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I will never forget the day I began to see them. I would be doing something, anything, and I would see something out of the corner of my eye. In truth, it wasn’t something I was seeing, but someone.
Once it was a woman, standing in my front yard as I walked through the living room. When I did a double-take, as if understandable, she was gone. Another time, it was the black shape of a man, standing in my friends kitchen. When I told my friend and her family what I had seen, they all went quiet, and then told me: “You must have seen Grandpa, he died in this house, in fact, right where you said you saw him, we have a picture of him standing.”
Seeing them proved not to be enough, I began to hear things, whispers, footsteps, doors slamming, breathing and other things I could not explain. I spent most of my time at home alone, my Mother worked and my siblings had all moved out by then, so I knew whatever I was hearing, was not something I could ever understand or explain.
I have always been interested in the things unexplained, my mother loves telling me of spiritual things that have happened to me since I was born, and I have never doubted her. To be truthful, I have never been afraid of the other world, the ones we could not explain, if anything, I have always been, almost fascinated, but a better word would be curious.
What do I see out of the corner of my eye? Spirits? Souls? Ghosts? I have seen children, shadowy human shapes, inanimate objects moving on their own, even people running through the trees. One though, I will never forget. Behind my house there is a field, and beyond the field a forest and river. I grew up in my house, and knew the forest like I knew myself. As I did often, I went for a walk, and as I walked, I was followed. It wasn’t something I could explain, but I was, even though when I looked back, there was nobody there, at least, not that I could see. I looked back often, and for once, I was chilled, almost afraid. I could hear branches breaking, footsteps, quick behind me, and there was a stillness in the air, one where you cannot hear anything other than your own panicked breathing. It was as if the air was frozen, as if there was a white-blue glow bathing the trees and air in a kind of ethereal presence. I looked back once again, and saw, to me shock, a shadowy figure moving through the branches, to quick to follow. I wanted to scream, not with fear, with something else, I still am not sure what. But I also wanted to laugh, I couldn’t help but feel as if I was walking through a movie. And even as I reread the words I am writing, I cannot help but thinking of this as a movie script, ironic isn’t it?
I admit, I began to run, and as I did, I began to notice something I had never noticed before. Arches. Branches all over the place bent over to form archways, and as I noticed one, I noticed more and more. Big and small, they were everywhere, and while they look natural, they still looked almost as if they had been bent that way on purpose. I can imagine you saying to yourself, well of course there’s archways, branches form them all the time. These ones were different though, I cannot explain how, it was just a feeling, as if I knew. And as I ran, I saw more and more shapes, shadowy figures, running not away, as I had first thought, but with me, as if we were all being chased. As if there was something following us, we were all in it together, whatever it was. And as I ran, I was afraid, not of the shadow people, as I have begun to call them, but of something I couple not see that was following us, chasing us.
Of course, just like the movies I ran deeper into the woods. I always hated how in horror movies when the main character runs deeper into the woods, or farther away from civilization and other people, and I groan, “No, no, run to the other people, don’t run deeper into the dark spooky forest!” But here I was, running deeper into the dark creepy woods. And as I stepped forward from the trees into a clearing, I saw an older couple walking their dog. When I saw them, they saw me, and then the shadow people were gone and the sky was bright with sunlight, and whatever was chasing me, us, was gone.
I return to the woods often, I see the arches every time I do, but only every so often do I see the shadow people, and never has the presence that chased us returned. I still see things out of the corner of my eye, and I still hear things, and objects still move when I am alone, but I am not afraid. In fact, that day I ran with the shadows, I was cut by something, a cut that has now scarred, and when I look at it, mimics a claw mark perfectly. But it does not scare me.
Comments: This is a true story, my own, and even as my days continue my sight of things unexplained remains. It does not matter to me if you believe or not, because I know the truth of the matter. You may choose to believe or not, but know this, I believe.