The Lingering Dead

My mother told me, “Ghosts can’t hurt you but they can sure make you hurt yourself."  I discovered that she was only partially correct.  They can hurt you very badly!

"The Lingering Dead" is courtesy of Sister Smith

I grew up in Atlanta, Georgia during the nineteen seventies.  At that time, some school-age children had been kidnapped and murdered.  We all believed it was the KKK.  Out of fear, parents kept their children close to them whenever they could.  That’s why on Saturdays after my catechism class ended, I waited for my mother to finish her administrative paperwork.  Then we would go home together.

My mother ran our church religious education program.  So, we were always the last people to leave the school.  While I waited, I spent most of my time, in my mother’s classroom, doing homework or reading a book.  Then, after everyone else had departed, I would grab my mother's keys and walk through the school building shutting off the lights, locking doors, taking out the trash, or cleaning up clutter.  I enjoyed it; because I felt that I was doing something important to help my mother and speed up our departure time.

However, while walking through the empty school, I always had a feeling that I was being watched.  For a long while, I believed it was just my imagination.  Eventually, so many strange experiences accumulated, I had to acknowledge that it was something much more.

Sometimes, I would align the desks in a classroom only to return later and find them in disarray.  A few times, I entered a classroom and found my first name “Olivia “written in large letters on the blackboard.  Then, I heard the disembodied voices of small children calling to me but they sounded far away.  One night, I was sitting in our car while my mother was backing out of our parking spot.  For some reason, I was looking at the windows of one of the first-floor classrooms.  When our car’s headlights illuminated the classroom windows, I watched, in amazement, as all the window shades closed.

The next Saturday, I borrowed my mother’s Polaroid camera and took pictures in all the places that I felt something strange. On some of the black and white photos, orbs of light could be seen.  I showed the photos to my mother.  She thought it was just some dust caught by the camera’s flash.  I think they were ghost’s orbs.  All those things added up, indicated, to me, it had to be more than my imagination.

Now, here is the paranormal event that changed me.  One afternoon, I was walking up the back stairs to the second floor.  The second floor was the location that I most dreaded in the school because I always felt that something was waiting to get me.  That’s, also, where I had photographed the orbs.  The second-floor landings had safety glass installed, instead of metal railings.  This is to prevent small children from falling.   Years earlier, when the children rushed down the stairs at the end of the school day, a small girl had been accidentally pushed to her death.

I always enjoyed watching my reflection in the safety glass as I passed.  Yes, I am a bit vain.  This time, instead of my reflection, I observed a woman standing on the other side of the glass watching me.  There was a bright aura of white light surrounding her body.  She was dressed in a long flowing white robe and, just like a nun, her head was covered with a white habit.  She looked just like one of the holy figures in the paintings in our church.  I think she was an angel.

Quickly, there at the top of the stairs, just like I had learned in catechism class, I made the Stations of the Cross and fell to my knees praying.  I lowered my eyes.  When I finished my prayer, I cautiously looked up to see if she was still there.  She was.  She was standing in front of me.  When our eyes met, she spoke to me; but, there were no words.  Her thoughts just appeared in my mind.

She had a gift for me; but the gift, she warned me, was also a burden.  She instructed me not to share the reason that I had been chosen for the gift with anyone.  In all these years, I still haven’t.  Then she placed her right hand on my head and she prayed. When she finished, she kissed me on my cheek. She said, I would be dying, the next time that we meet.  Then she disappeared in a floating ball of bright light that got smaller and brighter until it just wasn’t there anymore.  The light was so strong, I had to close my eyes and cover them with my forearm.  Still, I could see her departure pictured in my thoughts.

When I opened my eyes again, and they had adjusted to the low light level, I could see, hear, touch and much worst smell the dead.  This was the gift that I had been given.  Since that day, my purpose in life has been to bring the lingering dead into God’s mercy through the light of his grace.  To better serve God, I became a Nun.

That night, I discovered that there were several ghosts on the second floor. That included the ghost of the little girl that died after being pushed.  Though I was afraid, my prayers helped all of them find God's light.  Since then, I have helped thousands of ghosts pass to grace.  Some of whom I knew.  Many times they didn’t know they were dead.  They just knew that they were lost, or confused and had been wandering for a long time.  They all wanted to go to their homes but they couldn’t find their way.   So, I helped them all to find God’s grace. However, I am not always successful.  Some ghosts, when they discover the truth, become fearful and refuse help.  Some believe that they are simply dreaming and don't want to be disturbed.

My mother said, "Please be careful Olivia.  Ghosts can’t hurt you but they can sure make you hurt yourself.”  She was only partially correct.  I have been physically attacked and injured many times by ghosts.  Even well-meaning ghosts can cause harm out of their fears or in their confusion.  The longer they spend outside of God's grace, the crazier they become.  Also, the more dangerous they become.

So, my warning to all of you is this.  Ghosts exist. If you think you are alone, you're wrong.  They are everywhere.  Just like living people, if they choose, they can harm you.  Don’t seek them out.  Be aware, be cautious and say your prayers.

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