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The Portal Story

Scott Brandt, Louisiana, USA
May 1999

The house I grew up in is just five minutes away from where I now reside: just over the Red River bridge in Bossier City, Louisiana. Inside that one-story, three-bedroom brick house, while I was very young, something happened that only recently has been suspected as a possible catalyst to my many paranormal experiences: a Ouija board.

I can recall from a very early age having an unusual fascination in ghosts; as a result, I jumped on the opportunity to partake in a game introduced to me by a neighborhood friend one lazy summer afternoon when I was around ten years old. Of course, I thought ahead and picked out a spirit--Abagail Adams, wife of J. Quincy Adams--did some research on her in a handy dictionary, and met the others in my closet. This closet was a 'walk-in closet,' which meant that it was long, narrow, had two doors, and got very dark when the doors were shut and we were inside. I brought a flashlight. My nearest, older sister joined in, which totalled the number of participants at three.

I couldn't help but cheat, and move the planchette consciously. Nothing amiss seemed to happen. We asked it a few questions, got bored, and retired to other games. It wasn't long after this seemingly innocuous experience that strange things began to occur in my home. I read some do's and dont's of Ouija navigation recently. Two definite no-no's were committed by us, way back when, in that hall closet: we didn't close the board after finishing it (by telling it good-bye); and, we asked for a sign of a presence. Of course, we never got our sign that day; but, I am afraid, I've been getting them ever since.

This closet was at the south end of my bedroom, of all places, and it gave me the creeps. I couldn't relax enough to sleep if the door wasn't closed. The earliest experience I remember was when I was in the process of trying to drift off to sleep one night. Being the youngest, I was put to bed while my three older siblings stayed up. I felt, and heard, while I lay there, a distinct pounding from beneath my bed, as if someone were underneath it, using his fist. It terrified me. I froze and held my breath in hopes that it would go away.The space beneath it was narrow; I had a hard time crawling under it, much less beating the box springs while there. It never happened again.

When I was a little older, I remember sitting in front of my prized stereo one afternoon when a weird feeling overcame me, a feeling similar to what one has when one wakes up confused. The stereo turned on by itself and blared music from the speakers. I stared in horror at what was happening; finally, I broke my fear long enough to turn it off.

Knowing what I know now, some twenty years later, I think I might have had something to do with both incidences. My subconscious was very active when I was younger. I used to sleep walk and act out dreams garishly. I am heavily creative, which is another supposed link to the paranormal. At any rate, things escalated and turned darker after my adolescence.

I had graduated high school, and was attending the local community college. I was the only person home one fine spring morning, and was busily typing away at a term paper in my room--that same room. My back was facing the closet, which was open. I began to hear two or three voices talking in a low monotone, as if discussing something discreetly, while I sat there dumfounded. The minute I turned around, it stopped. I looked at the open window, knowing full well that it didn't come from that direction--it came from that closet. I got up and left--double time. The voices continued. I heard the same type of low talking on two different occasions, both times while I was showering. The back bathroom had two doors, one of which led to the walk-in closet and then to my room. Both times, I pulled open the door, expecting to see a member of my family standing there. The rooms were empty and dark. The hair on the nape of my neck would bristle, which was always my cue: I got out of there.

Another time, while in the throes of remembering a particular scene of The Amityville Horror while showering, the lights were dashed. I was in complete darkness. When I reached out from behind the curtain to hit the switch, they came on immediately. Add it to the list, I thought to myself, before making another patented swift departure.

By far, though, the most horrifying experiences were to come. I awoke one night, promptly at midnight, by a banging on my bedroom wall, only to come face to face with a behooded, faceless specter standing at the foot of my bed. I could see right through it. It was grey, and appeared to be made of mist; it wore a cowl which draped down below the bed frame. Jagged holes were where its eyes and mouth should have been. I opened my mouth to scream but nothing came out. This thing was dipping down, first this way and that, as if trying to make out if I was awake. I cannot adequately describe the fear I felt at that point. I felt that it was evil, and that it wanted something of me. I finally had seen enough, and wanted it gone. I kicked up the sheets with my feet, and it vanished into thin air. I got up, turned on the light, and rubbed my eyes. I stood in the kitchen for a long time, but realized that I was vulnerable anywhere in that house. I never told my parents of this (my dad died in '89, and it would undoubtedly frighten Mom). To this very day I cannot get to sleep if I remember that one, single, unholy visitation.

Even scarier still was an event that happened not long after my father died from cancer in 1989. I had been under a lot of stress for some time. Mom and I lived there, by ourselves, at that point. I tossed, turned, paced the floor, and threw a fit or two until late in the morning--this was the usual routine for me every night. It was around 4 A.M..I was half asleep when I realized that something was amiss. I was awake, but couldn't open my eyes. The strangest part was that I could see the room in which I lay. A hideous, female entity was busily mocking me. She would come to the edge of the room, stick her head around the corner, jeer and snicker, then go to the closet side. I wrestled with this thing for a long time. Finally I was able to move, and arose from the bed, thoroughly shaken. It happened again not one week later. Though completely immobile, on this occasion there were no visual or auditory cues. I did feel the same menacing presence. I instinctively prayed--something to which I am not normally inclined--and immediately something screeched inside my head before I was able to wake up. This, needless to say, shook me up considerably.

Since then, I have researched the 'Old Hag' phenomenon, and find it feasible. But really, who can say for certain? It is also suspect that I was the only one in a family of six who experienced all of the phenomena. Am I psychic? I think, perhaps, I might be. To this day, I hear, see, and experience odd things. Sometimes it torments me; other times it is blase.

At the risk of writing a tome, I will close the story at this point. I have many more things to relay--maybe later.

Scott Brandt, Louisiana, USA
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