1. When You Watch
When I was probably about 12, we got Turbo Twists from some friends’ parents or something, the details escape me. Somebody thought they would be “educational” instead of “below my sister and I’s education level.” We had a red one and a green one, and to the best I can remember it was the red one that went bad, but that detail escapes me also (it was dark at the time, so I wasn’t even sure which one it was until morning).
Every time you turn one of these on by turning either end, the following sound is emitted by the speaker on the left end: “Do do do DO! Hey, DUDE, is that you? Hit it and let’s go!” You practically need the user’s manual to figure out it means that the button on the right end is essentially the “swipe to unlock”, and that’s what it’s telling you to do. One of the “features” is that you can customize what name it calls you by, but only out of a limited set of options they voice acted, most of which sucked. We left it on “DUDE”. Turn it off and it plays a short slap bass riff, “dadadau, daDAU.”
One night I was almost asleep in my bed when I hear the chime. “Do do do DO!” But immediately, “badadau, daDAU.” It just turned on and shut off, all by itself, halfway across the room. And then it did it again. And again. And I don’t mean it got the same amount into the opening, or that it even paused between shutting off and turning back on consistently. For the first few minutes it was nonstop. “Hey DUDE dadadau daDAU do do do dadadau daDAU do do do DO! Hey, DUDE, is that dadadau, DADAU.” Then it started taking longer breaks in between.
I was pretty freaked out by this point, watching it as intently as I could with my agonizing lack of night vision. I rolled over onto my other side, trying to ignore it. This is where things get bad. All of a sudden it just plain stops. I don’t make the connection until I turn to look again, and it starts turning on and off again. I turn back and forth a few times to make sure, spending a lot of time on each side. And every time it fucking confirms my suspicions. It only plays when I’m watching it.
I spent the rest of the night tucked under the covers, huddled up, and facing away from the demon-possessed piece of evil, not sure if it’s silently creeping up on me somehow and too scared to look, only to hear it louder and closer to my bed like the fucking mannequins in NM2 but noisy.
In the morning I was afraid to throw it out and afraid to keep it. I wanted to believe it hadn’t really happened, so I convinced myself it hadn’t, until the next night, when it happened again. Quiet all day no matter how I try to replicate the freakiness, then come midnight it glitches again. After that I was like NOPE and took the batteries out, which seemed to work. It happened again one more time months later, took it apart in the morning and there were batteries in it.
2. The Tiny Toy Cat
We bought a toy cat–small enough to fit in your hand. When you squeezed it, it made a noise just like our half-Siamese, and I would occasionally harass my partner with it. The batteries started to die, and it would make this rasping emphysema sound, and then it stopped working, so we put it up on the third floor. Our house is old–a typical 1920 four square–and we don’t heat the third floor in the winter; we store things there. We didn’t throw it away because it was cute, and about this time, our one cat, Cassie, grew ill.
After a month of treatment, our vet was near tears telling us there was nothing he could do. It was four days before Christmas, and we decided to euthanize her the next day. We chose to do it at home, not wanting her to die in the arms of strangers on a stainless steel table under fluorescent lights. I dug a grave in the clay in the back yard, left it open and let the snow fall into the grave. I went up to the third floor to get an old blanket to bury her in, and brought the toy cat downstairs. I squeezed it again–now it was silent–nothing. The vet arrived, we took Cassie into the living room, pulled the pocket doors shut so she could not wander off, and she was euthanized in our arms on the living room rug.
We went outside without our coats. We laid Cassie in the grave, and I filled it in. The next day I took all the cat furniture out to the garage, washed all the cat blankets and food bowls, put all the toys into a box and threw the medications away. That night, as we were in bed settling in to the new silence, the toy cat meowed. It was a single perfect long Siamese wail. We got up and walked into the office and picked up the cat. The only sound it would make was the emphysema rasp. Then, nothing.
We tell ourselves the cat meowed without being squeezed because it had warmed up from being stored in the unheated attic.
We still have the little cat. She sits on a shelf at eye level and smiles at us when we walk through the hallway. We squeeze it from time to time, but it has never made another sound.
This is a true story.
3. Bless You
When I was a kid I used to sleep with dolls, one night I woke up and heard a sneeze and my face got all wet. I didn’t sneeze, and the only thing next to me was my doll.
I recently moved into a new house and now live alone. The house is near a small town, maybe 2 miles away. The house itself in the middle of a nicely wooded area in a smaller town, which is perfect for me, I love the serenity of the woods, being untainted by urban life. The idea of having a barn thrilled me, with all of the possibilities of what I could turn it into.
My parents recently gave me this house as a graduation gift. The house was given to them by my grandparents, which is strange because we didn’t live in this house growing up. In fact, my parents never mentioned it to me until I graduated college, admitting that they much preferred the city life over living in the middle of nowhere. My mother lived in the house briefly until she was around 7, when my grandparents decided to pack up and move one day. They never sold the house, they said there were too many memories and at the very least my parents could use it as a vacation home. They never did.
The house was in a slight state of disrepair, however I couldn’t care less. I was a homeowner! Mowing the lawn and clearing the branches was the easy part, the real work began within the house. Dusting old furniture, clearing cobwebs and throwing away old canned food. It took me about 2 weeks of cleaning until I decided it was sanitary enough to move into.
I decided to take a few weeks to just relax, I was tired of partying and I didn’t want to start searching for a job just yet. I spent my first day at the house hiking near the creek, fishing on a small pond and meeting folks in town. That night however I was restless, there was no tv and I didn’t have any books other than text books. I needed something to do after it got dark out, so I started exploring the house. In the attic to my surprise was filled with random furniture, toys and trinkets from my mothers childhood. I found baseballs cards, jump ropes, a little football helmet, action figures, a doll house, board games, etc. This was fascinating to me. I then found an antique dresser, which I found my mothers diary. Jackpot! I can read this at night until I fall asleep.
Not this night however, I was tired and decided to go to sleep in my new bedroom in my beautiful new house. Sleep came fast, however I was woken by creaking from the stairs and attic. This was to be expected living in an old house, I was sure I’d get used to it. The next day I decided to check out the barn, I’d decided to turn it into a hobby lounge where I could do woodworking or whatever my wavering enthusiasms desired. The barn was in fact in pristine condition, aside from a pile of cigarette butts in the corner and a musky smell which hung in the air. The smell was the only thing that bothered me, I am a nonsmoker I hate cigarettes, the stench they give off makes me want to vomit. There was a very unstable looking ladder leading up to the loft, which I decided not to use, the last thing I needed was to break my neck in the middle of nowhere. There didn’t appear to be anything up there aside from some hay creeping over the edge. After picking up the butts, I realized that I had more free time than I planned, since I assumed I would spend the day cleaning the barn.
I decided to explore the attic more, as I could not find my car keys to drive to town. Oddly enough I swore that I left them on the kitchen table next to my wallet, as this is what I have always done with any set of car keys I own. Asides from an old mirror and a pile of old cloths, I couldn’t find anything of much interest. As I left I noticed that there were less dolls than I had remembered, and I could swear one of them was not there before. Whatever, I decided to just read my mothers diary.
Lying in my bed I read through the diary, laughing at the entries of the diary. Several of them mentioned her older brother “James” throwing tantrums for no apparent reason, punching himself in the face or trying to fling his baseball bat into a tree. My mother must have had a very overactive imagination as a child, she had no siblings and grew up a single child.
I marked the page I was on and went downstairs to get a snack, growing more annoyed by the constant creaking in the attic. I decided to go to town the next morning and find someone who could fix it. Remembering I had lost my keys, I decided to retrace my steps so I could leave for town early in the morning.
The sun was beginning to set, a dull orange peaking over the horizon, so I decided to check the barn before it became to dark to see. I brought a flashlight just in case it did become too dark. I couldn’t find my keys, however I did find a few cigarette butts in the corner which I had apparently missed from earlier. I set down the flashlight and scooped them up and threw them away. After an unsuccessful search, I glanced up towards the loft and noticed there was a doll propped up against the wall. I could have sworn the doll was in the attic yesterday, so against my better judgment I climbed the rickety ladder to the loft. There was nothing up here aside from from an old hammer, the doll and a pile of hay. I picked up the doll and climbed down and walked towards my house. When I entered the front door I noticed my keys on the ground, only the car ignition key was mangled and bent.
Annoyed that I somehow must have stepped on the key to bend it, I decided to go to bed and walk to town in the morning. Before going to sleep I cracked open my mothers old diary to read. She was surprisingly articulate for a 7 year old, and I became so entranced by the story that the old house’s creaking no longer bothered me.
The diary’s entries became disturbing however. “James” began cutting himself in front of the family and starting fires, the story was becoming very morbid for a 7 year old’s imagination. The most disturbing entry, James had tried to kill my grandfather with a knife and ran off into the woods after stabbing him, my mother bearing witness to the entire scene. After returning from the hospital, James had not returned. Dead animals started appearing outside the front door and messages were being written on the house with blood. She wrote how her grandparents have been whispering among themselves for a week now and no longer allowing her out of the house alone. She also frequently wrote how much she missed James. The diary ended here, with no mention of when or why they moved, it just stopped.
My heart was racing, my pupils dilated and my heavy breathing silent. I didn’t want to stay here anymore, true or not the diary chilled me to the bone. I was aware of everything due to my adrenaline rush, the wind blowing outside and every little creak the house made. Wait, the house was no longer creaking, it was dead silent. I pushed my bed against the door barricading myself in the room. I moved my dresser in front of the window, knocking over my lamp and only light source. The blanket of darkness covered the room, the only source of light coming from the tiny keyhole in the door. Determined to stay awake until sunrise, I sat with my back against the wall next to the bed. The floor began creaking down the hallway, stopping right outside my door and then stopping. The light seeping in through the keyhole went dark, I tried to listen over the deafening sound of air entering and exiting my lungs, what was worse was my the constant thumping of blood entering and leaving my heart. A few minutes after soul crushing fear, light returned through the keyhole followed by more creaking. I refused to look through the keyhole to confirm my worst fear.
After what seemed like days, morning finally came. When light creeped around my dresser blocking the window, I moved it and waited until sunlight saturated the whole forest. Cautiously I moved my bed and bolted down the stairs outside. I didn’t need a car, I was going to run to town. I ran into the barn to quickly grab my heavy mag flashlight as a blunt weapon if I needed it. I plucked it from the pile of cigarettes it was hiding under and ran down the dirt path into town. I called my parents to come and pick me up from a greasy spoon diner, making sure to sit in a booth which was against a wall and not a window.
Aftermath: I did call the police who insisted they found nothing out of the ordinary and both my mother and grandparents deny any existence of a family member named James. I returned to the house, with several friends and my parents mind you, to retrieve my belongings, I was not living in this damned house. There were blank pages from the diary stacked nicely on the nightstand, however we couldn’t find the diary no matter how much we searched. My mother vehemently denied ever having one and scolded me for smoking in the barn and littering the ground with cigarette butts and having such an “active imagination”.
No, it’s all completely true. I decided it was already too long to include the after aftermath of the story, but there is more. I lived in a hotel for a while after the ordeal and a few days after it happened, I decided to drop by my parents house. I walked in on my mother and my grandparents having an explosive argument, while my father sat silently looking with his mouth gaping wide open. The argument, obviously ceased the second I walked in and they muttered something about the topic being politics. Not long after my mother admitted herself into a mental health hospital for a few weeks for “stress of losing money in the stock market”. She’s seemed different since her stay at the hospital, but it’s probably due to the heavy medication they put her on. She does see one for anxiety problems and recently moved to New York, she likes areas crowded with people. We don’t talk about what happened anymore.
The way I see it there are only three possibilities of what happened.
First is that I went psychotic and I bent my own keys, smoked all of the cigarettes and moved the dolls around. Then after a few days of my psychotic break, I decided to run to town and make up a story about what happened. I don’t believe this option at all, although I’d like to believe this one the most.
Second is that some ghost or spirit was trying to tell me its story. I don’t really believe this one at all either, a ghost smoking cigarettes? I don’t really believe in the supernatural like ghosts anyways, but I sure do believe in deranged maniacs.
Third is that the James really did exist, and was living in the barn/house. He bent my keys and was smoking, he was what walked down the hall and looked into my room through the keyhole. I guess my grandparents believed him to be gone when they gave me the house. I assume that what happened scared my mother for life and she doesn’t talk about it. I believe this 100%, but I refuse to go back to the house to confirm it.
5. Mariner Moose
Ok, So my first and second I guess supernatural encounters happened when my family was living in Maine. We lived in this not so old but big house out in the sticks. I was about 13 at the time and in my bedroom I had a plush Mariner Moose (the mascot for the baseball team), sitting on a shelf near the end of my bed. A few weeks into living there at night I would dream that the moose would get up and and pace back and forth across the shelf. Sometimes like the moose was in deep thought, sometimes it would just be a frantic sprint and be twitchy. I wanted to make sure I was dreaming so the next day I set him in a certain spot on the shelf, put a piece of tape underneath him so I knew exactly where. That night I had the dream again. Woke up the next morning and the moose was sitting at the farthest point from where I set him that night. I was freaked out by that point and thought maybe I wasn’t dreaming at all.
My next story takes place in the same house, and further provoked my belief that the house was haunted. My mom started a little Christmas wreath making business in garage. They would have the radio on and be listening to music while decorating the wreaths. At about the same time everyday the radio would somehow change the station to this old time 40’s music. We thought for a bit that the radio station just changed what was playing. So one day we decided to watch it. It got to about that time and we notice the knob on the radio is actually turning by itself to the old time station. Mom was promptly freaked out and unplugged the radio that day and continued to make wreathes in silence.
My next story takes place in northern California, Me and a few friends were driving home form Dillon beach at about 2 in the morning. I was the DD and completely sober. My friends were all pretty high in the back seat. I was driving a jeep wrangler with the top down so no protection from anything. We are about a mile from the beach and anyone who has been around the coast knows it can get really foggy at night. well it was. Thick fog and I was driving slow so didn’t go off the road on one of the many curves. My friends are all having a time laughing and telling stories and then I slam on the brakes. They get all mad and say what the hell was that for. I just said “look”, and in front of the jeep, illuminated by the headlights was this.. thing. It had an arched back, it was pretty hairy, but pieces seemed to be falling off. It wasn’t walking normally like a dog, it kinda waddled and it was bigger then a dog, the arched back easily went up higher then the hood of my jeep. And the walk, the walk is what made it bad. It was twitching across the road, like it was having a seizure or something. At that point I didn’t see its face until about the time hit the other side of the road, where it froze and snapped its head and looked at all of us in the car. Then it got up on its hind legs and sprinted into the woods. The face looked not of a dog or bear or anything wild that could have been there. It really is indescribable but looked like somewhat of a mix between dog and human. I legitimately believe I saw a werewolf that night. We all do. I floored it after that and was pretty much freaking out the next few weeks.
So yeah, that’s what I have seen in my life. Definitely stopped me from sleeping a few nights.
6. A Story Told At Sea
As background, I am a warfare officer in the Australian Navy and I drive warships. The easiest way to describe my job is the person who pilots the ship for 4 hour shifts, and when the Captain walks onto the bridge, he often takes control of the ship off me, if he requests it. As such, I often have a team of about 3-4 on the bridge at any one time consisting of a helmsman (who physically drives and controls the engines on my behalf), a more senior ‘quarter master’ (QM…whose job is to make sure the admin of the bridge happens while i am busy navigating/talking to the operations room) and another junior warfare officer under training to learn my job, if we have a few of them onboard. ‘Watches’ are 4 hours long, with the usual rotation being 4 hours on, 8 hours off. As such, one of the +most bemoaned watch rosters is being the person who gets the afternoon (12-4pm)-graveyard shift (Midnight-4am), also known in Navy slang as the ‘Arvo and Guts Watch’. This watch is hated as it gives you the most broken sleep, as everyone onboard normally has to be up and about at 6:45am to start the day. I digress.
What this means, is that if you are unlucky enough to get the midnight-4am watch, you need to stay awake. Being up on the bridge of a warship, you need to have everything dark so as to not ruin your night vision out the windows and into the sea beyond. 80% of the ship is asleep, and I personally enjoy the quiet ‘downtime’. Weird conversations happen, and more often than not, people start talking about weird things that have happened to them. I will never forget the one night I was on a patrol boat in the middle of the Arafura Sea in northern Australia, and the story two of the sailors told me.
A patrol boat is smaller then normal warships, so I only had a helmsman on watch with me. We were hundreds of miles in the middle of the ocean, and were just having a coffee and a laugh while we sat in the dimly red-lit dark of the bridge, the muffled thrum of the ship’s engines, the sound of our bow cutting through the dark water and the muted static of our VHF radio scanning empty channels being the only sounds. Every now and then the wind would pick up and you’d hear the howl before it deposited a thin spray of salt water into our bridge windows. Hopefully I have set the scene and made you feel what it is like to be in the middle of nowhere late at night.
One of the senior engineers had wandered up to the bridge for a coffee and he was sitting on the stairs that led up to the upper deck from the bridge, and I had just finished telling my story about our old house to the sailor on the helm, who was a bit freaked out! The helmsman then told me his story….and needless to say, it in turn freaked me out. And I generally like a good ‘unexplained story’. His story really re-enforced my wariness of ouija boards/seances, as this was the prime factor behind the weirdness of the afore-mentioned house I lived in as a toddler. His story is as follows….
THE HOSPITAL SEANCE
To begin with, the sailor told me how before joining the Navy, he used to work as a wardsman at the Royal Brisbane Hospital in early 2001. He said it was a great place to work, with other young wardsmen for company, and as he put it ‘heaps of hot young nurses.’ A few of the girls were into seances and a few of them were living on the hospital grounds in accommodation while they did their internships. One of the girls suggested that one night they go into an abandoned ward and conduct a seance, because as anyone who works in a long-established hospital will tell you, they are normally hotbeds of weird activity. (My mother is a 30 year midwife and she has some things she said she can’t explain…like mothers reporting a ‘smiling, kindly old matron with a weird hat who came and checked on me in the middle of the night and patted my baby to sleep’…despite there only being 2 young nurses on that shift all night, but I again digress). Thinking it sounded like fun, he said yes, and a few nights later after work, a few of them (plus a few nurses he hadn’t met before) all went up to the disused ward and set up the ouija board.
He said they started the seance and the glass started to move as they had ‘apparently’ contacted a spirit. He scoffed and thought it was a joke, as the glass was moving randomly with everyone putting a finger on it. Of course he thought that the others were moving the glass. He said someone was given a pen and a paper and told to scribe anything that happened. Little did he know that their innocent night was about to get really weird…
Apparently someone asked this spirit, ‘What is your name?’ The glass moved and spelled out ‘N-I-G-E-L.’ They all laughed and someone else asked, ‘Are you Good or Evil?’ (I have goosebumps as I type this) and the glass moved over to ‘EVIL.’ Still scoffing, the sailor said some other questions were asked, but they got back a lot of jibberish. Suddenly, about 2 mins later he said the glass started going absolutely nuts, and some people started goetting uneasy. Despite this, it seemed to be following a pattern so someone told the guy scribing to write down what the glass was moving to. He got something like the following, and slowly it started making words. Apparently it read, ‘I-L-L-B-A-B-Y-C-A-S-S-I-K-I-L-L-B-A-B-Y-C-A…..’ After a few more repetitions the guy scribing went, ‘Kill baby Cassi…..oh, Cassi kill baby? What the hell does that mean??’ (I joke you not here when I tell you this, the sailor telling me the story said this screwed/disturbed him for quite a while) One of the girls in the circle turned pale, held her hand to her mouth and ran from the room sobbing hysterically, like a wailing cry of utter terror. He said one of the guys went ‘Haha what’s up with her?’.
One of the other nurses went outside to console her, and the story came back as such. The girl who ran outside confessed to the other girl that she had had a secret abortion 3 weeks prior after finding out she was pregnant. She told NO ONE about the abortion, not her parents, not even her own boyfriend. Her name? You guessed it, was Cassie. That pretty much wrapped up the night, and horrified, the rest of them finished the seance and swore never to do it again.
After he finished telling me this, I was pretty freaked out, but the other older sailor (he was in his 40s) just sat there and said nothing, and drank his coffee. Trying to lighten the mood, I said ‘that was a good story, but what about you Chief (his rank), surely you have a good one you have heard?’ I noticed he was looking really uncomfortable so being a great people manager/officer (lol), I decided to go for the jugular and shame him into telling it. ‘C’mon chief, tell us!’, I jibed. I probably should have left it there, but he decided to tell us. I don’t know if it was true or not, but in hindsight, judging how reluctant he was to tell the two of us, and how freaked out he looked when he told us, it’s inclined to make me think.
To set it up, this guy was/is (as I mentioned) in his 40s. He’s been in the Navy for over 20 years working in the engine room as the Chief Engineering sailor, so he’s not a weak-willed guy prone to getting scared. From his posture, and the look on his face, I could tell he was really reluctant to tell his story. I’ve heard sailors tell stroies before (and I’ve heard some good ones) and you can tell when someone is pulling your leg. This guy was flat out scared. I almost felt bad that I tried to conjole the story out of him.
Anyway, his story started when he was 6. He said he was in Grade 2 of what some of you American readers would know as Elementary School. They had to make paper-maiche dolls for Mother’s Day, and he said he ended up making a clown marionette/puppet that was suspended on strings. He said his mother loved it immediately, and loved the fact that it was probably the first really creative thing he had made at school and prior that at kindergarden. She insisted he hang this doll off the curtain rail above his bed, as she loved seeing it hung up ion his room for ‘extra colour’.
Now being 6 years old, he said the novelty of having a clown puppet hanging over his head in bed at night started getting out of hand. After a year or so, he said he actually began to really resent the clown being there. He said he especially hated waking up in the middle of the night and seeing it leering down at him….after a while he started to realise that he hated the clown, and his imagination probably made it worse, as he felt like he was being ‘watched’ of a night time, or whenever he was in his room. He told his mother that he didn’t want it hung up above his bed anymore, but he said he could tell she really hurt by the diea of taking it down, as she really loved it being there. (I would have thought she should have hung it above HER bed, but I held my tongue!) One day, after freaking out in his sleep once too often, he took it down and threw it in the rubbish in the kitchen. He said he made sure he put some other rubbish on top of it so that his Mum wouldn’t find it. he went to bed early that night, and said he felt happy knowing it wasn’t above his head anymore on the curtain rod.
Next day he woke up to find the clown puppet back above his head. He said he cursed under his breath and thought that his Mum must have found it, gotten upset, and put it back in his room late that night/early that morning when he was sleeping. He decided not to say/ask anything about it of his mother, as he thought he’d get in trouble for trying to throw it out to begin with. A few weeks later he took it to the wheelie bin outside the house and threw it under some bottles and cans. He then placed a large bag of rubbish from the kitchen on top of it and wheeled the bin out for collection by the garbage men the next day. He woke up the next morning to find the bloody clown BACK above his head and hanging from the curtain rod.
As you can imagine he said he was upset by this point (and in real life, myself and the helmsman both realised that he was visibly shaken from telling us this) and he confronted his mother about it. He said to her, ‘Mum, why did you take that clown of the bin and put it back in my room?’ ‘James, what are you talking about? id you try and get rid of the doll? Why would you do that, you know how much that means to me, it was one of the first things you made!’ ‘Mum, I really don’t want it anymore, it scares me.’ ‘James that’s nonsense. It’s paper-maiche!’ He was upset, and assumed that his Mum was ‘onto him’ and had retrieved the doll from the rubbish.
He left it at that, but decided he would get rid of it once and for all a week later or so. One day when his Mum was out and his Dad was in the garage fixing the car, he took the puppet up the backyard and put it in the incinerator. (Australian readers will probably remember most people seemed to have one of these cicular brick areas in their backyards when they were younger for gardening/mulch etc) He said he lit the match and covered the doll in paper and dried grass. Afte ra few minutes, it was completely charred and had burned to ashes. Giddy with delight, he confessed to his mother what he had done later that day when she got home, confident in the fact that she now couldn’t do anything about it after the fact. He got grounded (and smacked!) for playing with fire, but he said his mother got over her dissappointment and moved on, with nothing more being said about it. Or so he thought.
That night he said he dreamed that he woke up, his bedroom door opened slowly, and that the clown, now on fire and in flames walked into his room and said to him, ‘You thought you could get rid of me didn’t you? Well one day you’re going to pay for what you did!’ He said he woke up screaming which brought his paretns running. He was crying but they assured him it was a bad dream. He quickly put it behind him, although he said his parents were quite concerned for a few days.
Years later, when he was 16 he had another dream. He dreamed (and now people, I can FEEL the goosebumps running up my legs!) the same clown doll walked into his room on fire and said ‘You thought I forgot didn’t you James? Well I haven’t forgotten, and trust me, one day you will pay.’ He woke up screaming again, and he told his mother about the dream. His grandmother, (who by his account was one of those hippie types who liked ‘alternate lifestyles’ etc) suggested that he see a clairvoyant/mystic/gypsy woman she knew for a card/palm reading. He thought it couldn’t hurt, and he went along and did it, despite his scepticism of such ‘rubbish’. He said the woman blanched a little when she read his cards and said ‘something or someone very bad wants to hurt you…have you offended anyone lately or in your life?’ He broke down and told her the story of the clown, and how it appeared in his dreams when he was younger and again when he was 16. She said to him ‘James, this is very bad. If you ever see that clown again, something terrible might happen and you need to be prepared.’ At this point we were quiet on the bridge. I was letting it all sink in, and I couldn’t help but notice that this sailor was shaking. I realised I shouldn’t have puhed him to tell the story, and that is was evidently something he was seriously scared of, and had been his entire life.
The helmsman, after a minute of silence blurted out what I had been thinking. ‘So Chief, have you seen it since?’. The Chief looked at us both and said ‘I have never seen it since, and I live in fear of the day that I end up dreaming I see it again.’
And that ladies and gentlemen, ended our few hours of telling stories. I went and pretended I was checking the radar and chart while the helmsman looked ahead and pretended to check the autopilot. The Chief finshed his coffee, came and looked over my shoulder at my nav-plan on the chart to see where we were, and bid us goodnight.
After the bridge door shut the helmsman and I looked at each other and uttered a rather prolonged, unified expletive. Whether it was true or not, it is the freakiest story I have ever heard. If he was pulling our leg, it was an Oscar award winning performance. The fact that he was so visibly shaken while telling it (his voice breaking at parts) led me to believe it probably wasn’t….if anything, it was real to him.
Another guy I was on watch with said he had a really freaky dream one night (wasn’t a true story, but his dream was freaky as hell) at sea. He said he dreamed he woke up in his bunk on the ship and no one was around. He dreamed he got dressed to go on watch, and all he could hear was the ship creaking and the dull sounds of waves outside the hull. He said he walked up to the bridge and found the ship on autopilot, with no one up there. Thinking it was weird, and hearing the creaking, he kept looking around. He said the worst part of the dream was that he opened a cargo hold in the lower part of the ship and found the whole ship’s company, some 56 people swinging by their necks from ropes hung from the roof of the hold, the creaking being the ropes swinging with the rock of the ship.
Weird. We laughed about it, but he said the dream freaked him out. Funny what the human mind can come up with while asleep!
7. Voices Always Talking About The Family
About 10 years ago I had a friend who insisted that his house was haunted. His whole family had terrifying experiences in the house. Most of the occurrences happened in and around the basement which was only half constructed. By half constructed I mean that half of the basement was concrete and the other half was a dirt access crawlspace about 3 feet deep separated by a 3×4 piece of insulating wall that could be removed to get to the crawlspace.
The father described hearing low whispering voices coming from the crawlspace. They would almost always be talking about members of the family. He was convinced they were plotting to manipulate his teenage children. On several occasions he said he would see or hear his children walk down into the basement when they were not home. The most terrifying experience he had was seeing an apparition of his daughter or son crumpled up at the bottom of the stairs after hearing a crash.
The father later died in the house (heart attack) and the mother moved out to live with a new boyfriend. My friend and his sister were just out of high school at the time and his basement became a fairly safe place to hang out and smoke interesting things. His sister claimed that the doll heads on her old toys would turn to face the stairs (they were sitting in a pile in the corner of the basement).
I had never witnessed anything unusual so I really didn’t believe all of their stories and I still think they were the result of overactive imaginations and chemical enhancement (it was 420 friendly even when the parents lived there). However, I was driving my friend home one night. When we pulled into the driveway we discovered that the kitchen light had been left on. The house had a large front window and you could see the basement door and kitchen from the driveway. We both saw what appeared to be a large black mass move from the open basement door to the far side of the kitchen and back again. We sat in the car while my friend kept repeating loudly “I’m not going in there…I’m not going in there”. After about 40 seconds of watching whatever it was I offered to go inside with him to check it out. We entered through the garage so we lost sight of the black mass as we entered the kitchen. We discovered that the basement door was closed when we entered the house and searched around for a while to make sure no one had broken in. To this day I have no explanation for what we saw. I don’t really believe in ghosts and don’t consider the experience evidence of their existence but it was unusual.
8. Greeder And Seeder
When my brother and I were little, we had two clown dolls that we named Greeder and Seeder. When I say we were little, I mean very young as in pre-kindergarten young, so there’s not a whole lot of detail I can now remember about these dolls now. If I had to describe them, I would say that if they looked like homemade knock offs of Raggedy Anne and Andy. One was a boy, the other a girl. One doll had yellow yarn hair, one was in overalls…very late 70s, early 80s style. When I asked my brother about them, he also remembered Greeder and Seeder.
Here’s the thing. All the grown ups in my family who’ve been asked –my parents, aunts and uncles– swear that my brother and I never owned clown rag dolls. However we’ve been told that Greeder and Seeder were the names of our imaginary friends.
9. Carmel The Bear
This happened a couple of years ago. I was staying at my fiances place one night, and she has a 6 year old son who’s room was right next to hers. I got up at about 1am to go take a leak. On my way back, I hear her son crying in his room. He has this stuffed cat from Build-a-Bear that he adores. It was his first ever Build-a-Bear that he got when he was 2 or 3 years old. It’s name is Carmel and it has once of the voice boxes that plays a meowing sound.
So, I go into his room and ask him what’s wrong, why is he crying? He said that one of the cats scratched Carmel as they were jumping off his bed and that he was hurt. I picked up his toy and look it over and see nothing. I ask him where Carmel got hurt, and he indicated to one of the toy’s paws. I gave it a kiss and said that it’s all better. He turned to me, tears in his eyes, and said that he wasn’t, and that Carmel was dead. I asked him why he would say that, and he responded that Carmel wasn’t talking. Thinking that he thought the voicebox was somehow damaged, or something and I activate it, and after it’s done meowing, I told him that everything is fine, and that Carmel still talked.
He looks up at me and in a matter-of-fact voice says that is the voicebox, not Carmel’s voice.