A Childhood of Spirits

01 December 2018 | Haunted houses, Your Stories, Your True Encounters

Until the age of 13, I lived with my parents in a two bedroom apartment in Philadelphia. The apartment was actually the second story of a three-story house. Our landlord lived on the 1st floor, my family on the 2nd, and a single mother and her young daughter on the 3rd.

I lived in constant fear, at night time at least, due to the many and varied occurrences that shaped my outlook on the paranormal for the rest of my life. When I say may occurrences I mean many, but four stand out to me the most. The first, and the most frightening to me, happened one night while I was in bed. We had a small dog that would lay at the foot of my bed, under the covers (I think she was aware of what was going on in the house as well), and I woke up to the sound of my dog whimpering. I slowly opened my eyes and turned my head toward the direction of the one window in the room. There, in front of the window, was the figure of a woman. She was translucent. And had a dull, white glow all around her. My heart began beating so quickly, and I wanted to scream, but I didn’t want to bring her attention to me, as her back was to me, as she seemed to stare out the window. I couldn’t really tell what she was wearing, but it appeared to be a long flowing dress, which was gently moving, along with her long hair, as if a breeze was gently blowing from the window. As I watched in terror, she looked down, then very slowly began to turn her head back towards me. All I could think to do was shut my eyes and pretend to be asleep. Now, if you’ve ever pretended to be asleep to fool someone, and that person leaned down to see if you were really asleep, you know the feeling I felt. I could feel the closeness of her face, inches from mine, as if she was standing over me, and bent down to see if I was actually sleeping. Not sure if it was the sheer horror of the experience, but I believe I fainted. The next thing I remember was waking up with a scream. and jumping out of bed. The dog crawled out from underneath the bed. It must have been too afraid to stay under the covers…

The 2nd and 3rd occurrences happened the same evening. It was Christmas Eve, and we were getting ready to walk over to my grandparent’s house (they lived right around the corner from us). I was in my bedroom, and I thought I saw the ghostly woman again out of the corner of my eye. I turned but there was nothing there, although I had the overwhelming feeling of someone in the room with me. Almost casually I said “Merry Christmas. It’s too bad you can’t come to dinner with us” I said it sarcastically, and actually got a kick out of teasing this ghost that continued to frighten me for so many years. Well, after dinner, we were all still sitting at the table, their dining room was between the kitchen, and a set of stairs that led to the 2nd floor. My grandfather, to protect the wooden steps, had installed metal strips, about 2 inches wide, across the front of each step. Whenever someone would walk up or down the stairs, they would make a distinct clicking noise, as the shoe hit each metal strip. As we talked and digested our meal, all of us heard “click, click, click” as if someone was walking down the stairs. No big deal, except all 12 of us were still seated at the table. The sound stopped, then my plate moved just an inch or so by itself. Then in the kitchen, one cabinet door opened and closed, then another, and then the sound of the doorknob of the kitchen door being jiggled could be heard. My uncle tried to lighten the mood by saying “Well that was the ghost of Christmas past”. We were all shaken, and I believe it was the female ghost from our house, showing that she could indeed, come to dinner.

Lately, the 4th thing that happened, I had fallen asleep on the floor in my parents bedroom, and my mother, not wanting to wake me, had placed a pillow under my head and put a blanket over me. I woke up sometime in the middle of the night, looked at the open doorway and saw these..creatures, walking past and down the hall. The only way to describe them is they were about the size of a doll, very thin, with skin the color of clay, a reddish brown color. The faces were elongated, and they had fairly long tails. They never came in the room, just went past, almost in single file. Occasionally one would stop, look in and around the room, then continue walking away. Now this last occurrence I actually talked myself into believing I had only dreamt it, they were only part of a bad dream. That changed about 8-years later. I was a senior in high school, walking around the library for something interesting to read, and came upon a book on the paranormal. As I flipped through the pages to determine if it was worth reading, the hair on my head and arms stood up, and I froze. The page that I turned to showed a picture of a wood carving, depicting a witch conjuring demons. But, it wasn’t the image of the witch that stunned me. In the picture, under a table, on top of a cabinet, in the corner of the room, were the same creatures I had seen as a 10-year old. I knew then that what I had seen that evening wasn’t a nightmare but a frightening reality.

Submited by John Jamison

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