And So It Begins...
As the years have gone by, I have finally come to the point of taking a long hard look at the earliest and most troubling memories of my life. For many years I have found myself wondering about some chillingly vivid, though mentally obscure incidents that I experienced as a child. That I am alive to tell the tale is comforting, and it is my hope that sharing my most foreboding childhood experiences will help at least some people acknowledge and incorporate their worst nightmares into their lives.
Oddly coincidental, if there really is such a thing as a coincidence, the woman I married and I both shared an almost identical series of events in our youths, which we now believe to be paranormal manifestations. Ever since seeing what may have been a shadow person in our respective rooms as infants, both of us have had a fascination with the unexplained. She grew up and experienced the strangest of phenomena in her parent's home in Salem, Oregon.
I, on the other hand, grew up in a huge house in a sleepy little town, in the piney woods of East Texas, called Tyler. It was the early 1960's, and my parents had inherited a large sum of money from their families. Using a portion of it, they purchased a great, white, Colonial Style home in the Northwest section of Tyler, where Loop 323 and Hwy 69 converge. The three story mansion was flanked by a glistening, duck filled fishing pond, a bountiful vegetable garden, and a wonderfully mysterious maze of hedges, punctuated by stone statues harkening back to long days gone by. Strong rooted, magnificent Magnolia trees, seemingly reaching up to the fluffy white clouds themselves, would later become the closest of friends to my brother and I, who spent many an enjoyable afternoon climbing up to their highest branches.
Our family's well built wooden home had stood for over fifty years, and perhaps would have stood hundreds more, if it had not been broken into and burned to the ground by vandals, the very month we had begun moving to Dallas. So it was, before moving to Dallas in the third grade, at some point in the fondly remembered days and nights of my childhood spent in that wonderful home, I also had the most terrifying paranormal experiences of my life.
Though the exact details of my first encounter are still unclear, to my dying day I will never forget the deepest depths of fear that flooded over me as I looked through the slats of the crib my mother had laid me to bed in. Even now, as I recall these events and write them down, I cannot help but get goose bumps! Wide awake as I lay there on my back, I was suddenly aware and literally felt like something or someone was watching me.
Turning my bright blue eyes away from the happy mobile that hung over me, I looked through the slats of the side of my crib, and saw a dark human-like form standing there, across the room from where I innocently lay. My child's mind raced as it was filled with a jumbled assortment of thoughts, fear winning out even over curiosity. What was it? Where had it come from? And most importantly of all, why was it in my room of all places, staring at me so hard that I could feel it?
Whether it had come through a window, out of the closet, or had appeared out of thin air I cannot say for sure. I knew my bedroom was up on the second floor of the house, and with growing alarm, I somehow knew that it had not come into the room through the doorway.
In any event, I have an extremely difficult time remembering exactly what happened after that point. I do remember that the figure was darkly clothed. I think it may have been wearing a long cloak or robe. It may have had a hood over its head or a veil over its face.
I do not recollect seeing a face but the way it stared right through me, like a red-hot knife cutting through butter, scared me so bad that I would have screamed like a Banshee, if I had been able to. Tough as it is to put into words, I was immobilized, paralyzed by a level of fear so all consuming that it felt like it might freeze my very soul! What happened next is a blur.
It is extremely likely that I have mentally blocked out what transpired next, although I do have a fleeting sense of sudden motion, and seeing something much, much more terrifying. Did it rush over to my crib? If it did, what did it do? Did it say something to me? Those questions have remained an enigma for me to ponder ever since it happened all those years ago. The black forgetfulness of unconsciousness must have claimed me, at some point.
When I awoke the next day, I do distinctly recall telling my mother that someone bad had been in my room during the night. I even asked her if my Grandmother, who was fond of wearing black clothes, had come to visit. My mother reminded me that my Grandmother lived hours away in Dallas and had not come to our house during the night. Part of me knew that whatever had paid a call on me during the night had not been my Grandmother anyway. Where then did I even get the notion that the shadowy person had been a female? Had I seen a feminine face or heard a woman's voice?
I firmly believe that something really frightful happened to me that scared me so bad I am still unable to remember the finer points. It may have rushed over to my crib, thrown back its hood, and laughed maniacally as it tickled me with long, dangerous fingernails, like the experiences some other people have shared with me about their Old Hag encounters. Then again, the precise details of what actually occurred may eventually prove that what happened to me was something completely different. Not being able to fully remember what really happened is one of the hardest parts to deal with. I am also left to wonder if the fog of forgetfulness in my mind was a self-imposed act of basic survival.
On the other hand, if this was not something I chose to do out of fear provoked instinct, is it possible that I was somehow made to forget anything more about this? It may be safer to leave things the way they are rather than to try and push back the veil that hides the unknown. I imagine this is why people who have had occurrences similar to mine, in turn may cope by explaining them away with logical explanations. For me there is none. :(
When I got a few years older, I was moved into another, larger bedroom in a different part of that grand old house. Sharing the room with my younger brother, while sleeping one night, I became acutely aware from a creeping feeling of my skin that something was wrong. I sensed more than saw something standing in the moonless, pitch black room.
Whatever it or they were, a mind-numbing fear seized me, and I stopped breathing, hoping beyond hope that whatever was in the large unlit bedroom would not find me. Something uninvited, that I can best relate to being blacker than black, suddenly seemed to be walking toward me! Filled with an unbridled terror, I wanted to scream and run for my life. Instead, I did what most kids my age would have done... I turned over in my bed to face the wall, pulled the covers up over my head, and closed my eyes as tight as I could. Every cell of my being wished that whatever it was would just go away. Yet, despite doing my best imitation of a possum playing dead, something in the darkest of night stalked right over to my bedside, like it knew I was awake! Gritting my teeth together as tight as the lids of my closed eyes, I had the unmistakably horrible feeling that the thing beside my bed was going to reach out and grab me.
Within a long, long moment that seemed to stretch on into infinity, something actually did touch me, sending an electrical-like jolt shooting through my body! At that point, I blacked out. The very next thing I do know is that I was shocked, wide-eyed and completely awake, by the feeling of being dropped onto the bed, from more than a foot up in the air. I felt tired, like I had not gotten a wink of sleep. Seeing the warm glow of orange light through the window panes that signaled the approaching dawn, I realized with the uneasy knowledge that some time must have past.
Why shadow people, alien abductors, and other denizens of the supernatural netherworld apparently haunt the lives of so many I really wish I knew. What their true motivations are and nocturnal activities involve has been the subject of debate for quite some time, and will probably remain a mystery for many moons to come and go.
In my case, I only have a scant number of pieces to try to place into this very large puzzle. What I do clearly remember, I have shared to the best of my ability. My frustration at not having total recall of these strangest of events cannot be understated. I hope the day will finally dawn when I will find a good hypnotherapist or a spiritual seer that can assist me in uncovering the things that have stubbornly remained hidden from my conscious awareness. Perhaps someone like this can help enable me in more fully remember, understand, integrate, and accept these phenomena more completely into my life. Until then, these dark, mysterious memories will continue to shadow the otherwise bright blessings of my life.
I welcome any discussion regarding the events that happened to me all those years ago. I also look forward to offering an ear to other people who would like to share their own uniquely unexplained experiences. It is my sincere hope that the sharing of these kinds of stories will in some way light a burning torch of truth and knowledge that will banish the darkness of fear and ignorance.
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