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The Laughing Man

June 2003

This story is my husbands', but I find it so interesting that I wanted to share it.

My husband was a serious kind of kid, mature and not a prankster. So, this story is even more believable because his parents told me they remembered how scared THEY were when it happened.

When John, my husband, was 8 or 9 his family moved into an old house in one of the older sections of Toledo. John had an older sister and they each had their own room. My husbands' room overlooked the next door neighbor's house as they sat very close together. He could look into the next door neighbor's window directly across from him.

Not long after they moved in they noticed that an ambulance was next door and they seemed to be removing a person or a body. The man living there had a supposedly committed suicide. Being a busy kid, he thought no more of this occurence until much later.

One night while having a sleep over with his best friend a terrifying thing happened to my husband. Something he has never forgotten.

He was sleeping on the bottom bunk of his bunk beds and his friend Tony, was on the top. They were both asleep when something made John wake up. He saw a man standing in front of his dresser staring at him. This man was wearing dress slacks, and a white undershirt. He was smoking a cigarette, my husband distinctly remembers the smoke curling in the air. The man seemed to be looking directly at my husband and was smirking, kind of laughing at him. John said the thing that terrified him was the fact that he could see his dresser drawers through this man, but he looked real. Well, John started banging on the bunk above him trying to wake up Tony, but Tony never budged. He started yelling, but the man was still there, just leaning against the dresser laughing at him. His parents heard him and came running in to see what was wrong. The man immediately disappeared when they opened the door. John told his parents what he saw and they talked about it, they tried to convince him it was a dream and finally got the boys settled down and went back to bed.

John said the very minute they shut the door the man reappeared. He seemed to be mocking him, laughing at him like he knew he was scaring him. John started yelling again. His parents came back into the room and once again the man disappeared, he told them that the man had reappeared. They were a little irritated with John and told him to go to sleep and once again shut the door and went back to bed.

Within a matter of seconds the man reappeared for a third time, just staring at John, looking directly at him, smirking and puffing his cigarette. He started yelling again for his parents and they could see him panicking. They realized that he was really seeing something, now they were scared, and as you can imagine they slept in another room that night and he moved out of that bedroom.

I don't know what the room was used for after that, but he shared a room with his sister.

He has often wondered if that neighbor next door who had recently died could be the man he saw. He never looked into it and I think that still haunts him too! Who was that man and why did he want John to see him? Why did he want to scare him?

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