I didn’t believe in ghosts until I was staying at this old hotel in Lake Como, Italy. It was a five-hundred year-old building. An old hospital, no less, that they turned into a hotel. You walked in and there were angel statues everywhere. It was cold and dark inside, but full of history. We were staying in the penthouse and it had this wraparound balcony overlooking the lake… it was so beautiful. But I was absolutely terrified. Like, a hospital? Really, mom? You have us sleep in an old hospital? That’s like, almost as haunted as a graveyard. And of course the first night we were there there was this massive thunder and lightening storm. I was sleeping in this little room off of the master bedroom. And I was terrified of all the noises outside, so I was sleeping on my stomach, buried underneath the covers, my head under the pillows. And then…all of a sudden something started pressing down on my back. Hard. Pushing me into the bed. And I couldn’t breathe. It felt like two hands pushing me down. I started flailing… I literally felt like I was going to die. And then it stopped. I was crying, I went to go sleep in my parents’ bed. They thought I was being such a freak, imagining things, because I was already scared just staying there. My dad went to sleep in my little bed. And I was laying on my back, burrowed under the covers. I couldn’t sleep. Someone had literally just tried to suffocate me. And as I’m laying there… all of a sudden… the balcony double doors fly open and a burst of lightning zigzagged through the doors. There was a clap of thunder. The curtains billowed out with the wind. I’m not kidding. It was so scary. I expected like a vampire or something to appear in that doorway. I didn’t sleep a wink the rest of the time we were there. My parents never believed me.
M experienced this story for herself, and she deems it the scariest moment of her life. But few people believe her. Most think she was having a nightmare. But she recounts how real it felt, the feeling of not being able to breathe. She likes to tell this piece because it’s an experience few have had, and she’s not sure why it happened to her.
I believe M’s story. I definitely believe in ghosts, but I’ve heard very few firsthand accounts of people claiming a ghost was able to touch them. That thought scares me. This must have been a very angry spirit, maybe someone who didn’t have a pleasant life or died violently. I would be traumatized if this happened to me.