I won't insult your intelligence by claiming this to be a true story. Most people would never believe it anyway. So believe what you want to believe. All I can do is tell you what happened in my own words as best as I can, as I think my story needs to be told in some form or other, as to warn others. This is the disturbing story of what happened to me in my parents' old house.
There were four of us living in my parents' house; Mother, Father, my brother and myself. I was the eldest of the two by a few years and as my parents were rarely home it was often my responsibility to look after my younger brother while my parents worked at their office, went on vacations or to their business parties. My life was pretty ordinary, boring even and most of all depressing. I felt I was fairly attractive but I was single, yet my brother was always with somebody (usually for a few days at a time). My only stand out quality was that I had Obsessive-compulsive disorder, hardly something to brag about. This made me want to constantly keep my parents' house clean and organised, which wasn't an easy job with a brother who loves creating mess and disorder, sometimes even just to spite me. The house I lived in was a fairly large house in the outskirts a small rural village. There were woods situated behind the neighborhood's houses as my family's house and others were at the edge of the village. This gave my family great privacy in the back yard when they were sunbathing or hosting a BBQ, but would aggravate my OCD in the autumn months when the house and yard were littered with wet leaves and I was forced, by my OCD, to clean it up. Thinking back, the only thing I remember really loving was how large and spacious the house was.
I strongly disliked my little brother. He was the kind of person who, no matter what he did, would get on my nerves and rile me up, although I'd never rage vocally as I could have gotten in trouble if we were caught arguing. It was little things he did mainly that a typical young teenager would do that annoyed me, but his worst trait was his attitude and behavior. He loved making my life miserable, and the worst thing was he never got disciplined for it. He was a spoiled little brat with no respect at all in my parents' home, but apparently a perfect student at school, so I was told. While my parents worked most of the day, I was usually stuck in their house with him for hours at a time, but we'd usually stay in separate rooms away from each other doing our own thing, him playing games and watching TV, and me doing my work, reading and cleaning. It had to be done.
Anyway, for the past couple of months before my family decided to move he'd started a new behavior that would turn out to be more of a pain than I could have imagined; he'd started sleeptalking. Every couple of nights or so, in the early hours with no warning I could hear his mumbled voice rambling incoherent sentences. I was never a great sleeper, especially since past accidents caused by my own stupidity and clumsiness on my part led me to having aches and pains in parts of my body. So I just laid in bed for hours tossing and turning, when I suddenly heard his voice, and to be honest, it gave me a fright as I'd been laying in a silent house for hours since we'd all gone to bed. My short-lived fright soon turned to annoyance and then I rolled my eyes and thought to myself "typical" before going back to attempting sleep.
I was told by my parents that I used to sleeptalk too, and even sleepwalk from my bedroom on one side of the house to theirs on the other side and talk to them before returning to my bed to sleep, but obviously I don't remember any of this. They seemed to find it funny at first as they would make fun of me for it. They always laughed at my misadventures. But the more I did it they lost interest and found me annoying. So in hindsight I shouldn't have judged my brother for it if I did it too. It's just that my parents were lucky to be on the other side of the house and my bedroom was right next to his. Another thing I didn't like was that he got the better, bigger room. He didn't deserve it in my opinion.
I didn't even have it before he was born, and the guest bedroom which is my room has always been so. He had his own walk-in closet, an en suite bathroom and even a third room for storage that we didn't even need. All I had was a tiny bedroom with old boxes and garbage that took up most of the space. My OCD made me organize them but it was still a sight for sore eyes. My room was the smallest room at the back of the house, and this also helped prevent me from sleeping, as the back yard's light would come on if triggered by the slightest movement, and light would come flooding into my room as I had no curtains due to my brother once ripping them off. The light was usually triggered by a cat or moth, but once there was a fox. The cats tended to live under our wooden decking that was suspended a few feet from the grass. Yeah, I did say I loved how spacious the house was, but my room was the unfortunate exception, even the cats had more space.
For weeks on random days I'd hear him sleeptalking and I started getting used to it, after all him sleeptalking for a few seconds was far better than him snoring all night long. I should mention the reason I could hear him was because he never liked his bedroom door shut when sleeping, and always had it wide open so that the hallway light (that we always kept on overnight) could flood into his room. I don't know why he was scared of closing it as in contrast to me, he was a very heavy sleeper. My door was always shut, but it was only a flimsy wooden door. I could probably have heard a spider rattling across the wooden floor on the other side if I had strained my ears.
Then one night, something happened that to this day I deeply regret not having noticed at the time. I was in bed trying to sleep when I heard him sleeptalk again. That's nothing out the ordinary right? I mean he'd been doing this for months anyway, but this time was different. Unlike previous times after the initial fright and dismissal, this time I felt weird. I didn't feel right. Inside my stomach I felt this horrible unease and nervousness, almost like I'd forgotten something very important. My OCD was most likely to blame, as my life was and still is extremely organized, with calendar, diary and even daily to-do lists and I hate it when I forget something. I remember lying in bed and thinking to myself, why the hell do I feel like this?
It was a combination of feeling like you'd forgotten you had an important event the next day you had to go to, and the feeling you might have before an interview or before you go on stage; intense discomfort, nervousness and even fear. I was lying in bed and rationalizing to myself that it must be nothing. It didn't help with it raining outside and hearing the light tapping of leaves hitting my window as they were blown of their branches. I ignored it all and went back to sleep. This turned out to be a big mistake, as I found out on the next night.
The next day I did have an event after all that I'd forgotten about. I had to do my family's food shopping from the next town over's superstore and buy Mother some clothes she wanted (even though I'm obsessively organised by writing dates and events down, my mind is extremely forgetful, and I always end up worrying about dumb, trivial matters). I realized that this must be why I felt uneasy the night before, after all had I forgotten completely my parents wouldn't have their favorite foods stocked. When I got home in the afternoon after my shopping trip, I was in a much better mood and I remembered how the sleeptalking triggered my discomfort so I told my brother that his sleeptalking was getting on my nerves. He snapped, "I don't sleeptalk!" (due to me interrupting his video game time) and I thought to myself, you're such an idiot, how would you know if you did or not? You can't hear yourself.
But I ended up just saying, "Well, I used to sleeptalk, and Mother and Father told me I was a sleepwalker too. So it's no surprise you do if I did."
He just laughed at me and said "Yeah they said, and you get on mum and dads nerves with it too, we should just strap you to the damn bed haha" and went back to eating and giving abuse to the poor souls on the other side of the mic he talked on (he's an avid fan of PC and PS3 online games and loves being a douche to people on a headset, how we're related I'll never know).
That night around 3am, he was sleeptalking again and for some reason, I felt okay this time. There were no inner worries or nervousness in my stomach, so I was happy and smiling and then attempted to sleep. But for no other reason than curiosity and restlessness (and possibly even pride for feeling calm), I decided to get out of my bed, open my door slowly so as to not make too much noise, and eavesdrop on his mumbled ramblings. I thought I'd find it funny like my parents found mine funny when I first did it. But I didn't.
Standing in the lit hallway looking into his darkened room and seeing him fast asleep facing the wall, those horrible feelings I had came flooding back in the pit of my stomach as I realized something and thought; Hold on, he wasn't in the house last night!
I realized that the one night I felt those horrible feelings he'd gone to stay at a friend’s house for a sleepover and couldn't possibly have made those noises. That's why I'd felt like that, I subconsciously knew he wasn't in the house. Why I never realized it that night still confuses me. I'm just that forgetful (should have written it on my calendar or diary). My parents couldn't have made the noises as they were way on the other side of the house. He'd gotten home before I got back home from shopping so I never realized that he wasn't in the bed when I woke up.
So after a few seconds of standing there in puzzlement and denial, I stumbled back into my room with my eyes wide open and laid down on the bed in complete confusion. I felt nothing but total and utter confusion. I tried desperately to rationalize it in my head. The rational part of me was saying it was just a dream the night before; after all he was now sleeptalking and he's clearly home in bed fast asleep so I thought maybe the night before was just a dream. But that meant that the horrible feelings of dread must also have been a dream too, so did that mean it was all just a bad dream? (wouldn't exactly have called it a nightmare exactly; feeling nervous in bed) Another rational thought I considered at the time was that I was awake, but just mistaken, after all it was only a few seconds of mumbling I heard - maybe one of my parents decided they wanted to use the bathroom in his en suite while he was out at his friends and made some similar mumbling sounds while half-asleep, I thought. But why would they? They have their own en suite.
The irrational thought came into my mind last- It must have been a ghost.
I never really believed in ghosts but I couldn't help but consider it. I fought against my thoughts that maybe there was a ghost that haunts our house at night that makes noises from either the corridor or his room, after all he wouldn't hear it being a heavy sleeper, nor would my parents. I whispered to myself "As if" to confirm to myself that they don't exist. But I couldn't shake off the prospect that there may be some freaky voice-imitating ghost that likes to keep me awake at night. So I decided to do something about it to finally put my mind at rest.
The next morning I told my brother about the sleeptalking and how I heard it when he wasn't there. He just laughed at me and called me pathetic, before again demanding that he doesn't sleeptalk. So he agreed to let me do the next logical thing, we'd record his room while he slept. For me it was peace of mind, for him it was a chance to hear his own mumblings as he was curious about what he says, but also a chance to prove to me he doesn't and had never sleeptalked. He couldn't have had both though I thought to myself.
Anyway we set the camcorder that he'd had for years on the desk opposite his bed facing him. This gave us a view of his bed in the middle, the wall to the right that his bed is pushed up against and the door to the closet on the left facing the camera. We then set it to record before going to bed and going to sleep. You could tell it was recording due to a little red light that came on the back of the camcorder. For the first time in a while (probably due to exhaustion) I actually fell asleep pretty quickly that night and thus didn't hear if he talked or not, but not before checking the back yard through my window after the light came on. There was nothing there but it was most likely a cat. I slept easily but had I known what we'd end up capturing on tape I'd have positioned the camera differently to see the whole room and I wouldn't have slept a wink.
The next morning is when it all came to a head and the rest of my family decided we weren't going to live in that house any longer. Even as I write this I'm getting shivers down my spine.
My parents had left for work before we had woken up so we were both alone, and my brother and I set up the camcorder to the TV with the component wires so we could watch it on a bigger screen. He wanted a bet that if he didn't sleeptalk I had to give him some money, and vise-versa. I told him I had no money so we forgot about betting. We both watched the video in anticipation, myself hoping to catch him and him wanting to both hear nothing so he was proved right, but at the same time wanting to hear himself. As expected, it showed him falling asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow. I was envious. The video lasted a long time, and no way were we going to sit and watch it all, so he lost interest after a few minutes and went off to play his games while I decided the best thing to do was leave it playing at high volume while I went to do housework. The high volume meant that we'd hear nothing but the silent night of sleeping until he finally talks, which we would hear and start watching.
So about an hour and a half into it, I heard the familiar sounds. I leave my chores alone to pause it and shout my brother to come hear it. We watched the video and listened to the ramblings while he was asleep and laughed at it together as he wasn't making any sense. I'm sure he was probably embarrassed too.
Until something happened that terrified us both.
He was asleep on his side facing the wall to the right while sleeptalking, just like when I got up the other night to eavesdrop on him from his bedroom door, that's to the left of his bed off camera. But then he turned to sleep upwards with his face facing the ceiling and we saw it.
His lips weren't moving but the voices were still heard.
At that moment of realization, a combination of being freaked out, scared, and both our parents being in work made us both scream out "Oh shit" and we darted for the front door and ran out onto the street. We had left the video and TV on so it was still playing but we didn't care. I was speechless and confused while he was upset and screaming at me shouting I played a cruel prank on him. I told him I swear I didn't and we both decided the best thing to do was go to his friend’s house next door until our parents returned from work in about half an hour. We had to wait for them as in the panic we forgot our keys. When our parents did eventually arrive together in their car we ran out and told them about the footage and we all went inside to show them. My parents had just got back from work and wanted to relax so they were very annoyed at my insistence and pestering, but eventually agreed once they saw my brother's distress. We all walked upstairs together to the TV room my brother and I were using where everything was just as we had left it except for one small detail. The little red light was now seen on the back of the camcorder, thus it was now on record instead of playing the footage.
I thought; had we accidentally knocked it to record when we ran out? But that's an impossibility I knew deep down. So I stopped it, had a look at the menu on the camcorder and recoiled in horror. It had been re-winded to the start of the tape and left to record.
I re-winded it to the beginning where sure enough, it was recording the floor where we had left it after we ran out. It showed the floor for roughly the half an hour we were gone and then resumes to my brother asleep in bed. I fast forwarded to where we hear the sleeptalking and my parents (who to this point where bored and annoyed at me thinking I was wasting their time) start showing concern and dread in their faces. They certainly didn't think it was a ghost talking and escorted my brother out the house while I followed. They called the police and we waited on the street for them to arrive.
Remember when I described my brother's room? How big it was compared to mine? Well you probably remember that I mentioned a third room; a storage room he didn't need and we never used. I think you get the picture. The police found a sleeping bag, cushions, empty wrappers and empty cans, and worst of all a kitchen knife, wire and duct tape. An old style camcorder was also discovered among the possessions, with footage that we're yet to hear of from the police. According to the police the intruder was the sleeptalker the whole time, or worse, rambling to him/herself in the storage room. He or she just sounded a little like my brother, or at least I thought it must have been him as it came from the general vicinity of his room, after all it was an ordinary house in an ordinary village—how could I anticipate it? A ghost would have been far more believable to me. The intruder probably escaped into the woods behind the house and may have been living between the woods and the house. He/she may have stayed in other people's houses too as none of the food or valuable personal items ever went missing. The time we recorded my brother the sleeptalking was coming from the storage room behind the camera opposite his bed. The room behind my wall. The rest of the footage nothing happened luckily, just my brother sleeping and then waking up. We don't know if the intruder had the door open and was watching him or not. I can only hope it wasn't as it wasn't when I eavesdropped on him, yet maybe my footsteps were heard alerting him/her.
Turns out the police found fingerprints all over the found items and even on the camcorder which suggests the intruder heard us scream and run out, found the footage and attempted to record over it to hide the evidence. I still have no idea why the intruder just didn't take the tape or even the camcorder, because he/she clearly failed to record over the evidence.
My parents and brother decided to move house immediately after this and never found out who was there and why. My rational (and hopeful) mind says it was a harmless homeless hobo who was using the storage room as his home but my irrational (and likely) mind says it was a creepy sadistic stalker/pedophile/killer/psycho, you name it. Two things that can be ruled out were that it wasn't a ghost nor was it a thief. Even a thief would have been less disturbing in all honesty. The whole experienced had made me a wreck more so than my family because it's made my OCD even worse. Now in my new apartment I literally have to check every single door and room before I go to sleep several times over, and I lock and unlock the front and over and over to make sure they're definitely locked. My sleep was bad before too but is now near non-existent, except for in the day which has made me very unhealthy.
I'm glad I had the small room I think, and glad to be in my new apartment away from that place.
So please, next time you hear sleeptalking in the early hours, make sure you check it's definitely the person you think it is.
Written by jrh89