Paranormal/Alien Encounters Chat Corner. ( ages>14-20+)

MysteryChicken

Free Ranging
May 31, 2018
5,508
9,913
511
East, Tawas Michigan
My mom has had some weird paranormal experiences at our old house. She told me about seeing shadows moving, a teddy bear getting moved to the middle of floor from the rocking chair she placed on. She told me about some other weird stuff, but I don't remember what they were.
 

Villainess

Songster
Apr 27, 2019
60
214
106
Indiana, USA
DISCLAIMER: Long story ahead so I cannot be held responsible for those that fall asleep.


I’ve had so many things happen to me, for so long, that the few people I’ve shared some of my “stories” with have said I should write a book about it all. Maybe one day I will, but for now I just share them occasionally.

Some backstory. Ever since I was a child I have been able to sense certain...energies or presences—what I’m told makes me clairsentient if one wants to put a label on it. I can be dead asleep and know the exact moment a living being enters my room or, conversely, I can enter a building or step foot on a piece of property and sense the presence of a lingering...transient being, if you will; maybe not the exact details of their passing, but I can pick up on some of the emotions that had been involved. But I digress. I would like to share with you the story of what my family simply called The House on Washington Street.

It was 1997 and my family was in the process of moving. I hadn’t been in the house yet, but from what my mom described, the new house sounded perfect, very spacious. Which was a big deal because when we first moved to Indiana we could only find small rentals (for a family of 6), and there was finally a chance I might get my own room!

Our dad was really sick (both a bad alcoholic and a diabetic, a lethal combo), which made it difficult for Mom to help with the packing when she was working full-time and trying to get Dad back and forth to the hospital and his doctors. So just as soon as I’d get home from school I watched my younger siblings while trying to pack up our things. My uncle would come over a couple of times throughout the day to check on us kids, and pick up those boxes we’d finished packing and could be taken to the new house.

Then the big day rolled around. The day was June 1, 1997. I was so excited to say goodbye to our previous cramped quarters and hello to extra rooms, another bathroom, a screened in porch, and more, that I could hardly contain myself. Mom had just dropped Dad off at the hospital—his diabetes had taken a sudden nosedive with us unable to get his blood glucose under control and Dad losing consciousness. She knew Dad would have wanted her to get us kids all settled in first before she drove back to the hospital for what Dad said was probably “nothing.”

My mom is in front of me, carrying my 6-year old baby brother so he didn’t have to climb the steps. Then there is me, holding a book like always, my 13 and 8-year old sisters behind me, holding hands and giggling in anticipation. My mom steps into the house, I begin to step in right behind her, and then it hits me just as I’m about to step over the threshold. It was a feeling like none I had ever experienced, nor have felt since. I felt immediately paralyzed where I stood, my breath frozen in my throat, and this sense of foreboding washed over me along with a whole slew of different emotions hitting me in rapid succession—an intense anger, resentment, a hatred so strong it was almost palpable, and great sadness. We’re talking of the highest degree, completely surrounding me, trying to get IN me, so strong and thick that I could swear it was something tangible, that I should have been able to reach out and touch it. I had never been so utterly terrified in my life. I was torn between wanting to cry, nearly peeing myself (and I have a strong, healthy bladder), and wanting to run and never look back. But I knew I was rooted to the spot, and that I would only be able to move once “It” was done with me.

I know it was probably just seconds, but it felt like I’d been standing there forever before it just...dissipated like it had never happened. The air seemed to clear, my ability to breathe returned to normal, I was able to move again, and when I looked up at Mom, who is inside and looking back at me, I know that I was the only one affected. I wish I could say I told my mom and we high-tailed it out of there where we lived happily ever after. But I was 15 and still living by my parent’s rules since I was under their roof, decent housing was a rare commodity, and my mom had her hands full enough with everything, so my choices were limited and I remained silent.

That first night, Mom had to rush to the hospital right before nightfall. Turns out, Dad’s “nothing” was really something, that he’d been hiding the fact that he’d been drinking again, and unbeknownst to us, he’d been slipping into a diabetic coma and his organs were shutting down. Mom was at the hospital for several hours, still gone by the time us kids were going to bed. My uncle stayed over to keep an eye on us while we slept until Mom could get back to us. I chose to sleep on the couch so I could talk with Mom when she got home, without waking the younger kids.

I couldn’t tell you how long I’d been asleep when I heard the front door open, the sound of Mom’s keys in the lock. I remember being asleep, but at the same time aware of this. I also remember hearing the telephone ring at the exact moment as I heard her keys hit the counter. And I think she knew. Despite being asleep and several rooms away, I knew. Mom stayed in the kitchen trying to gather herself, still not really believing it possible when she’d just seen him a half hour prior, trying to understand how she was going to tell her children that Daddy wasn’t coming home. My uncle came to me, bent to sit at my feet on the couch, reaching out for my shoulder to give it a shake, but before he made contact I sat straight up, already crying in my sleep. “Kiddo, I’ve got to talk to you,” he begins, and as I start shaking my head in denial I tell him I already know, but it can’t be true, there must be some mistake. I argued with him, talked over him, stuck my fingers in my ears and hummed to myself like I was a 5-year old and not 15, anything I could to prevent him from actually saying it, because once those words were spoken I’d have to accept the truth and there was no going back. That night, when I finally cried myself back to sleep, that was the only time I slept peacefully in that house. It might sound foolish, but I felt like my dad was there with us, watching over us and trying to comfort us that it would be okay. But for that night only.

We stayed in that house for 3, maybe 4 months, I think. At first it started as little things. Losing something or finding something where it shouldn’t be, those little things that make you think you’re losing your mind. I had a pair of sandals highly coveted by my sister that I had taken off in the parlor. I had no sooner went to the washing machine to put the clothes in the dryer, and by the time I’d made it back to the parlor, my sandals were gone. I questioned my sister, which she denied of course. I never did find the sandals.

My stuff coming up missing was almost a daily thing. As was the feeling of constantly being watched. That feeling...was just creepy. It was like I had no privacy, even when I was the only person in the whole house. When I got in the shower, I always had this feeling I’d pull back the shower curtain and there’d be someone there like some horror movie, but there never was. Just that persistent feeling of someone/something watching me.

There were times I’d wonder if “It” had a bit of a mischievous streak. I’d be getting ready for school, heading to the bathroom to brush my teeth, but when I’d get there, my toothbrush would be missing from it’s holder. Where was it? In the toilet. The first time, I thought maybe it was just me or maybe my sister messing with me, but when it kept happening, and at times no one else was home...well, I didn’t have an explanation. But buying new toothbrushes all the time got old pretty quickly.

There were a handful of times when I’d be tidying up the kitchen (Mom was pulling extra shifts and working another job to pay off Dad’s medical bills), wiping down the countertops and closing up all the cabinet doors so Mom could at least come home to a clean house. But when I’d leave the kitchen and return sometime later, the cabinet doors would all be open again. Every single one of them, standing wide open.

On nights I knew Mom would be working late, I’d put the chain on the front door and then Mom would give me a call to let me know she was heading home so I could keep an eye out for her to let her in. One such night I had been turning all the lights out for the night, turning on those night lights that led to the bathroom for the younger kids, when I hear this loud BOOM at the other end of the house. I rush back to the kitchen, thinking something fairly large or heavy had to have been knocked over. I enter the kitchen to find the front door standing wide open, the chain just dangling like the door had not been secured shut and a gust of wind had blown it open. The boom I’d heard was the sound of the door coming open and slamming into the wall behind it with such force it rammed the doorknob through the drywall.

There was one thing I will never forget, that I had gotten a chuckle out of in the beginning. I was sitting on the couch one quiet weekend morning, enjoying the solitude and a chance to finally read my book without interruption. While I’m reading the thought occurs to me that some string cheese sounded really good to snack on, so I put my book down on the arm of the couch, the book situated so that it was facedown and open to the page I was on to prevent me from losing my spot. I head to the kitchen, rummage through the fridge for a stick or two of string cheese, looking over the other contents of the fridge to get an idea of what I could make for dinner when the kids got home from Grandma’s, then I hurried back to the living room with my string cheese in tow; peace and quiet in our house was so rare that I wanted to take advantage of it.

I reach the couch, about to plop back down, but my book is gone. Maybe it slid off? I check the floor around the couch and nothing. Maybe it slid between the couch cushions? I felt in between the cushions, removed those I could to check every crevice I could, even flipping the couch forward away from the wall so I could check underneath on the floor and from the bottom side of the couch. Nothing. I retrace my steps back to the kitchen, thinking maybe I carried it with me without realizing it. No book. I checked INSIDE the refrigerator, knowing I can be absent-minded at times, like sticking the gallon of milk in the cabinet and the box of cereal in the fridge. No book. I looked for that book for over an hour. When my brother and sisters got back from Grandma’s, I asked my sisters to help in my search. I even interrogated the older of the two, knowing she was not home when it happened but at a complete loss on what else to do. By the bed time neared I gave up on searching for my book. I tried picking up the search again the next day but gave up soon after, knowing I should have found the book already if it was anywhere to be found. I was really disappointed because it was a book I had been eagerly waiting to read, and I was not even finished with the book before losing it! but I gave up on my search.

I think it was exactly 2 weeks to the day of losing my book when I walked into the living room and see my book sitting on the arm of the couch. Slowly, hesitantly, I reach for the book. I don’t know if I was afraid the book would bite me, or maybe grow legs and run away, but I was actually a little frightened by that book. I flip the book over....and it is on the exact page I’d left off at, like I had never lost it. I asked my sister if she knew anything about it, my Mom, but I stopped asking after the first time, afraid I’d sound like a crazy person and my Mom would want to commit me.

Before I get any further, I should mention Orange Juice, the family’s orange tabby that we’d had since he was a baby tiny ball of fluff. Orange Juice was an easygoing cat, the gentlest of cats I’d ever had. He’d let the younger kids throw him over their shoulders and carry him around, let my youngest sister dress him in doll clothes and push him around in a stroller, just about anything. I remember my brother picking OJ up by the tail and trying to carry him around, this before Andy knew the right way to pick up a cat, and that cat just let my brother carry him around like that, never making a sound or scratching to get away. We loved that cat and that cat loved us. Wherever one of us was, OJ had to be. If we went outside, he went outside. He would never leave our side, would never leave the yard, even when another cat would pass through. He didn’t particularly care for bath time, but on those occasions when he needed a bath, he would tolerate it without a fuss.

Taking OJ into the House on Washington Street was a whole different story. Before I could make it in the door holding OJ, OJ started one of those deep growls in the back of his throat (he must have felt what I felt in that same spot), his body so tense and tightly wound up that I was afraid if I let him go he’d be like one of those cartoon characters bouncing from wall to wall like a rubber bouncy ball. I carried OJ into the house and set him down inside the parlor. Instantly his back arched, his ears flattened, he started to alternate between the deep, primal growl and hissing with teeth bared, his claws extended from his paws like he was waiting for something to attack. I tried everything I could, from talking to him sweetly, to gently petting him, but nothing would settle him down. He paced a strip of floor about a foot long, on edge and pacing like a caged tiger in a zoo, but he would not leave that spot. I’d never seen him act like that before. I’d never been afraid that he’d hurt me, but the cat was so agitated that I really think if I had tried to pick him up, just touch him even, that he’d tear me to shreds. Sometime later, while trying to bring bags of groceries in the house, OJ darted out the door. We found out he had ran all the way back to the old house, despite there being a distance of at least 5 miles between the houses. We tried a couple more times to bring OJ over to the new house, but he wasn’t having it. He wouldn’t even stay outside. So we gave up on trying to re-locate him and he remained at the old house. For a while we drove out there daily to fed him, but then a nice couple moved into the old place and they adopted him.

Eventually, as time went on, things started getting worse. Stuff kept coming up missing more often, and some were things of great importance: my house keys, a gold and opal ring an aunt had given me several years before, my address book containing the numbers and addresses of all my family and friends in California. These were things I was never able to recover. It was like they vanished without a trace.

I’d enter rooms that I know had previously been cleaned up, only to find that room a mess. Our bedroom (my sisters and I ended up sharing a room, but it was a very large room) was usually kept very tidy, the beds being made really the only chore not always kept up. I had just made the beds, picked up a stray sock lurking under a bed, and was about to head out the door to drop them in the laundry area, when that feeling of being watched crept up on me. I glanced behind me to check that no one was there, even though I knew I was alone in the house....and all three beds were unmade. Not mussed up like they are first thing in the morning after a night of sleep, but like some violent force had come through and just whipped those blankets everywhere, the sheets completely pulled back to expose the bare mattress below, some pillows on the ground.

I had/have slight OCD-like proclivities when it comes to the organization and order of my belongings. I color-coordinated the clothes in my closet, organized my movies alphabetically, and my books (which I’ve always had a lot of), I arranged first by author, then by chronological order. One day I came home from school to find every other book on my bookshelves tipped forward. Another time I came home to find the clothes in my closet haphazardly hanging from hangers like someone was being lazy and just tossed each piece to see if any of them would make it on a hanger. There were clothes spilled on the floor in piles, and there was absolutely no sign that the clothes had ever been carefully color-coordinated in the first place. Another time I came home and found my collection of movies were still in alphabetical order, however, they were in REVERSE alphabetical order.

I started seeing something out of the corner of my eye. At first it was mostly at night, but then it started to happen during the day too. I would see it out of my peripheral vision, and it would remain right there, enough that I could see it still there, but the second I turned to look in that direction, it was gone.

I tried several times to get people to stay the night with me—friends, my boyfriends, cousins—to see if anything would happen that they could bear witness to, but “It” seemed to be on its best behavior. Mostly. My best friend Ryan would often report back to me that he’d feel like he was being watched, or he’d see movement out the corner of his eye that would turn out to be nothing when he looked. I think he only ever stayed the whole night in that house just once; the other times he went home because he started feeling unwell, or he had this feeling like he really needed to go back home.

My health started to decline. I suddenly become sick one day and remained sick, despite different medications the doctor prescribed. My sleep was so disturbed between nightmares and happenings in the night that I was not getting any sleep. The doctor ran a battery of tests on me, afraid maybe the constant fatigue, weakened immune system and the multitude of other symptoms was a sign I might have leukemia. The tests came back negative. In fact, the tests could find no discernible reason to explain what was happening to me. The only thing the doctor could suggest was maybe my mom needed to hire a professional in to check for mold spores somewhere in the house. I dropped to around 90 pounds from my usual 120, my previously toned physique from years of martial arts and sports reduced to skin and bones. I tried to eat but never seemed to have an appetite and pretty much had to force myself to eat. The lack of sleep and rapid decrease in weight caused dark bags under my eyes, dark rings around my eyes, my facial features so gaunt and pale I’d hear kids at school snickering about how I was starting to look like Jack Skellington from The Nightmare Before Christmas. I was constantly falling asleep in class, my grades dropping to the point my school teachers were asking if I needed to talk, or maybe I needed a tutor, SOMETHING, because I’d went from A/B honor roll to being on the verge of failing my freshmen year.

I was not the only one in my family to experience these things, but I do think I experienced the majority of it. My brother’s bedroom was situated between us girls’ bedroom, and the bathroom leading off from the master bedroom that Mom used. Andy absolutely refused to sleep in that room, would not even go in it. Months after we moved in, you could step in that room and still find boxes of his toys that were never unpacked after moving from the old house; he just didn’t care to have some of the toys that were his favorites if it meant going into that room. The door between Mom’s bathroom and his room was a tough one to open and close sometimes. The floor was warped right there, so when you opened the door you had to lift up on it and give it a good little tug to make it over the bulge in the floor, and to close it you had to lift up and put some hip into it so the door would actually latch shut. I’d hear creaking and go to investigate the source of the noise and find that door wide open. I stopped looking into that noise after I’d had it happen a couple of times and recognized the sound.

One night I sat straight up in bed, my mind trying to recall the details of the nightmare I had just had. I couldn’t remember all the details, but what stood out the most to me was that in this nightmare I went into Mom’s bathroom for whatever reason, and there sitting on the toilet, reading his newspaper, was Dad. Dad, who had never stepped foot in that house because he’d died several months prior. He had been in the process of telling me something I could neither hear nor understand at the moment I’d sat upright from the nightmare. I tried to think of other things for a few minutes and then attempted to get back to what little sleep I could. The following morning the details of that dream had become even more vague, but I felt like Dad had wanted to give me a message. What that message was, I don’t know. I head to the bathroom I usually use adjacent to the laundry room, but the bathroom is occupied and my sister has it locked. I just had to pee. I really didn’t want to start my school day peeing my pants, so I ran to use Mom’s bathroom because she’d just left for work a half hour earlier so I should be able to run straight in. I get to the bathroom...and freeze. There laying on the floor, to the right of the toilet like he had always left it when done doing his business, sat the local newspaper Dad was so fond of reading. A cold chill came over me. I didn’t know where the newspaper came from, as I called them myself to cancel the subscription right after Dad had died. I asked my mom later that night if she’d brought a newspaper home with her any time lately and she shook her head no, then asked why. I didn’t know how to explain it without sounding like I was completely off my rocker, so I just told her that I needed one for a school project, but could use one of my magazines instead.

The event that was the last straw came some few months later. I had stayed home from school sick while trying to work on a 10-page mythology assignment that was makeup homework from my last absence. I was sitting in the recliner in the living room, a folding table in front of me while I was drawing out a cover for the mythology assignment, when I suddenly have that feeling of being watched and I get this intense cold chill, simultaneously. The feeling of being watched is even stronger than usual, the cold chill not the kind where you’re struck by a drop in temperature and it makes you shiver, like if you were leaving a warm and cozy house to step outside on a cool and windy evening in fall. No, this was a cold chill that was a very eerie feeling, one even now I can’t adequately describe except to say it was very creepy, very intrusive, and it left me wanting a scolding hot shower like I’d touched something filthy.

I knew I had only so much time alone to work on my project before school was out and the younger kids came home, so I tried ignoring these weird feelings I kept having. I was finished with the drawing for my cover and I had brought the typewriter out to get started on the written part of my assignment, when I see movement out of the corner of my right eye. To my right is the bedroom us girls share. I look up and there is nothing to see. But it keeps happening; I’d get so much typed up and see something from the corner of my eye, I’d try ignoring it but it would keep happening until I’d finally look up to check, there’d be nothing to see for a brief time, then it’d repeat all over again.

I’m really getting into this assignment (a huge Greek mythology buff), focused more on the task at hand than I am my surroundings, when it feels like a set of icy fingers has grabbed the back of my neck. It lasted for only a few seconds before I feel a frigid gust of air come through, strong enough to blow my papers off the table, and then that coldness just settled there in the room. I stand up from the recliner and check the window directly behind it: the window appears closed, no movement to the drapes or any sign the window had been left open. I bend to pick up the papers that had blown to the floor, then think to glance up at the thermostat. As I’d expected, in spite of my living room now feeling like I was in a deep freezer, the thermostat read that the room temperature was 72 degrees F. I finish picking up my papers, blew out a breath, and I could see my breath just after I’d exhaled. I didn’t know what to do, so I did nothing. As of yet, nothing had happened too bad that I couldn’t handle, so I grabbed my fuzzy throw from off the couch, wrapped it around my shoulders, then sat back in the recliner to resume my homework.

The television in our bedroom comes on some time later. I look up at the TV, thinking my mind is playing tricks on me. Nope, the TV is indeed on. I feel around me in the cushions of the recliner, hoping maybe I had the remote and had just hit the power button by mistake. I feel around a few times and then the TV shuts off. I look over and my line of vision for stops at my bed, visible just in the door and to the right of the TV. There, resting on top of my nicely made bed, sat the remote to the TV. I stared at that remote for a good little while, my eyes start stinging with tears as I start to realize that whatever is happening is completely out of my control, and in the pit of my stomach I get this sinking feeling that whatever is in that house, whatever “It” is, it means me harm.

I wipe away the tears that have started collecting at my eyelids, check the clock on the wall to calculate how much time I had left until Mom was off work or the kids would be home from school, when I see it: movement from the corner of my eye. I hesitate looking over in that direction, expecting the figure to be gone, HOPING for it to be gone. “It” is still there. A handful of different prayers race through my head; Hail Marys, the Lord’s Prayer, some I don’t know how I remembered, that I had not spoken since I was a child attending Mass.

I should clarify that “It” was not standing right there in plain view for me to see. No, “It” was standing further into my room where I could not see “It” directly, just the reflection of “It” in the TV. I stared at the reflection of this dark figure, trying to rationalize what I was seeing, until “It” moved. “It” moved just enough to remain in the reflection of the TV, but in a way I felt it was taunting me as if to say, “yes, I’m really here.”

I couldn’t take it anymore. I raced to the door, quickly grabbed the doorknob to pull it shut, squinting my eyes so that I would not have to see “It” in there as I had briefly stepped into the room. With the door now shut, I paused, leaning with my back against the wall, taking deep breaths to clear my head—you know, like some of the horror movies when the person thinks the danger has passed and they foolishly let down their guard. I get my breathing under control, trying to come up with a game plan, and I hear the TV come on. Then it shut off. Then on again. Over and over and over it goes. My heart starts picking up again, my breathing now gasps like I’m on the verge of hyperventilating. Suddenly, it’s dead silent. And I knew that couldn’t be the end, this feeling of anticipation creeping up on me.

Just as I step away from the door, trying to work out in my head the exact route I was going to take to run out of the house and grab the cordless phone at the same time, the doorknob to the bedroom door starts turning. I’m terrified—like, deathly terrified—and that burst of adrenaline is all it took to light the fire under my behind. I raced across the living room, through the parlor, to the sound of something now BEATING on the door. I nearly skid across the linoleum floor of the kitchen, grab the cordless phone on the countertop, and I’m out the door.

I called my mom at work, crying. I couldn’t tell you all of what I said, just that we had to get the hell out of that house. Several times she had to ask me to repeat myself because she couldn’t understand what I was saying, I was that frantic. I remained on the corner of our block, just standing there at 10 in the morning in my pajamas, until my mom pulled up to get me. She just looked at me and knew something was not right. She knew I was mature for my age, honest with her to a fault, and definitely not one given to bouts of hysteria. And I was hysterical. If anyone else had seen me in that moment, huddled in a ball in the passenger seat, rocking myself to calm the flood of tears that just wouldn’t stop, they probably would have had me committed.

I stayed in my mom’s car from 10:15 that morning until she got off at 3:30 pm. When she got in the car with me after her shift, we drove straight to a hotel where she rented a room and had me stay, suggesting I try to sleep. Meanwhile, she went to the school to pick up my little brother, then headed over to the house to wait for my sisters to get off the school bus.

I don’t know how our belongings were ever collected or removed from that house, or by whom. I didn’t care. I just knew I was never stepping foot in that house again. And I didn’t. Mom was able to find us another place to rent soon after. Oh, yeah. A couple of weeks after leaving that house, I started feeling better. I started getting some color back, stopped feeling so tired and weak, and just all-around more like myself. Within a month I felt like I was back to normal, almost like none of it happened.

Years later, I heard from a coworker that a mutual friend of ours had moved into that house with his family. I asked some questions, curious if anything had happened to that family, knowing they were extremely religious. This coworker looks at me and says, “oh, you’re wondering if they’ve ever experienced anything in that house? Yes they have. Everyone that’s lived in that house has had SOMEthing happen, that’s why the Deans rent it out so cheap.” Apparently there had been several families that had lived there before us, but they didn’t stay long. Nor did those to live in the house after us. It’s been almost 22 years now since and I have never seen the same tenants in there beyond a few months. The house is a couple of blocks away from where Mom finally bought a house, so occasionally I’ll drive by. The vehicles parked at the house always change, the plants and outside decorations are updated every couple of months, but one thing remains the same: even just driving by that house, I still get that bad feeling, that sense of foreboding I felt on that first day. Maybe not as strong or as magnetizing, but it’s there all the same.

If you are still awake after this, I applaud your perseverance.
 

MysteryChicken

Free Ranging
May 31, 2018
5,508
9,913
511
East, Tawas Michigan
DISCLAIMER: Long story ahead so I cannot be held responsible for those that fall asleep.


I’ve had so many things happen to me, for so long, that the few people I’ve shared some of my “stories” with have said I should write a book about it all. Maybe one day I will, but for now I just share them occasionally.

Some backstory. Ever since I was a child I have been able to sense certain...energies or presences—what I’m told makes me clairsentient if one wants to put a label on it. I can be dead asleep and know the exact moment a living being enters my room or, conversely, I can enter a building or step foot on a piece of property and sense the presence of a lingering...transient being, if you will; maybe not the exact details of their passing, but I can pick up on some of the emotions that had been involved. But I digress. I would like to share with you the story of what my family simply called The House on Washington Street.

It was 1997 and my family was in the process of moving. I hadn’t been in the house yet, but from what my mom described, the new house sounded perfect, very spacious. Which was a big deal because when we first moved to Indiana we could only find small rentals (for a family of 6), and there was finally a chance I might get my own room!

Our dad was really sick (both a bad alcoholic and a diabetic, a lethal combo), which made it difficult for Mom to help with the packing when she was working full-time and trying to get Dad back and forth to the hospital and his doctors. So just as soon as I’d get home from school I watched my younger siblings while trying to pack up our things. My uncle would come over a couple of times throughout the day to check on us kids, and pick up those boxes we’d finished packing and could be taken to the new house.

Then the big day rolled around. The day was June 1, 1997. I was so excited to say goodbye to our previous cramped quarters and hello to extra rooms, another bathroom, a screened in porch, and more, that I could hardly contain myself. Mom had just dropped Dad off at the hospital—his diabetes had taken a sudden nosedive with us unable to get his blood glucose under control and Dad losing consciousness. She knew Dad would have wanted her to get us kids all settled in first before she drove back to the hospital for what Dad said was probably “nothing.”

My mom is in front of me, carrying my 6-year old baby brother so he didn’t have to climb the steps. Then there is me, holding a book like always, my 13 and 8-year old sisters behind me, holding hands and giggling in anticipation. My mom steps into the house, I begin to step in right behind her, and then it hits me just as I’m about to step over the threshold. It was a feeling like none I had ever experienced, nor have felt since. I felt immediately paralyzed where I stood, my breath frozen in my throat, and this sense of foreboding washed over me along with a whole slew of different emotions hitting me in rapid succession—an intense anger, resentment, a hatred so strong it was almost palpable, and great sadness. We’re talking of the highest degree, completely surrounding me, trying to get IN me, so strong and thick that I could swear it was something tangible, that I should have been able to reach out and touch it. I had never been so utterly terrified in my life. I was torn between wanting to cry, nearly peeing myself (and I have a strong, healthy bladder), and wanting to run and never look back. But I knew I was rooted to the spot, and that I would only be able to move once “It” was done with me.

I know it was probably just seconds, but it felt like I’d been standing there forever before it just...dissipated like it had never happened. The air seemed to clear, my ability to breathe returned to normal, I was able to move again, and when I looked up at Mom, who is inside and looking back at me, I know that I was the only one affected. I wish I could say I told my mom and we high-tailed it out of there where we lived happily ever after. But I was 15 and still living by my parent’s rules since I was under their roof, decent housing was a rare commodity, and my mom had her hands full enough with everything, so my choices were limited and I remained silent.

That first night, Mom had to rush to the hospital right before nightfall. Turns out, Dad’s “nothing” was really something, that he’d been hiding the fact that he’d been drinking again, and unbeknownst to us, he’d been slipping into a diabetic coma and his organs were shutting down. Mom was at the hospital for several hours, still gone by the time us kids were going to bed. My uncle stayed over to keep an eye on us while we slept until Mom could get back to us. I chose to sleep on the couch so I could talk with Mom when she got home, without waking the younger kids.

I couldn’t tell you how long I’d been asleep when I heard the front door open, the sound of Mom’s keys in the lock. I remember being asleep, but at the same time aware of this. I also remember hearing the telephone ring at the exact moment as I heard her keys hit the counter. And I think she knew. Despite being asleep and several rooms away, I knew. Mom stayed in the kitchen trying to gather herself, still not really believing it possible when she’d just seen him a half hour prior, trying to understand how she was going to tell her children that Daddy wasn’t coming home. My uncle came to me, bent to sit at my feet on the couch, reaching out for my shoulder to give it a shake, but before he made contact I sat straight up, already crying in my sleep. “Kiddo, I’ve got to talk to you,” he begins, and as I start shaking my head in denial I tell him I already know, but it can’t be true, there must be some mistake. I argued with him, talked over him, stuck my fingers in my ears and hummed to myself like I was a 5-year old and not 15, anything I could to prevent him from actually saying it, because once those words were spoken I’d have to accept the truth and there was no going back. That night, when I finally cried myself back to sleep, that was the only time I slept peacefully in that house. It might sound foolish, but I felt like my dad was there with us, watching over us and trying to comfort us that it would be okay. But for that night only.

We stayed in that house for 3, maybe 4 months, I think. At first it started as little things. Losing something or finding something where it shouldn’t be, those little things that make you think you’re losing your mind. I had a pair of sandals highly coveted by my sister that I had taken off in the parlor. I had no sooner went to the washing machine to put the clothes in the dryer, and by the time I’d made it back to the parlor, my sandals were gone. I questioned my sister, which she denied of course. I never did find the sandals.

My stuff coming up missing was almost a daily thing. As was the feeling of constantly being watched. That feeling...was just creepy. It was like I had no privacy, even when I was the only person in the whole house. When I got in the shower, I always had this feeling I’d pull back the shower curtain and there’d be someone there like some horror movie, but there never was. Just that persistent feeling of someone/something watching me.

There were times I’d wonder if “It” had a bit of a mischievous streak. I’d be getting ready for school, heading to the bathroom to brush my teeth, but when I’d get there, my toothbrush would be missing from it’s holder. Where was it? In the toilet. The first time, I thought maybe it was just me or maybe my sister messing with me, but when it kept happening, and at times no one else was home...well, I didn’t have an explanation. But buying new toothbrushes all the time got old pretty quickly.

There were a handful of times when I’d be tidying up the kitchen (Mom was pulling extra shifts and working another job to pay off Dad’s medical bills), wiping down the countertops and closing up all the cabinet doors so Mom could at least come home to a clean house. But when I’d leave the kitchen and return sometime later, the cabinet doors would all be open again. Every single one of them, standing wide open.

On nights I knew Mom would be working late, I’d put the chain on the front door and then Mom would give me a call to let me know she was heading home so I could keep an eye out for her to let her in. One such night I had been turning all the lights out for the night, turning on those night lights that led to the bathroom for the younger kids, when I hear this loud BOOM at the other end of the house. I rush back to the kitchen, thinking something fairly large or heavy had to have been knocked over. I enter the kitchen to find the front door standing wide open, the chain just dangling like the door had not been secured shut and a gust of wind had blown it open. The boom I’d heard was the sound of the door coming open and slamming into the wall behind it with such force it rammed the doorknob through the drywall.

There was one thing I will never forget, that I had gotten a chuckle out of in the beginning. I was sitting on the couch one quiet weekend morning, enjoying the solitude and a chance to finally read my book without interruption. While I’m reading the thought occurs to me that some string cheese sounded really good to snack on, so I put my book down on the arm of the couch, the book situated so that it was facedown and open to the page I was on to prevent me from losing my spot. I head to the kitchen, rummage through the fridge for a stick or two of string cheese, looking over the other contents of the fridge to get an idea of what I could make for dinner when the kids got home from Grandma’s, then I hurried back to the living room with my string cheese in tow; peace and quiet in our house was so rare that I wanted to take advantage of it.

I reach the couch, about to plop back down, but my book is gone. Maybe it slid off? I check the floor around the couch and nothing. Maybe it slid between the couch cushions? I felt in between the cushions, removed those I could to check every crevice I could, even flipping the couch forward away from the wall so I could check underneath on the floor and from the bottom side of the couch. Nothing. I retrace my steps back to the kitchen, thinking maybe I carried it with me without realizing it. No book. I checked INSIDE the refrigerator, knowing I can be absent-minded at times, like sticking the gallon of milk in the cabinet and the box of cereal in the fridge. No book. I looked for that book for over an hour. When my brother and sisters got back from Grandma’s, I asked my sisters to help in my search. I even interrogated the older of the two, knowing she was not home when it happened but at a complete loss on what else to do. By the bed time neared I gave up on searching for my book. I tried picking up the search again the next day but gave up soon after, knowing I should have found the book already if it was anywhere to be found. I was really disappointed because it was a book I had been eagerly waiting to read, and I was not even finished with the book before losing it! but I gave up on my search.

I think it was exactly 2 weeks to the day of losing my book when I walked into the living room and see my book sitting on the arm of the couch. Slowly, hesitantly, I reach for the book. I don’t know if I was afraid the book would bite me, or maybe grow legs and run away, but I was actually a little frightened by that book. I flip the book over....and it is on the exact page I’d left off at, like I had never lost it. I asked my sister if she knew anything about it, my Mom, but I stopped asking after the first time, afraid I’d sound like a crazy person and my Mom would want to commit me.

Before I get any further, I should mention Orange Juice, the family’s orange tabby that we’d had since he was a baby tiny ball of fluff. Orange Juice was an easygoing cat, the gentlest of cats I’d ever had. He’d let the younger kids throw him over their shoulders and carry him around, let my youngest sister dress him in doll clothes and push him around in a stroller, just about anything. I remember my brother picking OJ up by the tail and trying to carry him around, this before Andy knew the right way to pick up a cat, and that cat just let my brother carry him around like that, never making a sound or scratching to get away. We loved that cat and that cat loved us. Wherever one of us was, OJ had to be. If we went outside, he went outside. He would never leave our side, would never leave the yard, even when another cat would pass through. He didn’t particularly care for bath time, but on those occasions when he needed a bath, he would tolerate it without a fuss.

Taking OJ into the House on Washington Street was a whole different story. Before I could make it in the door holding OJ, OJ started one of those deep growls in the back of his throat (he must have felt what I felt in that same spot), his body so tense and tightly wound up that I was afraid if I let him go he’d be like one of those cartoon characters bouncing from wall to wall like a rubber bouncy ball. I carried OJ into the house and set him down inside the parlor. Instantly his back arched, his ears flattened, he started to alternate between the deep, primal growl and hissing with teeth bared, his claws extended from his paws like he was waiting for something to attack. I tried everything I could, from talking to him sweetly, to gently petting him, but nothing would settle him down. He paced a strip of floor about a foot long, on edge and pacing like a caged tiger in a zoo, but he would not leave that spot. I’d never seen him act like that before. I’d never been afraid that he’d hurt me, but the cat was so agitated that I really think if I had tried to pick him up, just touch him even, that he’d tear me to shreds. Sometime later, while trying to bring bags of groceries in the house, OJ darted out the door. We found out he had ran all the way back to the old house, despite there being a distance of at least 5 miles between the houses. We tried a couple more times to bring OJ over to the new house, but he wasn’t having it. He wouldn’t even stay outside. So we gave up on trying to re-locate him and he remained at the old house. For a while we drove out there daily to fed him, but then a nice couple moved into the old place and they adopted him.

Eventually, as time went on, things started getting worse. Stuff kept coming up missing more often, and some were things of great importance: my house keys, a gold and opal ring an aunt had given me several years before, my address book containing the numbers and addresses of all my family and friends in California. These were things I was never able to recover. It was like they vanished without a trace.

I’d enter rooms that I know had previously been cleaned up, only to find that room a mess. Our bedroom (my sisters and I ended up sharing a room, but it was a very large room) was usually kept very tidy, the beds being made really the only chore not always kept up. I had just made the beds, picked up a stray sock lurking under a bed, and was about to head out the door to drop them in the laundry area, when that feeling of being watched crept up on me. I glanced behind me to check that no one was there, even though I knew I was alone in the house....and all three beds were unmade. Not mussed up like they are first thing in the morning after a night of sleep, but like some violent force had come through and just whipped those blankets everywhere, the sheets completely pulled back to expose the bare mattress below, some pillows on the ground.

I had/have slight OCD-like proclivities when it comes to the organization and order of my belongings. I color-coordinated the clothes in my closet, organized my movies alphabetically, and my books (which I’ve always had a lot of), I arranged first by author, then by chronological order. One day I came home from school to find every other book on my bookshelves tipped forward. Another time I came home to find the clothes in my closet haphazardly hanging from hangers like someone was being lazy and just tossed each piece to see if any of them would make it on a hanger. There were clothes spilled on the floor in piles, and there was absolutely no sign that the clothes had ever been carefully color-coordinated in the first place. Another time I came home and found my collection of movies were still in alphabetical order, however, they were in REVERSE alphabetical order.

I started seeing something out of the corner of my eye. At first it was mostly at night, but then it started to happen during the day too. I would see it out of my peripheral vision, and it would remain right there, enough that I could see it still there, but the second I turned to look in that direction, it was gone.

I tried several times to get people to stay the night with me—friends, my boyfriends, cousins—to see if anything would happen that they could bear witness to, but “It” seemed to be on its best behavior. Mostly. My best friend Ryan would often report back to me that he’d feel like he was being watched, or he’d see movement out the corner of his eye that would turn out to be nothing when he looked. I think he only ever stayed the whole night in that house just once; the other times he went home because he started feeling unwell, or he had this feeling like he really needed to go back home.

My health started to decline. I suddenly become sick one day and remained sick, despite different medications the doctor prescribed. My sleep was so disturbed between nightmares and happenings in the night that I was not getting any sleep. The doctor ran a battery of tests on me, afraid maybe the constant fatigue, weakened immune system and the multitude of other symptoms was a sign I might have leukemia. The tests came back negative. In fact, the tests could find no discernible reason to explain what was happening to me. The only thing the doctor could suggest was maybe my mom needed to hire a professional in to check for mold spores somewhere in the house. I dropped to around 90 pounds from my usual 120, my previously toned physique from years of martial arts and sports reduced to skin and bones. I tried to eat but never seemed to have an appetite and pretty much had to force myself to eat. The lack of sleep and rapid decrease in weight caused dark bags under my eyes, dark rings around my eyes, my facial features so gaunt and pale I’d hear kids at school snickering about how I was starting to look like Jack Skellington from The Nightmare Before Christmas. I was constantly falling asleep in class, my grades dropping to the point my school teachers were asking if I needed to talk, or maybe I needed a tutor, SOMETHING, because I’d went from A/B honor roll to being on the verge of failing my freshmen year.

I was not the only one in my family to experience these things, but I do think I experienced the majority of it. My brother’s bedroom was situated between us girls’ bedroom, and the bathroom leading off from the master bedroom that Mom used. Andy absolutely refused to sleep in that room, would not even go in it. Months after we moved in, you could step in that room and still find boxes of his toys that were never unpacked after moving from the old house; he just didn’t care to have some of the toys that were his favorites if it meant going into that room. The door between Mom’s bathroom and his room was a tough one to open and close sometimes. The floor was warped right there, so when you opened the door you had to lift up on it and give it a good little tug to make it over the bulge in the floor, and to close it you had to lift up and put some hip into it so the door would actually latch shut. I’d hear creaking and go to investigate the source of the noise and find that door wide open. I stopped looking into that noise after I’d had it happen a couple of times and recognized the sound.

One night I sat straight up in bed, my mind trying to recall the details of the nightmare I had just had. I couldn’t remember all the details, but what stood out the most to me was that in this nightmare I went into Mom’s bathroom for whatever reason, and there sitting on the toilet, reading his newspaper, was Dad. Dad, who had never stepped foot in that house because he’d died several months prior. He had been in the process of telling me something I could neither hear nor understand at the moment I’d sat upright from the nightmare. I tried to think of other things for a few minutes and then attempted to get back to what little sleep I could. The following morning the details of that dream had become even more vague, but I felt like Dad had wanted to give me a message. What that message was, I don’t know. I head to the bathroom I usually use adjacent to the laundry room, but the bathroom is occupied and my sister has it locked. I just had to pee. I really didn’t want to start my school day peeing my pants, so I ran to use Mom’s bathroom because she’d just left for work a half hour earlier so I should be able to run straight in. I get to the bathroom...and freeze. There laying on the floor, to the right of the toilet like he had always left it when done doing his business, sat the local newspaper Dad was so fond of reading. A cold chill came over me. I didn’t know where the newspaper came from, as I called them myself to cancel the subscription right after Dad had died. I asked my mom later that night if she’d brought a newspaper home with her any time lately and she shook her head no, then asked why. I didn’t know how to explain it without sounding like I was completely off my rocker, so I just told her that I needed one for a school project, but could use one of my magazines instead.

The event that was the last straw came some few months later. I had stayed home from school sick while trying to work on a 10-page mythology assignment that was makeup homework from my last absence. I was sitting in the recliner in the living room, a folding table in front of me while I was drawing out a cover for the mythology assignment, when I suddenly have that feeling of being watched and I get this intense cold chill, simultaneously. The feeling of being watched is even stronger than usual, the cold chill not the kind where you’re struck by a drop in temperature and it makes you shiver, like if you were leaving a warm and cozy house to step outside on a cool and windy evening in fall. No, this was a cold chill that was a very eerie feeling, one even now I can’t adequately describe except to say it was very creepy, very intrusive, and it left me wanting a scolding hot shower like I’d touched something filthy.

I knew I had only so much time alone to work on my project before school was out and the younger kids came home, so I tried ignoring these weird feelings I kept having. I was finished with the drawing for my cover and I had brought the typewriter out to get started on the written part of my assignment, when I see movement out of the corner of my right eye. To my right is the bedroom us girls share. I look up and there is nothing to see. But it keeps happening; I’d get so much typed up and see something from the corner of my eye, I’d try ignoring it but it would keep happening until I’d finally look up to check, there’d be nothing to see for a brief time, then it’d repeat all over again.

I’m really getting into this assignment (a huge Greek mythology buff), focused more on the task at hand than I am my surroundings, when it feels like a set of icy fingers has grabbed the back of my neck. It lasted for only a few seconds before I feel a frigid gust of air come through, strong enough to blow my papers off the table, and then that coldness just settled there in the room. I stand up from the recliner and check the window directly behind it: the window appears closed, no movement to the drapes or any sign the window had been left open. I bend to pick up the papers that had blown to the floor, then think to glance up at the thermostat. As I’d expected, in spite of my living room now feeling like I was in a deep freezer, the thermostat read that the room temperature was 72 degrees F. I finish picking up my papers, blew out a breath, and I could see my breath just after I’d exhaled. I didn’t know what to do, so I did nothing. As of yet, nothing had happened too bad that I couldn’t handle, so I grabbed my fuzzy throw from off the couch, wrapped it around my shoulders, then sat back in the recliner to resume my homework.

The television in our bedroom comes on some time later. I look up at the TV, thinking my mind is playing tricks on me. Nope, the TV is indeed on. I feel around me in the cushions of the recliner, hoping maybe I had the remote and had just hit the power button by mistake. I feel around a few times and then the TV shuts off. I look over and my line of vision for stops at my bed, visible just in the door and to the right of the TV. There, resting on top of my nicely made bed, sat the remote to the TV. I stared at that remote for a good little while, my eyes start stinging with tears as I start to realize that whatever is happening is completely out of my control, and in the pit of my stomach I get this sinking feeling that whatever is in that house, whatever “It” is, it means me harm.

I wipe away the tears that have started collecting at my eyelids, check the clock on the wall to calculate how much time I had left until Mom was off work or the kids would be home from school, when I see it: movement from the corner of my eye. I hesitate looking over in that direction, expecting the figure to be gone, HOPING for it to be gone. “It” is still there. A handful of different prayers race through my head; Hail Marys, the Lord’s Prayer, some I don’t know how I remembered, that I had not spoken since I was a child attending Mass.

I should clarify that “It” was not standing right there in plain view for me to see. No, “It” was standing further into my room where I could not see “It” directly, just the reflection of “It” in the TV. I stared at the reflection of this dark figure, trying to rationalize what I was seeing, until “It” moved. “It” moved just enough to remain in the reflection of the TV, but in a way I felt it was taunting me as if to say, “yes, I’m really here.”

I couldn’t take it anymore. I raced to the door, quickly grabbed the doorknob to pull it shut, squinting my eyes so that I would not have to see “It” in there as I had briefly stepped into the room. With the door now shut, I paused, leaning with my back against the wall, taking deep breaths to clear my head—you know, like some of the horror movies when the person thinks the danger has passed and they foolishly let down their guard. I get my breathing under control, trying to come up with a game plan, and I hear the TV come on. Then it shut off. Then on again. Over and over and over it goes. My heart starts picking up again, my breathing now gasps like I’m on the verge of hyperventilating. Suddenly, it’s dead silent. And I knew that couldn’t be the end, this feeling of anticipation creeping up on me.

Just as I step away from the door, trying to work out in my head the exact route I was going to take to run out of the house and grab the cordless phone at the same time, the doorknob to the bedroom door starts turning. I’m terrified—like, deathly terrified—and that burst of adrenaline is all it took to light the fire under my behind. I raced across the living room, through the parlor, to the sound of something now BEATING on the door. I nearly skid across the linoleum floor of the kitchen, grab the cordless phone on the countertop, and I’m out the door.

I called my mom at work, crying. I couldn’t tell you all of what I said, just that we had to get the hell out of that house. Several times she had to ask me to repeat myself because she couldn’t understand what I was saying, I was that frantic. I remained on the corner of our block, just standing there at 10 in the morning in my pajamas, until my mom pulled up to get me. She just looked at me and knew something was not right. She knew I was mature for my age, honest with her to a fault, and definitely not one given to bouts of hysteria. And I was hysterical. If anyone else had seen me in that moment, huddled in a ball in the passenger seat, rocking myself to calm the flood of tears that just wouldn’t stop, they probably would have had me committed.

I stayed in my mom’s car from 10:15 that morning until she got off at 3:30 pm. When she got in the car with me after her shift, we drove straight to a hotel where she rented a room and had me stay, suggesting I try to sleep. Meanwhile, she went to the school to pick up my little brother, then headed over to the house to wait for my sisters to get off the school bus.

I don’t know how our belongings were ever collected or removed from that house, or by whom. I didn’t care. I just knew I was never stepping foot in that house again. And I didn’t. Mom was able to find us another place to rent soon after. Oh, yeah. A couple of weeks after leaving that house, I started feeling better. I started getting some color back, stopped feeling so tired and weak, and just all-around more like myself. Within a month I felt like I was back to normal, almost like none of it happened.

Years later, I heard from a coworker that a mutual friend of ours had moved into that house with his family. I asked some questions, curious if anything had happened to that family, knowing they were extremely religious. This coworker looks at me and says, “oh, you’re wondering if they’ve ever experienced anything in that house? Yes they have. Everyone that’s lived in that house has had SOMEthing happen, that’s why the Deans rent it out so cheap.” Apparently there had been several families that had lived there before us, but they didn’t stay long. Nor did those to live in the house after us. It’s been almost 22 years now since and I have never seen the same tenants in there beyond a few months. The house is a couple of blocks away from where Mom finally bought a house, so occasionally I’ll drive by. The vehicles parked at the house always change, the plants and outside decorations are updated every couple of months, but one thing remains the same: even just driving by that house, I still get that bad feeling, that sense of foreboding I felt on that first day. Maybe not as strong or as magnetizing, but it’s there all the same.

If you are still awake after this, I applaud your perseverance.
:th👍
 

gimmie birdies

Free Ranging
7 Years
Feb 12, 2013
8,127
5,637
502
Eastern WA
Great story. It would make a great teen short story as well. I could see it maybe in 17 around Halloween.

After reading your story, it reminded me how things would go missing in our house, and then re-appear later. We would always just say our ghost "Tom" did it, and then say "it will turn up" because it always does. And yes it usually turns up some place that you could not have missed. (Currently our "t" from the encyclopedia is missing. We don't even read those, but my husband knows it is gone. It will probably turn up in it's spot.) My husband can always sense when something goes missing then we have to tear the whole house apart looking for said item until we find it, then he will move to the next missing item, like "find the bike lock I had when I was 14."
 
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MysteryChicken

Free Ranging
May 31, 2018
5,508
9,913
511
East, Tawas Michigan
Our ghostly friend pulled a mean prank on our brother recently.

A week ago our brother had 4 dollars he put in his wallet. He went out to buy himself a couple drinks, but the money wasn't there. He came home raging, & accusing us of stealing his money. Well, he found it in his coat pocket today. We even watched him put the money in his wallet, so it ending up in his pocket is pretty strange, & interesting.
 

cluckmecoop7

Free Ranging
Jan 4, 2019
3,885
13,760
607
North East USA
Our ghostly friend pulled a mean prank on our brother recently.

A week ago our brother had 4 dollars he put in his wallet. He went out to buy himself a couple drinks, but the money wasn't there. He came home raging, & accusing us of stealing his money. Well, he found it in his coat pocket today. We even watched him put the money in his wallet, so it ending up in his pocket is pretty strange, & interesting.
That could easily have been him misplacing it. Why are you suspecting the ghost? (Sorry - not trying to be mean....)
 
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