‘I’ve Always Felt Presences’: One STELLAR Writer On Her Brushes With The Paranormal

"I woke up, sat up in my bed and saw a woman."

When you think of paranormal activity, the first thing that comes to your mind is probably bed sheets being flung off your bed at night and objects being hurled around the room. Although this makes for a great horror movie, it’s a little bit of an obscured message of what spiritual experiences are really like for some people. What if I were to tell you that this stuff is real? More real than any movie or staged documentary, and I know because I’ve felt it.

I’ve always felt presences. Since I was a young child I would feel certain things, see certain things that I knew weren’t seen by everyone. I understand that this may seem unusual, scary or even ridiculous to some people, but it was normal to me. But although I have lots of memories of people and things that I have seen, I had never felt a true connection to any of them.

The older I got, the more these experiences intensified. I started to not only feel spirits around me, but to interact with them. This was when I started to take notice more of what was happening and what I was experiencing. I grew up watching horror movies – The Exorcist, The Amityville Horror, The Ring… all movies that should have left young teenagers hiding under their duvets at night time, but I was fascinated by the other realm.

It has been suggested that maybe my love of all things horror, ghostly or spiritual may have been the reason for my calm demeanour when I experienced these things first hand. But the truth is, I just never felt unsafe, or in danger.

Niamh Foran

Having said that, there have certainly been some unwelcome presences, or should I say, ones that have made me feel unwelcome. I have countless memories of waking up at three or four in the morning, feeling fully sure that I was asleep in someone else’s house, that I was in a place that I shouldn’t have been in. I am normally able to calm myself down in these situations, once I get my bearings or turn a light on. However my family may tell a different story, following the nights that I would run out of my room screaming that there was someone (or many someones) in my room.

It wasn’t until I was about 16 years old that something happened that made me feel differently about the spiritual world – something that has stuck with me to this day. I remember the night perfectly, I was alone in the house and had decided to sleep in my mam’s bed. I woke up in the middle of the night with a strange feeling, not a scared one, just unlike what I had felt before.

I woke up, sat up in my bed and saw a woman. There are two very distinct things about her, one being her clothing. She was wearing an air-hostess uniform, blue with a red and white striped collar. The second thing that sticks in my mind about her was the way she was walking, she was continuously walking in straight lines up and down beside my mam’s bed. Although I had experienced similar things many times before, I felt strangely different this time; I was very calm.

As time went on, I began seeing this woman regularly, and if I didn’t always see her I would almost always feel her presence. I felt connected to her, and never once did I feel scared. I didn’t tell many people about her, just family and close friends. I’m lucky to have a group of friends who are very interested in supernatural beings and or ghostly stories, so it was always something we discussed. But even at this, it felt very personal to me.

One night, after not having seen her in a few weeks, I woke up to sound of sobbing. At this point I began to realise that although I still didn’t know who this person was, she needed my help. Then on September 11th, 2011, I identified the woman I had been seeing.

Let’s go back a bit so I can explain. In November 2010, I went to New York for a holiday with my family and it was shortly after that I began to see the mysterious air hostess
in my room. Then the following year I was watching a documentary about 9/11. A face flashed up on the screen that I recognised. I had never seen her face fully, I had no reason as to why I knew this was her, but I knew it was. There was no doubt in my mind that this was the woman I had been seeing and felt such a connection to. She was a flight attendant on one of the planes that hit the World Trade Centre.

Pretty much a year to the day after I realised who she was, she moved on from me. I like to believe that she came to me for a reason. That I helped her in some way, although I may never know how. She left me the day I flew from Dublin to Paris, on the anniversary of her death.

Years passed. I always had, and will always have a special place in my heart for New York. After visiting there in 2010, I decided I needed to experience life in this crazy city. I moved to the Big Apple on September 10th 2015. Some small part of me thought that maybe after all these years, if I was to feel this woman’s presence again, it would be in New York. I stayed there for nearly a year and half before moving home. In this time, she contacted me once, and it’s something I will never forget.

It was the day after the 15 year anniversary of 9/11. My mam was visiting me in New York and we decided to visit Ground Zero to pay our respects. As is customary, family members, friends and members of the public leave flowers in the engraved names at the freedom pools where the Twin Towers stood. The day following the ceremony, as there had been a rain storm, there were no flowers left. Except one. My mam and I spotted a single red rose from the far side of the south pool.

We proceeded to walk over and found that single remaining red rose left by mourners the previous day, was left beside the name of the woman that had been with me. For a split second, I felt her around me again, and I knew she was okay. I’ve never felt her presence again.

So the one and only question that I was left with after this entire experience was, why me? What did I have that she needed, what could I have helped her with? Why did she choose to come to me? Paranormal expert and co-founder of Dublin Paranormal Investigations, Ray (who only wants me to use his first name) believes there may be a reason for this: “Generally, in the cases that spirits communicate (which is pretty rare) they have been unfortunately the spirits of people that have died in bad circumstances. Maybe these unfortunate spirits can’t move on until they have tried to have somebody in the living world hear what they have endured.”

Some may call it coincidence, some may call it silly, and some may just downright not believe me. But whatever happens, I know that she was with me and I know that she opened my eyes to a whole different level in this world.

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