Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Haunted Tales of Halloween: Day 3

by: Maxwell

I generally try to avoid ghostly run-ins. I'm very
committed to the idea of not seeing a ghost, but
nonetheless I've had a few spooky experiences in my
time. My roommate and I were convinced that our
apartment in Austin was haunted even though we never
saw anything substantial. Once in a while I might
catch a fleeting glimpse out of the corner of my eye.
We didn't mention it, but sometimes people who stayed
with us picked up odd vibes. The apartment was
relatively new, in one of those complexes with a pool
over on Oltorf, not typical scary stuff, but for all
we knew someone had died in the place. The worst of
it was, no kidding, sitting and typing on my roommates
computer, I always felt like someone was behind me,
watching me. I cannot abide people reading over my
shoulder, so the constant spine tingling, hair
pricking at the back of my neck made it difficult to
get any homework done. There was a closet in her
room, and when you sat at the computer your back would
be to the closet. It felt like someone was waiting,
watching, always coming from the direction of the
closet. I wrote a couple of creepy plays at that

At the end of the day, we just tried to chalk that
unnerving feeling up to bad feng shui.

The only experience that I haven't been able to
explain away happened in the house I grew up in, right
in Cypresswood. Maybe all kids go through a time when
they think they're houses are haunted. We thought so,
even though our house was new. After Poltergeist
came out we speculated that perhaps the house was
built on a graveyard. In all honesty, there were
times when I would be upstairs in the room furthest
away from the stairs, and would feel the driving need
to get out, run NOW NOW NOW down the stairs to be with

One particular night when I was about seven or so, I
woke up and couldn't get to sleep. I was getting over
a cold and I had been sleeping all day, and even
though it was now just past midnight I wasn't tired.
I was lying in bed with my back to the door. My
mother came in. I heard the door open and saw light
pour in from the hallway. I can't remember if I saw a
shadow. I felt my mother come and stand by the bed,
leaning over to turn on the light on my nightstand. I
turned over to say hello, complain that I couldn't
sleep, but no one was there.

I froze, immediately terrorized to paralysis. My
first thought was that I was dreaming, but a few quick
pinches confirmed that I wasn't. The light that had
not been on before was now on. The door to my room
was open. Then I thought, "Mom must have come in and
turned on the light, and I missed her." I didn't
move. I couldn't move. I just waited and waited
until finally I went back to sleep. The next morning
my light was still on. I looked to see if maybe it
could have turned itself on, but it had a dial switch,
the possibility of self illumination
didn't seem likely. I asked my mother if she had come
in the room to visit me, turned on my light. She
hadn't. I asked my dad, he hadn't. I asked my
brother. He hadn't, either. He was also four, not
yet capable of pulling a scary stunt.

Whatever the presence was, it didn't seem initally
frightening. Just terribly invisible. As far as I
know, it has never returned.

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