How it feels to encounter a ghost

A graphic features the words "How it feels" over the image of a ghostly silhouette of a person

Lucas Comfort recounts the time he was awaken by a ghost at the edge of his bed.

In his sophomore year of high school, Lucas Comfort, a University of Kansas senior from Salina, experienced something we usually only read about in books or see in movies. It felt like a nightmare, but it wasn’t. Here’s how it feels to encounter a ghost.

It was late at night when I started getting myself ready for bed. My mom was out of town for the week and I had the house to myself. It was something I was used to, but something about that night felt different.

I took my shirt off, removed my contacts and buried myself under my covers. I kept my windows open at night. There was always something calming about hearing the trees rustle and the wind blow. I slowly drifted off to sleep.

I woke abruptly to my window slamming shut. I checked my phone in a panic: 3:09 a.m..


My vision was blurry and I scrambled to find my glasses on my bedside table. The night was still.

“How could my window have shut on its own?” I thought. There was no wind and I was the only one home.

I ran downstairs to make sure all the doors were locked and sprinted back up the stairs. The window was open again. 

I have never been one to let my mind go to unreasonable places, but this was something I couldn’t wrap my brain around. I slammed the window shut, got back into bed and tried to convince myself it was just a sudden gust of wind. 

I woke again to the sound of my bed creaking. My bed always made noises while I tossed and turned in the night, so I didn’t think anything of it until I heard footsteps at the foot of my bed, followed by another creak. 

A shadowed woman figure sat at the edge of my bed. I was completely frozen and had chills running up my arms and spine. She turned her body slowly as if she took pleasure in revealing herself to me. 

She had long, gray hair with what looked like a dark hood. Her skin was fragile and wrinkled. Her eyes were dark and her smile was hard to make out. Her nose was prominent and witch-like.

I stared into her eyes for what seemed like hours. I was completely unable to speak or move. I was paralyzed with fear.

I blinked and within seconds I felt an unexplainable pressure on my chest. I was now face to face with the old woman. I felt her ice-cold hands pressing into my bare skin. Her eyes were black and her smile grew larger the harder she pressed. 

“This isn’t real” I repeated to myself.

“This isn’t real,”

“This isn’t real,”

“This isn’t real.”

It took everything inside of me to let out what I felt was a final breath, or scream. 

I felt an instant relief. My heart steadied and the weight in my room cleared. I shot out of bed and turned the lights on. I looked frantically around the room. It was as if nothing had happened. My room was completely undisturbed. My chest was unscathed. There were no hand marks or red imprints on my skin.

“Had it just been a bad dream?” I asked myself.

What I experienced felt so real and yet it was so unexplainable. 

I kept the lights on the remainder of the night.

The next thing I knew my alarm sounded and the light from my window lit up my bedroom. 

The window was open.

Guy 1: Is the black market even real? Has anyone ever been on it?

Guy 2: I tried once but I couldn’t figure out how to get on.

Guy 1: I stayed up until 2 am watching Disney plus

Guy 2: I told my girlfriend I fell asleep but I was actually watching the Mandalorian.

Girl 1: How long have you guys been dating?

Girl 2: Since the summer, well actually for like two years but it’s a long story.

Girl 1: Who are you looking for?

Girl 2: This guy, wait I found him. Fanny pack boy. He flipped off my professor after a test and ran out of the classroom.

Girl 1: How did you choose KU? 

Girl 2: Honestly, I flipped a coin. 

Boy 1: Did I tell you? I think I had a three some this weekend.

Boy 2: Woah, hold up. You think?

Boy 1: I was born a Phi Delt.

Boy 2: Please don’t ever say that again.

Girl 1: How do you get your boobs to look like that?

Girl 2: I don’t ever wear a bra? I don’t know. 

Girl 1: I just really want a guy to bend me over you know?

Girl 2: How do you know? You’re a virgin!

Guy: Sometimes I wish I could just be a dog and sleep all day. 

Girl: You wake up at like three every day. 

Guy: I know.

Girl: So…

Guy: So does that make me a dog or something?

Girl 1: I wish I was a little bit taller.

Girl 2: I wish I was balder.

Girl 1: I wish I had a...wait, wait, wait balder?

Guy 1: Let’s slap dicks

Guy 2: You ever pee and it feels like throwing up?

Woman 1: *holding baby* He would have been safer at the Hawk

Woman 2: Oh absolutely.

Girl 1: I would never date that guy.

Girl 2: Well, it depends how much money he has.

Girl 1: I’m going to the doctor to see if I have bronchitis before I hook up with him again.

Girl 2: Yeah that’s smart so you don’t give it to anyone else. 

Girl 1: No I mean I want to make sure I infect him.

Guy 1: I'm cutting some of my unnecessary costs, starting with Juuling.

Guy 2: Ight man, good luck.

Guy 1: Actually I might just start chewing

Guy 1: How was work?

Guy 2: My manager was chastising me for not dressing up in a Halloween costume, she doesn’t understand I’m strictly here to get paid.

Guy 1: I am so tired of this week, man

Guy 2: Dude it’s Monday

Guy 1: I know

Person#1: I want to be on the first ship to mars

Person#2: Not me, I doubt they have Wi-Fi

Perons#1: Yeah but at least they’re evolving up there. We’re all just devolving.

Girl 1: Um, I don’t eat pig.

Girl 2: You eat bacon all the time, bitch.

Guy 1: You better get going. 

Guy 2: Yeah, see ya. I’m off to get some Adderall.

Girl 1: Are you home right now?

Girl 2: Yeah, why?

Girl 1: I bought a cat

Girl 1: I just don't understand what fishing is for.

Girl 2: I don't know. Food, maybe?

Guy: I’m just gonna have to like carry an entire box of spiders up the hill tomorrow.

Girl: What?

Guy: Yeah, just like a hundred spiders in a box.

Guy 1: Sometimes ya just gotta give yourself a haircut.

Guy 2: Dude, you shaved half your head. That’s not a haircut, that’s a mess.

Girl 1: Can you eat fruit raw?

Girl 2: How else are you supposed to eat it?

Girl: That class is killing us. ​But they say rest is for the dead.

Guy: Well, at least we'll be rested.

Girl: She's not in class this semester

Guy: Maybe she's dead

Girl: Or studying abroad