Was it a Ghost? A Sliver of a Very Early Memory.

After some investigation, I think I can confirm that I would have been about 3 years old at the time of this memory. I remember making a visit to what I now know was a college campus. I remember the older buildings that just scream “college”. I remember the mature trees. I remember the weather was nice. I’m almost sure I remember music, like from an instrumental ensemble or orchestra. Often when I hear the popular graduation tune, Pomp and Circumstance, I flash back to this memory, though this visit wasn’t for a graduation. I’m not sure why the song stands out. I suppose it could be bleed-through from another memory, or perhaps there really was a group there playing it. My mother and I were apparently taking an uncle of mine to his freshman orientation, and it would have been in the summer of 1981.


Now to the important part of this memory…

…or at least the part that stands out and has remained in my head since then. I remember being on the upper floor of a building, in a foyer or hallway next to a set of stairs going down. When I picture it now, I picture the walls being white and everything being very bright. But the highlight of this memory is the kind smile and wave of a woman who was not familiar to me, peaking around the corner in a doorway. I’m sure my mother was engaged in a conversation ahead of us, and this woman was behind us. Clearly I was really cute and drawing attention from the ladies. That’s it. That’s the memory. 


Why that moment?

Now why in the world would that be a memory that I remember and still replay in my head 32 years later? Oh sure, it’s easy to look back now and embellish the memory or make it into something it’s not. It’s easy to picture the woman surrounded by an amazing and beautiful white light, but did it really happen that way? And why that memory? Why that exact moment? I don’t have a ton of memories from that age.



Was it a ghost?

As you probably know, it is said that young children frequently see spirits, before society gradually teaches them that this is not acceptable. So was it a ghost? A family member who passed before I was born? Or was it just a random stranger who managed to find herself in a starring role in the cloudy memory of a toddler? I may never know… but whenever anyone asks me if I’ve seen a ghost, my memory takes me back to that day.


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About Patrick Keller

Patrick Keller is an educator, blogger, and the host of the Big Séance Podcast, which is a place for paranerds to have an open discussion on all things paranormal, but specifically topics like ghosts and hauntings, paranormal research, spirit communication, psychics and mediums, and life after death. He’s the founder of the now inactive Missouri Spirit Seekers and has spent a lot of time experimenting with spirit communication tools and techniques, such as EVP. Patrick also has a passion for spending hours at a time in cemeteries and loves cemetery photography. Visit BigSeance.com! View all posts by Patrick Keller

11 responses to “Was it a Ghost? A Sliver of a Very Early Memory.

  • Heather

    Perhaps you saw an angel. 🙂 Not a ghost, but a divine being. I would bet to say she still looks after you. I feel angels around me all the time. They walk behind me, next to me and above me. Sometimes their presence so strong I literally turn my head and glance over my shoulder. They are loving and protective. You may not be able to see your angels but can u still feel them? That’s a beautiful memory Patrick and yes, very real!

  • Stacey Smith

    When I was a small child, maybe 4, my mother used to watch after an older lady and visit with her from time to time. I went around the side of the house to play and down to the basement where I ran into an old man and I remember tons of canning jars. He was very nice to me and remember him making me laugh. Talking about the lady years later I mentioned how sweet her husband was. My mother told me her husband died before I was even born. I’m not sure why I remember that point in time so vividly or if it was her brother or someone else she knew. But it’s always stuck with me. Just wanted to share that I have one of those vivid memories from early childhood that always stuck with me.

  • Gary Leigh

    Generally, childhood memories tend to accurate. Especially when something is different than the norm.

    • Patrick Keller

      Yeah… but what about embellishments made unintentionally over the years? I tend to be a drama queen. 😉

      • Gary Leigh

        Compare it to your other memories. Where they embellished? If so, then chances are this one is, too. If not, then same.

        I had to do the same thing about remembering Wuthering Heights when it came out 4 or so years earlier then it actually did. Every other memory of music from those days is spot on. I can look something up I heard 40 years ago and it will be correct. Hence, there is no reason to suspect that it wasn’t correct at the time if everything else fits.

  • Annabelle

    Angels or ghosts, both supernatural and a mystery of the above and beyond of our earthly world; we will always be curious.
    On this note, I would like to share a tinny story with you.

    This morning , as I was sleeping in my room with the door shut, three long fingers pressed into the side of my hip. I turned around thinking my daughter was standing at the end of the bed trying to wake me up ….but no one was there. So spooked was I, that I quickly jumped out of my covers and walked out the room in a flash. When I went to go to the bathroom that is next to my room, I noticed Grace (our dog) sitting right in front of the bedroom door starring inside. She was so transfixed to something, as if in a hypnotic trance that even after upon calling her name numerous times , she didn’t acknowledge my voice and continued to look straight ahead into the vacant room. I’m not sure if what I just wrote was a dream or reality but I like to think the latter.Still spooked 👀

  • Stacey Smith

    I did! I think about that memory all the time and wonder who was in that basement on that day. You’re mind tries to make sense of it. The memory is so vivid…the fence was a wire fence that was rounded at the top with wired ornate details and the handmade windchimes clanging…things 4 year olds don’t normally remember.

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