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Red Eye

June 2003

I've had a few experiences concerning ghosts, most happening when I was younger. Things pretty much came to a stop as I got older and a bit more...shall we say...cynical about the whole thing. Until one night...

It was a beautiful summer night in Northern California. It was cloudy and thus very dark. I was happily sleeping until my next door neighbor's dogs started barking insanely. They generally bark at everything, so it didn't really concern me at first, but they wouldn't stop, and they reached an alarming pitch, as if threatened by something. Disgruntled, I got out of bed and went out to my back patio.

My back yard is about 25 feet from the patio to the back fence. The fence itself is 6 feet high, with an immediate 2 foot drop right behind it. There is about a 2-3 foot width of "no man's land" where my fence starts and my back neighbour's fence begins. The "no man's land extends up from the end of my property to half way into my neighbour's yard on the left, and on the right, it extends all the way to the street. I am the second house from the corner. (Hopefully that wasn't too confusing!) Suffice to say there's a gap between the fences of about 2 feet, that's filled with nothing but ivy and dead leaves.

As I'm sitting outside, the dogs are still kicking up a ruckus. I'm kind of surprised that my neighbour hasn't told them to hush up because he's generally pretty good about that. I'm sitting there, grumbling to myself when they suddenly stop.

One more little bit of information: on my back neighbour's property is a huge tree whose branches dip into our yard. It's lovely and huge, and I don't mind the branches overlapping, as it provides lovely shade. We call it the bird hotel, because it seemed all the birds in the neighbourhood would congregate there, which was fun to watch. Anyway, I'm looking in the dark to the back of the yard for no reason other than that is the direction I happen to be facing. I become aware then of a rustling sound, coming from the back of the yard. Possum, I think. But I start thinking, the rustling is very evenly spaced, almost like....footsteps. Then, over the top of the fence about 8 or so inches, I see two red lights. Not really sure of what I'm looking at, I try to look harder. Couldn't be brakelights because the house behind would block any lights from the street, and besides, the fence was far too high. Animal eyes? Perhaps. But they tend to be a greenish yellow color, not red, unless there was something to reflect off of, and I didn't have any lights on at all. And if they were animal eyes, they were very wide set. As wide set as a human's....

The eyes moved, and the rustling noise came again. I realized that the "eyes" were moving in time to the leaves rustling on the ground. But that would be impossible because that would mean that whatever it is back there would have to be at least 9 feet high, taking into account that the fence was 6 feet high, and the 2 foot drop would bring the overall height to 8 feet. And the "eyes" were even higher than that.

I'm sitting there in the utter darkness, thinking these things, on one level, and on another I'm still trying to figure out exactly what it is I'm looking at. The only logical conclusion I can come to is that this thing is tall....very tall...and that perhaps it would be a really good idea to go inside...right *now*. I do so, being sure to lock the patio door behind me, realizing that this thing...whatever it is...probably wouldn't be stopped by something as meagre as a patio door lock. Regardless, that's what I did. Then I did something else quite inexplicable considering the circumstances. I went back to bed, and immediately to sleep. I guess somewhere I decided that I really didn't want to think about what it was I saw until the safe and comfortable light of day.

I still don't know what I saw. I would love any information about creatures that might possibly fit the description (or lack of it) that I provided. I mentioned this to my neighbour who laughed it off as a could have been. But it would have had to have been two, one on the fence and one on the ground, and they tend to be noisy creatures when in groups. This thing made no noise, aside from the rustling of the ivy on the ground. And that doesn't really explain how, if they were possums, they could be so synchronized in their movements. Or the fact that the eyes were red and spaced much farther apart than a possum's could be.

Thanks for letting me share my encounter.

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