Halloween isn't really a holiday that I celebrate. I'm too old-fashioned. It's not a holiday we ever really celebrated here in Sweden except in the past ten years or so. That means it doesn't exist for me. ;) Even if it had been an old tradition here it wouldn't really be my thing.
Despite that, and despite the fact that Halloween is over, I thought I'd relate some of my other, earlier 'spooky' experiences.
My earliest ghostly encounter was when I was too young to really remember it now, but my mom has told me about it. We lived in a really spooky house up north. I think I've mentioned this before but I'll briefly go into the background anyway.
It was the sort of house that comes with a job - in this case one as principal for an institution (a sort of boarding school for children and adults with learning disabilities to put it the way we do now - once upon a time it was an asylum for idiots or imbeciles - I'm not sure about the chronology about those expressions).
The actual main building is spooky enough and actually I do have a memory of seeing something from up there. But first the residential building.
It was built to house the first principal (well, probably not the very first, since it wasn't that old, but the first time there was going to be a house that went with the job) and his wife and child. While the house was being built, the wife, who was carrying their second child, got sick and died, but the child survived, so the widower moved into the house anyway with the two children. They were, I'm told, the same age as me and my sister at the time we moved in, though they were one of each, not two girls.
According to my mom, I saw a 'shape' in the doorway - a funny choice of words maybe for a four-year-old, but I did read a lot. My sister and I were crying and told mom why. Hence the description.
One of mom's interns saw 'a woman' in the passage outside our room, but she didn't tell mom about that until a couple of years after we'd moved out.
My grandmother saw something and asked if it was my dad - which is weird because it should have been a woman's ghost, and my dad was very tall and no one would have mistaken him for a woman. When whoever it was didn't reply, my grandmother yelled for my mom.
The man who succeeded dad at his job when we moved away, clearly didn't like the house either. When we went up there again two years after our move, for a visit, dad mentioned the 'weird' house to him and the man just got up and left an untouched piece of cake on a dish, after agreeing that yes, it was a weird house.
Mom never tires of mentioning how all her plants died on the day we moved in and on the day we moved out, but I blame the careless movers and the extremely cold winters up there. It doesn't have to be anything supernatural. Nor did the dead birds lying on our doorstep once in a while prove anything. Apart from hunting dogs and cats, there were wild animals running around. Any kind of animal could have left the dead birds. Mom also says that when she was alone in the basement, once a door to an electric installation of some kind just popped open to reveal sheer bedrock, looking slippery with damp. But would electrical installations work when it's damp? Maybe it was something else. And maybe it was just vibrations from the trucks on the road nearby that made the door pop open.
Anyway, the main building is a bit spooky too. Once when I was playing in the park, I saw a sort of vision. It was of any old man with a big white beard, rolling down the hill towards the church and cemetary in the village, lying on some kind of toboggan or whatever. I couldn't see clearly. An echo of how they took a dead body down to the cemetary during the winter? But the old man looked as if he was alive and enjoying the ride. So maybe he had taken the toboggan and ridden on it in his nightshirt and got pneumonia and died from it?
That's the institution.
The hospital in the town we've fortunately left now, seems to be haunted as well. When it was a college some years ago (it's still some kind of college, but a community college, not the other kind), I noticed that in two places upstairs there was a sort of chill in the air that I associate with ghosts. One was in the doorway of what is now the computer room or was then anyway. There were big, beautiful doors in a big hallway somewhere around there and that might have been either the doors to an operating theater or maybe the doctors' lounge? Maybe even the personal home of the chief surgeon or something. The other place is in the upstairs part of what was then the college library. Maybe it still is. Again, I'm not sure what it used to be.
The weird thing is, I've been hospitalized twice (not counting when I was born) and I've never felt anything ghostly in either hospital. I think it's probably too crowded. Too many people coming and going.
That's not all though. Outside in the yard, there's also a sense of haunting. Nowadays, there's a mailbox there. Several times my sister or I have been there to mail something at the latest opportunity. Every time we've felt unwelcomed and cold, even in summer.
I'm suspecting an old boarded up cottage that used to be a sort of old-fashioned 'mental institution' for men. It looks horrible, small and cramped. I imagine those men received no treatment and it was probably not much different from London's Bedlam - except I doubt they were displayed to paying visitors. But they were certainly just locked up and tied up in there without treatment. Possibly beaten to keep them in check.
In fact, all the lake shores around this town/island seem to be a bit unwelcoming. There's not exactly a chill in the air everywhere but it feels hesitant, even stand-offish. Like something doesn't want you there.