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What are the Odds?..

Andrew, IL, USA
December 2004

My life is somewhat strange, and it seems like I've had more than my fair share of paranormal experiences. My friends have all heard my stories, and all are skeptical until they hang around me long enough. Then they see... I've been a magnate for all sorts of strange events- leading back to my earliest memories.

My mother's aunt had died before I was born, but she had always wanted to see me. I must have been two or three at the time and I remember a nice lady picking me up- and then placing me on some pillows on the top shelf of my closet. I remember my mom talking to her, and then asking where I was. Years later, I spoke with my mom on that event, and she stated that her aunt had come by. She provided no reason why I was placed in such an awkward location, but to this day I have an inherent fear of closets.

My family had a pet bird named Baby Bird, a cockatiel that had died. With a week or so after its passing, I began to see it. Now my house (which was a new house, by the way) had the second level overlooking a cathedral ceiling, with my bedroom door facing that great expanse. Down the hall to the left was the bathroom. It was a spectral white bird, and it made loud fluttering noises. What was worse was that it looked like a projection, with a few frames of animation missing- almost strobe-like. This scared me and I developed a bed wetting problem, because I was afraid to head to the bathroom. Eventually my mom asked my why I wouldn't go to the bathroom, and I told what I had seen. She told me she had to appease it, and laid some bird seed down in a bowl on the stairs headed down.

That final night found me wrapped in my yellow blanket, huddled atop the stairs. Always the skeptical little rugrat, I never had believed in Santa- and was suspicious that my mom would simply pick up the bowl once I fell asleep. To prevent this, I dumped the seeds onto the thick orange shag carpet- only vacuuming would get it out. I stayed awake in the darkness, watching and waiting. I never saw anything. However, in the morning the seeds were gone- and so was all sign of the ghost.

The most significant ghost story in my life revolves around what my step-brother and I called the Red Ghost. This was the same house as the two prior events. Keep in mind that the basement was partially above ground, with windows that let in light. This place was NOT scary in the slightest. Once my parents got divorced, my step-mother and her son appeared. After a difficult adjustment period, Nathan (step-brother) and I finally began to tolerate each other.

One night we had turned the entire expanse of basement into a fort. Every cushion, broom, blanket and chair that we could grab was used to make our labyrinth. We spent the night telling stories about the Masters of the Universe (our favorite toy line). I was in the middle of a story involving Mer-Man when a whole section in the back of the room collapsed for no apparent reason. We scurried out, noticing that it happened in the "dark corner".

The Dark Corner was a corner that for years, even before my parent's divorce seemed an unsettling place. Always gloomy even with sunlight fixed on it- even when my folks put the Christmas tree there... Years before, a kid at one of my birthday parties said they saw something come out of the wall.

Anyways, we climb up and out of our dungeon of pillows and look. Floating, and quite rapidly is what looks like a glowing red shirt doing a figure-8 pattern. Instinctively I reach out to grab it. As soon as I do, my step-brother starts yelling how cold it is. Me? My arm goes numb with a prickingly asleep sensation- although later on the arm felt cold when touched with my other arm. We scream and launch ourselves up two flights of stairs and into the parent's room where we're chastized for being too loud.

Curiosity got the better of us, and over time more and more people would see it. It didn't seem particularly good or evil. We began to experiment, trying to see if we could get it to appear. Over the years, we would place various objects in the corner. Also for fun, we'd buy masks from discount stores after Halloween and build props and make a haunted house in the basement for our friends on the hopes that the real ghost would appear. Through trial and error we found that anything that mimicked light would either disappear- or if it was mechanical... stop working. Televisions did not last long there, and neither did the flashlights. One flashlight, a Mag-Lite was left there overnight. The next morning, it was flattened,but curled around the edges. Take a straw, cup one end with your finger and suck on it to get the proper image. Glow-in-the- dark items simply disappeared.

The movie Ghostbusters came out and gave us the idea to make a trap. So we took a Kleenex box, dumped the tissues out, and filled it with those glowing ping-pong balls that shot out of those crappy 99 cent guns you can find down the toy aisles of most grocery stores. I carefully taped the box with double-sided tape and left it on the ledge in the corner. A week goes by, two weeks and then three. Nothing happens. Eventually my step-mother complains and says she wants it out of her house. I tear the box off of the ledge, and noticed that there was no rolling noise coming from inside it. I cut through the tape and found the balls were missing.

Years later I moved into an apartment complex in Glendale Heights, Illinois with a long-time friend and co-worker named Jason. After a few weeks there, I went into the kitchen early one morning and found every cabinet and drawer open. Even the refrigerator/freezer doors and that of the microwave were that way. I confronted Jason, accusing him of sleep-walking. However a year later he had moved out, actually taking an apartment across the way with his fiancee. Two mornings later after he had moved, I found the kitchen in the exact same state. I was freaked.

These are the events that best fit into your collection of incidents. I have had many telekinetic and telepathic things happen. I've scared my wife many times with the unerring accuracy of my predictions- but only when I'm in a certain mood. There was a time in high school when I was sensitive to everyone's greatest fears- and revealed to people what they had kept to themselves. And there was one unexplained event in my new house in Naperville where it felt like something grabbed me by the ankles and yanked me off the bed and painfully onto the floor.

I ask people all the time about the things they've seen and heard. It's not as rare as you think.

Andrew, IL, USA
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