The following account was forwarded to me by a reader named 'Travis':
Lon - I would like to share with you my personal encounters with the paranormal, things which have haunted me since childhood, and things which still haunt me today.
When I was a little kid my parents and I moved out of our apartment and into a new large house with my aunt and uncle. My aunt and uncle lived on the upper floor, while my parents and I lived on the ground floor.
The first paranormal memory that I had in that house was during one afternoon when I was around six years old. I was sitting in my room, on my bed, reading a book. I remember hearing a very distinct sneezing sound, which sounded like it was made by a little girl. Without giving it a second thought I quickly said "gesundheit", and got a courteous reply back of "thank you".
My head instantly perked up, realizing what just happened. I quickly got up from my sitting position, and darted out of my room to see if it was my mom. I ended up having to travel to the other side of the house to find her, where she was sitting in the living room watching TV.
Perhaps not the most paranormal incident in the world, and it's entirely possible that I had imagined someone sneezing and saying thank you, but the following was not imagined.
Several months after that event a second paranormal experience occurred. It was a Saturday afternoon, and I was sitting in the living room with my Dad, watching TV. The commercial breaks came on, and my father asked me if I could get him a beer. I once again had no second thought about this, and instantly got up to retrieve him a beer. However, as soon as I stood up I realized where exactly I would have to go. You see, my father kept his beer in a mini-fridge, at the bottom of the steps of the basement. The basement, had always scared me. Besides the fact that it was unfinished, always dark, and old, there was a "feeling" down there. It's almost indescribable. Like, as if something were extremely angry at you, and wanted to pull you in, and at the same time push you away.
At any rate, I couldn't turn back, I knew my Dad would be angry at me if I refused, and at the moment his wrath seemed more real. So I walked out of the living room, down the hallway, and towards the basement. I stood at the top of the steps, and for some reason, today seemed different. There was more fear as I approached the steps, the feeling that the basement carried was far more intense this time than it had ever been before. I grabbed the wooden railing, which looked as if it were already covered in blood, and slowly made my way down the steps. With each step that I took deeper into the basement, the more fear arose in me. The sensation grew stronger and stronger, to the point where I was nearly paralyzed with fear.
As I reached the bottom, I felt the urge to turn my head towards the left. There was a section in the wall there, which looked like the previous owner had cut out in order to add more space to the basement. With my head facing that direction I desperately wanted to scream at whatever was down there, but all I could get out was a weak "Hello?". At that very moment I saw two red eyes appear from that hole. Fight or flight instantly kicked in, and I flew. I ran up the steps, made the turn as my father caught me halfway down the hallway, asking what was wrong.
I told him what I saw, and he instantly ran down the stairs to investigate, saying to stay back, that it might be a wild animal. He came back up, saying he didn't find any thing.
Shortly after that, maybe a week or so passed, we had an outdoor BBQ at my house. It was the usual people, me, my parents, and my aunt & uncle. Every one was outside, and I had decided to go in to get myself a drink. I entered through the front door, as the back door lead directly to the basement which, at this point, I desperately wanted to avoid it at all costs.
As I was leaving the kitchen I decided that today I was going to be brave, that I was going to face my fears head on. I walked towards the back door, and sat at the top of the steps. As I sat down, I once again had that feeling wash over me, but I stood my ground, wanting to face whatever was inhabiting my basement. The longer I stayed, the more the fear grew, but what seemed like an instant, I saw it. It was a shadow of a person, the sex I couldn't make out, nor any distinct features. I saw the shadow instantly hit the wall to the right of the stairs, and begin to move closer to them. I once again panicked, running outside.
I told my dad that I saw something down in the basement again, but this time it looked like a person's shadow. He wasn't hesitant in running into the house, trying to find out whoever was in our house. Once more though, he would return saying he didn't find anything.
That's the end of the basement, or at least, what I can remember, but it isn't the end of my paranormal experiences.
The hardest incident to remember, and the one that brings out my emotions and tears, happened upstairs. I really struggle with remembering the upstairs, but I know something did happen, I just can't recall what. There was something definitely up there, and I could feel something happened, but it's not coming to me. There was a sensation, fear, pain. A door closed on me, she was there, it's how I got my burn mark. That's all that is coming to me, I really don't know.
When I was 10 we moved out of the house. I wish I could tell you that was the end of my experiences, but unfortunately it wasn't. They continue to haunt me today, but not in a physical manner. Instead, they return to me in the form of nightmares. The nightmares are always the same, and either take place in one of two areas of the house. The upstairs, or the basement.
If I find myself in a nightmare in the basement, it acts as a progression. With each nightmare, I go deeper into the basement. Each time I begin to go down the steps, and most recently I've been able to reach the bottom. I want to scream, and yell so desperately at it but I can't, nothing comes out. I've only seen what's down there once, and even than it was a vague glimpse. I remember darkness, frantic wild hair, it floating. I've always called her a witch, but I don't know if she is or not.
Finally, there is the upstairs. This one always plays out the same too, where I find myself in the upstairs kitchen. I walk towards the room where my aunt & uncle used to sleep. It was in the back of the house. Every time I enter that room, is notice a bed, but the rest of the room is empty. The bed is covered in that frilly Victorian-era stuff, and each time I move it away, to find a corpse of a woman laying in the bed. Sometimes she's in a coffin, sometimes she isn't. Her eyes are closed, but than open, and that's where it ends. Normally this nightmare comes first, followed by the one in the basement the next night.
Before I end this post, I want to add one more thing that I just remembered. My Mom told me a couple off-hand times, that when I was little and living in that house, she would often find me upstairs at night. From the time we first moved in (when I was 4) to when we moved out (when I was 10). She told me one night she decided to stay up to see what was happening. Apparently, I was sleep walking, but she never told me much more than that.
I know it's long, and I apologize for that. I'm writing all this mostly because I'd like your help, or perhaps your opinion on all of this. Have you ever heard of a haunting taking place in some one's nightmares after they have left the place? What do you think it could be?
NOTE: There are times when traumatic events manifest in our dreams. Since Travis had trouble recalling the details of an incident in the upstairs there is a good chance that he was actually 'sleepwalking' or conducting activity while in a state of sleep. I witnessed the phenomenon with my daughter when she was young...when awake, she was never able to recall any events that took place while she was 'sleepwalking'.
Rosemary Ellen Guiley and I discussed her dream research in our recent interview at Arcan Radio Episode #6: Rosemary Ellen Guiley. She conducts a workshop on dreams...and provides other information that can be found at Visionary Living: Dreams. Rosemary has just published a practical guide to pro-active dreaming, using your dreams in targeted ways to improve every facet of your life. This book can be purchased at Dreamwork for Visionary Living. Lon
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