It all began in August 2021, when I started having recurring dreams of being choked and getting chased through dark alleys (not at the same time).
My memories of the dreams are hazy - I could never really make out what was chasing or attacking me.
I would wake up drenched in sweat in the middle of the night, completely disoriented and understandably terrified.
Then, the TV started coming on in the wee hours of the morning.
For context, I sleep in the room closest to the living area of my parents’ home, and with the door open.
Bleary-eyed, I would make my way to the living room to turn it off, only to find that the remote would not work except to mute whatever programme was on at 5am.
Soon after, the lights began to go off at strange times in the evening, usually when I was reading. Nothing I did would make them come on again, until I got my dad to try and it turned on… almost magically.
A staunch atheist, I refused to believe that supernatural forces were at work.
The bad dreams - I attributed to stress and anxiety at work.
And the electricity going wonky? Must be the old house - the development I live in is almost as old as I am, after all.
I allowed this to go on for months on end, surviving on a few hours of sleep each day and becoming increasingly cranky and irritable.
Finally, a friend suggested I see a witch for a tarot card reading and some advice on whatever was going on with me. I went along with it, for a few reasons:
- As someone who doesn’t identify with any religion, it was the most non-denominational approach I could take.
- I’d always taken a mild interest in witchcraft, tarot and crystals, and figured that even if it didn’t work, it would at least be an interesting (amusing?) experience.
- I was getting pretty desperate by then to be honest.
So, what goes on during a reading?
Yes, there are witches in modern Singapore.
Your reader uncovers a spread of 10 cards, depicting different stages in your life - not just the past, present and future, but also influences, aspirations and advice.
They then go on to explain how each card relates to the life stage. No background information was requested prior to the reading.
The reading is quite long, so I’ll just skip to the good parts.
In analysing my past and present, they correctly identified that I had been through difficult relationships in the past which led to me to feel jaded and cynical about love.
However, they encouraged me to harness the lessons I learnt from the past, and leave behind what was unnecessary.
This all made sense of course, but I’ll admit that I never really got round to working on this because… dating is hard, and dating in your 30s is even harder.
I was contemplating a job change, but was apprehensive after several years with the same employer.
They correctly identified that I had a fear of leaving my comfort zone, even after I realised that what had worked for me for many years was now a source of frustration.
On this, they encouraged me to believe in my abilities and go after what I wanted.
Long story short, they were right and here I am, getting paid to write about being haunted (Editor: yayy).
On The Haunting
Now, this is where it gets good. They assured me that whatever entity I had acquired was not malicious (excuse me? my beauty sleep!?!?) and that I could make the choice to get rid of it, or learn to make peace with it.
For now, they suggested two things I could try:
- A visualisation exercise in which I envisioned myself being enveloped in a cocoon of golden light—this, they explained, would harness my own spirituality to protect myself from unwelcome external influences.
- Putting selenite—a crystal thought to be able to cleanse unwanted energies from your surroundings—on the four corners of my bed.
Still sceptical, I decided to give the visualisation exercise a try that night.
I was surprised by how hard it was to focus on the thought.
Several times, I was about to complete the cocoon, but found my concentration being broken with the urge to open my eyes and let them wander.
By the time I succeeded, I was so exhausted that I fell asleep quite quickly.
That night, I woke up to a grabbing sensation at the back of my neck.
This was nowhere as terrifying as the constant nightmares, and by now, I was so used to it that I simply grumbled “Oh for f**k’s sake would you quit it already?” to no one in particular, and simply turned over and attempted to get back to sleep.
A few days later, I placed selenite around my bed, and the nightmares ceased.
A coincidence? Or did the visualisation exercise and crystals actually work? Frankly I don’t care, I’m just glad that part of my life is over.
My electric friend
But wait… there’s more. How about the electricity?
Well, as the months went on, I began to realise that if this were indeed a haunting, then I am one of those lucky people in the world who’s been bestowed the attention of two different entities at the same time.
My unfortunate incidents with anything electric never really stopped, just reduced in frequency.
After a while, whenever I fail to turn on a light switch again, I would simply smile and shrug, waiting until my electricity ghost was sufficiently entertained before it would let me go about life as normal.
As to why I’m pretty sure it’s a supernatural entity and not just an electrical anomaly: this has never happened to anyone else in my family or around me.
In fact, I’ve been the subject of many a weird look as they proceed to operate a switch with no problem after multiple failed attempts from me.
Over time, I’ve come to think of it as a silent friend following me around through my day, just being a minor nuisance as the best friends often are.
I often wonder what exactly my new friend is. A spirit that is stuck in transit through realms? A particularly mischievous ghost who chose the chill-est person in the world to haunt? A figment of my imagination because there’s no romance in my life?
I did once tell it that it could only turn things off, not on, cause utilities are expensive. And I’m happy to report that the TV hasn’t come on since.
On my first day at my new job though, the wifi went down. My new teammates say this has never happened before I arrived.
Maybe it’s time for another talk.
Top image from Christian Chen/Unsplash