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Insomnia Days

August 2005

My family and I recently moved to Salem, Massachusetts, the second most haunted place in America. Since we have only been living here for two months now, I still don't know much about the history of the house, but I can tell by its appearance that it's very old. It's a two story, white colonial style house near a beach. The beach alone enticed my parents enough to purchase it, so we packed up and moved from Vermont.

The first night I slept there has been my best night to date in this house, until recently. I slept in the living room, on the first floor. I slept normally that night, and haven't since. We unpacked the next day, and my brother and I decided which room we would be getting. I got the smaller room at the end of the hall. That night, I couldn't fall asleep. At first I thought it was the heat, so I went downstairs for a glass of water. When I returned to my room, the door was shut, and I knew I left it open. I shrugged it off, as anyone would, and turned the knob. Not so easy. The door was stuck, and I spent a good 15 minutes getting it open. It was as if something was holding the other side of the door knob, telling me, "This is my room, leave." Finally the door opened after I shouldered it with all my might. The next morning, I opened it fine.

My parents and brother asked me what all the noise was the previous night, and I explained the situation. My brother figured I imagined the whole thing. My dad examined the door and found nothing wrong with it.

The next night, again, I could not fall asleep. Every time I started to drift off, I would hear loud, threatening knocking sounds. My parents heard them too, while my brother slept through it all. We examined the house looking for a possible source, and couldn't find any.

Things went like this for the next few weeks. I didn't get any sleep the night before my final exams, which didn't help my performance. The knockings continued, lights would go on and off by themselves, doors would open and shut, things would vanish without a trace, and then show up in odd places days later. My mom said she lost her car keys, which are always placed on her nightstand in her room, only to find them in the upstairs bathroom cabinet hours later. That got her believing.

This was my life: stay away from the house for as long as possible, and only go upstairs when absolutely necessary. Whenever possible, sleep in the living room. I've even slept on the patio before. Being 16, I'm embarrassed. But when I hear phantom footsteps, see shadowy figures, I can't help but being scared out of my mind. Even my brother believes now. Countless strange things have happened, too many to list.

And the thing is, we are a family of so called "tough guys." We are all no nonsense people, who are not accustomed to being harassed like this. Every night I'm awakened because of sudden chills, footsteps, sudden flashes of white, and my light turning on. I always curse at this ghost, telling him/her/it to stop but it never does.

Until one day I figured it out. Last week, I tried something. I busted out my Bible for school (I attend a Catholic School), opened it, said some powerful passages, and left it open in my room. I've slept easy every since. Maybe it is just taking some time off, who knows, but it has seemed to work. My dog, however, who was once fearless and brave refuses to go upstairs. He has never ventured upstairs since we moved in. He hasn't been upstairs once.

The important thing is that the terrorizing has stopped. I sleep a solid 8 hours a night, compared to my former two or three hours. Our house is already for sale, and we plan to move ASAP. Frankly, I don't care why there is a ghost in the house, as long as it is kept at bay.

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