Friday, April 1, 2011

Some scary shit

Not only do I write horror, but I also activly seek it. I try to find things that frighten me, so that I can live through these experiences and "write what I know", as the mantra goes. I may never have been attacked by a witch or a werwolf, as so often happens in my novels, but I have had people come at me with knives and other sharp implements. That's a story for another day; ask me about my prison chilli story, maybe someday I will tell it.
So I watch Ghost Hunters, have for years and years, and when ghost hunters international started I really got into that show. Who isn't crazy about Kris Williams?  Have you ever seen anyone look so good in night vision? But then I found Ghost Adventures on the travel channel, and I began to watch that show. The hosts are funny, they don't take themselves too seriously, and they get some amazing shit on tape. When my friend moved into a house he claimed to be haunted I told him about the show, and we began a weekly friday night ritual of getting together, drinking large amounts of coffee, and watching Ghost Adventures.
Now my friend claimed his house was haunted, he offered me dozens of stories that seemed to validate his claims, but I had never experienced anything myself. Not someone who just sits idly by and accepts peoples assertations about such things I would try to explain away a lot of the alleged hauntings as things that would normally or naturally happen. After spending a a few months worth of friday nights at his house I began to experience some things too, some of which I couldn't just explain away. I have literally dozens of examples, but what happened to me Monday is the best by far.
The friend who owns the allegedly haunted house, lets just call him Mike, since that is his name, just became a father. His wife went into labor at 12:51 in the morning on monday and my Neice Rebecca was born around 9 am on monday morning. She is adorable, by the way. While Mike and his wife were busy at the hospital becoming parents his two dogs, a German Shephard named Sarah, and a Beagle named Ozzy, where left alone. Mike called and asked me to let the dogs out.
No problem, I said. I went over and let them out. I was there for fifteen minutes or so, letting the dogs wander the yard and do their business. I was outside with them, nothing of interest happened. I left. I locked Sarah in her cage and left Ozzy on the couch, turned off the lights and locked the door. The radio was on for the dogs, and I left it.
I returned five hours later to feed them and let them out again.
The radio was still on, much too loud, much louder than it was when I left. All the lights were on throughout the house, and the basement door was open. I know enough to make sure the basement door is closed because Mike just had a new rug put in and he doesnt want the dogs staining it, as dogs like to do.
Worried that Ozzy might have taken a beagle sized shit down stairs I walked down to check. I turned the lights on and headed into the basement. No dog turds. Good. A sudden thump from the laundry room made me jump, and I headed towards the noise cause thats what you do in horror books and movies. I found a laundry basket overturned on the floor. It had fallen off the ironing board. Not a huge deal. What was a huge deal was when the lights turned off and left me alone, plunged into darkness. My heart began to race, my palms instantly got sweaty, and my body was covered with gooseflesh. A sudden waft of freezing air covered my body and followed my as I fumbled my way towards the stairs. With the open door in sight I paused. I knew this ghost, knew his name, and had enough encounters with him to be on a first name basis.
"John," I called out into the basement, "It's just me. I came in to feed the dogs. Mike is at the hospital, everything is fine, Carolyn had the baby. They are both healthy, everything is good. They will be home in a couple days." The feeling of ice cold air abated and my gooseflesh went away. I went upstairs and closed the basement door.
I let the dogs outside for ten minutes and brought them in. The radio was blasting. The basement door was open. All the lights were on down there. Against my better judgment I went back down and turned off all the lights and then closed the door again. I fed the dogs. I lowered the radio.
Knowing the dogs should be let out again I waited around, editing my second novel STANLEY, available on Nook and Kindle, and let the dogs settle after their meal. I figured I would work on the edit for half hour and then let them outside again to purge their system of their delicious dinner. As I sat in the kitchen with Sarah dutifily by my feet I could hear the radio slowly getting louder. When it got too loud I got up and turned it down. Sarah followed me into the living room, paying lots of attention to the corner. I went back to my book. Suddenly the radio began to blare at full volume. Sarah got up, ears spinning on her head like small trinagular satelite dishes. She ran into the dinning room and barked at the closed window. I turned the radio off and went back to my book. Sarah calmed down and came back to the kitchen. A few minutes later she ran over to the foot of the stairs and began to bark, her ears pinned back as she looked up at the second floor. I called her, but she ignored me, barking loudly towards the top of the steps but refusing to head up there. I yelled for her to stop and calm down, which she finally obeyed. No sooner did she get into the kitchen then I heard someone walking around upstairs. Heavy footfalls rang out from above me, the floor creaking with each step. It was too loud and too real to be anything but a person, so I took off running. Up the stairs and to the top, my heart pounding all the way. I checked the nursery. Empty. I checked the bathroom. Empty. I checked the master bedroom. Empty. I even looked under the bed. Nothing but dust bunnies and a strap on.
I was filled with an unmistakable urge to not be up there anymore, and I headed down the stairs at a slow walk, intent on showing how not scared I was. Half way down the stairs I heard a loud bang from below; the basement door. No one was in that house with me, I had covered every inch of it. I knew I was alone, yet somehow I wasn't.
I went back to the kitchen and drank Mikes last beer while I continued the edit on my book. I heard the footsteps above me again. Screw it; the fucker could tap dance up there if he wanted too, I wasn't going to bite. I finished editing and let the dogs out, tossing the ball to Sarah and giving both dogs the time to shit. I smoked a cigarette and when both dogs were ready we headed back into the house. The radio was back on and the basement door was once again open.
I lowered the radio, locked Sarah in her cage, turned on the lights in the living room and kitchen, and closed the basement door.
"John, just make sure Ozzy doesn't go downstairs and take a shit." I called out. "Mike will be home tonight alone, and he needs his sleep. Leave him be. The baby will be here tomorrow, don't fuck with her." I headed out the door, locking it behind me as I went.

Since then Mike and Carolyn and baby Rebecca are home, so is Carolyn's daughter Katelyn. All are happy and healthy and fine, and I haven't heard anything about John acting up, but then again everyone is tired and busy with the new baby, so maybe they haven't noticed. Either way it's friday, and tonight I am heading over to spend some time with my new Neice, my friend Mike and his wife and step-daughter. Sarah and Ozzy will be there, as I am sure John will be also.
Hopefully he won't behave.

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