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Under My Bed

August 2007

Hello. I will start by saying that the events I describe here are very true, but did not happen to me, but to the daughter of my mother's best friend. This girl is now 32, very normal, happy and stable, and doesn't really remember what happened.

My mother told me this story when I was 15 and it still gives me chills. This is how my mother told me:

It was 1980, in Mexico City. My mother was still single, her best friend, Ellie, was married and had a five year old daughter, Mary (names changed). Ellie and her husband had money problems, so they lived in a single room house. One night Ellie woke up in the middle of the night, it was about three, because she heard Mary giggling. She turned on the light and saw Mary sitting up in bed, awake. Ellie asked what she was doing and Mary replied that she had been playing with her friend. Ellie thought at first that it was just a harmless imaginary friend, and didn't pursue the matter any more. After that Ellie was woken up many more times by her daughter's giggles and playful voice.
When asked more about her friend she would only say: "He lives under my bed". When asked what the friend looked like, the girl would get confused trying to describe him.

Ellie was worried, and when she confided all her worries to my mother, my mom suggested that maybe Mary had her imaginary friend because she felt the trouble they had with money and with finding a better home. Ellie told her she doubted it; despite their problems they were a very happy family, and it wasn't like they were starving, the money was just "a little tight", as Ellie put it.

I should mention that neither Ellie, nor her husband were, or are, religious nor superstitious.

Things got bad one night when Mary started crying instead of giggling, and when Ellie got up to see what was the matter, she saw that Mary has scratches on her face, arms, belly and back. Mary said that her "friend" had scratched her, after she told him that she didn't want to play anymore because she was sleepy. Ellie thought that maybe the girl had scratched herself, but the worst scratches, the ones that actually bled, were on her back. Ellie told her mother all that had been happening for five weeks, and showed her the girls' back. The grandmother was VERY religious and suggested she and some of her church lady friends start a "prayer circle". Ellie agreed reluctantly, believing that Mary's problem was psychological. So, every night for two weeks many ladies, including my mother, got together at Ellie's house to pray. The first week went very well, Mary stopped "playing with her friend" and her scratches healed.

But one day, after Mary came back from school she was taking a nap while Ellie cooked dinner. Suddenly Mary started screaming, really screaming, and Ellie ran to the bedroom. Mary was on the floor, again scratched, but this time there were also small burn-like wounds on the back of her hands and fingers. Ellie was terrified and ran to her mother's house, which was not far. That day all the prayer circle ladies got together again and resumed their praying of the rosary in Ellie's house. A priest was called for the first time to bless the house. After another week of praying things got quiet again, this time for good.

To this day, Mary has some scars of the burns, but she says she doesn't remember how she got them. All she says she remembers is getting scratched by something that looked a little bit like a dog.

Well, I hope you enjoyed the story.

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