The home in which I grew up in rural Arkansas was, by all outward appearances, a completely normal and unassuming house. Situated next to a dense forest and built on heavily sloping terrain, its brick exterior enclosed several bedrooms and living areas on two levels, all evenly divided between a main floor and an equal-sized walk-out basement. Over the course of my 13 years in the home, I experienced several incidents that by themselves amount to little, but in totality (and with the benefit of hindsight) make me wonder if our family of four wasn’t always alone.
Events were merely curious at first; my bedroom lamp turning on by itself, for instance, or an unnatural and unexplainable noise that I’d casually write off. Gradually, things became even more inexplicable. For example, I had a sizeable collection of small die-cast metal airplanes neatly displayed on my small coffee table. For three straight days at one point, I’d return home from school to find them all rearranged to form elaborate designs on the table. The rest of the family adamantly denied involvement. On another occasion, I was awakened and heard distinctly, for what seemed like hours, the distinct sound of a ball being rolled to and fro along the length of the attic. What makes this unusual (outside of the thought of somebody “bowling” in the middle of the night) was that our attic wasn’t one of the traditional sense, but more of a crawl space below the roof composed of nothing more than widely-spaced two-by-four cross-beams and insulation. In other words, there was nothing for a heavy ball to roll upon! And yet I laid there for a long time, knowing this, yet unable to deny what I heard over and over and over until I fell back asleep.
I finally reached an age, as most kids do, when I began to desire more privacy and as a result, moved into one of the bedrooms downstairs. I wasn’t, however, ever completely comfortable down there, persisting to stay only out of pride and machismo. And then one night, when my sister and I were home alone – I in the shower adjacent to my bedroom and her watching television in the living area – one of the “loudest” events occurred. I had just exited the bathroom wearing a robe and had stopped in the living room to ask my sister something when we were shocked by the most violent noise we’d ever experienced in that house. It sounded distinctly as if someone upstairs had picked up my parent’s heavy five-drawer dresser (a physical impossibility for one person) and had thrown it angrily on the floor. The sound was localized in nature (almost directly above our heads, where our parent’s bedroom was) and was accompanied by the “peripheral” sounds of fragile items atop the dresser shattering and breaking upon the floor. There aren’t two more level-headed people in the world than my sister and I (even as kids), but we instinctively sensed something dangerous or evil. We immediately evacuated through the back door and sprinted (yes, I’m still wearing only a bathrobe) through a path in the woods to a neighbor’s home. “Bobby” didn’t doubt our breathless story; he grabbed a shotgun and flashlight and ran back to the house with me in tow. We searched every nook and cranny of the large home….and found absolutely nothing amiss.
While residing there, I never took the time to contemplate or summarize the scattered events of my childhood and, eventually, I departed for a college out of state. Shortly after enrolling, I was awakened in the middle of the night by a phone call from my distraught sister. Evidently, she herself had been wakened by a call (we, like most socially active kids of the day, had our own phone line) from someone demanding to speak to me. She had, she claims to this day, a sense of dread right away, due in large part to the distant and almost inhuman quality of the voice. She informed whomever it was that I was away at college. The caller persisted in speaking to me and completely ignored her insistence I was not home and her queries as to whom she was speaking. Finally, after her third or fourth explanation that I wasn’t available, the voice (according to her) seemed to almost reach through the phone and burst into her bedroom, screaming, “LIAR!” The malevolence with which it spoke brought her to tears, which didn’t improve with daybreak. Even my father, who tolerated even less bull—- than my sister or I, was atypically disturbed by her account.
I’m in my thirties now, and incidents of childhood are as sharp today as they ever were, so much so that I finally asked my mother about here memories of the home. She was reticent to deal with the subject at first (my parents lived there for eight additional years after my departure), but finally admitted to a few things. She, for instance, claims to never have been comfortable downstairs. It wasn’t something she could explain specifically; she merely didn’t like being down there, adding cryptically that she wondered at times how I ever tolerated living down there for five years. She also recalled being wakened several times by the inexplicable sound of rhythmic metallic tapping emanating from the master bathroom in the middle of the night, but always forced herself to ignore it so she could fall back asleep.
Despite the oddity of it all, it wasn’t without some degree of sadness when the house was sold. Fond memories far outweigh the strange. Nevertheless, through our neighbor of old who still resides nearby, we know that the purchaser didn’t stay long and the home has changed hand multiple times since.
Written by Chet, Copyright 2009 TrueGhostTales.com