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How does a real paranormal encounter (with an evil spirit) feels like?

The smell of rotten eggs.

In 1996 I was living in a house in Galway, west of Ireland which was inhabited by a poltergeist or some such manifestation. I consider myself to be a rational logical kind of person, I don’t believe in conspiracy theories, I’m not even spiritual or religious. I have absolutely no interest in the paranormal or ghosts or any of that stuff, it just doesn’t interest me, I just happened to stumble upon this question. But I witnessed events that summer, one event in particular that can only be explained by some kind of paranormal activity.

For the first six months that I lived there nothing happened and there was never any mention or rumour of any haunting, then in the summer there was a major change of tenants. Four (out of six people moved out) and four new tenants moved in, an Irish friend of mine, two American girls and an Australian girl. That’s when things started happening, so I can only assume that there was a connection.

At first there were small weird things, like I would go to the kitchen to get the sweeping brush, I would look behind the kitchen door, not there, look in another room, no brush and then return to the kitchen and find it behind the door where I had looked only a minute earlier. Totally inexplicable. But then the very same incident happened to some of my housemates and it became a bit of a joke. Still, nobody suggested that there was a poltergeist, why would we ? Soon after this, I’d invited a co-worker of mine back for a drink after work. We worked in a restaurant so it was late but we were sober. I went upstairs to get something and when I returned he was standing in the middle of the living room with a face like thunder and hands balled into fists. He was furious, he told me that he lit a cigarette and when he put it in the ashtray, the contents of the ashtray exploded, nearly hurt him and scared the shit out of him. He angrily accused me of playing a nasty trick on him, by placing one of those joke bangers (for exploding cigars) in the ashtray before leaving the room. He was a lot bigger than me, a chef and was ready to kick the living shit out of me there and then, which I would have been helpless to stop. I was shocked and protested my innocence, why would I do such a thing? I didn’t do what he said I had done. He must have believed me, because I didn’t wake up in the hospital. He stormed out soon after and I don’t recall that he ever spoke to me again. Again totally inexplicable. Its conceivable that someone had left a joke firecracker in the ashtray but why. I told my housemates the story, bafflement was the reaction.

Then, the incident happened. It was nothing much, you’ll be disappointed if you think I am building up to some spectacular event from a horror film, no, but it was one of those events where afterwards, everything has changed. It was a Monday afternoon and I was alone in the house, everyone else was at work. I was not under the influence of any drugs or alcohol. In fact, at the time I was working on a project for university, sewage treatment plants to be exact (exciting stuff) so I had specifically chosen this time, when I was alone to commandeer the kitchen table for my project, photos, statistical data, etc. I started at 1pm and at 2pm I was sitting at the table when I witnessed a fork jumping from the steel sink unit on to the floor. I saw this with my own eyes. It did not fall, it couldn’t have fallen. There was a lip, a raised edge so that water would run in to the sink which the fork would have to go over on to fall to the floor. It was physically impossible for this fork to hit the floor without an outside force acting upon it, its called gravity.

I distinctly remember my reaction at the time, I was not freaked out, I was not scared or terrified, I was in truth remarkably calm. “That just happened.” I said to myself, “That actually happened. I saw that. Right. Well, that changes everything” about how I had viewed this life, and this universe, though not profoundly, I can honestly say that that event, past events and what happened later has not in any way influenced me or my life in any way whatsoever, I just accepted what I had witnessed and moved on.

I didn’t expect this retelling to be so long but then I have only related it twice in the past 21 years, verbally, and on both occasions it did not go down too well - you can’t expect the following “ I witnessed a ghost, therefore its true, I believe it, so you must believe it.” No, that’s not the way people work, sincerity is not enough. If ANYONE reading this wishes to offer alternative explanations, please do, I will respond to any questions with politeness and rationale.

I will now address the original question - How does a real paranormal encounter (with an evil spirit) feels like?

Well, it smells like rotten eggs.

This was a six-bedroomed house with six people living in it, and being young and having friends (boyfriends & girlfriends as well), we had lots of friends around, it was a great time. I remain lifelong friends with the Australian woman and one of the American Girls whom I shared a house with that summer, and they remain friends with each other too. We never talk about the poltergeist, like me, they just accepted it and got on with their lives. But it did affect us all, especially the Australian woman whom I will call Jane. Jane fell ill, very bad flu. We’re sitting on the couch in the living room, me, Jane, everybody else, watching TV. Now, imagine that you suddenly get a very strong smell of rotten eggs, overpowering, makes you exclaim ‘What is that fucking smell, rotten eggs.” Nobody else can smell it, the person sitting right beside you, pressed up against you can’t smell it. This did not just happen to me, but everybody upon occasion sitting in that room, residents and guests. We ripped the couch up, thinking there was a deceased mouse, decaying, which would still not explain why one person and only one person only could get the awful smell, whilst no one else could. No mouse, no explanation. I can still remember that smell to this day as I write this.

Jane did not get any better. Her doctor in Galway was at a loss to explain why the medication he was prescribing was not working and why she remained ill. I had moved out of the house at this stage, but was living close by with my new girlfriend - I only just remembered this now, we brought her chicken soup, my girlfriend made it and we brought it to her.

So, what was going on ? I no longer lived there but the remaining tenants consulted a psychic, a woman who lived locally in Galway, had no internet presence, (1996) or earned any money from her supposed ‘gift’. Does that read like I’m trying to legitimise this crank ? I don’t know if she’s real, but I’m going to tell you what she said. Having heard the entire story she opined that the spirit was a ‘malevolent spirit’, her words. The brush, the fork, the exploding ashtray - she gave no opinion, it may have happened as described, she couldn’t say. The rotten eggs story , her eyes widened and apparently she sat up abruptly because this was serious. Her opinion was that when you personally smell the rotten eggs and no one else can, that’s when the malevolent spirit is feeding off your energy (WTF is that?), he/she/it is sucking from you like a vampire. This is the manifestation for the victim, as physically experienced, through smell - your life-force is being sucked out of you. She advised that we get Jane - a victim the spirit had by now become habitually used to targeting, hence her ill-health - the fuck out of there. We got her into a different house within a week.

Is any of this true ? I saw that fork jump, on to the ground, I can’t change that, I can’t change what I know I saw. I smelt the rotten eggs when no one else could.

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