Fear Factor: Freaky Edition

Halloween is only a few days away, so it’s time for the final edition of Fear Factor. Today’s post is about two events that gave me the shivers even though I found reasonable explanations for them… kinda… sorta.

I’m not ‘freakable’ by nature, but these occurrences were freaky.

Here goes:

Flashback to the 1970s. I haven’t picked up a Reader’s Digest in years, but back then their format included jokes, informative articles, one lurid description of some horrific event, and a health column that explained the basics of anatomy and diseases.

A brief digression: Anybody remember ‘I am Joe’s (fill in body part here)’? And I vividly recall an article about a woman who got hit by a car and had her leg ripped off – I can still see the little bird’s-eye-view sketch of cars all bunched up on the street, the woman’s body, and her leg lying in the road a couple of yards away – brrrr! I was pretty young at the time so it made a big impression.

Anyway, on to the spooky stuff. When I was around twelve or thirteen I was reading about cancer in the Reader’s Digest. I’d never heard of such a thing and as I read the article, absolute cold terror overtook me along with the certainty that something bad was going to happen. I had read lots of scary things before but this was a new level of fear, and I felt impelled to go and find my mother. I didn’t tell her what the problem was; just stuck close for a while. But the fearful feeling never really went away.

My mom died of cancer when I was nineteen.

I know the laws of probability can explain that.  Cancer is pretty common, and there’s certainly nothing unusual about a child being frightened by learning about a scary disease like that. So I filed the whole thing away as a creepy but explainable coincidence.

Until a few years later.

My then-husband and I were living in Halifax, and his brother was attending Dalhousie University. My brother-in-law’s term had ended and he was soon to return home to Calgary so we took one last drive together, puttering around down by the shore and having a pleasant day. As we were driving back, I glanced over at my brother-in-law in the driver’s seat and a thought blazed into my mind, sudden and forceful: “I’ll never see him again.”

A month later he was killed in a climbing accident in the Rocky Mountains. When I saw him again, he was dead in his coffin.

That really creeped me out.

But again, I’ve explained it to myself. People have lots of weird random thoughts in a day. Make predictions often enough and sooner or later you’re bound to hit on something that actually happens. If they don’t come true, you never think of them again, but if you actually get one right you think, “OMG, I predicted that!”

I’m sure that’s all it was.

Well, mostly sure.

But still…


* * *

P.S. I’m on the road again, so I’ll reply to comments later today or tomorrow.  ‘Talk’ to you then!

May your Halloween be just scary enough to be fun!

29 thoughts on “Fear Factor: Freaky Edition

    • Thanks for your sympathy, Sue. The fear was very unsettling, but when I got the second ‘premonition’, I dismissed it as just a weird random thought so it didn’t bother me at all until it ‘came true’. I’ve never had another premonition like that… or if I have, I’ve firmly suppressed the memory. There are some things I just don’t need to know.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. My condolences on the too-soon loss of your mother and your brother-in-law. That kind of pain hits hard. I lost my dad to a heart attack when I was twelve, and it still hurts. Weird happening associated with it–a few days after he died, I dreamed he came to me, dressed in his suit for work, as I saw him most mornings. In the dream I told him he couldn’t be there, that he was dead. He patted my shoulder and said, “Linnie, I’m fine. Really, I am.” And then he was gone.

    The dream was so vivid I would have sworn on a stack of bibles it was real. Was it only my subconscious telling me what I so desperately needed to hear? Probably. But sometimes I like to think otherwise.

    And, um, do me a favor? If you ever get one of those uncanny feelings with regard to me … don’t tell me about it. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • My lips are sealed – even if I did get a premonition, I’d keep it to myself!

      I’m so sorry you lost your dad so soon, but what a wonderful dream for you to have. Maybe Dads get one last chance to talk to their daughters, because the same thing happened to me when my dad died twelve years ago. He had wasted away after fighting degenerative lung disease for so many years, but when he appeared in my dream the night after he died, he had gone back to being a powerful 40ish man. His hair was red again, tousled as though he’d just come in from a breezy summer day on the farm. He wore a short-sleeved shirt that I remembered him owning in the 70s, and it was as though he’d gone back in time so he could be with my mom when they were both strong and healthy and in the prime of life. In my dream, I made some cheerfully flippant comment, but he didn’t say a word; just smiled and hugged me. That feeling of warmth and love and comfort has stayed with me off and on ever since, and often when I’m driving the back roads all alone on a summer day I can almost sense him in the passenger’s seat, enjoying the ride just like he did in life.

      As you say, the dream was probably just my subconscious telling me what I desperately wanted to believe… but maybe not… 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. When I was in my last years of high school I became best friends with a fellow student who shared my interest in art. We became intimate to a degree I never knew was possible between two straight girls. I was sure we could read each other’s minds. She started dating a mutual friend and when they ran into communication problems my best friend turned to me to explain to him what her side of the problem was. She always told me I never had it wrong, even though we never discussed the issue in advance. We also seemed to share the impulse to call one another at the exact same time, and when we picked up the phone to call, one person had already dialed, but the phone hadn’t yet rung on the other end before the phone connected. It happened more often than not, and we had never set up a precise time to call each other either. I was certain a friendship like that would outlast anything, but sadly it didn’t last beyond her romance and marriage while I went on to college. I’ve never had such a link since. Neither of us were able to predict scary or bad things, but our psychic phone link was a bit freaky.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s amazing! I’ve done that ‘psychic phone link’ with people occasionally, but never to the degree that you describe. In my case it’s usually that I haven’t talked to the person in a long while, so it’s not surprising that we’re both thinking of calling each other. It’s too bad your friendship didn’t last, though.

      Unfortunately, I have a ‘psychic bathroom link’ with one of my friends. Every damn time she calls, I’m sitting on the toilet (and I don’t go that often, honest)! She denies hiding butt-sensors under my toilet seat, but I have my suspicions… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • We lived in an apartment like that years ago. If I sat on the toilet, the doorbell rang. No kidding. Probably eight or nine times out of every ten. Neighborhood kids doing fundraisers, political surveys, door-to-door sales stuff, debt collectors looking for the deadbeats who lived their last year and the year before and the year before that. Every bloody thing you could think of. We lived there for almost a year. Ordinarily, I hate to move, but I was glad to when it got us outta there!

        Have your wiring checked. You got butt sensors on your potty. Hey, you’re not paranoid if they really are out to get you. Another one of those Bryant’s Law things. I’d say ‘words to live by,’ too, but I’m too paranoid.


  3. Yes, but … how often do you get those thoughts? If you get them often, then maybe it’s like you said – if you think them often enough you’re bound to be right – but if you don’t get them very often at all, what are the chances that it would turn out like that?

    I used to believe that everything could be proven scientifically if you got to the bottom of it, but the past couple of years I’ve realized how narrow-minded that might be …and oddly enough, my willingness to be more open has come as science has made great strides in studying the universe.

    I’m sorry for both your losses. Nineteen is awfully young to lose your mother. That must have been very hard.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your sympathy. And you’re right, it was the unusual-ness of the thoughts that made the situation seem creepier when my premonitions ‘came true’.

      But to be honest, despite the fact that I’m a science geek, I like the thought that not everything can be explained with theories and formulae. It’s nice to have a bit of wonder in the world. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m sorry about your Mom, Diane. Any age is too young, but that was way too young.
    Premonitions are creepy things in the way that you don’t realise they were premonitions until after the event, yet after the event you just know that it was a premonition. Odd.
    Years ago an old work colleague was giving me a lift to work in her car. It was one of those mornings where every road user was a dillop, so it took us longer than usual to get to work. The final stretch of road was a one way system, and because of all the little ‘incidents’ we encountered along the way my friend said ‘just watch – there will be someone driving the wrong way along here.’ We rounded a bend, and sure enough we came face to face with another motorist going the wrong way heading toward us. I couldn’t help but laugh, but my friend stuttered ‘I don’t believe it!’ Now, was that a prediction on my friend’s part or were we simply part of the dillop collective? Life is certainly strange at times…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your sympathy, Tom. I’m giggling over your dillops, though – that’s such a perfectly descriptive term. And hmmm, ‘The Dillop Collective’ sounds like the name of a band. Maybe you should do a little flash-fiction with that. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m really of the “shit happens” realm of reality. Of the bazillions of bizarre things that go through my head a few actually can be real. Of course, thoughts and ideas don’t stay long, or if they do, they die of loneliness.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. In a previous life a hunnerd or two years ago, my younger son was just six weeks old. I was a hundred-fifty miles from home, and got the creepiest feeling something was wrong. Hurried to my destination, took, care of my business quickly, called home. Sure enough, a friend answered the phone at my house and said my younger son was suddenly very sick, some more friends took my wife and him to the nearest big-town hospital from our home (90 miles from there and 120 miles from where I was). I was to meet still another friend in a town halfway between where I was and where the hospital was (we hadn’t lived there long and I had no idea where the hospital was). So I took off.

    I was in a one-ton truck that I had seriously worked over. I am a serious, hard-core gearhead, remember. This was in the CB radio days, so I got on the radio and stayed on it until I contacted a highway patrolman, told him who I was and what was going on, he gave me the green light to do what I had to do, so my foot hit the floor. Met my buddy at the little town that was the halfway mark on schedule, and he drove me to the hospital. Still another friend drove still another friend over to pick up my truck and take it home for me.j

    The loon who picked me up drove us through Amarillo, Texas, on the wrong side of every street, flashing the headlights and honking the horn and running every red light, but he got me to the hospital safely–he was driving my wife’s car, so that’s handy that we didn’t crash and burn–where we met up with probably half the population of the tiny little town we had just moved to. They all drove ninety miles to check up on us and see if they could help.

    Allergic reaction to a medication. Son was all better the next morning.

    We made lots of good friends there. Love little towns.


    • Wow! It’s wonderful the way small towns pull together at times like that. And thank goodness everything turned out okay – there were so many ways it could’ve gone wrong (including a crash-and-burn). But the premonition was very freaky indeed!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Little towns can be a royal pain, too, but for us the good far outweighed the bad. 🙂

        About the truck and the cop. I passed another highway patrolman on the way to where the other guy took over and drove. The officer came on the radio and said, “Ordinarily, Mr. Bryant, I would give you a ticket if you were going HALF as fast as you are going right now. Pay attention, be careful, and I hope your son is okay.” I replied, “Yes, sir! Thank you, sir!”

        I’d have to say that the Texas State Troopers are the best cops in the world. 🙂

        The one-ton truck was a dually, by the way. Four streaks of black–heavy, thick ones–for as far as you wanted to waste the tires. If I’d had a dollar for every Camaro and Mustang and everything else it outran, I could have retired quite well years ago. 🙂

        Thtill making progreth, I thee. Keep it up, thithter. If nobody hath told you today that you rock, pleathe let me be the firtht!

        330.2K and 721 pp for moi, and no end in thite. 🙂


  7. That’s real life scary stuff for sure. Sorry you had to go through that. Nineteen is too young to lose a mother.

    I’ve had some strange premonitions too. The skeptic in me always explains them away, but there are a couple even my scientific mind can’t rationalize. Guess I just have to accept some things can’t be explained.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Can’t say my profit of doom has ever got right (yet) loads of times I’ve had that feeling something bad is going to happen but it hasn’t gotten it right and I’ve been fine, I kind of take it more as a warning to take care.

    We had a fab holiday, every time we got on the coach to travel anywhere we drove past an accident. But we were never involved in any.

    Hole still there but smaller and healing, I’m truly sick of going to get the dressing changed everyday, but I’d rather not get another abscess

    Love and hugs to all
    Karen xxx

    Liked by 1 person

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