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Tess Mann, NY, USA
May 2013

It all started when I was about 8 years old. My father had left the household about a year before that I was living in a suburban area about thirty minutes away from the city. My home was small especially for five kids and my mom (we lived in poverty but we were happy). I shared a room with my sister (a year younger than me) and my three brothers shared a room (again we weren't Richie Rich's family). I remember talking to my grandparents (mom's parents). Now this would seem normal if it wasn't for the fact that my grandfather died before my older brother was born (he is seven years older than me) and my grandmother died when I was one. We would talk about anything and everything. This never seemed odd to me I knew they weren't alive but it was awesome getting to see them in my lifetime you know? Anyway, about three months after seeing them my Aunt was painting our rooms (she did this cute pink and purple sponge decal in my room). Well while my room was drying my sister and I were staying in the living room well I woke up from a dream where it was black and all I could hear was the crackle of fire and my grandmother saying wake up. So I woke up and right over top of the heating vent in the living room was a flame bigger than myself. I screamed and so did my sister who was awoken at the same time I was. We all got out safely and that was the last I had ever seen of my grandparents.

About a year or so later we had found a place in another in a town just bordering my old town. It was a house that was converted into a three family home. This place was nice and it meant my sister and I had a bigger room. Unfortunately not soon after we moved in I remember seeing dark figures roaming through the house. None of them doing any harm of course, just them roaming around in the past that they had lived. I remember my older brother telling me about a bowl of cereal he made ended up flying off the table and then when he was doing dishes another time a cup that was basically indestructible shattered in the sink.

I never gave them much thought until I got my own room. My parents took mine and my sister took the one that my twin brother and younger brother shared and they moved into my older brother's room (this all happening when my older brother went to and was in college). Over the course of the next few years (we eventually moved because the place was becoming too expensive for us to live there, again we were poor folk) I had experienced some weird and scary things.

First, for some reason I wasn't able to sleep without a light on. Well I wouldn't say it like that. I always felt that someone or something was watching me while I was in there, whether it be day or night. Second was when I got my guinea pig, at least three times a day she would hoot and squeal at nothing at all. Third was when my family got two cats: Smokey and The Bandit (for all you who don't know those movies watch them). Smokey would never go down our front hallway unless it was daylight out and Bandit would occasionally stop dead in the center of my doorway and start hissing as his fur stood up straight. That started freaking me out. I mean that is just creepy. It wasn't until we got our cats that the activity started to pick up. Things would go missing for days then end up in the middle of a room. Then one night I saw something in the ceiling of my closet. All I could see of this thing were its red eyes and its yellow, jagged teeth. Needless to say I didn't sleep in there for two weeks. Then when I had the courage to go back in there and I was able to sleep again I decided to cover up my closet with a blanket. Not even five minutes of having the blanket on I was ready to take it down. The reason? It looked like someone was trying to pull the blanket down from the INSIDE. I could see a fist forming in the blanket and pull about five inches before letting go. Again I was back to not sleeping in there. I told my parents about this but all I got from them was a bad excuse as to what it could have been. I knew what I saw and that was that.

About a year later I had moved my room around and my bed was next to my closet. I was laying down with the back of my head facing the closet. I had a book in my hands and I was relaxed, that is until I watched my blankets tug off of me. I ran to my parents room freaking out like crazy because that had never happened before and I didn't like the fact that whatever it was wanted to mess with me. After all I was a fifteen year old girl who just had a blanket pulled off of her by apparently nothing. I slept in my parents room that night and for the next month I was sleeping in the living room.

A year later we moved to rural country New York, thank god nothing happened at my house but I couldn't say much for my friend Kim. She was living in this huge house with just her mom and her mom's boyfriend. And I hated sleeping in her room. Every night I slept there I had to make sure that her closet door was closed. Why? Because it would always open by itself. I would always feel like something was watching me again. There were points in time where we would hear furniture move all throughout the house. There was even one time that we saw it. We have heard scratching inside the walls and (even though I wish I had it) a scream of a woman.

After I graduated high school I moved in with my boyfriend and his family. I know something is here but it's friendly. Almost like a child friendly. On occasion we would hear a ball bouncing when it would be just my boyfriend and myself and we're both in bed. My dog would stare at nothing and follow something that we don't see. Granted I don't like not seeing something, but if it isn't going to hurt me, I'll live.

Tess Mann, NY, USA
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