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Our First Home

Shawn Barker, Ill, USA
March 2005

All accounts in the following story are true to the best of my memory. Some of the events may be out of time order in which they happened because it has been nearly ten years past. This isn't a story told to me nor is it something that happened to a friend, a relative, or a friend of a friend it happened to me and my wife.

My wife and I were newly married in the summer of 1997. We were of course excited to move into a home we had just bought. The house was a brand new double wide mobile home that we had put on a lot in Pierron, IL, a small rural town of maybe 500 people in southern Illinois. The layout of the home was a 1200 square foot ranch. When you walked in the front door you were in an open living room that was connected to a dinning area and kitchen. The only thing that separated the kitchen form the living area was an island counter with cabinets above the counter that protruded from the left wall. To the left was the door to the master bedroom which had its own bathroom at the far end of the room. On the right of the living room was a short hallway with a bathroom on the left another bedroom on the exact right and the hall ended at the door to the back bedroom.

The first couple of months in the home were very nice. We loved being in the country setting and quiet surroundings. We entertained guests and friends occasionally, but most of our time was spent alone with each others company. My wife and I were expecting a baby so most of our time was spent at home. We didn't party or go out much except the occasional visit to her or my parents' homes.

How this all came about is still a mystery to me. There are several possibilities that I will touch base on, but nothing points directly to one or the other. Not long after moving in my wife and I were talking one evening about the baby. Wondering what it would be a boy or a girl. I told her that I could find out if she wanted to know. She asked how and I explained about when I was dabbling in the occult I used a pendulum to divine answers to simple questions. A method similar to other methods of divining, OUIJA boards, pencils and so on. My wife was unsure at first but decided to do it. I made a pendulum from string and her wedding ring as the weight. I asked it to determine the answers "yes" in a swinging motion the ring went round in a circular motion. I asked it to determine "no" and the ring swung back and forth. Then I asked questions that we knew the answers to make sure the pendulum was being truthful. It answered correctly so we continued we asked of our child would be a girl and it answered no. Then asked if the baby would be a boy and it answered yes. I was very excited to hear this and so was my wife. We asked other unimportant questions just for fun, but after a time my wife became a little creeped out about the whole thing and wanted to stop. We took apart the ring and string and never played again.

In July over the weekend of the 4th we went to my uncle's home in the northern peninsula of Michigan. During our stay they told us of the ghosts in their home and how they had to have a priest come to bless the home. While we were there we went to see the famous ghost lights that took place not far from their house. Maybe we brought something supernatural home from the trip. I don't know.

Shortly after our return home we had a few friends over to watch "The Exorcist". One of the people there was a friend of mine who was big into Celtic druid witchcraft. Did he bring something into our house that we were unaware of, or are the stories about the movie being so evil that spirits can actually enter through the film true? Was it a series of events that let us open ourselves to contact by the supernatural that led to the events that follow? I don't think I'll ever know the truth.

The first thing to happen at our home that I remember vividly was the front door. On our way home, I believe from my in-laws house, we pulled into the drive way and noticed the front door swung wide opened. My wife was always very adamant about locking the deadbolt on all the doors when we went anywhere and swore that this time was no different. Scared that a prowler may have broken in she had me go check the house out first. I entered the house to find nothing it was undisturbed or at least it seemed that way to the visible eye. This happened on a couple of occasions but one was particularly jarring. We came home one evening. It wasn't even dark yet maybe 7pm. We were met by a couple of the neighborhood boys we had met since we have lived there. They said that someone was in our house while we were gone and the seen the lights come on and off, and our door was left wide open. They looked in the house but didn't see anyone so they locked the door and closed it. We thanked them and cautiously entered our home. As usual nothing was out of place or missing so we blew the whole incident off.

My wife began to complain of hearing noises like someone was in the house while she was taking a shower in the master bathroom. On one occasion she said that she came out of the shower and found handprints in the steam on the glass shower door. I was always at work and it was only my wife and I who lived there. I never gave much thought to it probably water pipes or the new house settling on the concrete piers.

The presence over time became more apparent as time passed. Sitting in our living room one evening watching television a strange thing happened. On our island above the counter we had coffee cups suspended on hooks that began to swing. This could be explained by wind except there were no windows or doors opened. The strangest thing was no cup started to swing at the same time nor did they swing the same way. The first cup swung back and forth then the third or fourth swung side to side then the next would swing differently. This little cup trick became the norm in our home, and we actually began joking about the "ghost" in our house. We began hearing noises when we went to bed at night. Doors would sound to open or close, something would scratch on the living room wall adjacent to the bed room. All these things although frightening we lived with every day. We never really said anything to anyone about what went on at our house. As time went on the occurrences became more violent and more frightening. The noises we heard at night went from doors opening and closing, and scratching to sounding like our house was being demolished outside our bedroom. When we would get up to look everything would quit as soon as we opened the bedroom door.

We were being tormented with nightmares in our sleep. At one occasion we shared the same nightmare about two gargoyle figurines we had bought at the hotel we stayed at the night of our wedding. I placed the figurines in an aquarium we had in the dining room. We both woke up one night at the same time from a bad dream after talking to each other we discovered that our dreams were basically the same. The gargoyles we owned had come to life and were tormenting us or trying to kill us in some way. This revelation of course scared us both to no end. I immediately got up and threw the statues in the front yard. Not before I had broken them into many small pieces.

My wife woke up particularly disturbed one Saturday morning over a dream she had about a relative dying. Later that day she received a phone call from her mother. The relative she had dreamt about had actually died.

The haunting occurred in every part of the house. But one area disturbed me more than any other. The back bedroom was always the worst to me. During the day this was a very bright warm room, but at night it changed into a dark scary hole at the end of the house. Sometimes I would look down the hall to the dark open door and a chill would run down my spine. I never saw anything in the darkness of the back room, but I would swear that whatever was haunting this house was just beyond the darkness staring me back dead in the eye just waiting for the right time, for what I do not know. The thing that scared me the most about this was that we had designed this room as the nursery for baby when he got here.

One night late into the summer we were awaken by screaming and yelling outside. It sounded like people were running in panic into the streets. My first thought was that a tornado was coming. Because of where we lived and the fact we were in a mobile home court it seemed logical. We jumped out of bed, still hearing the commotion outdoors, ran to the front door and out onto the porch. When we opened the door the sounds ceased and everything was deathly silent. No one was out or even up in the neighborhood. No ones lights, or televisions were on not even a radio, or even a dog could be heard barking.

The last straw for me in the house happened one night in my sleep. I was waked up by a nightmare that to this day I don't remember what it was actually about. I only remember being choked by the neck. When I finally fought through the dream and woke up above me floating over my bed I saw a smoky glowing mist almost in the shape of a person in a robe or gown. I only seen it for a second because when I opened my eyes it pulled back and disappeared almost like it was sucked up into the darkness. Still not totally able to move I laid there shaken from what I had just witnessed. After a while I got up the nerve to get out of the bed. I walked into the master bathroom and washed my face in cold water. On my way back to bed I looked at the alarm clock that set on the dresser across the room from the bed. The clock had glow in the dark arms on it so it was easy to read. I stood there staring in awe at the clock amazed and shaken at what I saw. The clock I had set just hours before to wake me up for work was now running backwards. I had never seen anything like it before. I went back to bed and just laid there unable to sleep. I never told my wife about what I saw in the darkness. She of course could see the clock running backwards for herself, but as for the ghostly image that was floating over me I never mentioned until later.

During a visit to my parents' house I asked my dad what could make a clock run backwards. My dad was a very smart man and to me knew a lot. He had been to college for engineering and I figured he would have an explanation for the screwy clock. His answer was worse than the clock itself. "Nothing" he said. That was not the answer I was looking for. Even if you reverse the polarity of electricity to the clock he explained that it still would not run backwards. The gears inside would not let it. He asked why I wanted to know, and we began to tell the story of what we had been through the past months. I told them about the figure I saw floating over the bed, about the noises in the middle of the night, and the nightmares. My parents were very religious people, and my dad was a licensed minister. They decided they would come home with us and pray over our house and anoint it with prayer oil. We got home and I showed my dad the clock. I could tell that is scared him to see such a strange thing. My dad, my mom, and another man they brought from the church began to pray throughout the house. They touched the door frames and walls with the oil as they prayed, then they prayed over me and my wife.

The haunting seemed to stop over the last couple of months we lived there, but the clock ran backwards until we moved and threw it away. I don't know what caused the events in our house or why they became so violent. While we lived there my wife had a dream that a young boy was killed and buried under where our house was set. We never checked into that possibility.

We have never had any problems with anywhere else we have lived, but sometimes when I shut the lights out and I look back into the darkness I can still feel that same feeling that something is there just out of sight waiting for the right time, for what I do not know.

Shawn Barker, Ill, USA
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