All Hallow’s Eve is here and I’ve been encompassed by the spirit of it all. Halloween is, by far, my favorite holiday. Anything involving horror, scariness, and crisp fall air has my name written all over it.
For the past few weeks, I’ve found myself enamored with any blog posts and websites featuring scary stories to set the mood for the upcoming holiday. Honestly, is there anyone out there who doesn’t love the feeling of goosebumps rippling down your arms? The feel of your hair standing on end? I doubt it.
In honor of All Hallow’s Eve, I’ve been reminiscing on my own scary stories. Don’t get me wrong, fictional scary stories are the bee’s knee’s, but there’s something special when it comes to sharing your personal horror stories. Without further hesitation, buckle your seatbelts, ladies and gents… off we go.
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The first home I truly remember living in was a two-resident apartment house on a busy road in a small town. The exterior of the apartment was slightly misleading, as the peeling paint and outdated updates exposed. However, inside the home told another story. The rooms and apartment were spread out in a wide, long style which allowed for much more running around and trouble-causing than most apartments.
Considering it was just myself and my brother, my parents opted to give me the larger bedroom. Let’s face it, my Barbie collection mimicked the inventory found at three toy stores… combined. I don’t have a “first memory” of my bedroom, but I can remember the details as if it were yesterday. The walls were a soft pepto-pink, featuring a border with unicorns wrapping around the room. I had two windows that shone light down on my scattered piles of dolls and toys. And on the wall opposite of my bed, there was a good-sized walk in closet.
Now, as I’ve written about in the past, I have a terrible time at night with nightmares, night terrors, and constantly waking up during the creepy hours of the morning. These sleep issues originated in this apartment.
One of my earliest memories in the apartment was my Mom playing with the radio. Being a young child, I thought she was having a hard time choosing a music channel to listen to. Every few minutes, I would hear the radio dial quickly spin to a classical channel, resulting in my Mom grumbling and muttering to herself. It seemed no matter what time of day, or what channel you turned on the radio, in a few minutes, classical was playing loudly once again. Memories of seeing the dial spin independently still raise the hair on the back of my neck.
The next most prominent memory was experienced in the bathroom. The apartment featured an old tub, much like the clawfoot tubs from every horror movie ever filmed. As a child, I would spend hours in the tub with my Barbies, directing imaginary plays and movies. Ahh, the good old days.
One night I was taking a bath and the room suddenly felt very cold. Granted, the apartment wasn’t up to date with its installation, but the bathroom door was closed at the time, and the window was sealed. I distinctly remember looking down at my arm, running my wet hand over the goosebumps forming slowly along my forearm. I turned to call for my Mom, but I stopped with my mouth open. I heard someone approaching the bathroom door, so my call was not needed – Mom was on her way.
The footsteps neared the door… and stopped. There was no sound. No opening of the door. No singing hum to accompany my mother’s voice. Just empty silence. I stepped out of the tub carefully and walked to the door, opening it slowly.
There was no one. My father was off with my brother, and I could hear my Mom clearly in the living room, two rooms away from the bathroom. I turned around to get back into the tub and felt my entire body jump. Around the footing area of the tub, I saw a black shadow that appeared to dash underneath the tub. I basically fell over myself to pull the tub drain, grab my towel, and go running for the cover of my Mom’s arms.
Shortly after the bathroom incident, strange things began happening in my bedroom. One of my favorite dolls was a red-headed Cabbage Patch doll. No matter what doll-game I concocted, this Cabbage Patch was always the leading lady. I would brush her yarn hair for hours and make sure she was flawless. I was careful wherever I placed her; she was truly precious to me.
One afternoon in the midst of playing, I had to go to the bathroom. I can close my eyes and still see myself placing my doll in the middle of my bed and pulling the blanket over her. I kissed her on the head and told her I’d be back in a minute. After a short loo break, I went skipping back to my room. When I pushed open the door, I stopped dead in my tracks. The Cabbage Patch doll had been throw off the bed and across the room to one corner, where she was laying flat. I endlessly questioned my brother, threatening him with every secret my Mom and Dad didn’t know. No matter what threats I served, he stuck to his story: he hadn’t left his room all afternoon. And trust me, with the secrets I was using as leverage, he would have crumbled quickly if he had gone into my bedroom.
The strange happenings continued. I had horrific nightmares most nights about my closet and being watched. I would lock and close my closet before bed, just to wake up in the middle of the night to see it wide open. My Mom continued to fight with the radio-changing invisible guest we had. And even my Dad, a tried and true skeptic, saw something in the basement that he still doesn’t like to talk about to this day, twenty years later.
Despite all the time that has passed, and the other odd events that have taken place in my residences, this apartment stands out to me. Whatever, or whoever, was there was not angry, mean, or hurtful. It seemed more that whatever was going on carried an atmosphere of mischief, interest, and intrigue. As frightening as the experiences were as a child, I would love to revisit this home as an adult. Alas, that dream will never be fulfilled as the home was torn down in the early 2000’s… for unknown reasons.
Happy Halloween to you and yours!