Nadia Elkharadly: Superstition, Supernatural, Super…Creepy! Happy Halloween!

It’s that time of year again.  The leaves are changing, there’s a chill in the air.  The days start later and end earlier.  One night you realize you need an extra blanket on your bed.  The tank tops and short shorts are packed away and out come the jeans, sweaters and boots.  And don’t even get me started on having to wear socks on a regular basis, I try to avoid that until at least November.  As much as I may try to avoid and deny it, fall is here.  Then I remember, fall’s not so bad.

Some great things happen in fall.  Being the Libra magnet that I am, many of my friends’ birthdays fall in October, so there are always a few fun nights out.  The celebration of my coming into this world occurs in the fall (November 14th, and I like chocolate, booze and compliments – thanks in advance).  And who could forget the funnest, craziest and most delicious holiday of the year:  Halloween.  In just 6 days All Hallows Eve will be upon us, and my inspiration turns to a spooky, sinister, and spine chilling direction.

Ghost stories.  I absolutely love them, and everyone’s got at least one.  And for this Halloween edition of my Tuesday ramblings, I’m going to share a couple of my very own with you.

When I was eleven my parents moved my brothers and I from Scarborough to Rosedale.  Our house was nearly a hundred years old, and that age, that history; it weighed in each and every room until my dad decided to gut the place into a beautiful modern masterpiece.  But I digress.  The house was old and it creeped me out, at least for the first few weeks.  My nights were nearly sleepless, my dreams were vivid, but one stuck with me most of all, because it really wasn’t a dream.  I was sleeping in my day bed in my bedroom, the flowered curtains shielding my eyes from the streetlights outside my window.  It was soft at first, so soft I barely heard it.  But after a moment it was unmistakable.  In my between sleeping and waking state, I could have sworn I heard a child’s laughter, a little girl’s.  I was the only girl living in that house.  I slowly opened my eyes, and the world was blurry but across the room, against those flowery curtains my dad insisted we put up in my room, there she was.  A little girl, laughing away, was picking a bouquet of flowers, the very flowers that patterned the drapes in my room.  She giggled as she worked, as if she was in a meadow under warm sunlight.  I remember blinking, staring, and wondering, but what I don’t remember, is fear.  That’s because I wasn’t afraid.  It was the strangest thing, but I knew this little ghost girl wasn’t a threat to me.  She was just lost, but that didn’t bother her.  And if it didn’t bother her, it didn’t bother me.  Before my eyes she started to fade away, and my eyes started sliding closed, and I fell asleep.  After that night, I started sleeping much better in our old house.

My other most vivid experience happened many years later.  I was living in a condo at King and Bathurst.  It was a big place, and I lived alone.  I always hated that I didn’t know what was going on one side of the place when I was on the other.  That sense of unease was particularly strong one night, probably around two years ago.  It was winter and I was huddled under the covers.  I stirred and woke up briefly, uncomfortable in the position I was in.  I start to turn over, when all of a sudden I felt a weight on top of me, pinning me flat on my back to the bed.  At this point I was unmistakably awake.  As I struggled against the force holding me, staring wide eyed up at my white ceiling, I felt something press against my face, turning my head to the left.  Once my right ear was exposed, I heard what I can only describe as a ghostly scream, right up against my ear.  It was like…static, the kind you hear when you unplug a guitar amp at the wrong time, the kind of static that makes your hands fly to cover your ears when you hear it.  It was the most bone-chilling, skin crawling thing I’ve ever felt in my life.  I continued to struggle and after what felt like an eternity, I was free.  I jumped out of bed, turned on all the lights and paced my bedroom.  I can unequivocally say I had never been so freaked out in my entire life.  After a little while I felt calm enough to go back to bed, and managed to get a couple of hours sleep without incident.  The next day I contacted a friend who I knew to be somewhat of an expert on ghostly activities, and asked her a)  what the HELL that could have been, and b) what do I do to prevent it from happening again and c) how do I deal with it if it ever happens again.  I’m very glad I asked because that very same night, the same thing happened again.  I wake up, go to roll over and I’m pinned.  For some reason however, that second time I wasn’t afraid.  There was no scream, and I guess I knew what to expect.  So I took a deep breathe, and in a low whisper, as I was instructed, I told the ghost to leave me alone.  I repeated my mantra a few times and sure enough, the weight was lifted off my chest, and I was able to sleep again.  This was repeated for one more night, and again that fear I had felt the first time was gone, replaced by exasperation, exhaustion, and a small sense of regret.  This ghost, this being obviously wanted something, but I had no way of knowing what it wanted.  For some reason, that made me kind of sad, and it’s not something I can explain.  Since then it’s never happened again.

It doesn’t have to be the presence of the paranormal that gives you chills.  Ever heard a song that gives you goose bumps?  It’s a beautiful feeling, but eerie as well.  To have music penetrate you to your soul, to give you that intense reaction, there’s something other worldly about that if you think about it.  It doesn’t happen often but when it does it’s unforgettable.  At Indie Week earlier this month, I had the privilege and pleasure of judging a different showcase every night.  Some of the bands and artists were better than others, but there was one that stood out among the rest: Brad Fillatre, singer, songwriter, and guitarist.   Hailing from the Newfoundland, Fillatre’s sound is described as Ambient Folk, with an unmistakable east coast feel.  Why do I bring up an east coast folk musician during a piece about Halloween?  Because of that feeling I talked about before.   In my Indie Week review, I describe Fillatre’s performance as haunting and goose bump inducing.  Fillatre’s music has a way of grabbing you, making you shiver, pulling you under his mesmerizing spell.  It doesn’t frighten or shock, but triggers emotion with intensity.  It’s almost…supernatural.  Pre-order Brad Fillatre’s album starting November 7th from his website and you’ll see what I mean.

So there you have it my lovely readers, two ghost stories and a music recommendation to boot.  Don’t be shy, give back in the comments section below.  I hope you all have a fantastic Halloween, whatever you do, and wherever you go, and whoever you decide to be.

Until next time,

Xo

N

We now have an email address where all of us here at Don’t Believe a Word I Say can be contacted: dbawis@rogers.com Please use it to ask questions, tell us what you’d like to read about, send links you’d like to share, and let us hear what you have to say.

Nadia Elkharadly is a Toronto based writer with a serious addiction to music. Corporate drone by day, renegade rocker by night, writing is her creative outlet.  Nadia writes for the Examiner (.com) on live music in Toronto and Indie Music in Canada.  She has never been in a band but plays an awesome air guitar and also the tambourine.  Check in every Tuesday for musings about music, love, life and whatever else that comes to mind.

3 Responses to “Nadia Elkharadly: Superstition, Supernatural, Super…Creepy! Happy Halloween!”

  1. Marlene Schuler Says:

    Nadia I too can recall ghosts inhabiting an old house I lived in in Rosedale. It was the old German embassy, I had an apartment and it seemed like every day I would come home and someone was moving out because of the paranormal activity. I was in Montreal for a weekend and came home and the only other person still living there besides myself was rushing out of the house. I asked where he was going and he said in a frightened voice he was getting the fuck out of the house because it was haunted. That night alone in that big house was a little uneasy. I soon moved in with my boyfriend.
    It has not been uncommon to this day to wake in the night to an old Chinese man sitting crossed legged in my bedroom. I just kindly ask him to leave and he does.
    Fall is a great tme for music listening and retrospection.

  2. I was going to send you a fifth of whiskey for your birthday this year but I figure, hell, you live in Canada and whiskey up there is as plentiful as water down here, so maybe I’ll send you a fifth of water instead. Checking out Fillatre as soon as I ext, stage left…..

  3. Well told, Nadia! The part about the little girl in your room sent a shiver up my spine!

    And you know I agree with you on Brad Fillatre…

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