“I really wish you hadn’t told me that.”
I stared at the ceiling. Nothing makes your fear escalate like finding out that the person who is normally the voice of reason in your life is also very scared.
Mark Twain once said “I don’t believe in ghosts, but I am afraid of them.” An excellent sentiment indeed.
My boyfriend’s father owns the original West Redding train station, and lives in it. It was built in 1852 and it’s beautiful. Converted into a home decades ago, it still contains the original flooring, paint, and various items and debris in the basement. I won’t enter the basement, but that’s most likely because I’ve been groomed as a child of the ’80s and ’90s to associate basements and attics with horrible secrets and misdoings (thank you Psycho, Silence of the Lambs, War of the Worlds, etc). The basement contains the original foundation of hand laid rocks, all wet and moldy, and the cat box was down there at the time of this particular story, so it smelled awful, though I prefer the term “foreboding”.
The main floor consists of a living room and a large kitchen. The upstairs contains two large bedrooms and a bath with a gorgeous claw foot tub, which my boyfriend hates. Not because the tub is haunted, but because when he was fifteen or sixteen he had to carry that beast up the narrow 1852 stairs. There is a short narrow hall that ends with stairs that continue up to the attic. The house isn’t huge, but it’s wonderful.
I had not experienced any kind of super-natural anything in my life time. Not up until this particular night, anyway. It happened in the hall of the upstairs area. I had spent countless days in this home up until this and was never worried, never scared, never nervous. So when I woke up one evening to use the bathroom it hadn’t even occurred to me to be the slightest bit frightened about anything.
I climbed over my sleeping boyfriend. I didn’t even pause to turn on a light as I squinted toward the outline of the bedroom door. There was no need. I knew this house well. I padded softly toward the hall in my striped pajamas and quietly pulled open the door.
The next thing I knew, I was on my back on the floor, the wind completely knocked out of me
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I honestly have no idea how to describe what happened. I had opened the door, which didn’t even make the slightest creak, when I saw a thin man staring down at the boxes of things piled by the attic stairs just to the right of the doorway. Or rather the silhouette of a man. A black, but perfect shape of a man, thicker than smoke, but not any more tangible.
Then suddenly it was like someone socked me powerfully – yet softly – in the stomach, knocking me onto the floor and crushing all the air out of my body. I wasn’t hurt, but I was shocked.
And there I sat, my heart pounding, breathing, trying to comprehend what happened. My boyfriend didn’t even stir.
And I still really needed to pee.
I must have been mistaken about what I saw…right?
I stood, closed my eyes and sprinted toward the bathroom. I’m positive I made the Guinness Record for fastest pee in the dark, washed my hands without looking in the mirror, closed my eyes and half sprinted-half groped my way back to the bedroom.
I climbed back into bed as quickly as I could, smooshing myself between my boyfriend and the wall. That way if whatever I saw was going to come back and come into the bedroom, it would get my hubby first.
I calmed myself. I must have still been dreaming, I must have fallen out of bed, I couldn’t have seen what I thought I saw. I eventually calmed myself enough to fall back to sleep.
But I didn’t stay asleep for long. And I wish I could say the experience ended there.
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I woke up about an hour or so later and my boyfriend was no longer in bed. I sat up. There were no lights on, no lights coming from the hall, and I couldn’t hear him in the bathroom.
I didn’t mean it when I said that what ever I saw could get my boyfriend first if it came back.
I forced myself out of bed. Eventually I made myself stride confidently to the door. I could take down a ghost. Sure I could. I had muscle and pent up anger from working on my bachelor degree while working full time. I could muster rage to take down a super natural being.
I opened the door. There was nothing in the hall. This was good, because that’s right about the time any confidence and courage I had mustered left me.
“Chip?” I squeaked. “Chip!?…”
Thanks, honey. A disembodied shushing wasn’t super creepy at all. I turned to see at the top of the stairs was the very solid silhouette of my boyfriend. I moved toward him.
Then I heard it.
The wooden grind of chair legs shifting on the floor.
I froze. If I hadn’t peed before I would have peed then.
Scrape on the wood floor.
Clink of silverware and glass.
“Come to bed,” I whispered. I begged.
I went back into the bedroom and crawled as deeply under the covers as humanly possible. After a few moments, my boyfriend joined me.
“It’s just mice,” he lied. What a nice gesture.
“I saw a man,” I blurted it out, like saying it would release me. “Before… I went to pee and – In the hallway. I saw a man in the hallway and he knocked me to the floor.” The words tumbled out of my mouth before I could stop them.
I heard my boyfriend sigh deeply. He waited what felt like an eternity before saying something I thought for sure would comfort me.
“I really wish you hadn’t told me that.”
That response did not comfort me.
He was already scared of the “mice”. He didn’t want to hear that there was more going on in the house that night.
I hadn’t told anyone about this until Chip made me tell his father. His father was very unconcerned and didn’t seem surprised in the slightest. I was thankful for his calm manner regarding the story; it wasn’t a reaction I ever thought I would receive. If whatever I saw was in fact real, I don’t think he meant me any harm. I think I maybe surprised him as much as he surprised me. And I think he was fed up with the clutter of stuff in that house, as I often was.
Since this has happened I’ve told this story maybe three times, because I feel so silly about it all. But it’s a good story nonetheless.
Photo credit AllFromWeb