Hello spirits, knock three times if you can hear me…

And now for something completely different… Over the weekend, we had friends over, the weather was gorgeous, and we decided it was just too nice to stay at home. And so, we decided to explore a small used bookstore that we’d never been to before. The door opened onto the smell of old books. For those who like it, that smell is familiar and comforting. To everyone else, it smells like age.

We’re all bibliophiles and quickly spread out, each exploring our own interests, then periodically popping back to one of the others to see how their search was coming along.

After a few minutes in the shop, I started getting… the best word to describe it would be “antsy”. The idea of dawdling over books, usually something I can spend hours doing, was not appealing to me. I ignored that sensation – it was a beautiful day outside and I was anxious to get back in the sunshine and enjoy the weekend. That’s what I told myself and kept browsing.

The experience repeated itself in weird ways.

I kept stopping what I was doing to check in with hubby, to see if he was ready to leave (I usually have to be dragged out of a bookstore). That feeling was most intense in the front room. Back to that gorgeous day excuse.

On the shelf-lined stairs, I felt like the air had gone out of the room. The sensation started in the doorway leading to the stairs. OK, I’m mildly claustrophobic, I reasoned. I don’t like small, tight spaces.

In the back room by the emergency exit, I had what I could only describe as a “woozy spell” that quickly passed as I went to the other side of the room. I blamed it on not enough coffee that morning, and the room was a little stuffy (it wasn’t really).

In the front room, near the photography books, I experienced a moment of dizziness that was so strong I had to grab the closest bookshelf to keep from falling over. There’s that lack of caffeine again (but I’d had a cup of coffee!)

The odd experiences continued the whole time we were in the shop, just odd senses of feeling anxious or antsy, as if I couldn’t breathe, dizziness or a woozy feeling.

As we stepped out into the sunshine, all that faded slowly away and I was about to write it off as my imagination run amok when one of our friends said, “OK, that place was cool but there was something seriously creepy in there.” We found that all three of the women in our group had similar feelings in the same places.

I’m not one to jump at shadows and see spirits (departed or otherwise) in the tinkling of a chandelier or the flickering of a candle flame, nor do I walk into any space and start waxing poetic about the vibrations, emanations, or inhabitations therein. It’s just not my style.

I do believe there are things we cannot see, or explain with science or logic, that are still very “real”. I believe strange things can and do happen.

And I believe that in that little used bookstore, there was something unpleasant, something not so nice. Maybe it was some impression from a past event. Maybe it was the energy left by someone more recent. Maybe… a lot of things. Call me superstitions, foolish, or whatever, but one thing I know is that I won’t go into that shop alone.