Thursday, October 28, 2010

Am I Awake or Am I Dreaming?

“Am I awake or am I dreaming?” The first time I had to ask myself this question was in 1983. I was almost six years old. There was nothing out of the ordinary except that I was awakened from my sleep to the sound of someone yelling for help. I laid there in my bed wondering, am I awake or am I dreaming? The call for help didn’t go away, it got closer. I got out of bed and pulled the curtains to the side and that’s when I saw her; a girl in a long white dress with long black hair running down the sidewalk while looking behind her calling for help. She was being chased, but by what, I’ll never know. Before she faded away, she looked up at my window, into what felt like my eyes, and asked me for help. I’ve never seen her again. Later research led me to believe I saw a White Lady ghost which has been known to be a Harbinger, bearer of an omen.

Six months later I had to ask myself, “Am I alive or am I dead?” We rented an old house when my family moved to Ely, Nevada, an old mining town, for a short time for my dad’s job. One morning, not long after we arrived, my dad woke up for work to the furnace blowing black soot through every vent in the house. Since we moved there in the dead of winter, the furnace had been going on and off all night. Panicked, my dad ran around the house waking all of us up to get us out of there. We were all covered in black soot. We weren’t sure how long we had been lying there breathing it in but the curtains and walls were blackened when we woke up. We spent a week throwing up after that, lucky to be alive.

It didn’t take long for me to ask myself if I was awake or if I was dreaming again. This time I wasn’t the only one seeing ghosts, both my sister and I constantly heard, felt, or saw something unexplainable going on there in that rental in Nevada. One night I woke up and thought I heard my sister playing music on her clock radio. I didn’t want my parents to get up and yell at us so I went next door to her room and said, “Turn it off! You’re going to wake mom and dad up!” She wasn’t awake though and never heard me. I stood there listening to the radio changing stations by its self. I ran back to my room and hid, asking myself, “I am awake or am I dreaming,” over and over.

We moved back to our home in Utah after only six months in Nevada. Whatever was going on didn’t stay there, but then, it didn’t start there either. It was 1987 and I was ten when I found myself asking, “Am I alive or am I dead,” once again. We lived in a split entry level home where the front door opened to a set of stairs that went both upstairs and downstairs. Upstairs from the front door was the doorway leading to the kitchen where the kitchen sink was located. That’s where I was standing doing the dishes with my Walkman turned up practically all the way to Motley Crue. On this particular day I was annoyed that my mom kept bothering me while she was going around the house cleaning, forcing me to turn my music down, and ask, “What?” repeatedly. I decided to just crank the volume and ignore her the next time she said anything since I only had a few pieces of silverware left to wash. Just like I thought, my mom started calling my name, “Patty. . .Patty. . .PATTY!!!!” I dropped the silverware, left the water running, turned around, and yelled, “WHAT!?” at the top of my lungs at the same exact moment lightning struck our front door. I went blind momentarily and our television was blown out. The damage to our house wasn’t nearly as bad as the house behind us whose carpet caught fire when that bolt of lightning went through the swamp cooler onto their roof. Little did I know, my mom had been on her way upstairs with a basket of laundry when she heard me yell, “WHAT!?” She asked me why I did that and I said, “Because you were yelling at me.” She said, “No I wasn’t.” I’m lucky to be alive. If I had spent another second washing that silverware under the running water, I would’ve been electrocuted. My mom and sister both talk about that moment to this day, wondering who alerted me.

My ghost stories continue throughout my life but I didn’t start seeing full bodied apparitions until 2001. In 2002, my daughter was born with kidney problems that required two surgeries. It was 2004 and my daughter was scheduled for her second surgery, a stressful time in our house. I dreamt one night that my neighbor from across the street came over and said, “Someone died in the bedroom upstairs.” It woke me from my sleep. When my eyes opened there was a little girl standing at the foot of my bed. She seemed real. She had short brown hair and brown eyes, wearing a dress that might have been a school uniform but not from this era. When she didn’t go away I shut my eyes and rolled over seeking comfort from my sleeping husband. One week later, my neighbor came over to check on my daughter’s health and while she was there she said, “Did you know someone died in the room upstairs?” I tried not to panic. I asked for the details. She said the previous owner’s mother died up there. I ran into the previous owner at the store one day and asked her about it. She became defensive, saying her mom died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital and not in the house.

So, I ask you, have I been awake or have I been dreaming? Am I alive or am I dead?

Have a ghost story of your own?  Join our Boo-Fest using our linky tool below this post above our comments:


  1. Now that's really freaky. Glad you weren't eletrocuted by the lightning!

  2. Alex - you were quick. I was still editing when I got your comment. I hope the post was in its correct order when you came by. Thanks for commenting!!!

  3. Wow,Patty

    That was bone-chilling. I always believed we had guardian angels, but guardian ghosts? I seems you and Quinn have the electrical theme going on. In my experience, it was my mom and it was peaceful.

  4. It 8:30 in the morning here, and I'm already creeped out by reading two Isn't it weird how dreams are attached?

  5. I love that we're creeping people out just talking about something that's a normal part of our lives.

    I'm really glad we did this together.

    It was good hearing more of your experiences. You were really lucky with the furnace. Do you think the little girl was a harbinger of that since you saw her 6 months earlier?

    For some reason the lightning story seems so familiar to me; even though I'm sure you never told me that experience. It's like I'm getting a sense of deja vu with an experience that isn't even mine.

    This reminded me of a story my friend told me before. When she was a baby, her mom heard her crying in the middle of the night and went to check on her. But she was fast asleep and hadn't been crying. Her mom picked her up from the crib and was walking around the room with her. She was by the door when the ceiling collapsed and the upstairs bathtub came through, landing right on the crib. Other things like that have happened to her. My friend is convinced she has someone looking out for her, but also someone who wants her dead.

    Back to your question though "am i awake or am i dreaming," you have no idea how many times I've asked myself that. We haven't even really touched on my dream experiences in our talks, which have been much more terrifying than any ghost experience I've had (although I think the two are connected). We'll have to talk about that. I'm curious if you've had similar dream experiences.

  6. You're awake. I think the voice that saved your life while you did dishes was an angel not a ghost. But that is my opinion. A lot has happened to you. Good story.
    N. R. Williams, fantasy author

  7. That's so creepy! I'm really loving this blogfest--uh, Boo-fest. lol. It's really fun hearing about other people's experiences :)

  8. Hi,

    Crikey, one ghostly apparition was enough for me and entailed a fair bit of research to unearth elements of truth, but several apps and I'd be freaking out big-time! ;) Great blogfest though, and we're probably creating inspiration for other writers. :o


  9. Wow, it sounds like you have an uncommon and strong connection to the otherworldly. At least they appear to be helpful not harmful. It sounds like they saved your life with the lightning.

  10. Hi! Great blogfest entry. I hopped over from Quinn's to say hello. :-)

  11. Michael - You're right about Quinn and I having a lot in common in regards to the otherwordly.

    Summer - Your story as well as the others did a good job of freaking me out as well. It's great to hear from others like Quinn and I.

    Quinn - I can't wait to hear about your dreams. By the way, have you been burning the candle to get all these read? Based on your time zone it seems you should have been sleeping when I saw comments going up by you. I hope you get some rest.

    Nancy - My mom has always thought of these spirits as guardian angels. They just might be.

    Kristina - I've been having a great time as well. I'm so glad you could participate.

    Francine - Your horse story is still freaking me out, lol! I love that there are so many different types of stories.

    Sondrae - I think you're right. I've spent much of my life trying to figure out why me. Thanks for coming by and commenting.

    Shannon - Hello! Thanks for coming by and reading. Quinn and I have been having a great time putting this together.

  12. Oooh... It's about to hit twelve at night here, and I'm thinking I should rather stop reading for tonight. :-)

    It seems you have someone up there looking out for you too.

  13. So many creepy experiences! Perhaps it is true that some people are just more susceptible to supernatural occurences than others!

  14. My grandmother was full Lakota, and her eyes saw beyond the line of physical sight. My mother had her gift almost as much. I have it to some degree.

    My dreams are often dark flashes into worlds of those I have seen that day or will see the next. I wrote of one of my happier dreams because the world wide web casts a large net -- and many fragile souls are deeply disturbed to even consider that our world is much more layered than they want to believe.

    It was a fun blogfest nonetheless. Thank you for dropping by my blog and commenting. It meant a lot to me. Roland

  15. THIS IS SO CREEPY! I have chills

  16. This has been a fun blogfest. Thanks for hosting.

    Your lightning story is amazing. My mom would have said guardian angel on that one too. It is a fascinating idea that there are different kinds of spirits out there. It might explain the varied levels of influence they seem to have on the living.

  17. Looks like you are all set for Halloween!