Sometimes ghost stories involve elements far more complex than your average spook rattling chains or things that go bump in the night. I should know. This event has continued to be the most haunting and troubling thing that ever happened to me. It was the beginning of Fall in 1998 and I was driving on my way to my Dad’s for the weekend.
Since my parent’s divorce, I made the trip whenever I could to make sure he was okay. It was also very therapeutic for me. I worked a very hectic and stressful job, so the drive was a nice precursor to a peaceful weekend in the country, along with keeping in touch. This trip ended up quite differently and had a profound affect on me.
I should mention that two years after my parent’s divorce, my mother died in a house fire which was apparently caused by her smoking in bed. It had been a difficult time, seeing as my family had been split apart due the nasty aspects of the divorce. My mother had claimed that Dad had cheated, which turned out to be untrue.
Anyway, there was a light fog as I approached the three quarter mark on the country road. It was such a pretty sight with the trees on either side and soon I fell into a kind of trance. I didn’t realize that an hour went by until I snapped out of my daze and wondered why I hadn’t made it to Dad’s yet. I started to panic when another hour went by.
I didn’t have GPS back then and I started to look out for landmarks. I felt a chill come over me when I started seeing the same old, red barn and the same mailboxes – repeating over and over. My mind scrambled to try and figure out what was going on. Then my skin began to crawl when the feeling of a presence diverted my attention.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a figure in the back seat.
Every time I looked directly at the figure through the rear view mirror, it disappeared. Thinking that I was going insane, I pulled over and tried to get my wits about me. I got out of the car and looked around. Everything seemed fine. When I got back into the car and checked my lipstick in the mirror, I saw the figure staring straight at me.
The most shocking thing was – the figure was my mother. The blood drained from my face as she smiled before disappearing again. I twisted around in my seat but saw no one there. I felt a sudden need to get to my Dad’s house so I started the engine and took off. Luckily, there were no other cars on the road so I drove slowly.
I did my best to take note of everything on and around the road, even though the fog was making it more and more difficult. When I saw the familiar mailboxes again, I felt like I would lose it. Not knowing what to do, I heard a voice – thinking it was my own thoughts - telling me to turn around and go home.
I wondered if doing so would help to reverse or stop whatever was preventing me from getting to Dad’s house. I stopped and turned around, then continued driving in the opposite direction. It didn’t take long for things to go back to normal. Within half an hour, I realized that I was indeed on my way home.
The idea of being stuck in a loop hadn’t registered in my confused mind.
I decided to try my luck, so I turned the car around again and started making my way to my Dad. Wouldn’t you know it? Within half an hour the same looping madness started up, including the endless fog. I began to lose my temper and the creepy feeling of my mother’s ghostly presence took over, as she materialized in the back seat.
Wondering if I was hallucinating, I yelled into the rear view mirror “Stop it! I can visit my father, okay? I love him just as much as I loved you, Mom!” I was shocked when I saw the smirk on her pale face slowly dissipate. Now her smile was loving and genuine. When she vanished, the road opened up and I was able to get to my Dad’s home.
As I stumbled to his door, weeping and feeling like I’d just escaped an episode from the Twilight Zone, Dad came out and caught me in his arms. When we went inside, I told him what happened and he tried to explain it away as being due to the stress of my job. I wondered if he was right, but it all felt so real to me that I couldn’t shake it off.
The weekend was lovely as usual and nothing else happened, even on my way back home. When I got there, I took out a photo of Mom which I had kept in a drawer. I put it up on my desk, next to my favorite photo of Dad. Before that day, looking at her photo was painful. Since that event, I have a newfound understanding of her own pain.