My life has been largely devoid of encounters with the paranormal.  I have not encountered any bizarre  entities or been chased by any cryptids.  I live in Bigfoot country, but I've never encountered everyone's favorite big, smelly ape.  So far, I've only had two brushes with the paranormal.  They are small experiences, but they usually put a chill down people's spines, so I thought I would share them here.

Before I get into my experiences, I am a skeptic.  I don't discount the paranormal, but I take any stories with a grain of salt.  The fact is that most ghostly or paranormal experiences can be explained within the confines of nature.  By way of example, I was told my recently purchased home is allegedly haunted.  A coworker's daughter was friends with a girl who used to live here, and the two of them reported hearing all sorts of strange noises in the upstairs bedroom. Well, it is an old house and makes old house noises. There is evidence of rodent activity in the attic, as well.  I've personally heard scratching from the walls upstairs.  To sum it up, what the kids thought were ghosts were probably just squirrels and creaky walls.  It's a boring explanation, but the most plausible.

With that in mind, there are two experiences in my life that have no boring but plausible explanation.  The experiences are unrelated and separated by a span of seven or eight years.  They did occur in the same town, but not in the same location.  Given the nature of the experiences, I feel it is important to add that I am of sound mind.  I've never experienced hallucinations of any sort, and suffer from no diagnosed mental illnesses that could result in hallucinations.  I've never consumed drugs and I can literally count on one hand the number of times I've consumed alcohol. 

With all that out of the way, on to the experiences.  The first occurred around 2007 in a  Wal-Mart, of all places.  I was attending a local college, and unfortunately my  schedule landed in such a way that I had a three hour gap between classes.   Having spending money and wanting to kill some time, I decided to go to Wally World to pick up some random stuff I didn't really need.  The store was pretty much dead that day, and even the Muzak piped through the PA system seemed to be playing at a lower volume.  I was meandering through the store and found myself walking by the jewelry section.  Then, an angry voice whispered my name in my ear.  It was as if someone leaned in and angrily hissed my name in my ear. I could feel hot breath.  But no one was there. In fact, no one was within thirty feet of me. 

Surprisingly, I wasn't afraid.  I was puzzled, but not afraid.  I didn't feel threatened at all--it was just a totally baffling experience.  I have heard similar whispers on and off since then, but since they've occurred upon waking from a deep sleep, I dismiss them.  I've never had something whisper in my ear while I was wide awake and aware since that day in 2007.  With no history of hallucinations of any sort, I have no explanation for this experience.

The second experience occurred around 2016.  I had just moved into a small apartment on the second story of a duplex, which I shared with a woman and her daughters who rented the ground floor.  I had been living in the apartment for about two weeks when the strange event occurred.  I was off work, and my neighbors weren't home that day, so the place was quiet save for road noise from the nearby highway.  My front door was locked, and I lived alone.

I decided to take advantage of the quiet by sitting to meditate.  I'd been practicing meditation for six years at that point.  It's nothing dramatic; all I did was sit cross legged, eyes shut, and focus on my breathing.  Never could manage the lotus position.  Anyway.  I sat with back to my bed and facing the bedroom wall.  I entered a relaxed state after a few minutes, and was just enjoying the calm, when I heard someone walk in the room.  I could both hear and feel the weight of footfalls.  Whoever it was walked behind me, then stood beside me.  They paused, then I felt a thump as if someone flopped down on the floor next to me. When I looked, no one was there.

Again, I didn't feel afraid or threatened.  I felt as if someone wanted to just come and see what I was doing.  Maybe they were trying to imitate me in some fashion.  It was a weird experience for sure. There was never any other similar experience in that apartment, nor any other inexplicable occurrence.  I have no real explanation for what occurred that day.

So those  are my brushes with the paranormal.  Nothing very dramatic, but creepy in their humble way.  I thought that perhaps someone here might get a little chill from them, so I submit them for your enjoyment.
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