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The Laughing Thing

February 2003

For almost twenty-five years I thought that what I experienced was some sort of dream or figment of my imagination. After reading so many accounts of similar experiences on this board, I now am not so sure.

One night when I was sixteen, I had gone to bed fairly late due to a school function. It was sometime around 2:00 in the morning that I was awakened by someone frantically patting me on my chest. I still can feel the hand rapidly but gently patting me, and vividly remember seeing an arm and hand move across my chest as I opened my eyes.

The room was dark, but just enough light came in from the window for me so see that my younger sister was standing beside my bed. Still groggy, I asked her what she wanted. It was then that I saw that the face was not hers. The face, although human, had the luminance and rainbow/kaleidoscopic appearance of a silver, mylar balloon. Of course, at that time no such balloons were in use, so it is only now that I can have something to compare it to, but at the time I described it as looking like the after images your eyes see after you look at a bright light then close your eyes quickly.

I looked directly at the face and remember that the eyes were black pools with no eyeballs. The body onto which the large head attached was human in form and had the same luminance of the face, but I somehow remember that it appeared to be clothed. The "thing" stood about four feet tall.

At this point I screamed. I was a fairly large guy, so I rarely felt threatened or fearful of anything. That night I felt terror. The "thing" threw its head back, opened its mouth wide and laughed. No sound came from it, but I could see it physically laughing at me. I sat up and reached for the bedside lamp never taking my eyes off this thing. While I attempted to turn the lamp's knob switch, the "thing" continued to laugh and began to walk down to the foot of my bed. It pointed its finger at me and threw its head back again. Just as it reached the foot, I managed to turn on the light. The "thing" vanished as the room was bathed in the lamp's soft light.

I continued to scream shrilly until my father came running in to see what was going on. He believed I had dreamed it all, chuckled, and told me to calm down and go back to sleep. Yeah, right. I was awake for the rest of the night.

I never saw this "thing" again, nor do I have any knowledge of why some sort of ghost would want to be in that house as my family had bought it new just four years before that night, and nothing had ever been built on that site before. A part of me would love to know what really happened or was in my room that night. Another part of me, though, still is terrified of what it might have been.

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