I was around six or seven when this happened. At night I would fall asleep in fear. Something about the dark corners of my room, the uneasy creak of the floorboards and the ominous air of the outside hallway would not allow peace. I wasn't the only one who felt it either.
My mother couldn't sleep easy in that house either. She was certain that it needed to be blessed by a priest because the people that had lived there before us had been the shady kind. They left all kinds of dents in the walls and doors. The husband was rumored to have disappeared. It was probably drug related. Later I learned that he had died in a fire in his new home. The problem was that the police think he started the fire himself. He set his house on fire and burned within it. I shouldn't have known these things at such an age, but despite my mother's efforts I was never truly sheltered.
In the dream it was always daytime. I would be in a room with my mother. She would be folding laundry or turning on the washing machine or reading a book, oblivious to my presence. It was like she couldn't see me. And them it would come. I would hear a ringing in my ears, the swishing of fabric in the hallway, footsteps up the stairs. My stomach would knot up, a feeling of dread washing over me. My feet would be so heavy, sticking to the floor. My heart hammering in my chest as a blurred figure would rush into the room.
I could never see his face yet I knew it was a man. His face would be blurred, shades of dull gray whirling around like a cyclone. I would call out to my mother, clinging to her arms, legs, waist. She would keep folding laundry as if I wasn't even there. He would grab me around the waist and wrench me from my mother. She would smile to herself as she hummed a lullaby, unaware that her youngest child was being dragged out of the room, down the stairs, twisting and screaming, trying to get away from this monster of a man.
He would speak. His voice was inaudible, like sandpaper and a droning static lull. Somehow I knew that he was taking me to hell. And then I would know, he was the devil himself. I always woke up before we made it down the stairs. I would wake up in a sweat, panic stricken and crying, paralyzed with fear. For a few minutes I would be unable to move, to scream.
I often went to sleep in my mom and dad's bed after that because I was too scared to sleep alone. One night after the dream I was cuddled between my parents when I saw two figures at the door. They were clothed in black robes and they had blurred faces, just like the man in my dream. But in those dreams it was always daytime, my mother was always awake, always doing some chore. This time I was right where I had been before, in my parents bed late in the night. And then it hit me. This was not a dream. They had finally come for me.
They stepped into the room, reaching for my feet at the end of he bed. They yanked on my ankles, pulling me further under the covers till I couldn't see them any more. When I resurfaced they were gone. The room was empty but for me and my parents. I woke them up and told them what had happened.
There came a time when I would have the dream of the blurred face man so often that it became real to me. I was afraid to be alone in the house, afraid to go by the stairs. That's where it was, on the stairs. Once as my mother was in the kitchen I wandered over to the stairs and felt the blur's presence, it pulled me forward, trapping me in fear. I was being dragged up the stairs by something that only I could see. I screamed and felt myself being released by the force that was dragging me upwards. My mother came running. I had collapsed at the bottom of the stairs, shaking and sobbing. I could no longer hide from the blur, even while I was awake I could not escape. It hadn't been a dream after all. It was either real or there was something seriously wrong with me.
I was taken to the doctor. My mom thought I might have epilepsy or something like that. They did a bunch of tests and told her there was nothing physically wrong with me, it must be psychological. I was taken to a specialist who determined that I was too young to be schizophrenic and my mind was completely fine in that respect. He asked me a lot of questions. Apparently my condition was similar to that of someone who had post traumatic stress syndrome. But nothing like that had ever happened to me.
The dreams continued, only occasionally would it happen while I was awake. My mother became desperate. She took me to the priest of our church and told him everything. He spoke with me about my dreams. I can't remember what he asked, it was too long ago now. All I remember is that he was very kind.
A week later he came to our house to perform a blessing. He thought there was some kind of bad energy in there or something. He paid special attention to my room and the staircase. I remember that all the lights were turned off and he lit candles in the rooms. He had holy water that he would toss all over the room, focusing on the threshold of my room. In the end he had looked at me, with the strangest expression on his kind face. His face didn't look so kind to me anymore. That's when I got scared. In fact I was terrified, of him. Of a priest who had come to purify our house. He just kept staring at me with this glint in his eyes. He had the holy water in his hand. He caught my eyes drift towards the little bottle and he smirked slightly. He took the cap off, taking a step towards me. I don't know why I started to back away. I was in a corner, my eyes wide with fear. I turned to my parents who would not look me in the eye. That's when it hit me. The intention had never been to purify the house. I looked back at the priest and had the shock of my life. His face was totally blurred. The world faded to a sickening black.
I woke up in my bed two days later. Everything was back to normal just like that. My parents pretended like nothing had happened. They told me that I had been sick, that I had a fever. I knew they were lying but it was easier for all of us to go along with the lie.
The next Sunday at church I saw the priest. There were gashes all over his face and hands, like he had been attacked by a wild animal. After the sermon he asked to speak with me alone. I found that I was no longer afraid of him. I couldn't believe I had ever been afraid of the kindly old man. He asked me how I was feeling, if I had dreamed about anything recently. I told him that I hadn't. It was the truth, the dreams had for once abandoned my subconscious mind.
For the next few months I would come to church and he would always ask me about the same thing. I never had the dream again. I think he decided I was okay eventually because he stopped asking me. As I grew older I gradually blocked out the memories of the past. One day I stopped going to church. We moved to a different house, a nicer house in a nicer neighborhood. I didn't dream anymore, about anything. My nights were finally silent.
It's been ten years now since that happened and I still can't really tell if I dreamed it or if it was real. I like to tell myself that it was imagined but deep down I know it wasn't. When I ask my parents about it now they just say that there was something wrong with that house. I've had a few other paranormal experiences in my life but nothing as terrifying as this one.
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