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The Hanging Lady and Her Enterouge

Caitlin, MA, USA
November 2006

"My perceptions were pretty messed up when I first saw her....I didn’t perceive her as scary, so she wasn’t." This was the calm explanation my boyfriend, D, offered to dismiss the horrifying nature of the hanging lady. Perhaps she?and all the other frightening apparitions I am about to describe?is the product of a mind made unstable by trauma, and does not actually wander our plane of existence as a ghost, demon, or what have you. Or perhaps they are aimless spirits trying to get their abstract messages across to D. All I can be sure of is the fear and amazement I felt when I was first told this story.
D, at an earlier stage of his life, suffered a lot of psychological trauma. It was during this difficult time that he first began to see bizarre things that did not belong. The forerunner of these visions was what he called the hanging lady. At any time of day, when sitting quietly in a room, minding his own business, D would sometimes catch something in his peripheral vision. Looking to the corner of the room, he would see a woman hanging from the ceiling, her head and neck tilted forward, a noose wrapped around her throat. Her hair was long, straight, and black, but it did not cover her expressionless face. She would stare at him with eyes that were nothing but empty black holes.
Not moving, not making any noise, just staring. The rope she was hanging from appeared to vanish near the ceiling, as if it were attached to nothing. She would always show up in the corners of rooms, but even if the corner was nearby, she seemed to be farther away than she really was.
D could stare directly at her for a long time without her disappearing. In other words, this was one extremely real, consistent apparition. If D happened to look away, he said he would sometimes see her begin to move closer to him out of the corner of his eyes.

The way she moved was highly bizarre, and I am unsure how to describe it effectively. But basically, the hanging lady would move closer to him (while still hanging, mind you?she never escaped the rope) by moving nothing but her legs which were obviously dangling in the air. She did not kick or thrash?.her legs kind of wobbled and bent in ways that they shouldn’t have. Imagine a heat wave, and how it makes scenery sort of wave back and forth?this might be a semi-accurate description of how her legs moved.
Over the years, the hanging lady’s appearances have become less frequent. But still, to this day, D will sometimes see her (he is 20 and a sophomore at college). If he’s tired, or if he’s seen a scary movie, he will become more susceptible to seeing her and other strange visions. This is part of the reason why I think what we’re dealing with is more a psychological phenomenon than a paranormal one.
He is a well-adjusted person?not unstable in any way?but he does have repressed memories and experiences difficulty with deep intrinsic thought. I think his mind was altered by negative stimuli at a crucial stage of development. Yet I cannot say if this means the hanging lady is a product of his own imagination or if she does exist outside of himself and his altered perceptions simply allow him to perceive her presence while other people cannot.
I’ve mentioned other strange visions?I will describe a few of them here.
When he was much younger, D would sometimes hang around in the basement of his house. One day, he saw a man down there. A man who was wearing a deer’s face not quite as a mask, not quite as a hat, but as a weird combination of both. Last semester, while sitting in his dorm, D saw his friend walk around the corner of the hallway outside. Except it did not look like his friend?it looked like a huge, black marionette with a hideous face. He was startled, but moments later, the image reverted to his friend. The freakiest one for me occurred quite recently. My roommate had gone home for the weekend, so D stayed over for the night. He told me several days later (quite casually) that while he had been laying in my bed in the dark, he had seen a long, distended arm reaching out and up from under my mattress frame. It was bluish in color, looking like it belonged to someone who had frozen to death. The hand hovered over our feet?he said he got the impression it had been "looking for something." He also said that there may have been multiple arms, but he could not remember clearly. Yeah, I reaaally wanted to go to bed after hearing all that.
D and I are both Japanese majors, so we spent our junior year abroad in Japan. For whatever reason, while there, he saw faces in windows on more than one occasion. He also said that he thought he saw his mother standing outside a McDonald’s we were eating at?except she looked like she was dead. And yes, the hanging lady followed him to Japan. After coming home, he told me about how he would often wake up to see a large, ghostly spider web with a big spider in the middle floating in front of his face, apparently connected to nothing but air. The web would gradually vanish like some kind of fading dream.
D has many more experiences. I explore this subject with him occasionally, but most of the time he has trouble calling up memories. His daily life is not hindered by what he sometimes sees; in fact, he generally is not scared of them at all, because he says he can easily recognize that they are "not real" due to their somewhat intangible appearance?.they do not look as solid as things that are "real".
He has never tried communicating with the hanging lady. He says that the day he starts talking to her is the day that he will know he’s truly gone crazy.
Feedback welcome! >^_^

Caitlin, MA, USA
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