The following was sent by Cobra Reader Pär Smårs all the way from Sweden. This proves The Cobra’s Nose has a global reach and you all should show a bit more regard for my opinions. Now, here’s Pär!
Hi—I accidentally (if you believe in accidents) I found your site while I searched for information on a movie called The Innocents (article from vol. 33 of The Cobra’s Nose, ed.), and I thought I'd share some "ghost stories" from over here (Sweden).
The first one starts out when I was in my late teens, somewhere around 16 to 18 or something. Anyway, some friends and I were fooling around with what is known over here as "The Spirit in the Glass.” It resembles a Oujia Board, but you draw up circles on a piece of cardboard using the glass as a template and write the letters of the alphabet in the circles in random order. Then all participants put their right index finger on the bottom of the glass, and hopefully the glass starts moving around the circles, spelling out the answer. The one who asks the question should "warm" the glass up, first over a lit candle (the only light source in the room), then rub it between his hands so it gets roughly skin temperature, then he or she should whisper the question into the glass and put it bottom up on a neutral place on the cardboard and close his or her eyes. The other people will report back what the glass answered once it has finished moving around. When the spirit in the glass doesn't want to answer a question, the glass usually tips over.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, one of my friends told me during one of those "games" another mutual friend had asked the spirit when he was going to die. That, we had been told over and over again by other people, you should never ask! But of course he couldn't resist, but had asked the spirit. The answer he had gotten back was that he would die when he was 40 years old.
Four years ago, he hung himself in the attic. He had just turned 40! I find that quite a disturbing "coincidence".
This story is about my grandfather (who died back in 1980), the story was told by my mother about 20 years ago. In my grandfather's youth (around the late1920's) he used to be a logger. One day he was riding his motorcycle to the woods, the only means of transportation he owned back then. As he glanced onto a road going to the right he noticed an old woman walking along the road. As he had passed this road he started thinking what she was doing all alone in the woods. He hadn't seen anyone else, or heard any noises indicating that other loggers were out that day, so he turned around and went into that other road. There was no one there! He drove around quite a bit but never found that old woman. He stopped and listened and shouted for her, but still not a sound or movement from her. Apparently this was an area where lots of people once had lived in cottages in the woods. If the old woman was a ghost or not, well, your guess is as good as mine.
My grandfather was like that, he "saw" things. A friend of his who had just died in the hospital came and visited him that night. Apparently he didn't say anything, just stood by the door looking at my grandfather. My grandfather could tell the exact time his friend had passed away.
On my grandmother's side of the family, her father was the one who "saw" things like this. He had woken up one night by some sounds outside the window. Banging sounds from a hammer. He went outside only to find his wife's father sitting on the roof with a hammer in his hands driving nails into the boards. Upon asking why he was sitting there, he got the reply that the roof should be finished before winter. That night his wife's father had passed away around that time he sat on the roof.
The ability to see things like that has not been passed on to me. I don't know, should I say "unfortunately"?
Pär Smårs, Sweden.