From an early age, I have always had the ability to sense spirits. I can usually detect the presence and mood of a ghost just by entering the house or area in which it is residing. If exposed to the spirit for a long enough time, I can usually tell something about who the ghost was in life and why he or she has stayed behind after death. While I have had many experiences with spirits, this one stands out in my mind as the most intimate.
Back in 1997, my friend John and I were helping our friend Ralph move from North Carolina back to Virginia. After a grueling day of packing, we were ready to hit the open road. It was a five-hour drive from his place to the apartment that we were helping him move into, so we took turns driving. I took the last shift.
About a half an hour into my shift, I suddenly got goosebumps all over my body and felt compelled to pull the car over. This awakened my friends and, when they asked me why we were stopped, the only thing that I could think to say was that someone had died very recently near here and that they were in a great deal of emotional distress. Needless to say, my friends were a little freaked out. They related to me that my face had gotten extremely white and asked if I would like one of them to drive. Reluctantly I submitted, and Ralph took the wheel. Despite the fact that there were no visible signs of anything being amiss, I couldn't shake the feeling that I was having and it was growing even stronger.
Ralph had not been driving more than three minutes when we turned a corner on the highway and came upon a house that was burning down. I immediately knew that the ghost in question was the father of the family that had lived there. I could tell that no one else had died in the blaze, so I had my roommates pull over at a spot near the house where the presence seemed particularly strong. Without knowing why, I got out of the car and said the following, "Sir, I want you to know that your wife and kids are safe. They managed to survive the fire and are on their way to the hospital now. Please be at peace." Tears began to roll down my cheek as I got back into the car.
As we began to pull off, I looked behind us and saw the pale outline of a man appear briefly where I had been standing. He promptly disappeared, but I felt the mood around me go from panicked and distressed to almost a sense of joy. The next day, I saw a report about the house in our local papers. As I had somehow known the night before, a twenty-eight year old young man had died in the fire, but his wife and two children made it out safely. I don't think that I will ever know what prompted me to pull over and say the words that I did, but a tear comes to my eye every time that I think about it.