As of the time that I am writing this, it is now October 25th, 2012. I write this because I have nowhere else to turn to, as most of the people I am closest to find what I have to say either too unbelievable or abhorrent. Even the people that I live with, people I know I should be able to reason with, seem to be going out of their way to ignore my pleas for action even though they understand the phenomenon that I have been experiencing in this place of apparently esoteric nightmare and dark history.
It all began about 17 years ago when my mother, my stepfather and I moved into our new house. It was a quaint little house in the rural countryside, about a mile from the California delta in the bay area. The house lay on about an acre and a half of property, which was quite unkempt and overgrown when we arrived. We only had a single neighbor and on the other side of our house was a vast corn field extending all the way to the cold rushing waters of the Delta.
The street we lived on was a long, winding street with very few people living on it, and I estimate that within a 10 mile radius of our house the must have only been about a hundred or so residence in the region itself. It was, I thought, bizarre that for being in the California bay area, the town felt surprisingly empty.
Years ago, before the real estate market collapsed, such a property must have been worth a fortune. Even so, our family was able to purchase the house at an incredible bargain through a local bank that seemed almost eager to get rid of it. The bank never did explain to my mother and step father exactly why the property was such a steal, but my real estate savvy mother jumped all over the opportunity even though the house itself was a very lived-in "fix 'er upper".
Around the time we moved in, I was 9 years old. I remember being terrified of moving, living in the country, going to a new school, and living with my new stepfather, who for whatever reason always seemed strange to me for no good reason. When we moved in, though, I was ecstatic to find that we had such a huge backyard to play in. To make matters even better, the previous owners for whatever reason had left a large amount of old toys in the backyard out by the old garage.
This external garage was pretty far from the house itself and near a thicket of trees, making it an ideal place to play. In fact, the whole garage area was like a big old junkyard with old belongings strewn about everywhere you looked. To my parents, this was an utter frustration, but I myself enjoyed looking through all the old doodads and toys which must have belonged to a boy about my age.
The very first strange incident I remember as a young boy was playing with the old toys one day on the ground out behind the garage, being called inside for dinner, and upon returning finding that all the toys had been cleaned up. It was as if somebody had hired a whole team of people to painstakingly polish and clean each and every toy, and I could have sworn that whoever had done this had even taken some toys and touched them up with new paint.
Some toys that were broken had even been fixed, and all of this was done in a manner of minutes while I ate supper inside. I tried to explain what had happened to my parents, but of course they thought that I had done it all myself. If I had known what I know now, I would have been terrified; at the time forever, I just shrugged it off as somebody's practical joke, even though that made absolutely no sense.
Three years later, I had outgrown many of the toys and my step father decided it was time to box them up and store them in the garage. He spent a good deal of the day with me cleaning up all the toys as well as trying to dispose of a lot of the other junk that was strewn about the backyard. The next day however, he went outside to find that many of the toys had been taken out once again. In fact, they had not only been removed from their boxes, but strewn about the small grove of trees like somebody had been playing with them there.
He blamed me for this, and I tried to reassure him that I had not taken the toys out and that perhaps some local kids were sneaking onto the property to "fuck with us". This was the first time I uttered a curse in front of my step father, and this combined with his frustration over the toys lead to some rather drastic disciplinary actions which I refuse to discuss. After this, he made me clean the toys by myself, and this time I added a padlock to secure them for good.
For whatever reason, ever since that day, the relationship between me and my stepfather has been a turbulent one. But as unpleasant as that was, I soon began to realize that he was the least of my worries; something was beginning to happen in our house that I could not explain, and as the years went on the occurrences only got more frequent and strange.
Occurrences of unexplainable activity began to happen not just outside in our acre long backyard, but inside our own home as well. The guest room, which was across the hall from my room at the opposite end of the house (where my parents slept), had always given me the shivers quite literally, and it was strangely the coldest room in the house even though the sun always shined through it's windows. Soon, however, the room began to take on ominous implications worse than the frigid temperatures. The wine bottles we stored in that room began to break, and we soon had to store them elsewhere. I was again blamed for this happening, wrongfully so. Once or twice a month I would hear scratching, scurrying, and cracking in the other room. I soon bought a fan to drown out the odd noises so I could sleep better at night, but as the fan would run I would occasionally hear faint whispering from across the hall only to have the voices cease as soon as I turned the fan off.
By the age of 16, the house was getting more and more on my nerves. I soon found myself thankful to go to my classes, or to friends houses just to avoid my own. My mother, too began to notice weird things, like the inordinately large number of birds that would crash into our windows and die. She once told me to call the police, because she thought she heard burglars laughing from our outdoor garage one night. When the police arrived, nobody was found and nothing had been stolen. To this day she swears she heard laughing from across our long backyard.
The place undoubtedly bothered me the most, however, as most of the activity which I noticed seem to come from the guest room next to my own. On the night after my 22nd birthday, while my parents had left me alone in the place, I was on the computer while simultaneously watching a film on TV. As I left my room to get some popcorn, when I returned I was utterly shocked to find that my desktop computer screen and the TV movie had been switched so that the television now showed my PC's desktop where as my PC now showed the movie I had been watching on TV. I began to yell obscenities, and in a bewildered state I turned both the TV and my computer off. When I turned my PC back on, I was shocked to see something on my desktop that I had never seen before.
It only popped up momentarily, but as it did I nearly jumped out of my seat. My face turned white as I realized that my desktop background had been changed to a simple white background with the words "ERIN WUZ HERE" crudely scrawled upon it. A moment later, and after a strange dimming of all the lights in the room, the image was gone. I tried to search my saved background images, but never could find that particular one again to document it. It was at this point that I definitely concluded something was terribly wrong with this place and, once again, I could not convince my mother or stepfather otherwise.
Over the next few years I worked as a park ranger while also attending community college. I was determined to save up and move out of the house that had been bothering me so much. Just as I had saved up enough money, however, another bizarre event occurred that crushed my hopes for salvation. This time, it became clear that whatever had been harassing me also did not want me to leave.
I had withdrawn most of my savings in preparation to pay, in cash, for some necessities I would need for my new apartment. Upon returning home with the money, though, I became distracted by my mother calling for help, saying that she had somehow been locked in the guest room. I set my cash down and rushed to help her. Inside, the guest room was so cold that my mother and I could see our own breath. There was no way she could have locked herself inside, and she claimed that it felt as if somebody was holding the door from the outside. When I returned to my room, the money had been burnt to a crisp and my hopes for moving away were suddenly dashed.
I decided to do some independent research about the house's previous residence, but found that a number of the older folk in the area were reluctant to talk to me about anything. I practically had to beg for information, but most folk around the area were either too young to remember or too selfish to care about my inquiries. Finally, though I managed to get some truth about the place from an elderly, very wealthy couple who ironically enough lived within walking distance of our own home.
The old couple invited me in, seeming cordial enough. The old wife offered me some coffee as her husband began to talk. As the old man regaled me with stories about the place, he spoke with a sort of emotional regret which I could not tell whether he felt for me, or the house's previous owners.
"Good souls, those ones. Don't quite reckon I remember their names." he said. "All anyone remembers of that place is the bits of history that showed up in the papers that day when it happened, course. This is a small town, a christian town...and don't you let nobody tell you nothin' else. So, cause of that we don't like to talk about tragedies like what happened there. Funny how one bad thing reflects on the whole community, you see. Maybe that's why that shady ol' bank kept their traps shut when they sold you that place on the cheap...and, oh yes, I know all about how cheap you got that place." The old man gave a chilling cackle.
"I bet you think you got that place for a bargain, and sure as shit you did, young man. A real steal that place...but she has a bad past. From what I 'member it was just a single mother living there, real nice girl if I remember. Her boy, too, was a real cute kid. But the husband, by Jehova, was a goddamn monster by every meaning of the word." he said. Now, his voice shrank until it was little more than a whisper as his wife returned with the coffee.
"Let's say you wake up one morning, young man, and hear sirens and police cruisers all up and down the road. Let's say you get your rain coat on, walk down the street to where that mother and her son live and see it swarmin' with suits. All over the back yard. I talk to the police, I sure did. They gave me all sort a hints that that fine lady's husband just got released from prison...but what he done. Back yard, I went back there after the police left. Nobody there to stop me, and I was curious. Found that old metal shed by the garage. Blood all over it. Smell of death. Wish I never looked. Wish you never had to come asking about it..."
After spending some time with the old man, doing nothing but listening, I had heard enough. I thanked him for his help, and I left without taking a sip of my coffee. I was familiar enough with the shed the man was talking about, as it sat right by the old garage near the thicket of trees on the other side of the acre of land we lived on. That night, I took my camera and investigated the area. I did not find much, but just as I was about to give up I tripped over something.
From the garage, I took a hoe and began working on clearing weeds around the place where I tripped, as I was certain that whatever I fell over had been solid. Finally, I unearthed some sort of concrete slab deep in the dirt. I brushed it off with an old broom I found nearby, and gave it a quick glance over. My eyes, I can imagine, must have jumped out of my skull when I saw a pair of shoe prints, an obscured date, and the name 'Erin' imprinted into the unearthed slab.
Since then, I have tried earnestly to get the hell out of this house. Sometimes I feel like forces beyond my control are keeping me here. Even as I sit at this computer and type this, I feel an unnatural malaise that tells me to "stay inside" and "never leave". I mostly laze about now. I lost my job, and I drink most of the day away. I do not sleep much any more, but when I do, I can feel something calling me out to the thicket of trees by the garage, and by that horrible shed. In my dreams I go there and play with the toys that I locked away so long ago.
Update October 31, 2012
Over the last couple days, things have been getting worse. I think that whatever is here, whether it be malevolent or benign, has taken notice of my attempts to contact the outside world. Strange things are happening to my electronics. E-mails and notices I've sent out over the last few weeks are apparently just now getting to their recipients. What's even stranger is that I'm having strange latency issues even though there doesn't appear to be anything wrong with my connection. I don't know how to explain it, but I feel like every time I leave my computer or television on and leave the room, upon returning something has always changed.
I did manage to do some more research on this house early this morning. The local library had some interesting information, although I'm not sure exactly how much of it has to do with my current situation. From the library I have learned that there were in fact tenants here before us that apparently had nothing to do with any murder.
Apparently between the years of 1984 and 1992, the house was owned by a single man whose name the newspaper didn't mention. This is probably because the man was arrested in 1992, and was allegedly using the house to grow pot in. Apparently his operation was so large that the man, himself, didn't live there and only used the place for his operation. He was only caught when he apparently went crazy and tried to burn the house to the ground. When the fire department arrived, they put out the fire and discovered the man's drug operation.
For me, this raises a few questions. If this man was running such a successful drug operation, why would he try to burn it all down? The man had to have been relatively sane of mind to run such an operation, but according to the newsprint when the police found him he was a babbling, sobbing, mess.
I also searched the library for clues about the alleged murder which happened in that old shed according to my elderly neighbor. Sadly, I found that a great deal of data was missing from the library's records, which was already scarce to begin with. Also, there is one important detail the old man neglected to tell me: the date of this supposed killing. Unfortunately I could find nothing about the murder, or any relevant references to the year 1979, the year I believe is written on the concrete slab I unearthed.
I also tried to confront the bank that sold us the house. It's clear to me that not only did they apparently hide the house's history from us, but may have broken several disclosure laws. Unfortunately, I quickly learned that the local branch which existed when we bought the house has now been converted into a Bank of America, and that finding the original bank operators would require some serious work. Maybe I will do this at a later time.
And that was my morning today, October 31, 2012. Tonight is Halloween, but I'm far too stressed out to invite any friends over or even go out. Last night, I had another dream. I was younger, about 9 or 10 years old, and I was dressed up in an old Halloween costume of mine; a Ninja Turtle if I remember it right. In the dreams, again, I played with the old toys in the shady thicket by the shed. When I woke up and went outside, I found 4 dead finches outside my window. They most likely crashed into the window, but each one should have woken me up from my sleep, but didn't.
For some reason, I dread this night. I feel a foreboding that something more will happen before the end of tonight, and I have decided later to go investigate the old toy trunk and the shed. Something is happening out there, I can feel it whenever I look out my window at night, and sometimes I feel like something else is peering back in.
I will try to keep you updated. If not tonight, then tomorrow.
UPDATE October 31, 2012
Again as I write this, I do so informing the world that I may have to take drastic measures to rid myself of whatever it is that is haunting me. For the longest time, I have felt that I have been going insane. I feel like something is poking and prodding my mind, and every time I acknowledge it that entity becomes more empowered. This is the final time I will do so, and after I am done writing this I will no longer continue my meddling in this affair. I had been dreading this happening for some days now, and now that I have apparently bothered this spirit, it only becomes more brazen in it's attempts to harass me. This is the final straw.
Tonight, as promised, I went out after hours to investigate the shed, the toy chest, and the area in general. Other members of my house have been absent since this morning as both my mother and step father, and I quote, "had things to do". I believe they expect me to guess that they have some shindig to attend for Halloween, but I believe that the increased activity in the house and my willingness to apprehend it is upsetting them. I don't expect they'll be back until tomorrow, leaving me alone in this house tonight.
After summoning up some courage that I found at the bottom of a bottle of rum, I hastily equipped myself with my camera and flashlight and decided I'd go put the pieces of this puzzle together. My goal, I thought, would be to look for the chest within which I stored a number of the old toys that were here when my family moved in. After that, I would give a quick look over to the shed and thicket of trees where I used to play as a child. So, equipped with my things, I walked out in the dark not long after the sun had set.
I expected to find nothing, as I had before. The shed had always been empty, and yet for all my life for reasons unknown I have very seldom come out to that area at night. As I walked towards the shed, the mood was calm and the countryside was quiet. There was no wind to speak of, and it had been cloudy all day long meaning that not even the stars and moon could light my path.
I first investigated the garage, looking for the old chest. That garage had always been a mess of tools, junk, and garbage. We never used it to park our cars in, preferring to avoid it. I searched everywhere I could for the chest, but could not find it. The absence of the thing annoyed me, as I was sure I knew where I had stored it. It was just gone, and none of the toys were about either. I tried to shrug this off, for maybe I was mistaken or the old chest had been removed by my step father. Hell, it could have even been stolen. Our property is very open, and since the garage is so far from the house it would not be unheard of to have things stolen out of the garage.
I left the garage and returned to the shed. As I approached it, something inside me seemed to be screaming "turn back" and I suddenly wanted to go back inside. As I shined my light into the shed, I saw something impossible that made my hairs stand up electrically and made my tongue sink into my stomach. There were no words I could find for what I saw, as what it was certainly was not there on my previous trips to the shed over the last few days.
What it was, and this will sound ridiculous, was one of the old toys. It was an old scooter that I used to play with, just sitting there ominously in the glow of my flashlight. It had been placed there, and not by myself. It was impossible that it should be there, for it should have definitely been locked up amongst the other toys in that now missing chest. As my heart began to race, I heard a faint rustling of the trees in the thicket near the shed as if wind were blowing through them.
I should have turned back after seeing this, yet now curiosity suddenly had me in it's grasp. I had not seen the old scooter in years, and it warranted a closer look. I cautiously approached the shed, taking only a slight glance at the nearby concrete stone I had unearthed earlier. Mustering all the courage I could, I was now at the opening of the shed peering inside at the scooter on the ground.
That's when the most horrifying thing of all caught my eye, and in the following moments, I would be running back towards my house to regain my composure. Something on the wall caught my eye, and as I walked through the opening to the shed I shined my flashlight upon the metal wall where someone, or something, had painted the words "PLAY" and "ERIN" in black paint. At the sight of this, I ran out of the shed, nearly tripping over the old slab again. As I left, the thicket of trees began to rustle and move, and without the blowing of wind the branches began to wave. The rustling of the leaves was the last thing I heard as I ran shaking back into my house and locked the doors.
I am now alone in this house, or perhaps I am not. I wish I could say for sure that there is nothing here with me as I type this, and yet I feel something peering through my window each time I glance outside. Somewhere, in that thicket, I think something is laughing and looking at me with cold, dead eyes that never shut. Does this happen out there every night? Or is it just happening now that the spirit knows it has my attention? I do not want to know, and I wish I never pried in the first place.
I won't sleep tonight, I can't. I should leave, I know I should, and maybe I will. Tomorrow, I will again try in earnest to leave this place for good. I can sell some things, or get a loan, or perhaps plead with my parents to get me out of this place to save my sanity. My mother and stepfather do not seem to be bothered, and I don't understand why. Does this thing harass only me?
If I can, I will update again. Otherwise, consider me gone for good. Part of me does not want to speak or think of this incident ever again.
UPDATE November 1, 2012
I believe this may be the last update I can provide. I want to describe how I feel right now, but there are no words for what I have discovered. I've tried to reach out to my mother and step father, but they have not yet returned to the house, almost as if something is keeping them away. I tried to talk to my step father on the phone; he spoke to me in an unnatural droning voice telling me that they would be away for a while longer. I tried to plea with him to come home and make arrangements to leave this place, but he hung up abruptly. Something is wrong with them, and I don't know what. I can only guess it has something to do with this house.
I talked briefly on the phone with my old neighbor, and reminded him again of who I was. We only talked briefly, as I asked if he could remember exactly when the tragic murders took place and whether or not he could remember any details. He said he would try to dig up what he could, and I think that the worry in my voice made him notice. It's nice to finally have somebody nearby, besides myself, acknowledge this awful mess. He said he thought he had some newspaper snippets detailing the crime tucked away, and promised to call me back.
As I waited, I closed the all the curtains in the house that faced the garage, leaving only the ones that faced the street open. I can't stand to look back there any more, can't stand to see that thicket, that shed, or anything that would remind me of what happened last night. As I stayed inside, I began to notice the house steadily getting colder. I tried running the heater, but to my awe even it would not heat the place and soon I noticed that I could again see my own breath. It was the same coldness that had always plagued the guest room.
At around 3 PM in the afternoon, I heard something bang on the back sliding glass door. I was, at the time, sitting down and simply gazing out the window at the front yard and street, and the silence that the noise made sent me out of my chair in a panic. Initially, I thought that it was more birds hitting the window. Finches, starlings, and one time even a hawk seemed to go there to die on occasion, and although unnatural I began to get used to the scenario. What I found, though, was completely different from what I had expected.
As I approached the sliding glass door, I was confronted with what could only be the old scooter, the same one I saw last night. I tripped backwards and looked away, not wishing to open the glass door. I returned to the seat I was in and tried to forget what I just saw, but the discomfort I felt upon seeing that old toy on the doorstep nearly sent me into a frenzy.
Around dinner time, I ordered a pizza. I'm sure my nervous tone caught the clerk at the restaurant off guard, as by that time my voice was cracking. After that, I just sat in my seat watching the road and listening to some music. When the delivery boy arrived, he commented that somebody had left their scooter out on the road. I grinned with horror and, with my hand shaking tremendously, I handed the boy a $20 bill. I insisted he keep the change.
A few minutes later, I received the call I had been waiting for. The old man began telling me the details of the crime, and I just remained silent and listened. He told me that on that night, both the mother and the young boy had been killed. The mother was suffocated with a plastic bag, and the boy was bludgeoned to death with some ponderous object that the police never recovered. The murderer was the boy's father, who had been released from prison just hours earlier. The motive, only god knows. The mother's name was Jessica Harrison, the father was Michael Harrison, and the boy's name was Erin Harrison.
I nearly dropped the damn phone after hearing this, even though I had already suspected some of it to be true beforehand. When I asked the date the murder occurred on, the old man coldly said "November 28, 1979". When I heard this, I finally did drop the phone for a minute. I hastily picked it back up and yelled some obscenities before hanging up.
That date, November 28, 1979, I'm nearly positive has to be the very same day etched into that concrete slab in the backyard. But why? Not only that, but how? Was the family commemorating something just before they were killed? Where'd they get the concrete? Was it all done posthumously, and by who? Is somebody fucking with me?!
I'd like to say I've calmed down, but I haven't. Right now, my electronics are acting strange and I don't know what to do. The house is cold. I'm freezing. I don't know if i'll be01000101 01010010 01001001 01001110 00100000 01010111 01000001 01010011 00100000 01001000 01000101 01010010 01000101 updating again. I almost wish I had not reached out to anyone, but rather stayed quiet about it. Perhaps I will try and keep you posted, but I just don't know any more.
UPDATE November 3, 2012
Hello again, everybody. Just thought I'd drop in and give you all an update. You all deserve one, after all! The last couple days have been real eye openers, and I have learned so much. Mother and step father are back, and things have been absolutely wonderful. I think this will be the final update, as there simply isn't any more to talk about; life couldn't be better.
I know I've been acting strangely over the last few days, and you all might be wondering what is up? Is there really a "spirit"? Is Erin real? Well, over the last two days I've been doing a lot of thinking. I had a strange dream where me and Erin were together, playing with toys in the back yard. I know people might frown on a grown adult playing with toys, but when Erin is around, I feel like I have a friend. I learned that my mother and stepfather have felt the same way for a long time, as well. Now we are all, for lack of a better term, complete.
I've decided to stay in this place, and stay for good. I can't be made to leave this place now that I've made such special friends. People might ask questions, but they will receive no further answers from me. I love it here, and I mean to stay. I can't believe how silly I've been over the last few days. Home is where the heart is.
I can't believe some of the extremes I almost went through to escape this wonderful house. I never told anyone this in these posts, but a few months ago I actually bought an automatic with which to take my own life with if things got bad enough. Thankfully I didn't have the will, or want, to use it and now I'm glad I didn't. Life is wonderful. This house is wonderful...
The only loose ends, I guess, are my old neighbor. I don't know what he must think, but I visited him this morning with a smile on my face to let him know everything is okay. I think he might suspect something, and maybe he thinks that I am crazy, or possessed. What a simpleton. I don't mind, though, because he's so old and decrepit. He will be dead soon. Maybe even sooner than expected.
I can't be made to leave, and I certainly won't be made to kill myself. I know I was cynical about this place before, but so much has changed in the last couple days. I regret to inform you all that I must stop updating after this though, as my friends don't like it. They say the outside world ought not to know. They say they are sorry to you all for involving you in things that aren't your business.
Goodbye, all of you. Have a wonderful life, and always be thankful you have a home.
[originally posted at reddit]