I didn’t know what it was at the time. Most of us don’t, really. I suppose most “ghost hunters” go into a situation expecting to find a ghost, and thus categorize whatever it is they encounter as such. In reality, all we can really be sure of at the time is that we are experiencing strange phenomena.
This happened several years after I had moved out of my haunted house. I had graduated from high school, but a series of unfortunate events had forced me to move back in with my family. I was also very ill at the time. Not the kind of illness that causes people to hallucinate, but I certainly did think that was what was happening…at first.
I was lying in my bed, recovering from a bad flu. The sun had set, the room was dark, and the curtains were pulled tight. There was very little light in the room. Suddenly, though my eyes were closed, I could see what looked like light moving downwards across my vision as it entered the room. It would be like somebody opening a door with a very bright light behind them, with the shadow receding across the room as more and more light comes in. But, in this case, the door was in the ceiling, so as it opened the light appeared to “descend” into the room.
So I opened my eyes.
There in the middle of the room was a pillar of blue light. It extended from ceiling to floor, about one foot in diameter, and gave off enough light to dimly illuminate the rest of the room. It was translucent, so that I could see the details of the far wall behind it, as well as the floor and ceiling behind it. At first, I assumed it was a beam of light shining in from outside—perhaps a car’s headlight or a neighbor’s porch light shining in through a crack in the curtains. But I had never seen this before, and as I thought about it, I could not visualize how such a beam could be manifested in that way. And, if it was merely a beam of light shining against a span of the far wall, why did it seem as though it was in the middle of the room?
So I got up. And I circled the room.
At this point, my skin should have been crawling. Because what I had assumed was a beam of light shining against the far wall was, in fact, a pillar of light in the middle of the room. Meaning that, instead of moving to the far wall and finding it there, still illuminating the same piece of wall that I had seen from the bed, the beam was now appearing to illuminate the bed where I had just been lying. In addition to this fantastic realization, I had also waved my hand around both windows in the room, checking to see if any shadows were created by my movement. There weren’t.
What happened next requires some explanation.
At this point in my life, I had already lived in a haunted house, befriended a ghost, been bullied by a Ouija board, and had several terrifying encounters with what may have been a demonic entity affiliated with a local witch’s coven. And that’s just the sample platter of how my life was going. So when I started to realize that this was likely another paranormal encounter, instead of crawling skin, I felt my blood begin to boil.
I was mad.
I was now on the other side of the room, taking a cautious step toward what was now very much appearing to be a translucent pillar of light in the center of my room. I wanted to touch it, but I was also mad. So instead of reaching slowly out with my fingers outstretched…I threw a sucker punch.
In the time it took for my fist to move toward the light, it retreated upwards into the ceiling. It didn’t just vanish; there was a visible and discernable “upward motion” of the beam in which it first left the floor and retracted upwards, leaving the lower half of the room in darkness before finally vanishing altogether into the ceiling. And once it had gone, it did not come back. Ever.
At the time I had no idea what I had encountered. At first, as I recounted the story with the few people I could trust not to ridicule me, the consensus was that it was aliens. But I was living in a very busy urban neighborhood at the time that this happened. How did an alien ship manage to get a beam of light into my bedroom without the entire neighborhood waking up?
A few years later, I heard a story from a woman who had experienced a similar encounter. The pillar of light had visited her when she was very ill. Her baby had been crying in the crib beside her bed, but she was too weak to go to him, so she prayed. Suddenly a blue pillar of light descended from the ceiling into her baby’s crib. Instantly the baby fell silent. She recalls thinking that she should be horrified, but instead she felt a comforting calm flow over her body. She fell asleep and, when she woke up, the light was gone but her baby was sleeping peacefully in his crib.
Probably the most famous supernatural encounter with “pillars of light” comes from the Mormon teachings about their founder, Joseph Smith. In this story, Smith was visited by three angels who appeared as pillars of light. They spoke to him and guided him in his founding of the Mormon religion. So I guess there is a precedence for this kind of thing happening.
Personally, I have no intention of founding a religion over my own encounter.
In fact, as I hope to expound upon in later blogs, I have no intention of ever pursuing contact with angels—or, more precisely, anything pretending to be them.