30 Oct Don’t Let This Be You
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"Don't Let This Be You"Written by Hikari Shimizu
Estimated reading time — 13 minutes
I’m writing this as some sort of vain attempt towards a personal closure. I’m not entirely sure what’s going to happen to me, but considering the current state of events, I’m almost positive that I don’t have much time to get away. I’m sure that I’m not in any immediate danger, but instead of procrastinating when it came to making progress on the documentation of my story, I decided I should do so before I can’t. So here I am, typing out the occurrences, hoping to just get my story out in the open. Maybe this will make me feel better, maybe it will give me the courage to do something about it. To get away. Regardless, I feel the need to try to give myself that last push, and at the same time warn others, if possible, about how the unknown is always there. Watching, waiting, hoping that you’ll notice it.
It started when we moved into our current house around 5 years ago. We’re renting, so theoretically we could get out at any time, but my mother doesn’t really believe me about what’s been happening and my stepfather couldn’t care less. A lot of the occurrences seem to be random, completely unrelated to each other, and many of them have been of different behaviors than the “usual” ones. I’ve always been one to believe in the paranormal, even if only slightly, so I wasn’t really shaken once the house started to give off an eerie feeling. When that feeling started growing, however, I could also sense a presence. This presence wasn’t keen on being ignored, and it definitely did not like staying put in one place. I’m going to try my best to describe the bigger events in chronological order, though my memory is especially hazy lately from severe lack of sleep, so they may not be perfect.
From the beginning, I didn’t like the house. At first, I thought I’d be fine. When school came around, though, I wasn’t. My mother was working as a teacher at the nearby University, and her husband also taught at one, though it was almost in another county altogether. Given the convenience of just staying in her office on campus for my mom, and my stepfather having such a long commute that he spent most of the day out there, I was constantly alone in the house. The first thing that bothered me was that my stuff would always go missing. Yeah, a lapse of memory, it happens to everyone, I understand. This was different. It would wait until I looked everywhere, turned my room and anywhere else the missing object could have been upside-down, and were reduced to tears. Then, out of nowhere, it would be right in the middle of the floor directly in front of me. Whenever it would take my phone, it would hide it inside a box or behind things it would have no business being behind, and still be on ring. As I would call it from the house phone though, it would never ring. No sound whatsoever. Even if I were directly next to or on top of where I would later find it. It’s as if it was placed into an entirely different dimension for a while. This sort of thing still happens, and it always waits until immediately after I’m reduced to tears to finally reveal where it’s been “all along”.
After it realized it could get a reaction out of me from stealing my belongings, it got desperate for attention. At least that’s what I suppose has been going on, since its actions remind me of a mischievous kid who loves to play pranks, and gets extremely annoyed once ignored. At the time I wasn’t really sure what to do, so I did start ignoring it. Soon it would bother me constantly when I was home alone, or with friends. If I was sitting on the couch watching tv, it would be in the wall behind me, scratching at the insides of the paneling in long, deliberate strokes. When that would happen I would silently move over on the couch, though that never did anything to deter it. It would stop momentarily, then begin again behind my new seated position.
Doors would slam constantly, most commonly the upstairs bathroom door, which would also open suddenly if I were inside taking a shower or using the toilet. Every time before it would open, I would hear scratching on the door, and assume it was my cat trying to open it. That was rarely the case. Never wanting to be by myself after it had opened the door, I’d call my cat’s name and she’d come bounding over to me from wherever she was in the house, meowing in confusion.
One night, out of the blue, I heard a scratching noise in the corner of my room. Well, scratching isn’t the best description. More accurately, it closely resembled the noise of a match furiously scraping against a matchbook in a vain attempt to get it lit. Out of curiosity, I headed towards the noise, and saw the bottom corner of one of the walls in my room burning away without any visible flame. The noise went on even as I got closer, and the wood continued to singe. I was tired and frankly quite fed up, so I just grabbed the squirt bottle I had (in case my cat tried to break my things as I slept), and doused the rapidly-burning corner of the room with water. As strange as this must sound, it seemed to fizzle out, and the scraping noise stopped. I went back to bed, though I got little to no sleep, and took a picture of it in the morning. A few years later I realized that for whatever reason, it tried to burn my room down. I stopped ignoring it after that event, even though at the time I still wasn’t particularly scared. More annoyed than anything.
One night I had a friend over for a sleepover, which was a rare occasion simply because of how bizarre my house is. We were set up in the office downstairs, since my bedroom was too cluttered. Once it got to be about 1 AM is when the activity started. My more social cat was in the room with us, and she began acting panicky. The door was closed, and she kept asking to go outside into the dining room then come back in. Because of what happened next, however, we wouldn’t let her out anymore. We heard the furniture begin shifting. We couldn’t see it, of course, but we could clearly hear the dining room furniture being moved across the carpet. That went on for a while until we felt like there was something standing directly outside of the office door, and immediately afterwards heard something step in front of it. We didn’t dare move, or even breathe. The presence disappeared after a while, but we still didn’t try opening the door. Later that morning, my alarm clock started going off, first with beeps very far apart from each other in time, then occurring more rapidly. It sounded as though it were a ticking time bomb. It had never acted that way before, but after that night it would do it constantly, even when unplugged and turned off. At around 10 AM the morning of that sleepover, sirens could be heard rushing towards my neighborhood. A house about 6 doors down had caught on fire suddenly. I still think this is a coincidence, though one worth mentioning.
Soon after, for a brief while, it would break my belongings instead of hiding them. If I left something out of sight for even a moment, I would hear a loud snap and it would be done for. The nosier of my cats was no longer the only one knocking over various things in my room as I slept, or at least attempted to, while quickly getting increasingly frustrated. When both cats were in my room for the night, they would often walk towards a corner of the room (different from the burnt one, but parallel to it) as though in a trance, and sit and stare at it for hours without moving. I wanted it to leave my cats and I alone, but no one but my friends who had also experienced weird phenomena while with me would believe me that there was something off in the house.
So, I stupidly figured that maybe instead of fully ignoring it, I could maybe say hello once in a while, or tell it to knock it off. That idea came to me one night as my bed was shaking, something that became a common occurrence about 2 years after the move. When I would tell my mom, she’d always shrug it off, saying it was probably because of the nearby train. The passing train would shake the house slightly when it would pass around 1 AM every night. The bed issue was always around 10 PM, 3 AM, or 4 AM, and felt very deliberate. It would always start up gradually, then suddenly increase to the point where the bed was just rocking from side to side, and last a period of time ranging from a couple of minutes to around 20.
As I was getting to, one time I was particularly annoyed (since I was enjoying the book I was reading when this started up again), so I just simply said “stop shaking the bed!” and it did. I was really confused for a minute, since I didn’t think it’d actually do anything. The times afterwards, however, speaking up did nothing. Anyhow, it did stop doing it as often after that point. When it did, I was less freaked out by it than before. I never would get out of bed as it happened, in fear that maybe something under the bed was shaking it, but I would have my phone with me so I felt secure. Once I even took a chance (since she’s a heavy sleeper) and texted my mother about it when it was going on at around 4 AM as usual, and the text woke up my stepfather, who in turn woke her. She came into my room a few minutes later and it was still shaking. That’s the only inexplicable thing that’s been brought to my attention that she actually believes me on, though she still doesn’t care about it much. One time about a year ago, I decided to sleep in my bubble chair for 2 weeks because there was an earwig in my bed, and I’m deathly afraid of them. When I was in the chair, it shook violently almost every night. Maybe I was easier to reach when in it, who knows. It may just be that it takes less energy to rock a chair around than to shift a bed.
The most disturbing incident that occurred was around 3 years ago. I was home alone sometime in November, and my mother wasn’t going to be home until around 10 PM. I was just chatting with some friends on Facebook when I realized I had laundry to do (because who cares about homework, but having clothes readily available is a must), so I went up to my room to sort my dirty clothes and choose which pile to throw in the washer down in the basement. As soon as I got into my room and faced my closet, I heard a door behind me slam. It wasn’t my bedroom door, it was either the upstairs bathroom door or the door to my mother’s room, but I didn’t particularly care to find out. Both of the cats, who were curled up together on my bed, woke up and were on high-alert, looking at me as though they blamed me for the noise. I ran downstairs without looking to see which door had slammed shut, and went back down to the computer to whine to my friends through Facebook about my “creepy house.” It was all I could do to keep calm since I had nowhere I could go nearby (and I wasn’t about to leave my cats alone with it), and I knew that both my older sister and my mother wouldn’t be picking up their phones if I called.
A few minutes later I had calmed down again, but then the footsteps started. They weren’t gentle at all, they were loud and booming, as though someone directly above me was stomping around in a huff. In their wake, doors were slamming once more, causing the cats to both run downstairs in fear, and look at me as if pleading that I do something to shut it up. Even though I had no use for it, I grabbed a large butcher’s knife and sat back down at the computer with my phone on hand. I was entirely defenseless if it had decided to hurt me. The footsteps neared the top of the stairs, and then they stopped. Just as I was about to breathe out a sigh of relief, the whistling started. I can’t really remember the tune, though it would be something I’d be able to recognize immediately if I heard it again. When I saw Insidious after it came out, though it was a lame movie, it stuck with me on a traumatic level because of the scene where the father is in the house of the family of beings in which the father is whistling whilst reading the morning paper. The tune was so similar, and the circumstances so haunting, that I almost cried while watching it.
Once it started, my first thought was to look out the windows nearby, because it could have been someone out on a late stroll around the neighborhood. We live practically right downtown where we are, and it’s definitely a busy place, even on November evenings. After a few moments, it became evident that it was coming from inside the house. It was extremely audible, an extraordinarily clear noise to the point of almost ringing in my ears, while also sounding somewhat wispy. As though if the sound itself were touched, it would dissipate like fog. It began quietly, then increased in volume as it headed down the stairs. I frantically began dialing my mother on my phone, and grabbed the knife, backing towards the kitchen. She didn’t pick up. I quickly started calling my sister, and the same result. I was lucky that it moved really slowly, I suppose. I called my mother once more–no answer yet again. It was downstairs at that point and the sound was floating towards me. As it was getting louder and louder, I felt like my skin was crawling and my ears were being invaded by this eerily cheerful, malicious tune. I began dialing my sister again, and at this point I was shaking violently, not knowing what I would do if it got any closer. I couldn’t see anything besides the normal surroundings, so I could only vaguely tell where it was by the echoing, un-breaking whistling that seemed to be all around me. Just as I could feel it right in front of me, practically on top of me and inside my head, my sister picked up.
“Elizabeth!” As soon as I yelled my sister’s name, it stopped. It faded, like a door shut and locked away the sound, muffling it until it gradually vanished. Even though it was gone, I didn’t feel any less uneasy, and had no idea what to tell my sister. I eventually spouted something rushed like “I feel like there’s someone in the house and I just heard them and the cats are upset, but there’s no one here, I just need someone with me.” Her response effectively consisted of “you’re crazy” and “mom will be home soon, chill out” before she hung up on me. I was alone again, and my friends online on Facebook were slightly worried, since I had suddenly said something akin to “it’s here” in the group chat then stopped replying. My mother called back a little later, and I told her I just needed her to come home right away. Once she got back, the sight of someone else made me finally burst into tears, before I fully explained what happened in between sobs. She stood in the doorway, staring up the stairs for a good half hour or so before she shook her head and sat down on a couch in the living room.
After that, not much happened for a long time. Maybe a year or two, it seems. The activities only really started up again about a year ago, so that must be right. Occasionally I’d hear the whistling faintly through the vents and go into a brief state of shock, or the classic slamming doors episodes would happen when I snuck my then-boyfriend into the house in the middle of the day. Other than that, it didn’t bother with me for a while. When it did, everything started up again at once, with some new additions to the routine. It started not only peeking in on me in the bathroom, but my mother too. I had to cover my window because I’m always sleeping in during the day and the light wakes me up, and ever since it’s been covered by a sheet night and day there is loud scratching on the outside of my window almost every night. There are no trees within 15 feet of my window or anything else that could scratch it so I knew what was going on immediately. The walls in my room would reverberate on occasion, as though something was stuck inside them and rattling around at high speed, while also crawling towards the direction of my door. That happened several nights for a while in different spots each time, strong enough to make my entire room shake. Now when things go missing, they disappear straight from my hand and will be gone for days. It’s also begun knocking things over on top of me, at which I’ve expressed my disdain. I don’t think it particularly cares how I feel, which I guess should be obvious by now.
I think it really is trying to communicate with me but doesn’t know how. As though it’s approaching all of these different methods to try to get me to react, without knowing how to really go about itself. Either way, it isn’t a friendly presence, and its actions really have been getting worse over time. I’ve become pretty numb to the happenings but it’s going through a calm phase again. A little while ago, everything stopped, and soon after it started acting up again so obviously that even my mother is a little concerned at this point. The attic door which is in the wall behind my bed has always worried me, so my 6 ft bookcase is right in front of it, but a couple of weeks ago I swear I heard something try to open the door against the bookcase.
I’m seeing shadows out of the corners of my eyes. I’m constantly feeling like I’m being pushed into places. My dreams are becoming more and more frantic, my nightmares more and more disturbing, and even my lucid dreams at this point are spiraling out of my control. I no longer can sleep, and I feel it outside my room on the nights I wake up and my door is wide open. I know it’s watching me, and a week ago I heard it beside my bed. I was sleeping on my side facing the wall when I heard panting and heavy breathing behind me which woke me up, but it stopped when I actually opened my eyes. I had felt its presence and once I gained enough courage to flip over, all evidence of it being there was gone and my door still closed. It’s clear to me that it has plans for me, as for what I’m not sure. Whatever they are, I have a large feeling that it will act on them soon, which led me to try to get my story out before that happens. Perhaps I’m not the only one going through situations like this, so I’d like to offer some advice.
Don’t speak to it.
I let it into my thought process by telling it how I felt. Now it invades my personal space, watches me as I sleep, and has been dramatically worsening my insomnia. Even with both cats on me, I’m too scared to sleep when I hear it outside of my room. Even though its pranks and annoyances will seemingly get worse if you do, ignore it. Pay no attention to it. As long as you do that, it won’t do anything to touch you. It won’t leave the walls, the floors, whatever it’s usually confined in. Don’t give it hope. As I’ve been typing this, the computer has been acting up. The headphones were in but the sound started blasting from the speakers. The window next to me had been rattling for a while. I could feel someone standing behind me for close to half an hour. I finally let out my story almost in its entirety, and it’s mad. The house has been shaking. I don’t think it will get me now, but it’s waiting. Waiting for me to become so worn out from paranoia that my guard will be down completely. Then, I suppose, it will do whatever it is that it’s been wanting to. I’ve kind of accepted it at this point, though I’m not very happy about it. I just want to make sure that no one else ends up in this position. Please, for my sake and yours, don’t let this be you.
Credit: Hikari Shimizu
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