Location: Tacoma, Washington
Date of Encounter: September 1999
I was 13 years of age and had just started playing the clarinet in junior high band at this time. My grandpa was excited that I had begun studying music, and he gave me a C Melody tenor sax that had belonged to his mother, my great-grandmother.
These saxophones are rare. They don't make tenors in C-pitch anymore (with good reason, they sound terrible!). Of course, I was over the moon about this instrument. It was SO COOL to my 13-year-old self.
Every time I played with it, though, the smell of black licorice would fill the room. I found this to be odd but thought nothing of it. However, the feeling that I was not alone began to bother me. I felt as if I had invisible company in the room. I didn't feel watched, just that someone else was there.
I finally thought to ask my mom about the licorice smell. She smelled it, too. My mother informed me that my great-grandmother had always carried Black Jack Gum (licorice-flavored, very pungent) in her purse for the grandkids.
We talked more about this lady I had never met. I learned that she had been killed in a car accident about three miles from our home. I began to suspect that the presence I felt had to be hers.
One Saturday, my folks went out for a dinner-and-a-movie date. I was happy to have the house to myself and brought my clarinet and sax into the living room to practice in front of the TV (a bad habit I still have, except I am now a 26-year-old recording artist). The licorice smell permeated the room immediately. I started to get a little nervous and felt again that I was definitely not alone.
I turned the TV off and listened for any sounds evidencing a presence. I heard nothing, but a plant in the doorway of the living room began to quiver inexplicably. I watched it in fascinated horror. One of the leaves was pulled forward as though someone passing by was brushing it with their hip. As the "person" passed, the leaf then sprang back to its position and wobbled back and forth for a few seconds with the momentum!
I was absolutely terrified. So scared! I ran as fast as I could down to my grandparent's house and stayed there until my folks got home. I told them all about my experience, and they seemed skeptical but could not deny that something had happened.
This "haunting" only continued for a couple more months. I realized quickly that I had nothing to fear from the entity I assumed was my great-grandmother. I think she was just curious about me, her great-granddaughter. Nevertheless, she always scared me. I think when she left it was because she didn't want to keep terrifying me.