Have I Seen a Ghost?

I’ll be participating in a Halloween ghost story-sharing event at my local library Oct. 27. I’m really excited about it because I love ghost stories, and my books feature ghosts, monsters and the supernatural.

I have not personally seen a ghost.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t not believe in ghosts. I have gotten the chills in some places. Witnessed an actual apparition though? Nope. Well … maybe. There are at least two occasions in which I thought I saw something.

The earlier incident was when I was much younger. I was backpacking in Europe at the time. I was in London, visiting a friend at an old building that had been converted into a youth hostel. It was in the afternoon. I went to the women’s restroom on the ground floor.

You had to walk through two doorways connected by a narrow five-foot-long hallway to get to the restroom. The outer door opened to the lobby and the inner door led to the restroom.

As I opened the outer door, I saw the inner door close behind someone just ahead of me. I caught a glimpse of a white shirt or dress and the back of her head. I thought nothing of it at the time.

The restroom had about five or six stalls. I went into one of the stalls and did what I had to do. I was washing my hands at the sinks when it struck me that I hadn’t seen anyone else in there, or heard another person. I was so puzzled that I actually looked to see if the restroom had another exit. There was only one—the one I used. I glanced into the other stalls but it was clear I was the only person in there.

The hair at the back of my neck was standing by then so I left as quickly as I could.

The other occasion was at an old hotel in Florida. I was working as a journalist. I stayed at the hotel to cover a legal conference that was held at the hotel.

After a long day of panel discussions, I returned to my room in the evening. I stepped through the door and was walking quickly past the bathroom when I saw something in there from the corner of my eye. It was a woman looking at herself in the mirror. I was startled because I hung a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door so I didn’t expect any maid service.

I dropped my bag and laptop on the bed and went back to the bathroom to tell the woman that my room didn’t need cleaning. However, there was no one there.

Perhaps she was an optical illusion, the effect of my eyes adjusting to a dark room. But I saw her so clearly in my mind. She was middle-aged and had short dark hair. 

In any case, I slept with all the lights on that night.

So what do you think? I told myself in both instances that I must be mistaken. I scared myself for no reason. 

Or have I seen a ghost? I’ll let you be the judge.


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