This One Halloween

This is a true personal account where I have tried to recreate events, locales and conversations from my memories of them. In order to maintain anonymity, in certain instances I have changed some names and identifying details to protect the privacy of individuals. 

I’ve experienced plenty of strange phenomena in my lifetime, encounters that only now make sense to me as I start to connect the dots backwards in my timeline. Psychic episodes, paranormal sightings and supernatural expressions litter my past and present, presumably increasing in strength as the future nears to the now. Most of my experiences have been rather benevolent, except this one time when a dark extraterrestrial nearly consumed me, but that’s a story I’ll save for another time. 

After (finally) ending a very long and toxic relationship, I began the emotionally daunting journey towards healing. Traditional talk therapy has never worked for me, and figured I would seek out a more supernatural solution, considering I am a proud, self-proclaimed Scream Queen. Judge me if you will, but I seriously wanted like the Long Island Medium experience, know what I mean? And after weeding my way through a bunch of bullshit “lightworkers,” I finally found the real deal… and my reading with her changed the course of my reality. Everything strangely and simultaneously became clear and confusing as the veils of illusion began to lift from my mind, body and spirit. 

That reading was the catalyst to a deeply intimate relationship with the spirit realm, including an incident just a few months later on All Hallow’s Eve, 2015. The history of Halloween is laced with tradition and lore, and it is also a time when the veil between the living and the dead is at its thinnest. I’ve seen plenty of glimmers and glimpses in the past, but this night, this one Halloween, I saw my first fully formed apparition. 

It just so happened to be a dark and stormy night, I mean, this was Seattle in the fall after all. Our evening shenanigans began at a local howling-haunt where my friend, Emma, was hosting a Halloween karaoke party. After listening to several rounds of my more vocally-talented friends belt out their favorite songs, and consuming enough adult beverages to ensure my functional inebriation for the remainder of the night; a handful of us left the singing soiree to head off to our final destination. 

My friends and I stepped out into the evening where the leaves were falling to their death in unison, forming small vortexes of wind before landing into a wet puddle, becoming a soggy decomposition of a distant memory of living green. We arrived at The Triple Door, excitement coursing through our bloody veins, like an exhilarating cold shower, in anticipation of that night’s main event—dinner and performance of “This is Halloween,” a Can Can production of Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Photo Credit:  Jules Doyle

Photo Credit: Jules Doyle

The venue's hostess led us to a cozy booth, only three rows away from the stage. Our group of friends piled into our corner booth like some kind of monster-mashed mafia. I took the opportunity to take the whole venue in, gazing around at all of the fantastic creatures that came out to be entranced by the Pumpkin King. 

The production was absolute eye-candy with all the visually stunning costumes and set design, and the titillating cabaret and burlesque performances to live orchestral music. We were treated to performances from many of Burton’s beloved characters, including: Oogie Boogie, Lock, Shock and Barrel, Sally, and the phenomenally talented Tim Keller who has brought Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town, to surreal life for 10 years running.

Perfectly rocked into spooktacular serenity; the warm delicious food, chilled cocktails and eye-popping performances provided the audience with treat after treat. Little did I know that a certain “trick” was about to take place… and for my eyes only. 

It was nearing midnight, the time when the veil is not only thinned, but actually lifted for those who dare to believe. As I sat there fully enraptured by Sally’s song to Jack, I begin to question whether my eyes were playing tricks on me, or if I had indeed crossed over from functional inebriation to completely wasted. Let me set the stage to what appeared before my very eyes…

For Sally’s performance, they pulled the beautiful burgundy crushed-velvet curtains shut, closing off all but the front of the stage, the apron. A cut-out hill in typical illustrated Burton fashion with Sally on top was wheeled out just right of center stage. A balloon-like prop inflates, revealing a holographic projection of Jack, to whom Sally devastatingly sings her heart out to. 

Photo Credit:  Can Can Seattle

Photo Credit: Can Can Seattle

As I sat there mesmerized by Sally’s vocals, I begin to be confused by what I was seeing around mid-song. Directly to the left of Sally, in rather close proximity of her, a man appears. Now, anyone familiar with this show (or The Nightmare Before Christmas) knows how elaborate the costumes, characters and set design are. There is not one plain-looking human character amongst this lineup of surrealistic and imaginative creatures. So, who in the world was this man? 

My internal dialogue going on in my head as my eyes darted back and forth between this man and Sally went something like this:

Me: Hmmm, that’s weird.

Me: Who is that supposed to be? 

Me: I wonder if he’s part of the production crew manning the props. Considering the professionalism of this production, I’m really surprised they would be so careless about having the backstage crew be visible to the audience. Hmmm, strange…

Me: Shoot, I think he can see that I can see him. I should look away so that I don’t make him uncomfortable with this mistake they’ve made by unintentionally breaking the 4th wall, sort of.

(Here, I tried to stay focused on Sally’s performance, but my eyes drifted right back to the man.)

Me: Ummm, OK, he is staring dead-on at me. He definitely knows that I can see him.

Me: Seriously, why is he staring so intensely at me? 

Sally’s song comes to an end, the balloon containing Jack’s hologram deflates, and the lights slightly go up… and then poof, the man is gone, and I feel like the hypnotist just snapped her fingers and brought me starkly back to reality. 

Holy shit. Holy fuck. What the hell just happened? 

The man I saw had shaggy, dirty blonde hair that hit just below his chin area. He wore a red plaid button-up shirt and a brownish, casual overcoat, with jeans. He was simultaneously flesh and shadow. He was right there in Sally’s spotlight, but also hidden by a shadowy layer I can’t quite describe. And as soon as the lights went up, I realized it was impossible that a backstage operator was visible due to where he was positioned. There was only curtain and Sally’s prop hill, and from his location, he would have basically been floating mid-air to be in proximity of Sally, and with no correlation to the show. 

I sat there both confused and intensely alert as the reality of it all sunk into my consciousness. The entire time I was watching the man, and he watching me, I was unaware of how dreamlike it felt until the starkness of reality woke me up from that trance-like slumber at the end of Sally’s song. Seriously, what the hell just happened? 

Photo Credit:  Mike Savoia

Photo Credit: Mike Savoia

I remained silent about my experience until the end of the show. The audience applauded, standing ovation and all, and my group of friends and I proceeded back out into the black of night to pile into the car to head home for the evening. It was here in the car ride that I first asked a couple questions before divulging my paranormal experience. 

Me: Hey guys, so I was wondering… am I more wasted than I think I am? Meaning, would you consider me drunk or relatively sober during that performance. 

Grace: I’d say you seem pretty sober, why? 

Me: Because, I saw something that I am not sure was real or just my imagination. 

(Here, I shared what had taken place during Sally’s song.) 

Grace: (inserts fingers in ears) La-la-la-la-la… I am not hearing this! Let’s not talk about this. I don’t want him following any of us back home!

Me: So you think I saw a ghost? 

Grace: Heck yeah I think you saw a ghost! None of us saw him. And the way you describe him, all the detail, and the way you said he just stared right at you… (Grace shivers and mumbles something about “Lord Jesus” under her breath). 

Me: So you really think I saw a ghost? 

The other friends didn’t know what to think. It sounded too fantastic to them, but they also knew I wasn’t one to just make stuff up for shits and giggles, even if it was Halloween. 

Although the mystery man did not follow me home, I was unable to sleep a wink that night. Not out of fear, but because I was in complete awe of what transpired this Halloween night. And not just what I saw with my eyes… but how the whole experience felt.

There is no question in my mind that what I saw was a ghostly apparition. But what I don’t know is who he was, and who or what he was attached to. Was he a spirit that was earth-bound at The Triple Door venue? Was he a departed loved one attached to the actress who played Sally? Or, was he just one of the many spirits that were passing through the veil this hallowed night, and I just happened to catch a peek of his spirit through that curtained veil? 

I’ll leave you with that to ponder on and come to your own conclusions. And perhaps, if you’re willing, this year will be the one Halloween where the veil gets lifted for your eyes only.

Happy Halloween! 


Do you have a personal account with the supernatural to share? If so, I would love to hear it! Share your experience in the comments below, or connect with me via contact page, and let's recreate your story. Anonymity will be honored at your request.