My Ghost Story

Recently I started listening to the podcast Anything Ghost to get me in a festive mood for Halloween.  If you’ve read this blog for more than a year or know me in person you likely know that I’m a big Halloween guy.  Listening to this podcast, which is a collection of user submitted real life ghost stories, got me thinking about some of the things I’ve experienced in my life.

It inspired me to submit my own ghost story, which should be featured on the Halloween or November episode.  I’m excited to hear what Lex does with it, with his wispy reading and spooky music.

But until then I thought I’d give you all early access.  So enjoy…

My family has something of a history with ghosts, and as a child I experienced quite a few things that I cannot explain.  But there was one occurrence that really stands out.

When I was about eight years old my family moved to a different part of Willow Glen, which is the neighborhood where I grew up.  It was a nice house in a good area, but I never felt very comfortable there, and I don’t think the rest of my family did either.

The neighborhood is made up of mostly older homes that are very unique, no two are exactly the same.  Many of them have rather odd floor plans with strange features that I haven’t seen anywhere else.  This house was no exception, and took some getting used to.  It was a good size, so my sister and I had our own rooms.  The backyard was lush with bushes and trees filled with baby birds and other wildlife.  The house was fairly dark inside, not letting in a lot of natural light.  The house itself seemed to have a darkness that hung over it.

I always had a strange feeling in that house, especially when I was alone.  It didn’t matter what part of the house I was in.  I felt uneasy, almost as if someone was constantly watching me.  I remember feeling this most intensely while playing with toys either in my room or the backyard.

When I closed my eyes I got the impression that something was drawing closer and closer to me.  It was very creepy.

We had lived in the house for about 8 months when I had a frightening ghostly encounter.  At that age I usually slept through the night without any problem, but this night I woke up and looked over at the red numbers on my digital clock that I kept next to the bed.  It was 3:13 AM.  I remember the number had some kind of significance to me at the time, but I have since forgotten exactly why it felt so meaningful.

Then I looked across my room and saw a terrifying figure standing about five feet from my bed.  She was a small, old woman who looked partially decayed, and most of her clothing appeared to have rotted away.  She stood perfectly still, staring at me.  I was too scared to move or make a sound.  I have not felt such paralyzing fear before or since.

All I could do was move my eyes.  I very slowly looked the figure over from the top of her head to her toes, then back up to her face.  She wore little scraps of clothing covering some of her body, but it was very tattered and she was mostly nude.  Some parts of her were missing skin and had exposed muscle or bone.  The areas with flesh were saggy and wrinkled.  Her overall stature was rather odd, almost as if she was slightly deformed.  I remember thinking she resembled E.T. a little.

She just stood there, perfectly still.  She had very little hair on her head, just thin wisps of white sticking out in spots.  When I finished looking her over I stopped on her face.  The expression on her face was not menacing.  I don’t really know how to describe it.

I stared deep into her eyes.  They seemed too large for her face, and never blinked.  The pupils also looked really large, and there was no iris.  Just big, unwavering black circles that seemed to be looking deep inside me.

We stared at each other for awhile.  I felt as if I couldn’t look away.  Then very slowly the figure began to fade.  Over the course of about ten minutes the old woman disappeared.

Once she was gone I stared at the spot where she had been for some time.  I still felt too scared to move or speak.  At some point my tiredness overtook me and I went back to sleep.

The next day I told my parents about what had happened.  They seemed pretty shocked and uneasy about it, and eventually my dad told me that our realtor had informed him that the previous owner had been an old woman who died in the house.

We lived there for about 4 more months, before moving back to a house on our old street.  I don’t remember having any other experiences in that time, but you can imagine that I was even less comfortable than before.  I think part of the reason we only lived there for a year was the overall discomforting presence that we all sensed, even if it wasn’t said.

Our realtor seemed to find the whole thing funny, joking with me about seeing the ghost and sharing some of the other haunting stories he had heard from his clients about other homes he sold.

As mentioned, I had seen some ghostly things before this, but this is the longest and closest encounter I have ever had.  I was very interested in ghost and the macabre as a kid, but I didn’t find anything about this experience to be enjoyable.  I’m not sure why it happened, or if there was any deeper meaning to any of it, but it still gives me chills to remember being a scared little kid staring into those unblinking eyes.

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