How it feels to encounter a ghost

In his sophomore year of high school, Lucas Comfort, a University of Kansas senior from Salina, experienced something we usually only read about in books or see in movies. It felt like a nightmare, but it wasn’t. Here’s how it feels to encounter a ghost.

It was late at night when I started getting myself ready for bed. My mom was out of town for the week and I had the house to myself. It was something I was used to, but something about that night felt different.

I took my shirt off, removed my contacts and buried myself under my covers. I kept my windows open at night. There was always something calming about hearing the trees rustle and the wind blow. I slowly drifted off to sleep.

I woke abruptly to my window slamming shut. I checked my phone in a panic: 3:09 a.m.. 

My vision was blurry and I scrambled to find my glasses on my bedside table. The night was still.

“How could my window have shut on its own?” I thought. There was no wind and I was the only one home.

I ran downstairs to make sure all the doors were locked and sprinted back up the stairs. The window was open again. 

I have never been one to let my mind go to unreasonable places, but this was something I couldn’t wrap my brain around. I slammed the window shut, got back into bed and tried to convince myself it was just a sudden gust of wind. 

I woke again to the sound of my bed creaking. My bed always made noises while I tossed and turned in the night, so I didn’t think anything of it until I heard footsteps at the foot of my bed, followed by another creak. 

A shadowed woman figure sat at the edge of my bed. I was completely frozen and had chills running up my arms and spine. She turned her body slowly as if she took pleasure in revealing herself to me. 

She had long, gray hair with what looked like a dark hood. Her skin was fragile and wrinkled. Her eyes were dark and her smile was hard to make out. Her nose was prominent and witch-like.

I stared into her eyes for what seemed like hours. I was completely unable to speak or move. I was paralyzed with fear.

I blinked and within seconds I felt an unexplainable pressure on my chest. I was now face to face with the old woman. I felt her ice-cold hands pressing into my bare skin. Her eyes were black and her smile grew larger the harder she pressed. 

“This isn’t real” I repeated to myself.

“This isn’t real,”

“This isn’t real,”

“This isn’t real.”

It took everything inside of me to let out what I felt was a final breath, or scream. 

I felt an instant relief. My heart steadied and the weight in my room cleared. I shot out of bed and turned the lights on. I looked frantically around the room. It was as if nothing had happened. My room was completely undisturbed. My chest was unscathed. There were no hand marks or red imprints on my skin.

“Had it just been a bad dream?” I asked myself.

What I experienced felt so real and yet it was so unexplainable. 

I kept the lights on the remainder of the night.

The next thing I knew my alarm sounded and the light from my window lit up my bedroom. 

The window was open.

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