In 2000, when I turned 18, I packed my stuff, grabbed my guitar, moved out of my parents house in Wilmington NC, and drove to New Orleans. I’d never been there before, but grew up a huge fan of the music and had wanted to go there for as long as I could remember. I got there, found a job, and ended up moving in with two guys I worked with, who just moved into a second story apartment over a store on Magazine Street and were looking for a third to offset the bills.
It was a studio apartment. One room and a bathroom but the one room was a fairly large space. The guys were cool. We all got along. Mostly I planned to just sleep there. Between work, being a tourist, and playing guitar with the local street musicians my waking hours were taken. I also didn’t intend to stay in the city that long. I had visions of staying a couple months tops then heading across the country then up the west coast.
The first night in that apartment, I started having disturbing dreams. I never had bad dreams even when I was a kid. These dreams were vivid and violent like nothing I’ve experienced before or since. My sleep was never restful there. I always felt like I’d run a marathon, waking up achy and exhausted. Going to work felt more like relaxation. I didn’t attribute it to the apartment at the time. I figured it was the stress of the change I was making. The more time I spent there, the more I thought it was the place.
For one thing all of us had horrible nightmares there. In the month and a half I was there, at least twice a week one of us would wake everybody up completely disoriented and freaked out. Before anybody asks, none of us were on drugs. We all did pretty well to afford the rent, food, and in my case parking. One of my roommates drank beers occasionally. The other one and I didn’t even do that. To date I have never drank, smoked, or done drugs other than over the counter or the prescription kind. I’ve got enough problems without.
One night I woke up in the middle of the night having had another terrible dream. The whole room was glowing. It was like a misty halo around everything, even around the fingers of my hand. I did yell like a little girl and woke everybody up. They saw the same thing I did. I had no explanation for it. One of the guys sprinted and flipped the lights on. After a while, we turned the lights off again. The glow was just gone. After that we figured it was a weird weather condition. Fog isn’t uncommon there. I don’t think it was fog, or swamp gas or whatever, but that’s what I was telling myself it was at the time.
Soon after that, one of the guys said he had a weird experience with something in bed with him. He said he woke up hugging what he thought was a big dog. Needless to say, we didn’t have a dog. He freaked out and pushed it out of bed. Turned on the lights- woke us all up- nothing there.
My last night in that apartment, I woke up with my leg absolutely killing me. I thought it was a really bad charlie horse in my calf at first. In the bathroom I took a look at it. It was bleeding. There were teeth marks. All the skin along both sides of my calf was broken. The mouth of what bit me was longer than my hand and definitely not human. I don’t think it was a dog either because it didn’t look like the right shape for any kind of dog bite. This was thin and elongated with lots of fang teeth. I don’t have any idea what it was. A smallish gator? A huge possum? A chupacabra? I do know there was nothing in that apartment capable of making a bite like that when the lights went on.
Next day, I said my good-byes, quit my job, packed the car, drove back to Charlotte, and moved in with friends. I still live in NC. I have traveled all over since but have less than zero desire to ever go back to New Orleans.
Okay squeamish folks might want to stop reading here.
My calf healed perfectly at first with no sign of infection but came up in multiple, pus filled, disgusting boils for the first time a couple months later. These boils reoccur occasionally on my left calf only to this day.
Since then, the condition has been misdiagnosed four times. Now they say it is somewhat like MRSA but is definitely not MRSA. No one seems to know what it is, or what to give me to get rid of it. Unknown infection probably viral in origin, they think. I’ve probably got my own filing cabinet at the CDC.
I’ve had all kinds of tests, including exhaustive allergy screenings, and have taken all kinds of meds. I get healed by faith at church every week. I’ve tried homeopathic cures and home remedies of all kind. I tried a Chinese herbalist. I even went to a medicine man. Nothing has worked for me, including things like turmeric that help with MRSA. Thankfully I’m otherwise healthy so far.
I take every precaution not to spread it to other parts of me or the Lord forbid to other people. I’m terrified at the prospect of passing it to my wife. I’d like to have a child some day if I can ever get rid of this. I do worry it might spread or turn into a more serious condition like cancer down the line as doctors have advised me these are possibilities they can’t rule out.
Now I’m kind of a health nut. I’m off meds since there’s nothing new to try. I eat local and organic. I take supplements. I keep a strict diet meant to boost my immune system. I exercise religiously. I pray a lot too.
I truly believe New Orleans is an evil place. I don’t mean that the people aren’t nice. Most of the people I met there were great. I’m not talking about voodoo either which I consider a legitimate religion. I think there is old, old evil existing there. If you read up on the history of the place you’ll see what I mean. I don’t think time, Katrina, or anything else is ever going to change that. If you live in New Orleans, I’m sorry to have to knock your town and hope you have far better luck there.
As for what bit me, I haven’t a clue. The story sounds crazy, I know. When I tell it to people I leave out how big it was and say it might have been a rat bite. I know that was no rat – or if it was it was a rat the size of a big dog. Yes, I know they don’t get that big. Something big did bite me though. When the lights went on, it wasn’t there.
Written by Mike, Copyright 2009 TrueGhostTales.com