Estimated reading time — 10 minutes
It was the year 2000. I was 17 years old, a junior in high school, and I had a shitty, low paying job at a rinky dink discount store that, at the time, was just a step above something like a Dollar General or Family Dollar. My boss was a bitch and I only made $4.15 an hour, the bare minimum wage at the time, if I recall. Needless to say, I needed a better job.
This is what lead me to our local Dairy Queen in town and, in August of the year 2000, I began my tenure there as a cook. I didn’t really like the job and, at the same time, I didn’t really hate it either but, with a spiffy $1 (or therebouts) raise in pay, I couldn’t complain.
The weird stuff didn’t begin until about a month later. I noticed something out of the corner of my eye. When I turned to look, it disappeared, much like one of those “floater” things that show up in your eyes from time to time. This went on for a while and it seemed like the more I tried to look at it, the more I thought about it, or the more attention I gave it, the more inclined it was to ”appear.”
Now, although it may sound like it, I hadn’t yet realized, or even thought, that whatever I was seeing was an intelligent entity. I guess I thought that it was just one of “those things,” whatever that means…
It wasn’t until a few months later, in the fall, that the whole supernatural element of it all dawned on me. Myself, our shift leader Danny, and Patricia, the drive-thru girl, were getting ready to shut down for the night when the drive thru window opened by itself. To my surprise, neither of them made a big deal out of it.
“What the hell was that?” I said with a chuckle.
“Oh, that’s just old Boo Diddley,” Danny said with a cheeky grin.
“Old Boo Diddley? What’s that all about?” I asked, intrigued.
“Whenever anything weird happens around here, we blame it on him,” he answered.
“You mean this place is haunted?” I continued.
“Oh, I don’t know,” he answered, slightly annoyed. “We just say old Boo Diddley did it when something like that happens.”
“What else happens?” I kept on.
“Sometimes people see stuff out of the corner of their eye. Sometimes they hear their names being called and stuff like that,” Danny didn’t seem to want to talk about it anymore.
“I’ve seen stuff like that. It goes away when I turn to look,” I said.
“Yep. That’s exactly what happens,” he concluded.
“The drive thru window opens by itself all the time. I’m surprised you never noticed before,” Patricia interjected.
“Cool,” I said.
Now, at the time, I couldn’t have been more excited about all this, and I’m sure my co-workers could tell. You have to remember, this was 2000 and it seemed like the supernatural and/or paranormal was flooding pop culture, almost as much or moreso than it is these days. Now, you have stuff like Paranormal Activity, Insidious, The Conjuring, and all the “ghost hunting” tv shows whereas, back then, The Blair Witch Project had been released a year prior, The Sixth Sense was fresh on everyone’s mind, and MTV’s Fear was popular in my circles. While there maybe wasn’t AS MUCH to wet everyone’s appetite, it was just enough to keep interests peaked; everyone was into ghosts.
It went on like that for many months; Seeing things out of the corner of my eye, the drive-thru window opening on its own, and I even heard my name being called once-in-a-while when no one was in the viscinity. Like I said before, the more attention I paid to it and the more I thought about it, the more it happened, and the ‘clearer’ things seemed to get.
And then something touched Patricia.
It was a particularly busy Spring. I live in a college town and the students had begun to move into their dorms and, with Dairy Queen being the only chain restaurant in our small hick town, they came in droves that day and night. I was finishing up an order when I heard a shriek come from the walk-in refridgerator. I and a few of my co-workers ran back to see what was going on.
We found Patricia on the floor. She was sitting up, but she looked almost like a broken doll in the position she was in… and she was fucking terrified.
“You okay, Trish?” Someone asked. She didn’t answer.
“Patricia?” Someone else said; No answer.
“TRISH!?” I said, louder.
“Hey,” she answered very meekly.
“You okay?” I asked.
“Something knocked me down. I don’t know what it was,” she said trembling.
“What knocked you down? You can’t fit two people in here on a good day and no one was back here with you,” a co-worker said. “Are you sure you didn’t slip?”
“I didn’t slip. Something knocked me down. I dunno…” Trish concluded.
To this day, I don’t think I’ve seen anyone as scared as she was at that moment. She quit the next day. I’ve only seen her one time since then, and she was far from the same girl she was before. Her experience really fucked her up and, to this day, I think there’s more to her story than she was willing to share.
We were all sad to see Patricia go. She was a sweet girl and wasn’t hard on the eyes. Many of my co-workers chalked the incident up as “she was just crazy” and other shit like that. Myself, on the other hand, I couldn’t help but think it had something to do with Old Boo Diddley.
The usual weird stuff kept happening more and more; it literally became an every day thing. We all got used to it and would acknowledge whenever something happened and, being young and stupid, we laughed at it sometimes. This is around the time I started feeling a sense of dread whenever I would go out back at night for a cigarrette break or to take the garbage out.
The dumpster was about 20 yards away from the back door of Dairy Queen. Even with the “dusk to dawn” light, it was downright creepy and dark at night. Every time I went to take the garbage out at the end of the night, I felt like something was watching me or was about to jump me from behind. There is absolutely no mistaking that feeling.
All of this culminated one night when myself and Chris, a new trainee, were emptying the garbage at the end of the night. As I was tossing the bags into the dumpster, I saw Chris staring at something beyond the few pine trees that were planted behind Dairy Queen. He had a look on his face that reminded me of a kid whose dog had just been hit by a car.
“What’s wrong, dude?” I asked.
“What the FUCK is that?” He pointed.
I looked in the direction he was pointing and saw a disembodied head floating in the distance between two pine trees. That’s what it was; There’s no mistaking it. A floating fucking head. I could even make out a goatee and a very disturbing scowl or frown; this thing wasn’t happy.
Chris darted back toward Dairy Queen. I couldn’t move. I could only keep looking at it. I will never forget that face… or the look it gave me.
By the time I caught up to Chris, he was banging on the back door and begging for someone, anyone, to let him in. I scrambled in my pocket for the keys (the back door locked behind you). When I got the door open, he took off inside and, in front of a crowd of customers, he exclaimed:
“THERE’S A FUCKING GHOST OUTSIDE!”
He was sent home and, subsequently, fired the next day. Following that, we were all chewed out by our store manager.
“No more talk about ghosts when customers are around. You can talk about it amongst yourselves but I don’t want it getting out that our store is haunted,” she was dead serious. No pun intended.
As usual, the ”normal” stuff happened and, somewhat to my chagrin, there were no more disembodied floating heads behind the store. I won’t lie, and as I told you before, as much as this shit kinda scared me, it intrigued me even more… almost to the point where I encouraged it; I hate to admit it.
And then, 9/11 happened.
On September 11, 2001, I woke up around 2pm to a shit storm. I walked into my kitchen where my Grandma had the TV on. The tragedies of that day are well documented, so I feel no need to elaborate. Tragedy or no, I had to report for work at 5.
When I arrived at Dairy Queen, of course all anyone could talk about were the attacks and how horrible everything was. I recall people lining up in droves at the gas station next door and filling their tanks in fear of a gasoline shortage. There was absolutely no mention of Old Boo Diddley or any of the strange goings-on at Dairy Queen and I don’t recall any spooky activity that night. We were all so caught up in the 9/11 attacks that a ghost (or ghosts) were the least of our worries. In short, we weren’t fueling any activity, so I guess Boo didn’t bother showing up. In fact, after that, I don’t recall ever seeing or hearing anything at Dairy Queen ever again.
But that didn’t stop it from following me home.
I had a bad habit, at the time, of leaving my tv on all night long at a pretty loud volume. So loud, in fact, that my Grandma would come into my room at night and turn the thing off. One night, I woke up and I saw someone standing at the foot of my bed. I paid no mind to it because I thought it was my Grandma coming in to turn the TV off and to check on me. This was also a regular thing because I’ve been a severe asthmatic most of my life and, like any worrying Grandmother, she takes care of me.
I woke up the next morning and my TV was still on. This was weird because I had clearly seen my Grandma in my room last night so why would she leave it on? Especially with as loud as I had it…
“Hey, did you come into my room last night?” I asked my Grandma.
“Nope. I was so tired that I didn’t bother. Why?” She asked.
“I thought I woke up and saw you standing in there. Just asking,” I said.
“Nope. Wasn’t me. Maybe it was the Devil after you,” she joked.
“The Devil, eh?” I chuckled.
While I didn’t think was Satan after me, Old Boo Diddley certainly entered my mind.
Not long after that, my sister and I were sitting on the floor of my room playing a Playstation game. At the time, I had a 32” TV (this was before flat screens) sitting in one of those big plywood entertainment center deals with shelves and a couple of storage compartments on the bottom. We were very engrossed in our game when one of the doors of the storage compartment opened on its own. My sister was a bit startled. I didn’t even notice at first.
“What was that?” She asked.
“Do what?” I said, pausing the game.
“The door opened… by itself,” she pointed.
“Oh really? That’s weird..” I started playing the game again and didn’t really think about it again until I started putting this whole thing together in my head. Old Boo Diddley was just saying hello again, apparently.
By this time, I had moved on from Dairy Queen to a different job. I didn’t think much about Old Boo Diddley for quite some time until one day I had Danny, my former shift leader, over for a visit and, of course, the topic eventually came up.
“So, does Old Boo Diddley still come around?” I asked.
“Oh, yeah, but nowhere near as much as when you were there,” he said with a giggle.
This, admittedly, struck a chord with me. With as much shit that was going on when I worked there, you’re telling me that now all Boo Diddley was is just a minor annoyance? What was the deal?
I mentioned this to a girl I knew at the time who was heavily into the occult and a bit of witchcraft. She informed me of something that I didn’t really know much about at the time and have given a lot of though to since: I was giving this entity, whatever it was, energy by talking about it with my co-workers and encouraging it.
So, I go and do what any dumbass 19 year old would do: I started talking about it and encouraging it even more so than before.
After that, I began hearing little knocks, bangs, and clicks in my bedroom. I started seeing figures out of the corner of my eye again, just like I did at Dairy Queen.
Remember the story where I thought I saw my Grandma in my bedroom standing at the foot of my bed? That happened again, only it was standing by my head this time; That really gave me a start. The doors on the entertainment center continued to open on their own, and more frequently; often with witnesses, my sister once again being one of them. My bedroom was the only room in the house where anyone experienced anything; nothing happened in the rest of the house. All of this seemed very cool to me, at least for a little while.
Yeah, well, it stopped being cool and it started getting really fucking scary… as if it wasn’t fucked up already.
I’ve always been a fan, or enthusiast, of the dark side of things. Whether its movies, music, books, what-have-you, I have always ventured on the ”weird” or “different” side. Hence why I was so enthusiastic about the supernatural and/or paranormal. Having said that, the phenomenon known as sleep paralysis wasn’t unfamiliar to me. While, at the time, I hadn’t yet suffered from this, I had read a little about it. I had heard about how it is one of the most frightening, nerve-wrenching experiences that a person can go through and about how, back in the middle ages and perhaps even further back, they thought it had a lot to do with the supernatural/paranormal/spirit world/etc.
Around the time all of this paranormal activity hit its peak in my home or, to be more precise, my bedroom, I had my first, and most horrific to date, bout with sleep paralysis. (The first time is always the worst, I hear). While I won’t commit 100% to the idea that my sleep paralysis is/was a supernatural happening, I also can’t say that I don’t think its a coincidence that I started having this condition right around the time all of this stuff was at its most active.
My first bout with sleep paralysis was typical of the condition, but that made it no less horrifying. I woke up and I couldn’t move. I couldn’t even move my eyes or talk. I felt like someone or someTHING was in my room with me; I could feel its sinister presence in the one corner of the room where I couldn’t see, but I KNEW it was there and, whatever it was, I could feel that it didn’t have good intentions. A deep sense of dread filled me. I tried to scream for someone… for anyone… and all I could muster was the tiniest hum or mumble. Eventually, after a few tense moments that felt like an eternity, I could finally feel that my body was coming to and I let out a very loud yell and my Grandma burst into the room.
“What’s wrong?” She asked, concerned.
“I don’t know… I woke up and I couldn’t move,” I wimpered; very manly for a 19 year old, I know…
“Are you alright?” She asked.
“I am now. That was scary,” I answered, downplaying how horrified I actually was.
After that, I stopped acknowledging anything strange that happened in my room and, slowly, things started to calm down. Since then, I’ve had two more bouts with sleep paralysis, but they were nowhere near as bad as that first time. Like I said before, I can’t help but think that there was something more going on that first time than your typical bout of sleep paraylsis. I guess I’ll never know, but the possibility that something was out to get me lingers in my mind.
In an interesting side note to this whole thing, I was talking with a friend of mine from this area who moved away way back in the early 90s, a few years before that Dairy Queen was built in our town. He recently moved back to the area. We met for lunch one day and caught each other up on what had gone on in our lives in the 20 or more years since we’d seen each other. We talked about how our little town has grown in the time he’d been away.
“I see they built a Dairy Queen on that little spot of land. That’s odd,” he said, taking a bite of his pizza.
“Yeah? Why?” I inquired.
“That area used to be so overgrown that almost nobody knew about the old graveyard that used to be there.”
Credit To – Pat ChoKo