When I was five, my parents bought a haunted house. They don’t know that it’s haunted. They still live there, blissfully unaware of the man who used to come into my bedroom at night and stare at me while I slept. It was nervewracking of course, but I knew, instinctively, that at 5 you didn’t talk about it. Or the people who whispered your name as you walked to the bus stop.
When I was 13, we moved overseas. That’s when things really started to pick up. People were staring at me while I slept again, my things were moved, my mother saw a face staring in from outside (she dismissed it as a strange leaf configuration), and we’d hear strange noises in the middle of the night.
And then there was the shadow man. Personally, I think that this was a testament to how blase I’d gotten to that point. I was in my
room, doing my French homework, and a cloud kept going in front of the sun. The seventh or eighth time it happened, I looked up through the French doors that led out to the balcony, and watched as a hunchbacked shadow figure of a man walked past. I didn’t scream, what was the point? Instead, I just calmly shut my book, uttered a couple of french words, and walked out.
In the twenty years since then, there have been a smattering of incidents. The dryer sheet, the trick-or-treater, the cigarette smoke that my grandfather used to help me find my way back home one night when I was lost in on Worthington Avenue. But nothing had really prepared me for Tuesday morning….
Thanks to Hurricane Irene, I had been without power since late Saturday night. It was getting old, so when my sister invited me to spend the night at her boyfriend’s I leapt at the chance for civilization.
Plus, you know, I like the guy.
Unfortunately, almost from the second I walked into the place, I felt sick. I assumed it was the guacamole at dinner, but it seemed weirder, more fierce. My stomach turned, my body ached, I started sweating, and I felt the undeniable need to sleep. So much, in fact, that I have no idea who got kicked off Project Runway during the Nina Garcia challenge…anyone? Right, not important right now.
I went to bed around 9:30, still feeling ill. Then, at 1:15, I felt like someone was doing the Hot Dog Experiment on my leg. You know the one…when you hook a couple of wires to a battery and a few forks and jam ‘em in to an unsuspecting piece of meat.
(Somehow, I remember it being safer than this, but you get the idea.)
Thinking that it was a leg cramp and shaking off the feeling I was being watched, I decided to get out of bed and walk it off. I opened my eyes, rolled over, and saw sis’ boyfriend’s roommate watching me from the end of the bed.
(Note #1: He lives alone)
(Note #2: I am not proud of what happened next)
I didn’t get a good look. I was too busy throwing the covers back over my head and cowering like a child. I do know that he was slightly glowing and mostly transparent. I grabbed my phone from underneath the pillow and texted a friend of mine who had dealt with his own roommate problems last year. Yes, it was one in the morning, but he tends to go to bed late. I hoped, prayed, that he’d still be up and able to calm me down.
So, I texted my sister in the next room. I told her that I’d just “seen something I shouldn’t,” and if she could come turn on the lights, that would be super.
She slept through the whole thing.
Forty-five minutes later, I’m still cowering under the thick comforter, sweating like a pig. I knew he was still there, the energy in the room was still charged like a Visa on Black Friday. I wasn’t going to go through another four hours of that, but thanks to the deer on the road outside boyfriend’s house, I couldn’t exactly leave.
So I made a deal. I told roommate that if he would just “disappear” long enough for me to turn on the lights, he could watch me the rest of the night from the comfort of his Heavenly living room.
And then I did the one thing that has scared me more than anything in the last ten years…I opened my eyes.
He was gone.
I still don’t know who he is or what his story might be. When sis and boyfriend finally heard, they were both kind of “meh” about the whole thing. Apparently, I at least met the friendly one. That’s a relief, I guess. It might just be an EMF sensitivity as well. Boyfriend wants to do some research on the house, maybe find the property records. I hope he does. It’d be nice to know who he was.
Until then, I think I’ll be doing my couch-surfing elsewhere when the power goes out. <3