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Ceremonial Mask

Steve, NSW, Australia
June 2006

It would be fair to say that I wasn't exactly a normal child. My family have often taken a strange pride in my eccentricities, and were often amused by my little quirks. This is important to know, as it explains why, for the longest time my parents didn't find anything amiss during the year or so that I refused to sleep in my room.

I was 13 almost 14 when strange things started happening in my bedroom.
The house we were living in at the time was brand new, recently built and our family was the first lucky inhabitants. In all honesty, there is little wrong with the house itself, or my room for that matter.
Shortly after I made a ceremonial mask for an art project at High School, my bedroom started to "feel" wrong. I had hung the mask up over my bed as a monument to my creative talent. The mask was made of clay, and was unique from the off. When the class had fired the clay the second time to seal the paint, my mask came out with distorted colours. The paint looked like oil on a puddle of water, very much different to the patterns I initially painted on it. The other most notable feature was the strange symbols I carved into the mask's forehead. At the time I was fascinated with random symbols that could possibly form a written language.

After a week or so of hanging the mask above my bed, I started experiencing Sleep Paralysis every night. This wasn't so odd, as I've been suffering Sleep Paralysis since I was knee high to a grass hopper, but never so frequently. Though unpleasant, it's nothing I haven't dealt with before. Life moved on. But then the Sleep Paralysis was accompanied by strange attacks, I would wake up with fresh scratches on my arms and back. At first I shrugged it off as my own thrashings in my sleep. Except, the scratches on my back were beyond my reach, unless I was secretly a Sleep Contortionist. Then, after a 2 months of this, one night I was in bed reading when I was suddenly and bodily thrown from my bed. I landed about a meter and half from my bed, injuring my knee. Standing up, I said out loud "Fine, I didn't like that book anyway" and hobbled out of my room. I was very much afraid, but regardless I limped downstairs and watched TV until I fell asleep.

After that, my Brother wouldn't come into my room. I didn't tell anyone about being thrown like a rag doll from my bed, but never-the-less my brother wouldn't stay in my room for any period of time.
We used to spend hours in his room talking about stuff, and the one time I suggested we talk in my room for a change, he replied, "I don't like your room... I feel like I'm not welcome in there." And indeed, I had the same feeling, as did everyone else in the family. My mother would only skip in to put clothes in my cupboard or change my sheets, but she rarely loitered, even while I was in the room with her. My sister wouldn't even knock on my door without someone being with her. Suddenly I couldn't sleep at all in my room, and the time I did spend in there was strange. I developed odd interests in metal, and quickly the room was littered with engine parts, electrical equipments, nails, even broken light bulbs. I swear I didn't put it all in there, but there it was. Then after a year or so of only sleeping every third or fourth night in my actual bed I grew weary of what ever was causing the malevolent atmosphere. So I went up to my room and started to clean it.

Everything was either packed away or thrown out until only the mask was left above my bed. Plucking it off the wall, I went out side at smashed it with a hammer. From that day, my Sleep Paralysis went back to it's normal rarity, I was no longer thrown from my bed, and my Brother would actually enter my room. Later I had a live-in Girlfriend staying with me in that room, she loved it. Anyway, back to the deceased mask. As I got older, I kept remembering how the events in my room seemed to be connected to the mask. Being that I also made a Vase with similar symbols painted on it, I started looking to see if they had any significance. As it turns out, the symbols on the vase aren't much, but the mask held a number of similarities to rune marks and symbols from a range of occult related cultures and traditions. Things I couldn't have possibly of known as a boy of 13.

Was it all in my mind? I really do not think so, there was something in my room and it was definitely connected to the mask.

Steve, NSW, Australia
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