14. I was staying in a friend’s house in a city that’s known for having a lot of old haunted houses. She’s an atheist, a doctor, very smart and very skeptical lady, so when she straight-up told me, “I’d love to have you come visit, but fair warning, my house is haunted,” I was like “…?” but I’ve known her since I was literally in the womb (we’re almost exactly the same age and our moms are close friends and used to hang out together constantl, as did we) so if she said it, I believed her.
She reported a number of incidents to me that I didn’t personally witness, like furniture moving by itself in a locked room, shit getting violently knocked over and thrown around, her dogs refusing to go in the basement, even seeing a semi-transparent human figure when she pulled into her driveway one night.
For perspective, it’s a pretty small house, and not very soundproof, so it’s easy to know where someone is. You generally enter through the side door, and that opens into a long hallway. Basement door on the left, bedroom door on the left, kitchen on the left, living room and dining room to the right, bathroom towards the other end of the house. The dining room was separated from the living room by a wall, and had been the source of most of the stuff she told me about.
So the first night I’m there, everything’s cool, we say goodnight, she goes into her room with her dogs and shuts the bedroom door. I’m getting ready for bed in the living room. All of a sudden I hear the side door open and SLAM shut. I jump like a foot in the air, but it’s also a crappy storm door, so whatever, maybe there’s just a stiff breeze.
Then the fucking footsteps start. I’m sitting perfectly still on the couch. My friend is a tiny lady (like maybe 100 pounds). Her dogs are medium sized (30-40). And I start hearing these HUGE, booming footsteps, like an enormous person wearing really heavy boots is walking slowly down the hall. For perspective, at the time I was in a relationship with someone who weighed about 350lbs and wore steel-toed boots most of the time, and even he didn’t make that much noise. But they sound exactly like footsteps, and they are definitely coming down the hallway.
They finally reach the entrance to the living room, which was almost directly across from the bedroom door. The noise keeps happening, but it stays almost in one place, and I get the distinct sensation that whatever it was, is turning around to look at the closed bedroom door. At that point, I finally look up, and there’s a huge shadow in the middle of the hall, takes up the whole width of it and falls over the bedroom door. I don’t know how to describe it at all, but it really felt like I was looking at the back of some shadowy but very solid creature.
I am not a religious or spiritual person, generally, but I basically play one on TV — I’m from the rural South, and I have OCD (which makes me very superstitious, for lack of a better term, particularly fixating on the idea that something I do or don’t do will cause harm to people I love). I don’t want to go into too much about this because that’s not the point of the story, but on pure instinct, I did some ‘good luck’ stuff, and I remember not being able to look up from the coffee table, feeling like something was pushing my head down, just thinking, “Go away, leave her alone, go away, pick on someone your own fucking size” just over and over for what felt like forever. Then the pressure lifted, and I looked up, and it was gone. I had a panic attack for like an hour, finally calmed down enough to go to sleep, and the entire rest of the visit was uneventful.
I have never forgotten how scared I was. I don’t know how how she lived with it — about five years after she bought the house, she found out that the previous owner had committed suicide by hanging himself from the ceiling lamp in the dining room, and that when she saw a picture, he had been the “person” she saw in her driveway. She ended up turning the dining room into a guest bedroom and having the whole place exorcised by a priest (she went to med school at an historically Catholic school and apparently the chaplain did not bat an eyelash. She’s still an atheist, still lives in that house, but last time I was there, every room had a crucifix in it.