; Phantoms and Monsters - Real Cryptid Encounter Reports - Fortean Researcher Lon Strickler

Friday, May 08, 2020

Red Eyed 'Black Mass' Haunts Chicago Lakeview Apartment Building

A young Chicago couple discovers that a red eyed black mass haunts their Lakeview apartment building

"Here's a bit of the backstory. From late 2003 to summer 2005, my husband (who was my boyfriend at the time) and I lived in a haunted apartment in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago (by the corner of Melrose and Broadway).

When we first moved to this apartment, I often felt like I was being watched and sometimes had a sense of unease. But I was young (23 when we first moved in) and a senior in college so I blamed the feelings on stress and the layout of the apartment (which was a typical Chicago four plus one, we were on the second floor right over the garage and our living room window faced the living room window of another apartment; that apartment and mine almost always kept the blinds shut).

At the time I did not believe in the paranormal. I'm the sort that has to see something myself before I believe it, and once I do see it, I analyze it endlessly.

I went to bed one night, but as usual could not fall asleep quickly. Our two cats normally went to bed with me but they didn't on this night. After a while I sat up in bed and looked out the bedroom doorway. I can see the dining room area from bed, and if the cats were playing they would inevitably end up in that area (our apartment was very small, maybe 700 square feet if that, and the dining area was kind of central to the apartment layout). I hoped I would see them so I could call them to me. It was dark but not pitch dark because the apartment's windows let in dim light from our neighbors across the way as well as typical large city light pollution.

So, thanks to this light, my eyes quickly adjusted to the gloom. That's when I realized there was a very dark black (the blackest black you can think of--blacker than black, even, like velveteen tar) mass just pass where the apartment's very brief hallway ended and the dining area started. It was around 7 feet high, and had a rough head and shoulder/torso shape but the rest of it kind of faded off.

I wasn't alarmed at first--if anything I leaned forward to try to get a better look, because I absolutely couldn't believe my eyes. I was baffled! But when I leaned forward and gawked at this thing, it seemed to turn and look at me, and when it did, I saw two red eyes in the "head". I did not see any other features and I don't remember if the eyes were glowing or just plain red but they were indeed red.

When the thing looked at me, my amazement was quickly replaced by a deep, primal fear. And then it swooped through the bedroom doorway and towards me. I did the only thing I could think of, and that was duck under the covers like a kid hiding from the boogeyman.

I have been in some scary situations in my life but that particular fear was almost unearthly; the feeling reminded me of the intense terror you feel when you realize the monster in your nightmare has spotted you. After several moments I began to run out of air beneath the covers so I decided to elbow my sleeping husband in the ribs hard enough to irritate him and make him wake up/sit up/roll over/DO SOMETHING. It worked and when he didn't react strangely I figured the thing was gone....and it was.

I--and later my husband--saw the shadow again but it never appeared remotely as threatening. Altogether I saw the spirit there three times.

It took me years to come to terms with this experience. The closest explanation I could come to was sleep paralysis but other than the apparition looking similar to some of the hallucinations reported during sleep paralysis, there were no similarities to sleep paralysis. I had yet to fall asleep at that point and was able to move freely. The fact my husband later saw a black mass during waking hours (and I saw something else when I was awake) also helped me come to the conclusion that what I experienced wasn’t due to sleep paralysis.

With the assistance of the Chicago History Museum Research Center, I did research on the property and building; the apartment building was built in the early 1970s; before that a Jewish academy was on that site. Some time before that, in 1940, a house that was on site burned down (with no injuries or deaths). That house was once inhabited by a large family; one of their sons was a Marine that died of disease while deployed overseas during WWI. There's no record of the exact address prior to that.

I also sent a message to the property management company asking if anyone has ever reported anything related to a haunting or the paranormal (I had a hunch that the spirit moved throughout the whole building versus staying in my apartment) and I fully expected either a 'No' or no response from them. But to my surprise the guy responding said he would check with people in the office and get back to me. A couple days later he said, "Actually, I've been told that they were aware of the situation, but haven't had any reports of strange activity in a few years. Hope this helps." LB

Hey folks. I do understand that everyone is tightening their belts during the Covid-19 situation. But I ask that you may consider supporting Phantoms & Monsters through a donation. Yes, I do receive some funds through books and advertising. But it is far from enough to cover expenses, especially since Amazon.com and other affiliates have lowered royalties and CPM because of the Covid-19 lockdown.

If you are interested in helping out, you can use the PayPal donation buttons on the blog and newsletter or go directly to PayPal.com and use my email [email protected] as the recipient. You can also make a donation through Facebook Messenger. Thanks for your continued support. Lon

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Lon's Suggested Reading List - Books & Films / DVDs

'Winged Cryptids: Humanoids, Monsters & Anomalous Creatures Casebook' is now available on Amazon.com and from our new publisher Singular Fortean Publishing

A review of 'Winged Cryptids: Humanoids, Monsters & Anomalous Creatures Casebook' by Linda Godfrey


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