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Real Ghosts, Restless Spirits, and Haunted Places
THE OLD DARK HOUSE
The summer of 76 was not a good one for me. I was living at the Geronimo Hotel, a flea-bag mecca for Tucson's transients. I was working sporadically as a laborer as well as taking some classes at the nearby University of Arizona. The only people residing at the hotel seemed to be retirees who hadn't saved enough,criminals, heroin addicts and people with minimum wage jobs who couldn't afford to live elsewhere.
If you wanted to meet eccentrics of every stripe, you wouldn't be disappointed with the denizens of the Geronimo.
One day, while waiting in the lobby for the rickety elevator, which I hoped would take me to my room on the third floor, a gaunt, shiny eyed young man accosted me.
He extended his hand and smiled. "Hey man , my name is Phil. Can
you do me a big favor, and loan me two bucks? I can pay you back in
a couple of days." His voice was soft , but had a nervous edge.
I never expected to be paid back, so it was quite a surprise to see
Phil two days later hurrying toward me in the lobby with two dollar
bills clutched in his skeletal hand.
Surprised by his unexpected honesty, we exchanged pleasantries for several minutes. He seemed to be both friendly and intelligent . I invited him to my room.
There the conversation continued and we talked on a number of topics. After a while Phil seemed to become rather bored and seemed somewhat distracted. He then revealed that he was so thin because he practiced fasting.
"Why do you fast, Phil?"
I tried to steer the conversation elsewhere when Phil, seeming to grow agitated, his bony jaw set slightly on edge . blurted out, "Demons, I talk to them and they tell me a lot of stuff. Things that would blow your mind!"
It was then I arose abruptly and told Phil that I had to write a paper for class and that it was nice talking with him, but that I should get started on it. He could probably tell I was creeped out by his strange conversation .
After Phil left , I sat in my wooden chair and looked around at the roach infested room, at the old narrow metal framed bed with its thin, hard mattress, and the ancient writing table scarred with age, where down on their luck tenants wrote letters to a lost love or perhaps scribbled suicide notes.
Several weeks passed, and between my work and studies I had largely put the strange conversation with Phil out of my mind. I was taking a couple of courses during the summer to gradually build enough credits to graduate. Some days I worked in the sweltering heat, doing landscape work: the hot desert sun shining like a little inferno in the clear , merciless sky.
Then , late one night, I was awakened by someone pounding on the door of my room. I got out of bed, slipped on some jeans, and groggily made my way to the door and opened it
There stood Phil, looking wide eyed and frantic, clutching a book in one hand. Strands of long blond hair were plastered on his sweating thin face
."Phil, what's going on," I managed to say, waking up fast.
He thrust the book into my hand suddenly. I can't keep this book. I
got to get out of here and I got to travel light. I was kicked out of
my room. Could you keep this book for a week or two? The book means
a lot to me. I'll be back and get it soon after I get settled again."
I was curious enough about the book to examine it to see what it was about. It was a strange book, perhaps privately printed. It was solid black and appeared to be at least a century old. There was no title or author listed on the cover or spine of the book. There was no copyright page nor date or even the name of a publisher. Opening the book at random , I read a few pages .
Weeks passed by and Phil never showed up.and the book lay in the corner of my hotel room largely forgotten.
Then, one night , after fighting the heat and the noisy traffic, I managed to fall in to a restless sleep. Suddenly I was wide awake and sat up in bed. I instinctively glanced toward the corner where Phil's black book lay.
Something stood there that had a human form. But it wasn't human, it
was like a blue mist only with glaring red eyes. The thing had its eyes
locked on me. They emanated pure hatred and malice.
Much later that day, I managed to force myself to go back to the room. I walked directly to the corner and picked the book off the floor and carried the thing ,as if were a dead rat, to the dumpster and tossed it in with the trash.
Somehow I managed to get by the next few days without incident. I never looked toward the corner and tried not to think about the disturbing thing I had witnessed that night. The damned book was in the landfill now in its rightful place , keeping the rats and maggots company.
On the fourth day after the appearance, however, while picking up my mail in the hotel lobby I was shaken yet again. The hotel clerk who was a nosy rather unlikable sort, seemed to have something he was itching to say.
"Did you hear about what happened to Phil? he asked, his voice quivering with excitement. "he was shot dead, Thursday night, while trying to burglarize a house on 4th Avenue."
I mumbled something as I left the lobby. Instead of going to my room , I went for a long walk and tried to wrap my mind around the fact that Phil was killed the same night that I had seen that strange being glaring at me from the corner. Was it a malevolent spirit arising from the black book or was it Phil's attempt to somehow reconnect with his book and say a kind of goodbye to this life?
Submitted by R.G. Harris
Do you go trick or treating each year? I never have. To some, Halloween seems like harmless fun, but during my childhood it was no benign 'trick' – let alone 'treat'.
As Halloween loomed back then, I became terrified. I rarely slept a wink during the witching hour, imagining evil and grotesque beings on broomsticks flying outside, bound somehow to work their insidious machinations inside as well. It may sound like ordinary childhood fears – monsters under the bed – but I had good reason to fear the improbable, or indeed, the seemingly impossible.
My home back then was a late Victorian house out in the wilds. Successive owners had removed the original features; a house without a soul somehow. It was a habitually gloomy place even in broad daylight. During the winter months the heating would make the pipes rattle and the floorboards creak, but there were also inexplicable groaning noises and other strange unearthly sounds. Those things would scare any young child: it contained more evil nonetheless.
I hated the stairs. They were enclosed with a door at the bottom. The walls were papered with a largely black city-scape that reflected hardly any light from the small window at the top during daytime. The light-bulb wouldn't always work if you turned it on from the bottom; vice versa if you tried the switch on the landing. It was a horrible feeling, thinking someone, or something, was following behind you – and frequently there was.
I'd dash into my bedroom, dive into the bed, dreading the time that mum would come to tuck me in and kiss goodnight because of the fear of being left alone. It was a shadowy room even in the dusk of summer evenings – the deep red brown and orange curtains giving the spooky impression of changing shapes. As time went by it became not just a twilight visual abomination of sorts that forced my head underneath the blankets, but an actual place of torture.
My first memory in that chamber wasn't connected to my parents but to the entities who visited. I would see forms with no faces, dark outlines, with blind eyes looking over my cot. They would pull my blankets down. I remember feeling so cold because I didn't know how to pull the covers back up. I wasn't scared of them at that point.
As I grew a little older however, the night, the dark, started to terrify me. Unlike during my babyhood, I kept my eyes firmly closed as an older child then, frightened stiff of what I might see.
Once the household was asleep, and largely only then, I would hear
a high-pitched whining noise
They didn't go about things quickly, rather slowly tormenting victims. They would paralyse me, silence me, and leave me in that state for many a while. After that, pure silence, and the dread of every single frozen sinew and muscle encompassed me: 'it/they' were coming. Incrementally, haltingly, they would ease my bed-covers down: first off my face (ahhhhhhhhh); over my nose; chin; down the line of my neck (they're...ahhhh help: someone: help!); then chest; towards my stomach (pleeeeeeasse: hellllllp!!); groin (noooooooo!!!); thighs; knees (leave me alooooone!!!!); ankles (Oh God, pleeeeease: nooooooo)!!!!!; toes....(NOOOOOOO!!!!!!)
The touching started; creeping multiple fingers and hands fondled, grabbed me, over and over; sometimes tickling me, again and again until I felt physically sick/retching: out of my mind with fear; passing out eventually: eventually.
They never physically hurt me, but due to their mental torture, by the age of 8. I was so anxious and sleep deprived that I pulled my hair out leaving bald patches; I behaved in other weird ways too. I never told anyone however thinking that adults wouldn't believe me: children were 'to be seen and not heard' back then.
These things continued through teenage years into adulthood following me wherever I lived, but I haven't had such intensified experiences of late. The odd thing happens though. Most notably, one night in the winter of 2011, my friend Elaine – who attends a local church – asked if we could discuss a section of the bible concerning satan the devil to ascertain my thoughts (I'm not religious but I studied the bible). She sat adjacent to me and started reading. On reaching the words 'satan the devil', at the exact same time, a bulb in the brass candelabra hit the ceiling and floated down slowly – still lit – landing with its tip facing outwards between the two of us, as if it had been exactly placed.
I turned to my shocked friend and said: “ now do you believe me?”
The dark doesn't terrify me now; neither Halloween. It's been a long road. I guess you become hardened to it in the end. Ultimately, I think that ignoring these evil ghosts, not showing I'm scared – even when I am – is the answer. Like bullies, in time they get give up if you don't respond.
Those thoughts of further monstrosities on Halloween back then – the witches on their brooms – subjecting me to some other form of ghastly torment was unbearable, but strangely nothing did happen on that night. But, this Halloween, if you hear anything in your bedroom – if you feel an invisible hand over your mouth – lie very still. Most of all, keep your eyes firmly shut and don't bother screaming: though, of course, I hope you'll never have to.Kind Regards
My mother always told me the story of living in a haunted house when
she was a girl. Normally I'm a cynic when it comes to ghost stories,
but knowing my mother as I do, I am forced to admit that there may be
forces at work in this world that we can't understand.
Submitted by Teresa
It was earlier this month, in October, that I saw something quite strange
and find myself even today wondering what, or even who, it was that
I actually saw. Here let me explain:
I had gone to work eager this one morning with a couple of assigned projects awaiting my attention, one of which was some general dry-wall repair in a bathroom in one of the many numbered rooms located along a narrow and dusty corridor in what is best described as a lonely and isolated section of the building. I say lonely and isolated because other than the lady that hired me, I saw no one while walking to this quiet and dimly-lighted work site.
Additionally, another commitment that waited was to remove and replace
a section of old and musty and badly stained carpet in yet another room
located also along that same hallway.
Searching the numbered room signs above each door while walking down
the hallway, I soon found myself facing the door to where I was to enter
and perform the assigned dry-wall repairs. As I always do upon entering
a new work area, I knocked briefly on the door before stepping inside.
Turning my head in the other direction it was unavoidable that my eyes could see the old, white-haired woman lying peacefully asleep on a bed there at the far end of the room, her arms held stiff across her chest. Out of reflex, I suppose it was, I apologized, nearly whispering the same, and without expecting answer backed quickly and quietly out the door to the hallway again where I quietly and carefully closed the door behind me. I decided it best not to disturb the sleeping occupant and in so doing went in search of the other room and carpet project. Finding that room to be located a few doors further down the hallway, I entered having every intention of returning later in the day to tackle the dry-wall.
A good hour into the carpet removal and replacement, the lady that
hired me approached and asked how things were progressing? She was surprised
seeing that I had moved on so quickly to the carpet and asked if all
had gone well on the dry-wall project? I told her that I was going to
take care of that next, when I was sure that the old lady there on the
bed was awake. I didn’t want to be a disturbance to her.
Makes good sense them doing that, I thought to myself, moving the old
folks I mean, but who then was that old, white-haired woman I clearly
saw there on the bed? She looked asleep -- But as we discussed this
matter further, it got me to seriously thinking:
Hearing that, the short hairs stood up on the back of my neck.
I find myself still wondering what it was I saw that October morning, yet I know damn well there was a person lying there on that bed. All things being considered, I do believe in ghosts; now so more than ever.
Submitted by Jerry Bridges
Thanks To Everyone Who Participated