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I have  plenty of stories to share about Sasquatch, not many that I experienced first-hand however. A majority of accounts are second-hand or things I’ve researched in the area but I can’t delve much into Bigfoot without first reliving these experiences.

I have been into Bigfoot my entire life, as I can explain in other installments, but have yet to see one with my own eyes. Regardless, things have happened. On one particular night I was driving home eastward towards the mountain ranges I am familiar with, alongside the edge of a well-known river and through the rolling gold-colored hills that approach the more majestic range that is my birthplace. It was while driving through these hills and near this river that I couldn’t stop thinking or talking to myself, about Bigfoot. Although I’ve always been fascinated with it, I’ve never taken to necessarily lecturing myself on them, but I had a train of thought I couldn’t stop. I was speaking out loud in the car about the nature of Bigfeet, that they were the original people of this Earth and the weight of their existence is more than the psyche of certain “civilized” people can cope with, whereas others took their existence for granted.

No new or revelatory thoughts necessarily, I was just ranting to myself about Sasquatch, the fact that they were real, that they were named by the tribe which I had technically descended from (though white myself), the white man’s broken translation of the Indian word Sesqec. Sesqec sesqec sesqec. I was saying it out loud because it sounded cool, but who knows whether it had anything to do with what happened next.

 

For the call of nature, I had to pull over on the side of the road but as I drove on in the dark I couldn’t get myself to just pick a spot. I kept thinking “Not here… further up…” and after catching myself doing this to the point that it felt OCD like and even frustrating. I even spoke out word the amusing thought to myself that all this talk of Bigfoot had me wired up to see an actual Bigfoot. I even did a mock Bigfoot howl. I only admit this now to be completely honest, because it’s ridiculous and embarrassing and could cause so many people including myself to doubt what happened next on the fact that I had been single-track minded on Sasquatch :

After blabbing I finally found a spot that felt right, pulled over and got out of the car. It was completely dark outside, nothing but the headlights of my vehicle illuminating a stretch of road ahead, no cars for miles this was truly the middle of nowhere although beautiful with a wide lazy river on the left and rolling hills and mountains on the right. This particular hill I had pulled up to was connected to the low-topped mountain ranges and had light brush and trees near the edge of the road. I briskly started walking towards the back of the vehicle, planning to take a left and then proceed to the edge of the road.

As I turned the corner on the back of the vehicle my gaze for the most part was on the bumper of my car, I wasn’t really paying attention to the side of the road or admiring the view of anything as it was completely dark. I didn’t look up. I just remember hearing the most ridiculous low, rolling, thunderous growl come snarling at me from the side of the road, or at least what sounded like it. It was cartoonishly loud. My reaction was completely primal, I hollered and by reflex took a single jump to the open driver side door, jumped in, turned the ignition and was in gear and peeling out down the road, still hollering. I had never reacted with such gut-primal monkey fear or emotion in my life, it was almost like rage, it was such an intense “fear” that it almost goes beyond fear. It was pure and simple fight or flight reaction and we are not wired to take our ground against Grizzlies.

Was this a Grizzly though? I couldn’t in good conscience tell myself I had just heard any known animal. Not even an elephant, if it felt inclined to growl in a menacing fashion, could have reverberated my chest cavity like that with it’s vocal chords. Nothing could have sounded more vicious and loud unless we start conjuring images of leviathans from the sea, but this was the edge of a forested road. Grizzlies and other bears will vocalize to scare off a human and I’ve considered that I had turned the corner of my vehicle and walked up on a Grizzly, though I smelled nothing, saw nothing, and upon immediately turning my car around and scanning the area with headlights found no bears or animals in the area.

Just a strange, visceral experience that I cannot conclusively tie to anything. I just happened to be blabbing to myself about Bigfoot and compulsively chose that area to pull over. I went home and listened to as many clips of wild animals including Grizzly bears growling and roaring as possible. I never found anything remotely comparable.

The closest thing I ever found to what I had heard was the growls of T-Rex on Jurassic Park. No living animal I can find compared, although I’m sure they created the T-Rex vocalizations with lions.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUpXVUraPf0

 

When I listen to it and imagine the side of that road on that dark night I can still get chills. No idea what that was.

This summer me, my father and little brother, 8 years of age, had decided to finally go camping in the mountains, to pick a mountain lake and conquer it so to speak. We chose one that wouldn’t be too gnarly of a hike but still remote enough, and upon arriving after a drive and a half hour hike into the mountains, we ended up having the lake to ourself. This small picturesque lake is fed like many others by the snow-melt of the high rugged mountains, and the mountain range shelves itself and rises many thousands of feet back and away from the lake, long channels of thick forest-growth run down the canyons allowing wildlife routes into and out of the mountains, and to and from mountain lakes like these.

The area we chose to set up camp in was directly near the entrance path with plenty of wide open grass, easy access to the lake, and near a trail that circles the lake. We begin setting up and took a swim, had something to eat and as the afternoon gave way to evening began gathering fire wood. I went further back up the trail we had come from and started gathering caches and tossing them alongside the trail to pick up later, as well as the trail that went around the lake. While going around the lake trail by myself, my dad and brother stayed behind at the campsite making the fire. I will not embellish anything by noting how quiet things were towards the back of the lake, the premonitions I had to turn around. There is no such thing as a bear free area in these mountains, so I gathered only what I needed and returned while the sun began to set. I felt unnerved having been back there alone without a weapon, it felt very domesticated the entire way but there was something too quiet about it – again I won’t embellish.

The sun was finally setting and evening sky, dim, replaced the bright blue and orange sunsets we enjoy here. The mountains were no longer painted orange but were becoming their cold deep, steel blue. I noted upon returning that my dad and little brother were less playful, more serious, maybe my little brother was having less fun now that it was getting dark and a night of sitting near the campfire and being surrounded by darkness was beginning to loom over him. That’s what it seemed. Although I would later be told by my dad that he was disturbed by something else. Apparently while I was gathering wood my little brother had told my dad that while starting the fire he was hearing “a car or something”, an engine noise of sorts in the mountains or near our camp, he couldn’t place his finger on it. This wasn’t possible of course as no car or ATV could have driven up the trail that leads to this lake, although he could have been hearing something else. My dad didn’t hear anything though, which is why he took note, besides seeing that my little brother was bothered.

We all sat by the fire and my dad took out one of the guns we had brought, a pistol, and as we were completely alone in the mountains at that point with the lake to ourselves he fired it into the forest. He did this in a seemingly playful manner but it wasn’t like my dad to play, and I remember being suspicious immediately that he had done that for some other reason. He admitted later that he had. After firing the gun for the purpose of spooking away all wild animals we heard a loud popping sound, a branch breaking up on the mountainside.

From this point on all the fun of the evening became exponentially removed and replaced by dread. The branch popping far up on the mountains was followed by another closer down, and closer still, every 20 seconds or so a branch would snap and foliage would rustle, sounding a lot like a person coming down the mountainside. By this point, me and my dad had stood up and grabbed weapons, in particular I remember standing with a wide stance and holding the rifle clearly so an animal could make sense of the fact that we were armed, hoping it would cause a grizzly to think twice before charging. It was now at the base of our campsite, just beyond sight, in the trees surrounding us. By now my little brother was terrified and standing behind us making whimpering sounds of a sort. Our impression was that it was a grizzly bear or some aggressive animal coming down the mountains to take us out, that the gunshot was a threatening sound that caused a bear to charge, but why did it stop in the treeline? Was it trying to scare us away without showing itself to us? What kind of bear does that? Why no jaw popping sounds or grunts? Why wasn’t it clawing the earth or making anymore sounds?

Whatever this was had snuck up on us, breaking large branches every so often on it’s descent down the hillside behind us and was now in the treeline watching us. Was this an animal? It no longer felt like it. We didn’t say “HELLO?” or anything stupid like that though. We only whispered quietly to one another and discussed what to do. My little brother wanted to leave and I remember feeling terrible about everything at that moment. This was supposed to be our special night together and it really had been perfect and fun, this area was beautiful and all ours – and now we were in the middle of a nightmare of sorts. I reluctantly agreed and we all began packing our things as quickly as possible, every so often hearing another branch break in the same location, never setting our guns down too far from where we were. My little brother was in a panic and I basically packed everything for him while he stood by shaking and saying ‘There is a monster over there… ‘

I remember having nothing but a stoic attitude the entire time, I was afraid sure, but I couldn’t get myself to show any of it, half out of instinct that fear is the emotion of prey and half out of knowing that any fear besides my little brothers would only make the situation worse. I told him over and over “It’s not a monster little bro, we don’t even know what it is – it could be a deer or something. But we’re going to leave anyway so just calm down…” etc. etc. It felt like lying. It sure seemed like a monster at this point.  It seemed to take forever to pack everything up, I had finally taken down the tent and my dad had gathered everything from the picnic area, he later told me he was hearing “it” the entire time over there too.

The air was surreal. Everything felt wrong. The vibes were so dark and tense, it’s hard to describe. I feel that in my bones I have an innate reaction to the presence of bears, my ancestry is comprised of a long line of people who were eaten by bears while settling the northwest, I have the ability to calmly turn around and walk away from them when coming upon them as has happened a handful of times in my life, and just hopping that they don’t chase. I can do this while at the same time suppressing the emotion some might know as “terror”, and it felt very much like I was suppressing that emotion during this experience : but the thought that an ANIMAL would be capable of harassing us like this, coming down upon a family after hearing a gunshot to spookily hang out beyond their sight and snap the occasional thick branch until they leave? What kind of animal harasses and surveys humans like this instead of presenting itself or just outright attacking? And what kind of animal approaches a gunshot to begin with?

Nothing about this event made sense, all of it felt wrong, and I specifically said I would not embellish things but if I had to say definitively what bothered me the most it was that it felt like there was a conscious presence harassing us, and I couldn’t deny what that presence could most likely be.

The instant we had packed everything and started walking on our way out, in the dark mind you (which was a terribly bitter and sad kind of experience, to set up camp and have to abandon it at night) – everything felt better. There was no more fear. Not even the inclination to look behind us and make sure we weren’t being followed. I would say at that point none of us subconsciously felt it was a bear anymore. Something else was up and there was no saying it loud, although me and my dad talked about it the remainder of the night and agreed on what it most likely had been, while my little brother started coming up with exponentially fantastic explanations which me and my dad could laugh at and ‘agree’ with. He was at least no longer terrified.

We walked the entire way back to the car in the dark, not fearing bears once, in fact almost knowing they weren’t present. It felt instead like the forest had been vacated. Whatever spooked us spooked everything else too. Suddenly, us leaving felt “right”. Completely right. Even though it was bitter to lose this experience we had set out to have. There’s no telling what we would have experienced if we had stayed.

Not more than a month later, a group of people were run out of the same area by something throwing large rocks and boulders into the lake near their campsite.

Real Ghost Stories: Volume Four

Matt told me a handful of things that had happened to him growing up but the majority he kept to himself, the haunting of that house was exhausting and boring to him and he would rather talk about video games. He was fine with the amusement everyone else had in the creepiness of the house, and certainly enjoyed acting like the brave tough guy when all our friends would act spooked – he actually pulled a great prank on us once. We were in his room about 4 or 5 of us and he had gone off to the kitchen leaving us on the other side of the house by ourselves. There we talked about the spookyness of the house and I mentioned that it was haunted etc. The next thing we knew, the second door in Matt’s room, which was connected to his bathroom, blew open.  We all shouted and jumped into the corner of the room. They all told me to go and investigate, saying “You’re the biggest a ghost won’t #%!@ with you man!” Which was nonsense… but this wasn’t the only time a door had popped open upon discussion of things paranormal (as I’ll share in my Bloody Mary stories) and it was my fault for getting them spooked to begin with, maybe this was another case of poltergeist caused by group tension. I got up and walked quickly towards the door, do or die and pulled it open to see nobody. Matt burst out of his shower pulling back the curtain and laughing which made me jump all the way back across the room. He got all of us really good that time.

But Matt wasn’t always light hearted about things. When he was a kid he said he used to sleep with his mom and dad out of terror, which made sense. He would sleep downstairs in the center of the house (near the lobby I mentioned with the spiral wooden staircase and animal trophies on the wall) and get spooked, go upstairs to sleep with his mom and dad and it was there he said some sort of shadow man with an “ice cream cone shaped head” would stand by the foot of his parents bed and mentally project feelings of dread and hatred at him. Being 5 years old all he could do was shiver in fear while this thing apparently told him repeatedly, “Move an inch and I’ll kill all of you”. I’ve seen Matt cry a handful of times, it’s not that he has steel resolve or anything, but he’s never spoken of any other memory or thing to upset him so much, and I’ve yet to see him cry after his father (rest in peace) is now gone. But he did cry as he recalled those nights and how 3 hours of time would pass for him in the dark while this being mentally tortured him, how he in fact wouldn’t move an inch or dare breathe loudly. He only ever told me about the ice cream cone man once. I didn’t enjoy hearing about it, as I was preparing to spend the night.

I spent more than a few nights there when I worked on the ranch as a teenager in the summers, looking back they’ve provided many stories to tell. I’ve always known when it would be likely to get a good nights rest there and when things were going to be active, and on some nights we would deliberately stay up as late as possible, preferably until sunrise to sleep, because the moment we began to fall asleep, random objects would hop themselves off the shelves, or taps and thuds against the walls or outdoors would shake us out of sleep at the perfect time. It was exhausting, and certainly spooky.

The sensation of having someone staring inches from your face in the dark was intense, and I always hated coming up to Matt’s at night because I would have to enter through a side door that went through a sort of music room or second living room for all of his dad’s fossils – in here it would be pitch black and I would have to feel myself around the giant room full of old objects while sensing something there immediately in front of me at all times. There were times I actually WISHED I would just feel a hand brush against my face or hear something speak to me already, and that it would stop killing me with suspense, because I knew something was there. It was only when we were ready for sleep that it would decide to ruin my night though, usually.

There were a couple friends of Matt’s besides myself, mutual friends that came up regularly as well, one was “Nate” (identity concealed), he was the class clown of sorts, and we had great fun together joking all the time, but he knew the place to be haunted as well. We were into making goofy / fun videos on my 8mm camcorder back then and I remember one night we were reviewing the footage in the dark in Matt’s room, Matt was asleep on the other side of the room snoring quietly and we were on the couch looking at the viewscreen and laughing when Nate turned to look at me and then started panicking, buried his face in his hands and started shouting at me in a muffled voice “DUDE TURN THE LIGHT ON TURN THE LIGHT ON”, I hopped up and flicked the light switch and he told me that he had seen a ghostly white face floating behind my head on the couch (the back of the couch was actually facing the other half of the room and so there was plenty of space for someone to sneak up behind me). That was pretty freaky. We heard Matt snoring the entire time and didn’t hear him get out of bed and sneak behind the couch, we didn’t see anyone else in the room, I told Nate maybe he had a shadow-image of the bright light of the LCD screen on my camcorder in his eyes while turning to look at me in the dark, and this cast something like a face behind my head. Anyone can replicate that kind of anomaly. But he insisted it was a face, hovering behind my head. The only details I could drag out of him was that it didn’t look like a young face, more like an older one, that it was totally white almost like a face would be if the LCD screen had been casting light on it but too light for it to be normal skin, and that he didn’t see hair or any other features just  the face.

Nate was pretty distraught, I believed him and was pretty spooked, but we had no choice but to spend the night here, we weren’t old enough to drive and Matt was sound asleep. So we stayed up, played some video games and eventually Nate was asleep and I was awake by myself in the room, all lights off except a lamp light near the closet. Through the corner of my eye the clothes hanging in Matt’s closet began to swivel on their own accord as if in a soft breeze and I knew I wasn’t alone. I sat there awake until the sun rose, hearing things occasionally move about throughout that side of the house, and every so often watching the clothes in the closet move. I didn’t sleep that night, and funnily enough, Nate did – even though he was the one who had seen the face.

We told Matt about all of it and he wasn’t surprised or concerned. Matt was able to sleep through most things and slept in in the mornings, I was much happier in the house during the daylight than at night but even in the morning it was haunted, and I would get up to walk to the other side of the house where the kitchen is only to hear something follow me, or at least to my over active imagination. One morning I spent a good 15 minutes walking back and forth near a staircase that lead up into an attic/secondary fossil room kept by his dad. This staircase was exceptionally spooky, and the attic home to a lot of activity, it was also connected to another room alongside Matt’s bedroom, a room his mom used to use as an amateur barber shop of sorts. To this day Matt really doesn’t like being on this side of the house. In any case, there was a popping sound emanating from the staircase that I couldn’t put my finger on, I couldn’t find where it was coming from. I considered that it could have been an animal in the wall except that it sounded so mechanical or clacky, not like something rustling through insulation or tapping on wood. I’m still not certain what it was or if it was anything out of the ordinary except that I couldn’t explain it and that particular spot of the house was ridiculous.

Matt had another friend, “Phillip” (identity concealed) who actually lived at the house for a couple years, and was given that former barbershop room as a bedroom to sleep in. How he managed that, I’ll never know, although Phillip told me his mom was a spiritual person and practiced wicca and had taught him how to use wards and spells to protect himself and clear the room. I personally believe in other methods and don’t think those worked at all, and they apparently didn’t, as Matt said Phillip would often come and end up sleeping on the couch in Matt’s room because things would get too intense in there. I once attempted to spend a night in Phillips room after he had moved out and it was still a bedroom of sorts. I told Matt I really didn’t like the idea of sleeping by myself in the house but would give it a try and he said it’d be cool, to just relax and come back into the room if it got spooky. I admit it’s pretty silly to go into a situation expecting to be haunted, it weakens the voracity of the case so to speak, but that wasn’t what was happening, we were just being casual about it and I was sure I’d be able to fall asleep as I was really tired.

Five minutes after laying down I knew I wasn’t going to make it. Every time I closed my eyes and started trying to settle, the floorboards would creak as if being walked on, the presence of something would be felt intensely and I just knew whatever was in that room wasn’t going to allow me to spend the night. It was dark, I don’t like to throw about the word “evil” but I didn’t enjoy what was in there. I was being harassed, quite frankly. I got up and left the room and confirmed with Matt the next morning that I had been kicked out so to speak by whatever was in there. He wasn’t surprised, as usual.

If anyone is familiar with the theory of staircases and the space underneath them, it’d be interesting to note that in that former barber room in the corner it had something like a closet without a door, and the inside of that closet happened to be the underside of the staircase. At the top of those staircases, again, was an attic type area or second room, quite large and it held the remainder of his dad’s fossil collection, which was a lot of material. Matt’s grandfather who had passed many years ago still kept a few items up there including his old inventions (through which the patent income funded the ranches beginnings) – it was a very interesting place but absolutely nothing you would go into at night. Just walking by the staircase that lead up to it in the dark was a hellishly tense feeling.

One night me and Matt were in his room playing some games, just the two of us, when we heard sound of a huge man stomping in boots across the ceiling, in the attic directly above us. Matts dad and mom were as usual passed out in the living room, gone, on the other side of the house. We were alone. I looked at him and saw the first look of legitimate shock on his face in the time since I’d known him. We did a nervous laugh and tried watching more of the show when it started again. I wanted to break the tension and for some reason shouted at it to “SHUT THE @($% UP!” My blood ran cold when it responded by pausing for a few seconds and then resuming stomping. There was no more nervous laughter, it wasn’t fun anymore, this was poltergeist. Bold poltergeist. And it was obvious we weren’t going to have an easy nights rest. We didn’t hear anymore stomping that night but as usual things would find there way off the shelves when we began to fall asleep.

As if the stories about that land before the house were built weren’t bad enough, Matt told me that one time he and Nate had awoken there in the middle of the night when they were about 8 years old to find an ambulance in the back yard near the treeline and his parents in the yard. Apparently a man had driven his car off a logging road up in the mountains and careened it all the way down the mountainside until it crashed down by the creek that ran near Matt’s house, all less than 50 yards from where he slept. The man died of course. One night when we were 15 there were a group of us and I suggested walking around in the fields at night, we did, and while I didn’t say anything to anyone I thought I saw someone else walking along the creek.

I’ll never fully wrap my head around Matt’s ranch or the things that supposedly happened there before that house was built. I’ll never know what to believe, really, except for the experiences I had, but the majority of my experiences with ghosts were at Matt’s place, and I will refrain from detailing everytime I heard the faint whisperings or what sounded like speech, or everytime we heard things fall in his room in the dark. It was haunted, enough said.

Real Ghost Stories: Volume Three

Matt lived a few miles west of Kyle, saddling the same easy sloping southern mountains, not more than a dozen miles from my home and was witness to even more strange things. I had a few of my hairiest ghost experiences at Matt’s home and considering where Matt lived, it would make sense. Matt lived on an old family ranch nestled in the mountains, and his father had built a log home in the back stretch of this ranch directly against the hillside/mountains. There the sun casts a perpetual shadow on the cabin, keeping it cool all during the summer, and the easy access that bears have to the property is ridiculous.

Much like my own house, it was no exaggeration to say a guy could exit his back door and walk directly up into the mountains, but unlike us, Matt had no neighbors and the mountain was less than a dozen yards from his back door. Regardless of whether one would believe in nature spirits themselves having an influence on the home, pressing in from the trees and mountains hugging the house, there was still the matter of the inside of the home, which had walls adorned with dozens of animal trophies, mounted Elk, deer, moose, bear, preserved giant turtles, great marlins, very cool stuff but dead animals all the same, and many of them. To top that, Matt’s dad was a paleontologist and had dug up a gigantic collection of dinosaur fossils and long-dead remains of once living things, as well as treasure troves of precious gems and natural minerals. If a person were inclined to believe that such stones or gems do have energies, (crystal energy workers for instance), or that the remains of dead animals could haunt a location with enough density (and this collection would provide it) – it would make perfect sense that things felt a little wonky inside the home.

But it turned out to be so much more than that. Matt confided in me that his family was not in fact the first to have a home on the south end of the ranch but that another family, outside the ranch had once lived on the property. He didn’t reveal too many details to me, except that it was a wife, a husband and their little daughter and that they had murdered their daughter on the property. Among the countless strange “religious” things they did on the property was house wild and exotic African animals, antelope for instance. The conclusion that was reached was that they were satanists. “Devil worshippers”. I won’t paint any vivid pictures, the imagination strains to avoid such things, but ritual human and child sacrifice does in fact happen, whether your “average” Satanist or self-professed Luciferian would admit it or do it themselves. There are such people out there, in every community, and divisions of law enforcement routinely handling the aftermath of their activity. One of the aspects of our society we choose to ignore, really.

If true, this would be the darkest location I have ever willingly been in, but it’s incredible to consider that over all these years my own friend lived there and grew up knowing these things (or making them up). In some ways I felt sick at the thought of trying to “hang out” and have fun at my friends house when something so terrible could have happened there, but on the other hand I shrugged it off and said “No way his dad would actually build a house here if that had happened”.  Matt’s dad absolutely was not religious or spiritually minded in any sense of the word though and I suppose it’s not too hard to imagine him shrugging off any event no matter how dark, with the assumption that “ghosts aren’t real” and what’s done is done. My friend wouldn’t admit to lying but he must have been, at least that’s what I told myself. You will understand later why I believed certain things about this home though.

Matt said when his dad was preparing the land for the house they decided to leave the original cement foundation of the previous home, even though a murder had taken place there, and so half of the back yard feels “hard” underneath the few inches of topsoil as you can feel and walk on what was once the foundation. A body of stone (artificial though it may be) connected to the vibrations of a satanic ritual sacrifice. Again, it is best that I imagine he was lying about that event. But even more ridiculous, Matt claimed that unidentifiable remains were dug up while the pond outside the house down in the fields was being excavated. He said it was determined to be the remains of pre-reservation natives. In other words, their house was literally built on or at least next to an indian burial ground.

As I befriended Matt, at first, I spent no time at his home and only talked to him at school.  It seemed ridiculous and impossible that anyone would build their home in such a location but when I did eventually see the home or where it was situated, the picturesque location, the constant shade it enjoys, it wasn’t that hard a sell. Walking inside for the first time though, it was the darkest home I’d ever been in, in the sense that it could be bright and sunny outside on a cloudless day and the air inside would still be dark. Beams of light get swallowed as they pass through the window panes.

It just felt wrong from the first moment I walked in, and although it sounds funny now, I was familiar with Feng Shui concepts at that young age (we were now 13 or 14). Everything about this home broke every rule in Feng Shui, to say nothing of the concept of Karma or the consequences of living on a satanic murder scene / indian burial ground. Hid dad had built every room with multiple entrances and exits, causing tension in the mind as you can never be sure from what angle something will enter the room. Rooms were built on and attached to the house, entire wings, piece by piece over the year, and each had a distinctive feel and age and the disjointed sensation you had from walking from one side of the house to the other was like a fun-house.

In one room, a sort of lobby/den area in the middle of the home, the majority of the mounted animal heads on the wall looked over a spiral staircase that lead up to the master bedroom. In this lobby/den area there are a total of three entrances/exits, one which connects to the living room and kitchen, one that leads to laundry and a door that leads outdoors and another that lead to my friends room (at the time he was living in that room). Without making you visualize the entire house I can only tell you that in Feng Shui terms it’s completely backwards.

Matt’s parents also happened to be alcoholics, and would both drink themselves to sleep every night in the living room. A lot of dark and violent behavior between them had erupted more than once, and Matt was of course a traumatized and depressed kid on the inside, though we were hanging out specifically to have fun. His dark moods and depression from suffering his drunken parents all the time was intense even at a young age and I did feel bad for him. Matt was the smallest in our grade and was also very hyper and fidgety in certain unexplainable ways, he was not necessarily introverted but entirely devoted to video games and any fantasy worlds that he could escape to, and I believe the stress of living in that haunted home and dealing with his alcoholic parents literally stunted his growth. It is certainly not his fault.

It was clear that it was not simply Matt, his mom and his dad living in this house but that there was a host of things having their way with this family and nobody was putting a stop to it or doing anything about it. At nights when his parents would start to drink the energy in the home sank and everything became colder, lonelier feeling and I always ended up wanting to go home. Matt would then be on the phone with his older brother in tears asking him to come get him because he didn’t want to be alone, and with drunken parents passed out in the living room a child is alone, without protection.

Matt was totally desensitized to the hauntings, although they still bothered them to the point that he preferred not to talk about them, he made it very clear how many years of his life he spent shrugging off or attempting to shrug off poltergeist, and I still have the mental image of him as that tiny 6th grader, and try to imagine the years before then, being small and alone with his parents passed out in the living room while strange noises and that dark sad energy fills the house, burying his mind and face into his TV and trying to escape to whatever world he could, less for fun than survival. He has explained that much, at least.

I do think the behavior of his parents and the fact that they wallowed in spirits (that is to say literally drinking spirits, alcohol, swimming in it) for decades in that home, along with the details about the history of the land, it’s closeness to the mountains and so many other factors allowed dark energy to go completely unchecked. His parents were not religious or spiritual in any manner and would most likely never admit to spirits, but Matt had plenty of stories to tell, and I would definitely gain a couple during my time spent there as well.

As I entered puberty, there was a period of time where relatively nothing paranormal seemed to happen in my life, but it’s all about who you know and who you bump into in life, and among the greatest decisions in my paranormal career so to speak was to leave the small private school I had been attending grades 1-5th and venture into the hellish secular world of the public schooling system. It was here I met “Matt” (identity concealed), and “Kyle” (identity concealed). They both hated eachother, funnily enough, but as classmates I ended up befriending the two of them. Come to think of it, I was often friends between warring cliques and feuding guys in my class, and always getting an earful from one about how I shouldn’t be hanging out with the other. Both were worth-while however, especially for the stories and experiences I had with them.

Kyle lived out on the opposite side of the valley from the rest of us, more or less, and was nestled against the southern mountains, which are less majestic and gnarly as the signature range which me and my ancestors had homesteaded – but perfect hunting grounds. Wildlife access to the area is simple and this allows great numbers of deer and bears to roam about the backyards of whoever lives there. But Kyle told me his cousins, more or less neighbors, were having strange unidentifiable animals come down through the wooded thickets and areas near their house, sometimes even passing by their window, and that the paranormal activity had gotten so bad that one night they heard “wild animals” running about INSIDE the home. Too fantastic to believe, certainly, but he shared none-the-less, and said he himself had heard or seen dark objects moving about in the woods near his home which didn’t “feel right”.

To my luck, (although I actually hated it and it made me not want to spend any time at his house) – directly across from Kyle’s families acreage was a large field that contained one single, broken down, lonely shack. One could not conjure in any Hollywood craftshop, a more fitting and creepy ghostly vestige of the homesteading era. This shack was the home of Blind Mose. Blind Mose was an old Indian man who had died out long before any of us were born, but apparently many of the adults who raised us remember him in his later years spending every day at the same location, a corner of town where a bench sat by the intersection. It was my computer teacher, as a matter of fact, who said he was a very lovable and well-known figure in the community, and as he was blind he most likely found his company and entertainment by sitting at that bench and speaking with his familiar friends as they went about their day. When Blind Mose passed, it was an event, certainly – but none of our generation really knew about him.

Kyle knew about Blind Mose though, and he lived directly across from the old Indian’s shack, now delapidated and grayed out by the rain and weather, and as I would later find upon investigating it up close – full of nothing but scattered junk and small objects across the floor, long gone broken up cabinets and ancient rusty cans. It may as well have been a barn. Blind Mose was apparently blind, because someone had stabbed his eyes out as a youth. A terrible act most likely incited by racism (not uncommon then) Mose went about the rest of his life doing the best he could, and living in that shack.

Me and Kyle went on a walk around the woods near his house, the very same he mentioned seeing strange shapes moving about within, and ended up circling around the back of the field and coming up upon Blind Mose’s shack. I remember feeling startled the instant it came out of view from the treeline, not more than 50 yards away, and feeling for all the world as if I was already seeing a ghost looking at the shack itself. It is certainly a ghost-building and although it’s not in a ghost-town, it looks “authentic”. It captures your imagination.

“That’s Blind Mose’ house.” Kyle said. He then proceeded to tell me about Blind Mose and how he had his eyes stabbed out. He said “That place is definitely haunted…” and explained that the old broken down truck in front of the shack had once honked it’s horns and turned it’s headlights on (absolutely impossible) with his own dad as a witness. That he had once poked around the shack by himself and found a noose placed in a deliberate fashion at the front of the door, causing him to run off in terror. Creepy stuff, but it sounded like more spookum hogwash.

And then, at that moment, to my delight (now) – while he was telling me this it sounded as if someone had tossed a refrigerator over within the shack. A tremendous clanging/crashing sound. I just remember looking at Kyle with a “No way” expression on my face and seeing him nod amusingly, as if it had been right on queue. It was a look of satisfaction, I know, one a person rarely gets to experience when they speak of a haunted place or seeing UFO’s etc. and actually have the event occur in front of the person who would otherwise doubt them. I didn’t doubt Kyle. That place felt haunted from a DISTANCE, LOOKED haunted, and when we stood outside it speaking of it’s history, it proved itself haunted, as far as I’m concerned.

Long after the event and it’s effect on me had worn off, I did investigate the shack, finding it to be less threatening in the daylight but still nothing I would dare spend a night in alone. Until then, I almost hated being at Kyle’s place for the fact that I had to look across the field and see that haunted shack, so close to his property. I actually refused to spend the night there on a few occasions for the fact that laying down and trying to sleep within throwing distance of that place was unacceptable to me.

But I would grow thicker skin, and soon, because Kyle and his location and his stories were tame compared to the things I learned from and experienced at Matt’s home.

When I was around the age of 7 or 8 I remember developing a fascination with all things paranormal, and had acquired a book from the library featuring famous ghost stories (allegedly true) including photographs of apparitions, markings on the wall, the usual amatyville scenarios of extreme poltergeist activity. I had never encountered anything as typically Hollywood as most people imagine poltergeist to be but I certainly have my own stories to tell.

Growing up I had never actually been “haunted” in any aggressive way in any of our own homes, but the first time my family moved into the house they currently occupy I was around 6 years old and remember the darkness of my bedroom enveloping me in a way that was far more uncomfortable than it had ever been in our other homes. I didn’t think critically about this, I was simply afraid of the dark like any other child and tried to get used to the sensation that someone was staring me in the face mere inches away while I closed my eyes in the dark to sleep. The typical nights of hot suffocation buried under the blanket, no millimeter of skin exposed to the air, I would later learn my brother and sister shared as well in their rooms but of course, most children do. The fact remains, this wasn’t how it was in other homes.

My sister seemed to experience the worst of it right from the start as she started out in what would later become my bedroom, being only four or five years old, and throughout the years the youngest of the three of us, it was easy to dismiss things she said as fantasy, but in my later years her experiences seem to hold weight. One night for instance, the bedroom door opened and slammed itself multiple times of it’s own accord, my sister said she screamed and my father ran into the room to assure her nothing was going on, which was of course preposterous to her. It’s neither his fault for dismissing the event or hers for screaming, but the matter went unresolved all the same.

My older brother had a creepy Mexican marionette in his room which he got from Mexico on a trip with my grandmother, it had white hair and clownishly red painted on rosy cheeks, a creepy little old man marionette with a big sombrero on his head. I used to play with it all the time and so of course I would laugh at my sister when she would tell me in a horrified manner that it was haunted, and that at night she was hearing tiny plastic feet clacking quietly down the hallway beside what was then her bedroom (she had by then moved out of what is now my room, after the door slamming incident). She of course insisted this was the marionette walking itself around at night, and I demanded it was my older brother playing pranks on my sister. He never admitted to it though, although he was a great actor I seemed to believe him. I disregard the story to this day as it seems too fantastical, but I do feel sorry for her having to endure that either way. It’d be terrible for a young mind to picture that marionette walking itself towards her room by itself and the image is still potently creepy in my mind.

There were more than a few random events that lead me to believe as I grew up and approached the age of 8, that the house was indeed haunted. Sometimes I would watch a scary show about ghosts on the TV in the living room and head back towards my room in the dark, feeling certain that something was following me. I would tell myself this was only my nerves worked up on account of the show but as I neared my room the feeling would become overwhelming. On one occasion, I stopped dead in my tracks almost involuntarily in anticipation and watched as the roll-up curtains on my window snapped themselves all the way into the upright position by themselves, which can only be done someone yanking the curtain down an inch or more and releasing it, activating the springs coiled within. There were times the curtain might rest itself in it’s pivot point at a certain angle, that the springs would strain themselves just right, and the slightest touch of the curtain would cause it to snap up, but what had done it this time? I considered even then at a young age that perhaps my mind was powerful enough in states of tension, like after watching a scary movie, that it could perhaps create poltergeist activity around me. I would later see this concept covered in movies and popular culture, which was interesting. I did feel however, and do still consider that I was not imagining being followed on those occasions, that watching television shows betraying my interest in spirits really did cause something to prove it’s existence to me at that moment, and perhaps others.

On one occasion me and my older brother were in our rooms alone separately when we heard a scratching or rapping sound on our windows. We weren’t aware that it was simultaneous between both of our windows until we bumped into each other in the hallway on our way to get our dad. We confirmed that we had both heard something tap on our windows and at that point were a little freaked out. Our dad went out in the snow and confirmed that there was nobody out there and no tracks under our windows, only fresh snow.

And among the most startling events for me was a sunny summer evening laying in my parents room watching their television, I was a fanatic with all the Nickelodeon shows and if I recall correctly Wild and Crazy Kids was on. Mark Sommers was doing his thing and I was in my comfy television-induced trance when I heard the door shake subtly. I looked at the bedroom door and saw nothing so resumed watching TV. I can only describe the air that came over me and the room then as surreal. Things were not normal and I knew this, and suddenly shaking the door rattle from my mind was impossible. I looked at the doorknob again and saw it slowly turning itself. At this point I reflexively jumped out of the bed and ran to the door to open it, hoping to see my dad or someone on the other side, subconsciously dreading the possibilities of a monster or some implausible ghost jumping out at me, and saw nothing. That doorknob was turning itself.

I swallowed the rock in my throat deep into my heart and tried to sneak it into the kitchen to gather my thoughts. My dad in the living room asked me what’s up in his usual playful way and I said “… nothing” wanting very much to tell him what had just happened. Strangely though, I no longer felt scared. So I went back to the room and began watching TV again, this time leaving the door slightly ajar. The next few minutes are hard to recall if not from fuzzy memory, perhaps blocking it out of trauma or just again the surreal nature of it all. To my horror, out of the corner of my eye I saw the door slowly closing itself. Before the door fully closed I yelled out to my dad, not in a terrified scream but an urgent “DAD” – I wanted him to see this or at least scare off whatever was doing it. He came running back and asked what was wrong and I told him in a rapidly anxious voice (the presence of an adult and the promise of authority and comfort can sometimes incite hysteria in the mind of a child) – “SOMETHING IS SHAKING THE DOOR!” Tears began to form in my eyes, somewhat from guilt, as at this age I knew better than to make up lies and sorely didn’t want him to think I was lying, and was going against all of my instincts by calling him back.

Instead of scolding me or telling me I was imagining things a look of resolve simply came over his face, and he knew I was telling the truth. The air in the room became very “gray” if there were any way to describe it, and outside the wind had picked up to a howl (I do not recall the weather being windy before this moment). As the windows began to shake and the door itself once again began to rattle my dad bellowed out “WHAT! WHAT THE #$@! DO YOU WANT!?”. At 6’2″ 200+ we are big men and his voice especially in it’s baritone could have frightened away any demon. Startled, half of  my child mind wanted to think he was yelling at me, maybe implying I was causing trouble or making this up, but I knew that he was in fact shouting at whatever was harassing me, that he was breaking face and losing his patience and no longer denying his children’s strange experiences, more fed up, and that there was something going on. That was a grave feeling. But as soon as it swept over the room and us, the wind died down and things felt normal again and my dad brought me out to the living room. We never really talked about that event, but I do remember it.

The final straw was when my entire family became deathly ill for no reason, everyone but my father. My father talks about that time in a very somber tone and has only spoken with me about it once, to be honest. He admitted that he felt something was trying to take his family away from him, and that he knew what that something was. He confessed that my younger sister had come to him with stories of a white ghost man in her bedroom. My dad had my sister sleep with my mom one night, and slept himself in her bedroom. He witnessed the man. It wasn’t long after that we all became ill.

There was in fact an older couple that had lived in the home before we moved in and predictably, the man had passed away here. My father handled things in the appropriate traditional manner and prayers and smudging commenced alongside my Uncle, while me, my brother and sister and mother lay half-asleep in trance-like states, huddled together deep in fever. I remember smelling the smoke, actually, but I do not remember anything of the days we lay in that bed, or how serious it was. It might as well have been a dream. Apparently it was very serious. Of course, after the prayer and smudging, after my father confronted the old man and witnessed him himself, we all recovered and life went on as normal. I do not recall another paranormal incident happening in this house since that day.

Other people’s houses though…

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