The Eerily Inexplicable

So, a little while back I asked you about your personal “glitch in the Matrix” moments, which is really just another way to ask you about the really bizarre-o shit that’s happened to you. Stuff you just can’t explain.

I love that stuff. I don’t like the pre-fab ghost stories anymore, the old wraparound urban legends that cycle back — I like the stuff that actually happened. Stuff that weirds you the fuck out even still when you think about it. And, it’s Halloween, so it seems like a really cool time to get back into it.

Once again I ask:

What weird stuff has happened to you? From hauntings to Fortean encounters to straight-up uncategorizable spookiness. Share and scare, baby, share and scare.

46 comments

  • When I was 14, we lived in a two storey house in Colorado. I remember being awake until 2am, because I was a night owl and had difficulty falling asleep. That night, I was lying in bed with the light turned off and the hall door open to provide some light if I needed to get up again. My cat was asleep beside me, and I was waiting for unconsciousness to finally arrive.

    What did arrive, however, were footsteps coming toward my door. I squinted at my doorway, wondering if my brother was coming over to ask me for something, but there was no one in the hall or at my door. I just passed it off as funky house noises and flopped back in bed.

    Then the room got cold.

    I was laying there, trying to decide what to do next, when my cat scrambled off my bed and ran out the door and down the hall toward the stairs. By that time I was feeling rather miffed, as she was quite warm and I didn’t want to have to get up and put on some socks.

    While I was lazily considering the effort required to get out of bed and get some socks, I heard the footsteps again, and then my back and neck muscles started jumping and spasming wildly. This time, the sound made its way into my room and stopped in front of my old sofa. I was trying to decide if I was just too tired and hearing things, but when the sofa cushions let out a soft hiss like they did when I sat on it, I sat upright in bed and was staring really hard, trying to see what was going on. All the while, every hair on my body was standing at attention and I was really wishing my cat hadn’t buggered off so quickly.

    The final straw was the sound of a sheaf of papers on my sofa being flipped through. I hurled myself out of bed, ran toward the doorway and flipped on my bedroom light. There was no one in the room other than myself, and the entire time I had been watching my sofa, the bright light from the hall had been shining through my door. There was no way anyone could have walked in and plunked down on my sofa without the hall light shining directly on them.

    Needless to say, I spent the rest of the night in the living room.

  • This isn’t exactly a horror story. I’m not even sure what to make of it, but now that I’ve noticed it it’s kind of hard to get out of my head.

    So, bit of background. I go to a ragtag little community college on Kauai, the smallest and most rural island of Hawaii. I have two sets of classes going, a Monday-Wednesday-Friday and a Tuesday-Thursday. One of my Tuesday-Thursday classes, by happenstance, takes place in the same room as one of my Monday-Wednesday-Fridays.

    The room isn’t big. Like I said, this is a seriously tiny college, so it’s a little more “intimate” than your standard Oxford edu-stadium. There’s a few generic maps against the back wall, hall doors to starboard and windows to port, and four rows of blue plastic deskchairs facing the blackboard. People like to move chairs around for getting in groups or whatever so I usually see them in some form of disarray or another.

    But here’s the weird shit. On Mondays and Wednesdays, these chairs are all usual. But Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, there’s this extra chair in the room, usually shoved off to the side. Not just one extra added to the count, either–this chair is fucking distinctive.

    For one thing, it’s a dark, mossy green color instead of blue. One of the legs is bent, like somebody kicked it outward while sitting. And half of the back has been completely busted off–it’s sharp and jagged and the plastic has cracks in it all the way down to the seat. And it only shows up in that room for three days of the week, without fail. Daily.

    Nobody sits in it, obviously, you’d get impaled just leaning back in that thing. But nobody really seems to acknowledge it either, or really even give the thing a second look. There’s no reason it shouldn’t be thrown out, much less why someone out there goes to the trouble of dragging it in and out of the room twice a week, every week.

    Part of me wants to bring it up to someone, but the other part kind of wants to preserve the mystery, just for myself. So far that’s what I’ve stuck with. The truth is probably way more boring than the reality.

  • A couple of months ago, my brother and I where packing up our Dad’s house and my brother decided to flip on this old radio we found to see if it got any signal. He turned the volume knob and without touching the tuning knob it started playing 50’s music. The song was strong and clear with just a little crackle in the background to let you know it was coming over the radio. We listened to it for twenty, maybe thirty, seconds then he turned it off because it was weird. Not screaming and running naked into the forest weird but just a hot dog with chocolate sauce kind of unnatural weird. After exchanging chocolate hotdog glances he turned it back on just to see what would happen. It was playing some staticy latino music. We tuned up and down the dial a couple of times but never found a strong oldies station. It isn’t even an authentic old timey radio it’s one of those late 90’s nostalgia ripoffs wih a cassette deck crammed on the side. Every now and then I turned it back on just to see what will happen but i can’t recreate that whatever the hell it was.

  • Some years back I traveled to New York to see a show with a group of friends for my birthday. When we checked into the hotel I was given an envelope. Inside was a simple note “Meet me at Sardi’s at midnight”. There was no name and no indication who it was from but the envelope was clearly addressed to me.

    My immediate thought was that my boyfriend (now husband) had decided to surprise me for my birthday by arranging a meeting at the iconic watering hole. It was a relatively short drive to New York from Philadelphia so this wasn’t out of the question. Of course my girlfriends and I showed up at Sardi’s at midnight, anticipating a romantic surprise. Unfortunately the restaurant was closed for renovations – and had been for months.

    Confused, we grilled the desk clerk the following morning about the mystery letter. Was there perhaps another guest with my (not-so-common) name? The answer to that was no and it seems the letter had been logged into their system FOUR MONTHS prior to our arrival with instructions to give it to me upon check-in, noting the date I’d be arriving.

    What still gives me chills? We had only decided to come to New York three weeks earlier and because of a booking snafu had only booked rooms in that particular hotel the week before our arrival.

    I often wonder if the letter slipped through time and somewhere, in a parallel universe, two people who should have met, didn’t. (Okay – you come up with a better explanation!)

  • My super-cool cousin hunts ghosts in her spare time. I was asking her at a Christmas eve family party if she had any tales to share.
    She had gone round to see her friend’s sister because she swore that her new flat was haunted. It was in a converted Georgian town house. They were gathered round, eating dinner when they started hearing tapping from the window. A bit frightened, my cousin started recording on her phone to prove that there was a noise and they weren’t making it. The noise stopped and they replayed the video.
    In between the slatted blinds and the window was saw a bald man, but his face was indistinct. There was no one else in the flat, there was no way he could be standing behind the blinds, and no way he could have been outside, looking in. The flat was on the third floor.

  • I really have no idea if this was for real, or due to an over active imagination, but it still gives me a few chills now. From about age 7 to say, maybe 12, I had bunk beds in my bedroom. I was an only child, so the top bunk was always used to store stuffed animals and toys. Anyways, the way the bed sat in the corner of my bedroom, from the bottom bunk looking up, I could see about a 2″ sliver of the bottom of my bedroom window because of where the top bunk sat in front of it. At various times over these years, I would remember waking up in the middle of the night, looking up at that little sliver of my bedroom window, and see two large black eyes and the shadowy shape of a head staring down at me from the backyard. It wasn’t until many years later it would occur to me what I remember seeing quite accurately matched the description of what people now call the alien “greys”.

  • I like to scuba dive and on one trip to the Great Barrier Reef we had four days of diving planned. I’m from Florida so this was my first Pacific diving. I’m a very experienced, advanced diver, but this is the only time this has ever happened to me.
    First dive, I’m descending to depth waiting for my dive buddy and dive group. The water is a darker blue and the coral heads are massive. As I’m floating neutrally, a voice whispers in my head, “You can breath water. Just try it.” I shake my head. It doesn’t sound like my inner voiceover. I look around. The group is not near enough for me to touch anyone; I was on the outskirts. “You can breath down here. Try it.” I make a 360 turn, but I know it’s not a regulator between the teeth voice. “Come on, you can breath water. You did it before.” The voice is getting louder and I’m starting to panic. As the litany continues, I keep repeating to myself, “No you can’t, you need air, keep breathing air.”
    Finally my dive buddy signals me, “Ok?”
    I signal back OK and swim to her. I was in my 30’s at the time and not ashamed to say I held her hand until I felt relaxed. My dive buddy is my sister and she’s cool if I get scared. This was in 2002. Just last year I told her what happened and she got mad I didn’t tell her sooner.

  • In 2007, my family bought a house from a lovely lady whose husband had died the year before. They lived in the house for over 40 years. Every morning, while my husband and kids are still asleep, I put tea kettle on the stove for my coffee or tea. While waiting for it to boil, I go about my morning routine. Usually, I hear the kettle whistle and go down and turn off the heat. But, once in a while, I’ll notice that the kettle hasn’t whistled and go to the stove to check, and find that the water has boiled, the heat is turned off and the kettle is sitting on a different heating element. I always whisper a quick thanks to the husband of the former owner of the house.

  • My story isn’t really scary, just unexplainable.

    First, a little background: I live in a house built in 1881 that is in the middle of a historic district of other houses, churches, and other buildings of similar age. The house has survived many hurricanes, including the 1900 storm which killed an estimated 8,000 people on Galveston Island alone. Also, I know that the last owner scattered his wife’s ashes in the backyard. He’s passed on, too, and no doubt has a reason to stick around with his wife. So, of course, every night is a bit eerie and my wife is convinced the place is haunted. One night convinced me, too.

    It was late, and everyone else was in bed. It’s a big house, and they were on the other side of it, so there’s no mistaking that anybody else was involved here. I was sitting on the couch, watching television, stand-up comedy of some sort. Every night has the typical “I swear I heard or saw something” so I ignored it all at first. After a while, I heard a much louder noise in the kitchen that demanded my attention. We have mice now and then—another hazard of a 100-year-old house—so I went in to see what the little guy was getting into. “Better not be my new bag of candy,” I thought. The crazy part was next.

    I walked to my kitchen and my heart rate jumped—I don’t know why. I had goose bumps and chills, too. Then, when I stepped through the kitchen door, something hit me. It wasn’t physical pain nor was there anyone there to physically hit me. It was more like my entire body was just stopped. My vision blurred and I felt dizzy, putting my hand on the wall so I didn’t fall. It was the same feeling as when I was 11 and got punched in the face for the first time, just without any pain, as I said. I stood there for a moment, looking around with my blurred vision, but I saw nothing. There was no movement. Even with the blurriness, I could have seen the shape of someone if they had been there. I stumbled back to the couch and sat there, trying to figure it out.

    We bought the house from the estate of the last owner, who passed away a few years back. He was a published author, nobody I had heard of, but he was dedicated to writing. I could tell from the books and notes left behind from the estate sale. The funny thing is, aside from some pipe dreams as a kid, I never really considered being a writer until we moved there.

  • I’m fairly certain that somthing not normal was going on in the house I shared with my mom before I went to grad school. She saw someone in the living room she thought was me (called out to it and everything); something sat on her bed while she was in it; the motion-activated cat toys went off while under a cushion; my keys inexplicably fell of my dresser in the middle of the night. I’ve been wondering for YEARS what could’ve caused all that, barring a “haunting” or rip in the space-time continuum. Sounds like I’ve got a novel to write.

  • The only verifiable (by my logical brainparts) paranormal encounter I have had:
    1996- I was living in an old house in Eugene, OR. I had the whole basement as my room. Split into two parts, the main part of the room was a groovy 1960’s-style lounge with wet bar. Loved it! The other part was a massive space that had the washer/dryer, oil furnace, utility sink, sump pump, and my bed and clothes. Normally you’d think it would be damp, but the furnace kept it nice and warm and dry. But, because of the furnace going off and on, and the constant heating/cooling of the room, there was a lot of noise. I was used to it, easily tuned out the noises, and never thought much of it.
    UNTIL (bum bum BUM!) one night I was hanging in the lounge, reading, writing, chilling out. The house was empty except for my dogs (Chows. Big, hairy, gnashing teeth chows.) since roommates were at work. The furnace turned on and the loud whoosh of hot air, along with the rattling of the ducts, the creaking of the floor boards, the settling of the house, filled the lounge. Did I care? Nope, used to it. I kept reading/writing/chilling and eventually the furnace turned off. There was the usual cooling of the furnace and ducts that echoed about, but once again I didn’t pay attention. Then I heard what really sounded like footsteps upstairs in the bathroom. The bathroom was lined with old 1930’s tile, so an easy conclusion was settling of tiles. But the sound didn’t stop. It honestly sounded like someone was pacing in the bathroom. I admit I was a little wary at that point, but no one was home, so it had to be a result of the furnace, right? Except that the dogs both looked up at the ceiling, their eyes and ears alert to the sound. That spooked me a bit since chows are not known for bullshit. They are almost OCD when it comes to alertness. Then in a flurry of sound the footsteps walked from the bathroom into one of my roommates room then through that room and into the kitchen! Through the walls! AND MY DOGS FOLLOWED THE SOUNDS! Their heads tracked the movement and they both got up and went to the top of the stairs like they’d do when a roommate got home! Holy shit I almost pissed myself! Baseball bat in hand (because we all know ghosts are afraid of baseball bats) I ran upstairs and opened the door, letting the dogs rush into the main part of the house. That’s why I have chows! So they can take point when the boogeyman comes to get me! They hurried through the house then came trotting back to me and sat right by my legs, leaning hard. I called out, but there was no answer. I know no one was in the house or the dogs would have found them. I sucked it up and went room to room, turning on every light in the house. Nothing. All doors were locked, even deadbolted since we lived on a busy street. There was nothing to explain the footsteps. I finally went back down stairs, dogs right on my heels, and tried to go back to reading/writing/chilling. Only problem was the dogs wouldn’t stop staring at the ceiling. I joined them for the next two hours until the roommates got back. I caught hell for leaving the lights on, but after I told them about the dogs (THE DOGS!) both of them shut up quickly. They knew my chows well and both enjoyed the security of them in the house. The lights stayed on that night.

  • When I was a small child, I lived in an older house on a lot that was not very wide, but was very long and narrow. It backed up to a reservoir, and had a real, honest to goodness concrete bomb shelter in the yard (that my parents used as a wine cellar). Just after they’d moved into the house, my parents started getting woken up at 3:18 am. Every night. The cat would freak out, and they’d look at the clock – 3:18. It got to the point where they were afraid to look at the clock, because they KNEW IT WOULD BE 3:18. Then weird stuff started happening – like my dad would go down in the basement the next day and all his tools would have been taken off the pegboard on the wall and lined up in neat rows against the opposite wall of the basement. Or the cupboard doors in the kitchen would be all haphazard and open. So my dad, possibly having more courage than brains, went to bed one night in his clothes and waited for it. 3:18 he woke up, AGAIN, got out of bed, grabbed an old oar handle that he kept as a weapon, went down in the basement and yelled (at the dark) to get out of his house, it didn’t belong to him anymore.

    Nothing ever happened in the house again. My parents did some digging, and it turns out the previous owner of the house had been an old man with a passion for carpentry, and he had died in the house sometime overnight. Probably, we figure, at 3:18 am. The house had changed hands several times since then, but nobody had stayed for long.

    I am not sure if I regret that I was too little to remember this or not, but I do remember never feeling weird in that house. Just in the bomb shelter. That place was spider central.

    (A few years later there was a teenaged girl that was murdered at the reservoir back behind the property, and my dad was brought in and hypnotized to see if they could get any leads for the murder, because she wasn’t found until she’d been decomposing for 2 weeks and nobody remembered that afternoon very well. Turns out he’d seen the person they thought was the killer. That’s totally unrelated, but still pretty creepy.)

  • It was late at night, the kids were asleep and my husband was away on a business trip. I was happily writing in the living room, as usual. The scene I was working on was about a very old woman who dies in the arms of my protagonist. Since the WIP was new and I didn’t know the characters all that well yet, I cast in the role of the old woman my great-aunt Edith, who had passed away when she was 91.

    So I was writing away, hearing my great-aunt’s voice as I typed the dialogue, picturing her cropped white hair, her stooped posture. I even named the character “Edith” after her. All of a sudden, the lights flickered off and on, which was weird, because it was a calm evening — no storm or wind. We also live in newer house where there’s been no sign of faulty wiring or ghostly shenanigans.

    I kept writing this death scene. Again, the lights flickered off and on, and I felt goosebumps climb my arm. I said to my great-aunt, “You don’t want to be in my book, do you?”

    She didn’t answer, of course, but I changed the character’s name to Nora, and the lights never flickered again.

  • This isn’t horror, but it certainly makes me think.

    Back in high school, I went to a local hardware store with a friend of mine. Leaving the store’s parking lot you had two options on turning: to the left which brought you to a major intersection or to the right which took a more round-a-bout way to get back to civilization. I’d been to that hardware store a half dozen times before and I always turned left. That day I wasn’t quite paying attention and turned right. I didn’t know why and I didn’t realize it until it was too late to turn back around and go left.

    We found out the next day that there was a major accident at that intersection. We would have been caught in the middle of it at the exact moment of the accident had I turned left rather than right. It creeped both of us out and I still can’t explain why I turned right that day.

  • I lived in Glendale, Queens at the time on a dead-end block. On one end were the streets leading through and about town, and on the other was a tall cobblestone wall on the other side of which was the Mount Lebanon cemetery. Lovely view of tombstones and mausoleums while you’re in your bathroom taking a shit. Anyway, it was a late Saturday, a few friends of mine were hanging out at our favorite spot—the red-bricked stoop at the end of the block.

    It was close to 11:30 in the evening. We normally just shoot the shit, or play this made up game we came up with called ‘Line Ball’ where two teams throw and catch a ball (of any size) over the suspended wire, back and forth, over the top, if you drop the ball you’re out, if you hit the wire and it bounces back to you it’s the first of three letters spelling O-U-T.

    Danny wanted to play but everyone, Mike, Ismael and me were lazy and didn’t feel like doing shit. So, on the stoop we continued to sit while Danny played Line Ball by himself, trying to coerce us into joining by his ever so clever self-commentary that depicted him as the best player ever and the only player ever to be able to play the game alone, and us seat warmers as, well, pussies.

    He failed.

    The pussies were too busy talking about the new girl who lived up the block’s tits and which one of us wanted to bang her first. Secretly, I’d groped her already so, heh, I just knew who was winning that one.

    An hour later. Danny gave up on Line Ball and sat with us on the stoop. Ismael had already been called in (we gathered his mom had him on little-bitch-curfew). That’s when the lady showed up.

    First we heard a grainy, crackling sound which echoed on both sides of the street and then she appeared.

    She came from the streets side, walked right passed us, looking to no one. Mike pointed at her when she passed and mouthed: “Who?”

    I shrugged. Danny laughed.

    She was dressed in a dark red drab blouse, long brown skirt that lengthened to her ankles. Oily sienna skin, dark black hair tied in a loose gnarl, dark eyes, and behind her, gnashing and hissing at the sidewalk was a wooden chest. Only a few feet past from us and she started to breathe a bit more laboriously and set the chest down. It dropped with some weight. Afterward, she stood akimbo and eyed the dead-end side of the block. It was the more dark and shadowed end at night, especially since two of the street lights on that side had been out for weeks. We all exchanged looks with the ‘WTF’ face and then she sighed, lowered her head, groaned and turned back around. She grabbed the chest and proceeded to drag it back passed us, again, looking to none. That is until Danny with a smug look on his face said, “Um, are you looking for somebody, miss?”

    The lady stopped immediately, dropped the chest and looked at us on the stoop starting with Mike as if he were the one that spoke to her. Then she looked at me and then Danny and with a tight lipped smile and teeth small enough to be an 8-months-old, and an accent that sounded muddled and foreign. She said: “No, I not lost boy. But I need a spade.”

    “A spade?” said Mike.

    “Yes, a spade for the dirt.”

    I’d never heard the term before so I was a little lost thinking of playing cards. Why would you just want one and not just a whole deck? I thought. Apparently, I wasn’t playing with a full deck myself.

    Danny glanced at us, his smug grin starting to fade.

    “Do you have any a spade then?” the lady said to Danny, her eyes squinted at him. She seemed skeptical of his lie before he even told it.

    “No, sorry,” he answered. Then she glanced to Mike and I, we shrugged and shook our heads and apologized.

    She nodded, sighed then looked down at her chest. “But I may need help with this.”

    Danny crooked a finger in the air, “what’s in it?”

    The lady smiled wide and shook her head, chuckled even and said: “No, I need help because it’s heavy. Can you help me carry it back to the streets?”

    After a moment of silence where I’m sure the three of us were mentally linked wondering what was in the chest, Danny said: “Sure. No problem.”

    When he went to lift the other end of the chest he heaved it, something clunked and then he dropped it quick: “Holy fuck! What’s in that?!”

    The lady gasped, stared aghast at Danny. Then she frowned and sighed, saying: “Forget it, I’ll do it alone.”

    Danny was glaring. It was Mike’s turn to be an idiot and he said:

    “Oh God, fine, I’ll help you.”

    The lady bounced, immediately relieved. “So kind, thank you so much, young man.” She eyed Mike and then gave a look of diminishing admiration to Danny.

    I noticed when Mike lifted the chest his face immediately started going pink. The lady turned her back to us, knelt slightly to grasp the handle on her end and began pulling at the chest from behind. Danny and I followed them.

    We didn’t just walk down the single block but several. The lady never spoke a word. She just breathed heavily, wheezing, her steps timid at times and others more aggressive. Inside the chest something repeatedly bumped and then a few times more the chest listed between them, muted thuds were now taking on a syncopation. “Please, boy, try to move it not so much,” she eventually said through labored breaths. Mike would turn his head back to Danny and mouth: “Oh my fucking god, what the fuck is in this??”

    “Fucking drop it and lets go then!” Danny mouthed back. I agreed by nodding.

    We realized we were headed toward the northern most part of Glendale, leaving the streets and entering by where the houses faced away from Freshpond Road and the darkness mingled over an abandoned hump yard. The lamplight’s from the streets behind us were not more than a smattering of glares that left us edging into blindness. Our eyes couldn’t adjust to the shade accordingly. A chain link fence met us before we could go further, warning off trespassers from the tracks beyond.

    “Dude, I am about to fucking leave you with this bitch. I am not going in there.” I mouthed to Mike who nervously glanced back to the lady in fear she might have heard me.

    “Okay, that’s it” she said, and stopped moving.

    “We can stop here,” she said. She dropped the chest and Mike, all too relieved to get his arm back, complied. Then her hands went akimbo again and she stared out at the stultifying pitch on the other side of the fence like she was overlooking from a four-seasons balcony admiring the view. She took a deep breath in and sighed.

    When she turned around it was slow, cadent with fatigue. Her eyes were bloodshot and her face with a heavier patine of oil. “I will go the rest of the way.” She smiled, her baby sized teeth making another delightful appearance.

    “What way? There aint no way, that’s Freshpond Road. Aint nothin’ on Freshpond Road,” said Danny. I wanted to punch in him in the back of his head at this point. The lady chuckled in rasp.

    “I know what it is there,” she said.

    Mike was rubbing his shoulder and slowly moved back toward us.

    “Without a spade though, I am afraid I will have to dig with my hands but thank you, for helping me carry it, Mike. You can all go.”

    Then Mike: “Are you sure? It’s dark here.”

    She laughed again. “I’m fine, I will go inside there by some way.”

    She stood watching us then chin gestured toward the streets behind us, “Go, go, I be okay.”

    “Cool, later.” I was the first to turn away and start walking.
    “Okay, well, good luck, mam,” said Mike.

    Danny caught up with me, eventually, Mike too, all of us still under the trance of confusion. What the fuck did we just help somebody do? Mike turned around while midway across the block leading off Freshpond Road.

    “Welp, she’s not even fucking there now,” said Mike.

    No way, I thought, I quickly looked back.

    She really was gone. Gone without gnashes, no crackles resounding anywhere, nothing. Just a chain link fence protecting a yard no train ever crosses, warning off trespassers that never intrude and fogged in untrodden shadows.

    “That… is some freaky shit,” I said.

    “Yeah, and I kept feeling something like rolling around in that chest. It was heavy as fuck and kept sliding back and forth,” said Mike who seemed to grow paler the more he thought about it.

    The walk home was filled with quiet rumination. By the time we got to our block we all just wanted to go inside. After fist bumping we went our separate ways. Mike and I lived in the same apartment building. Danny lived in one of the houses closer to the dead-end wall.

    Once we entered our building hallway something crawled its way to the front of my mind. “Mike,” I said. He was already halfway up the stairs to the second floor when he stopped. “Whats up?”

    “Dude.”

    Mike’s head canted, “yeeah?”

    “When she thanked you, you know, for helping. I think she said your name.”

    Mike grimaced, “No, she did-“. His eyes widened.

    He remembered. “Holy… shit!”

    We never saw that lady again but I know we both went inside our homes that night hoping whoever she was that she’d forget ever seeing us. . .

    (the above is a true story, eerie and inexplicable! (: )

  • When I lived in St. Paul, one day my (now ex) wife and I were sitting in the living room when we heard a CRACK! come from the kitchen. We went out there to find that a water glass sitting on the kitchen table had simply broken in two where it sat. We returned to the living room and no more than ten minutes later heard another loud crack, and this time the first glass’ twin, sitting on the same table, had broken in two in much the same way. That was my one and only experience with poltergeists.

  • When I was a kid, until I was about 10, we lived in a little figure-8-shaped suburban development. Our neighbors to the right (facing our house) had a couple of young kids and in their yard, they had this ancient-looking playhouse. I have no idea now how old it actually was, but back then it seemed like a log cabin in the midst of all the brand new houses in the area. One day, the neighbors were away on vacation and I had a friend over playing in my backyard. We heard something coming from that neighbor’s yard, and as we started paying more attention to it and admitting to each other that we had heard it, it seemed to be getting louder. It sounded like someone moaning low and using only their vowels, all oo’s and ee’s, like a classic Halloween soundtrack. We dared each other to get incrementally closer to the playhouse, which we both agreed was the source of the sounds. When we got within about 30 feet, the sounds stopped, and were replaced by a single word that I remember as being not moaned but screamed at us: Billy. We ran like hell back into my house, up into my room and sat there for almost an hour. We referred to it many times later as we grew up, but never heard anything again. I don’t necessarily claim that the reality of the experience was paranormal – there are plenty of other explanations, including some older kids getting it on in the playhouse – but it’s probably the scariest moment from my fairly tame childhood.

  • I’m a lurker but had to post since I still freak out when I think about this. When I was in grad school, my boyfriend and I made a cross country drive from LA to Ottawa where a good friend of ours was in the hospital. Our friend was an Odawa elder, and when we spoke to him he said to take our time, that he was fine.

    We camped in the southwest and did a lot of hiking. We were at Arches National Park and this damnable crow followed us ALL day. No kidding, it followed us our entire hike, then, when we sat down for a picnic, it landed next to us. We joked about the thing trying to tell us something. I finally spoke to it, said “what are you trying to tell us pretty bird?” then I gave it half of our pb n j sandwich. It ate the sandwich then flew off.

    We found out the next day that our friend had passed away while we were at Arches. It wasn’t until we got to his memorial service that we found out that the Odawa believe that a human spirit lingers for a few days and appears to their loved ones as a bird. If we hadn’t both been there, I don’t think I would have believed it really happened. But we both experienced it – I mean seriously, I have spoken out loud to a bird exactly once in my life, and it was to that damn crow.

    It freaks me out because I am absolutely not religious and, if it wasn’t his “spirit” then what on earth happened there?

  • When I lived in the US, I dated a keyboard player in a band for a while. Before I started dating him, a friend of mine who lived as his roommate for a while told me about weird noises in his house, but I thought it was just the usual old house stuff. But when I spent some time there, I saw and heard some crazy things. The weirdest by far was once when we weren’t getting along that well. I used to have to drive about 40 miles to get to his house from where I lived. I tried calling him but he refused to pick up, so I drove over there to confront him. But when I got there, he wasn’t there. I had a key, so I let myself in to wait for him. He had a huge chocolate lab. The dog and I were in the living room watching TV. Suddenly, (and I’m totally not kidding), the room was permeated with the smell of urine. The dog went berserk, barking his head off. And then the window slammed shut. I could’ve calmed myself down if it was just the dog and the window. I could think of possible explanations for those. But a sudden pervasive urine smell out of nowhere? Um. Can you say Amityville Horror? I got up and went home, feeling jittery as hell. There were other incidents, including two little girls dressed identically in white dresses coming down the basement stairs while the band was down there practicing and then vanishing (I saw them with my own eyes), whistling coming out of the dryer, and the blinds opening and then closing while there was no one in the house. My former boyfriend still lives there. I suspect he may have gone crazy since we stopped dating.

  • Just last month, while my mother and I were in the kitchen talking, I looked out the window and went, “Hey look, a fox is out back.” Not unusual considering my grandfather’s yard is the hangout spot for assorted wildlife, but would be my first time seeing a fox.

    Mom goes, “That’s not a fox. It doesn’t have a bushy tail.”

    And it didn’t, true, but I hadn’t seen the curly, cat-like tail when I first saw it. And it did have a fox-like face, though the coloring was strange. According to my mother it made strange crying sounds to scare off an approaching cat.

    The agreement between me, my grandfather, and mother was it was no fox, but some inexplicable dog-cat-fox hybrid that reminded me vaguely of a hyena in the face. A creature neither us nor my sisters or friends had ever seen. Creepy because we live in suburbia.

    My Google search never turned anything up.

  • When I was eighteen, I worked at a nursing home doing the 3pm to 11pm shift. There were call buttons in all the rooms just like in a hospital, but most of the residents weren’t physically capable of using them. There were also nurse’s stations at the end of each wing. I actually enjoyed the job. The people I cared for were fascinating and had led such interesting lives. I just hated to see them in the home rarely getting visits from their families.

    One night one of the residents took ill. It was a woman that I really liked. We spent a lot of time talking. Technically, there wasn’t anything life-threatening wrong with her. She just wanted to die and shared the fact often with me. It was the first time that I realized someone could ‘will’ themselves to die. I’d read about such things, but I had never believed it possible until then.

    The other girls told me that when a resident was close to death that strange things happened in the nursing home. I figured they were just messing with me…but they weren’t.

    Around nine that night, we were doing rounds to check on all the residents. At the end of the hall were four rooms, which held four beds each. (The first of which housed my friend.) As we approached those rooms, we hit a wall of ice. It was so apparent that you could actually take a step back, extend your arm, and half your arm would be at room temperature and the other half would be frozen. We all looked at each other warily, but we had a job to do, so we finished rounds and returned to the nurse’s station, albeit a little quicker than normal.

    I don’t think we had been there for more than two minutes, when all the call buttons lit up. We figured it was a power surge because of the way they lit up. So we walked back down the hall, going room to room, turning off call buttons and checking on the residence (most were sound asleep). When we finished, we returned to the nurse’s station once more. The call buttons on the panel and in the rooms were all off. We’d barely been there thirty seconds, when the call buttons started randomly turning on like someone was moving from room to room. It wasn’t a power surge. This time it was ‘select’ rooms. The hair on my arms stood on end as I realized something else was happening. We phoned the other halls to ask if they were experiencing anything unusual. They weren’t. It was only occurring on our wing.

    As our shift came to a close, we had to do one more round of bed checks. This time when we reached the end of the hall, the temperature was back to normal. We finished our rounds and were about to leave for the night, when we received a call from one of the other wings. They said ‘it’ was over there now. Since we were off work, we all walked over to check it out. The lights were off to keep from disturbing the residents. Sure enough halfway down the hall, the temperature dropped. As we neared the end of their hall, one of the residents said, “Is there someone in my room?”

    I had just enough courage to take two more steps, so I could look inside her room. I saw ‘a gray mist’ hovering near her nightlight. At that point, my courage failed and I took off running. The girls who’d come with me had started running the second the woman asked the question, but somehow I managed to beat them all down the hall.

    The next afternoon I was back at work and began rounds with one of the other girls. We reached the end of the hall where the four rooms were located. When we entered one of the rooms on the left, a resident who wasn’t known for being coherent most days started to tell us about her husband coming to visit. She talked about him tickling her feet and her stomach. She even giggled while she was retelling the story. I told her that was wonderful and then happened to glance up at the girl I was working with. Her face had gone pale and she was slowly backing away from the bed. Confused, I asked her what was wrong. She told me that the woman’s husband had died ten years earlier and that there was no way he could’ve been there yesterday. I quit two weeks later.

  • When I was ten, my elderly great aunt passed away; she was single, childless, and it fell to my mum, her sisters, and a few of my cousins (and me) to clean the place.

    We were down in the basement sorting things. Mum looked at the wall where an antique clock hung; it was white porcelain with blue, a windmill and that on the face of it. Mum said, “Look, [her sister's name], isn’t that the clock that used to hang in Grandma’s kitchen?”

    The clock immediately started ticking.

    It was the kind you had to wind up and no one had touched it, no one bumped the other side of the wall behind it. Everyone was thoroughly spooked.

    Later, we were all upstairs. It was the end of the day and garbage bags were being carted about. I was alone at the back of the house, leaning against the back door facing the basement door, bored and waiting for everyone to finish stuff (and cursing the fact I didn’t bring a book).

    The basement door was closed with one of those sliding locks above the knob. The doorknob started twisting back and forth and shaking, like someone was on the other side of the door, then the lock began flicking up and down, everything rattling. No one spoke so I didn’t open it; instead I just stood there staring, frozen. It abruptly stopped then something thumped down the stairs–I heard it go all the way to the bottom.

    I started crying and my aunt came over. She unlocked and opened the basement door; I reluctantly followed her downstairs. There was absolutely nothing left down there. All people were accounted for, no sign that anything had dropped. And no one could really console me–despite (I am told by relatives to this day) being one of those kids who allegedly always “saw stuff” all the time, that freaked the hell out of me.

    Then Mum came, and we all stood in the kitchen; she and her sister got discussing it. My great grandparents both lived in the house until their deaths long, long before I was born. And apparently my great grandfather died after a fall down the stairs.

    No one could remember which staircase it was, but…uh, yeah, I’m going with “probably the basement one.”

  • One night my husband and I stopped in at the grocery store just to get a few things. As we were walking in, hand in hand, we both glanced off to the right towards the deli counter. There was a man there crouching down to select one of the rotisserie chickens that get left out after the deli closes. Just as we drew even with him he glanced up and a look of startled surprise crossed his face. My husband and I whipped our heads forward, grasped each others hand tighter and walked on until we could slip down a perpendicular aisle.

    The man had looked exactly like my husband. He wore the same style of clothing on his same shaped body. He had the same style of glasses perched on his same featured face. It was truly disturbing in the moment.

    Now we look back on it and laugh about the surprised look on his hot chicken doppelganger’s face, but I wonder if the look was not mirrored on his same looking face in that instant. Sometimes I think we should have stopped and talked to the man at the deli counter, but most of the time I believe we were right to walk on and deep down I’m glad we’ve never seen the same looking man again.

  • Waaay back in the 80’s when I was still a young teen I was supposed to go to a Metallica concert in Houston (about 50 miles away) with several of my girlfriends.
    The weather turned cold and rainy but not bad enough to keep us from going. It seemed like your normal SE Texas winter thunderstorm, which we were all pretty used to. We were all set to go when my friend’s mom, who was keeping watch over all of us girls for the weekend, started getting all hinky.
    “I have a bad feeling, seriously, something’s not right” She kept saying it over and over.
    We haggled with her for a while but she finally broke down and took all our tickets and the car keys.
    It must have been that mom instinct kicking in.
    We pouted, fussed over the (to our teenage minds) enormous amount of fast-food-job money we spent on those tickets and settled in for a boring evening watching the rain and MTV, bemoaning our fate of having missed one of the GREATEST BANDS EVAR.
    Later that night, mom came racing into the living room and switched over to the local news.
    The thunderstorm had turned into an ice storm. One of the worst in many years. It hadn’t been predicted, was just one of those weird weather things that happens.
    It caused a multi-car accident on one of the major overpasses going into Houston.
    Mom figured up the timeline and it showed that, had we left for the concert when we planned, we would all have been caught right in the middle of the wreckage.
    It was really bad. If I remember right there were deaths.
    It didn’t take long for everyone else’s parents (except for mine, they had no idea where I was. *naughty*) to start calling to check on us.
    Mom S did a lot of “Thank you Lord!”s before returning to her room to leave us wondering how she knew something really bad was going to happen.
    Must have been one of those “Mom knows everything moments.”

  • In high school, some buddies of mine and I were hanging out at our friend Blake’s house. Somewhere over the course of the evening, Blake’s dog got out of the house and nobody could find it. We split up into teams and canvased the neighborhood.

    Blake’s neighborhood backed up against an enormous field, one of those huge ones with electrical towers, transformers, and whatever else powers whole suburbs. After we had been through several streets, my friend David and I decided that we would search there. David was from farther away, so he was kind of allowing me to lead.

    At this point it’s getting late, and there aren’t even really cars passing by on the highway. Most of the lights in the houses around the field are off. We’re just about to call off our search, when we hear a voice.

    “David!”

    It’s a little girl, standing against the fence. She’s too far away to see her face, and the yard is dark, but we can see from the silhouette that it’s a little girl with long hair.

    David and I stop.

    “Do you know someone here?”

    “No,” David says, and he’s kind of freaked out.

    “David!”

    “Dude, just say something back. This is weird.”

    “Uh… hi.”

    The little girl is quiet for a while, and then, “Hi, David.”

    “Do I know you?”

    “The lights are out, David.”

    David and I exchange glances.

    “What do you mean?”

    “Bye, David.”

    She runs back into a house that is totally dark.

    David and I stopped looking for the dog and ran back to our friend’s house.

  • Back when I was 6, I lived in a home with six other kids. Very vividly I remember going into our 8 seater minivan with my salty french fries and grease-covered toy from McDonalds (because it is a known fact that the plastic packaging of McDonalds toys attracts grease like an old pervert to TLC’s Toddler and Tiaras). Later on we went to K.B. Toys, and I got an army set. There where kids adults and two adults in the car. Here’s the stange part.

    In my play my poorly manufactured tin army tank fell amongst my feet in the dark, gloomy car. As it was not yet dark, the car lights where not on. I attempted to reach down for my Tank, and a pale, white hand appears out of nowhere and hoists said tank onto my scared childish lap.

    Looking back on this I now know of people with skin that pale, but as a little 6 year old I hadn’t really met anybody that sickly. Nevertheless, I sat there paralyzed in my seat, while the hand began to tug on my foot, as if it where pulling me down, down, into the dark recesses of the minivan…

    Scared shitless, I peered down below the seat, expecting to find one of the kids pulling a fast one on me. The back seat was empty. And to my horror, both kids where sitting beside me, happily playing with their shiny new toys.

  • This isn’t really a horror story, but I was at a friend’s house earlier this year with a few others, catching up for the first time in about five years (we’d sort of drifted but had reconnected through Facebook etc), so I didn’t really know much about her life since the time I’d seen her last; I knew her father had passed away, but I didn’t know how or where. Everyone else was standing around the barbecue and I was just wandering aimlessly around the yard, waiting for the food to cook, but when I stepped over a particular patch of ground, right in front of a rose bush, I suddenly felt dizzy and nauseated, which wouldn’t be too strange on its own (I’ve had similar turns before), but I also had this almost overpowering sense of fear and dread. It was almost physically debilitating. I decided I’d just sit down til it passed, and the friend whose house it was came over and asked me what I was doing, so I told her that I wasn’t feeling well, that I was probably just being silly but I had a bad feeling about something, and then made some lame Obi Wan Kenobi joke. And she said, “This is where Dad died.” It turned out he’d been pruning that particular rose bush and had had a heart attack in front of it; my friend had run out to try to help him as soon as she saw him fall but he was already dead by the time he got to her.

  • I used to play in bands. One band I was in for a few years – they’d been around for quite some time before I joined them after their old drummer quit. I didn’t know this when I joined, but one of the other founding members of the band (they were all childhood friends) had died in a car accident. His name was Rory.

    We rehearsed in the top floor of Steve’s house, where he also had a small home studio set up and a ton of old amps and other gear lying around. One night we were practicing some songs for an album we were putting together and got tired of playing those songs over and over, so we just started jamming, messing around with whatever songs we all knew. They started playing one of their old songs from before I was in the band, and I followed along as best I could. When we stopped, the room was filled with this god-awful humming sound. We figured it was feedback or something, and everyone turned down and eventually shut off their amps to figure out the source. Finally, Steve realized an amp no one had been playing through was on with the volume cranked. He and Jacob (the bass player) gave each other a look, then Steve shut the amp off and unplugged it.

    We ran through our new songs once more then went to dinner. That’s when they told me that amp had been Rory’s. He wouldn’t play through any other amp, even though it made that hideous humming sound. It had actually been a long-standing joke between them when Rory was alive. Steve said he was pretty sure the amp hadn’t been plugged in before rehearsal, and none of us had touched it.

  • So, I don’t know if the neighborhood I grew up in was actually built on a proverbial “Indian burial ground,” but the name of the subdivision was Cherokee Forest and I had seen groups of people in Native American garb holding ceremonies around bonfires in the woods adjacent to the neighborhood. I don’t know if this had anything to do with the unexplained instances that occurred in houses up and down my street, but it’s an interesting fact, nonetheless.

    Every kid I knew in the neighborhood had a story. Lights flickering, doors closing, noises, dark shapes, you name it. But it wasn’t just the kids. The adults had all seen things, too, but they just didn’t talk about it as much. I know everyone in my family had had an experience in our house. Even my asshole stepfather, who not only lacked any type of imagination, but I also suspected had no soul, said he saw a dark, male figure in our living room one night.

    It was the kind of house where you never felt alone, even when you knew you were–which I was a lot as a kid. I never felt threatened, though. Never sensed that what was in the house wanted to do me harm. Others had, but not me.

    I was fourteen or so when I dropped one of my favorite earrings–a small, silver scarab–down the drain of my bathroom sink. I didn’t tell anyone. It wouldn’t have done any good. My stepfather would have just called me a clumsy idiot and I still wouldn’t have my earring, so I put the now single scarab in my jewelery box and went to school.

    I don’t remember exactly how much time passed, but it was long enough that I had forgotten all about that earring. Until I opened my jewelery box and saw both of them, two silver scarabs side by side in the little compartment reserved for them. It was a shock initially, but then I was overjoyed. I said, “Thank you,” to my empty room and put on the earrings.

  • My husband and I were having dinner at a famously haunted hotel. We had ordered two glasses of wine and the appetizer.

    A man’s hand set my glass in front of me, and I said, “Thank you, sir.”

    I turned my head while I was thanking, and saw only our waitress. True story. And that was only one of the weird things that happened that night.

  • Four:

    I had a poltergeist as a kid. Typical, troubled girl teen (very typical for poltergeists). None of the windows opened in our house. They were all painted shut. But wide open doors often slammed… most often the guest room where the dog would never go. I tried to drag him in once… he would. not. go.

    Light as a feather; stiff as a board. I’m sure I was in a trance. Ten or so at the time. Two kids lifted me with just their fingertips while another rubbed my temples and talked. I didn’t realize I was off the ground until my face hit the top of the tent. Then I moved and they dropped me.

    Talked to Satan on the Ouija board. Big conversation. he knew shit about each of us. The girl doing it with me was wide-eyed and pale. This was the middle of the day in the blazing sun, so no real creep factor, except we all *felt* it.

    Too many weird Tarot experiences to count.

  • Oh, and of course, I forgot! My brother and sister in law lived in a house in England. Not an old house, 70s, but quite nice and beautiful. The back yard was the darkest, scariest place I’d ever seen at night.

    Every night at sunset (it changed according to the season) the back doors rattled like someone grabbed the knob and shook them. They have it on film several times. The time I heard it I was in the kitchen and the dogs raced around back to see who was there.

    No one, of course.

  • I saw a UFO as a kid.

    August of 1997. My brothers and I were camping out in the backyard, and I had my head poking out of the tent so I could stargaze before going to sleep.

    That was when I noticed something that looked like a glowing orange cigar, almost directly overhead. Very distant and small, but there it was, going in circles, and it looked like there was fire trailing behind it. I ran into the house and got my parents, but with their eyesight being what it is, and the small size of the UFO, they couldn’t see anything. So, I went back to my tent, utterly spooked out and watching it for a total of about 10-12 minutes. There wasn’t much else I could do, so I went to sleep eventually, but was terrified of aliens landing and grabbing me out of my tent.

    Not saying it was aliens. Just saying I still can’t figure out what that was. Meteors and satellites don’t travel in tight little circles, and I don’t know any aircraft that could pull off that maneuver. For ten minutes.

  • For the most part, I don’t believe in these sorts of things. Oddly enough I use a lot of supernatural stuff in my writing and I don’t have any belief it exists.

    The only case I can think of was quite a few years ago. My room at my dad’s place had windows over the garage, looking at the street. It was just before Christmas, perhaps a week before. I went into my room to grab something and noticed that someone had written something on one of the windows, tracing their fingers over the condensation.

    It was in German. Neither myself, nor my dad, nor my younger brother could read or write German. My mom could; but she had never been to my bedroom at my dad’s place.

    I copied down the letters and looked them up later.

    It said “Merry Christmas.”

  • OMG, how could I possibly forget the most recent experience?!
    Cheyenne Zombie Fest, my12yo zombie & me~the zombie hunter (both of us in costume,LOL) We attended a panel discussion at the historic Atlas Theater as part of the festivities. She didn’t want to go because she thought it would be boring.
    NOT.
    Last panel of the day with Jonathon Maberry, Dr. Bob Curran, a lady from the CDC, two men from local state & federal law enforcement discussing how a “hypothetical” zombie apocalypse would be handled. It was all very professional.
    My girl & I had rushed out between discussions to grab hotdogs etc. & settled into the back of the theater at a table away from everyone. In fact, we were the only two in our section. Didn’t want to disturb anyone with our noisy slurping of sodas.
    We were far away enough from the wall that a person could have easily walked behind us. No one did, our section was brightly lit, the only door was clearly in view & I was between my girl and the door.
    What happened next surprised the hell out of both of us.
    Baby girl had a mouth full of food when she suddenly cried out and nearly spewed half chewed hot dog all over the table.
    “Thomeone thanked my thair!” she said. What she actually said (mom translation) was “Someone yanked my hair.” her eyes were huge.
    It took me a minute to calm her down, she went back to her food and for the moment it was forgotten.
    The Atlas Theater is rumored to be haunted. I had heard that but never paid no nevermind to the details. I wasn’t interested, I was just there for the zombies,LOL.
    Hours later I went back to the theater lobby to wait for my other two kids to arrive. Inside waiting for the theater to close up was a local ghost hunter group P.H.O.G. they were going to stay in the theater overnight for a ghost investigation.
    I told my girl to tell them what happened earlier in the theater. She was reluctant, but when they offered to let her listen to ghostly evidence they had collected at other places she agreed. Then she thought it was cool. Of course.
    They told us the theater was supposed to be haunted by a little boy and that he was probably the culprit for the hair yanking. He just wanted to play!
    She was excited about having had her very own ghostly encounter and was smiling for the rest of the night.
    Now how the hell am I going top that for next years zombie festival?! real zombies?

  • Over in Michigan I lived in an apartment with my fiance, this was right after her father passed away while in Arizona.

    She used to tell me all the time that her dad would send her a sign that everything was okay after he passed, but I didn’t really think much of it.

    Then the bells rang.

    I had two dogs. A beagle named King Bruce and an Alaskan Klee Kai named Katara. We used a set of bells hanging on the door that they would ring so we knew they had to go out. One evening, while we were cleaning out the apartment, the dogs were sleeping in the kitchen. I was in the hallway walking towards the living room, and chelsi was in the dining area cleaning off the table. That’s when the bells rang the first time. Now these things aren’t prone to ringing by themselves, it takes a bit of force to get them to ring.

    We both stopped and stared for a moment, I was smiling (you know that “what the fuck was that?” smile, yeah, that one.) and passed it off as an air current or something.

    Well, the day went on and her and I were watching TV, once again the dogs were sleeping (lazy beasts!) and this time the bells didn’t ring, but fell off the door. The bells were looped around the door knob, and couldn’t fall without someone actually pulling them off.

    We firmly believe that is was her dad saying a final good bye.

    R.I.P. Bear

  • One day walking home a few years ago, I noticed a man walking a few feet away from me. I looked over toward him, he was like a 3-D shadow in a duster and big-rim hat as I turned he faded into darkness.On that same street a few months later I saw another shadow dart across a street only to disappear in thin air before it reached the other side.

  • Where do I begin? I’ve had “eerily inexplicable” experiences (seeing and hearing things; *knowing* things I couldn’t possibly know) since I was a little girl, and they scared me so much that I did everything I could to block them out. That was up until a little over three years ago, when I set out on a life path that effectively ripped the lid off the box I’d created.

    This could easily be a novella, if not a whole novel, so I’ll highlight just two incidences:
    – I have a regular, unseen visitor (a guardian, of sorts) who is identifiable because of the aroma which announces her (I’ve decided it’s one on my grandmothers) presence: the yeasty smell of fresh-made bread. Sometimes she pops in at the odd, calm moment, but more often she shows up when I am upset or, most recently, scared shitless and alone. The scared shitless bit happened two weeks ago. I was home and alone. It was 8:30-ish at night. I was working on my laptop, and had the TV on low for background noise when I heard the sound of heavy footsteps on the cellar stairs. I thought, “Pfft. You’re hearing things.” Another footstep, and something sliding against the wall between me and the stairs, just behind me. “Holy shit.” I called 911. On the phone with the dispatcher, I heard – and described – the slow footsteps continuing up the stairs, approaching the door which opened to the kitchen beside me (I was in the dining room). I was afraid to move and make noise, and just as afraid to stay put, but had nowhere to go; no room I could lock myself in. The police arrived (silently and in multitudes; it was like a freaking movie, I swear). The dispatcher had instructed me not to move until she confirmed an officer was at the front door, then I was to move fast, let the officer in, and get out of the house. I did what she said, and pointed the officer (three others had surrounded the house) to the cellar door. He made sure I was outside, pulled his gun, yelled “Police!” and opened the door. No one was there. He ran downstairs, yelled “police” again, let another office in the closed and locked back door while the other two combed the backyard and two sheds. They went through the cellar: nothing. I asked them to check the bedrooms on the main floor, even though no one had come up out of the cellar. Nothing. They finally left after making sure I wasn’t going to have a heart attack. The moment they were out the door, the noises started again. I was freaked out. I used a straight-back chair to jam the door (works like a charm, by the way), and texted all my siblings, which helped to distract me a little. In the midst of the text-storm that followed, I smelled homemade bread and felt an icy chill along my right arm and back. The noises stopped. My “visitor” stayed with me all night long. I slept fitfully, and every time I woke up my bedroom smelled of fresh-baked bread. I said many a silent “thank you” that night, and took comfort in the unseen presence who kept watch over me.
    – I can see dead people. <–Notice there are no quotation marks? I don't (notice I didn't type "can't") see dead people in the sense of seeing someone like I would on the street. What I can do, and will only do at a very healthy distance when someone needs help with – um – *issues* in their homes/businesses, is see impressions of people who are no longer in human form. I make a lot of choices when I'm asked to do something of that nature, most of which involve assuaging the skeptical scaredy cat that I am. What I actually do is clear the space – including whatever grounds the building in question sits on – of anything that shouldn't be there *and is of a threatening nature.* (While I don't have a hankering to live with a haunting, the saying "ghosts were human, too" comes into play with this – um – gift of mine. If it's not dangerous, I won't make it clear out, but will still encourage it to do so.)
    The most recent service of this nature was provided to a family who live about 200 miles away from me. For the record, I've never been to their house and haven't even seen pictures of it. In fact, while I know what city they live in, I don't have their street address. Their eldest son, who is almost three years old, had been woken up by something in his room on two occasions, and he was terrified. When I scanned the house from my safe distance, I was able to "see" that it was three floors including the basement. I also saw immediately that there was something in the front left corner of the third floor that shouldn't be there; a dark "stain" spreading out from that corner across the two walls that formed it. I cleared the stain, and then noted a spirit on the first floor that wasn't a threat and also was choosing to stay. From there, I scanned the grounds from above and below (think of slicing open the earth and being able to look at all the layers under the grass). I saw a mass of some sort (a physical mass, non-threatening) beneath the left edge of the foundation, and another mass (again, physical and non-threatening) beneath the right rear corner of the property.
    When I was done, I emailed my report to the mother of the child. One of the questions I asked, because I had an inkling about it during the process of the clearing, was if there were any Indian burial grounds in the immediate vicinity. She responded the next day, saying that I had identified the exact location of her son's room (where I saw the stain). She went on to say that the former owner, an elderly farmer, had apparently used the back right corner of the property for burning things. The area is overgrown with grass and weeds now, and she said she would choose to leave it alone. She's not sure what could be buried below the foundation, and doesn't want to know. :-) Me either. Also, she isn't sure about Indian burial grounds close by, but said the area she lives in is rich with Native American history; the likelihood is high.
    I could go on and on (ha! as if I hadn't already).

  • I don’t have a story (well I have tons) but I have something else to contribute. This guy is not a quack, he’s a highly respected academic in the field of religious studies, approaching the field in ways no one else does. This book might be up everyone’s alley:

    http://www.amazon.com/Authors-Impossible-The-Paranormal-Sacred/dp/0226453863

    Authors of the Impossible: The Paranormal and the Sacred.
    If you like superheroes, read his Mutants and Mystics: Science Fiction, Superhero Comics and the Paranormal.
    He’s my favorite human with a creative project on this planet.
    You will not be disappointed.

  • I grew up in an old farm house that was near a strip of forest and a creek. The creek was secluded; a good hundred yards from my house. As kids, we would frequently play in the woods and at the creek. I was a bit of a loner as a child, and I would often spend my afternoons alone in that strip of woods. One summer day, while playing there, I came upon someone or something in the woods that even as an adult is hard to explain. I was seven at the time. I heard a rustle of leaves and tree limbs, and looking up into a giant maple tree, I saw a figure. It looked like a man, but not like any man I had seen before. He saw me and jumped down to the ground from a height of no less than twelve feet. I’ll describe him as best I can. His body was not natural, by any means. The only thing I can compare it to is that it looked like the body of the Tin Woodsman, like in the movie “The Wizard of OZ,” however there were no rivets or fasteners. Just a smooth, metallic cylinder for a torso which sprouted smooth cylindrical legs, with some type of jointed knees and ankles. His feet were metallic and cone shaped. That being strange enough, his head was completely human. Thin faced and black haired, the only way my child’s mind could comprehend it, is that he was a clown. His face was pure white, lips bright red. This humanoid thing had a joker-like grin and thick black brows. The eyes were dark. No real color to the irises that I remember. I was frozen in place out of shock and fear. He smiled what I “feel” he meant as a non-threatening smile and asked if I’d like some ice cream. He said something about being the “ice cream man”. I don’t remember his exact words. I stammered that I was not allowed to talk to strangers, and by sheer force of will, turned away from him and ran home as if the devil himself were after me!

    It was years before I would relate this experience to my mother (when I was thirteen). She said I must’ve imagined the event or it had been a nightmare. I know that’s not the case. I did have reaccuring nightmares about the incident, and did until about ten years ago. It will probabably revisit me tonight. I still get the chills when I think about it. What could it have possibly been?

    I never did go into that woods again, and to my relief, we moved a year later.

  • When I was eighteen years old I moved away from my family to be with my girlfriend. It wasn’t easy. We were both young, trying to keep steady jobs all while I finished high school and started college. For many years the two of us shuffled from apartment complex to apartment complex, always on the lookout for something just a little more affordable.

    One thing about constantly looking for a place to lay your head, you cultivate a sympathy for other homeless people. I couldn’t tell you the number of down-and-outers we let live with us over the years, charging a share of rent only if they could afford to help us pay.

    There was a time, I guess when I was about nineteen or twenty, when we were living in a townhouse near the middle of town. It was affordable in large part because the whole complex was, in a polite term, “dated.” The exact location was something of property value detriment as well, as it was set directly behind the emergency entrance of a hospital; shrieking sirens and flashing red and white strobe lights were a constant menace to a decent night’s sleep. I think living there helped me to develop a very useful skill – nowadays, I can sleep through just about anything.

    We were letting a friend of mine stay with us for a few months while his family went through some emotional turmoil. Most times when we let people stay with us they would bunk down in our living room or a spare bedroom (if we had one); this guy, though, he always liked being as close to us as he could. He made a pallet in our bedroom, right up alongside our bed, and slept in the room with us every night.

    Good thing I got to where I could sleep through anything ’cause damn that dude could snore.

    Right around the holiday season, a friend of this guy loaned him her newly acquired Nintendo Wii. Bear in mind this was several years ago, and at the time, these consoles were brand new and all the rage. He hooked it up in our living room and we played the hell out of it. Electronic tennis was like a shiny new drug. We didn’t just stand there and listlessly wave our controllers around; for hours we ran and jumped and dove for that non-existent tennis ball like our very lives depended on it. We did not manage this without injury, of course: we tripped over each other, tackled one another, cracked our controllers against each others’ knuckles and skulls – how we didn’t break anything, electronic or otherwise, is a puzzle only God can reason through.

    Electronic tennis might never have been intended to be a contact sport, but we were doing a damn fine job of making it into one.

    Still, Andre Agassi I am not, and exhaustion finally set in some time close to midnight. My friend was on a hot streak and not ready to pack it in, so with a warning to be careful and not to stay up too late I ascended the staircase to join my girlfriend in bed.

    I awoke some time later in the pre-dawn hours. The room was bathed in the pale florescent glow of a streetlamp just outside the window. I felt distinctly like someone was watching me, and I leaned up in bed to glance about the room. There, in the doorway, just beyond the clarity of the streetlight, stood a man. I didn’t notice closely his features because I was more concerned about the grotesque amount of blood coating the right side of his head and face. My friend, I thought, must have fallen while playing downstairs and busted his head open!

    “Oh God,” I cried, leaping up in bed. “Are you all ri-”

    I didn’t finish the question. I was cut off by a very loud snore emanating from the floor next to my bed.

    The man in the doorway took a step closer, into the light. I could see his face. He was not my friend.

    I think the only reason I didn’t scream my lungs out right then was the look in his eyes. His expression was one of terrified confusion. His eyes were wide and he was staring at me bewildered, looking for all intents and purposes like he had just seen a ghost. He didn’t look like he wanted to hurt me. He didn’t even look like he was capable, bleeding like he was. The blood was running down his shoulder now, and off his chin onto his chest. He looked like he didn’t know what had happened to him, like he had no idea where he was or how he got there.

    He looked lost.

    Still, I was scared to take my eyes off him. Without breaking eye contact I reached down and shook my girlfriend hard by the shoulder.

    “Tina, wake up!”

    She groaned and tried to pull the blanket away from me without rousing. I shook harder, finally turning my gaze away from the man to lean down and speak closer to her ear.

    “Wake up! Baby, he’s hurt and needs help!”

    At my insistence she rolled onto her back and blinked up at me, still not fully awake. “What? Who?”

    I looked back up toward the door and he was gone. I stared at the empty space in vain, and after a moment she asked me what I was looking at.

    “No one,” I mumbled, patting her shoulder. “Nothing. I’m sorry, baby. Go back to sleep.”

    I asked her the next day if she remembered my waking her up and she said no. I told her – and my friend – about the man in the doorway, covered in blood and out of sorts. She was convinced I had a nightmare, but my friend was so startled by my story that he slept in bed with us for a week afterward.

    I never heard sirens that night, and didn’t think to check the papers in the days following to confirm it, but I’m convinced that some poor wounded soul wandered away from the ER that night without his corporeal form. Wherever he was going – either back to there, or on to someplace else – I hope he got there all right.

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