A Halloween Story

My first night alone in my house was on Halloween night in 1995 and I felt a little uneasy being there by myself but not because it was Halloween, though I have to admit, the house had a strange vibe to it.  I wasn’t used to be alone at night and mostly I was afraid of our large picture window, which had no drapes for the first year because we couldn’t afford any.

I still remember hunching over and walking past that window quickly at night, fearing  some fiend would be looking at me with a pasty white face, red eyes and fangs. It was such a relief when we finally had curtains!

The house was built in the 1940s and I don’t know much history about the previous homeowners or what the land was used for before the house was built.  I think I’ll make a trip to the local history room at the public library and see what I can find.

What I do know is that the land once belonged to the family of a neighbor who has since passed away.  Her brother built the house and apparently they built the garage first and lived in it while building the rest of the house.  It’s just your typical ranch style home.  It  certainly isn’t an imposing piece of architecture.  However, as kooky as this sounds, I did sense something “dark” about the house after we bought it.

Still nothing out of the ordinary happened for the first 7 years of living there, that I noticed anyway. I was busy working, going to school, having babies and all that good stuff.  I’m not afraid of the house at all.

My daughter was the first one to notice the shadow creature.  We had just entered the front door one evening after visiting my parents and she stopped cold in her tracks.  She wouldn’t budge as I tried to get around her.  She was breathless as she told me she saw a short, hunched over creature that quickly walked from the spare bedroom, across the hallway and into the bathroom. I told her it was probably just our shadows or one of the dogs but she insisted it wasn’t.

After my son was born and the spare bedroom became his, I slept in it to make it easier to care for him in the middle of the night.  One night as I was lying down I saw a black hand come down towards my face. Then, just a few nights later, it happened again.  This time it was a dark figure looking over me. I got up and slept in the living room and left the baby in there.  I sound like a really bad mom, but waking up a sleeping newborn seemed much more risky and frightening at the time, and surely I was just imagining it all.

On other occasions I saw strange lights hovering by the bed.  Still, I attributed it to being a sleep-deprived mother.

Then last year my son, who was 6 at the time, told me he had been seeing the same things that I had seen in his room – a dark shadow near his bed and strange lights.  He also saw a hand come towards his face.  Having a speech disorder and not able to speak in full sentences till he was about 5 years old, he wasn’t able to tell me what he had been seeing for some time.  I told him it was probably just his imagination. I had never told anyone about my experiences so I was more than surprised when he described exactly what I had seen.

However, last summer our “ghost” became more intense and obvious.  We added on to our house and my son’s bedroom became the hallway into the new addition, and eventually will become a pantry, but before the new part of the house was opened up to the old part, I heard boards banging at night inside the addition.  They sounded like they were being dropped or scooted across the floor. I heard distinct footsteps just feet away from me, in what would be the new bathroom.  My dog jumped up and barked at the commotion.  This continued happening until the addition was opened up to the rest of the house.

Nobody could have been in the new addition because it was locked and window openings hadn’t even been made yet.  I’d go out in the morning and see if anything had been disturbed and nothing was ever out of place. Boards were still neatly stacked.  Tools were where they had been left.

After the construction was complete, my daughter and I were sitting in the new family room and we heard sounds coming from the new bathroom.  We thought it was our cat but when we saw that he was in the same room as us, we joked that it was probably the “ghost”.  Right after we said that, we heard footsteps walk from the bedroom across the dining room and the handle to the patio door moved.  We looked at each other in disbelief.

A few months ago I saw for the first time, what my daughter had described all those years before walking across that old bedroom.  It was black, short, hunched over and walked quickly across the room.

The black figure didn’t have a human quality to it.  I could make out some features: Two long straggly arms, an oddly shaped head and the ability to move very quickly. It blocked out the light from the other room as it walked past the door opening.  My dog saw it too and immediately began growling.

Occasionally she looks in that room, stares and growls. I don’t bother to turn around and look when she does that.  If something is looking back at me, I really don’t want to know.

I’m not afraid to be in that room and I’m still very skeptical of all the experiences but I was reminded of something not long ago. That bedroom had been decorated with posters with weird symbols on them when we first looked at the house.  I didn’t pay much attention to them.  I figured it was just some goofy phase teenagers go through, like when I wallpapered my bedroom with posters of Def Leppard and Ratt.

My husband told me that when he and his parents painted that bedroom before we moved in, they had found one of the posters still on the back of a door and it had the image of a satanic symbol.

I don’t know that I believe in all that demonic stuff but apparently it is possible according to religious council I’ve received.  I was kind of surprised when they didn’t laugh me out of the room when I told them about our experiences.  I told the stories in a joking manner but they seemed very concerned. They told me they’ve encountered this before and have had to get rid of these things from people’s homes.  “Really?” I thought.  Upon doing a little research, yeah it’s possible to invite Satan into your house, and I’m not just talking about your mother-in-law.

Still I feel really silly having a preacher come over and toss out a possible demon. What if it doesn’t want to leave, or worse yet becomes threatening?  None of us have ever felt threatened by it, whatever it is.  I don’t want my walls to begin oozing black sludge and find my children floating above their beds at night.  I just repainted everything.

My daughter doesn’t want to get rid of it because how many kids can say they have a ghost or demon in their house?  It’s become our status symbol, like a BMW in the driveway.  Maybe it’s a friendly ghost or it could just be the ghosts of all the houseplants I’ve killed over the years, but to be on the safe side, I think I’ll have the house blessed and prepare to repaint and tether the kids to their bed posts.

Happy Halloween everyone!