There are multiple moments in my life where I look back and say, “huh, that’s odd.” But, there are many logical explanations for these events. I want to begin with my earliest memories of being horrified by “ghosts” or the paranormal. Then I will go into the experiences I believed were true in my late teens and early twenties until I got into my mid twenties. I will tell my “ghost” stories and explain after each one why I discredit them today.
The first horror moment I recall was somewhere around three or four years old. I was sleeping in my small, low-to-the-ground bed for small kids or toddlers. I was woken up by a ghastly person rising from the floor and it started gliding slowly to my bed. The thing was short, made only with the colors of black, grey, and white. It was short and fat in human terms, and it was bald with wiry oily hair. I could see my parents walking in the hall past my room, and I tried to scream, and I couldn’t let out a sound. As it got closer, I lost the ability to move entirely, though I am not sure I moved at all prior to trying. Then a voice whispered in my ear, “you are stronger than this.” Then, I let out the loudest scream with tears that I could, and my parents came in and turned on the light. Telling me it was just a nightmare. I never recall seeing this thing again after that night.
So, what do I think the logical explanation behind this story is?
Sleep Paralysis. It is a logical and perfectly human thing to have happen. One is awoken prior to the brain permitting the rest of the body to awake. A person enters a state between REM sleep and complete wake. At least, this is how I understand it. Because the person is still technically awake, they understand their environments and surroundings as they happen. But, because the person is still asleep, the common symptoms of inability to move and dream induce hallucinations occur. So, if I was dreaming of The Adams Family, which my parents might have rented around that time, I could imagine my brain’s interpretation of Uncle Fester popping up out of my floor and coming toward me. As my body was struggling with fear, my brain calmed me down with words I needed to hear, hence the voice. Then, I managed to break the paralysis and screamed my four-year-old lungs out.
This story is a continuous one throughout my childhood. It is also co-staring Bradley. He came over to my house a lot during the summers and on weekend throughout my childhood. One of the things we experienced frequently as we played in the house, when we played in the house was a woman’s voice calling me. We always attributed it to my mother. She would call me and I would go see what I did or needed to do, and sometimes it was her. Sometimes, she would deny calling. Some of the times, we were sure she wanted something and changed her mind, or she just to needed to check and make sure we weren’t going to panic at the sound of an adult. (Who knows what damage we were causing after all). There were times though my dad would be home and not my mother, and we would still hear her call me. Sometimes, she would be outside getting mail and we would hear her, then go check, and she was near the street. This was commonplace even into our early teens when play became gaming and just hanging out.
So, what do I think is the logical explanation?
I think there are two possible reasons for these experiences. First, is that my mother did call me each time and we simply blew the prank, check, or whatever it was out of proportions with our young minds. Second, there is a psychological condition where people hear the voice of familiar people call their name when they didn’t. It’s just your brain recalling an auditory memory. The one aspect the latter doesn’t explain is, why did Bradley hear it too? If it was a hallucination, then how were we both experiencing it together frequently? This one has more questions than answers, so the logical option is my mother was calling my name just keep us out of trouble, and dad must have done a similar thing and just made his voice higher when calling, which is not unusual in a vocal call. Yeah, I know. You think I am in denial at this point.
Around fourteen years old, we moved out of that old house in Marianna and into a new one in a smaller community. The experiences stopped. No more phantom calls. But, when I was seventeen to eighteen, I had a car and a decent job. Bradley had invited me to live with him and his wife in the big house they had rented on the other side of town. They needed roommates to cover bills, so I naturally didn’t consider consequences and said, “yes.” I did get half of the house to my self for the most part; there was another roommate to join a few months in. This house had some strangeness to it. It still does. If we were to investigate it today, I am sure the EMF readings would be through the roof.
The first few months of staying there was pretty awesome. We had a lot fun and enjoyed the life on our own things. Then, weird stuff began to happen. I would frequently note how often the doors to the back rooms would open when I could have sworn I closed them. The faucet would drip due to being barely on when I was sure I completely turned the knob to shut it off. Little things in this house just started to add up for all of us. We actually decided to sit and talk about it, because the air conditioning issue was one that was actually costing us. The air would turn itself down and nearby lights would occasionally flicker. We figured it was one of us turning down the air without wanting to confess. So, we let it go to see what would happen next.
About the fourth month in of living there, I was going down stairs to do laundry. There were two doors between the laundry area and the living room: One door to go down the stairs and one door to enter the basement from the stairs. Both locked from within the stairs. To be clear: One must lock both doors from inside the stairway. There was also a game room and an office downstairs, both with doors. I was putting my dirty clothes into the washer and behind me a sudden and loud thud. I jumped a bit, but it was in rhyme with me whipping around to see what happened. The door behind me locked. I looked around and the other two doors, which were normally open (though I did not make a prior decision to really observe) were closed. I was seemingly locked in the laundry room. I was fortunate that the door to the office was not locked (the only one not locked) and I went through the office, that had a door to the back yard, and around to the front door of the house. By some happenstance, I had a key with me to unlock the front door, which I didn’t lock when I got to the house. I come in and thought, ‘the roommates are pranking me.’ So I said, “haha very funny.” Oddly, I heard a child laugh.
I looked in the driveway, and only my car was there. I checked the garage, and no one was parked in there. I text Bradley, both he and his wife were at work. I asked if a newer roommate was in yet. He said, “no.” I told them that occurrence a few days later, when we had the same time off.
So, how do I explain that?
Well, I started doing a variety of drugs at seventeen, and was not in a great mental place. I had a relationship that ended tragically around that time. I was always abusing a substance, mostly pills and alcohol. Even the days when I wasn’t specifically taking or doing anything, I am not so sure my mind would have known the difference between what I thought was paranormal and what I was doing without realizing it. Without a clear mind or memory of most of my time back then, I am not sure I can trust anything strange that I do remember happening at that house. The strange part is, Bradley and his wife do have their experiences at that house.