In 2001, I had an experience in Nanaimo I still can’t explain.
I was living with two roommates in an apartment in the Galloway Building, above a store on Terminal Ave (The Old Island Highway). With its claw-foot bathtubs, wooden floors, and high ceilings, best estimates are that it’s a 1920s building in the Heritage Registry.
One night, I woke up suddenly. I had no idea why. I noticed a green cloud hovering above me near the ceiling. It seemed to be emitting some sort of light, because I could see its colour in the dark.
As a child, I’d seen a green cloud-like presence in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan as well. The first time I remember seeing it, it looked as if it was beginning to form into the shape of a person. I ran away, terrified. Over the years, I would sometimes wake up to see it floating above my bed. I became less afraid of it over time as it would vanish as I woke up. I began to believe it was some kind of sleep hallucination. Even though I had other experiences over the years, I was leaning towards being more skeptical at this time.
I don’t think I’d seen the green cloud in a while, as I remember being entranced by it, but still not taking it very seriously. I slowly realized that my girlfriend at the time—who had been sleeping beside me—had also woken up. She seemed distressed, like she had had a nightmare. I asked her what was wrong. “Don’t you see that green cloud?” she said.
A shiver ran up and down my spine as I looked at the apparition. It hovered for several long moments before fading away, possibly moving through the wall. I’m sure I had never mentioned the cloud to her before. Her having identified it as green was especially surprising. I doubted we could both see the same thing if it was a sleep hallucination.
I never saw the green cloud again. I recently wrote and published a collection of ghost stories called The Haunting of Vancouver Island and shared this story in the introduction. I now call myself a Skeptical believer. I know people have these experiences because I have. But just don’t trust those who claim to know what they are.
I sometimes wonder what the cloud’s intention was. Did it just want to be acknowledged as being real? Maybe that’s why I never saw it again. Or was it a separate entity—coincidentally green—attached to the old Galloway Building? I’ll probably never know.
Submitted by Shanon S.