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Longtime lurker. First time poster.
I am 25 years old and have been living in my current home on Daisy Lane for nearly three years, since I graduated college and got a job. This house has been host to my twin brother, between three and four roommates and me for the duration of my tenure here. It's an unimportant distinction to all but me that the home is the only two-story house on a relatively quiet stretch of road populated mostly by older residents.
The home has been significant to my family for a number of years. It was sold to us by a close family friend, the son of Thomas and Marianne, who were like grandparents to me growing up. I spent a lot of time here as a kid without any hint of the supernatural, although the storage room that I converted into a bedroom on the bottom floor of the split-level always kind of creeped me out.
The final important detail, perhaps the most important: Marianne and Tom's room, the room my twin and his life lived in, is the place where Marianne took her last labored breaths about eight years ago, succumbing to disease while my family and hers prayed and held her hand. Marianne was a no-nonsense woman, what some might call "gruff," but was altogether loving and without a mean bone in her body. Tom's health declined to the point that he had to move into a retirement community, where my family visited him weekly. Those events set the stage for the house's sale, and our purchase.
Everything was calm enough the first year, year and a half after moving in that I remember commenting to my brother, "Well, nothing weird going on here!" But I was still uneasy with the darkness of the basement room I'd been living in for months. My room's quiet. Very quiet, with the exception of my considerably sized roommate going to the bathroom and rolling around in bed.
I thought I'd heard every noise I was going to hear in the house. Then, one night, I heard the crying.
It wasn't loud - in fact, it was soft enough that it would have been drowned out in the summer if my fan was on in my window. It didn't sound angry. It didn't sound frustrated. It wouldn't have been out of place if one of my 5th grade female classmates got a D on a test. "It must be a TV on upstairs."
I walked down the long hallway to the stairs, trying hard to stare straight ahead, trying to ignore the outline of a little girl in the window of the rec room in my peripheral vision. Stay. Calm. Checked under the door of roommate one by the steps. No TV. Silence.
Creak up the steps, look out the window. Nothing's there. Upstairs further, the only discernable light coming from the bathroom in the hallway to my right. I paced down, looking under the three doors for that comforting glow, listening for the tiniest hint of a DVRed sitcom or drama. Nothing. I crept back downstairs, avoided looking out of the sliding glass door where I was sure I spotted the anomaly. If something was there, I didn't want to know. I turned on my TV to drown out whatever I'd heard and fell into a fitful sleep.
Weeks went by.
I was washing dishes in broad daylight, listening to whatever new album I'd just picked up when I glanced up at the doorway to the hall and saw someone walk by. It didn't register at first - then I dropped the glass I was drying. Not only I was home alone on my day off (I worked in the news business at the time, and my schedule was horrible as journalists' usually are - my "weekend" was Wednesday and Thursday) ... but whatever walked past was wearing a white gown that I'd never seen before.
And it didn't have a face.
That's not to say that it was just a flesh-colored ball on top; I mean, there was shoulder-length blonde hair, a forehead, and below that - it was as if someone took a blur tool on Photoshop and wiped off the features until they were just slightly darker impressions on the head. I dashed outside to call my brother. He wasn't surprised; he'd been dealing with his own demons, so to speak.
I was sitting in my room a few days later, reading around mid-evening. Dusk had fallen, the neighborhood was quiet, as was my room except for the TV just a few notches up from "mute." I got up to get a drink, walked out the door and saw what appeared to be the dark form of a human, about two-thirds the size of me (I'm pretty short), on its hands and feet with its chest pointing in the air, scurrying like a spider up the steps. I know, it's like the deleted scene from "The Exorcist." I never felt in danger, I never felt encroached upon, but I did feel nervous enough that I didn't want to talk about it right away.
"Hey man," my twin said a few days later. "So ... you know how we've been feeling weird lately?"
"Yeah, of course."
"I saw something crawling around in the hallway the other night. It was backwards and upside down."
"Oh." I paused. "Kind of like--"
"Yeah, the scene from 'The Exorcist.'" (Sometimes, twins finish each other's sentences.)
We discussed what I'd seen, confused and bewildered but not entirely frightened. We've never been hurt or even touched by anything paranormal, and we still felt safe. At least I did, until that night.
Lying in bed again. Trying to sleep. When I feel a presence, it's like the air is constantly muggy. I get moodier, so does the brother, irritable and sleepless. I fell asleep around 1:00 a.m. and woke up around 3:00, alert but not in need of a drink or a bathroom break or a...
Knock. Knock-knock-knock. Someone wants to wake me up for a smoke, pretty routine until we all got lame and old and started hitting sophisticated pipes and e-cigarettes.
"Yeah, what's up?" I asked.
Knock-knock-knock-knock. Handle wriggles.
"Hold up, dude, quit messing around. You know I lock at night."
I tossed on some pants and a T-shirt and opened the door.
My roommates love a good practical joke. I fobbed it off, got back into bed without taking my clothes off in case one of my second-shift roommates needed to have a smoke within the next hour. It'd take a while for me to get back to sleep anyway, so I might as well just play Tetris on the cell phone until I'm tired.
FIfteen minutes later. Knock-knock-knock.
I darted up from my bed, waited until the precise moment when the unwanted guest was in mid-knock.
I went to my roommate's door down the hall and knocked until he woke up. He hadn't heard the knocking and was frankly pissed I even woke him. When I got back into bed, I did the same thing I did when I heard the crying - tried to drown it out with sound, this time from the television. For the first time, I felt like something was after me, and I wasn't prepared to deal with it.
Right outside my window, an ungodly howl, something similar to John Carpenter's "The Thing" with a slightly more feminine tone. It rattled the window by my head and rang into the quiet night. I looked out the window (just trees and darkness) and ran into the hallway, heart pumping, legitimately scared. I wasn't the only beneficiary of the wake-up call - roommate's door swings open violently.
"What the hell was that?"
"I have never heard anything like that in my life."
We smoked our cigarettes, two each, without any further event.
A quick census of roommates the next morning determined only he and I heard the noise.
I mean it when I say the knocking on my door - and sometimes vigorous jiggling of the handle - happened every night for the next six months. Between 2:00 and 4:00 a.m., something tried to get into my room. Every. Single. Night. I'm ashamed to admit that I didn't set up any video cameras (I was too cheap), I didn't try to sleep with my door unlocked or open (I was too afraid), and I didn't do anything to make it stop. The knocking finally went away at the end of last year, with a several-month peace-and-quiet period, until I made a very dumb decision in early 2011.
No one else was home, I was drinking my beloved Pyrat after dinner, when I opened up my smartphone and searched the app store for anything new. I happened upon an application that you can easily find for free on literally any smartphone platform, an app that's supposed to tell the user when a ghost is nearby. It also employs some kind of speaking technology that "verbalizes" whatever supernatural vibrations are coming from the beyond - a bunch of junk as far as I was concerned, but I downloaded it anyway. I turned off the sound - I didn't want to be bothered while I was watching TV. Glanced down at my phone from time to time, pleased that I lived in a ghost-free home.
I took my phone to my room when three red spots appeared on the screen. Finally, some action. This is kind of fun!
My phone's sound was off. I checked it again.
"Thomas." The word flashed across the screen. "Thomas."
I turned off my phone.
Thomas, the previous owner of the home, fell ill. His health went into a freefall, and he died a few months ago. The funeral was beautiful, and my family and his are pleased that Tom and Marianne are together, somewhere, reunited after several years of the absences of one another.
Nothing's happened here for a few months...
But remember that heaviness, that density I told you I feel when there's a presence around me? That feeling has been back for the last week. I'm not exactly sure what it means, but I feel uneasy and jumpy, and I haven't been sleeping well since I got back from a business trip last weekend. It could be that the stress of travel caught up with me, or that the hotel's bed was more comfortable than my own on the bottom floor of the house on Daisy Lane, which I now live on alone since my basement roommate moved out. I can't tell you for certain.
I do know one thing, though. I woke up at 3:00 this morning. The knocking's back.