Saturday, October 20, 2007

My Brush with the Paranormal

Since Halloween is just around the corner, I thought I’d post my true story about the poltergeist that haunted my house back when I was in high school.

It began one night when I was alone in the house. I was upstairs in my bedroom doing homework when I heard a loud knock on my closed bedroom door. “Come in,” I said several times. No one did.

Annoyed, I closed my civics book, got up from the bed, and opened my bedroom door.

The house was dark, and I was alone in it.

It happened twice more that night: a loud, clear, undeniable knock on my bedroom door. Each time, I found myself alone in the house. When the rest of my family came home, I relaxed a bit, but I was rattled. I chose not to tell them.

A few days later my sister, at the breakfast table, told a strange story. She was wakened in the middle of the night by strange music—a violin playing and what sounded like a young girl singing along. The music didn’t sound like a radio or recording; it was too amateurish and old-fashioned. My sister could find no source for the sound. It seemed like it was coming from the hallway directly outside her bedroom, but every time she opened the door, the music abruptly stopped. The music kept going for some time before it stopped. I told her about the knocking on my door.

For the next couple of years, similarly weird things kept happening: footsteps mounting the stairway at night, bumps and thumps upstairs when we were all down in the living room, strange circling footprints that appeared on the rain-drenched back patio one morning.

One evening my mother clearly saw a man standing at the top of the stairs. (See photo above.) When she looked at him, he ducked into the master bedroom. My father and brother searched the bedroom, but, of course, no one was there.

The same week, my family, seated around the dinner table, twice heard a voice, out of thin air, call my brother by name.

After a couple of years the poltergeist activity tapered off and eventually disappeared entirely.

A few years ago, I bought the house from my mother, and my own family moved in. Almost every night for the first few weeks the doorbell would ring when no one was there. Our front door has a lot of glass in it, so it's hard to sneak up on, and the porch light has a motion-sensitive switch that turns it on when anyone comes up the walkway. But the light didn't come on until one of us opened the door to check the empty walkway.

The most recent event happened a few months ago. Our dogs ran to the front door barking, and my daughter, who was alone in the house, went to see who was there. When she got to the door, she heard a baby crying on the doorstep. She ripped the door open, but, yet again, no one was there.

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