Back in 1986 I was seven-years-old, my family was dirt poor, and we lived in an ancient farm house that had been remodeled and added onto over the 150 year history of the house. My little brother and I shared one large room, what was originally the back room of the house. Sometime in the 1950's a laundry room was built right onto the back of the house, along with an insanely small bathroom and a more modern kitchen. The original back door was in our room, and I mean the original one. Glass panels and all, and led directly to the laundry room. My mother, being rather ingenious, acquired a set of steel shelves and placed them in front of the old back door, and that served as our closet. She would just take our laundry out of the dryer and hang it on the steel rack, and it was accessible from either side.

My little brother was deathly afraid of the dark, so the laundry room light was always on, providing him with the comfort he needed to sleep. It was our little night light. It kept me awake, and being the hyper and imaginative one of the pair, I would sit up at night and quietly play with our various action figures, or try to read by the light pouring through the glass in the door. Occasionally, a shadow would pass over the light, but when I would look up I would see nothing. Sometimes I ignored this and went back to my toys or book, but sometimes I would get a cold chill, and despite seeing nothing, would go and hide under my covers and shiver myself to sleep.

One particular night I was actually staying in my bed, pretending my hands were professional wrestlers, and basically just banging them together while a litany of color commentary played through my head. A shadow passed over the light, like it often did, but it seemed to move much more slowly this time. I glanced up from my playing towards the door. Nothing unusual at first, but the familiar chill began to set in. Before I could even twitch, the various items of clothing hanging on the steel rack parted rather forcefully, and a severe-looking old woman was staring directly at me, holding my brother and I's clothing apart. I remember her face clearly. She had a hawkish look, with sharp features and a big nose. I would say now that she looked distinctively Greek, and very, very old. Her face held an accusatory expression, and she stared directly at me, looking as if she was about to scold me for being up so late, but she withdrew into the laundry room, letting our clothes swing back together. I still remember the sound of buttons on our Osh Kosh over-alls clinking, just barely audible. Doing what any sensible seven-year-old kid would do, I ducked under my Pac-Man comforter and hid until I fell asleep.

I actually waited until I was a teenager before mentioning the incident to my mom. She was silent for a while, turned pale and told me I must have been dreaming. She still insists to this day that it was a dream, and gets uncomfortable, finds something to fidget with, or changes the subject.