Boo! What Scares You? by Pat Ruppel

Zucca2It’s October and today we celebrate Halloween, where we see scary costumes, cornfield mazes and spooky ghost houses. It’s a fun time for kids and adults to let go and pretend.

It’s also the season when we’re more acceptable of the world of the paranormal. Perhaps we’re even open to tune in and listen for something beyond what we normally hear and see.

Our bodies feel the subtle energy shifts, as Nature begins to slumber. The trees drop their leaves and the plants die with the cold temperatures. There’s a bite in the air and the sky takes on a different hue, as the sun slowly alters its path around the earth.

Underneath it all there’s a fascination with death and the unknown. Otherwise why would zombies, Dracula and once-upon-a-time fairy tales be so popular these days?

Does it scare you to talk about ghosts or entertain the idea of loved ones still being with you, energetically, on a different plane? Maybe that’s what both fascinates and scares us, the unknown, the invisible and the obscure.

When I was growing up I remember my grandmother being comfortable with the invisible entities of her loved ones who had passed on—mother,  father and 2-year-old baby boy, Billy Bob. It was second nature to her to engage with them when she saw them or felt their presence. I could feel their energy too and, even if I didn’t understand it very well, I knew it was real. © 2008 by Basher Eyre

Though it doesn’t scare me to talk about spectral entities or paranormal phenomena (in fact, it’s intriguing), I do have a fear of death, when it comes to seeing an entity or someone dying. It’s something I’ve tried to change or learn how to become more comfortable with. But, let’s face it, it’s hard to practice when you can’t conjure up a spirit whenever you’d like.

I’ve had two incidents when I was gripped with the fear of death. One was when my surrogate grandfather was in the midst of dying and the other was shortly after my grandmother died. In both situations my loved one tried to tell me something important. Even now the feeling still lingers and haunts me, and I wish I knew how to understand it.

The first was when I was only 19. I went to the hospital one evening to visit my grandfather. As I stepped into the room I could see him sitting up in bed but, as I approached, he opened his mouth to talk but nothing came out. Fear gripped me, as I briefly saw his arm going up and down, and mouth open desperately trying to talk.

I instantly knew that he was dying and fled. I wish I’d had the courage to get him help and stay to the end. But something took over and I ran as fast as my legs would take me. When my sister found me downstairs later to tell me he had died, I was still shaking and crying, my face ashen. To this day I still know that feeling. I send him my love and wish I knew what he was trying to say.

The second was shortly after my grandmother had died. I knew she was finally at peace, reunited with the loved ones she had communicated with all her life from the other side. It was the night before her funeral and my sister and I had met with my aunt and uncle with plans of spending the night and going to the funeral together.

It was in the wee hours of the morning and everyone was in bed. My sister and I were sound asleep, with her newborn between us, when I had this dream or vision—you might call it. My grandmother appeared before me and she wanted to talk with me and tell me something. Before I knew it, I was being forcibly shaken by my uncle with everyone gathered around. Apparently I was screaming so loud it woke everyone up, except me. I never heard myself scream. I was left with an empty feeling of the loss of my grandmother and more questions . Like my grandfather, what was she trying to tell me?

It was another example of gripping fear, but interesting in how it showed up in my subconscious. I wish I had learned from her how to be comfortable with spirits and the world beyond. It makes me wonder what is so deep in my psyche that triggers this fear. I hope I will learn someday.

How about you—what makes you scared? Have you ever been so frightened where you froze on the spot or ran? Maybe you have a phobia and are afraid of heights or spiders.

Pat from the ol’ kitchen table

Copyright © 2014 by Pat Ruppel


Pat chose this video, Guardians of Light. It’s short, but deeply empowering. Great choice, Pat!


Please share your thoughts and comments with us below.



Is it possible to make a difference in the world? Pat believes so!

One way is through trust in sharing each other’s stories. Please join her at her site, Plain Talk and Ordinary Wisdom, where she writes what she calls “kitchen table” stories.

It is her hope that you’ll pull up a chair, kick back and relax reading these stories. Maybe they’ll warm your heart and tickle your soul while taking you to a similar place—fond memory—or trigger a long, lost feeling.

Pat Ruppel is a blogger, writer and self-published author since 2007. She lives in the Colorado Rockies with her husband and pet dog, Abby.

You can also find her at:

Facebook Page:




19 Responses

  1. Sherri

    Hi Pat! This is a scary story which I remember reading and at the time thinking how traumatic both these events were for you. My grandmother told me that she saw both her father just after he died and her younger brother who drowned and appeared to her before anyone told her he had died. It used to scare me rigid when she would tell me this but she was very calm and indeed comforted by their appearances. It is a fascinating subject. I hope you have peace now about your grandparents and in your own spiritual search my friend.

    • Pat

      Hi Sherri — thanks for stopping over here at John’s site and commenting. Yes, it can make us fearful and I don’t know why or how we come to react these ways. I’m working on being more comfortable with those types of things like your grandmother, though, I can understand how you felt in the telling of her stories. 🙂

  2. Andrea Stephenson

    Pat, thanks for sharing these memories. I’m quite comfortable with death, as I see it as just another adventure. My first experience of it though was very bewildering – I was just a child when my grandmother died in our house and the atmosphere was so strange and the rituals so confusing (I remember my mother looking for a mirror and I couldn’t understand why she needed a mirror)that it was both alarming and also a little exciting. Now, I’ve seen both my parents pass following illness, so I’ve also seen some of the worst of it. But I’m happy on Halloween to light a candle for the dead and set a place at the table should they wish to visit.

    • Pat

      Thank you, Andrea. I’m happy you enjoyed the read. I can see how comfortable you are when your loved ones died. I’m getting better at it and believe as I do there are more things that will open up to me.

      It’s a childhood fear I think I’ve chosen somewhere along the way where I associate death and dying with ghosts and paranormal activity. It certainly takes on another dimension but it should be one of love and remembrance like how you openly connect with lighting a candle and setting an extra place for them at the table. I like that and one that I embrace.

  3. Bethany @ Journey to Ithaca

    Wow, what a story, Pat! I think most of us are uncomfortable with death and the unknown.

    • Pat

      You’re welcome, Bethany. I’m glad you enjoyed it. They are events that have haunted me and I’ve worked on letting those fears go and be open to the other side. Thank you for coming by here at John’s site and sharing.

  4. annie

    Hello John ,Thankyou and pat for the video this week. It was exactly what I needed to hear at this time, last week was a real struggle ,and I was questioning everything. I look foward to your newsletters I have learnt so much from them, keep up the great work.
    Hugs from Annie in australia .

    • Pat

      You’re welcome, Annie. I’m so glad you enjoyed the video and it’s exactly what you needed for love and reassurance. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Pat

    Thank you, John, for posting my story. I’m honored to be your guest and hope your readers enjoy it.

    • John Cali

      You’re most welcome, Pat. And thank YOU for contributing to this wonderful community of kindred spirits.

  6. Christine

    Thank You for sharing, that is scarey! My mother suffered from mental illness in her life and I thought when I discovered how to use my healing abilities, I would try to heal her. I lit candles and prayed and believed I was banishing what ever was tormenting her to try to bring her peace of mind. After that she seemed normal and happy only to find myself in deep depression and fear. I heard things in my house, saw black shadows and heard voices in my ear directly, not in my head that told me of my worst fears. I was choked in the night, heard footsteps above me and I had no upstairs (but the roof). A spiritual teacher of mine emailed me (when computers first started to become a part of our lives)and knew something was not right. She did a healing on me and saw my entire house filled with black. She saw three Angels at the foot of my bed, one who called out Abigail, Abigail, Abigail three times.(still have no clue what that meant) She had never been to my house but described everything exactly where it was and said she cleared it. It was lighter and brighter in there and once i realized I was not going crazy myself, I gained the strength to rid myself of my own fears. I realized what I may have released off of her came to attach itself to me? I guess, but I still am not sure what it was about. I heard it say before I demanded it out, “I’ll be back!” My mother was ok for a little while but had many problems. 20 years or so later the day after my mother passed away, I lived out of state and I began to get choked in the night again as if it did what it promised and came back. This time I banished it out for good with my husband. I have had dreams throughout my life about black shadows trying to get inside my body,tying my hands and myself even being levitated and screaming with no words. I am always commanding it out and it always leaves. To add to this my grandmother, my mothers mother was overly religous and when I was a kid there were times I loved her so much and enjoyed her talking about Jesus, then there were other times I saw her eyes completely black. It scared the you know what out of me and confused me, I wonder what it did to my mother? I painted a picture of Christ for my mom one time and left it there at my grandmothers to pick it up and my religious grandmother painted over Jesus’ face! I was dumbfounded and scared and she just giggled with a strange look and gave me no explaination. How can you be so religious and ? Well who knows. Although I was not raised with either of them, the experiences here I did have, taught me to believe to live of love and higher mind; there can never be darkness when there is light. I still wonder if I am to use this to help others too.

    • Pat

      Hi Christine — I can see how you could become fearful from what you told. I think even though these things are very real to us. For me, I like to remember what John and Spirit have said over the years. There is nothing but love being showered on us and that we are lights.

      Thank you for reading and sharing. I hope the video sent you some energy of Divine love and assurance that we are safe.

  7. Margaret F. Unger

    Sometimes when I fire up my bone fires in my yard, next to the woods, to mark the quarter and cross-quarter days, I get a sense of something unbidden stepping out of the dark and wanting to come into the circle. Its tangible and frightens me.

    • Pat

      Thank you, Margaret. There are those times and places that stir up fear. I don’t know why except for maybe our conditioning and the unknown.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.