A Haunting We Will Go (Part I)

                You’re home alone; it’s late into the night. You decided early on that you were going to watch this crazy scary movie that everyone has been talking about. The credits start rolling as you ponder instant feelings of regret in this choice. You press the stop button and pop out the disc to return it to its box. As you are about to turn off all the living room electronics to prepare for bed, you hear slight rattling noise from down the long, dark hallway. You step up to the edge of darkness, with only the dim glow of the TV lighting the beginning of the hall. There is no longer a noise, but then you think you see the movement of black shadows in this void that is your home as you stare down this now ever-growing black hole! Your heart races, and you quickly turn your eyes to the light switch, lunging forward at it to brighten your view before something lunges at you. As your eyes adjust from the blindness, you see… nothing. After taking a few more steps, you realize there was nothing in the hallway at all. If something was physically there, it had nowhere to go without your knowing. All the other doors in the hall are closed tight, and not once did you hear a door open or close.

Satisfied that you simply had a momentary lapse of reason, you turn around to continue prepping for bed. You are halfway back to where you left the remotes on the couch, when you here another rattle, then a loud, Cl-Clack!! You jump what feels like 4 feet in the air and spin around so fast, you almost fall into the wall. There, lying on the floor, is a now broken frame containing the picture of a relative, no longer living. As you feel the blood drain away from your face, another rattling noise causes you to almost break your own neck, as you snap your gaze to see another picture frame wobble on the wall! Then, you witness the click-click-click of the knobs on every door in the hallway being jiggled. This is the point at which you urinate in your favorite pair of pajamas, and high tail it to your bedroom, citing every prayer you can pull from the memory banks! The next thing you know, it is the following morning, you find yourself lying on the floor of your master bathroom, curled up with a bath towel as a blanket (and damp, smelly pajamas).

                Trust me when I tell you, that sometimes, things DO go bump in the night and it’s not always the house settling or a family pet stirring. So, what would you do if this scenario happened to you? Have you ever been in a situation like this before (possibly minus the urination part; I won’t judge you… too much)? With so many intense horror films, improvements of video and audio technology, and all the paranormal type documentaries and reality shows on TV these days, it’s no wonder that people are noticing more and having a greater imagination to scope it as well. Maybe you’re a believer, maybe you’re not.

Paranormal research has been an increasingly popular field over the last few decades and has come a long way since the pioneering days of the Ed & Loraine Warren (Which, if you are a horror film fanatic, you have undoubtedly seen some of their real life experiences on the big screen, like the conjuring films, and the creepy little Anabelle doll or “A Haunting” documentary shows).  As I mentioned before, the improvement of technology has helped to capture a lot of credible evidence. The digital age has been kind to all the paranormal hunters out there, not that some good old analog tech doesn’t still do the trick. So, you may be wondering, what is the deal with paranormal activity. Is this stuff for real? In my opinion, yes.

 Don’t get me wrong, I think there is a lot, and I do mean a lot, of content out there that is seriously faked. There are even some researchers out there that embellish the hell out information or put on the “act” of occurrences like demonic possession, malevolent spirits, or poltergeists, just for ratings and publicity; It’s sad. On the other hand, there are those that honestly want to portray all the facts and evidence without biased opinions, so that the truth may speak for itself. Though, the fake filmed fiasco may out-weigh the true ones 10 to 1, it is there for you to find, if you’re willing to put in the patience and are a believer in the paranormal.

I myself, may have a bit of a biased opinion on the matter, being that I don’t stand directly in the middle of these argumentative sides, but I do have good reasons for my position. Over the years, I have had several “paranormal experiences” that have convinced me of the possibility. I can say that the number of my experiences can most likely be attributed to moving around a lot growing up. I won’t bore you with most of the minor incidents involving whispers, objects being moved, or the occasional movement of shadows out the corner of the eye. Instead, I’d like to share a short story with you that was for me, more direct evidence of the paranormal:

I remember moving to Indiana with my family only blocks away from Purdue University campus during the summer of 1995. At the time, I was 15 and I shared a room with my brother, whose was 17. After our family got settled into this nice ranch style home just up from the levee, my brother and I would stay up late. During the night, we would shoot the breeze, play video games, and occasionally get into mischievous acts of, well I’m sure you can use your imagination. Now, we have 3 sisters (all younger) that occupied two of the other 4 bedrooms. My brother and I had a bedroom by the front door of the house, our sisters had the two bedrooms in the middle, and our parents had the bedroom by the garage and driveway. Other than the seven in our family, we had a cat named Boots.

During our late-night meanderings, my brother and I would hear what sounded like an animal stirring, or a cat meowing like it was in heat or distress. At first, we thought it was just Boots. One night it was loud enough that we thought Boots was trapped in some boxes that hadn’t been unpacked yet or in some new cubby. So, we’re sneaking around the house, trying not to wake our parents who had to work the next morning (remember, it was summer, so no school), on the hunt for Boots. After searching around we finally found her, but shockingly, she was sleeping on the couch in the living room. As we are stare at her with a puzzling look, she glances up at us, but then turns her head to the hallway, and the three of us hear the meowing start up again. The next day, after my dad got back from work, my brother and I told him what happened. He said maybe a stray cat was stuck in the crawlspace under the house, and we would check it out on the weekend.

The following Saturday, my dad and I (my brother was at work) went to the back of the house to inspect. The entrance cover to the crawlspace was a nicely crafted wood frame the was painted to match the house. All the metal mesh screen material was intact, and the cover was firmly in place, leaving no way for anything to get in or out of the crawlspace. My dad took the cover off and grabbed a large spotlight. This is when I found that when my dad said WE were going to check it out, he meant I was going to squeeze my scrawny butt into the crawlspace while he watched the hole.

I get into the crawlspace, and start crawling forward on my belly, army style. This was the first time I had ever been underneath any house before, but as an adult now, I have had a number of jobs that have required me to go in a lot of attics and crawlspace. In retrospect, this crawlspace had to be the nicest, and the cleanest crawlspace I have EVER seen to date! There was an even layer of rounded gravel everywhere, no signs of any bugs or rodents, and barely any cobwebs. In the middle area, there were several square cinder block structures that were supporting the weight of the center of the house (remember this was a ranch style house, so it had a long rectangular shape to it)

I gave my eyes a minute to adjust the darkness (the only light was from the spotlight, and the entrance I just crawled through), and then I start to crawl forward a little bit. My dad asks me if I see anything yet, to which I reply no. I crawled a few feet into the space at this point, where I stop so I can scan the area around me with the spotlight. As I am panning from left to right with the light, I see what looked like a gray animal dart from the middle section of cinder blocks heading left to the last section of cinder blocks. I yell to my dad that I saw something, and to watch the hole in case it got around me while crawling towards where it was hiding. As I start making my way over to the last section of blocks, I can see a lump of something gray on the gravel. From a distance, it looked like a large clump of poured concrete, as it looked rounded and smooth.

I make my way around the last section of cinder blocks. I get with a few feet of the blocks, and I am scanning everywhere with the spotlight, but no animal is to be found anywhere. I yell back to my dad if anything tried coming out the hole, to which he says, no. I turn back and go to crawl forward a bit more so I can see behind the backside of the row of cinder block columns. At this point, I am only a couple feet away from the clump of concrete and I look to the right with the spotlight behind the columns, but nothing is there. I turn back to the clump, and then I notice that it has gray fur laying around it. I crawl a bit closer and that’s when I realized that it was the remains of a mummified gray-haired cat.

Somehow, that poor cat had got trapped in the crawlspace a long time ago, and because it was so clean and dry down there, it had no way of getting food or water to survive. I told my dad what I found. He left me there for a minute, then he returned with a black trash bag and a pair of work gloves. I removed the cat remains and crawled back to the entrance. After putting everything back how it was at the entrance, we drove out to a secluded area and buried the cat in the woods. After that day, we never heard a cat howling or heard rustling in the house again.

Now, I know this isn’t the kind of story where I was scared stiff from a ghost cat, but it is not my intention to strike fear into anyone reading this. Rather, I wanted to share what I consider to be irrefutable proof of the paranormal, which I witnessed with my own eyes. Besides, I have had plenty of other situations where I was the proverbial “white as a ghost,” from fear of the unknown and witness to activities that should have been impossible. You may be asking why I don’t share more.  If I did, you’d be stuck here reading for quite some time, as I’d have a lot of details to go over in order to paint the right picture in your mind’s eye.

The real question that you need to ask, is what makes the paranormal possible? Why are there houses that seem to be haunted? Why do some people just seem to attract the paranormal around them? I have a theory on this that I’d like to share with you. For now, I will have to leave you to your own devices and ponder the variations of answers to these questions from your own perspectives. Be sure to catch part 2 coming soon! Until then, stay strange everyone!

Disclaimer: Most of the information contained herein is derived from my own observations and is of my own opinion. Links below are the sources cited for some of the background information.

Information and Pictures Cited:

  1. https://www.videoblocks.com/videos/looping+horror
  2. https://www.basementsystemswv.com/crawl-space-repair/photo-gallery/5481-album-cleaning-up-a-crawl-space-with-cleanspace-in-lost-creek-west-virginia/45584-p4110057.html

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