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The Living Echo

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I'm certain that the house I'm living in is at least partially haunted. I see people from time to time who I know aren't there, and they look like they're lost in the past.

It was a night in the August of my eighteenth year of life. I was up late reading in my bedroom, like on many summer nights. My perception of something out of the ordinary began with a glimpse, out of the corner of my eye, of someone walking through the dining room.

I was surprised that someone besides me would be awake and active at this time, it being well after one in the morning. I looked up from my book (which, if I recall correctly, was one dealing with the origins of various peculiar and noteworthy words in the English language), and more clearly perceived someone walking about the room. I naturally assumed it was my brother, but when I asked him what he was doing, he did not respond, and walked beyond my vision (the half-opened door to the attic in the short hallway between my bedroom and the dining room obstructing my view).

Curious, but not yet possessing any cognition that this was an extraordinary situation, I put down my book and walked into the hallway, stopping just short of the pillars. I saw someone walking about the dining room table, which, it being Friday, was neither returned to its position by the wall nor cleared of the cardboard container and empty glasses that testified to our pizza dinner.

I refer to him as "someone" because I became aware that he was not my brother when I saw him clearly from the hall. He was slimmer, and was wearing a striped shirt unlike anything my younger sibling was in those days known to wear. Far from looking for leftovers, as my sole premature hypothesis to explain his presence supposed, this person who was definitely not my brother was performing quite peculiar actions. Having circled the table once, he looked out of one of the windows, as I had earlier, when observing the progress of the addition our neighbors were working on.

Uneasy, but not truly frightened, I called out to him, in a voice I was certain a normal individual could hear, inquiring as to what he was doing. Asking him who he was seemed inappropriate, since he was either a burglar, whose name I would not recognize, or someone I should know both the identity and presence of, and revealing my absentminded forgetting of these facts would be merely embarrassing. He did not respond, but walked over to the other window, and stared outside at a different angle.

It was at this point that I observed two truly bizarre things. I must say, as a disclaimer, that I was then wearing glasses with a prescription nearly a year old, and was not seeing this person with full corrected vision. But I believed I observed him squinting, as if looking into the sun, though it was dark outside. I also had the distinct impression that I could see the street light situated opposite our house shining through his torso. If you fear you have misinterpreted the last sentence, I will now state explicitly: The person I was seeing looked very much as though he were partially transparent. I was then too dumbstruck to do anything besides watch him.

As if struck by a sudden thought, he quickly snapped his attention away from the window, and swiftly walked into the kitchen. I proceeded into the dining room, to see if he was going to leave the house, but as I rounded the corner he came back from the kitchen and walked straight into me. In the mere handful of surprised seconds that I had to observe this, I saw his face clearly, and recognized it. It was me. Just before I would have collided with the image of myself, it disappeared like dissipating vapor.

After some anxiety-filled searching for traces of the phantom, I returned to my bedroom to consider the event. The image had my features and clothing, and was moving in exactly the same manner I had some eight hours prior. The apparition was less a ghost than an echo, and, whether for the best or the worst, never returned as far as I knew. It isn't the only one of its kind, however. That prowling echo was but the first show in the spectral theater that is this house.



Written by Floyd Pinkerton
Content is available under CC BY-SA

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