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Monday, 02 January 2017 11:58
Special to the Daily Planet

One of the strongest  memories I have of my childhood is walking into bookstores and planting myself in the middle of the New Age section with all its books on ghosts and hauntings, ESP and psychic phenomena. 

I didn’t know what to call the things that happened to me, so I just picked up books that I thought seemed closest to it.

     In one book, “The Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits” by Rosemary Ellen Guiley, I found this whole new world of things I never knew existed and pictures of haunted places and researchers who investigated all this wonderful bizarreness. 

Only, some things weren’t all that bizarre to me. Some things resonated with me right away because I had experienced them. That’s the way it was for me. I had experiences and in seeking to find answers for what had happened and why, I would come across a host of other paranormal things that were normal for me, but weren’t for everyone else, or they would trigger a memory. 

     One such memory was of a particular Tuesday night in late fall or winter. It was Dad and Daughter Pizza Night. 

     On that particular night, I was anxious. I couldn’t stay still. My whole house felt different. Sinister. Dark. I stayed within the cheerful lemony confines of the kitchen, not even feeling comfortable enough to walk into the living room and turn the lights on.

And then I heard Dad come home and waves of relief washed over me. I heard the garage door open. I heard his car drive inside. I heard the garage door close. I heard his car door open and then a pause. 

That was Dad placing the pizza on top of the car so he could close the car door. I heard the car door shut. I heard the door to the inner garage open. I heard my little red wagon rolling across the cement floor. 

“Oh no. Dad’s going to be mad that someone left my little red wagon in the walkway,” I remember thinking as I opened the cabinet door to grab plates and glasses. Dad had a thing about things being left where people could trip over them.  

And I waited. I waited for Dad to walk up the basement stairs. I waited a really long time. And then a shiver ran down my spine.

I opened the basement door and cautiously descended the well-lit stairs. I bent down just enough to see that Dad’s car wasn’t there, hadn’t been there, after all. I raced back upstairs and slammed the basement door shut.

Exactly 30 minutes later, an eternity for a scared teenager, I heard the familiar sounds of Dad coming home, the same sounds in exactly the same order, only this time Dad was at the door with pizza. And one more thing. The little red wagon didn’t have to be moved. It had been moved 30 minutes earlier by Phantom Dad.

This is what is referred to as an “arrival case” or “Vardoger” in Norway. According to Guiley, “There are various explanations made for arrival cases. The most likely is that the individual somehow projects a double, which is perceived as his solid, real self. Still another suggests that arrival cases occur in a quirk of time — a duplication of an event in time.”

I’d go for quirk of time in this instance. Dad doesn’t usually get worked up about getting to places. He’s very good at giving himself plenty of time, but on those rare occasions when he is late, he doesn’t stress about it.

Unlike me. I’m always wishing I were someplace else with plenty of time to spare. Maybe that’s why the first half of that definition fits me so well.

I had friends in high school that would get really angry with me because they’d wave at me or say hello and I ignored them. But I hadn’t been there. 

A few months ago, a friend of mine, a retired nun, went to the doctor. This is unremarkable except for the fact that she arrived 15 minutes earlier and had already been taken back to a room to be seen by the doctor when she “arrived” to check in, wearing the same clothes as the “other” Sister.

When the nurse took my friend back to the room they’d put her in a few minutes earlier, she wasn’t there. They thought she’d somehow snuck out. They got so angry with her that they basically told her to never come back! 

I can’t imagine how much damage you’ve done to your karma when you toss a nun out on her butt.

While the Sister still shows up ahead of herself, it’s been quite some time since I have.

And The Pizza Incident never happened again. 

Shelley Wright, an Asheville native, is a paranormal investigator. She owns and runs Nevermore Mystical Arts shop and works at Wright’s Coin Shop, both in Asheville. Wright also is a weekly participant in the “Speaking of Strange” radio show from 9 p.m. to midnight on most Saturdays on Asheville’s WWNC-AM (570).



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