My earliest experience with paranormal activity is also among my earliest memories. It's difficult for me to determine how old I was at the time, I just know that I was on the top bunk of a set of bunk beds in a room I shared with my brother, who is two years younger than me. I can only assume that I was about four years old, since my brother was in the lower bunk and not in a crib.
I first told this story on Some Other Sphere, in an episode entitled "Gorillas and ghostly gloves". Shortly thereafter I told it on Strange Familiars, and then it seemed to come up all the time- of the podcast appearances I've done, a fair percentage of them either contain this story or an allusion to it. I suppose this shouldn't be surprising, as the experience was formative for me- from an early age I was at least cognizant of a much stranger world with a broad array of possibilities than the average person may be. Be that as it may, in the interest of not boring people who listen to me talk and because I don't like repeating myself, here is the story in writing:
As stated above, I was in the top bunk of a bunk bed set in a small room I shared with my brother, in my childhood home. This room would later become the dreaded "Spare Room"- a room not really used for anything, from which poltergeist activity seemed to originate. Later still, it would become my brother's room. The house we lived in was built in 1779, and had an odd floor plan- and, one suspects, its share of ghosts.
One night I noticed a pair of luminous entities at the foot of my bed. Right off the bat, the difficulty inherent in describing a paranormal event presents itself here- having told the tale multiple times, I've found it exceedingly difficult to use precise enough language to accurately describe what these two lightforms were; when I used to tell it, I would describe them as "orbs"- but that has become something of a loaded term in paranormal investigation, and, since these lightforms weren't spherical, isn't quite right. On Some Other Sphere I described them as having the quality of gloved hands- which led some listeners to think I had literally seen animated gloves at the foot of my bed, which is not accurate either. Even describing them as a "Pair of luminous entities" has assumptions built into it, as I can't be sure it was two separate beings or one being that appeared as two points of light. So, bear with me as I try to accurately describe their appearance.
The pair of lightforms appeared at the foot of my bed, on a trajectory that suggested they had passed through the solid door to my parents' room and paused, hovering several feet in the air. The light emitted by them was pure white, although I don't think they illuminated much of their surroundings. They had no real shape; they appeared as amorphous blobs of plasma, in tandem, bobbing up and down slightly and occasionally dimming or becoming brighter. I was curious about them and felt no fear. I sat up and leaned forward, finding them more amusing and fascinating than scary. The two points of light suggested, in my toddler mind, a pair of hands gesticulating and moving, as though they belonged to an otherwise invisible person. Since the rest of the room was dark, and because these "hands" were white, my child brain associated them with the white gloves Mickey Mouse would wear- and of course, since he is mostly black otherwise, would be hard to see in the dark. It's important to distinguish this, at the risk of belaboring the point, but the lightforms did not look like gloves- but they had that impression on me, and I treated the whole affair as though the actual Mickey Mouse had visited me in the middle of the night to play.
These beings (or being) then asked me a series of questions. It sounded like a reverse echo kind of effect was on the voice, or voices. It almost sounded like two voices speaking in unison, or one voice with a weird reverberation to it. The questions themselves were very mundane: they asked "Who are you?" and I answered with my full first, middle, and last name. They asked where I was, and I told them at home. They asked where we were, and I gave them the street address of my childhood home. Then they asked why I was there. I stated "I live here. This is my room, this is where I sleep."
The declarative statement claiming ownership of the space had an immediate effect on the lightforms. It seemed to banish them; or perhaps, they had become satisfied with the answers they received. Either way, they very suddenly made a move toward the window and passed through the glass as though it wasn't there. I was alarmed and saddened to see them leave. I had felt like we had just begun playing a game, a game of questions, and it was my turn to ask- but instead, they abruptly turned and flew off. I think I managed to say "Wait! Don't go!" but at that moment things took a turn toward the weirder.
I saw myself in an upright sitting position on the bed losing consciousness and falling back onto the pillow, and from the vantage point I now had I was pulled out the window backwards and into the sky.
The next thing I was conscious of was balloons. Birthday balloons, a bunch of them. They parted to reveal my brother and I with party hats on and other kids inside a McDonald's. My mother was there, and there was a birthday cake. Very quickly I was pulled backwards again, and kind of like in a movie when a camera does a long, pulling-away shot, I saw the exterior of the restaurant and the plaza it was in. I recognized it as a small plaza in the town in which I grew up, although there was no McDonald's there.
I could have become a very different person, perhaps, if I had forgotten all about this stuff or decided it was merely a dream. None of the things that happened in that experience were verifiable. It happened when I was very young, and also, my memories of it could have changed over time. I'm certain if I did tell my parents back then, they would have assured me that it had just been a dream.
Years later, however, in the plaza from the dream they did build a McDonald's. It was one of those late 1980s McDonald's with the playground attached, with a ball pit and everything to excite a young kid of that era. My mother had a birthday party for my brother and I there (my brother and I share the same birthday, 2 years apart, which is kinda weird in itself.) - just like in the "dream". I could have written all of it off as a strange childhood dream experience, but the glimpse into future events, however small or mundane, gave me pause to consider that there was more to reality than simple material things, that time itself has peculiar qualities to it that defy expectation, and that just possibly those lightforms were some kind of intelligent being(s).
I spent much of my youth considering whatever was at the foot of my bed to be ghosts; at other times, I've thought perhaps they were Fae. I've also considered that they were ghost hunters, in the future, possibly now, speaking through a rift in time to me- who THEY perceive to be a ghost. All these years later and I'm possibly more confused than ever about what they were- or whether it matters.
I went on to experience quite a bit of poltergeist activity in that house, and what I've considered to be recurrent spontaneous psychokinesis (RSPK) throughout my life. My first forays into weirdness began then, in early childhood, with simple questions from an entity or entities that are anything but simple at the foot of my bed.
And now, I have a place to refer people to so I don't have to tell the story any more. Hooray!