Let me premise the story by saying that I did not believe in ghosts before this. I am still hesitant to identify as someone who does, but I have no other way of explaining what happened that night.
My parents and I took a trip to Ireland at the end of the summer. We drove from Cork up the western coast and ended up in Dublin, staying in Bed & Breakfasts along the way. Getting to our first B&B was an adventure in itself: my dad was getting used to driving on the left, while my mom and I struggled to follow the directions we had saved on our phones (none of the roads had names). The GPS predicted a drive of 20 minutes; it took us an hour. Not that we minded with the beautiful scenery we were discovering and the sheep baaaa-ing at us with encouragement.
Photo by Thomas Kelley, www.unsplash.com
We pulled up to this huge, traditional Irish mansion overlooking green rolling hills as the sun was setting. It was dreamlike. The woman who welcomed us at the door was friendly and shared with us the history of the area, as well as a recommendation on where to have dinner. She took us to our quaint room with lush carpeting where I could picture a young girl in the 1900s playing quietly as her mother sipped her tea.
After dinner, we return to the B&B and hang out in the pooltable room, sipping a beer and watching Irish television. The host comes to chat, asking us about our meal and first impressions of Ireland. I pet the two dogs who trail her at all times. We soon go back to the room for our first night of slumber in this authentic manoir.
I fall asleep pretty quickly. The pillows were fluffy and the sheets silky; I enjoyed the comfort of this foreign bed. My parents were awake for a while after that, reading with the light on.
I wake in the middle of the night but the sheets are drawn over my mouth tightly, not my typical way of sleeping. With my eyes closed I sense my surroundings and realize someone is standing above me on the foot of my bed, feet on the edges around me. The cover that is taught over my face is being held down, I realize with horror. I am not the one pulling the sheets over my head. I try to scream but nothing escapes my throat. I am stuck and my heart is racing.
Photo by Stefano Pollio, www.unsplash.com
I try to explain this to myself. Is it an animal? Is anything missing from our room? I cannot sense anything else or figure out what is happening. I cannot move. I drift into unconsciousness as breathing gets more difficult.
I wake the next day shaken. Was this a dream? I have experienced sleep paralysis in the past, where you are completely unable to move your body in real life and are aware of it in your dream state. But this was real. It wasn’t a dream. I had definitely awoken. Was I pleased with this conclusion? No. I do not believe in ghosts. I can’t explain it scientifically. I told my parents about it and they immediately decided the house was haunted. No questions asked. I was convinced the ghost was related to the host woman.
This experience has, needless to say, traumatized me. I often have scary dreams but even if they are realistic, they are never real. This was real. All I know for sure is that was one hell of a way to start off a family trip.