Where it all began…
When I was very young, my family and I moved into a house in a teeny town in South Carolina. The house was not particularly old, but there was something about it that gave me the creeps as soon as I entered it. The first day inside the house, I huddled close to the door to the outside, while my parents negotiated the price with the then owner. I wanted to leave immediately. When my parents walked me through the house I was very resistant to go into the rooms. My mom had to hold me the whole time we were in the basement because I had the most intense fear there.
Once we settled in, I started having really scary dreams. When I look back on them now, I know some were pretty silly. Others, though, felt like the nightmares of another being, because they were incredibly detailed about events I had yet to know about. For example, I remember telling my father one of the dreams that sounded eerily familiar to a Revolutionary War battle that had taken place close by. I had dreams of people in antebellum clothing fighting and dying, and others had Native Americans being forced off of their land. As a five year old, these dreams felt so terrifying.
As I grew older, things got weirder. I started seeing things get moved around at night while I was asleep. I had a particular way of arranging my dolls, and they would be rearranged when I went to visit them in the morning. I started getting the creeps when I looked at them. They no longer felt like a comfort. Instead, they felt corrupted in some way. When I turned away from them, it felt like I was being stabbed in the back.
To solve this, I put them in a place in my closet. Each night I would push the bi-fold doors together, get into bed, and watch it until I fell asleep. For a few weeks I felt a little better. While I was still having nightmares, I was able to calm myself down enough to fall back to sleep. But then, things got worse. One morning, I woke up and my closet doors were open, and one of my dolls had moved to face me. Its eyes felt like daggers on my chest. I tried to rationalize things. Maybe my mother had come in and moved things around or maybe my sister was trying to scare me. I put the doll in its place and closed the doors again.
Things continued like this for a while. I theorized that the track that the doors were on was old, so I started tying string around the handles. Sometimes when I woke up, the string had been broken or stretched. I used rope next. I woke up with the rope laying on the floor, and the doors wide open.
Then, one day, it all stopped. The nightmares, the creepy dolls, and the closet door opening. Everything became so “normal” that I thought I had imagined it all for years. Then one day, I went into the basement alone. I hardly ever went down there as a principle, but the piano I was practicing on was set up there and I needed to run through scales. My dad was usually in his office when I practiced, or my mom would come down and listen. But that day, no one was home. At this point I was edging towards my teens and had started feeling very silly about how afraid I was of the house, so I made my mind up to be brave. I started getting a weird feeling in my shoulders as I edged down the stairs. I thought it was just nerves. I moved toward my piano, and my legs started to tingle. I ignored it. I sat down at the piano and could feel something watching my back. I turned to see who was there, but the space was empty. I started playing. C-D- E-F- G-A- B-C- B-A- G-F- E-D- C, F-G- A-B b -C- D– — –
Suddenly, my head hit the keyboard. It felt like the back of my skull had been cracked open. As I passed out, I remember feeling something cold and bitter wrap itself around me.
When I came to, I looked up and nothing was there. My head throbbed and I could feel bruises forming on my skull and forehead. I scrambled upstairs and slammed the door to the basement closed. I ran outside of the house and leapt into my mother’s car. I lay down in the back seat shivering until my parents came back.
Later that year my parents decided to divorce, so my mom moved out of the house. In some ways, their decision gave me some relief because I spent half my time away from the house. However, when I was there, things were worse. I started feeling cold spots throughout the house and sometimes visions would appear, rushing at me. I stopped sleeping at night when I was at the house. I put up Christmas lights so I could keep them on all night. Once the sun appeared, I would sleep for a few hours and then go outside all day long. I started passing out at random times of the day. My mother was worried something was wrong with my heart and for years I was scanned for any defects. I also got intense migraines when I was at the house. They felt like something trying to get inside my mind. When my body was ready to give out, I would sleep 12 hours during the day and then stay awake all night. I lived through this for the next several years until I left to pursue a bachelor’s degree.
The story didn’t truly end after I left for college. Weird things continued to happen, but on a less intense scale. It felt like the power of the being was stretched thin enough for me to ignore it. I was constantly on guard though. I could still feel it around at night. At random times I would feel prickles up my back and down my arms. One morning, I was getting ready for work, and found fingernail scratches on my stomach. I tried to trace them with my hands and realized that the marks were too big for me to have done them.
It took years for me to shake whatever it was that was haunting me loose. To this day, I feel it trying to creep around me, though it’s very faint. I’ve made a vow that I would never return to that house, and since I left the university, I haven’t. I will probably never know what the being was that kept me afraid for so many years but, even with my investigative mind, I haven’t desired to find out.