Part 1: Suspicious light

Written by Bert Plomp

The house where I spent my first four years of life was the building of the Salvation Army on Lange Nieuwstraat in Utrecht. That was during the time when my parents were still in active service with the army.
It was a large white building that bordered the Zuilenstraat on the corner.
Directly to the right, at the beginning of the Zuilenstraat, was the kindergarten I attended at the time. If I left the building through the front door and turned left towards the former orphanage at the end of the street, I had to take the second street on the left to visit my grandpa Plomp on Groenestraat. My grandfather lived there in an upper house, next to the former ice factory.
My father lived in that upper house during the Second World War. From there, he engaged in some resistance activities.
The building of the Salvation Army was the only place where I ever had my own room. During that time, I actually would have preferred to share my room with one of the others.
For a toddler, it wasn’t pleasant at all to spend the night in a dark room far away from everyone else.
Every night, my room was haunted. Over and over, I saw moving shadows and had the feeling that something was amiss under my bed. I had to leave my safe spot to check what was going on under my mattress. I simply couldn’t sleep otherwise.
Later, I discovered what caused these ghostly phenomena. Down on the street, public transportation buses were coming and going. Buses that spread beams of light over the houses and caused moving shadows in my room.
Many years later in Ireland, my wife would frequently complain about similar strange occurrences. They always happened when I was abroad.
At night, she would see inexplicable faint light waves floating through the bedroom. Similar to what you sometimes see with the Northern Lights.
When there is hardly any moonlight here on the Irish coast after sunset, it’s pitch dark. You really can’t see a thing.
That’s a pleasant circumstance if you come from an environment where there’s light day and night, where streetlights illuminate your sleeping quarters all night and disrupt your sleep.
However, that absolute darkness also fosters feelings of fear. If you’re a woman alone, confronted with strange floating light waves in your room in the middle of the night, your heart starts pounding a bit faster. Especially in a country that seems full of supernatural events.
When I listened to those experiences upon returning home, I always tried to reassure her. There must be a mundane explanation for it, I would say.
One night, when I had the same sensation, even I was taken aback for a moment. I immediately jumped out of bed and went out to the sea terrace to see where that light was coming from. I could just barely see a car turning the corner at the end of the coastal road.
Because this road first makes a sharp turn towards my house and then a slightly less sharp one away from the house, the car’s headlights briefly shone into the bedroom between the dunes.
During the day, this road is hardly used, let alone at night. For that reason, it was a rare occurrence of a light mystery.

Not too long ago, something similar happened again. Once again, it was pitch dark. I didn’t have an immediate explanation for what was happening. That did worry me a bit. In the darkness, I saw rapidly moving flashes of light in the bedroom. The light was coming in through a side window. From a side of the house shielded by a substantial dune. From a side where no light could normally penetrate the house. Unless someone was standing there with a lantern. Unless something supernatural was at play now.
With some reluctance, I stuck my head out of the side window above the bed. To see what misfortune was approaching the house this time. With my head out of the window and looking downward, I saw a rapidly blinking light spinning in circles, like a will-o’-the-wisp. I couldn’t believe my eyes and was seriously considering something metaphysical. Wandering souls of the deceased.
Once my eyes had adjusted to the darkness, I could clearly see who the wandering soul was.
It was the lively soul of Larry. Larry, the Cocker Spaniel of the neighbors, with a blinking collar around his neck. Apparently, he was looking for my border collies to play around with outside.


For all episodes, click on: Residential Comfort

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