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Strange Phenomenon

Laura Antoziak, Quebec, Canada
January 1999

Dear readers. The following is an actual event which happened to my mother along with two relatives back in the late 1940's when she was 13 or 14 years old.

My mother, a city child, used to spend her summers at her aunt Patsy's farm situated in Albany (now known as Carignan) Quebec, Canada. Back then in the area lived several Polish and Ukrainian farmers. One calm sunny afternoon in 1948 or 1949, my mother, her mother (my grandmother) and her aunt Anastasia (my great aunt and half-sister of my grandmother and aunt Patsy) - all three (except great-aunt Patsy) went to visit a neighbor at his house. He was a very old man - a Ukrainian immigrant in his 90's - whose wife (also over 90) had died just a few months earlier. My mother had met the lady while she was alive a few times before and had found her to be a very nice old lady.

The visit that afternoon went along well. My mother recalled that the elderly neighbor had mentioned to them during their conversation that he felt lonely not having his wife anymore. When it was time to leave, it was still a calm sunny afternoon outside. The old man said to them in Ukrainian "Oh please wait before you go, I would like to give you some extra potatoes from my garden as I have too many for myself`". So they agreed, and off the neighbor went outside to his garden in the back of his house. During the wait (all three were left standing in the kitchen), my grandmother and great-aunt Anastasia began talking between themselves. My mother remembered that my great-aunt Anastasia made a foolish remark about the dead lady, joking that since the woman was now dead, her husband could no longer make love to her anymore. Then immediately after - it couldn't have been more than a minute - the screen kitchen door opened from outside. (Now this was the type of door common on old farmhouses - a wood frame screen door held by a strong spring, and that a visitor would have to pull open from the outside to come in). With a swooshing sound - like a gust of wind - came in an object that flew over and around their heads that looked like a dirty dish towel - it was greyish-white - and it kept circling wildly and frantically around and around them in the air. All three were completely astounded and terribly frightened. My grandmother exclaimed: "My, it is the soul of the dead woman!", and with that she grabbed my mother by the arm and all three ran out of the house just as the old man was coming out of his garden. He saw them running and he shouted after them, "Wait! wait! Why are you running away, don't you want the potatoes?" My great-aunt Anastasia who was running along with my mother and grandmother, turned her head around, and shouted back waving: "Oh! No! No! No! we must leave right now, we can't stay, we have something important to do" and all three ran back in terror to my great-aunt Patsy's farm.

Never again did they go to visit the old man. Being superstitious, my grandmother and great-aunt cautioned my mother to never tell anyone about what happened or else people will think they are crazy or that something bad will happen to them.

As I was growing up I could never discuss this occurrence with my grandmother (she was senile by the time I was born) but I did try with my great-aunt Anastasia at a wedding shower in 1987 before she herself died. She didn't appreciate my having brought up the subject but nevertheless dismissed the word "ghost" (being as superstitious as she was) and said that she thought that the object was a bat that flew in. I myself sometimes wondered if it was a bird, but of course a bird more closely resembles a bat and it would probably make chirping or screeching sounds. My mother, on the other hand, believed and still believes to this day that it was a ghost. It certainly didn't look like a bat or even a bird to her (as far as we are concerned, bats come out at dusk, not in broad daylight and are usually dark coloured), and how could a filthy dish towel or rag of some kind fly in from outside? (especially when the door had to be pulled from outside in order for someone or something to come into the house).

I saw the house myself (from outside and at a distance of about 100 yards) a few times in the 1970's as a child. I recall it being an old two-storey brown farmhouse from the turn of the century situated not far from railroad tracks. Today I do not know if it is still standing since I haven't visited that part of town since 1979. (I've heard that most of the farms are now gone - the area has become more urban - as people have been building themselves bungalows there since the 1980's).

Every now and then over the years (now counting 50), the memory of this event comes up with my mother and still to this day it remains a mystery. Although we are not great fans of the paranormal and distrust the majority of psychics, we would like an explanation. Was the object truly the spirit of the dead woman who appeared because she was upset by my great-aunt's comment? Maybe some of you readers out there may have a hypothesis?

Laura Antoziak, Quebec, Canada
00:00 / 01:04
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