I was seventeen when it happened. It was late, and I was the only one sleeping in the basement that night, as my sister's room was empty while she was out of town. I never slept with my bedroom door closed, but for some reason I had shut it that night. Of course.
Monday, October 31, 2011
It was around 11:00PM and I had just turned off the lights and rolled over to go to sleep. My bed was set up against the wall, with my feet facing my bedroom door and my head below a window. I was on my side, curled up in a ball and facing the wall. I've never been someone who can calm her mind quick enough to fall asleep immediately, so I know for sure that I wasn't sleeping when I first felt the presence—after all, it had been only minutes since I'd turned off the lights.
My eyes whipped open when I felt it. My heart started beating so fast that it was almost painful. As I lay there, I could feel someone standing in my room a few feet away.
I'm not sure if everyone else is like this, but I can sense when someone is in a room with me without seeing them. It's like the energy changes, especially when you're laying there in a quiet room with your eyes closed. I guess it's a "sixth sense" sort of deal. (Not the kind that means you see dead people. Were that the case I would be seeking INTENSE THERAPY.) Basically, if someone is in the room, they don't necessarily have to make a sound or be breathing loudly for you to be aware of their presence. And, of course, it's even more terrifying when you don't hear any sounds at all and simply feel someone there.
Especially when your room had been empty only seconds before, and your door is closed, and there is no way someone could get into your room unless they climbed into the tiny space behind your closet that held the hot-water heater, then managed to climb into your actual closet, then silently opened the closet door and made their way into your room—all without a sound, mind you.
I stayed absolutely still, staring at the wall. I can't tell you why, but all of a sudden I was certain I was about to die. It wasn't just fear, it was was the understanding that the person there was going to hurt me. I could feel them watching me as I lay there. I couldn't move, I could hardly breathe, I refused to turn around because I'd never been so terrified.
Then, I felt them move closer. Just a few steps, then another.
Before you think I'm crazy, try laying in a room with your eyes closed and have someone walk towards you. I swear, even if they're trying their best to be absolutely silent, you can feel them moving towards you. It sounds ridiculous, but it's not. I promise. Try feeling that when nobody is supposed to be there and you're all alone. And your door is closed. And there's nobody to witness the entire incident.
My entire body was rigid and my eyes were wide open, staring at the wall. I kept thinking, Okay, how am I going to get out of my room? They're close enough to grab me. I need to act like I'm sleeping. No, I need to act like I'm waking up. Like I know they're there. Like I have no idea they're there. LIKE I HAVE A GUN.
At this point, I wasn't thinking ghost. Even though it didn't seem possible for someone to show up without a sound, I was still thinking actual person. I didn't necessarily believe in ghosts at that time in my life, and the presence behind me truly felt like a real, solid human being. It was an actual body in my room, standing there, moving closer. And I could hardly breathe.
After a couple minutes had gone by, I made the decision to leap out of bed, bolt up the stairs and run to my parents room. I'm pretty sure I made it across the basement, up the stairs, through the kitchen, down the hall, and to my parents bedroom in one breath.
I actually went into my parents' room (at seventeen, mind you), woke them up and told them there was someone in my room. Although, by nature, I'm a little paranoid and scared of silly things, there's no way I would bust into their room at that age and wake them up like that without being completely confident of what had just happened. I wasn't someone that had grown up having nightmares or night terrors—I don't even think I was really scared of the dark as a child, so this was completely out of left field.
I hurredly told my mom that there was someone in my bedroom and I don't know how they got in there. My mom was all like, "WHAT." My dad was all like, "Mmphhhhblrrgghh." (He was apparently pretty asleep when I ran in to wake them.) My mom told me it was just a bad dream and that it was just my imagination, but I finally convinced them that I most certainly hadn't been asleep, and that there was someone in there.
After a moment they must have noticed I was trembling a bit, and that my fear was genuine.
My dad finally got out of bed, put on his robe and casually made his way through the house, down the stairs and to my room. I remember thinking, "WHY IS HE NOT TAKING A GUN, FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS HOLY."
My mom did her best to calm me, and when my dad returned from inspecting my room, he assured me there was nobody there. It's crazy, though, what fear like that does to your mind. I kept wondering how the person had time to rush up the stairs and get out before my dad had gone to check my room. I kept thinking that surely they were still there. I mean, where would they go? How could they get away that fast? What? Why? How? HOLD ME.
Needless to say, I slept at the foot of my parents' bed that night. And I'm sure my parents contemplated whether or not their second-born child had lost her ever-loving mind.
I don't remember how long it took for me to be able to sleep alone, in the dark, in my bedroom again after that. I never felt the presence again, but for a long time I found it really difficult to fall asleep. I'd lay there, convinced they would return. Convinced I'd feel that same feeling again, of someone walking closer and closer—not having any idea who they were or where they had came from.
When it comes to ghosts in general, I'm still not sure what I believe. It's been ten years since that night and I still wonder what it was that visited me that night, and why they were there. Because there is no doubt in my mind that it was something. And I also wonder, had I not reacted with such fear, if I would have found something not so scary after all...something that wasn't out to chop me to bits.
I guess I'll never know. And, quite frankly, I'm not in any hurry to find out.