You all know that one house on the street that just isn’t completely right. The one that looks normal but just.. isn’t. The one that causes chills to run down your spine when you pass it. The one that you avoid but at the same time are so intrigued by; the one that probably holds more secrets than you could ever imagine.
When I was younger, that particular house was right next door to my Granny’s house. I used to stare at it for hours, admiring the structure, however if I looked at it for too long, I would begin to notice too much. I would notice the contorted figures staring back at me from the windows. The way the color is actually quite sickening, and how the windows were entirely too high from the ground.
Years passed and I convinced myself, it was just an old house. Of course there were bound to be some weird things about it. Oh, was I wrong. Little did I know, it was the oldest house in our little town of Sneads, and the secrets trapped there are unimaginable. After all that time, of keeping it locked in the back of my mind, something my father mentioned to me this summer brought it all back.
It was rather hot summer here in Florida. A walk to your car will have you sweating, getting into it is like crawling into an oven. I was inside, and my father came in, looking frustrated. My Granny’s house now belongs to him, since my great grandma passed, my Granny moved into her house. He asked me if i felt anything unusual about the house next door, to which I paused and looked at him shocked. He asked me to see if I could find any history of it, or if I could find any proof of it being haunted. So, of course, I immediately began the search for information about the house. I ended up finding out that the man who built it studied a pseudoscience called phrenology, which is a science based on the belief that you could find someone’s intelligence and personality type by the shape of their skulls.
During the 1830s, in the Indian village called Walker’s Town, where is (supposedly where the town of Sneads is currently) events, (probably battle) led to the death of two Native American chiefs. The late chiefs skulls had mysteriously fallen into the possession of Dr. Joseph R. Buchanan of Cincinnati, Ohio. No one knows quite how he ended up with them. And even weirder, no one knows where they are to this date. Legend has it that the two restless spirits of the Native American chiefs wander the banks of the Apalachicola river on foggy nights, looking for their missing heads.
Knowing the information makes me look at that house in a new light. A much darker sinister one. So I guess, not a light at all. I see it as darkness.
Then the following nights of staying with my dad were hell. I couldn’t sleep. I would get nauseous. I got suicidal thoughts, even though i haven’t thought that way in months. I heard whispering in my ear. I was sleeping in the same bed as my sister, that was nothing new, we always share a bed. But now.. we were both waking up with awful bruises. My legs and back were covered. They looked like hickeys, or like an octopus had gotten ahold of us. Sam has been known to fight in her sleep, but I know it wasn’t her, I was awake most of the time. I slept a total of maybe 6 hours for the rest of my stay. The sleep I got wasn’t restful. I had dreams that I was in the house, but I couldn’t tell how I knew, for I have never been inside. Acts played out before me. I watched a pregnant women stand in the corner and stare at me for what felt like hours, I heard her scream out of terror, a terror I couldn’t see. I watched a young child be strangled by a pair of hands with no person attached. I saw the poor thing snatch and thrash to get away from the attacker to no avail and then eventually stop struggling. I sat in the pitch black room for what felt like days listening to agonizing screams from a large range of different voices. Some screamed words, others just screamed.
Every nightmare was different, but I was in the same place.
One morning, me and my sister were video chatting our mother over messenger. After nearly 2 hours on the call, we suddenly lost signal with her. As soon as the call completely dropped, a sharp, high pitched giggle cut through the house, giving me chills. My sister looked to me, shocked, and cautiously made her way to the door to investigate.
My father was still asleep in his recliner, and my younger brother was still asleep in his bedroom. My brother was 12. The giggle sounded like it came from a young boy, maybe around the ages of 6-8. Sam came back, pale but fruitless. As soon as she had left the room my mother had called back. Her boyfriend told us to tread with caution and keep salt handy. I did.
A while later that same day, I was making mac and cheese when I heard something fall in our room. Something heavy. I went back there as fast as i could, but found nothing had fallen. Confused, I went back to the kitchen. When I left, the pot of boiling water had been on the front left burner. When I returned it was on the back right burner, and all four of the burners had been turned on. Every single one burned orange. I looked at the knobs and sure enough, they were all on high. Panic rose as I realized this was reality. In this empty house, I was not alone. I cut all the burners off, besides the one I had been using and continued cooking. I didn’t tell Sam about it until a day later. I just couldn’t openly talk about it without feeling so crazy.
At around 4 or so, me and Sam walked to the dollar store on top of the hill for garbage bags, body wash, a lighter and candles for our room. When we returned, our father was asleep in his recliner again, but this time he was talking and fighting something, I assumed in his dream. Sam went outside to take out the trash. My father sat up, gasped for air, and looked at me. His blue eyes never looked icier. My heart stopped. He looked straight into my eyes and said one word. It was my name. The word left his lips, then he looked lifeless. He sunk back into the chair as if he had never waken. The moment shook me, but I brushed it off. People talk in their sleep. That was all it was, right?
I slept that night, maybe for 4 hours. I didn’t go to bed till around 2:45 a.m. I had the same yet different nightmares. I woke nauseous, crying, and with a terrible headache. The soreness of my body had gotten no better, and the bruises had multiplied. My sister was already awake, and less than a minute after I awoke, my mother called. I vowed to myself today would be my last day staying for a while. Around 9, I finally forced myself out of bed. It was a Monday, so my father was gone to work. Sam was in the shower, and my brother was still asleep, as he has a habit of staying up all night and sleeping till 3 p.m.
Every cabinet and drawer was open. The food, the spices, the pots and pans, the bowls cups and plates all displayed, cabinet doors opened so wide it was like there was no door to them. The drawers open as far as they could go. Dumbfounded, I began closing them. I closed one, and the shocking slam of the one across the kitchen startled me. I watched the one next to it close. Then like dominos they all slammed shut, one after another.
I decided to go back to bed. I thought I fell asleep but it was more like a day dream. I hadn’t fallen asleep at all. It was a pleasant dream I had that time.
Midway through I heard tapping on the door. Not a knock. Tapping. I was ignoring it. Not caring if it was human or not. Then it snatched me. Something, felt like pure ice, wrapped around my ankle, and snatched me halfway down the bed. I couldn’t scream. I couldn’t talk. I couldn’t breathe. It felt like something was sitting on my chest and choking me. My sister came in the room and just as suddenly as the attack had been sprung, it left. I went outside to the back porch and sat on the steps. I looked over at the house. Taking in the yellow siding and blue shingle roof. The screened in back porch. The fence coming immediately off it. The what I imagine to be a watch tower in the front. The way the windows are incredibly high off the ground. I thought I saw something in the window. I took a closer look and that’s when I saw her.
A woman. Red hair, long and flowing. Maybe to her mid-back. My eyes followed her hair and I saw it. She was pregnant. My eyes grew wide and I looked to her face. Her hollow eyes stared right through me. I had enough. I called my mom. I begged her to have someone come pick me up. She called my aunt and I went home. I finally slept for 8 consecutive hours. I’ve never had a more restful sleep.
I guess “escaping” from a haunting does that.
Submitted by Calli Jo
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