Note: The following is a true experience from my time living in Jackson County, Georgia.
The Terror Begins
The strangest thing happened to me the summer between my eighth and ninth grade years of school (it wasn’t puberty–that had already taken place, just to make things clear). I’ve never given much credence to the paranormal, but this experience really left me wondering about the unseen forces surrounding us.
Our cousin, Helaman, was staying with us for a few weeks. Since my brother, Randy, and I had grown up hanging out regularly with Helaman before we moved from California to Georgia, we had a blast during his visit. We shot each other with airsoft guns, started fires, and did the rest of the typical guy stuff. We lived in a subdivision, but like a lot of the homes in that area, we were bordering woodland. Deer would often show up in our backyard. So we had a lot of room to roam about as we hunted each other down.
Nothing out of the ordinary happened–or had ever happened–until that one night.
I don’t remember exactly what time we decided to hit the hay, but it was probably past midnight. Helaman set up a makeshift bed with blankets on the floor of my room. The lights went out and I quickly drifted off to sleep since I was pretty tired.
In my dream, I was conversing with my cousin. But everything coming out of both of our mouths was jarbled nonsense. Eventually, I was able to control my speech so as to speak coherently.
“Dude, I can’t understand a word you’re saying. What’s going on?”
As soon as I said that, I snapped out of sleep, opened my eyes, and was wide awake.
“Hey man, that was so weird,” said Helaman. We both realized we had been talking to each other in our sleep.
We both lay where we were–me on the bed and Helaman on the floor. Both of us were overcome with an immense sense of dread. There was no reason to be afraid. Other than the oddity of sleep-talking, nothing at that point had occurred to shake us. Yet this inexplicable fear weighed so heavily upon us that neither of us could move from where we were. We didn’t dare get up–much less leave the room. Helaman and I had this very firm notion in our heads–like a warning from a sixth sense–that if we were to step out the door, something very very bad was going to happen, or we would see something we weren’t supposed to. Maybe the living room wouldn’t even be there. Maybe the room had been relocated to another place entirely.
All we could to was talk to each other, describing the oppressive sensation paralyzing us. Then we noticed part of what made the situation terrifying –it was too quiet. Abnormally quiet.
“You can’t even hear the crickets, and they’re always making noise at night,” I said. And–I’m completely serious here–as soon as I made that observation, a few cricket chirps started up. Then some more joined in. Within a couple of minutes, the silence was gone, broken completely by the symphony of crickets outside.
We were freaked out before, but that was what really convinced us that something was up, that it wasn’t all just in our heads. Granted, I’m sure crickets don’t chirp all night, but what was the likelihood they would suddenly start making sound the second I spoke out about their absence?
Then, to top it all off, we saw a greenish glowing in my window, which faced the forest. It looked like it was bright at its source but coming in from afar, deep in the woods.
At this point, Helaman and I were trying to figure out what to make of the situation. Was it aliens? A secret government test? We continued our theorizing until sleep got the better of us.
The Next Morning
When we woke up, the sun shone reassuringly and the dread that filled our hearts the night before was gone. We went out to tell everyone what happened. The first person we talked to was Randy. He was a bit incredulous at first, but he soon saw our sincerity and believed our story. We went in his room to keep talking, when he was surprised by something on his desk.
It was a note: a piece of lined, college-rule paper with a few words written in red color pencil. There were only three words: “Read the Book.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” we pressed. Upon closer inspection, we realized it was Randy’s own handwriting. But he didn’t have any recollection of writing the note. And what the message “read the book” meant was as much a mystery to him as to us.
On any other day, we probably would have shrugged that off as a regular case of sleepwalking. But given what Helaman and I had been through, we started to feel some supernatural conspiracy was in the works.
Things only got scarier when we talked to my younger sister, Leslie, who was 10 at the time. She told us that in the middle of the night, she had gotten up to grab a drink of water. On her way to the kitchen, she saw the shadowy figure in the living room. Thinking it was my dad, she called out to him, but the figure ignored her, opened the door to the balcony, and stepped out.
Leslie found it strange, but silently started back to her room. However, she decided instead to enter my parents’ room, where she found mom and dad both sound asleep. Finding space in the bed, she fell asleep. When Leslie asked around the house the next morning to find out whether any of us had been out on the balcony, none of us could answer in the affirmative.
All us kids went down to the first-floor living room to discuss all this (my brother’s room and mine were on the ground-level floor while my parents’ and younger siblings were on the second floor). My mom had been reminding me all morning to pick up the dirty clothes littering the floor of my room and put them in a wash cycle. We were so engrossed by the previous night’s happenings, however, that I neglected my chores.
Noon came along and Mom called us upstairs for lunch (a delicious pizza). As I climbed the stairs, I saw the figure of a hunched woman in my room. I didn’t think much of it–it was just my mom picking up the dirty laundry I’d neglected to gather all morning.
I felt a pit in my stomach when I reached the second floor and saw my mom in the kitchen. Randy and Helaman looked at me–they had seen the woman in my room, too. The three of us grabbed heavy items that could be used as weapons and headed back downstairs. There was no one in my room. We looked throughout around the house and in the backyard. Not a soul to be found.
Needless to say, we were all paranoid for the next few days, but nothing creepy happened after that and I’ve never had any further dealings with the supernatural. To this day I wonder what exactly paid us a visit that night that left us paralyzed with unbreakable dread. I just hope it had its fill of me and is off to brighten other people’s lives.