A Haunting in San Francisco
I like danger and anything I can’t have.
But I am afraid of ghosts. Historically, I’ve been able to evade the supernatural. But sometimes, because of our circumstances, we can’t always avoid what we don’t want.
I spent the weekend at a San Francisco hostel in lower Nob Hill. My first night I woke up around 4am to sounds of small children playing with their father while giggling and riding tricycles. The muffled sounds channeled down from the ceiling even though my room was already on the top floor.
Afterwards a skinny lady with lanky, unkempt dreads shuffled out of the bathroom towards Bed 9, which was the bunk next to me. She crawled across the bed, lifted open the window, and began peeing on the floor. I could hear the patter onto the carpet. I closed my eyes to give the apparition her privacy and fell back asleep.
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The next night I slept in Bed 9, and I kept having the same repetitive nightmare. As soon as I fell asleep, this steely, deathlike feeling crept over me. It must’ve happened seven consecutive times in less than 30 minutes, and each time was significantly worse.
The ‘death force’ wasn’t heavy. There was no breeze or chill, either. It was an utter terror that mocked being suffocated, but I could breathe. The will to survive replaced the need for sleep, and every time I dozed off, I’d scream to wake back up again. I didn’t care if I woke up any of my five roommates. Being safe was more important than not looking stupid.
It happened so many times in a row that I started to think of when I tangled with a demon…. When the dodgy lady in Bed 8 came coughing in as if she had Ebola, I was a bit rude. Maybe she was a demon punishing my apathy….Or the old, plump dude I walked past during the day who inexplicably wrote a bible verse and the address of a church on a note card for me….Or maybe it was the crucifix I recently bought with skulls capping the ends?
I was telepathically telling the force to leave. I’d repeat an intense, “Go away!! Leave me alone!!” in my head. After about the fourth or fifth time I started asking my deceased grandfather to help me, and the last few times I was begging the lady in Bed 8 to please stop. I was sorry.
The ‘death force’ initially came from the ceiling and the far away wall, but by the end it invasively crept onto my lower legs, and it was gently crushing them from below the butt cheek and down. It was like a tornado siren was going off, but everything was silent.
Of course I lived through that weekend, and I am currently unafraid of ghosts. Although I do side with Aldous Huxley in believing that “maybe this planet IS another world’s hell.”