The following is a true account, as best as I can remember. My name is Derek, and I was born, raised, and still live in rural South Carolina. My mother comes from a family that has had several experiences with the paranormal, and she would always tell me about her experiences growing up in her mother’s house. For whatever reason, the paranormal experiences didn’t stop with her, because I too had several run-ins with the paranormal while growing up directly across from my grandmother’s house.
When I was around the ages of 3-5, both of my parents worked long hours, so I would have to be babysat by my mom’s first cousin, a woman who had been known to cause a fair amount of petty trouble with the family, but my parents very reluctantly allowed her to babysit me a few times out of financial convenience. While she would babysit me along with her own step-daughter who was my age, she would abuse me verbally and emotionally. If I didn’t want to eat, she would call me horrible names and force the girl laugh at me and call me names along with continuous verbal/mental abuse (e.g. “Laugh at him Crystal! He’s crying! Call him a baby!”). As a child, I remember those experiences being traumatizing and I thought she was the meanest person I had ever met. However, as a small child, I was never able to articulate her actions to my parents to the point where they would understand my fear of her, as she would be as sweet as she could when my parents were around.
During the times that I would be babysat by this woman, things started getting weird. Several times when I would walk into my dark bedroom or even a dark hallway, a tall, short-haired woman with glasses would appear to me out of nowhere. It was almost like she would rise out of the floor and just stare at me. I don’t think she ever said anything to me, but it was like she wanted to talk to me, but I would always just run out of the room as fast as I could once I got out of my frozen, in-fear state. The thing is, I would become so paralyzed with fear that I would block it out of my mind almost immediately to try and convince myself that it wasn’t real. These sightings happened numerous times over those few years, and I still remember it vividly. My estimate is that I saw this figure at least a dozen times throughout the years that I lived in that house. Never did I feel as though she was a malevolent entity, but nevertheless, the sightings always put me in a state of frozen fear.
I never told anyone about this until a few years ago when I told my mom, not because I was afraid to, but I had literally suppressed it to the point to where I almost forgot about the experiences. When I finally brought it up to my mom, I described the woman with enough detail that she said, “That sounds like your great aunt Maddie who passed away before you were born.” While that is interesting in its own right, it is even more interesting that Maddie was the mother of the woman who was babysat me; the woman that many in our family believe had something to do with Maddie’s mysteriously quick death. (Maddie’s death was very fast and mysterious that was never truly explained, consistent with poisoning, but foul play was never investigated.)
That Christmas when I was about 20, after I told my mother about this, she told me to tell her sister, my aunt, about my experience. I began to describe what I saw, the tall woman with short hair and glasses. My aunt also stated that she believed that I was seeing my great aunt Maddie. For the record, none of this was surprising or alarming to my mom or aunt as they have seen similar things growing up in my grandmother’s house. My mom for instance tells me that she has also seen Maddie at times after her death, and at times she has heard her singing. That night at my grandmother’s, they showed me old pictures of Maddie for the first time and sure enough, I was looking at old photographs of the woman who used to appear to me as a child. I don’t know the meaning of all of this. Was she trying to protect me from her daughter? Was she trying to communicate with me? I likely will never know. Many people like to discredit such paranormal experiences, but I will always be a believer.