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She Took My Breath Away

Darci, Ontario, Canada
February 1998

Let me assure you, this is true, this is completely true. I wish it wasn't.

My Grandparents owned a older home, approximately 200 years old now. This home had a small apartment within it. My parents had lived in the apartment when they were first married. At 16 years old my Grandparents allowed me to live there, alone.

There was always a uncomfortable feeling about the little apartment, like someone watching you. It was eerie, and everyone who had been there had sensed it. No one liked to be left alone there, myself included. I would frequently invite my friends to spend the night, just so I wasn't always alone there. My best friend Barb was spending the night with me one cold winter evening, so cold in fact that I had dragged my mattress out to the living room as the living room, the warmest room in the apartment. My friend Barb was sleeping on the couch, and I drifted off moments later. I was sound asleep, flat on my back. I felt it before I saw it. Before opening my eyes I was aware that someone was laying on top of me, and quite heavy at that. For a split second, the moment before opening my eyes I thought, "Has Barb lost her marbles?" Then after a few blinks I saw it. A woman, completely white from head to toe. I could see her white hair floating about her. She was somehow, ghastly. I can't explain it really, she just was. I was overwhelmed with fear; I had to, needed to, wanted to scream! I opened my mouth to draw in breath. I felt my lungs empty, like I had fallen on my back and the wind was forced out. I could not scream because she had sucked the life breath from me.

Then the weight began to lift, first from my chest then mid-section. I began to gasp for air, starring wide eyed at her face. Finally she completely raised herself off of me, and then.... she smiled. I will never get the picture out of my mind -- a most horrid smile, a look of satisfaction. Then she was gone. As soon as fear had subsided enough for my breath and my speech to return, I did scream! Barb awoke from her place on the sofa. "What's wrong" she said. I told her my story, crying as I spoke. Barb told me I was dreaming, and to forget about it. Well, I tried.

Well, 10 years later at 26, it still bothers me. I still can't sleep on my back. On night a few months ago I was visiting my Mother. After a few glasses of wine, I began my story, the story of how I once thought I saw a ghost. You may recall at the beginning of the story I mentioned my parents had been tenants in the same apartment before me. I had got to the part in my story where I first felt it on me. Then my Mother piped up nonchalantly and said, "Oh, she's the one that takes your breath away." My heart sank, or maybe it was in my throat, I don't recall which, but I do know I was pale. That moment was when I knew for sure that it really happened to me. As it turned out my mother had the same experience three times while living there.

Well, like I said..... I don't sleep on my back anymore.

Darci, Ontario, Canada
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