#allhallowsread Haunting Stories: Casting 13 Shadows

[stextbox id=”info”]This is part of my series about my own ghostly encounters. I invite you to share your own stories as a guest blogger or in comments![/stextbox]

File:Man Shadow.jpg

Mankato, Minnesota is famed for doing whatever it can to isolate university students from the rest of the community and for the largest mass execution of American Indians in the United States.  There was no question even at the time it happened that the hanging was unjust, and no one cottons to the exact location of the hanging. Even I can’t suss it out, but I imagine with a dowsing rod I could pick it out fast enough. Somewhere on Riverfront drive, away from Reconciliation park, enough blood got let to keep the land awake forever.

I knew none of this when I transferred colleges, I just knew if I went with the “family plan” my parents made with neither my consultation or consent, I faced an arranged marriage or an arranged pregnancy, whatever they deemed best to force me to quit the whole higher education pursuit. Mankato crossed my path in a strange way, the price was right – cheaper than any school in Indiana, even with out of state tuition – and it appeared I could find means to support myself without needing a car.

So in the beginning of the summer of 1996, I persuaded an old friend to dump my ass in Minnesota, since I knew she fantasized about that even when we still called each other “friend.”

I had only started my Wiccan practice a few months before, and when it came to blocking out spirits or psychic input, I only knew the absolute basics. I had no understanding about how some see shields as strength contests, or why constant shielding could in fact endanger me. I also had no inkling about what lay half-awake and angry beneath the soil of Stadium Hill.

I first realized something was strange when I walked across the campus underneath the lights that lit my path from the library to the student union one summer night. The day had been hard: the campus was located pretty far from any grocery store, and in summer MSU only served the needs of its athletes. All other students taking classes were damned. I’d had to buttonhole someone in the financial aid office, and my first night walking home from work at a fast food restaurant, some guy tried unsuccessfully to force me into his car. The place scared me, but I wanted to get out in the air, especially as denying student air conditioning in the dorms was at that time not viewed as a human rights violation.

As I walked beneath the lights, I noticed that I cast shadows both backwards and forwards. It looked to me like I cast about 12-13 shadows.

The next night, I persuaded a friend to walk across campus to a coffee shop and took the same route. This time, I only cast two shadows – one for each angle of light. When my friend took her leave, I cast 12-13 shadows again. I asked another friend to watch his own shadow some time later. He experienced nothing like I did.

It was the damnedest thing.

It still happens sometimes, when I’m out walking alone. I’ll pass a  lone street light, and suddenly I’ll see three splits of shadow, from three different angles. Sometimes far more than that.

There is a scientific explanation for this , but not for up to the amount that I cast.

I never have figured out what causes it – but yes, since I do see dead people…