I saw many spirits as a child and interacted with them all. I was never scared by any of them, except for one, but that is a story for another day. My naivete saved me from being scared because all I felt was intrigue and not fear.

I saw them as physical and natural as any other human, but I always felt something different about them, particularly their eyes and how they ‘gazed’ at me. It is as if they wanted me to know they were ‘different’, and I certainly felt it.

One of the more bizarre encounters took place at my grandfather’s house. I opened the front door to go out to play, and I saw a plus-size older woman on her way up the staircase. Her head was turned in my direction as if she was expecting me, and then she stopped.

“I am going up to smoke a cigarette, and I hope you don’t mind!” she said sternly and slightly angry. I was holding the front door open and could feel something different about that woman, but I could not explain it. I managed to reply quietly and told her that I did not mind.

“Good!” she turned her head and continued up the stairs as she muttered something. I went inside, and my grandfather went to the front door. He asked me who I was talking to, and I told him, and he looked confused. The building had three floors; my grandfather lived on the ground floor, and a tenant on the first floor. The floor above the tenant was vacant. My grandmother asked him to go upstairs and see where the mysterious woman had gone. He returned and told us that the tenant had not received any guests, so he continued to the upper floor and did not see anyone.

It was awkward because he looked confused and did not know what to make of the situation or what to say to me. He walked past me, and I could hear him talking with my grandmother in the front room. I know what I saw, and 40+ years later, I can still recollect the woman on the staircase. She was real!

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