My interest in ghosts waned a bit through early adulthood and any personal experiences that I had if, any, either went unnoticed or were so subtle I didn't see them save the car episode I mentioned in a previous column.
That episode took place soon after college as I was driving back to my apartment in Spring City outside Philadelphia for my first real job. I was home for the weekend as I spent most of my weekends. It was evening and I was driving south on Route 100. There were few cars on the road even though it was not too late, but the sun had already set and it was dark.
As I neared the intersection which to this day has a school house or a little church on the northeast corner, a car came flying across the intersection right in front of me. There was nowhere to go. It filled the whole lane on my side of the intersection and I was too close to swerve. I braced myself for the impact on the center of the door, but all of a sudden there was nothing.
The next thing I remember I was shaking and parked on the side of the road about a few yards past the intersection. No one was around and my car was perfectly fine. There was no sign of the other car either.
I sat there breathing deeply for a few minutes trying to relax and I was totally confused. Where had the other car gone? How did I avoid that split second collision and more importantly, how did I park myself on the side of the road without any conscious memory of the event?
To this day, I have no recollection of anything other than that white car in the headlights of my car, seconds away from a horrible impact that should have occurred between a car crossing an intersection and one traveling 50 plus miles per hour on a highway. I have only three explanations, none of which fully explain what happened nor how I was spared major injuries.
First, I might have acted on reflex and swerved and then righted the car on the side of the road in a moment of instinct, but that doesn't explain why I can't remember it nor does it explain how I managed to miss a car that was so close I could see the door handle and the door, but I couldn't see anyone in the vehicle.
That's the only non-paranormal explanation and to be honest I really have no answer. But my faith leads me to believe one possibility while my relationship with the paranormal lends itself to the other.
The second possibility is an angel was there and rescued me from the incident. In the panic, I blacked out and the car was delivered by an angel from the impending accident to the side of the road and I was left in it to recover from my lapse of memory until I was capable of driving again. This period from my best guess was only a few moments.
The last explanation is I almost "collided" with a phantom car or the afterimage of a car previously crossing the intersection. Perhaps the environment was just right that it produced an environmentally stimulated memory of the car crossing the road and that illusionary car was what I saw. In that case, I did drive through the car, probably scaring myself and causing me to break to the side of the road.
Regardless of whether it was instinct, angelic intervention or a ghost, the fact remains that I have no conscious recollection as to how I moved from 50 mph on the center of the highway past a car totally blocking my path to end up idling on the side of the road a couple yards from the intersection in which I should have T-boned a car.
I would believe it was simply instinctual, but in that case I should not have had a momentary memory lapse, I think. I have had other close calls in which my instincts protected me and they didn't result in a blackout or a lack of memory of my actions.
I was sober and have never used drugs so that explanation as a possibility is out of the question. My mental health has always been excellent and I have never hallucinated so that explanation is out of order also.
If the first explanation doesn't pass the muster, than I'm left with divine intervention or a ghostly encounter, either of which are paranormal and neither of which are satisfactory in a world driven by evidence and proof. Yet it is what I write, an unusual encounter with a mystery from my early adulthood that I can shed no more light on now, than I could 18 years ago.
It was not until my brother moved to Reigelsville that ghosts re-entered my interests and I became fascinated more with the possibilities of an explanation behind them.
Til next time….