The Last Pterodactyl
An unimaginable discovery was made in the year 1856 by the men who worked for my great-grandfather’s railway tunneling crew in France. I can only relate to you what was passed down by him to my grandfather and then to my own father until I was old enough to understand the tale. I believe that the only proof of this event is documented in the London News but perhaps in those days that was all the proof one needed. French society in those days was not keen on fabricating stories, especially not hard working men. So I believe that this in fact did happen and will relate to you as many details that have survived generations to go along with the original newspaper article.
It was winter and the crew had been fighting the cold as they worked on cutting a tunnel somewhere on the line between St. Dizier and Nancy. It was difficult, dangerous work that often times resulted in accidents and death from natural hazards such as falling rocks, cave-ins, toxic gas, etc. But it was a different kind of environmental hazard experienced that cold, bitter morning. It began when two men managed to split open a large, ancient piece of Jurassic limestone. What followed next is the baffling truth handed down for over 150 years now.
In the dim-light seeping down the tunnel walls, the two men who cracked open the rock let out a loud wail in unison. Something was moving inside the cavity that they had created within the two pieces of rock; something large. My Great-Grandfather, the foreman, sprinted down the tunnel to see what had caused such alarm. He was expecting to find an accident and instead discovered a monster in the darkness. The creature, whatever it was, crawled out from its tomb, stretched out a pair of immense leathery wings that must have been nearly 11 feet wide, and let out its own terrible shriek.
The men were frozen in shock at the unexpected encounter, and were not able to react beyond muffled gasps. The beast collapsed under the weight of its own body and let out one final, long breath of air. My relative was the first who was brave enough to approach the now deceased creature. He lit a torch and began to examine what lay before him on the dirt of the tunnel. It had the wings of a bat, the feet of a lizard, and the beak and teeth of predatory bird. Its skin was dark black and had the constancy of leather, along with a glossy oily feel.
None of the men had ever seen anything like it, nor would they ever want to again. But the decision was made to load the body onto a cart and deliver it the nearby town of Gray. There, a local paleontology student was able to identify the corpse as that of a pterodactyl; a species of dinosaur that had been extinct for around one hundred million years. And yet, there lay before him, one that had just taken its final breath not an hour before arriving to his study.
After dropping off the creature, my Great-Grandfather returned to the tunnel to investigate the limestone that held the dinosaur. He noted that the cavity in which the creature had been held was just large enough for it to fit inside. The two halves were taken to a geologist who dated them to almost an exact match as when the mighty flying lizards ruled the skies.
It’s not known what happened to the body or the tomb in which it emerged from, but I truly believe that it was an oddity trapped in time and was truly unearthed. I’ve always wondered if there were more of them locked away deep in the mountains, just waiting for someone to inadvertently break them free once more. Perhaps someday I’ll venture to France and set out on an expedition of my own. If you see me flying on the back of a giant Pterosaur, don’t be alarmed.
The Night of the Wendigo
When I was a boy, I would spend a couple of weeks every summer visiting my grandmother in Connecticut. It was always such a wonderful experience getting to spend time with her in the wooded mountains and rolling pathways in the part of the state she lived. In fact, those are probably my fondest memories growing up and I wouldn’t trade them for anything. Grandma was a free spirit who loved the outdoors and riding motorcycles. She was and always will be one of the coolest “old ladies” I’ve ever known and always went out of her way to make things fun for me when I’d visit. There was one night that turned out to be more terrifying than fun, however.
Grandma was a storyteller, you see, and knew the perfect tale to tell at any given moment that fit the mood. If you needed a bit of cheering up, she’d tell you a hilarious story about a silly animal or coworker of hers. And if it was a dark, spooky night she’d have the perfect one to make you just a little more afraid but all in good fun. There was one particular night just like that during one summer when I was eleven years old or so. I had begged her to take me on a motorcycle ride with her just about every day that I had been there and she had finally agreed to give in and take me along with her. She liked to ride in the evening because there was always less traffic and it was a little safer to be on the roads. During dinner she decided to tell a story about the time she encountered something strange and unusual on a night much like that night. I know now, as an adult, that she was trying to get me to change my mind.
She said that it was around ten years ago and that she had been on the road for nearly an hour before it happened. She had rounded a steep turn in the bend and began to pick up speed again when she noticed something along the side of the road moving. She had thought it was a tree at first, but the way it was moving didn’t make much sense. It was described by her as though it was uprooted and taking steps along the side of the path as she neared it on her bike. When the “tree” heard her and spun around violently in a motion that looked as though it was attempting to grab her as she rode past it. She also made a mention of the awful, desperate howl that the creature had made as it tried its best to swipe at her. The only thing that saved her was that she had already started to go faster as she got near the thing and managed to avoid its grasp.
I was at an age in which I believed every moment and detail of the story and almost fell for her trick of cancelling the planned ride later that evening from being too afraid. But part of me also really wanted to experience the thrill of being on the back of her motorcycle and riding up and down those twisty paths. So I just did my best to forget about the story she told and finished my meal without mentioning it at all. Before we got ready to leave, she asked me one last time if I wanted to skip it and stay home, but I had already forgotten all about whatever it was she had told me due to the excitement. We both would come to regret that ride and not being persuaded by the memory of her ordeal a decade before.
It was pure joy to that young version of me to be flying around those roads in the dark like that; it was that kind of excitement and thrill you get similar to an amusement park ride. My arms were gripped around grandma’s waist like a vice and I don’t think blinked the entire time. We reached a four-way stop somewhere in the hills and the sound of the bike mellowed out enough that we could hear each other speak. She asked me if I was having a good time, which I replied with an exuberant “Yes!” But the excitement in my body and voice promptly turned into fear when we heard…it.
It was a horrid, despondent shriek from just off the side of the road in the darkness and the trees. Without hesitation, my grandma kicked the bike back into gear and told me to hang on with everything I had. Whatever had made that awful sound was clearly hungry and eleven year old kid was probably on the menu if we stuck around any longer than we already had. Part of me was afraid to open my eyes and look for the tree-monster as it attempted to snatch me off the bike, but the other part of me at least wanted to get a look at the thing that would be devouring me. So I darted my head back and forth into the darkness as we sped past the general area where the noise had come from, but to my upmost gratification there was nothing in the trees but…trees.
I asked my grandma when we got home if what we heard was the same thing that she saw before, but she just claimed that it was probably just a fox or a bobcat or something like that. But I could see the fright in her eyes and knew that it wasn’t just a made-up story. It was the second time she narrowly escaped what I now know to be called a wendigo; an insatiable man-eating monster of native origin that resembles a tree and makes awful desperate cries.
The Falling Man
I’ve been on the job as a Construction Worker going on ten years now and have done just about every task on the site you could think of. I’ve hung drywall, installed plumbing, put in flooring, and everything in between. Its hard work but I love it since you aren’t stuck sitting behind some desk and computer day in and day out. The best part of my day is waking up and having a cup of Joe before heading out to the newest building location and getting my hands dirty. There is no better feeling that knowing that I’m helping to put together something special or a place for someone to raise a family. And there’s nothing better than being one of the first guys out there in the morning. The Sun is just breaking over the horizon, the air is cold and damp, and the birds are singing. It’s my favorite time of the day and the best part of the job, I’d say.
But it was during that peaceful time of morning that I had the most terrifying event to ever happen to me in life. I was sitting on top of the frame to a three bedroom house we were putting together, relaxing with my coffee and the paper. This was before the age of everyone having cellphones, so my routine back then was to pick up the newspaper and find something interesting enough to read while I waited for the rest of the crew to get to the site. On that day in particular, I found myself focused on a story about a guy who had robbed his company of thousands of dollars and was going to end up on trial. That part isn’t important to what happened to me that morning, but I wanted to be sure that you understood how little I had been paying attention to anything around me. Even the sound of the birds chirping just kind of blended away into the background as I focused on the article. That’s part of the reason why I ended up with such a fright.
See, I heard it before anything else. Off somewhere in the distance a sound slowly started to build up in volume; a sound that as it got closer and closer began to resemble that of a man screaming. I didn’t break my eyes away from the paper when I first heard it, even though I knew it was something unusual to hear. It wasn’t long though that I had no choice but to break away my attention to look around me for whatever was getting louder and closer. I had never been the type to scare easy, but the sound of that terrified hollering growing was enough to turn my blood cold. Panic began to set in before I could even make a rational determination what it was that was screaming to loudly and that is about the same moment that I realized where the sound was coming from so quickly: from above.
I could make out the shape of what was very clearly a man tumbling down from the sky and he was the source of that awful sound that was now louder than ever. There was no indication that he had fallen out of a plane or was skydiving with a failed parachute, but what else could have caused him to be in that kind of predicament? That was the thought that I had as I watched the man fall and for some reason I couldn’t take my eyes off him even when I knew his landing was going to be a hard one and make a pretty big mess all over our worksite. I braced for his eventual impact, still unable to move due to the shock of what was happening and just how unusual it really was. But as he struck the ground, I wasn’t witness to the gore-filled mess at all; he had simply just…kept going. I could hear his cry just as I could while he was in the air, but the sound was now going away from me. It was like he had fallen into a hole in the ground and just kept going.
It was probably another ten minutes before I had the nerve and the strength in my legs to pull myself up and climb back down the frame of the house to investigate. I went to where he must have struck the ground, but there was no sign of him. The yelling was long gone, but there was no hole in the ground that he could have fallen in and even that made little sense. But what kind of sense is there to be found in a man falling out of the sky in the first place? By the time I had a good look around, some of the other guys were showing up for the day and I just wanted to put what happened past me and just count it as some kind of weird thing that you read about. Who was going to believe me even if I told them? I wouldn’t have believed it had it not happened to me. This was many years ago, but I still find myself keeping an eye on the sky in the mornings no matter where I’m at.
I am about to relate to you a tale that is going to seem unbelievable, and I would agree with you, I wouldn’t believe it myself if it had not happened to me. With that being said, let me introduce myself, my name is Ed Holly and I sale insurance for the Modica Insurance Agency in Rochester, NY. I have a passion for baseball, not the game played by the overpaid crybaby players of today, but for the game as it was played at the turn of the 20th Century. I belong to the Olde Tyme Baseball Association in which members play baseball according to the rules of a particular year, wearing authentic reproduction uniforms and using authentic reproduction equipment. On May 22, 2018 I was warming up for a game in Rochester while representing the International League Newark Bears from 1918, that’s the day my bizarre story began.
I could see the dark storm clouds looming on the horizon and hear the slight rumble of thunder off in the distance and was hoping it would stay away long enough to let us get our game in. Everybody that loves playing baseball knows the huge disappointment of having a game cancelled because of the weather, we would play in monsoons and blizzards if it meant getting out for a quick 9 on the diamond.
I trotted out to my shortstop position and Charlie Samuels started hitting some infield warmup. I knew if the lightning stayed away we’d have a chance to get this game in, unfortunately the lightning didn’t stay away. The ugly storm clouds still seemed far enough away not to worry, but if you have ever heard that lightning can strike up to 5 to 10 miles away from anything that even looks threatening let me tell you it’s true. I remember being surrounded by a bright, hot, white light and feeling like I was being stung by a million wasps. I was laying on my back, trying to make out the faces hovering over me and hear what they were saying through the ringing in my ears. I could smell the faint odor of charred cloth and was thinking I hope my uniform isn’t burning, this thing cost a lot of money to look realistic from 1918. I was feeling groggy and my head was spinning but I was alive, the guys standing over me were asking me if I was ok and I wasn’t sure how to answer, I felt fine, but the reality was I just got hit by lightning. I was able to sit up and I heard someone say get him to the dugout, the hail is coming. The small crowd that had gathered before the start of the game was mostly gone now, the rain and hail didn’t look like it was going to let up anytime soon. The sound of the rain on the dugout roof was deafening, so much that I couldn’t hear the siren of EMS approaching and thought somebody must have called them, even though we were playing a 1918 baseball game in 1918 uniforms somebody surely still brought a 2018 cell phone. When I half joked about an ambulance on the way I was met with some strange looks which at the time I didn’t understand, was I dead already and didn’t know it?
The rain had finally let up and I heard the coach say it should be safe for someone to take me to the hospital now, I didn’t really know why EMS wasn’t coming to get me but I also still wasn’t thinking clearly. Outside the stadium I saw a parking lot full of Model T Ford’s and thought it was kind of ironic that they were having a vintage auto show next to a vintage baseball game. My mind was still fuzzy from the effects of the lightning strike as I rode in the back of a flatbed truck. I thought I must be experiencing some side effects during the ride because everything looked different, like something out of an old movie. The cars were old, the buildings were old, horses were pulling carts down the middle of the road, this was one crazy dream. I was really confused once I got inside the hospital, it didn’t look like any modern hospital, I thought I must be experiencing hallucinations. I drifted in and out of consciousness and didn’t remember much else until I woke up in a room that looked like a museum.
A doctor came in and told me I was a lucky man, it didn’t look like there was any permanent damage and my coach was here to get me and I could leave with the team. When the coach came in it wasn’t Charlie, I didn’t recognize him at all as he was talking about still having time to make the train for Buffalo. Thinking that this must be some kind of prank or something I thought ok, I’ll play along.
It turns out this was not a practical joke, as I read a newspaper with the latest news about the war I realized that someone would have had to have gone through a lot of trouble to set up a place that looked like I was back in 1918. Once you realize that you have been somehow transported back in time who do you go to? Knowing that I’d probably be locked up in a mental institution if I said anything I thought it would be best to go along until I could figure out what I was going to do to get back to 2018, if it was even possible.
Coach gave me a couple days off and then got me back on the field and I did what I loved doing, I played baseball. We traveled around by train playing games and staying in hotels, I was fitting in pretty good and even had a reporter from St. Louis interview me about my playing days with the Cardinals in 1907 and being struck by lightning in Rochester. I had just enough historical knowledge of the Cardinals to get through the interview without raising any suspicion. Everything was going great until a day in Baltimore on June 9th. A close play at the plate had me sliding safely into home for the game’s first run, unfortunately for me I broke my ankle on the play and was told I would miss the rest of the season. But what happened that night in the hospital would be the real end of my Newark Bears playing career.
I was resting comfortably in my hospital bed, as comfortable as one can be in a hospital bed anyway. Even though I was in the hospital during the great flu pandemic of 1918 I had a room by myself. I was drifting off to sleep when I heard a low humming noise and suddenly the room was filled with a brilliant white light. Was I having a flashback to the lightning strike or was I dreaming? Just as I lay there trying to comprehend what was going on what looked like a doorway in the middle of the room opened up and two men in silver suits wearing dark sunglasses stepped out of the doorway and it closed back up. They assured me that I had no reason to fear them and they were here to help. They identified themselves as The Keepers and explained that they are kind of “portal police” for the corridors that run between dimensions in the universe. My questions for them included time travel and how I went from 2018 to 1918. They informed me that time travel is not possible, not as we understand it anyway. The universe is made up of many different dimensions, each on their own timeline. The lightning strike opened up a portal between the dimensions and I fell through it, landing in 1918. I was at the same time and place as the other Ed Holly during the lightning strike except in a different year because each timeline starts and ends at a different place, making each one separate. It was only by coincidence that I had the same name and was wearing clothing for their time period that allowed me to fit in without raising any suspicion. The Keepers were here to correct what had happened and would return me to 2018. I took a short ride on what we would call an alien UFO and was deposited back to the baseball diamond on May 22, 2018 with a crowd gathered around me and EMS on the way.
That’s my story, crazy, bizarre, unbelievable, call it what you want. I was given the knowledge that these portals are out there and open up from time to time but I was not given their locations. I am now spending my time studying strange phenomena involving “time travel” with the hope of locating a portal and learning how to access it to travel between dimensions. If anyone reads this and has any information or experiences involving these portals, please contact me.
~This story was written by guest writer, Ed Holly.
The Future Calls
Everyone has gotten intrusive phone calls from numbers they don’t recognize throughout the day, usually from some kind of telemarketer or scam. With the advent of new technology, we can see who and where the calls are coming from the moment they pop up on our screens. We can ignore them in a fraction of a second with just a single tap of the finger. And if they’re foolish enough to leave a voicemail, it often leads to an instant block of their number. It’s happened to me so many times that I don’t even have a second thought when I see an unfamiliar number call me. But what if an unknown number is something more than just a scam or a salesman? What if it was a warning?
A warning is exactly what I would receive and one that I’m lucky to have had time to abide by. You would think that I would feel good about that, all things considered, but it still haunts to me this day. And that is because the person who called to warn me about the trouble ahead was…me. I’ll back up so that it makes a bit more sense and so that I can try my best not to seem like I’m just going crazy.
It started when I got a call on my way to work. I had my phone linked to the “in cab” option in the car without realizing it and a call interrupted the song I was listening to. The ringing through the speakers startled me at first because I forgot that I had connected the phone. So without thinking about it, I hit the button on the steering wheel that picks up the call. I said “Hello.” But nobody answered and the line was just a faint buzzing sound with perhaps someone breathing on the other end. I said “Hello, who is this?” and after another few seconds of no reply I ended the call. It was just a bit strange, but I forgot about it once the music came back on and I went into work.
I’m too busy during the day with my job to check my phone too often, so I just put it on silent and keep it in my pocket. I was swamped and didn’t get a chance to look at it again until it was my lunch break. When I did, I noticed that it said I had five new missed calls. That was unusual, so I thought there might have been someone trying hard to get hold of me. The number for every call was the same and it was from someone who lived in the same city as where I worked. Whoever it was calling seemed to really need to speak with me and urgently. And they also left a voicemail on the most recent of the calls. I normally wouldn’t bother listening to a voicemail from a number that I didn’t recognize because it was always just a waste of time but something about this person’s urgency was enough to get me to listen.
The voice on the messages was one that was very clearly panicked and they rushed to get the message they had out. I recognized the person speaking, but it took me longer that I’d like to admit to realize that it was my own voice on the other line. You’d probably take just as long to recognize your own voice in that kind of situation because it would obviously be the last thing you expect to hear when picking up the phone. It’s not too often that you get phone calls from yourself to…yourself. The thing is, however, it wasn’t just my voice that caused me great concern; it was what I was saying to myself that scared me the most.
I was desperately trying to warn myself about a major mechanical malfunction at the plant I work in; one that was going to kill me and dozens of my coworkers if I didn’t get to the machine in time. My first thought was that this was some kind of sick prank, but the panic in my own voice was enough to convince myself that something was going to happen. I got off the phone and rushed to the machine that I had told myself about and checked for the warning signs that something bad was about to happen. And I soon discovered that it was indeed very close to total failure, so I hit the manual overrides and the floor alarm for everyone to get out of there.
My boss and coworkers called me a hero for discovering such a dangerous problem with one of the machines that rarely ever needs worked on, but I didn’t bring up the fact that I had gotten a phone call from myself warning myself. Once all the drama subsided, I packed up my things and walked back out to my car. I pulled out my phone and was relieved to see that I did not get any other calls. I was still perplexed about what had happened and looked back at the call list from when “I” called myself.
That’s when I noticed that the times of the calls were listed as having been an hour or so after I actually got them. This lined up perfectly to when my lunch break was and gave myself just enough time to check the machine. Had I waited, it’s very likely that I would have been killed along with everyone else. When I searched the number online, it came back as being the phone line on the production floor of the plant. I cannot explain it, but I know that I’ll be less likely to ignore random phone calls from now on.
On The Subject Of: Ghosts
Part 1 - Introduction/Beliefs
As you've likely noticed if you've visited this website before, I write a lot about ghosts and the spooky things they sometimes do. I've always been intrigued by paranormal stories and the possibility that they're rooted in some sort of truth. I have never been the sort of person who was afraid of stories like that, but there is of course always the element of fear in the unknown that is exciting. Even when the majority of things I read about are almost guaranteed to be just stories not based in any truth, they're still interesting enough to keep me coming back for more. I thought I should write a bit about the subject that I find myself writing so much about.
I’ve always had a passing interest in the unusual, and the thrill that you get from being afraid of something unknown. I remember watching those over-the-top UFO shows that FOX was big into showing during the late-90s and then not being able to sleep because I was terrified of being abducted. I also recall my dad telling us a story at dinner about UFOs and aliens, and then spitting out some asparagus (because who wants to eat that gross stuff?) and being sent to my room. I didn’t want to go upstairs to my room because I thought I’d be taken away on a spaceship. Thankfully, I was never abducted, as far as I know anyway.
I always enjoyed television programs that covered the unexplained, mysterious things the world had to offer. If it had ghosts, cryptids (undiscovered animals), mysterious happenings, or anything else along those lines, I’d be hooked. When I was a teen, I got a book that talked about the then-undiscovered Giant Squid. It fascinated me that such a creature, then a myth, could possibly be real. And then at some point later in my life, they actually found them and proved them to be real. While it’s highly unlikely that many of the unexplained things people talk about will be proven to really exist, it’s still exciting that something like that happened.
One of the stories in my Paranormal Series, The Outside Locks, was based on things that happened to my family and I when we moved into an older farm house in Indiana. While I always had some level of interest in the paranormal, I had never really experienced anything myself up to that point. I would say that those strange things are what really sparked my interest in wanting to know more about what could have possibly been the cause for such weird things to happen.
I joined the Army not long after, and was more focused on my career, but still kept up with my interests in the unexplained. In fact, while in Iraq, I ordered a bunch of ghost story books online and would read them while out patrolling and during the little time off that I’d get while there. Around that time is when all of those “ghost hunting” shows began to gain popularity. I still wasn’t sure what to really think or believe, but it was very educational to learn all the accepted “tools of the trade” and theories about what could explain hauntings.
After reading dozens of books, and seeing various shows, I started to form my own opinions and ideas on the subject. I never liked how certain things were being considered as “fact” when in reality; nothing was factual in regards to anything relating to ghosts. For decades, people would pass off certain things like “spirit orbs” in photos as being evidence of a haunting, when really it was just dust orbs that are otherwise not visible.
It wasn’t that people believed dust balls were ghosts that irked me, but rather it was that people would even think that some kind of ball of light was a ghost in the first place. There’s zero proof that ghosts manifest as balls of light, but for whatever reason, that sort of thing was and in some cases is still common knowledge as far as “proof” goes. Even with the advancement in videography and photography, many of “ghost videos/pictures” are just random flashes of globules of white light or dark shadows. No-one in the entire history of paranormal research has ever proven that random balls of light or misplaced shadows are spirits, because spirits have never been proven to exist. But do you know what has been proven? Lens Flares, camera malfunctions, bugs on the lens, etc.
I quickly realized that I leaned towards the scientific reasoning approach to investigating the subject. You could say that I was a classic “Skeptical believer” because as much as I wanted to believe in ghosts being real, I was very quick to try and find logical explanations for everything. It was fine that people wanted to believe and prove things, but using unrealistic or just outright ridiculous ways of doing it was only going to hurt any real progress. And since the entire field was just pieced together nonsense from people who were making it up as they went, the “classic proof” of the paranormal just never really had any weight in my eyes.
For this series, I’d like to go more in-depth into the more common and well-known phenomena that are attributed to ghosts and why I feel as though they don’t hold much merit. While I don’t claim to be an expert on the subject, there are no experts. Ghosts are nowhere near being close to proven one way or another, and there is little that anyone could or should agree on as far as what are common traits.
That is what I’d like to first cover: what my personal beliefs are. I guess the most important thing would be to mention that I’m not at all a religious person. I don’t follow any faith, and I do not believe in any intelligent design. I believe wholeheartedly in the chaos of nature. The universe was created by time and immense pressure. A lot of people who think that to believe in ghosts, you’d have to believe in religion because ghosts equal spirits. And you can’t have a “spirit” without their being religion. But I’m under the belief that the ghostly phenomenon is caused by something that would fall under science and not religion.
I have no more proof than anyone else, but I think that there is some kind of unknown form of life energy that can manifest after a living being passes away. I won’t make any claims that this is 100% what ghosts are, because that would make me just as bad as the people I mentioned before. But after 15 plus years of serious research and investigations into the subject, I believe that it’s much more of a likely scenario. And, there are many natural environmental events that are or were considered by science to be myth but then proven to be real. A good example of this would be ball lightening.
I’ve been to a number of reputed haunted places (Waverly Hills, Roff Mansion, Prospect Place, etc.) and have had my fair share of personal experiences that I can’t explain. I’ll get into more of those in future parts of this series, but just want to mention that nothing I’ve experienced makes me completely believe in the existence of ghosts in the way that I’ve mentioned. But when you piece them all together with the countless other stories and circumstantial evidence, I tend to lean towards ghosts being nothing more than some form of yet known scientific event. There has been some ground broken in the effects of sound and energy waves on the human mind which could also be an explanation for some of the things that are blamed on ghosts.
However, there are some very intriguing cases of intelligent contact being made between living beings and ghosts; which could be hard to explain away as just residual energy manifesting in its previous form. That’s what leaves me still exploring and digging into the subject, because until we know for sure there is always the possibility that it’s something completely different than what I lean towards now.
For the next part of this series, I will discuss the most common types of photographic evidence that is presented as proof that can be explained way easily or otherwise discredited. I’ll also break down my reasons for why I don’t put much credit in light/shadow oddities being related to ghosts.
A Shared Photo and Story.
I recently came into possession of a photograph, it's an old Polaroid style one. The person who gave me it wished to stay anonymous, but wanted me to share their story and the photo. The story, as told to me, goes like this:
"Early one summer, my girlfriend and I decided that we'd visit the Botanical Gardens in San Antonio. It's always been one of those places that you see advertised alongside the Alamo as places to visit if you want to sight-see. It's got a lot of different types of plants, flowers, and a trail that you can walk along. We went while the heat was still somewhat bearable, and there was a decent amount of people walking around.
My girlfriend (wife now) and I are big “people watchers” and like to comment to each other when we see something that we might find humorous about a person. We had not been there long, and were standing near a wood pavilion towards the front of the gardens. As people were walking past to head along the trail that looped around the entire gardens, we saw a pair of girls. They looked to be no older than 15 or 16, and were dressed like how you picture someone from the late '80s or early '90s. That's actually why I pointed them out, because I thought that they looked out of place for modern teens. They had on a lot of neon colors, feathered hair, and lots of bracelets and things like that. We both had a laugh to each other because my wife had brought along an old Polaroid camera from the '80s to take pictures with. She collects cameras, and enjoys using the older ones. We quickly forgot about the girls as we made our own way through the gardens a couple of minutes after them.
The trail that you follow starts up high, and goes down and circles around a few different pools of water in the middle of the gardens. You have to walk down, and then it takes you back up to the very top. It's actually a bit of a hike, and you don't realize how long it takes to get to the top until you're finally up there. There is a nice view of downtown San Antonio once you make it up there, so it's worth the walk. We were taking our time, and my girlfriend was taking pictures of flowers and the scenery as we went. After going along the path for a bit, you reach a waterfall that drains into one of the pools of water. The waterfall is at the very top of the path, and after the part that you can see the city from. It would take you a good 30 to 40 minutes walk the entire way.
She pointed her camera up and took a photograph of the waterfall. Since it's a Polaroid, it takes awhile for the photo to show. So we just kept walking along and looking at the flowers and the fish in the water. But once the photo had developed, she asked me to have a look. That's when we saw what is so odd about this picture. There is what looks to be a girl looking down from the top of the waterfall at us. And the girl looked just like one of the two teens we had seen at the start just a few minutes before. It still hadn't really set in yet, because we didn't realize how long of a walk it really was to the top of the gardens and that spot she had to have been in.
But after reaching the top 30 minutes later, that's when things started not to add up. The two girls had only left minutes before us, and we weren't walking that slowly through the gardens. There was no way that she could have made it through the entire path in that amount of time before my girlfriend snapped that picture. And what was even more unusual was that the top of the waterfall was actually sort of far off the path, and roped off. There was even a sign warning people about going near it, since it was a pretty far fall to the bottom and could be dangerous to stand on because of the flowing water.
We also couldn't remember seeing the girls again at all, and made an effort to spot them back at the end of the trail, but had no luck. It was a pretty weird thing to have happen in the middle of the day, but we couldn't really explain just how they could have gotten up there so fast, why she would have been that far close to the edge of the waterfall, and where they went to afterwards."
I was able to share a picture of the Polaroid itself, as well as scanning and uploading it for a closer look. It's a bit hard to make out, since the film quality isn't the best to begin with, but you can see what seems to be the head and shoulders of a girl with long brown hair peering over the edge of the waterfall. I can't really claim to know much more about it, or the validity of it, but none of the trees or bushes around the shape that is similar to a person look anything like her. The white coloring in front of her is part of that bush, but you can see that the object in the photo is behind that plant.
Something that I want to point out, that the person who gave me the photo missed, is that you can see the top of another girls head just to the left of the girl that is looking over the edge. Did the couple capture a photo of the two girls they saw? If so, how did they get to the top of the waterfall so quickly? What would the odds be that two other girls who looked similar would be up there and standing at the end of a dangerous waterfall?
It's an odd picture and story, regardless. (Click Photos to see them full size)
They Say Her Name Is Mary
I was truly breathless the first time I saw her. She was the most radiant, delicate thing I had ever seen. Even standing there alone, on the side of the street, with nothing but my headlights shining on her, she looked lovely. She wore her fair hair in an intricate braid high on the back of her head; her white dress gleamed in the light. Though her face was visibly upset, I was still caught off guard by how beautiful she truly was. I could have sworn that she looked up at me as I drove by and that we locked eyes for just a moment. But it's hard to say in that sort of light. Alas, I drove off with just a passing memory of a delightful looking wanderer on Archer Road.
I'll admit that I drove that way a few more times just with the hope that I'd see her again. I even went out of my way to take that path, when I could have gotten where I needed to go much quicker with different routes. I wanted to believe that I wasn't just imagining the look she gave me as I drove by that night. I wanted to believe that I'd see her again and that she would remember me. I went during the day the first few times, but had no luck. I soon forgot about it; forgot about her.