I am now a senior in college, and this is mainly a story about one of the roommates I had during my freshman year. Because of what happened, I have not lived with her since then. In case she (or someone close to her) stumbles onto this page, I'll go ahead and call her Carrie for the sake of her privacy.
Carrie and I got along well, for the most part. She was an elementary education major because she loved children, and she was friendly and outgoing. She was also blonde and had a clear, beautiful complexion, so she was well-liked on campus, especially among the guys. No one had any reason to wish bad luck on her.
Carrie was also a member of the school dance team and worked out almost every day, so she was very thin but physically fit. She never had any health problems that I can recall, which is why the things that happened to her came as such a surprise to me. Before I get to that, though, I should explain the background that may have led up to it.
About a week after we moved into our dorms, one of the R.A.s (Resident Assistants) told me a very sad story about a little boy who had died before the building had been finished. About forty years ago or so, he had apparently crept onto the construction site for the dorm while it was still unfinished. He must have come on a day when no one was working on the building, because while playing around he fell somehow and broke his neck. Nobody found him until the construction workers came back to the site, and by then it was much too late. He must have been climbing up through the wood frames of the building, and fallen through a space or an unsteady piece of lumber.
Anyway, according to the R.A. who told me this story, ever since our dorm was completed students had complained about this kid. Many people had spoken up about their closet doors and bathroom doors opening and shutting on their own -- even though the windows of the students' rooms are usually closed tightly when this happens, leaving no possibility of a draft or breeze. Other students had supposedly answered their doors after hearing knocks, only to find that no one was there when they looked to see who it was. The strangest complaints of all, though, came from students who insisted that they would hear the sounds of a child laughing, playing and running through the hallways, sometimes during broad daylight. They would step into the hallways to see who would be letting their child do this, and although the sounds would continue -- even while these students would be standing right there watching, and following the sound -- no child could ever be seen.
I was skeptical of these tales at first, so I told Carrie and my other two roommates (we'll call them Sara and Jane), thinking that it was just a very interesting legend that the R.A.s had made up in order to scare us freshmen. Instead of being intrigued or taking it lightly, all three roommates were terrified. They were angry with me for having told them the story... especially Carrie, who became convinced that this little boy would come for her one night. I kept my cool and tried to explain to her that it probably wasn't true... and even if it was, it was only a child who would mean us no harm. What danger could a little boy bring?
At least, I certainly hoped that it wasn't true -- it would be horrible if a little boy really had died that way. Sadly, as time went on, everyone in our building came to realize that the story was indeed true. It turned out that Carrie had good reason to be afraid.
Within a month of our moving in, the knocking started. Several times we would be reading or doing homework when we would be interrupted by a loud knock at our door. The strange thing about these knocks was that every time this happened, the knock seemed to come from the lower to middle portion of the door, like a very short person was knocking on it. And naturally, every time we answered the door -- which was IMMEDIATELY after the knocking was heard, since our beds and desks were right next to the door -- nobody was there. I should also point out that this was not unique to our room. As the weeks went by we spoke with neighbors who lived in the same hallway, and even with students who lived all the way on the other side of the building, and they would have the same experiences. Everyone in the dorm was starting to wonder who could be knocking on our doors.
We would have known if it were a fellow student or an R.A., because the entire building was set up in such a way that all our doors led into a single, long hallway. There were no corners or trash cans for someone to hide behind, and there were no elevators for anyone to retreat in. The only way into our particular hallway was by a set of stairs in plain view, right in the middle of the hall. Since all our doors have peep holes, and since all our rooms are so small that our beds, desks, etc. are right next to our doors, we would be able to instantly catch anyone who tried to knock on the door and run. There was simply no way anyone could get away fast enough without being seen. Even if the person had made it to the stairs, we would have seen his or her back. So you can imagine everyone's confusion and bewilderment at the fact that this "short, invisible door knocker" could never be seen or caught.
We became just as confused whenever we heard the high-pitched, childish laughter that started echoing through the hallway, along with the sounds of rapid little footsteps and breathing. Sometimes several doors in our hall would open up at once (since the whole building could hear it, loud and clear), and all of us students would look out at each other in shock as we watched... absolutely nothing... running and laughing, nonstop, up and down the empty and well-lit hallway.
My three roommates became more and more nervous as this continued, but none more so than poor Carrie. I have no idea why this affected her so badly, especially since she loved children and had spent a lot of time working with them for her major. Well, either this mischievous little boy figured out that he could mess with her, or something more sinister must have come to the same conclusion, because one day in mid-October, Carrie's student ID went missing.
She had always kept it in the same exact place -- just inside our walk-in closet, in plain sight on a neatly organized shelf, right next to her ironing board. We asked Sara and Jane if they had seen it, but neither of them had. We tore both our rooms, as well as the closet and bathroom, completely upside-down for a week straight. We left no stone unturned trying to find the ID card, but it was no use. It had simply disappeared. We asked the R.A.s and all our neighbors and friends, and none of them knew what could have happened to it. No one would have had any motivation to steal it from her, and even if someone had, we always locked our doors when we left our rooms, and those doors were the only way to get inside. There wasn't any way for someone to break in, because no one had a skeleton key -- not even the R.A.s -- and this dorm was so secure that just to get into the building we had to scan our IDs through a sensor in the main entrance.
With all this in mind, Carrie gave up and decided that she must have lost it somewhere else on campus during the last time she had it on her. She paid the $25 replacement fee to have a new one made, and the very day she did that, she shrieked when she found her old one! I asked her why she was so frightened. Apparently her old ID had been placed neatly into her pencil holder on her desk, where everyone could see it. The only problem was that we had completely emptied out that pencil holder several times during the course of that week, and it had never been in there before. If it had, naturally, we would have seen it and there would have been no need for Carrie to get a new one. It must have been placed there after we gave up looking for it, when we all went out with her to get the new ID. But again, no one could have gotten into our room while we were gone because of the reasons I've mentioned above.
Carrie started to scream, "It was the little boy! He's after me! He's going to kill me!" Then Sara and Jane started screaming with her. I just stared at them; I didn't know what to think.
Then one night in November, I came home late to find a note attached to our door. It was addressed to me, and it read, "Please don't turn on the lights. I'm sleeping. Thanks! Love, Carrie." This wasn't unusual, since I was a night owl but Carrie was an early sleeper. So I unlocked the door, snuck in as quietly as I could, got ready for bed and got under my covers -- all without turning on the lights.
I was still wide awake and had just gotten comfortable in my bed, when I suddenly heard a voice coming from across the room. Specifically, it came from Carrie's bed. But it wasn't Carrie's voice.
What I heard scared the living daylights out of me. The only way I can describe it is that it sounded like something out of The Exorcist. The voice was low, gritty, animalistic, and sounded male -- if it was even human. Worst of all, it was growling something in a language I could not understand. It definitely wasn't English, and I knew that Carrie didn't speak anything else. She had told me so at the beginning of the year, during an academic conversation when we were thinking about taking foreign language classes. (When all was said and done, Carrie had decided not to sign up for any.)
I was afraid to look across the room or even move. Every urban legend I had ever heard about, "Aren't you glad you didn't turn on the lights?" was racing through my mind at the time, since my first thought was that someone must have found a way to break in. I was half-expecting to find a serial killer or a lunatic where Carrie should have been, so after a minute, I prepared myself for the worst as I quietly got out of bed and crept toward the door. I kept my eyes glued to the direction that the voice was coming from, and got ready to run out the door in case "it" came after me.
My eyes had adjusted to the darkness by then, and I was shocked to find that Carrie was fast asleep in her bed and completely alone. I was also deeply disturbed to find that she was above the covers, lying flat on her back with her arms crossed over her chest like a vampire. Her head was tilted back toward the ceiling, as though she had been that way for a hundred years. Her breathing was very shallow.
This was totally unlike her. She was perfectly healthy... she had no chest cold or asthma, or anything of the kind that could have made her breathe the way she did. She also never slept on her back, or above the covers. She always slept on her side or on her stomach, curled up beneath all her quilts, and she usually tossed and turned. But on this night she was dead still, like a mummy. She would have to be crazy to sleep above the covers like that in the middle of November! And as for that horrible voice I heard... Carrie had mumbled in her sleep once in a while before, but it had been her own voice then! I KNOW what I heard that night, and it was NOT her.
But just in case, I asked her the next morning if she remembered having any bad dreams the night before. She said that she never remembered her dreams. When she asked why, I told her about what had happened, and the poor thing went completely pale. She was very alarmed about it, maybe even more so than I had been... if that were possible.
Meanwhile, just about every day during the entire semester, the knocking and laughter continued out in our hallway. It seemed to happen more and more often as time went on. By now, Carrie wasn't just uncomfortable with it... she HATED it. And every once in a while in the middle of the night, that horrible voice would show up again, startling me awake while Carrie never seemed to hear it. There was no way it could have been her, because there was a distinct difference between Carrie talking in her sleep (which was actually kind of cute) and this nasty male "thing" growling like a beast in some strange dialect.
The worst episode of all came about a week before Christmas vacation. I had slept through the night just fine, but I woke up at about 6:30 the next morning to the sound of Carrie screaming. It sounded like someone was attacking her.
I sprang up and ran to her side, and Sara and Jane ran in through the bathroom from next door. All three of us were astounded when we found that Carrie was once again alone in her bed... lying flat on her back, with her head tilted up towards the ceiling and her arms crossed over her chest. She was once again above the covers. She was very pale and there were tears streaming down her face, but this time, she wasn't asleep. Her eyes were wide open, staring wildly up at something none of us could see.
All three of us asked her what was wrong. She shouted that she was dizzy and felt like she was going to throw up, and she screamed that she couldn't see us and she couldn't move, but that it also felt like something was trying to "get" her. She said she felt like she couldn't breathe and that something heavy was on top of her. There seemed to be so much going on with her that we didn't know what to do first! We tried to get her to sit up or at least loosen her arms, but she was stiff as a board.
We were about to send someone out for an ambulance when she started to go back to normal. Eventually the color came back into her face, and her breathing got better while she started being able to move her arms down to her sides. She slowly sat up with Sara's help, then dried her eyes and took a look around the room. Then she got up quickly and went to take her morning shower, as though nothing had happened. This left the three of us wondering what the hell we had just seen.
When she came out of the bathroom, we asked her if she was feeling all right, and if she thought it would be a good idea if she stayed home from her classes that day. She declared that she was feeling just fine, but added, "That was so scary back there! It felt like a truck was running over me. I thought I was going to die!" Then she uttered a fake-sounding laugh that chilled me to the bone. She was trying to pretend that it had been no big deal, and that made me all the more worried for her. I have no idea if she did that just because she was embarrassed, or because she was in denial, or even because she already had little to no memory of it. Whatever the case, her reaction to what had happened struck me as dangerous.
I know that on this last frightening occasion, Carrie may have suffered from sleep paralysis or sleep apnea. Either of these conditions would explain her fear and her feelings of being suffocated, as well as her inability to move. But how in the world would that render her blind, while her eyes were wide open and she was sobbing? Carrie did not wear glasses or contact lenses, nor did she need them. Her eyesight was normally as good as anyone else's, whether or not she had just woken up.
And why would either sleep apnea or sleep paralysis make her feel like she was about to vomit? I've never heard of any other cases where nausea was involved, and as I've stated before, Carrie was always very healthy. She ate well and took good physical care of herself. She was not suffering from any flu or stomach pains when this was going on. I should also mention that Sara felt Carrie's forehead after the ordeal was over, while she was helping her sit up. She claimed that Carrie did not have a fever.
And of course this leads me to another question: how in the world can anyone explain the terrible, ugly voice that came from her bed last time? If it was a human voice (and it sure didn't sound like one), it was low enough to be a man's voice, yet no man was in our room at that time -- let alone in Carrie's bed. And what was with the foreign language?
The only explanation that seems to make sense is that either the voice was disembodied, or it actually did come from Carrie because it took over her sleeping body. None of us ever caught an intruder in our room, and there was no evidence of anyone tampering with our locks. I never met anyone in our building who had a voice (or a language) like the one I heard. Again, the only time in my life where I've ever heard that kind of voice was in The Exorcist, and that is not an exaggeration.
And other than being terribly afraid of our resident ghost boy, Carrie never appeared to be a mentally unstable person. She was kind to people, and a good student, and never got into any trouble during the time that I knew her. She seemed like a completely normal human being until all this happened to her. So that rules out the possibility of insanity, in my opinion.
I believe that she was possessed by... or at least very sensitive to the presence of... either the little boy or something much worse.
If it was the boy, he may have just tried to jump up on her bed and say hello. He might not have understood what he was doing to Carrie, and he may even have been amused at getting such a violent reaction out of her. After all, children love attention, and this one clearly didn't have enough of it when he was still alive.
But if it was something else... may God help whoever has stayed in our room since we moved out.