When I was in 3rd grade in 1994, I lived in a small border town called Douglas in Arizona, USA. My dad was in the National Guard and my mom was a stylist. We lived in a new housing development called Quail Run. If you see it now there are a lot of houses there, but when I was a kid, we were one of maybe six that were newly built. Quail Run is as far southeast of Douglas as you can get before hitting the Mexican border. I lived in one of the houses on the outer edge of the development. The house faced east and to the southeast of our front door was miles of desert before hitting Mexico. Plain. Untouched desert.
I remember there was a square hole across the street where a new house was going to be built. My older brother and I would always venture out and explore. We were questioned several times by border patrol but as soon as they heard our clean English they’d leave us alone. I only tell you this because it’s important to the events that occurred. There were several of them, and not always of the same nature. I read a lot as a kid, mainly R.L. Stine and Scary Stories to tell in the Dark. I loved, and still do, the creepy stuff. But, I knew early on that I didn’t believe in ghosts. I never had a ghostly experience or anything like that. But, I have had experiences of high strangeness.
For example: my brother and I shared a bedroom. We had bunk beds. He slept on bottom and I slept on top. One night I fell asleep and woke up on the bottom. My brother woke up under the bed. See what I mean? High strangeness.
We have a lot of stray dogs in Douglas. Once I saw a stray pass behind a light pole that stood outside our house only to never come out the other side. Maybe less than a foot thick that light pole. That was just the small stuff.
My stupid brother used to try and scare me by telling me that someone killed themselves in our house, which I knew was untrue because I remember our dad taking us to the unfinished house as it was being built. No one could’ve killed themselves here because we were the first occupants. But even after this, I remember being quite disturbed when my mom found a red splatter stain in the ceiling of her closet. Of course my brother said it was left over from when someone put a gun in their mouth. I didn’t believe that. But I do remember my mother complaining that whenever she would paint over the spot it would seep through. She could never get rid of the spot. One time, near the end of our living in that house, my mom and dad were divorcing. He left to live somewhere else for the time being. My mom, brother and I came home to find a big webbing crack on our living room window. My mom blamed my dad for the crack. My dad denied it. But that very night, we all decided to sleep together in the living room. My mom slept on the couch. My brother on the recliner. And I fell asleep on the floor between the couch and coffee table we had in front of the couch. I always, and still do, sleep on my belly. I just can’t fall asleep on my back. Anyway, I remember waking up. I can move, but I don’t. I can hear something rustling the carpet near me. You know how quiet it can get and you can hear everything. It becomes apparent that something’s in the room with us. I try laying still. At this point I’m terrified, but my fear is cranked up when I fell little tickles on my bare back, as though a dog were smelling me and lightly brushing its whiskers on me. It’s doing something to my back. These soft little tickles continue until they don’t. I remember my mother beside and above me breath a heavy sigh and this gives me the courage to get up. I do so, and in the dark I head for the kitchen light switch, which is sort of a part of the living room. Before I reach it, I see something run across the floor in the direction of the kitchen. I could only see it’s shape in the darkness. It was maybe a foot tall or less. It had the shape of a leprechaun or gnome: small, pointed hat or head and thick, chubby. This made me stop, but in less than a second it’s gone. I turn the light on and there’s nothing. It had ran into a dead end in our kitchen and just vanished.
This encounter would mirror another that occurred a few months later. My parents officially separated. I’m having trouble at school: getting in trouble a lot. I even tried to punch the principal. My mom sent me to live with my dad and his new girlfriend for about a week. After that week, he seemed to have enough of me and my troubles at school and he sent me back to my moms. The first night I arrived back I saw that my brother had taken down our bunk beds. He threw out all the connector pieces and made himself a huge bed for himself. Two box spring mattresses below and two regular mattresses on top. Instead of taking my bed back, I fell asleep on the floor. We used to always watch Star Trek the next generation right before bed and I remember watching this before falling asleep. Now, our bedroom has a window that also faces east. The light pole was right outside this window and shone an orangish light into the room. We used to have vertical blinds for this window, but as of this particular evening, we didn’t have them anymore. Now, our bedroom was on the northeast corner of the house. In our room my brother set up his new jumbo bed in the southeast corner of the room with his head pointing south. On the west end of the room we had our closet, and the southwest corner was the bedroom door. I fell asleep on the floor with my feet pointing east toward the window, and my head pointed west almost in the closet. I had a pillow and a thin white sheet covering me. I was sort of on my side with the sheet completely covering my head. I could see the bottom half of orange light that shone in from the light pole. I could see where the bottom of the window ended with the line of a black shadow. I awake in this position. I cannot move. My head is covered by the sheet but i can still see the shape of the bottom half of the window projected on the sheet. So, keep in mind, I cannot see directly. All I see is the bottom half of the square of light from outside. I can only move my eyes. And that’s when I notice something. Three shadows, like bumps, poke up from the square of light, like if three people were peeking into the room and casting three shadows in the square of light. My veins are pounding. But I cant do anything but watch. These three bumps move. They turn to each other. I can see their little profiles: lips, nose, forehead. And their lips move as they turn to each other as though they’re speaking to each other. I don’t remember hearing anything. But I did get the impression that they were very short. These three bumps I first thought were heads of someone poking their heads in to get a better look. But they weren’t. They were their whole bodies. My grandpa on my dads side had a little foot tall wooden carving of the Buddha. I remember it reminded me of these little things. The most frightening part was when my brother, only feet away from these things, began to toss a little in his bed and breath a few heavy sighs. When he did this all three of these things turned their attention to him. Their fat little bodies and profiles all turned to their left, my right, and just watched him as if worried he might wake up. Then they were just gone. They just disappeared. I remember being able to move again and shooting up and turning on the light and searching the room, to my brothers annoyance. Never found anything. But never forgot it either.
I know this is kinda long but I might as well get it all out there. Two more significant encounters that happened around this time. I began seeing psycho dot people. A psycho dot is when you look at a bright light then look at somewhere dark and you see a multicolored blob or dot of residue. I saw that in the shape of people and creatures like bugs and rats. One time while sitting on the curb with my brother at night, I saw something scurry along the curb where the rain water drains into the sewer. It looked like a rat or bug. The scariest encounter was when my dad came to pick us up for Dairy Queen and I ran into my room to get my shoes and I open the closet door and see a psycho dot person cowering in the corner of the closet, rocking back and forth. Scared the hell outa me. But, just like all the other times, it just vanished.
The final thing I want to share is certainly not the last. This happened before the leprechaun looking thing in the kitchen event. Our bunk beds were still up. We had vertical blinds on our window though some were missing. The event began very strangely. I told my brother the next morning that my bed sneezed. What I mean is that I was asleep when half of my mattress sprang up like my brother had kicked it, only he couldn’t have because the bars were too close together to fit even your hand, let alone his feet. The half of my bed where my head was sprang up for a second then fell back flat. But I was pushed up into a sitting position. This is how I woke up that night. I look, still half asleep, at the window, and where one of the vertical blinds was missing, I saw a white light. It was far off in the distance. I reached out and pushed open the blinds to the right of that and see that there are three lights, stationary in the far off sky. Three lights equally-spaced apart, side-by-side horizontally. I then see from the furthest left light, two red lights appear and move further left. They go for a while traveling perfectly straight until they make a 45 degree turn downwards. They seemed to go all the way down to the ground before all the lights just faded out. Nothing flew away or blasted off. They just faded out in a split second. And I went back to sleep. Like I said, I told my brother that my bed sneezed because to me it was the best way to describe it. I told my aunt once. She said she saw something similar at her house on the edge of the desert.
Submitted by J Santana Barrios
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