I was home alone with my son, we were in the living room and I could hear a strange sound from the kitchen. I went in and the kettle was boiling. I’d not been in the kitchen for some time and I definitely hadn’t turned on the kettle myself.

I unplugged it and rushed out of the room.

As completely ridiculous as I felt doing it – I finally followed the most often given advice on “how to get rid of ghosts” and I spoke out loud to the nothingness and told it firmly that this was my home and I wanted it to go away.

It’s hard to describe the feeling that came after saying the words. It was like grief. Or like I’d just been given terrible news. And the first person who came into mind was my Nanna. She had died while I was pregnant with my son. IF I believed in ghosts who else would have a reason to hang out with us, to keep us company, to see the great grandchild she was never able to meet? Also – the kettle. I nearly cried thinking I’d sent her away.

But after a while I dismissed it, thinking it was all in my head. I don’t believe in ghosts, remember?

The Ghostly Housemates

Several months later I started seeing a shadow all the time. Every day. I’d see something standing in the hallways and turn – it’d be gone. It was extremely unnerving. We had a friend living with us at the time and I didn’t mention anything to her because I thought she’d think I was crazy – she’s a very practical person.

One day I was talking about it with another friend while our housemate was out, but she came home while we were talking and I was a little embarrassed that she’d overheard us – I didn’t want her to think I believed in ghosts. Because I don’t REALLY believe in ghosts.

The following day my housemate asked me what had I been talking about, I confessed that I’d been feeling like something was in the house and seeing the strange shadows.

She said she sees it too.

We spoke about it for some time and we had both been seeing and experiencing the same things. It was so much worse knowing it wasn’t just MY imagination.

Not Just in MY Head

One day I was watching TV and out of the corner of my eye I saw the tall dark figure moving across the hallway towards our housemates bedroom. A few minutes later I could smell the sage incense burning. When she came out I casually asked her why she’d started burning the incense and she said she’d felt intensely like *something* had just walked into her room.

Another time I was in my ensuite and very clearly heard footsteps coming down the hallway and I called out “I’ll be a minute” – and when I came out into the lounge room I asked “Has anyone moved?” and they looked puzzled and said “No”.

And frequently I’d be watching TV and to my side I’d see someone walk into the room, or standing in the hallway, so clearly I’d turn to say something, thinking it was my partner, but there’d be no one there.

Nothing escalated though. It never got worse than that. We could live with being creeped out and occasionally jumping with fright. We tried not to talk about it too much. Whenever we did we’d both end those conversations saying we wished we hadn’t because talking about it made it seem real. We mostly tried to ignore it.

We Moved Away – Nothing Followed

When we moved into our next home one night I got up go to the toilet and get a drink of water and it wasn’t until I was climbing back into bed that I realised I’d not turned on any lights. That I’d been able to walk through the dark on my own. I wasn’t afraid of anything anymore because didn’t feel like anything was there.

I don’t know what it was. maybe it had been in my head, maybe it had been in both our heads at the same time, but I do know I’ve never experienced anything like that before – and I haven’t since.

So even while I try to be sceptical, I can’t deny there was something definitely creepy about that place.

The Ghostly Update:

I want to start this ghost story update with very firmly stating, again, I don’t believe in ghosts. As much as I might jump when something goes bump in the night, I still don’t believe in ghosts.

I wrote the above ghost story five years ago, reflecting on the time our son was a baby. And while he couldn’t talk to confirm or deny if he was actually also experiencing ghostly visits.

We’ve moved again since I wrote this and while nothing has changed about my belief in ghosts – I’ll say it again, I don’t believe in ghosts! – one thing has changed. That kid who seemed to be pretty happy to chat with whatever unseen extra housemate we had hanging out in our house can now talk. And he’s said some pretty strange things since we’ve lived here.

Why Are Kids So Creepy

I think the worst part of how my kid has mentioned some strange things in this house is how calm he is about it. 

A couple years ago he called me into his room one night, he’d been in bed for a while, but obviously unable to sleep. I laid down next to him. 

“Mummy, were you talking to me?”

“No, go to sleep.

“I could hear someone saying ‘Hello’ in my room.”

Everyone in the house was in bed. Nobody had been up to have been talking to him.

On another occasion when I went to check on him at night he very very calmly told me he could hear fingernails tapping on his window. 

Fingernails. He specifically said FINGERNAILS.

I told him “It’s nothing, it’s just the wind. Just a branch. Go to sleep.”

And then got the heck out of his creepy room. 

He’s nearly twelve now and the older he gets the less okay he is about hearing random noises in the night. And sometimes it really IS the wind, or a possum on the roof, or any of the many normal noises that happen at night and aren’t anything sinister at all.

While I don’t have any of the creepy *something is here* feeling, I have definitely heard things I can’t explain.

Footsteps in the Hallway

In the last few months I’ve been hearing footsteps in the hallway at night when everyone is in bed asleep. Nothing strange or sinister sounding. Just the normal padding of soft feet down the hall. On two occasions when I’ve heard the sound I’ve gotten out of bed to check which of our children is up, because it’s been past their bedtime and the footsteps seemed to stop just outside our bedroom door. But when I’ve gotten out of bed to investigate and found nobody. Nothing. Everyone in bed. Everyone asleep.

Since then when I’ve heard the sound of someone walking up the hallway, if the sound just stops, I don’t get out of bed. I don’t want to know. I don’t want to check. If it’s a kid with a problem they can find their way to my bed in the dark! 

I’ve told myself it’s possums in the roof (it’s not possums in the roof) or that I’m imagining things (let’s go with that!). Who knows.

So again, I’m asking the question – Do you believe in ghosts? And have you experienced anything you can’t quite explain?

Rachel Stewart

Rachel is the founder of Parenting Central. She is raising two children, boy and girl, with her partner. Rachel is obsessed prams, car seats, carriers and all things baby. She has worked in the baby industry for several years, for both suppliers and also in a retail setting and has developed a passion for connecting parents with the right products to make their lives easier. When Rachel isn't playing with prams she's enjoys crocheting, drinking coffee (sometimes wine) and spending a little too much time on Facebook.

3 Comments

  1. I’ve experienced this a LOT in my life. I had a dark figure follow me for years. Turning on the kettle, TV, opening doors, even knocking things over. I’ve felt the0weight of someone sitting on my bed. I stopped seeing the dark figure after my son was born but much like your son my son began talking to it, from about 3 months of age I noticed his eyes following something, babbling etc. Recently though, since we’ve had our present house (almost 4 years) there’s been something again. And it gives me an uneasy feeling, I see it from the corner of my eye and often will run down the hallway as I get the strong terrifying feeling that I’m being followed closely.

  2. I’ve experienced this a LOT in my life. I had a dark figure follow me for years. Turning on the kettle, TV, opening doors, even knocking things over. I’ve felt the0weight of someone sitting on my bed. I stopped seeing the dark figure after my son was born but much like your son my son began talking to it, from about 3 months of age I noticed his eyes following something, babbling etc. Recently though, since we’ve had our present house (almost 4 years) there’s been something again. And it gives me an uneasy feeling, I see it from the corner of my eye and often will run down the hallway as I get the strong terrifying feeling that I’m being followed closely.

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