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Haunted Sampler

Sarah, Indiana, USA
October 2001

This is a chronicle of sorts of strange things that have happened to me throughout my life. Let me begin by saying that I come from strong Midwestern values and am basically grounded in reality. I have looked for every possible "logical" solution to these strange events.

First of all, I grew up in a house where I never felt quite alone, even when I was alone. This feeling became particularly strong when we re-modeled our 100+ year old house back in 1976-77. I would feel as if someone were watching me primarily in the "back" room or family room which had previously been a back porch.

I never felt good about sleeping in that house. I used to share a bedroom with my sister until she got married and moved out of the house when I was 14. I remember laying in bed at night and would hear footsteps coming up the stairs (my bedroom was at the top of the stairs to the left as you go up the stairs). It would not be my father coming up the stairs as he would always be barefooted when he would go to "raid the refrigerator" in the wee hours of the morning. These were very deliberate, steady and shoed footfalls. I once even woke my sister whose response to me was that I must have been dreaming. I tried to rationalize this by saying that she must have been right, but I know she wasn't.

Once in the middle of the night (when I was in high school) I woke up and was afraid to open my eyes for what I might see. When I did, I saw someone crouched down inches from my face on the side of the bed. I stared, unable to move, and it gradually faded away. I do not know whether or not this would have been a man, woman or child. I was too frightened. In the ensuing years I have tried to tell myself that in the dark you see alot of strange images--perhaps even something from a dream, yet I feel certain what I saw was real.

I was a notorious "night owl" in our family. I would stay up way past the time everyone else was not only in bed, but long asleep. One such night, I was up in the living room watching TV when I heard my name called very distinctly ("Sarah") which scarred me to death since at that time I was not yet going by my given name of "Sarah" but the nickname of "Sally." It was my perception that this voice came from our "front room" which was a "parlor type room" in the front of our house, adjacent to the living room, that we did not use often. I do not know whether or not this was a male or female voice, but I hightailed it up to bed pronto.

Everyone was totally asleep upstairs. This incident has been hardest for me to "rationalize" as anything other than hearing voices! It was much later that my Mother told me that her Grandfather had died in our house and had lain "in state" in the front room. I never quite felt comfortable again in that house.

Just before I started college (about 6 months or so) I began having weird dreams, which I would logically attribute to the increased stress I was going through, but given the other strange things that have occurred in that house, I had to think twice. The first experiences I had were strange "suffocating" dreams where I felt absolutely awake, but could not move and sometimes forgot how to breathe. These were very worrysome since I wondered if some night I wouldn't be able to "jar myself" into full wakefulness and let my involuntary motor skills (such as breathing) take over. The second thing that began happening at this time was a series of re-occurring nightmares. Each was exactly the same as was as follows:

I would awaken in my bed, sit bolt upright, look to the right and left of the bed as if scanning the room. It appeared EXACTLY as it would if I were awake. I would then "rise" out of bed, float out the door, down the stairs, then take a right at the bottom of the stairs and follow the hallway to the kitchen. In the kitchen I would go to the sink and look out the window at the farmyard, as if surveying the property. Of course everything always seemed as if it were very real. (The entire length of the dream, I had this increasing sense of terror with each move I made.) I would then turn right and go towards the "back room". At this point my feeling of terror was so great that I would always awaken either just at the door from the kitchen to the back room or once I got into the back room.

I never saw anything in that back room, but the feeling of mounting terror was almost too much to bear. I would awaken with my heart just racing, but too terrified to open my eyes for fear of what I might find! I would think I was sleepwalking because it was so real, except that when I moved to college the dream stayed with me for several months, although less and less frequently.

I have many other experiences, these are but a few I have experienced. Thanks for letting me share my experiences.

Sarah, Indiana, USA
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