James L. Cowles

© Copyright 2024 by James L. Cowles
Image by Victoria from Pixabay
Image by Victoria from Pixabay

It happened so unexpectedly, and it caused me to wonder how many others have had the same, or a similar kind of experience. In fact, it has happened to me on two different occasions, both occuring in the same room in my house.

The first time, it was very late in the evening, and I was sitting alone in our family room. My wife, Teresa, and our dog, Lucy, had just gone up to bed, leaving me alone to choose a “Prime” movie selection. I love westerns, or a good dramatic movie mystery, with lots of action and good dialogue, and as I recall, that night it took me several minutes to choose one after watching several previews. I do not know if this had any bearing on what transpired that evening, but it is something I often do.

Some evenings I might drop off to sleep for a few minutes during the movies, but I am one who can usually watch a movie in its entirety without sleeping, especially if I get into the plot. My wife will tell you that I have an uncanny ability to begin watching a movie even after it has been on for a good period of time, and pick up on the plot and really get into it.

I never remember the name of movies, unless it is iconic, like “The good, the bad, and the ugly.” I mention that one only because I once worked with Alan Van Cleef, son of Lee, so it’s an easy one for me to remember. I can only tell you I was not watching a horror movie that evening, nor was it “gory,” with a lot of blood and guts. If I mistakenly begin watching one of those, I am quick to turn it off.

Okay, no more suspense. Here’s the truth as I remember it.

I was enjoying a movie this particular night, and suddenly a figure appeared to the right of my TV, right next to the fire place. She was dressed in a floor length dress, solid black, and she was a bit taller than the TV. It looked as if she were standing on the fireplace hearth, which is about twelve inches high. The eerie part was, she had no head. She was out of place, absolutely no part of my movie. She just made her appearance quietly, and stayed around awhile. She wanted me to see her.

I watched this figure for a good amount of time, all the while thinking,” I am dreaming; this cannot be real.” I must tell you that I did not fear this Specter, not at all. In fact, I was intrigued. She did not move; she was completely still, and non-threatening. Somehow, I sensed I had no reason to fear her. What immediately came to mind was she appeared to me to be rather “grandmotherly.” I am eighty-two years old as I write this, so my grandmother could have easily worn floor length dresses in her day. At any rate, I was not threatened, only very curious, and I made a mental note to see if I could find any information about my grandmother, or great-grandmother passed.

I did not know my grandparents on either side, and haven’t been able to find information about them. Perhaps one of my late relatives actually lost their head. Maybe this was just a grandmother who did not have the energy to appear in totality? I stared at her for several seconds before instinctively blinking, thinking of course that I was just seeing things, maybe dreaming, and when I opened my eyes again, she was gone. I sat for some time thinking she might return, but unfortunately, she didn't, and I’ve never seen her again.

Several months passed, and each night I wondered if my visitor would return, but after a time, my expectations faded and my nightly movies continued without interruption. Two years passed, and all the while, my movie watching continued. I often find myself wondering how so many good movies that no one ever heard of, could be made. Thousands and thousands, and I'm doing my best to watch as many as possible.

Then one evening, it happened again, but this time it was quite different. The position of my second visitor was exactly as the first had been, but this time the person was in a sitting position. The other differences were even more significant. There was a beautiful female in a bright colored dress, with a lovely, bright smile, staring at me.

She did not say a word, only smiled and looked right into my eyes, only this time, I recognized her. She was my Aunt Mary, but a much younger and more beautiful version than I remembered. I knew instantly it was her; her smile was captivating, just like my mother's had been. She was my favorite aunt, and one we saw only once per year, when she and Uncle Roy came down to Louisville from Washington, D.C. to stay with us for a week or so. Uncle Roy worked for the treasury department, and aunt Mary worked for Sealtest. They were professionals, and childless, and treated my siblings and me like we were theirs. I remember the many summer visits and the difficulty I had every summer when they left for home. I tried to hold back tears, but like my mother, I was never successful.

My second visiting spector may not have said a word, but her smile was so loving and reassuring. It made me feel special. But it’s funny; when I tell others about my two visits, they get frightened looks on their faces, and when I say I was not scared, only comforted, they say they want no part of such a thing. I have to admit, I would have felt the same before these two spirits came my way.

I'm left to wonder… Are others visited like me? Is it an extraordinary thing? Have you ever been visited by a late relative? I'd love to hear other stories like this, and I am actively searching for them. If you have had such a visit, please share it with me. In any case if you have a story like this, I hope it was as positive as mine.

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