My mother sits next to her bed relatively hale and hearty next to her cadaverous roommates. They seem paler every time I visit. She delightedly told me that the “vampires” had visited earlier but had passed her by; I hope they continue to do so.
Letter received Monday 17th AugustDearest Alex
I lived with three people in Newcastle for a while in a place called Fenham. It’s the place I told you about-I wanted to live there-there were pretty Victorian villas with names such as Sydney Grove and a shop that sold beadies (Indian twig cigarettes-that I had first tried in New York) and it seemed exciting to me. The first time we went there to look at the house-I looked out of a bedroom window and saw a man running down the back street holding a TV.
Anyway two of my flatmates came very close to one another and I with the other-we sort of split off maybe because of the dynamic of living with three others that’s the natural way it works out. The two who worked together adopted the sort of parent role and bought proper food from Marks & Spencer and my friend (Peta) and I where the sort of annoying naughty irresponsible scatty ones that got on the others tits.
One time when Jamie my then boyfriend was staying with me the tow other flatmates (who I will call the parents from now on) claimed that they had both felt a terrible spirit in the form of a heavy weight on their chests just as they woke up.
A hippy meeting of the type I had come to loathe after my brief stay in a commune in France, ensued where we had to touch a papier-mâché chilli pepper when we wanted to talk as no ‘talking stick’ was available. It was decided by the parents that we would have a ‘cleansing ritual’ and that as Jamie had brought the bad spirit it he had to carry the ‘smudge stick’ as you are not and have never been a hippy I will have to explain that this is a bundle of rosemary and cleanses bad energy.
This all makes me sound very cynical-but as you know I am the most credulous person alive.
Here are some accounts of the ghostly feeling of pressure on the chest I found when I looked on the web…
“I went to bed with a good book and eventually drifted off to sleep. Some hours later I awoke unable to breathe. I could see that a ghostly figure was sitting on my chest! There was an immense weight pinning me to the bed. I thought I was dying by having the breath squeezed out of my body. Somehow I managed to throw myself out of bed and staggered downstairs gulping in air as I went. I never slept there again.
“There's a part of the brain at the back of the head that inhibits body movement when we sleep. If it didn't, we'd act out our dreams and thrash wildly around in bed. Many people experience “sleep paralysis” when the conscious mind wakes up before this restraining function does. The result is a feeling of immobility and suffocation.
I have written for many years for a number of national papers answering people’s letters about the paranormal. This phenomena, of being pinned to the bed by a ghost, is one of the most common ones I receive. Occasionally the “ghost” does all sorts of terrible things to the person concerned. “
Lots of love