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Cherry Street

January 1997

It happened 32 years ago. I was sixteen and we had just moved to Cherry Street in Mesa, Arizona. I was exhausted from moving furniture into our new home, which was an old adobe style house probably built in the Twenties. I remember being glad that I finally had my own room and even an outside door, which, to me, meant that I could come and go as I pleased. But that first evening in our new home I wasn't going anywhere. I was too tired from the move. I fell asleep almost immediately. Later that evening, I felt something crawl on me. A bug I thought and began swatting at it. With spidery quickness, it tickled its way over every inch of my body. I smacked at it repeatedly. After I had slapped myself totally awake, the spidery sensation stopped. I peeked over my pillow and saw the alarm clock. To the very minute and second, it was twelve o'clock straight up. My head began turning of its own will, directing my eyes toward the hallway. I sensed something moving in the room. The presence of a being was walking toward me, yet there was nothing there. My eyes followed its essence until it stopped at the foot of my bed. My head again turned toward the hallway and followed another presence as it moved to the end of my bed and occupied a place next to the first visitor. This happened five times until my bed was surrounded by these invisible beings. Suddenly, a loud thump, like a pounding fist, struck the outside door in bedroom. I jumped up without thinking and snatched the door open quickly to find that no one was there--not even a rock that might have been thrown at the door. I spent the rest of the night trying to sleep on two chairs in my brothers bedroom.

The next morning, I wondered if I hadn't imagined everything. Maybe the spidery awakening was just nerves. Perhaps I mistook the sound of a contracting roof beam for a knock on the door. It would make living in the new house a lot easier if I could convince myself that I somehow misinterpreted everything that had happened. But then Wayne showed up for breakfast. Without me saying a word to him, he began telling me what happened to him the night before. He lived across the street and rented a room from an elderly lady. Only the two of them lived in the house. He said that at exactly one o'clock he felt something crawling all over him and that was followed by a loud crash on his bedroom door (which was an inside door). He jumped out of bed and opened his door at about the same time that his landlady opened her door. They were both startled but she seemed to having an understanding of the situation. She told him that sometimes odd things happened on Cherry Street. She said that once the doorknob to the front door was turning back and forth as if someone was trying to get in. Because the door entry way was recessed into the house, she could look out a window see anyone at the front door. In this instance, there was no one outside--yet the door handle twisted back and forth as if something or someone was trying to enter.

When Wayne told me his story, I was stunned -- and glad that he told me his story first. Had I told him what happened to me and then for him to say, "Oh yeah, that happened to me too," would have made me wonder. As it is, his memory of the event after all these years seems to have faded, while the event has always been vivid in memory in every detail. I don't know that any of it has any significance of any sort other than the fact that Cherry Street in Mesa, Arizona has, or did have, ghosts.

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