A handful of years ago, when I lived with my father in a beautiful house in Pennsylvania, I had a terrifying experience one night while home alone.
First, let me tell you a little bit about the house itself. My father built it on a hillside surrounding a valley and a man-made lake. It is miles from town, and not visible from the road. I know nothing of any Indian burial grounds in the area, but that land was once heavily populated by the Iriquois. Possibly there are some spirits attached to the land - I don't know. No one has ever died in that house, and there have been no violent acts or occurrences associated with it. It is large, cozy, surrounded by maple and oak trees, and altogether welcoming in appearance. Until you get to the basement.
Both my father and I have heard voices and strange noises coming from the basement, and I altogether refuse to go down there at night - unless there's a tornado coming and that's the only place I can take shelter. Basically, it takes a pretty powerful force to get me down there.
Ever since I was a small child, I have severely disliked being alone in the dark. Whenever I was at home, I always made sure to leave lights on all over the house. They made me feel safe. One night, my family had left to go into town, and I stayed home, watching TV in the living room.
The living room is next to the basement stairs, and you have to pass them to get anywhere else in the house. Immediately in front of the entrance to the stairs is a small hallway leading to the kitchen. I got up to go get a drink from the kitchen, and didn't realize that the while house was pitch dark until I reached the hallway.
The basement stairs were to my left, and the hallway was right in front of me, dark. I stopped mid stride as if I had hit a brick wall - there was something standing in the darkness in front of me. Not 6 inches away. I could see the outline in the ambient light from the television.
It was over a foot taller than me, and blacker than anything I had ever seen. I was frozen in fear. Then, the smell came. It was the most awful, nauseating, stench I could imagine! It was death, decay, rotting flesh - dizzyingly foul. I was frozen in place, and couldn't run away - I felt like if I moved, it would follow, into the light, and I couldn't bear to see it any more clearly.
Then I saw two slits where its eyes should be, glowing red, like fire. They opened slowly, and the air around me got so cold - it felt like the air had turned to ice. And I could not move, speak, scream, look away - I was frozen.
The next thing I remember, my brother was shaking me to wake me up. I was on the floor in the closet next to the hall, curled up in a ball, and shivering. As soon as I saw his face, I started to scream and cry, and completely lose control.
I have never forgotten that night, or those eyes. I doubt I ever will.