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If you're one of those "tl;dr" people, just skip this entry. It may be a little long winded, but this spans 23 years. This isn't so much my "life story" as it is an explanation of some freaky shit I've seen and part of, perhaps, why I'm so fascinated with things that others would call “spooky”.
M= Our roommate
I’ll note that I’m adopted, hence the parenthesis.
I'm not going to lie. I've seen some weird things I can't explain. I can remember seeing things that some could describe as spirits since I was as young as three. I clearly remember my "imaginary friend" that my dad insists on, claiming the name on the tombstone was a coincidence, I remember seeing a woman in white sitting on the steps before the cemetery gates, only to vanish when I did a double-take, and I remember the man in grey who passed right before me. In the back of my mind, the visibility of the blades of grass through his smoky figure can still be seen. My mother says I'm gifted. Sometimes, though, I wonder if I'm just crazy.
I've moved multiple times. First I lived in North Carolina, but I was only a baby. I don't remember anything about that time aside from a silly dream. But this all started happening when I moved to San Antonio. It started with a little girl (whose real name I don't remember) that taught me how to tie my shoes. (My First Friend) After I learned how to do that, my mother, who is fairly superstitious, was convinced that I was friends with a ghost, and even my father was convinced once we found her tombstone. We moved. I think it was because he was scared. My father never wanted to believe in such things, so he was only hoping it was my vivid imagination. I think this is why such things don't scare me. I've seen a lot, despite being fairly young. (I’m currently in my twenties, in case you’re wondering.)
Next, I moved to a smaller Texas town. The steps at the gate of the cemetery had a woman sitting on them, gazing around restlessly, but when our car passed by and I could get a closer look, she seemed to blow away like nothing other than dust on the wind. I must've been five or six. "Dad, I saw a lady." His lips flattened into that stubborn expression again. He stopped talking back to me about this sort of thing after the incident with the little girl. My mother just told me to stop talking to him about it. "Honey, you're scaring Daddy," she'd say. This would only cause his face to redden and he'd grow more upset. The ride to the new home was quiet.
Things were peaceful for the next few years. I didn't see anything until I was twelve. For a long time, I rarely stepped outside of the house due to satellite television and the multitude of books I would bury my nose in. Every now and then, my mother would mention smelling tobacco smoke. You know, from one of those old-fashioned pipes? I didn't know what the smell was at the time, but I think that's what it was. She angrily spat about my father. "If he started smoking again, we're going to live with Lori." That was my aunt. My dad used to smoke, but stopped so he could marry my mother.
Clearly, I played detective and hunted all throughout the house. I'd already found my dad's stash of naughty magazines, albeit by accident. I always tattled on, as I favored my mother. We both searched and there were no results. My mother showed visible nervousness. "Do you feel anything?" This was the first time she asked me this. "What do you mean, Mom?"
She stared at me and shook her head. She seemed embarrassed. "You remember the little girl you saw? The woman on the steps, too, right?"
I nodded. She asked if I was lying. My lip trembled and I wanted to cry. I only gave one weak little response.
She just nodded and hugged me. "Please go look after Simone for a bit, I'm tired." Simone was our dog that we rescued from an abusive owner. He bought her so he could breed Rottweiler dogs and sell them to other people, but she was malnourished and wouldn't accept a mate. He threatened to shoot her, so when he left; I snuck into his backyard with all of my pre-teen silence and released her, taking her home to feed her. My mom absolutely adored the dog, so we kept her. That's how we got most of our pets, really. But anyhow...
That's when I saw the man in grey. (Man in Grey)
Recurring sightings didn't make it any less startling, but at least now we knew the source of the smoke smell. My mother tried to call it off as my guardian angel, or possibly some ancestral spirit like the Native Americans believed in, but she still was a little bit spooked. This went on until I moved away to Illinois to live with another family due to my growing unhappiness in Texas. I will refer to who became my brother figure as “L”.
“S” (L’s Mother) and I initially couldn't stand each other. She was trying too hard to be Christian and I was trying too hard to be some goth badass. Both of us were failing miserably, so we dropped our acts, me a little more stubbornly than her. I started to cook by means that weren't the microwave and we were starting to hate each other less and less. Where the peony bushes grew, I found myself staring out to them. I always felt like when I was there, someone was watching me. "What's wrong?" she asked me. I remembered how my dad felt about such things, and he was raised to be very Christian, so was she, so I just forced a smile and shook my head.
"Oh, nothing, I just spaced out." L wouldn't believe me if I told him, either, being one of those strongly scientifically-minded near-atheist agnostic people. I just sighed and continued drinking my hot tea.
Eventually, she brought something to me that startled me. "Do you believe in ghosts?" She asked. I froze and my eyes widened. She must've been talking to my mother...
"Why?" I was still on my guard around her. I probably looked like a deer stuck in the headlights.
"I want to show you something." She had a couple of photographs in her hand. I nodded and accepted them, the first being a blur of round light. A "ghost light" as some called them, or a “hitodama” in Japanese tales, which I had been developing an interest in. After all, many people had caught ghost lights on camera, but they could easily be caused by a bit of dust reflecting sunlight or a camera's flash.
The next one was far more interesting. Behind the peony bushes, where I was staring out to whatever or whoever was staring at me, she captured a very strange image. There was a masculine face underneath a wide-brimmed hat. He looked like a gardener. Most of the image looked somewhat misty, and only the face was very clear. Then she told me that those peony bushes were there long before they came to live in that house. Unfortunately for the both of us, we can't seem to find those photographs.
After gaining that knowledge, it got harder for me to relax. I didn't feel threatened by whoever it was, but it was still strange. That was the first time anyone confirmed what I had seen. When I would pass the glass-doored cupboards, sometimes I swore I saw a glimmering ghost light following me, but I dismissed it as my imagination. All was like this until one night.
"Hey, wake up. Wake up!" I heard a voice whisper. I thought it was L, but as I shot up in bed and glanced next to me, he was asleep, forming a gross little drool puddle on the pillow case I recently washed. It was one of those times where I woke up and I knew there was no way in hell I'd be able to go back to sleep. I just sighed and went up the stairs, a little annoyed. Maybe I dreamed it? I went to get a snack, hoping maybe a full stomach would make me drowsy like it would at some times. I found S was awake in the kitchen.
"You can't sleep, either?"
I just sighed. "No, I thought your kid was trying to wake me up, but when I looked to him, he was slobbering all over the pillow." My nose wrinkled in disgust.
"Well, I guess we're in the same boat. I haven't been able to rest, either."
"It was weird. I heard someone telling me to wake up, very quietly, it sounded a lot like his voice, but I know it-"
"HEY!" a loud shout interrupted us. It came from the stairwell. We both froze. The voice was too loud and deep to be L’s, and it definitely wasn’t the voice of his father, either. We heard no doors open. She just stared at me.
"Did you hear that?"
"Yes." I murmured quietly.
We both went down the stairs, concerned for L’s safety. He was still passed out, now overtaking the entire bed, sprawled out comfortably. There were no traces of anyone else in the house. Needless to say, we were both a little freaked out. We both knew it was probably the ghost we saw in the picture. I didn't say anything to L, because he hated knowing things like this, much like my father, only for different reasons.
Later, in early October, shortly before I moved, I remember something else. I don't know if I was dreaming or not, but it all seemed so real. There was clawing at the window of the same house, and I could hear a singular hissing voice calling.
"Let me in," the being’s voice beckoned.
What I remember seeing was what looked like a charred, blackened, gnarled body outside the window, clawing and trying to enter. L was still asleep.
I don't remember if I was sleeping or awake, but I remember giving a loud, "NO!" The next day, I sprinkled salt all around the house, being Pagan and all and finding salt to be a purifier. It never came back, whether I was dreaming or not. When I explained what I had seen to S, she looked ill.
She said I had seen a demon. She claims she has been able to see them since her childhood.
This wasn't the end of this weird crap that's been going on. After I moved, I saw more. I stayed in the same state, and as a hint to where I am: it's said to be one of the most haunted small cities in the Midwest.
The house in the smaller town we lived in was being foreclosed on. The lawyer screwed us over so she could fork the property over to her mother in order to sell it. Everyone we knew there was just a little bit too backwards for our liking, and we're an odd bunch. This led to our little motley crew having to move elsewhere, so we went to a location closer to the factory where J worked.
We looked at several houses. Most of them were too small for four people and a myriad of animals, that is, until we found a rental property. $550 a month was a lot to ask, but it was the best we could do. The first thing that bothered me was the fact that there was just one bathroom. Later on, the faulty wiring caused me to have to constantly run downstairs and use my small size to my advantage. I was always the one to flip the breaker and still am. Every now and then when I'm down there, I smell a heavily fragrant flowery perfume.
We live in a bad neighborhood. Nothing too horrible happened recently, but I think I can explain the place pretty well. During the warmer weather, you spot obvious prostitutes on the corner. Older men would drive by to pick them up. You hear gunshots nearby and police sirens, and spotting someone with their pants hanging halfway off their ass was common. They were a bunch of people trying to be thugs, and though I stay quiet, I still find it laughable. I found one thing especially funny. "Fuck bitch-ass whitey" is carved into one of the wooden walls in the basement. Despite this being a bad place, M came to live with us (she already did once before); because she claimed that anything beat living with her parents and her annoying little sister. You really have no idea how annoying that little bitch is. I could probably write a book about that alone.
Needless to say, we didn't make many friends out here.
We made friends with one guy that was a little younger than us, and when I sat down and talked to him alone, he said he went to one of the cemeteries I was interested in visiting due to paranormal activity. He only shook his head. "Don't go there. Don't go there. I saw some freaky shit out there." S only laughed. "B's seen a lot of freaky shit. I don't know if that will scare her off." I only sighed. "Well, I read a lot about it." Hell, if I was going to keep seeing weird stuff, I might as well look for it, right? "Don't say I didn't warn you." His eyes were wide as saucers. I still haven't gone to that cemetery, but I might when it warms up. This friend visits every couple of months or so since he moved to the other side of town.
Shortly after that visit, he came by pretty freaked out. I answered the door when there was frantic knocking. "B, I saw something crazy outside." I lifted an eyebrow. We already had a couple of crackheads (female ones, mind you) take leaks in our driveway. "Well come in, don't just stand there." He would come over to play Tekken sometimes with L, and I'd make snacks and play rarely.
"Well, I saw a lady on your porch. I thought it was you or S, but she was a little too big." He held his hands out to his sides. A heavyset woman, he described her as. "And she was wearing this floral-print sundress. I was gonna say hi, but she was gone when I took a breath in to speak." I wasn't too surprised. It seemed like everywhere I went, weird shit like this happened.
"I smelled the perfume," I quietly mumbled. Our friend’s eyes (which were already a bit bulgy) bugged out a little. This spirit mainly manifested in the basement and porch of our house. (Laundry)
"Hey, you gonna come play or not?" L interrupted. I didn't mind so much. I was just glad I wasn't going crazy.
S knew, J knew, M knew, and I knew. Nothing would convince L, but he's always been that way.
Almost everywhere I go out here, something feels off. I wouldn't be surprised if this town was very haunted. I've seen a figure repeatedly leap off the top of a building. I've seen flashes of a skirt and leg vanishing behind tombstones. I've seen what appears to be a teenager wandering back and forth in a baggy white shirt and saggy pants just up the street, only to disappear after a few moments. After that, I've even seen one of our pets (Sox) , but I believe his soul has found rest; I haven't seen or heard him for a long time. I know there's even more out there if our friend is right, and before I leave this state, I'll go looking for all of it. Yet I have to wonder about one thing.
At first, when I was little, I thought I was seeing things. More proof started surfacing after I saw the man in grey. But one thing I wonder about the most is whether or not such spiritual activity was present before I was there or not. Do I cause these things to happen, or am I just remarkably sensitive? Whichever way, I'm not scared. It's become commonplace, but I don't want to feel like I'm disturbing the dead. Perhaps I still see things because nobody tried to cloud my vision as a child. And if I really am crazy, then how come others are starting to share my encounters? I'm likely to move again soon, and one question remains...
Do you want me to come live with you?
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