I have never been one to really enjoy a horror story or spooky movie from Hollywood. I was so sensitive as a child, I hid under the coffee table when the Wicked Witch appeared in the Wizard of Oz. But as I got older, I became more and more fascinated with real ghost stories. So in 1988, while on vacation with my family in York, England, when the opportunity came up to go on a historic ghost walk through out the town, I jumped on it. I was 18 years old and this was the first time my parents were letting me go off on my own on this vacation. The guides for the night’s festivities were real live ghost hunters themselves. I loved every minute of listening to the guides, walking through this history filled town, which dates back to the Romans, and learning some of the city’s 400 true ghost stories. I could tell you stories that would probably top many of the ones you heard around the campfire.
But that’s not where this story takes place. It takes place the next night in the historic Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh, Scotland. Almost from the time we entered the hotel, I felt as though someone was watching me and not just from a far, but always with in a few feet of me.
Due to a mix up in the reservations, my brother and I had our own hotel room. That night as we slept, I dreamed I was back in York visiting one of the haunted places with a few friends from back in the states. As one of my friends said, “I don’t believe in ghosts” an icy breath moved right through me, I saw a heavy mist move through my friends and as it quickly approached me, a face of demonic proportions was nose to nose with me. Now when I say demonic proportions, imagine the worst, most gruesome, vial, evil creature your brain can conjure and magnify it by one thousand. You will then have a minuscule idea of the terrifying presence I was in.
As it screamed a most hideous howl that shook every bone in my body, it grabbed me by the upper arms and pinned me. At that point I let out a scream that probably was heard two rooms away.
As I woke up, the chill remained through out my body and I was frozen in fear. I pleaded with my brother, who was awakened by my scream, to turn the light on.
Now you may think it was all just a bad dream and I would probably agree with you except for one thing; the pressure on my arms was still there. With my eyes still squeezed shut, I knew there was something in the room. The pressure slowly lifted as though something was slowly letting go and backing away. As I finally ventured to peer around the room, I saw nothing. But the sense of two spirits now filled the room.
One was the evil demon and the other I can only describe as my tall powerful guardian angel.
The way the room was set up, my brother and I had two twin beds and the door to the bathroom was a few feet from the end of the beds. The demon was standing, hunched over in the doorway with his sinister glare frozen in my direction. It was prevented from getting near me again by the angel. Again I saw nothing, but the overwhelming feeling of a heavy blade drawn from it’s sheath was now directly between me and the claws and teeth of the demonic spirit. I knew that the demon would not attack me again. The angel was standing guard over me.
As the next few minutes past, the presence of the two spirits faded, but I was still left in a state of fear.
Over the next four days, never again did the evil presence touch me, but it did continue to follow me as I walked the halls of the hotel. The only real place that the presence never ventured was in the dinning room and in my parent’s hotel room.
To add to my conviction that this was real and not some trick of the mind, as we were checking out, I stood next to my dad. I could feel the spirit very close to me and as my dad signed the credit card slip, I could feel the spirit turn and walk away.
There are numerous accounts and mentions in the Bible of both demons and angels. As terrifying as it was, I count it a blessing that God allowed me to be a witness to the battle taking place in the spirit realm. It is a battle over each one of us. This was not the last time I was a knowing participant in the battle between evil and God’s army. From time to time, I still feel the cold of the evil presence I felt that night. But I take comfort in the faith I have in God and the power I have through the Holy Spirit. One of the verses that I look to anytime I must look down the nose of one of the Devil’s own is 1 Peter 5:8-9 “Be alert and sober of mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, stand firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”