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A Surprising Visit

    Years ago, I was sleeping at the home of a friend, in the historic Colonial harbor town of Marblehead, MA. On this night, I had a vivid dream.
    I dreamed that I woke up in the bed, where I was actually still lying on my back, asleep. In my dream, I heard some people outside the bedroom door, and I turned my head to see the door open, and admit a man who walked briskly toward the bed. As he strode towards me, I was aware of every detail of his clothes and person: the square shape of his face, his short bristly salt-and pepper beard, his strong frame in a loose blue sweatshirt and canvas pants, the clear impression that he was a seafaring man.
    In three steps he was at the bedside, leaning down with his face inclined towards mine, and I thought, "He's going to kiss me!" I recoiled, startling in the bed, and at that point he saw me clearly, and he recoiled backwards as well, straightening up with an astonished look on his face. In that moment with our eyes fixed on each other, my eyes flew open in reality, and I came abruptly awake.
    Now fully awake, I found that I was still looking at the man; his eyes were wide in dismay and confusion. I was thinking, "I'm awake. How can I still be looking at him?" I watched, unmoving, as his frozen image slowly faded away and disappeared.
    I lay in quiet amazement for a few more moments. My friend, in whose home I mentioned that I was sleeping, was in fact lying next to me in the bed; her name was Nancy. I turned over and looked at Nancy, assuming that she would also be wide awake at this point, since I had physically startled, and probably cried out "Hey!" just moments before. But she was sound asleep. So I didn't disturb her, and after awhile I fell back to sleep myself.
    The first thing next morning, I told Nancy about my experience. She listened to my description with grave attention, and she said, "That sounds like my Bestefar; [Norwegian for] my Grandfather. He passed away years ago, but he comes to check on me from time to time." I felt a little mortified as she told me this; we weren't married, and the man had not been pleased to see a stranger in his granddaughter's bed. "We have a family tradition that he comes to visit us now and then, to make sure I'm all right," she went on. "I would normally be sleeping on that side of the bed."
    Later, Nancy showed me a picture of her Bestefar. He was dressed exactly as I had seen him, he had the same square face, but no beard. "He grew a beard and wore it later in life, after this picture was taken," she told me. "He was a sailor all his life."

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  1. I'm sure he was shocked that his granddaughter had grown a substantial amount of facial hair! :)

  2. I had this curious experience throughout most of college, where I would be sleeping next to Mathew, and would wake up in the middle of the night to find someone else in bed next to me. The first time it happened was freshman year, and it was our friend Kenny. I freaked out, completely and utterly confused as to why Kenny was next to me instead of Mat. I stared and stared, unbelieving, but it was definitely Kenny, so I got out of bed and told Mat's roommate, in utter confusion and horror, what was going on. He told me, half asleep, that I should go check with Kenny's roommate, just to be sure (their room was next door). I knocked fervently on their door, still panicking, and Terence answered. I asked him if Kenny was there, and he stepped aside to show me his roommate's sleeping form. I went back and checked on the man in my bed once more, and this time is was Mat. Utterly embarrassed, I figured I must have just been having some sort of waking dream.
    This would have gone unremembered, except for that it continued to happen over and over again for the next three years. That first year it happened almost once a week, where I would wake up in bed and see another person there with me. It wasn't just that I was confused and thought Mat was someone else for a moment--I would stare, wide eyed at the person next to me, 100% certain that it was another of our friends (we had several dark haired friends, and it would switch between the three of them). The first few times, I had serious moments of panic, but if I held my gaze, eventually it would melt back into Mathew. After a couple years, though the instances became less frequent, I got moderately used to it, still having very brief moments of confusion and fear, but knowing that if I just kept looking, the vision would dissolve.
    Fortunately, the visions have stopped since we moved, perhaps because we live alone, or, in my opinion, more likley because our larger bed means I don't get woken up in the night by nocturnal rustlings.

    1. Very mystical; possibly you were seeing the doppelgängers of those others, materializing by induction during the vulnerability of sleep, as a result of unrequited attraction?


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