When younger, I was lucky enough to live with my mom and two brothers in a mobile home which sat on a piece of land near the outskirts of the small town I grew up in. The land was owned by my grandfather and used for his businesses. Behind us were the usual small town neighborhoods, but in the front our lawn gave way to a large gravel parking lot where trucks could load and unload things at my grandfather’s warehouse. The warehouse was on the right side of this lot, his carwash toward the left and near the highway.
It wasn’t such a bad place to grow up, I guess. It wasn’t the Cleaver residence, but it was good enough for us.
Although she did a great job raising us, my mom was still a single parent so was gone much of the time; either working or painfully trying the dating scene again. My brothers and I spent a lot of time alone in the house, learning early how to take care of ourselves. The freedom was excellent but we were decent kids...basically...so things were fairly normal except for a certain period of about eight months.
For some reason, all the sudden we were hit with...well...I’m not sure what it was, but it was anything but normal. As far as I can recall, it began when I started hearing my name being called. This happened a lot and it usually sounded like my own voice in an urgent whisper. Only once was it different. I was outside in the yard when I heard my mother shriek my name from inside the house. Sure that something horrid had just happened, I rushed in; only to find her calmly doing dishes. She was fine and denied having called for me. This may or may not be connected, but a few weeks later I was away and she broke a glass while doing dishes, putting a decent sized gash on her hand that needed stitches.
My name being called went on for some time and then another thing was thrown in. Around 3:15 to 3:20 every morning I would suddenly snap wide awake. Laying there in the dark, a strong sense of fear would wash over me. Still, nothing ever happened, so I would slowly doze back off. Then one night I woke up as usual and looked toward my bedroom window. By the glare of a nearby streetlight, I could see the silhouette of a man’s head. He had a beard of some sort, wore glasses, and as he tilted his head back and forth to get a better look inside, I could hear the soft but unmistakable ?tap, tap, tap? of a fingernail on the window pane. The first few times this happened I went from being frozen with fear to completely losing it in about five seconds. I shared a room with my older brother Mike and violently shook him awake; all the while babbling about someone trying to break into the house. And that’s what I thought was happening. Still, by the time Mike was awake enough to look, there was nothing to see and he quickly grew irritated with my claims. Soon I became ?the boy who cried wolf?. The only difference being that I actually was seeing the wolf.
This happened a few more times before stopping altogether and I tried to calm myself by believing (or trying to believe) that it was just a friend playing a prank. Still, my window sat about 8-9 feet above the ground and the earth, which was always soft, never had a single mark on it, ladder or otherwise.
Soon we began to hear something heavy moving around up on the roof. It would happened about two or three times a week and everyone heard it. Slowly pacing back and forth over the length of the trailer, it would eventually speed up; becoming louder and louder before suddenly coming to a halt. This would be followed by a series of loud knocks that came from random spots above the ceiling. Despite our many attempts, we never did find out what caused these noises. Whenever we went out to investigate, it would stop until we were back inside. It was impossible for an animal big enough to make all that noise to get up there and no human could move across the roof as fast as this thing did.
Another odd incident occurred while we were all gone from the house. My grandmother called to talk to my mom and said the phone was answered by someone she thought might be a friend of my younger brother Chris. When this person told her everyone was gone at the moment, she asked him why he was there while we weren’t and he simply said, ? I’m supposed to be here?, then hung up. We were never able to find out who my grandmother had spoken to and to this day my brotherīs friend completely denies ever being in our home while we were away. Time passed and Mike began to go through the phase where he was too cool to hang out with his younger brothers. He was only two years older than me, but he felt that was enough to put him in charge. I felt differently and let him know it whenever I could.
One night he was out with his friends and I had opted to stay in alone. I was watching my favorite football team, the Raiders, play (a scary story in itself). I had all the lights off, the volume on the TV all the way down, and my headphones on; jamming to a KISS album with the volume all the way up. Mike came back into the house for something and just before leaving, motioning for me to take off the head set. When I did, he told me to turn off the light in my mom’s room. He went out the front door and I looked toward the end of the dark hallway. Sure enough, the light in mom’s bedroom was on. I could see the glow from under the closed door. Not about to do anything Mike told me to do, I put the headphones back on, turned the record over, lay the needle back on the spinning disc, and proceeded to finish watching my team lose yet another game. I was still sitting there in the dark when Mike came home for the night. Jam session was over so I took off the headphones and put the record away. A little later, we were talking and he thanked me for turning the light off, confessing that he didn’t really think I would. I told him that I in fact didn’t turn the light off and he got a confused look on his face. We both looked down the still dark hall and the glow from under the door was gone. The light was off. Because of all the weird things that had been going on, it never occurred to us that the bulb may simply have gone out. We were sure someone was in the house. There was only one thing to do and that was to search the whole trailer. Scared to death, we retreated to the room we shared and rummaged through the closet for weapons. My brother got out the ever-trusty baseball bat and I took hold of a long, heavy saber I’d bought years before at an amusement park (it still mystifies me as to why anyone would sell a little kid a very real and very sharp sword). Our bedroom opened up to the living room and beyond that was the kitchen. We quickly checked these rooms then went slowly down the hall. To the left was Chris’s room and at the end of the hall was the master bathroom and mom’s room. We searched every nook and cranny, every closet, under every bed, everywhere. There was no one to be found. Nothing. We checked the light, which was in the ?off? position and it worked fine. The back door, which was locked as it always was, hadn’t been touched. Again, we were left with yet another incident we could not explain.
Summer came and with it an undefeated season in little league baseball. Mike and I were on the same team and, after our final game had earned us each a gold medal, we happily made our way home. Turning into the gravel lot and walking around the side of the warehouse, we were surprised to find the house lit up and we could hear noises coming from inside. No one was supposed to be home and no cars were out front, so we went in to see what was going on. There weren’t just a few lights on inside. Every light was on. The noises came from the TV and radio, both of which were blaring. All the water faucets were turned on full blast and both phones were off the hook. We turned down the noise and called out. No one answered. So we searched the house again, our weapons trembling in our hands. We turned off the lights as we went, again finding no one there. We were just too freaked out to stay inside, though, so went over to the car wash and sat down, trying to think of what to do. We were sitting there staring at the house and talking when suddenly and at the same time, every light came on in the house. They slowly blinked three or four times, finally staying on for good. Then the noise started. It was quiet at first, but then built up in intensity; the jabber from the TV competing with the notes being churned out from the radio. That was enough. Without a word, we both jumped up and sprinted to our aunt's home, which was nearby. We stayed there till my mom came home from work hours later. My aunt must have called her because she came and picked us up. Our mom seemed very worried; as if she knew some funky things had been going on but didn’t want to talk about it.
Eventually the strange tide that came into our lives finally started to ebb, but not before one last incident.
School had begun and as usual we had to get up every morning and prepare ourselves since mom would already be at work by then. Mike was still into his ?too cool for you? phase so he would leave for school early. This meant that my younger brother Chris and I were left alone. We would eat breakfast, put on the clothes mom left for us on her bed, then do whatever else needed to be done before heading off. One morning, we got up as usual and sleepily went about the business of preparing ourselves for another day of learning. Just before leaving, I went through the trailer to turn off everything. Starting with the light in mom’s room, I made sure the master bath had everything turned off, and then made my way down the hall to another set of light switches in the kitchen. Turning my attention back to the end of the hall just to be sure, I saw the hazy shape of a person standing in the doorway of my mom’s room. It had no distinct features, but it didn’t take much imagination to tell what it was. I stood there; hand on the switch, staring at this thing in silence while everything inside me began to tighten up. My brother was near the door, tying his shoes and saying something. It didnīt register. I had all my attention on the thing at the other end of the hall. I pushed the switch down and the light in the hall went off. To my horror, the thing in the door immediately floated from the doorway, down the hall, and toward the kitchen. Toward me. Strangely enough, once it reached the place where the hall became the kitchen, the form stopped and just hovered there, a few inches off the floor. My heart was beating fast and by this time my brother Chris, still at the door, had seen it and was watching. The thing and I were on opposite sides of the kitchen now, about 15 feet separated us. I put my finger on the switch for the kitchen light and turned it off, sprinting to the front door before I could even see what would happen. Chris was already outside on the porch by the time I got to the front door. I threw my things outside and spun around to grab the doorknob. As I did, I saw the hazy figure slowly leave the hall, make its way around the kitchen table, and then, once again, hover a few inches above the floor; this time where the kitchen and the living room met. There was one more light to turn off... the living room light. The switch for that one was next to the front door. I stood watching the thing hover at the entrance way to the kitchen. I reached around the other side of the door, pushing in the knob so as to lock it. I grabbed hold of the outer knob and turned off the living room light. The thing literally rushed through the living room. It came straight for me and just as it was about to reach the door, I slammed it shut, Chris and I making a run for it. I didn’t learn much in school that day and neither did Chris, I assume. Just like everything else that happened during this time, we could come up with no explanation as to what we had seen. Like I said, things soon went back to normal (whatever that is) and eventually we no longer saw or heard all the weird things that had plagued us for so long.
As far as I know, the warehouse and car wash are still there, but the trailer is gone; having been torn apart years ago by the people who bought it from us.