Spirits in the Material World

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Halloween means different things to different people. Thanks to American influence it’s evolved into the trick or treat fest that we are familiar with today. We dress our children up as evil goblins, (not that some need much help), send them out into the cold night and, a couple of hours later, they stagger back in with buckets of booty guaranteed to keep them in a hyperactive state for the next few days.

In my day Halloween was about making a Jack-o-lantern and dressing up as a ghost using one of Ma’s old bedsheets. Simple times… a cheap do! I certainly don’t recall houses being festooned with Halloween paraphernalia…

Did you know that In Somerset they practice a custom on the last Thursday of October where children walk about with their Jack-o-Lanterns? It’s known as Punkie night.  This is a new one on me – I thought punkie night was a Sid Vicious tribute act down the local pub!

Aside from treats, tricks, horror flicks – there is the spiritual side to the day what is known as ‘Halloween’.

Halloween, (Samhain), is known as the time when the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead is at its thinnest. A time when we remember the souls who have passed on and, if one wishes, one can set an extra place at the table in case Great Aunt Maud drops in…. Great Aunt Maud who died in 1972 that is!

Most of us who have lost a loved one would jump at the chance to see them again though, I’ll be honest, if I looked up from eating my Spagbog to see Ma sat in the spare chair, helping herself to the Parmesan…I would most likely shit myself!

The most powerful paranormal experiences are the spontaneous ones that wake you up in the early hours and leave you in no doubt that there is some kind of existence after death. I’d like to share with you an unforgettable experience of mine.

My paternal grandmother died when I was 5 years old. Her name was Gladys. I like that name – Gladys. I can’t remember what I called her. I have vague memories of her house, especially the kitchen. I’ve been told that she was very fond of me…well of course! There’s a photograph of me wearing her shoes on the beach while she looks on, smiling. This picture, (and the one below), show me what my infant mind fails to remember.

I don’t have any recollection of her death at all. She was simply there one day and gone the next. I didn’t have any understanding of death and loss at that age.

I was given her jewellery box. It was all costume jewellery but to a five year old girl it was a box of treasure. The smell of her perfume permeated into the brooches and beads. I wish that they’d kept it for me until I was older because one by one the pieces got lost or broken. All I have left is one brooch and the box itself- which my Dad made.

I have no idea why my Grandmother would choose to visit me one December morning, six years after her death but I’m convinced that she did.

I remember being woken up by a noise in the early hours of the morning…it took my fuddled brain a few seconds to realise what it was.

I had a small Bontempi keyboard – it was battery operated and used to make a whirring noise when it was switched on and it was definitely on. Though the button was in the off position. I figured it might have been the batteries playing up so I removed them.

By then I was wide awake.

In the corner of my room was a large rocking chair that had been my Grandma’s. I was just about to get back into bed when I noticed that it was rocking back and forth.

It was December. There was no heating on, (not with thrifty Ma – I should coco!), and no windows open and the chair was moving. It wasn’t a flimsy chair, it was old fashioned, built to last rocking chair and it was rocking- by itself.

The strangest thing was that I wasn’t scared.

I should have been…

But I wasn’t.

I became aware of a smell. It was familiar and It took me a few seconds to realise that it was my Grandmother’s perfume. It was strong. The scent filled the room, as potent as if I had just sprayed it myself.

These things in themselves might have been enough to convince me of something special happening but then something happened that I will struggle to describe but I’ll have a bash.

I became filled with a feeling of such intensity that, if I trawled the entire dictionary, I’d never be able to find words to justify it. It’s like the best feeling that you’ve had in your life, ever, and magnifying it a hundred times over. It filled my entire being… I couldn’t see her, hear or touch her, but I could feel what I believe to be love in it’s purest form.

And I was smiling. I remember feeling my face aching and I realised it was because I was smiling. It was an amazing experience. I know what love feels like but this feeling was totally incomparable to anything I’ve experienced before or since.

I told Ma about the experience later that day and it turned out that it was the anniversary of my grandmother’s death.

I don’t know why she visited me that morning. There was no message. There were no words. Maybe she came because she never got to say goodbye.


Biggest Bruv, Moi (in walking contraption) and Granma

I’ve had a lot of explanations from various sceptics over the years about this experience. In their opinion, I must have been dreaming, hallucinating or having a psychotic episode!

All of these explanations are possibilities. However, if you’ve an open mind, then you will also accept the paranormal possibility as well. What I do know is that I feel fortunate to have had this experience. It’s had a lasting effect on me and convinced me that consciousness doesn’t end with our death.

Maybe you have had a similar experience or one that’s put the heebeegeebees up you? Or maybe you think it’s all a load of codswollop…

Whatever you’re doing this Halloween, whether it’s Trick or Treating with the kids, (WEARING A COSTUME OF YOUR OWN, AHEM!), or you’re disengaging the door bell, cracking open a bottle of wine and counting how many times Yvette Fielding swears on Most Haunted…have fun!

One last thing…

You might want to leave a little something on the table for absent family members because, well, you never know…


*disappears in a cloud of smoke*


17 thoughts on “Spirits in the Material World

  1. LOVED, LOVED, LOVED THIS BLOG……….wish one of mine would visit me, I lived them all so much……just a little “hello” wouldn’t go amiss. Just put a pic on of Molly-Rose in her costume…..don’t like Halloween, feel it gives out mixed messages. I always get sweets in for callers but never let my 3 do it. Don’t talk to strangers, don’t take sweets from strangers but tonight anything goes????
    I’m expecting a party of 5 girlies calling, nice that the neighbour asks first…so got to go.
    You made me cry Tracy……I want some *special visits*…….xxxxxx

    • Glad you enjoyed the post. 🙂
      In my experience these things happen when you’re not expecting them. According to some, the time that we experience here doesn’t exist in the spirit realm…sometimes many years go by. So you never know… xXxXxXX

  2. I had goosepimples reading that, Tracy. You of course know my thoughts (and experiences) on this subject. HAPPY HALLOWEEN … and … leave a copy of this Blog out on the kitchen table tonight. I am sure your Nan, Mum and Dad are all aware of it and love hearing all about past, present and …. some happy time in the future when all of ye will be together again. xxx

    To Sheerie Franks: Watch out for the *signs* … you never know ……

  3. What a fab post. The best writing about Halloween, really great. I have had similar experiences related to my granny. A few and less intense, but definite sense that she’s somehow ‘nearby’.

  4. Wished I’d read this earlier, I’d of deffo set a place at the table for my sis. Like Sheerie, a simple ‘hello’ would do, a nudge, a kick up the bum, poke in the eye, anything, anything to show she is with me. We often talked about death and dying and promised each other that if one of us died we visit the other that hadn’t! We even had a list of people we’d love to haunt and freak out! (We both have evil streaks) SO…. where the F is she!?
    Another great read Tracy…. Thank YOU for sharing xx

    • Thanks Helen,
      It’s hard when we lose someone we love and I can understand how you feel about your sister. I expected Ma to come through for me. Two years later, I can’t believe that I haven’t I had such an experience with her…
      I wish I knew how it works…I guess I will one day. xXxXx

  5. I loved this post Sis. What a lovely experience. I think your gran was definitely saying goodbye to you and telling you that she loved you a lot 🙂

    Maybe my Gran will visit me one day 🙂

    Love you, M xxx

  6. This made me cry! I miss my maternal grandma so much – I used to dream I was visiting her and taking my kids with me (she died when I was 14!). Maybe one day she will visit me, I would love to think so.

    Beautiful writing, and so much more valid on Samhain than all the trick or treating.

  7. Great Halloween post and love the story about your grandmother. I always wished mine would pay me a visit, although part of me thought I might be scared too. I guess when you have a strong enough sign it’s them, what is there to be scared of though? xx

    • Thanks 🙂
      I had no expectations when I had this experience. It was totally spontaneous whereas I do have expectations of Ma…and nothing like it has happened. If it was all down to my ‘wishful thinking’ as has been suggested by various people, then I would have thought that Ma would have put in an appearance by now. Not so, well not like this… subtle things have happened but there was nothing subtle about the above experience..
      Thanks for reading. 🙂 xXx

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