My True Ghost Story
I never leared what a Shadow Person was until a year ago. Those people that believe in ghosts or Shadow People will be interested in this story. Was it a ghost? A demon? A Shadow Person?
Shadow People are supposedly dark, with vague humanoid shapes, but they're not like ghosts. They're often distinguished by glowing, red eyes. People who have spotted them report feelings of dread, which is quite believable.
I probably don't need to reassure you that I'm not making this up. Why would I bother? There will be plenty of people that will accord this to temporary insanity, I'm sure. I'd like to add that I'm not prone to hallucinations or hysteria and I'm no ninny. My ex-husband is as somber as a judge and wouldn't dream of pranking me. His idea of getting wild and crazy was having a beer during Superbowl.
All that being said, here's what I/we encountered.
It was the fall of 1992, and I had just bought a house here in the Tampa Bay Area, Florida, with my ex-husband. The woman who'd owned the house had just died (in a nearby hospital) and her husband had predeceased her by at least a couple years. She had been a peculiar old woman, by all accounts. When she died, her son sold us the house, and everything in the house, including her beautiful antiques, her clothes, her personal jewelry (including solid gold watches). We wondered why he wanted no mementos of her whatsoever. Even the realtor (a family friend of ours) was surprised: He had never seen anything like that.
It took us an extra two weeks, working feverishly at night, to sort out what we wanted to keep and what we sold or donated to charity. One of the odd things that we gave away included a creepy looking hand-crafted, embroidered doll which was left squarely in the center of her bed. It was labelled "The Dammit Doll". My husband and I discussed it at that time, noting that it was the something we'd never seen or heard of before. (It looked similar to the one pictured here.)
This house was built in 1963, and was a classic old Rutenberg home (a guy who built a lot of good, sturdy homes back then). It was concrete block and lathe.
The first thing we noticed after we'd moved in was the creaking at night, as if someone was tiptoeing over creaky floorboards. The problem being, of course, that this was a concrete block house, and there was no wood anywhere (except in the attic). Certainly there was none on the floors, which were terrazzo. OK, that was creepy, but we put it down to 'an old house settling'.
The next thing that happened were the rats. We lived in an area that used to be an old citrus grove, so there were still citrus trees around. Enough, anyway, to harbor citrus rats. So, they weren't uncommon in the neighborhood. What was uncommon is that they suddenly decided to nest in our attic! And I don't mean that a small family moved in. At night it sounded like the Brazilian Soccer Team was up there. We'd lay there and hear a BUMP, then skitterskitterskitter as they would run in a pack across the attic...back and forth, all night.
They were so cute that I didn't have the heart to kill them at first. First we tried 'kind traps' and released a couple into the wild. Then we tried glue traps. Nothing was slowing the team down. Finally we tried poison and ended up with the equivalent of Rat Auschwitz in our attic. It was disgusting and I felt very guilty. My husband was given the enjoyable task of climbing up there and retrieving the corpses regularly. I didn't, because I was pregnant at the time. (Since then, I bought a new house that also had a rat infestation at one point, so I don't claim that it's an uncommon occurence in itself).
Here's the next thing that happened:
We slept in her old bedroom. They had that kind of old-fashioned relationship where he slept in the room down the hall, had his own bath, and she had hers. We converted his bedroom to a nursery, and during that time his toilet in that bathroom started flushing. All night.
We did what we could. My husband changed the rubber thingies in the back of the toilet (sorry, I'm not a plumber so I can't tell you what these parts are called, but he knew what he was doing). He did it repeatedly, but the toilet kept flushing itself.
Then we started hearing someone outside the window at night, crunching through the leaves. We'd look out and no one was there. May I add that this was in a VERY good neighborhood that was well-lit, even though it was older. There was no chance that we had a transient, and if we had, we would've seen him/her. Also, there were old bushes grown up outside the windows. You could see out and in but they were formidable to get through so it wouldn't be easy for a living human to be walking directly under the windows. In fact, it wasn't possible.
All that was beginning to get on my nerves, what with a new baby coming and all...
Then the straw that broke the camel's back:
Everyone who's had a baby knows that when you're pregnant you need to pee a lot more than you ever did before. It's hard to squeeze another human into your body cavity and still have room for other stuff. So, in my 6th month on, I had to get up at least a couple times a night to pee.
Here is a slightly out-of-proportion diagram of this portion of the house, and I will describe it, too:
Our bedroom was good-sized, probably about 10x12. It had two doors leading from it. One door entered the hallway. At the end of that hallway was the nursery. The other door entered the bathroom. The bathroom also had a door that opened onto the hallway. If you left both doors open and sat on the toilet in the bathroom (shown as an oval), you could see into the room and down the hallway into the other room.
Now... when I wake up, I wake up. There's no sleepwalking or even a half-somnolent stage. I've often wished I could only partially wake up. It takes a long time, sometimes upwards of an hour, to get back to sleep again once I get up.
Well, one night I woke up, and my bladder was calling to me. I lazily got up and went into the bathroom, without closing all doors. Those of you who've been in long-term relationships know that after a while, all privacy is gone anyway and it was in the dark, with no lights on.
I sat down on the toilet, stretching leisurely. Ok, I know this doesn't present a pretty picture: a naked pregnant woman sitting on a toilet. But stay with me on this.
I looked down the hallway, toward the nursery, and saw two red eyes. Yeah, they were as red as Christmas tree lights and they were at the level and distance apart that eyes should be.
I never believed in ghosts or psychic phenomenon, so I figured I was getting some sort of fake lights in my eyes...the kind you get if you're in a dark cave with no light. So I blinked, looked away to the bathroom window and the gray patch of sky outside, then looked back down the hall...and the eyes were still there.
That's when I really started getting spooked. I knew I wasn't mistaken. I had no idea what the thing was, but it was unnerving. I started thinking through different possibilities. Were they lights from some electrical device my husband had installed without telling me? Were they some sort of reflection? They couldn't be. The way they were positioned, they couldn't be a reflection of anything whatsoever.
Then the eyes started to move, and The Thing started coming down the hall toward me. I screamed like only Jamie Lee Curtis can scream and my husband woke up and turned on the light in a flash...and The Thing was gone.
Of course he looked all over the house on my insistence. I was sure there was some sort of intruder in the house with us! But all windows were sealed, all doors were locked, and nothing was inside or outside.
After that I decided it was time to do something! I considered getting a priest out there to exorcise the place, but I'm not Catholic. So, I settled on praying The Thing out of my house. I prayed all the time. If I'd been Catholic I would've worn out my rosary. By the time the baby was born, the noises had gone and I never saw The Thing again.
But...what WAS it???