FOR most of my nearly 24 years of life, I have had an interest in the odd and frightening. With that being said, it isn’t unusual for me to explain away certain strange occurrences as something related to the paranormal, as I would fancy the thought. Usually, these things included just little bits here and there. An object being placed in a location I hadn’t left it, little noises as if the kitchen cupboards were opening and shutting. There was nothing so outlandish or extreme that I couldn’t explain it away in one form or another.
However, upon relocating to Colorado to be with family, I moved into a home with my father. He rents this very quaint, cozy home, with a beautiful back patio and spacious in ground pool that sees plenty of use in the summertime. At first, nothing seemed to be out of the ordinary. He had been living there several years with no complaints and still none to this day.
After I moved in, things began to change. My dog, a very large and mindful guard dog when something seems out of place, began reacting to something invisible to the naked eye in the backyard. His fur would stand on end down the length of his back; snarls would take over his normally sweet face. He would scratch at the door, whine and bark until you released him into the yard to defend his home.
Slowly, things progressed. I began waking up at night, which is not average for me. Each time I woke, I would feel uneasy but not sure of why. My throat would feel as if a hot iron was being shoved down it. I would then drag myself from my bed, descend the stairs to the kitchen and shuffle my way to soothe my burning throat with cold water. This went on for quite some time with no other experiences attached to it.
After a few months, the nightmares came. It started out innocent enough, as if I had just watched a scary movie or read a scary story before bed, which created this scary spin on my dreams. I normally do not easily recall dreaming even though I know that everyone dreams every night, but I would foggily remember the nightmares.
Out of nowhere and all at once, things went from scary dreams to terrifying real quick. I started not just dreaming things, but waking up in a panic because of them. Each time, I would feel as if something was in my bedroom with me. I would find myself looking in the same spot in my room for no reason other than I felt that was where ‘it’ was standing, watching. Feeling a bit irrational for my age, I would turn on some non-threatening Disney movie and drift off again.
For a while, it seemed like that was the worst it would get. But then the dreams turned violent. I had family visiting from out of town and there was a full house. It was early on a Monday morning when I woke myself from my slumber because I wasn’t only communicating in my dream; but REALLY saying things out loud. In the dream, there was a possessed person whom I was trying to exorcise along with the help of others. I don’t know the possessed or anyone else in the dream from real life. The possessed went from fits of rage to pleading for help and the exorcism to stop, saying that if we loved them, we would listen. I woke up saying, “We don’t love you, we love who you are pretending to be.”
At that point, I laid still and tried the movie trick to take my mind away until I could fall back into a slumber. The overwhelming feeling of dread loomed over me and shrouded me like the blanket I was desperately trying to seek cover with. After a few moments, I heard someone retreat to the nearby bathroom. In a single bound, I ran. I ran and didn’t look back. I was certain without a doubt that if I did, I would see something I didn’t want to see. I was positive that if I didn’t move fast enough, whatever be there preying on me, would snatch me and hold me there.
Fearing going back to the bedroom but too early to start my day, I slunk down to the basement to lay with a visiting family member. Even with someone there, in another area of the home, I was still so shaken and startled that I kept jumping myself awake at even the tiniest movement or noise.
From there, the dreams just kept coming. I would dream that I was asleep in my room, but the visual of my room showed itself as if it were the mirror image of how the furniture was really setup. While asleep in the dream, I would be woken by a dark, massive figure standing by my bedroom door. Gathering up courage, I would flee from the bedroom and tell my father who sleeps across the hall, and witness the shadow figure come out of the room and go down the stairs to the main level. I would always wake up for real at that point.
My dog, which slept right outside my bedroom door, woke me up late one night. He was whining, wanting to go downstairs. Nothing was keeping him; he had free range of the house. The issue appeared to be that he didn’t want to go alone. I went halfway down with him before stopping and telling him to go look. The main floor is set up in a circle; you can walk throughout the entire level just by going room-to-room in a circular pattern around the staircase at the center of the house.
He did one full lap before returning to the staircase and begging at me from the landing. So, I told him to go one way and I go the other. The idea was to meet up in the middle at the kitchen. He never made it all the way; he took off and tore up the stairs. After taking a look around and getting a drink of water, I too made my way back up to bed, until something stopped me in my tracks. As soon as I rounded the corner to begin my climb up the stairs, which is located right across from the front door, the doorbell chimed. It chimed for barely one full note before stopping itself. I was never able to recreate it.
Upon moving from my dad’s house after a year of living there, I still visited often, nearly every weekend. I would sleep on the couch in the formal living room since my bedroom had since been taken over. My dog woke me up to let him out at 3 a.m. one night. After finally being convinced, thanks to lots of whining and cold nose nudges, I tossed my legs off the side of the couch and shakily stood up. On my way to the back door, I could see through the kitchen and into the dining room. I had turned off all lights before bed and no one ever comes to the main level during the night. Yet somehow, the light over the dining table was lit brightly.
Since moving into a different place, I have only experienced a few oddities here and there. A couple of times, I have heard someone whispering my name just as I’m about to drift off fully to sleep. Others, I will wake up and immediately have my gaze fixated on one corner, up in the ceiling. My cats will chase some unseen thing around the ceiling as well. The nightmares have stopped, but I still fully believe that whatever is in my father’s house is responsible for influencing my nightmares and manipulating my dreams.
I’m just thankful it didn’t attach itself to me and follow me to my new home.