6. The Reoccurring Dream
I’ve never spoken about this to anyone.
Over the course of two or three years when I was younger 9 or 10, I had this sporadic recurring nightmare.
In the nightmare, my whole family would be on a picnic, more like a family reunion type thing, in a park we actually frequented. A younger me would be playing with my sisters and my cousins, as I normally would at an actual reunion. Right after going down the metal slide I always noticed there was a group of people there that I had never seen before. They were not my family but no one else seemed to notice them except me. They were all really pale and dead looking wearing all black and had long black hair. The man that looked like their leader was standing in front of them and when we made eye contact he smiled. This smile was like how I imagine a lion would smile at it’s prey, if it could do such a thing. I smiled back. Then all of the sudden they would attack and tear my entire family to shreds and ear their faces until there was nothing but bone and a little muscle showing. My mom would grab me and shove me into this crawlspace under a shed nearby. I remember thinking I was there alone because none of my family was left and then I would see the leader completely shred my mother’s face and body as I watched.
Up until this point the only sounds I would hear in the dream were birds chirping, even through the attack…happy birds. It seemed like once my mom’s life was (quite literally) torn from her everything fell completely deafeningly silent. Then I could hear shallow breathing just over me, but I wasn’t scared. I would think I was safe and then after what seemed like hours, the leader would reach down and grab me out of my hiding spot. He would hold me up by my shirt collar, up to his eye level and reach up and toke hold of my bangs and dig into my scalp and rip down and once he made the pulling motion the shallow breathing stopped and it was silent again.
I wasn’t seeing things from my eyes but above everything. I watched him completely skin my face in one hard pull. And I woke up sweating. It wasn’t an every night thing maybe once every other month, if that. I never would tell my mom about it. I always told her I couldn’t remember what I dreamt even though I could never get the images out of my head.
Fast forward to 18 year old me, graduating high school in a few short months, skipping school and touring some college campuses with my friends (okay… hitting up some hookah bars and maybe smoking a little weed before we left on our adventure), we decided to take the metro through the city. A few blocks down from where my friend parked his car, a man got onto the bus that looked just like my “murderer”.
His hair was short and he had a lot more color to him, but that face. Every facial feature was dead on. We made eye contact and he smiled. It wasn’t evil- more concerned or worried (probably because I looked at him like he was the Antichrist) my stomach dropped so fast I felt like I was going to puke. I pulled the cord to signal a stop and jumped off the bus once the door opened. When my friends asked me what happened I just said I needed some air so we walked back to the car in almost silence. I don’t know if it was because I was a little more than baked like an apple pie or if it really did look like him but I couldn’t shake the feeling it gave me and requested a ride home.
When I got home I sat in the living room where my mother was watching a movie and just watched her for over an hour. I couldn’t stop looking at her face. It was completely intact and perfect and I didn’t want to look away. When she looked over at me I got up and went to my sister’s room (the only sister still living at home with us) laid down in her bed and cried until I fell asleep. That feeling of dread, loneliness and loss just consumed me.
I never could tell a soul and to this day I do not understand why.
7. A Tour Of The Insane Asylum
There’s an abandoned insane asylum about twenty minutes from the University where I studied. The semi-spoken rule for the place is that if a student is caught on the premises, they’re immediately expelled. It had been shut down for about forty years before my visit, but punk kids found a way in every year.
October of my freshman year, four of my friends invited me to check the place out. We drove up under cover of darkness and were amazed to discover faint lights on in the main entrance. The three guys on the expedition (myself included) immediately tried to “Nope” our way out of the situation, but the girls were already too invested. They left the car, promised to only poke their heads in, and promptly walked through the main doors. Right as we were about to abandon them, they popped out and beckoned us in.
Crazy time starts now: we walk in to see a team of people on computers with all kinds of equipment and camping gear everywhere. In the middle of this room was a large man who seemed to be in charge – we’ll call him Jeff. Jeff informs us that he is the new owner of the building, and that he’s hired this team of paranormal investigators to confirm the presence of spectral anomalies. Jeff wants to turn the asylum into the area’s biggest haunted house. Big old nope on my part.
Jeff tells us that he’s impressed by our willingness to explore and offers a tour of the premises – four massive brick buildings connected by steam tunnels. Think “Grave Encounters” but actually scary. My hesitance was quickly brushed over, and we started walking through a dark building with a man we had met 15 minutes earlier.
You’ve seen movies, so you know how the tour goes – writing on the walls, abandoned wheelchairs, bathtubs knocked over, that wispy dust stuff that’s floating around everywhere. But the deeper we go into the compound, the more claustrophobic I get. Weren’t the ceilings higher in this hallway? Why is every door closed now? Didn’t we already see this floor? The buildings were a maze; there was no way we could find our way out without Jeff.
Back to Jeff – he stops us in the electro-shock therapy room to answer questions. Main question: why the heck did you buy this creep zone? Jeff informs us that he has a strong attachment to the place because HE USED TO BE A PATIENT THERE. Nopes confirmed. Jeff explains that he had seizures as a child, so his parents sent him to the asylum for electro-shock treatment. I mean, come on. After a pregnant pause, Jeff assured us that he was fine, and that everything was fine, and everyone was being super cool.
All of the excitement sapped out of the adventure at that point, and the situation turned tense. Jeff began working our path back to the main offices, but our group had succumbed to the quiet. And cold. Extended exposure to the dark will do that to you. The building started to stretch out and become unfamiliar – hallways that were a short jaunt on the way in became mile-long treks on the way back. There was a new unknown in every room we passed. Darkness seemed to compress around us, flashlights didn’t help. By the time we made it out of the building, we were all sufficiently freaked out. I never went back.
TWO YEARS LATER, Jeff turned the asylum into the area’s biggest haunted house. He had the idea to hire local students as scarers, and charged $30 a tour. My free tour as a freshman now looks like a pretty good deal. According to friends who worked as scarers, the building made its presence known to just about anyone who walked through. Friends left with scratches, stories of being “pushed” while alone, and that general uneasy feeling. Jeff closed the place down after two years of operation due to complaints. His haunted house was too haunted.
8. A House So Haunted That Even The Dolls Were Evil
Being a girl who never really came from a very religious background, I was always curious about the paranormal. My father was a Hindu, for namesake though, as we never followed any of the rituals normal Hindu families followed. We were not vegetarians unlike most Hindu’s who would observe Mondays and Thursdays, and hardly ever went to temples or did a “pooja” at home. For those of you who are unaware, this is just like a ritual where we worship our Gods in the temple, singing hymns and bathing our idols. My mother too, was not much of a believer that is until she converted to Christianity when I was about 8. After this, she became very religious and actively went to church and came home with stories of The Bible and God and presence of spirits, Angels and Demons. Because I was very young, I listened to her talk and would go with her to church sometimes. When my parents split up, I would stay with my mom sometimes in her two-story home.
My room was on the ground floor, and directly above was my mom’s room. Now, we had a laundry room upstairs as well and all was good. We lived in peace, and I always slept with my mom out of habit. One day we noticed that our help would never be able to do the laundry alone, even in broad daylight. The room was well lit with big windows! And when our help told us that they didn’t want to do it alone, we found it odd. Either way we ignored this for a while, and as I was growing up my mom told me it was time for me to sleep alone in my room downstairs. I hated sleeping alone so I always took my helper, Daisy and made her bunk with me. For years, I kid you not, I wouldn’t be able to sleep in that room – even with Daisy! I would always wake up in the middle of the night and move to my mom’s room.
My mom was always a bit more sensitive to the paranormal, and she didn’t tell us – but one day I came home from school to find a bunch of Priests in my home. People from the church and even Muslim shamans. I asked my mom what happened, she told me to relax and sit in the hall.
Long story short, my house was REALLY haunted and we had been living there for so many years. When the priests went up to the laundry room, they said there was a lot of negative energy and when they spoke to the landlords, they learned that the previous owners, a lady had killed herself in that very spot. Hmm, as if this wasn’t enough. They blessed the entire house and when they got to my room they literally ran out and said it was ridiculous how much energy they could feel in there. They told me that spirits could manifest themselves into material objects and since I had so many dolls in the room, that I had to watch out and do major cleaning. I was so upset when they wanted to throw some of my dolls away and made a big fuss. One of them came up to me and said, take this doll. I held up my doll, a life size Barbie with big blue eyes. He said, hover your hand close to her, and tel me what you feel. Reluctantly I did the same. And I lost my head when I felt so much HEAT on my hand as if someone was holding up a blow dryer. I threw my doll on the floor and swore I would never ever buy dolls again.
They ended up cleaning up my room, throwing away all the dolls. And when I finally asked my mom why she decided to get the priests in, she said that for months she was unable to sleep and would keep getting up because she felt the presence of a lady, sad and grieving. She saw her sometimes but being so strong in her faith, she just prayed about it.
Ever since then I think I’ve become so open to the paranormal.