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My first recollection of things being amiss was within the first week of our relocation to the house, in late March to early April 2001. My parents had left for the store to purchase cleaning products (the house was disgusting when we moved in) and I decided to stay behind and explore my new home. It was the largest house I had ever lived in at that point, and the only house I’ve ever lived in to feature a full attic and basement.
Being a meek 12 year old girl, I couldn’t reach the pull cord for the attic, so I turned my explorations to the basement. The finished portion of the basement was musty, if unremarkable. Behind a clear shower curtain lay the unfinished portion. Chiefly, it was a boiler room. However, on the eastern wall, there was a small area boarded up with plywood. I wrapped upon the wood and found that it was hollow behind it.
I didn’t know when to expect my parents home, and I figured that I’d need time and preparation to explore the area behind the wood. When I made my way back up the stairs to the door connecting my bedroom to the basement, I found that the door had been locked from the outside. Do note, the locks on the door were comprised of two deadbolts and one latch. After fidgeting with the door for a few moments, I resolved to simply exit through the basement door leading outside and wait for my parents to return home. I believed, at the time, that they had locked me in the basement as a practical joke. As time wore on, I wasn’t so sure.
The following weekend, I decided to wake up long before anyone else—at roughly 5:00 a. m. to explore the basement. I dressed in thick, warm clothing, boots, a hat, and a pair of heavy duty masonry gloves. The plywood was in an advanced state of dry rot, so I was able to pull it free of its moorings with relative ease. I carefully sat it aside, as to make as little noise as possible, and took out my headlamp.
Looking into the void, I saw that the “tunnel” extended quite a ways—in fact, it extended beyond the point of the house itself. I tied a handkerchief around my nose and mouth to prevent breathing as much dust as possible and began my journey. Most of the crawl was uneventful, and, as such, I returned to the start of the “tunnel” after a few hours. The tunnel was much longer than I had anticipated and I would need a lot more time to traverse it fully. As I had neglected to bring a time-piece of any kind, I had no indication of how much time had passed.
When summer break began, I conducted daily sojourns into the dreaded “Dirty Part”, as I had dubbed it. Over time, I found various things buried under the dirt. They would vary from clothing to children’s toys. I thought little of it—the house was old and had had many inhabitants prior to us—I figured that perhaps a previous tenet had stored boxes in there, the boxes had disintegrated, and the clothing and toys had simply become buried.
However, the more things I found, the more frequent there would be “happenings”. At first, they were minor things: my stereo turning itself off and on, my VCR recording random things while I slept, alarms going off, etc. I attributed this to interference from the nearby police-call station and left it at that. My father would soon join me in my explorations of the new house—but his attention was drawn to the attic.
In the living room, directly under the attic, there was a curious stain in the shape of a human pelvis and legs. The odd shape intrigued us both greatly, so we decided that the two of us would explore the attic in hopes of finding its source.
No sooner had we entered the attic, the kitchen stove’s timer “went off”, and the two of us gave up on our adventure in the attic. Worth noting is that the stove’s timer did not work and did not go off again. After that, my father decided that he would not be joining in any further explorations of our domicile.
When I returned to school, I was in seventh grade—a “Middle Schooler” at that point, and became more interested in hanging out with my friends instead of exploring a musty basement (though the basement—the finished potion, at least, had become the “hang out” of my friends and I--primarily because there was a refrigerator and half-bathroom down there, as well as a cable connection). Things were quiet for a time, and I thought no more of the previous goings-on.
It was not until I was 14 that I began to notice a sudden increase in odd things. My father and I started seeing small animals; solid black and the size and shape of guinea pigs, wander the hallway. Every day, at roughly the same time, my parents’ bedroom door would slowly open, then, just as slowly, close; the door knob turning each time. This piqued my interest, and I decided to resume my explorations.
Now, two years older, I once again braved the tunnel. I wore old clothing, a surgical mask, thick gloves, and a headlamp and braved the long dark. I crawled for what felt like miles on my hands and knees until I caught a strange shimmer in the dark. Curious, I made my way towards it. When I reached the object of my determination, I found that it was a bleach-white human skull. With a little digging, I was able to pull it from the dirt that surrounded it.
Examining it, I found that the mandible was missing, and most of the maxilla had been broken. The remaining teeth were clean—free of cavities, that is, and lacked the smoothness that the teeth of an older person might have. I figured that the skull belonged to someone who was rather young. Turning the skull over in my hands, I found a one-inch diameter hole in the right occiput, near to the right temporal. In my fear, I dropped the skull and fled as quickly as I could—back to the safety and light of my house proper. I never spoke a word to my parents of my macabre discovery.
Shortly after this discovery, I started noticing more bestial entities—primarily a solid black dog, roughly the size of a Doberman Pincher. At first, it was only out of the corner of my eye. When I would turn to look, it would vanish. I tried to ignore it, but eventually, it became so brazen as to stand plain before me, staring. When I would approach it, it would flee and vanish if I gave chase.
My new canine friend wasn’t the only disturbance, once again, my stereo would turn itself on and off, switch randomly between radio stations, and play random tracks from random loaded CDs (it was a 3-disk changer). My VCR would, again, record various things—some of them completely unidentifiable, and would fail to record what I had programmed it to record (much to my dismay). I stopped using my stereo, and began using my “jam box”—a small CD player, tape deck, and radio combination. All was well with it, and my VCR seemed to “calm down”, that is, until the night that I dubbed “The Night that All Hell Broke Loose”.
I had finished listening to a Dave Matthew’s Band album, and was going off to sleep, when I noticed that the “jam box” wouldn’t turn off. I thought that perhaps it was just a malfunction, and went to unplug it. Still, music played. I opened the back to check if there were batteries and found the battery compartment bereft of batteries.
Thoroughly rattled, I opened the basement door and threw the “jam box” down the stairs into the darkness, then quickly slammed the door shut, fastened all locks, and jammed a chair under the door handle. At that point, I refused to even go into the basement—even for a moment. I mistakenly believed that if I ignored the happenings and “steered clear” of the basement, that things would “quiet down”. However, I was sorely mistaken.
Summer break was drawing a close, and for the new school year, I wanted to “go back in style” so my mother bought me new clothes, took me to the salon to get my hair done, and bought me a watch I had been wanting. I was rather proud of my new watch—square face, black leather band with silver studs and a silver buckle. I rarely took it off.
One evening, as I lay on my bed, I glanced at my prize and found that the watch was running backwards. Horrified, I tore the timepiece from my wrist and threw, it too, into the accursed basement. I had had just about enough of these events. I decided that I was going to ignore it—pretend like it wasn’t there—completely fail to acknowledge its existence.
As one could imagine, this plan did not work. I started noticing that, at exactly three a.m., there would come heavy, plodding stomps up the basement stairs that would always stop just short of the adjoining door. Still, I decided to continue my campaign. Evidently, this only served to frustrate the entity.
It would continue like this for many more months: 3 o’clock a.m--STOMP, STOMP, STOMP, STOMP, then silence. Since it was still summer break, my mother promised me that if I were to clean my room, then my best friend could stay the night. Excited, I complied and stayed up far past my “bed time” cleaning.
So engrossed in my endeavor was I, that I hadn’t noticed the time. As I was cleaning the “Vanity” (which was connected to the adjoining door), the stomps started. I sat, stock still, my back braced against the door. The room fell silent, then, just as I was beginning to feel safe, there came a hard bashing against the door—hard enough to break one of the two dead-bolts, one hinge, and the latch.
It would continue on like that for the months until the disturbances reached their zenith. As I lay one night, staring at the ceiling, I noticed a strange pressure on my bed. I figured that perhaps a cat had found its way into my room, and shrugged it off. Then, before I could react, I was restrained. My entire body was paralyzed, I could not see, hear, speak, or breathe. Panic took over me, and, with no small effort on my part, I managed to gurgle out: “Jesus, please help me…” and the darkness released me. Fortunately, we moved shortly after that.