There’s always been something strange about our house.
It was built in 1911, and you can feel within it all the history accumulated over more than one century.
We’ve found odd things in the walls, newspaper clippings and what not, and sometimes there are bizarre smells, like cigarette smoke or perfume, even though no one else is home.
When I had friends over as a teenager, there were always jokes about our house being haunted, with the squeaky wooden floorboards, and eerie tiled bathroom. Some just said they got a “funny feeling” but I quickly dismissed it. I’ve never believed in ghosts or spirits, but I could see how speculating might be fun.
But then, as I grew into adulthood, stranger things started happening. I’d be sitting in my room, studying for University exams, and the light would turn off. When I’d turn it back on at the switch, it was fine. The bulb hadn’t blown.
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Still, I thought, the house was old. Weird things happen. Sounds at night could surely be explained by creaky piping or wind.
Then, one night, my bedroom light turned on as I was trying to go to sleep. I turned to see if it might be my mum or dad, but there was no one there. I quickly got up, and turned it back off.
As I was drifting off a second time, I swear I heard a noise – and then boom.
I must admit, there was an uncomfortable feeling in my gut. I was struggling to be able to explain it.
Months went by without incident.
That was until a Sunday evening in the middle of winter.
I was putting on my socks about to go to the gym, when I was struck by a terrible feeling.
I was facing the wall, with the doorway to the right, just out of my direct vision. But when I looked up, I saw a man standing there in the doorway out of the corner of my eye.
At first I thought it might be my dad, but he was too tall. This was a youngish man, dressed unusually. I not only saw him, I felt him. There was absolutely someone standing at the entrance to my bedroom.
I turned and looked, terrified.
But whoever it was, was gone.
I bolted up to look outside my door and double checked they hadn’t gone somewhere else.
I dismissed it as much as I could, and quickly pulled on my shoes. I then looked up into the mirror, and as clear as anything, there he was. Standing behind me. Looking at me.
But when I turned around, whoever it was was gone.
I rushed out of my room and told my dad. My heart was racing. No matter where I stood in the house, I felt like I was being watched.
Dad went quiet for a moment, and then said “Yeah, I’ve seen him.”
“What, why have you never told me this?” I asked, both angry and terrified.
“I didn’t want to scare you,” he said. “But more than once I’ve woken up very early in the morning to find a man standing by my bed. Scares the living daylights out of me.”
For the next few weeks, I struggled to sleep, and when I did, it was with the light on. I didn’t tell my sisters for the same reason my dad kept it from them; I didn’t want to scare them.
I haven’t seen anything since, although my dog sometimes behaves very strangely in my room.
I’ll find her barking at the doorway, looking up, as though there’s someone there. Sometimes, we’ll be watching television, and she will bolt up, with a sense of urgency, and race to the other side of the room barking madly.
I try not to think about it, but in the back of my mind I do wonder if she’s seeing the person I did.