I broke into an abandoned mental hospital to film a movie with some of my friends. It wasn’t a ghostly presence that made it creepy, just the atmosphere. Old rusted-out cribs. Stains on the wall. Asbestos falling down like snow. The place had a documented history of patient abuse and overcrowding. In the sixties, you could get thrown in a state facility relatively easily. Many of my friends are being treated for mental health conditions, and it really freaked me out that had some of them been born forty years previously, they may have been subjected to the same conditions.
I grew up Christian and was still religious during the time my family and I lived in a home with what I believed to be multiple spirits. Since then I have become an agnostic atheist, but have been unable to revisit the home and debunk or further investigate. I was in middle school.
At the time, there were, at least, three separate facets that I noticed. In the kitchen of the home there was a sort of warm presence if I was alone and listened very carefully. Once, I heard a beautiful melody of bells-I looked at maps later to see if there was a church nearby that could account for it, but found nothing closer than 5 miles, and we lived in a heavily wooded area.
In the main body of the house (the first floor) there was something that felt somewhat mischievous in that weird, almost malicious but not quite way that a small child has. That one liked to hide things-once it was my mother’s engagement ring, which she finally got fed up and told it off over, and the ring reappeared on her chest of drawers later that day, where she had checked and looked a dozen times already. While slightly annoying, it wasn’t threatening.
And then there was the thing in my bathroom, which was directly adjacent to my shared bedroom with my sister. I always had a bad feeling in there-it was this old bathroom, with carpet (weird, right??) and a clawfoot cast-iron tub. I always felt like I was being watched, whether I was bathing, making my daily ablutions, or using the toilet. Sometimes I’d talk to whatever it was, hoping to lay down the law, and it seemed to listen, although the uneasy feeling didn’t abate.
One night, I was terrified for some reason, and pushed myself back as far as I could against the wall and hid under the covers. That seemed to help, but I had no idea what it was doing if I did that, I realized, and so I pushed up the courage to crawl out from under the blanket and confront the thing face-to-face.
Standing in the doorway to my bedroom was a small boy in greyscale color with ugly purple traces. He stood there, staring at me, and I blinked; suddenly, he was gone, and in his place was a pulsing mass of the same colors, green and grey and purple like a violent thunderstorm rolling in place and menacing me.
That was all I could do. I shoved myself further back against the wall until it hurt and then curled up under the blankets again in terror. Eventually, I fell asleep.
On separate occasions, when my youngest brother was very young and recovering respiratory infections caused by our previous residence (which had black mold), my mother and stepfather’s bedroom was directly under mine. She said she’d hear footsteps from our room to his, and he’d stop coughing. She’d race up the stairs, my stepfather listening for returning footsteps, and find nobody in my brothers’ room-just them, sleeping peacefully.
I’ve been convinced for a long time that something bad happened there, and that the other spirits in the house were keeping the bad one at bay.