Today we kick off Ghost Week here at The Midnight Society!
Some people are skeptics when it comes to ghosts.
I have never been a skeptic.
I’ve lived in a haunted house. I have experienced things that cannot be explained. I have seen orbs with my own two eyes, in the middle of a cemetery at midnight flitting through the sky. And no, I hadn’t been drinking at the time.
In honor of Ghost Week, I thought I’d tell you a little story about one of my first ghostly experiences at an old house I lived in when I was a child. With that said, I’d love to hear YOUR ghost experiences so if you have any, bop on down to the comments and tell me!
It was a cold October night. I was living up in the mountains at the time.
The way that our house was designed, my brother and I had bedrooms at the top of a narrow staircase, on the second story. My parents’ bedroom was on the first floor, down a short hallway through the kitchen. There was also a basement. It was dark and murky. I didn’t like to go down there.
The pine trees scraped against my window on that cold October night, like an intruder on the outside fighting to gain entry. I watched the shadows dance across my walls as I slowly drifted off into an unsettled sleep.
It seemed as if the very moment that I had reached sleep, I was startled awake by a bright light that had overtaken me. I opened my eyes at once.
My light switch was on. I was alone in my room.
“Hello?” I called out. Silence. Well, almost silence. The sharp sound of empty branches on glass filled my ears.
My heart sped up. I didn’t want to get out of bed, but my bed was on the far end of the room. The light switch was directly across from me, closest to the stairs. I can’t explain my actions other than at that moment, I felt as if I had to turn the light back off. I felt like I was more vulnerable with the lights on that I would be sitting in the dark.
I inched out of my bed, ready to jump back in and throw the blankets over my head at a moment’s notice. Once I had made it all the way across my bedroom, I moved as quickly as possible.
I flipped the light switch off, ran back to my bed, jumped into my cozy sheets, and pulled my comforter over my head. I listened for a while. Soon, I became able to break down the sounds around me…My blood pumping in my ears. The branches of barren trees nipping at my window. The occasional groan of a house settling in the frigid October wind.
Soon, I gained confidence. It was an old house, after all, seven-year-old me reasoned. Maybe the light switch had somehow flipped itself on. It wouldn’t happen again. It was a one-off.
I removed my blanket barricade from my head and stared into the dark. I could just make out the stairway bannister in the landing and my brother’s open bedroom door. I was alone. I was fine.
I slammed my eyes shut, eager to sleep and meet the morning sun. After a several minutes my breathing began to slow.
A bright light shone through my shut eyelids and immediately my eyes snapped wide. My light switch was on, illuminating my bedroom. But I was alone.
And then I realized something. My brother. He loved to prank me. Surely he’d snuck over from his bedroom, across the landing, and managed to flip the light switch on to scare me, before scampering back into his room to snicker in the dark.
I jumped out of bed. He wouldn’t get away with it. Not this time.
I tromped across the hall, over the squeaky floorboard, and into my brother’s bedroom. I located him immediately, as he still slept with a small orange nightlight plugged into the corner of his room.
“I know that was you,” I whispered.
But he didn’t move. He stayed just as he was, sprawled out on the bottom bunk of his bed. His breath was even-keeled and his eyelids were shut. I inched toward him, slowly, expecting his eyelids to fly open and a mischievous grin to cross his face but neither of those things occurred.
He remained motionless, deep in an unmistakable genuine sleep. The soft sounds of his breathing filled my ears and I suddenly grew very uneasy. It hadn’t been him. He was deep in sleep. He hadn’t been the one who had flipped on my light switch.
I stood on his room for a long while, watching him slumber as I debated my next move. Now that I was certain that it wasn’t him, I had no desire to cross the hallway and enter my room again. I didn’t want to be alone.
Whoever had done it, whatever had done it was still there. Still waiting for me. I could feel it with every hair on my body standing at attention.
That’s when I felt it. The unmistakable feeling of being watched. Not just watched…Scrutinized. Studied. Inspected. Stalked.
I stared into the stairwell landing. It was blanketed in dark shadows when I heard it. A creek. The creek of the loose floorboard at the landing. The floorboard that only groaned when someone crossed over it. But as I stared into the inky darkness I saw nothing coming toward me.
A swift burst of air erupted into me, causing me to stumble back. My hair whipped behind my shoulders.
My legs were moving before my brain had even processed what had happened. I raced straight ahead toward the stairwell landing, half expecting to crash into someone or something in the hallway. I burst out of the door of my brother’s room and vaulted across the hallway. I leaped into my bedroom, not even stopping to flip the light switch back to the off position. I soared into my bed at the exact moment that my bedroom door slammed shut behind me—something that I hadn’t done…something that IT had done for me.
I sat with my back pressed against the icy glass window pane, huddled in the mass of blankets on my bed.
That was the first night that I became certain that I wasn’t alone in the house…that something was there with us, watching us. Playing with us.
I didn’t sleep at all that night. I stared at the door, trembling at the thought of the doorknob turning open slowly. But it did not.
At the first sign of my father stirring, I threw open the door and bolted down the stairs.
My parents didn’t believe me.
This would only be the first of my strange encounters at my house on Lookout Lane.