Oh, the car ride to our lodging in Batesville, Mississippi was a hoot! I was in excellent spirits at being given the chance to go “adventuring”– that’s what I call traveling. Skatha picked me and ScoobyFan up from the airport. Fortunately, our flights arrived within an hour of each other, so it wasn’t that long of a wait before we were on the road. (I was only modestly molested by airport security, for which I’m thankful.) We were all in good spirits and excited to finally meet one another. The meet up was Skatha’s idea, and it was kinda nice to get to see my virtual friends in person– especially since they’re all so fun. (I was glad we got the chance to meet up!)
Pulling up to the plantation was delightful, albeit a little chilly and a lot humid. (“Chilly” is relative to someone from the Sonoran desert…) The plantation style house with veranda was so picturesque– almost like it was something out of a Samuel Clemens book– I had to jokingly ask if Tom Sawyer lived next door. I was dying to hear some of the history of the great south too. I’d Googled some local tourist sights and bookstores because it always seems you can never find good ghost story books about a location unless you’re at that location. I didn’t know if I’d be able to do anything with that, but I had the information just in case.
We took time to get settled into our respective rooms and unpack. Getting settled, for me, translates into throwing my bag on the ground and laying on the bed staring at the ceiling for a bit. Then, I get up before I fall asleep so I can familiarize myself with my surroundings. My room wasn’t too far from the top of the stairs. I’m a fairly heavy sleeper so the stairs wouldn’t bother me much. The furniture in the room was antique. I’d say the bed was Victorian or French style frame. The mattress was adorned with soft bedding and, in lieu of a comforter, there was a homemade quilt. The dresser was a simple but classy oxbow chest of drawers (the kind with the wavy fronts and the clawed feet). I also noted the proximity of the bathroom, which I’d probably groggily pay a visit to at some point in the wee hours of the morning. I pulled out my trip journal and recorded a few fun moments from the drive over before heading to dinner.
Dinner was a social affair. We chatted about the blog and our personal lives as we ate. I enjoyed the conversation since this was a side we aren’t really privy to being internet buddies living thousands of miles from one another, but being the only one with a backwards time change– I lost 2 hours– I was wide awake. I still went to bed when everyone else did because traveling makes me sleepy. I also get ill and cranky-pants if I don’t get enough sleep. I can’t even remember getting ready for bed– I was asleep so fast.
I will admit I’m a fairly heavy sleeper. Normally, the only thing that wakes me up at home are cat-fights on my feet, cats that paw my nose and cats that meow… and the occasional flailing appendage when my husband accidentally punches me in the eye as he tosses and turns in his sleep. (For a while there, I was threatening to wear a hockey mask to bed!) Of course, I also wake up for a midnight trip to the facilities…
This particular night, I had no idea there was a ruckus going on in the hallway outside my bedroom. Nor was I aware that a shadowy figure had just slipped into my room. Waking up in a strange place can be frightening if you don’t remember where you are. Waking up because something feels “off” is quite another experience. It’s only happened to me one other time– during a trip back east, when I stayed in a hotel in Sandwich, MA which just so happened to be beside a graveyard. (I’ll have to write that story up and post some other time because it’s a fun story.) This experience was a little different in that I was alone in the room when I woke up.
I remember being immediately alert as soon as I woke up. I had the feeling of being watched. This in and of itself isn’t especially spooky, but when you’re practically blind it can make things a bit more puzzling. My glasses were on the nightstand beside the bed, but I lay in bed with my eyes partially closed listening to the dark. The first thing I had to ask myself– since I didn’t feel the need to visit the restroom– was “why am I awake?” After a bit, it became clear that a noise had woke me up. It sounded like a scream, so either I was having a very vivid dream or something was wrong. Maybe someone had seen a spider or mouse and gotten freaked out? I smiled at the thought.
I was just getting ready to blindly reach for my glasses when I felt pressure on the foot of the bed as if someone had just sat down. Reflexively, I sat up in bed, grabbed my glasses and put them on. There at the foot of the bed was a misty shadow. The lighting wasn’t that great, but I could have sworn it looked like a man. I was petrified, but I tried to keep my cool by smiling and waving. It looked like the figure turned to face me, but he disappeared shortly after. The imprint on the bed remained for a moment and then it too was gone.
“Uhh… guys?” I finally called out. “Are you awake because I just saw something really weird…”
I climbed out of bed, gathered a blanket for warmth all the while, I kept the foot of the bed in my line of sight. Then, I walked to the door. As an afterthought, I turned and said, “Goodnight.” I hurried into the hall, shutting the door behind me.
I don’t think we got much sleep that night, the four of us stayed in ScoobyFan’s room most of the night talking about what had happened. The three of them swear that they kept hearing footsteps in the hallway. I kept telling them it was an older house and they sometimes make noises, but even I didn’t believe it after what I’d seen.
Though, part of me does have to wonder if being in a creepy old house in Batesville with my buddies from a paranormal blog subconsciously put the idea into my head that the place was haunted and I just imagined the whole thing… but that doesn’t explain everyone else’s experience. I don’t know… maybe… just maybe I had seen a ghost.