I recently wrote an article involving my earliest recollection of fear in which I believe there to have been a demonic presence involved. Someone who read it commented on the fact that it didn’t really end; that it just sort of dropped off and left the reader hanging. Well, in answer to that, I knew when I posted it that it might get that sort of reaction. I have been working on an ongoing diary project and that particular article was just an excerpt from it. In this article I will pick up where I left off:
I was startled by a vision I’ll never forget for the rest of my life. It was before my third birthday, and the intensity of fear I experienced has stayed with me through the years and still affects me to this day. A bright, ivory colored glowing object appeared to float around in our yard and I would only see it at night, once it was dark. It was in the shape of a Chinese paper lantern, only several feet wider and taller. My father carried an assortment of those lanterns in his stores and when my mother would take me for a visit to one of the stores I used to see them hanging in clumps from the ceiling.
Demonic Presence or UFO?
Years later I would wonder if perhaps my mind may have transferred the image from my father’s store to our yard, causing me to think that I saw something I really did not see. I suppose I will never know. But what I do remember is that the particular image that I saw in our yard had a metal spike that protruded through the whole object, about six inches in length on both the top and the bottom. The object appeared to float along, balancing itself on this spike. Though my memory is of constant bombardment by this vision that seemed to hang around for months, I suppose it is very possible that I only saw it a few times. My parents never knew what I was so terrified of, and in fact assumed that I was just being cranky.
I have spent my life looking back on this era and trying to figure out exactly what it was that I saw. Recently I’ve been wondering if in fact it was a demonic presence or a UFO. In the late 1960s-1970s UFO sightings were everywhere. Our culture had started to become infatuated with the very concept of life outside of Planet Earth and people were fascinated with anything pertaining to alien beings. However, I have recently been researching the connection with Satan to the outerspace creatures and so-called “sightings” and wonder if perhaps there is a sinister trick of deception being played on mankind with the sole intention of pulling our trust away from God and distracting us from the reality of Him.
My mother recalls a warm summer night when she took me outside so that we could wait for my father to come home from work. She thought I’d enjoy the fresh air and the sound of crickets, but instead I fretted and fussed and started to cry, and she had no idea why. I knew that the object was close by but I couldn’t yet see it. And for some reason I said nothing to her, wondering how she could be so oblivious to my distress and wishing that she’d take action and protect me from the invasive monstrosity. When it finally approached us it was huge and bright and there were colored lights flashing all over it and it made a loud noise like an engine or a piece of machinery. Its shape had also changed and instead of looking like a life-size Chinese paper lantern it looked like a huge rectangular box. I cried and screamed, wishing for it to go away. But my mother saw or heard nothing. (Years later she described my distress as soft whimpering, though my memory is of intense wailing and screaming.)
There was another night during that same period of time when my father and I were sitting together reading books and browsing through his wholesale giftware catalogues. I used to love looking at the pages of dolls and figurines and pointing out my favorites, hoping that I’d see them on his store shelves one day. We were sitting on the spare bed in the small downstairs room that was used as a den. The bed leaned against the wall with a window and faced the doorway where my mother was standing and chatting with us as we read. I turned to my left to look out the window and was struck with anxiety. I spotted the Chinese lantern object floating in the near distance, holding still for a few moments at a time and then moving along again at a low speed. It glowed against the thick blackness of the night and I wanted so much for it to disappear. I felt as if I was being watched; my privacy and everything going on inside the cozy little room seemed as if it was being snatched out from under me. I wanted to say something to my parents and tell them how frightened I was. I wanted to show them the object outside and ask them to make it go away. But for some reason I had the sense that I wasn’t to speak about it. It was as if there was some sort of silent understanding between me and this yellowish-white vehicle; some sort of unspoken instruction that I was to keep quiet and pretend as if everything was normal.
Meanwhile, my father continued to read and point out pictures, naming each one and waiting for my input. I pretended to be absorbed in the fun but in reality I wasn’t enjoying it anymore and it troubled me that he continued to act as if nothing was wrong. I was confused as to whether either of my parents did think there was something wrong or if they were just trying to pretend there wasn’t. I ached with tension and felt completely and unequivocally alone.
From that point forward, there was a subtle alienation that grew between me and my parents. It wasn’t the kind of alienation brought about by a dysfunctional family structure or abusive behavior or anything even remotely connected to parent/child discord. In fact, I began to realize that they weren’t even aware there was anything strange or amiss. But in spite of the closeness that we shared on the surface, there was an invisible layer that separated two worlds of existence. I began to learn that I had more than one role to play; I had my parents to love and depend on and saw them as the two people in the world who loved me most. But I also had another role to play, and that one was more obscure, consisting and existing in and of itself. It was as if I was a part of something separate from all that was safe and familiar and incongruous with everything that was humming along in my parents’ world. It was as if I was living in two different realms of existence, functioning at full capacity in each and yet confused as to where my loyalties were supposed to lie. It was especially difficult when I was in the physical presence of my mother or father and yet fully aware that there was another presence lurking nearby.
Photo by: ShutterSparks