18 Sep Lullaby
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Estimated reading time — 5 minutes
I have had a keen interest in the supernatural ever since I was seven years old. That door in our house that slammed itself shut back in 1990 was my first “scary” encounter (yes, I know, there are more frightening occurrences in the world than that) and ever since then I’ve had several other experiences, some similar and some that were a bit more intense. I don’t know why I’m so unlucky but the paranormal has followed me pretty much into every house I have ever lived in and every place that I have worked at. Our current place of residence is no exception…
A small two bedroom apartment is what we call home. My wife, myself and our two kids Nick and Candice have been living happily here for about five years. It’s close to their school, close to where we work, close to both my parents and my in-laws and close to a shopping mall.
From time to time we’ve heard some strange sounds in our home, mostly at night, but nothing that truly convinced us that it was supernatural. Because of the size of our place it’s fairly easy to pick up sounds and little noises from any of the rooms and we would usually think of rational explanations for them. “It’s probably the wind that blew over that container on the kitchen counter” or “the batteries in that toy are old, so that’s probably why it started playing by itself…” but we never actually got up to investigate. I think deep down, and not wanting to admit to each other, my wife and I feared that we might walk in on something that we didn’t really want to see.
Nick never slept right through and, like clockwork, would walk into our room at about 23:30 every night and climb into our bed. If we happened to be awake at that time my wife would take him back to his own bed, but often we were fast asleep and would wake up the next morning with him snuggled in between us.
One Sunday morning we woke up with the little guy in our bed and while drinking coffee he asked us “Who visited last night?”
“You were with us, dummy, you know that no one visited last night” we laughed.
“No,” he said, “last night when I walked into your room there was a lady in your room, standing there by daddy’s closet”
My wife and I looked at each other and I knew that she believed him and she could tell that I did too.
When I was eleven, my then baby sister told my mom that she saw and had a conversation with an old man who was sitting on her bed. Not certain why she’d have an elderly man as an imaginary friend, my mom decided to take my sister to a child psychologist who, to my mom’s horror, told her that kids do not lie about these things and that he truly believed her. My mom never went into my sister’s room by herself after that.
So we kind of played the whole thing down and changed the subject every time Nick would ask about our visitor. After about two weeks the incident was forgotten.
One morning we woke up, Nick still sleeping between us again, and just lay there talking about random things when Candice walked into our room and kissed us as she normally did after getting up in the mornings. We invited her to lie down with us as it was a Saturday and we were in no rush to get up and start the day, but she wanted to go watch the kiddies’ shows on the television in the lounge. She walked out the room and with her cheery voice we heard her greet someone “Hello!” and gave a cute little chuckle.
Again my wife and I just looked at each other wide eyed and called Candice back to our room.
“Who did you greet in the lounge just now?” I asked her with a smile.
“The old lady, daddy” came her reply.
I got up and walked to the lounge and obviously saw no one, so without making further ado I switched the television on and she watched her favorite shows. Again, we didn’t make mention or ask further questions about “the lady” as my kids didn’t know about things such as ghosts and as far as they were concerned, the only supernatural being that came to our home was the sandman.
Months passed without any sightings or talk of “the lady”, except jokingly between my wife and I, usually after the kids were asleep and she had to go make us coffee which we would drink while watching movies in bed. “Say hi to the old lady for me on your way back” would normally get my wife running back to the room and earn me a smack from her on my shoulder. Little did I know that the joking was going to catch up to me eventually…
Candice talked in her sleep a lot and we would sit in bed many nights listening to her mumbling, trying to make out what she was saying and wondering what she was dreaming about.
One particular summer’s night I woke up and heard Candice talking up a storm, but at the same time I could hear what sounded like a soft voice singing. Our bedroom window was open during the hot nights, so I dismissed it as sounds coming from outside and rolled over and fell asleep again. This started happening more frequently though, at least every third night, and every time I got up from my bed and start walking to the kids’ room Candice would stop talking and the “singing” would disappear before I could get through their door. I’d stand there in silence and wait for a sound, but nothing would happen. Again, I thought that it must’ve been sounds from outside, because as I walked out of my room the “singing” would stop. It made sense to me.
The next couple of days we had unusually chilly weather, so we closed our bedroom windows at night and guess what? I did not hear the “singing”. I was relieved but it didn’t last too long.
On one of these cold nights I was lying in bed awake while the rest of my household was asleep, thinking of everything from work to what we would eat the next evening. Candice starts mumbling but after a couple of seconds it starts to sound like she’s having a terrible nightmare. The soft mumbling has become much louder and I could hear that she’s very scared. Just then the soft singing started too.
I got up slowly and quietly made my way out of our bedroom, each step I took towards the kids’ room made my heart beat a little faster as the singing kept growing louder and louder, clearer and clearer, where in the past it started disappearing as I neared their room.
Standing right outside the kids’ door I heard Candice’s mumbling dying down, but the soft singing, clearly a woman’s voice, continued.
Chills sprinted up and down my spine, my legs started feeling like they do when you run away from someone in a dream, like jelly while I could feel cold beads of sweat dripping down my side. My mouth went dry instantly as I listened to this sweet sounding lullaby, one which I’ve never heard before and will now never forget.
“…blacks and bays, dapples and greys, go to sleep little baby…”
I knew I had to confront whoever or whatever was in the room with my kids, so I took a breath and slowly started pushing the door open.
“…when you wake you shall have…”
The singing stopped abruptly as I peeked around the door.
She just sat there on my daughter’s bed, arms folded in her lap and head turned towards me. We just looked at each. I wanted to but couldn’t get my eyes off of her. Then she just carried on singing softly “…all the pretty little horses”
My wife said she found me lying in the kids’ doorway and helped me back to bed. Apparently I was ice cold but sweating a lot. I myself can’t remember what happened after those last few words she sang, I must’ve blacked out, but the strange thing is that my kids have been sleeping very well since that night. I wish I could say the same for myself…
Credit To – Jaco Labuschagne
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