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My name is Paxton and my experience occurred in western Canada on October 24th of 2015. I won’t go into too many details about myself, what is important is the story that I must share with you. I have to get it off of my mind, off of my shoulders because it has haunted me for far too long. I wake up in the middle of the night with cold sweats and trembling from terror. Consider this a catharsis. I used to think the world was simple, that things are as you see them and that was that. Shit happens and there is nothing you can do about it. I never believed in strange things, and by that, I mean the paranormal/supernatural. Now I don’t know what to think. I don’t know the best way to describe my experience, I guess I could call it a paradigm shift.
I am, or was, an urban explorer. I used to love going to abandoned places such as hospitals, apartment buildings, warehouses etc. It was the sense of adventure and discovery of these derelict places that drew me to it. A friend of mine, I’ll call him Joseph, found a rural place, an old farmhouse an hour out-of-town. It was in an isolated site that you had to go out of your way to get to. But it was ‘well worth it’ he said. It was one of those places, you know, where the family was murdered by someone unknown and now the place is forever haunted by vengeful ghosts. Also, it was a place where satanic rituals took place and demonic spirits now haunt the area. Every town has these stories that are made up by kids to scare one another. The fact of the matter is that nobody truly knows what happened. What we do know is that the family vanished. As if they simply got up and left. All there belongings, their stuff left behind. That of course happened thirty years ago. The place has stood silent ever since.
October 24th was a wet and grey autumn day, scattered showers soaked the highway. In order to get to the house, we had to drive off the pavement and onto a muddy dirt road surrounded by rows and rows of trees which swayed in the wind. It was a two-story house with a peaked roof and a dormer attic. At one time, it would have been a peaceful and comfortable place for a family to live. Now it was a dilapidated shell of its former self, the surrounding farm grounds concealed by trees. Nature had reclaimed the place for herself. Despite the condition, I was pleasantly surprised to see the lack of graffiti and damage usually left by teenagers, just a few empty beer bottles left on the front deck of the house. The windows and front door was boarded up. The back door however was wide open, the boards were removed and tossed to the side.
“That was like that when I checked the place out last week” Joseph explained.
We continued exploring the exterior property, there were a couple of sheds out back and an old beat-up corpse of a truck. In the field beyond the truck I noticed a collection of white stones, loads of them scattered about on the ground.
“I didn’t notice that earlier” Joseph remarked with an inquisitive look on his face.
Looking at the stones carefully they seemed to form a spiral pattern. Intrigued we approached the stones. I don’t know if I imagined it or what, but I swore I could smell ozone, you know the aroma of lightning? I crouched down and examined one of the stones noticing something etched onto its surface. It was a symbol of some sort that I wasn’t familiar with. It was like a triangle only with the bottom line missing and the ends of the other two one with a squiggly circle and another with a t-shape. I looked at another stone and it had the same etching on it.
“That’s fucking bizarre, I wonder what all this is?” Joseph said as he took a look.
I shook my head not knowing what to say.
We approached the back of the house, flashlights at the ready we entered the house one at a time, we were greeted by what appeared to be the kitchen. It was cold inside the building, cold and gloomy as expected of course. Besides our flashlight, only diluted sun light peaked through the boards covering the windows. There was a mess of debris scattered about on the floor, pots and pans and plates and utensils. A large wooden dinner table covered in three decades worth of dust stood in the center of the kitchen. The fridge and sink coated in rust. The paint was peeling off the walls. But besides the mess, just as outside, the place was free of vandalism.
We next moved into the living room which was rather large with rodent infested couches and sofa’s, the coffee table was flipped onto its side, and with a television set with a screen that was caked in untold amounts of dust. The air had the distinct smell of mold and piss. Dusty old books and newspapers and magazines sat on the floor in stacks. Near the front entrance to the house was a set of stairs going up to the second floor. I approached the brick fireplace and shined the flashlight, there was what appeared to be a photograph. I picked it out of the confined space and blew the ancient dust off of it. It appeared to be a family photo, only the faces had been scratched out on each person.
“This has to be the family” I muttered under my breath.
“What’s that?” Joseph asked as I handed it to him.
“Yikes” he said. He placed the photo onto the mantle.
I shined the flashlight onto the walls and revealed the portraits on the walls, I assumed they were of the family but just as the photograph the faces were scratched out. Upon further examination, I noticed that the faces were scratched out in a spiral fashion. I felt a snake slithering around my spine, I shuddered in response.
“What do you think happened to them?” I asked.
“Nobody knows. They just up and left I guess. There was no sign of foul play or anything like that. Beyond that I don’t know”. Joseph explained as he gazed at the pictures.
“Where do you suppose that goes?” Joseph pointed out as he directed the light at the end of the adjacent hallway. The door was slightly ajar, I gently nudged it open and a set of descending stairs led down into the basement.
“Well Paxton, do you want to check out the basement first or the upstairs?” Joseph asked with a crooked smile.
“Let’s go downstairs and get it over with” I joked. Little did I know I made a huge mistake.
Shining the light into the inky blackness we were assaulted by a powerful smell of mold, it was even worse now. The steps creaked under my footsteps and as I hit the fourth step there was a loud cracking sound and the step gave out beneath me. And for a fraction of a second I was suspended mid-air and for that fraction of a second I knew I fucked up big time. I just had enough time to open my mouth and scream. Part of the staircase joined my descent into the dark basement, I fell into tepid water that was several inches thick. My feet contacted with the hard cement floor and my right ankle was twisted, boards fell on top of my head as I slumped face first into the water. My screams were strangled by the nasty bitter-tasting water. I jerked my head out of the disgusting murky liquid in the darkness. I gagged and choked spitting out the stagnant fluids crying out in complete shock. I tried to stand up but stumbled as burning pain shot up my leg from my ankle, I slumped against the wall.
“Oh shit! PAXTON” Joseph shouted from above.
I fished around the water for the flashlight that was surprisingly still working although the light was now flickering on and off.
“Paxton!” Joseph called out.
I felt a burning sensation on my chest and back, I examined myself with the flashlight and saw broken splints of wood embedded in my skin, rivulets of blood dripped out of the wounds .
“Oh fuck. OH FUCK” I cried to myself.
“You okay?!” Joseph called out again.
“No” I weakly said.
“I’ll get you out of there…just hold on man!” Joseph shouted as he took off.
“Wait!” I cried out, but he didn’t hear me.
Of all the times, we explored abandoned place we never found ourselves in a situation like this. We always made a habit of exploring places inside and out, leaving no stone unturned. I pushed myself up against the wall shivering from in the cold darkness of the submerged basement. I shined the flashlight to check my surroundings, the beam of light could barely penetrate the darkness. The brick walls dripped with a detestable ichor and mold.
The water continued to ripple in miniature waves from my movements as I tried to get a better look at the basement, everywhere I looked I saw black. That’s when I heard something splashing. As if something was rising from the water. I saw movement in the darkness, the silhouette of a shape rising from the water caused me to freeze like an animal caught in the headlights of an oncoming vehicle. The realization that I was not alone in the basement took hold. My mind simply refused to process what my eyes were observing. I shined the light at the shape but I could not illuminate the form, it was as if the light was being absorbed by it. Something was very wrong here. I didn’t dare to ask who was there. I tried to move but a jolt of sharp pain shot through my body, I cried out in agony. As if in response the shape slowly moved towards me, a nauseating stench soon overpowered me. It was a stench that I knew all too well. One summer many years ago when I was a kid, the chain came off my bike when I was riding with some friends. I ended up in a ditch just inches away from the pulpy remains of a deer. It was that smell; the smell of death was in the basement here with me now.
“Joseph?!” I cried, tears running down my face.
The shape was drifting towards me. Soon I heard heavy footfalls upstairs. By this point my heart felt like it was going to explode. Terror had a death grip on me.
“Joseph get me out of here now! There is something down here with me!” I continued to plead.
I saw it. A pale, gaunt face was illuminated by my flickering light. Its eyes were black pupils surrounded by blood red sclera. The thing instantly closed the gap between us and it was right in my face and it let out a scream and that’s when everything went black.
When I came to I found myself in Josephs truck, we were speeding down the highway. He brought me to the hospital and I was treated for my injuries. I even had to take medical leave from work as well, I was unable to concentrate and I looked terrible. I’ve been back to the doctors but I couldn’t tell them about the experience, so I told them I was under a lot of stress. I spoke to my friend Joseph about that day at the abandoned farm house. I told him what I saw in the basement, he was pale as a ghost when I explained it to him. He nodded his head in agreement, he saw it too. When he returned with the ladder he got from his truck, he looked to find me, and for a blip of a nanosecond he saw that I was in fact not alone. It gazed up at him and dissolved into the darkness. That’s when he saw me blackout. I think we were both in a state of shock.
What was that thing in the basement? That face has forever been burned into my mind, the image of that thing. That scream, was it a roar or a cry? I don’t know. I’ve never been back to that place, and I know that I never will go back. I’ve given up my exploration hobby and so did Joseph. I think it’s safe to say that we have both been changed since that day. I relive that encounter almost every night in my dreams. Sometimes I get the feeling that I am being watched by something. Sometimes I think I hear scratching noises coming from inside the walls, but I think that’s in my mind only. I haven’t told my parents about this, or my siblings. The only thing they know is that I had an accident exploring an abandoned house. What would I say to them?
My former hobby could be considered dangerous. Besides injury from structural problems, you could run into animals or dangerous people. All that time I never experienced any of those. Instead I had an encounter with the unknown.
CREDIT : Celephais
CREDIT : Celephais