This experience may be a fable, conjured up by the imagination of my youth. Nevertheless the experience and story still gives me chills when told. The event may have occurred in a dream; it is not life changing and probably has no moral or lesson; it is unusual.
I’m originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. My family moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania when I was about seven years old. We would go back to Milwaukee every summer and for a couple days during Thanksgiving. My grandfather had us stay at his house because he had a few extra bedrooms. Most of our visits my brother and I would stay in my dad’s old room. This time gramps was re-modeling the back bedroom and I didn’t want to stay back there. All the drywall had been taken off and just the bare walls were showing. It looked very strange in there with the lights off. My brother slept in there and I opted for the couch in the sunken living room.
A few nights went by mostly with very little tossing and turning. One night, however, was much more eventful. I had settled down to bed on the big couch in front of the TV. Slowly I drifted off to sleep. I awoke up to the sound of water running and an unusually dim light emanating from the kitchen. The kitchen had a bay window overlooking the deep living room from which food and drinks were passed. I saw the light casting an eerie glow over the room. I thought it must be my step-grandmother doing dishes. I rose from the couch and crept toward the two stairs leading to the foyer. The foyer led to the kitchen. Creeping toward the kitchen in my half-glazed state, I noticed that the light was not coming from the usual spot in the room. The overhead lamp was extinguished. Upon crossing the threshold of the kitchen I gasped and froze and saw what was doing the dished. It was a lady, but only bits and pieces of her transparent figure. The water was running and the dishes were hovering into and out of the water as if some unseen hands were controlling them. Unknowingly I made a noise; it could have been a loose floorboard or a scuff of my slipper on the cold kitchen floor. The figure turned its head and looked at me with hollow eyes and a gaping empty mouth. Through the eyes I could see the hands of the wall clock reading 3:35… am. I realized that I knew the women. Her name was Katherine; she was my grandmother, dead some 6 years previous. As her figure looked at me with a cold empty stare, the mouth opened and closed as if it was trying to speak, but all that could be heard was the running of the water and a loud ticking of the clock on the wall.
The light in the kitchen was coming from the figure of my grandmother. It dimmed and changed its hue. The apparition began to motion toward the basement door and I followed from a distance. She passed through the door and so did I a moment later. Shocked and entranced in disbelief, I watched as the transparency transcended down the basement stairway. The light was dimming slowly now as she reached the final stairs. The floating figure turned into the cavernous basement and all was dark.
Standing there at the top of the stairs I was frozen. Chills were traveling through my body and I continued to stare down the dark stairwell. I shook off the chills and walked through the unlit kitchen, the light was gone, the sink was empty and dry, and the clock on the wall read 5:55 am.