In 1990 my wife and I were travelling in Kenya. One of the stops on our itinerary was the Governor's Camp, a long established safari camp in the Masa Mari that had hosted the likes of Teddy Roosevelt and Ernest Hemingway. Our accommodations consisted of a large wood frame tent with separate cots. There was no electricity. Neither of us had consumed any alcohol or drugs when the following events occurred.
I was asleep and having a dream about being chased by an animal. I awoke suddenly, opened my eyes and observed an older, bearded white man hovering over the foot of my bed. He was bathed in a white light and I could only see his face and upper body. He appeared to be wearing a safari jacket. I sat up in bed, turned to fumble with the kerosene lamp and when I looked back he was gone. I woke my wife and told her what I had seen, but at the time I figured that I had been tricked by some optical illusion. I climbed in to her cot and we stayed awake for a while rationalizing about how what I had seen was not a ghost. I remember telling my wife that I was disappointed in myself for having been afraid, and wished that I had stared down the illusion so that I would know what it was that I had seen.
After a while, we relaxed and I climbed back into my cot and went back to sleep. After some time (at least an hour) I opened my eyes and now there was an elderly white woman hovering over the end of my bed. She was also dressed, and bathed in a white light. I sat up and yelled "look, look" to my wife. It took her a minute to respond and when she did she began screaming hysterically. I turned on the lamp and once again the image was gone.
After we regained our composure my wife explained to me that when I started screaming for her to look she was in the midst of a dream where she was being chased by an animal and that she was experiencing sleep paralysis - that is she wanted to wake up but she could not. She said that she sensed someone was in the tent but she could not get her eyes to open. When she finally did open her eyes she saw a glowing light dancing in the air between our cots. She did not see a face but what she saw was enough to start her screaming.
When I tell this story I always say two things. First, don't take my word for it. When you see it for yourself you will know that ghosts exist. Second, despite my disappointment after the first encounter at not having had the courage to confront or "stare down" the image, when it happened again I was just as freaked out and again could not summon the courage to prolong the encounter.
Among the speculation we have engaged in is that this couple had perished while on safari, or that the couple was us and it was some sort of time distortion.