top of page

Thump & Drag

Pennsylvania, USA
February 1998

Iwrote previously about my first encounter with a ghost in my parent's house, when I was twelve or thirteen. There were many encounters after that, until the final one when I was twenty-one. I think there were more than one ghost, but that one visited more frequently than the others.

Most visits were in the middle of the night. I shared a bedroom with my sister. She slept through every event. I am a very light sleeper, she is not. These visits would always consist of the sound of footsteps in the bedroom. They would come in the door, walk up to the bed, down alongside of it, to the bottom. Reaching the bottom of the bed, I had a sense of the footfalls turning, and of being looked at. Sometimes I would wake up as the footsteps reached the side of the bed. Sometimes I was in a deeper sleep and wouldn't completely wake up until the footfalls reached the bottom.

The first few times, I woke up, expecting to see someone standing there. After this, I knew to expect to see nothing more than my room in the dark. I would sit up in my bed, scared, clutching the blanket in my fist. I would stay that way for a few minutes. Sometimes the footsteps left the room, sometimes not.

One of the most memorable visits happened when I was 18 or 19, during a summer day. My dog had hurt his paw, and it was infected and swollen. We took him to the vet, and received cream to treat it with, but it remained swollen for a while, and he walked with a limp.

I was in my bedroom sewing, with my back to the bedroom door. My mother was downstairs in the parlor, ironing. My dog would not climb the stairs with his paw swollen, and he was in the living room sleeping. No one else was home. I was working on a long seam when I heard someone coming up the stairs. These were not regular footsteps. On each step, there was a sound of a thump followed by a drag. I thought that my dog decided to attempt the stairs after all, and that his effort was resulting in this thump & drag. I continued sewing. When he reached the top step, I expected the dog to come hobbling into my room, looking for a pat on the head. Instead, the thump and drag crossed the little landing at the top of the stairs, and went into my brother's room. The light switch clicked on. I sat up straight, frozen, and listening. The thump and drag made its way across my brother's bedroom, and stopped. After a few moments, I forced myself to get out of the chair. Determined to prove to myself that neither my dog nor a ghost could turn on a light switch, I made myself walk across my room, onto the landing, and to the door of my brother's room. The light was on. A chair that had been flat against the wall was now on an angle, facing me. I felt someone was sitting in the chair, watching me. I turned off the light, and went back to my room, telling myself maybe it's all just a bunch of coincidences combined with my imagination, or maybe not, but stay calm. I returned to the sewing machine, and sat down. The thump and drag made a return trip across my brother's room, and the light switch clicked on. The thump & drag went back to its chair. Calmly, deliberately, forcing myself to not freak out, I rose from the chair, walked to my brother's room, and turned off the light. I went down the stairs.

At the bottom landing, I faced my mother. I could tell by her pale, wide-eyed expression that she was aware of everything that just happened. I also knew from experience that she would never admit it. She asked me meekly if everything was ok. I said it was, I just needed a break.

Pennsylvania, USA
00:00 / 01:04
bottom of page