Some time ago, actually it’s more than two decades ago, I was a student at a University in another city. I remember it vividly since I was on my own – really on my own – for the first time. It was a time of growing up, learning more about who I really was, and enjoying freedom as an adult but I was still really just a kid. When I think back now, I have to laugh at some of the things I believed at the time. But if I knew then what I know now I don’t think University would have been nearly as fun.
But I digress. It was during the second semester of my first year that my roommate moved out because his co-op job placement was in another city. I took that opportunity to move into his vacated room because it had a better view and more privacy. From the first night I slept in that room I had a vaguely uneasy feeling which I just shrugged off and ignored. The feeling came and went seemingly quite random but one night in particular I will never forget.
I had been reading before I fell asleep and my paperback was somewhere among the sheets when I woke up in the middle of the night, I’m guessing it was around 3:30. I had the feeling that something was in the room with me. I was lying on my right side facing the wall with my back to the room so I could not see anything and since it was pitch black in the room I don’t think I could have seen anything anyway. I could feel every nerve in my body on high alert waiting for something to happen whether that be a voice, a touch, a sound, anything. I know as I write this that it would have been perfectly sensible for me to be scared silly but I was not.
I was prickly with anticipation of a hand on my back or something like that but I was not afraid, only expecting. After a time and I really have no idea how long it was, 30 seconds or 5 minutes I couldn’t tell, the feeling subsided and I felt that I was once again alone in the room. Since I had not really been scared, I quickly fell asleep again but in the morning I woke up with a clear memory of waking up a few hours previous. The feeling was not one of malevolence or anger, more like curiosity. I didn’t mention this to my landlord or to any of my friends and over the next year it slipped out of my mind.
The next year when I moved back to the University, I lived in a different house with new roommates but one day when I was walking across the campus I happened to meet up with my roommate from my first year. After saying hello and chatting for a few minutes, he jokingly asked if we missed him around the house when he left for his work term the previous year. I laughed and told him that I hadn’t even noticed he was gone except that I got a room upgrade because of it.
His manner immediately changed and in his voice lowered as he asked me “You didn’t move into my old room did you?” I replied “Actually I did, why?”
“Because”, he said “I never mentioned it to you at the time because I figured you’d think I was off my nut but the whole time I was living in that room I couldn’t shake the feeling that something else was there with me.” He went on to say that on occassion he would wake up in the middle of the night convinced that someone was standing there looking at him.
I then told him about my experience when I had woken up with exactly the same feeling. His last words as we said our good-byes were “If I had known you were thinking of moving into that room, I would have warned you not to”. I’m not sure if I believe in ghosts but that experience was the closest I’ve come to a paranormal experience a la Ghost Hunters!