The Mysterious Old Woman

Mysterious old woman
Photo: Creative RF / caracterdesign / Getty Images

A strange, elderly lady repeatedly appears to a young woman with life predictions, advice, and even warnings

WHO IS THE strange old woman who keeps appearing to Raven H., both in her dreams and in her waking life? Raven doesn't know her, doesn't know her name or where's she's from, has never really met her in any personal way. Yet this woman seems to know Raven intimately, giving her messages and warnings about future events.

Who is this mysterious woman and how is any of it possible?

THE FIRST PREDICTION

The encounters began in 1989 when Raven was 15 years old. She was eating a meal at a local fast food restaurant with her older sister, who was about seven months pregnant. They chatted about this and that, sometimes speculating on whether the baby would be a boy or a girl. Raven's sister could have found out from her doctor, but she wanted it to be a surprise.

The sisters finished their lunch, cleared their table, and headed out the door. Just outside, an elderly woman was walking past -- just another stranger whom neither of the girls knew. Raven happened to make eye contact with her when the woman glanced down and noticed the swollen abdomen of Raven's sister. Her eyes lit up.

"Oh, look at that!" the woman exclaimed. "You're having a little boy!" She touched Raven's arm and said, "You're going to have a beautiful nephew, young lady!"

Raven and her sister just smiled and nodded to the nice old woman and continued on their way down the street. Just a few steps away, Raven glanced back over her shoulder and the woman was nowhere to be seen. "Wow... creepy, huh?" her sister said.

It was a harmless little encounter, but the sisters were both startled by the woman's assumptions.

First, how did she know they were sisters? Okay, she might have noticed a family resemblance in this brief encounter; perhaps she was just very observant. But why would she assume that the baby would be a boy? Perhaps that was just a lucky guess; after all, she had a fifty-fifty chance of being right. Most people probably would have asked if it was going to be a boy or a girl, but this woman seemed to know. It turned out she was right. Two months later, Raven's sister gave birth to a boy -- a "beautiful nephew" for Raven.

THE SECOND ENCOUNTER

The incident was tucked away in Raven's mind as just one of those odd things that happen. Then, about five years later, Raven was surprised by another "chance" meeting with the woman.

Raven was attending a beauty school on the other side of town. "It was my first week on the floor," Raven says. "When you start beauty school, you spend months in the classroom learning, and then they put you out in the salon where you work on actual customers and where you are monitored by an instructor."

On this particular day, Raven was called to the front desk by the salon's receptionist. "You have a request," the receptionist said.

"Who could be asking for me?" Raven asked, puzzled.

"I just started working out here."

The receptionist gestured toward the customer waiting area. "She's over there and she asked for you by name."

Raven turned and looked. Her jaw dropped when she saw it was the same elderly woman from years back who predicted the outcome of her sister's pregnancy. Raven escorted the lady back to her station and sat her in the chair. At this point, because the woman asked for her by name, Raven began to wonder if maybe she should know who this woman was. Perhaps she was a friend of her mother's that she had met long ago and had forgotten. "I felt awkward," Raven says, "like I should know who she is. I waited and waited for her to clue me in, but she didn't."

Next page: Words of warning

As Raven was working on the woman's hair, the woman finally spoke up, blurting out a strange non-sequitur: "You need to use lard."

Raven stopped and looked at the woman in the mirror, confused.

"You know," the woman continued, "my late husband and I owned a bakery when we were young in Austria. When you make a pie crust, never use butter, use lard."

It was a strange thing to say, but it actually carried some meaning for Raven, and it made her nervous.

"Over that past weekend," she says, "I had attempted to make my first pie, and it was a disaster. The crust -- made with butter -- kept falling apart and the pie tasted horrible."

As Raven finished the woman's hair, there wasn't much more conversation. But when Raven took off the protective haircutter's cape, the woman leaned forward and said in a low voice, "Never pick at that blemish. It's going to leave a scar on your pretty face, young lady."

Raven was again taken aback. She had a tiny pimple under her lower lip, and she was amazed that the woman could even see it. "And yes, I picked at it and have had a scar for the past 20 years," Raven admits.

The old woman walked out of the salon, leaving Raven completely bewildered.

IMPORTANT ADVICE

Moving ahead another five years, Raven was now married and seven months pregnant with her own baby. As many pregnant women experience, Raven was having a good deal of back pain.

She had complained about it to her doctor, but he told her that it was just the weight of the baby and nothing to worry about.

Raven wasn't so sure. "The pain became unbearable over the following days," she says. "I didn't know what to do. My doctor seemed annoyed, like I was being a whining pregnant woman.

I didn't want to go back again."

One afternoon, Raven fell asleep on her couch and began to dream, and in that dream the elderly woman appeared. She looked at Raven and said, "You need help now! Go to the hospital!"

Raven bolted awake and called her husband, who took her to the emergency room. An examination revealed that Raven required immediate surgery. After the operation the next day, her surgeon told Raven that if she had waited much longer that she likely would have had permanent nerve damage and a leg brace for life.

Somehow, even in Raven's dreams now, the mysterious old woman knew.

ANOTHER WARNING

Raven's most recent encounter was at Easter time, 2012. Again, Raven had closed her eyes for a quick nap when the elderly lady once more appeared. "The girl is going to ruin it for herself after she hurts you," the woman said enigmatically.

Raven had no idea what the message could mean, but kept it in mind.

Raven was now working at a facility for junior offenses. While at work the next day, a young teen threw an object at Raven, resulting in a minor injury. The owners of the facility, however, transferred the girl to a very strict, no fun, juvenile detention facility. The girl would have had all the opportunities in the world had she just followed the rules.

Once again, the elderly woman's predictive warning came true.

WHO IS SHE?

Who is this mysterious woman and how and why does she seem committed to watching, advising, and even protecting Raven? "I am not sure if this elderly woman is some type of spirit guide," she says, "or just a lady's image that I keep stored in my mind, who comes in my dreams during difficult times throughout my life."

Why did the woman stop appearing in person but continue to advise Raven in her dreams? Did the old woman die, and Raven's dreams were the only way she could still make contact?

Could Raven's experiences merely be chalked up to coincidence? Or could the woman really be Raven's spirit guide? The ghost of some watchful ancestor? A psychic? A witch? Or could she even be Raven's future self, traveling back through time and space to help herself in time of need?

It will be interesting to know if she continues to appear to Raven.