The Thing Downstairs

My experiences began when my family moved into our new home in San Jose, California. The home had been owned previously by a fairly well-known gospel singer who rented out the downstairs portion, in its entirety, to a party who was forever unknown to us.

The upstairs portion of the home was beautiful with ample windows to allow the good old California sunshine in at all hours of the day, three bedrooms, the living room, kitchen and bathroom. The downstairs portion, however, was painted a dark green, almost black, with burnt-orange trim. There was a sliding glass door in the family room, but it was covered with extremely heavy curtains. There were two other bedrooms down there, as well, and a laundry area and bathroom at the end of the long, dark hall. The bedroom on the right was where the activity began.

My sister and I opted to have the downstairs bedrooms when we first moved in, so we could talk all night and not disturb anyone. I took the room on the left and she, obviously, the one on the right. Almost immediately, she began having nightmares of one kind or another, something she'd never been prone to before. She complained about a small creature that would run around her room at night spitting spiders at her. (We were only kids at the time..I was about twelve and she was about 8 or 9). She quickly moved into one of the upstairs bedrooms. It was really spooky to be down there by myself, so I moved upstairs as well. One always had the feeling that someone was watching you from that room, and since it was directly across from the bathroom, this proved even more disconcerting.

As I got older and bolder, I started spending more time in the downstairs portion, at least when it was daylight and the curtains in the family room were thrown wide open. After dark, you could feel this evil presence staring at you from the end of the hall. I began to hear noises, much like furniture being dragged around upstairs, when I was downstairs. My mother claimed it sounded like the sliding glass door was shaking violently, from her vantage point.

The final straw came when I had a party while my parents were out of town. The people who came were mostly friends, but they brought along some people I didn't know. We were sitting there listening to records, when the record player started changing speeds erratically. Right after that, the entire stack of records that was sitting on the coffee table flew off, one record at a time, throwing themselves at my friend, Richard. Needless to say, we ran out of there fast! We didn't go back until daylight. He ended up stealing all of my mother's jewelry and money and wound up in jail, so I guess the ghost was trying to tell me something.

Anyhow, to make a long story a little shorter, I ended up moving to San Francisco for about a year. When I returned, I was given the family room as my bedroom. It was pretty cool because it had a pool table in it, so I was pretty excited. I figured the presence I felt down there was probably just girlish fantasy and/or paranoia. Immediately after I moved in, I started having the feeling of that thing watching me again. Only now, it would come to my bedside and stare at me. I put curtains up around my bed, but it didn't help. The feeling was one of pure evil, of something not quite sane that hated everyone and everything. When I'd go to the restroom, I could feel it watching from about the ceiling level of the room across the hall and sometimes the "thing" would literally chase me down the hall and up the stairs. After I got married, my husband and I lived with my mother for about a year while we saved up enough money to get a place of our own. During that time, we were both visited repeatedly by this thing, so I finally realized it definitely wasn't my imagination...he felt it, too.

After we moved out, my mother said she'd repeatedly hear my voice calling up to her from downstairs, asking her to come down, but she'd never go. She finally sold the house and moved to Texas.

To this day, we can't find out what that thing was or why it stayed in that little bedroom, but whenever I think about it, I get that same horrific chill. I hope whoever lives there now has better luck with it than we did!

Submitted by Christina, California, USA