So after prompting from a friend, I decided to belatedly join #ScaryStories

I will start by saying that I’m no stranger to paranormal experiences; they happened to me all my life, even as a toddler. Even though I don’t actively seek it out, this kind of stuff just follows me.
Where to begin? I suppose I’ll start with the first odd story of my childhood. I don’t remember this, but both of my parents swear it’s a true story and it still unsettles them to this day.

When I was a toddler, I apparently loved to meet new people. Anytime a new person was -
- introduced to me, I would grin and wave excitedly, and say “hiiii!” One day when my parents were driving home, they passed by a local cemetery. There appeared to have recently been a funeral, as there was a fresh grave & new headstone. As they drove past, not really thinking -
- or paying any mind to the new grave, I turned toward the headstone, waved cheerfully, and shouted “hiiiiii!” across the distance. My parents turned to look at who I was waving to.

But no one was there. Just a new grave, and a recently buried coffin.
My dad thinks it’s a neat spooky story, and has retold it to me so many times I don’t really get unsettled by it anymore. But strange occurrences in my childhood didn’t stop there.

Growing up, I don’t really remember ever sleeping by myself until my mid- to late teens.
I never really thought much about it, until I was old enough that I started getting weird looks from classmates in school whenever I would mention that I still slept in the same room as my mom. When I later asked about it, Mom told me that I had night terrors most of my childhood
It started with bad dreams and claims or seeing people in my room at night. My mom wasn’t really concerned at first - kids have bad dreams sometimes right? - but then I started mentioning a little girl that would sit on the opposite side of my room and stare at me at night.
The final straw was when I woke my parents up at like 2 am one night, screaming at the top of my lungs. Upon rushing into the room, they couldn’t find any reason for me to be scared. I stopped screaming, started crying instead, then sobbed that there were people staring at me -
- through the window blinds. My mom thought this was silly, since she always made sure the blinds were closed and/or the curtains drawn before I went to bed.

Except that the blinds were mysteriously open on this night.
She started sleeping in my room after that, and made sure to pray for me in my room every day. I stopped complaining of seeing weird things after that, and the night terrors stopped.

I did, however, start sleep-walking and talking in my sleep around this time. Not necessarily -
- a creepy thing, since sleep issues are common in my family. Sleep apnea, insomnia, sleepwalking, sleeptalking, etc - all of these run in my dad’s side of the family.

Interestingly, so do childhood paranormal experiences.
I won’t get into it much right now, but my Dad and his brothers all saw strange people at night, sometimes walking in their hallway, sometimes standing in their rooms and staring at them. There’s also a very disturbing photograph from one of my Dad’s fishing trips on Lake Lanier.
But I digress.

Later on in my pre-teen years, I decided I was old enough that I felt comfortable to start sleeping by myself again. My mom was dubious at first, and kept double-checking with me (“are you SURE???” “yes mom omg”), but eventually I began sleeping alone again.
I was in middle school during this time, and very gung ho about playing violin. I had several close friends in my orchestra class, and we used to hang out at each others’ houses to practice playing music and chatting and generally goofing off.
One day at my friend Lynn’s house (*note: name changed for privacy reasons*), we decided to be dumbass pre-teens and play with an Ouija board. Yeah, I know it was a stupid decision.

At first I was very against it, because I had plenty of paranormal experience already tyvm
But my friends wanted to try, so I uncomfortably watched from a distance while Lynn, Nikki, and Aeesha all began to mess with the Ouija board. (Again: all names are changed for privacy reasons) Nothing much really happened at first. The marker slowly moved across the board, but -
- never really spelled out anything of intelligence. Growing more comfortable because of this, I moved closer to get a better look at what my friends were doing. They’d been bickering and teasing each other about one of them being the real culprit behind the slowly moving marker.
The second I got close, the marker jerked under their fingers very noticeably. They all shouted in surprise, then went quiet. Aeesha studied the marker/game indicator (wtf do you call that triangle thing anyway?) then stared at me. She claimed it was reacting to me, and then -
- she and my other 2 friends coerced me into joining them. ‘Just try it!!’ they pleaded. Finally, I caved and joined them.

The marker began to move quickly across the board as soon as my fingers gently touched the surface.
To this day, I still don’t remember what it spelled out. I don’t remember what we asked it.

I do remember that it was a full ass intelligent sentence, and Aeesha immediately freaked out and jerked away from the board, claiming I had “hoodoo shit” and we shouldn’t mess with -
- the Ouija board ever again. I was unsettled, but also annoyed, since I hadn’t really wanted to participate in the first place. But we moved on, as friends do.

Immediately after that night, my friend Lynn started getting mysterious injuries and scratch marks on her skin.
When I asked her about it, she said she wasn’t really sure where they came from or when they started...just that they would appear overnight and she’d notice them in the morning. She shrugged and said it must be from accidentally scratching herself in her sleep. I wasn’t so sure.
Her family had to relocate later due to her father changing jobs. It was sad, but we made sure to communicate by phone every few months (long distance phone calls were expensive back then). During one of these, she casually mentioned the scratches stopped after they’d moved.
Now these experiences were all fairly unrelated, seemingly innocent, if oddly coincidental occurrences. But things began to get stranger as I got older.
Around this timeframe, my parents gave me a TV for my bedroom as a very nice birthday gift. I was delighted obviously and put it right in front of my bed on the opposite wall next to the window, so I could watch movies/shows from my bed. (God, I was spoiled...)
This seemed like a great idea at first!

...but then the TV began behaving strangely. Maybe it was a faulty model or bad wiring, who knows; but it would sometimes turn on at night when I wasn’t using it. When I turned it off, sometimes there would be a strange glowing line -
- in the center of the screen, that wouldn’t go away for several minutes. Odd, but not necessarily scary.

Then I began to see brief glimpses of humanoid shapes reflected on the screen. Sometimes it would turn off all on its own.

And my closet doors began to open by themselves.
Now, keep in mind: I rationalized the hell out of all this at the time.

I decided the TV was defective. It was an old house with shifting foundation, obviously the closet doors were no longer the right shape, so they’d gently open sometimes or not shut properly.
The things I saw out of the corner of my eye in the TV screen were probably just my imagination, or an after-image of shows & movies I watched.

Right? Right.
But then I started getting creeped out by my closet. No real reason, just... felt like I was being watched through the slats of the sliding doors. Never heard anything, but it began to really creep me out that the doors would open by themselves.
One night, my TV turned on by itself at the exact moment that my closet opened on its own. I said ‘screw this’ and unplugged the damn TV, then covered it with a thick blanket just to be safe; it unsettled me to see the screen at all, even unplugged.
I began using heavy objects to force my closet doors shut at night, and started sleeping with a lamp on all night. My mom noticed of course, and offered to sleep in my room again; but I wanted to maintain my independence.

Even if it meant some insomnia. :)
For some strange reason, I never really considered moving the TV out of my room. That would probably have been the smarter thing to do, but it just never occurred to me at the time.
Shortly afterwards, in either 7th or 8th grade, I made a new friend. Let’s call her Krista (again, real name has been changed for privacy).

We bonded over Sailor Moon and became very close, very quickly. I was missing my best friend Lynn after her move, and Krista immediately-
- made me feel at ease and comfortable; it was almost like we were siblings. Unfortunately she had a bad home life with a toxic mom and sister, and a semi-absent stepfather, so it took a long time before they would allow me to come over to visit their home.
Eventually we got permission for a sleepover, and we were SO excited. We made plans to stay up talking, drawing, watching anime, all the good stuff! I was looking foreard to it immensely.

But after my mom drove me there, I didn’t want to take a single step inside their house.
A very strange, sinister aura raised the hair onthe back of my neck. I didn’t want to go inside.

But I convinced myself that this was ridiculous, it’s just a house, I’d been looking forward to visiting so much - so in I went.
It seemed normal enough at first. Krista gave me a brief tour, showing me their living room, kitchen, etc. Her parents slept in separate rooms, and as she quickly showed me their hallway, a chill went down my spine as I looked at the half-open door to her mom’s bedroom.
Through the cracked door, I could see that the entire room was covered floor-to-ceiling with shelves full of dolls. I’d never really liked old porcelain dolls much, but these felt... incredibly sinister, and it really honestly felt like they were watching me.
I was unsettled, but ignored this and followed Krista up to her bedroom. Her room was on the second floor directly above the garage, so it had a bit of an odd shape. One side of the room had two doors a few feet apart - a main door that led to her sister’s bedroom, and a smaller-
- side door to a narrow staircase that went down to the bottom floor of the house. The other half of her room was open space, with a simple bed and tiny TV, and a single window. Now, because she was on the second floor above the garage, her window was up fairly high.
It would be impossible for anyone to reach it from the outside, unless they had an extremely tall ladder. Her bed was positioned directly underneath the window, but there was space enough for us to sit on the bed and lean against the wall without touching the frame at all.
We talked for a long time, about everything we could think of. Dreams, hopes, goals, theater, art, music, anime; it was so fun. Eventually we somehow got on the subject of her family, and I mentioned the creepy doll room and how it weirded me out. She got quiet, then told me -
- that it’s always creeped her out too. And that her uncle actually used to live there by himself, mysteriously died in that room, and they inherited the house from him.

I’m sitting there thinking ‘.....what the actual f—?’ and then, directly next to my head, right behind me -
- where there should have been nothing but a wall and empty air, we distinctly heard and felt someone knock on the wall, *hard*, three times in quick succession. Almost like a warning.

Naturally, young teens that we were, we freaked out & jumped off the bed with strangled gasps.
We didn’t have time to think, talk about it, or even take a single breath, before the small door to that narrow staircase loudly busted open, and her mom’s cat barreled into the room, headed straight for me, and leapt for my face - not in fear, but to attack.
I’ve been bitten on the face by a dog before, so my natural instinct was to quickly flinch away; so the crazy cat landed on my leg instead of my face, and starting trying to claw through my jeans. I kicked it away halfway across the room, and it immediately ran for me yet again.
Krista’s cat, which had been lying down near the small TV about 5 feet away, launched itself at the attacking cat. They collided mid-air, and then began to fiercely attack each other. Both Krista and I were screaming at this point, so her mom and sister stomped into the room -
- to yell at us for making too much noise, then saw what was happening and bodily manhandled the crazy feral cat out of the room. Shaken and horrified, we just kind of stood there in shock for a minute, then Krista shut & locked both doors. Her cat climbed up onto the bed -
- turned to face the doors, and just sat there... silently staring at them like a watchful guardian. Directly in the spot where we both heard the knocking.

Needless to say, we didn’t get much sleep that night.

And I never went back there, not even to visit.
Eventually Krista ran away from her toxic and abusive family (I won’t get into details, that’s her story), and we took her in and unofficially adopted her. I say unofficially, because her parents refused to sign adoption papers - but also said she wasn’t welcome to come back.
She moved in to our extra bedroom, but we often slept in the same room those first few weeks. It was a crazy time, being a teen was hard enough without all the added emotional upheaval.

After noticing how I wouldn’t use the covered TV in my room, she asked if she could have it.
So we moved it to her room. I was so glad to be rid of it, but also felt guilty for pawning off a ... well, admittedly creepy and unusual TV. I waited to see if she would mention anything odd about it.

But, strangely enough... she never had a single problem with it.
During this time, I believed in an odd mixture of Wiccan and Christian beliefs, sort of cobbled together. I tried protection rituals and prayers, hoping to ward off further paranormal events. My closet started to seem less creepy. Weird unexplained sounds and feelings lessened.
I can’t really say whether it was truly effective, or the power of my belief, or maybe even just the simple fact that I actively tried to avoid anything paranormal after that crazy night at Krista’s house.

Eventually I began to notice a connection.
The less I focused on or paid attention to ghost stories, horror movies, etc, the more I *didn’t* have random small encounters or unexplained phenomena. The ones mentioned in this thread were the “big” ones, the weirdest events I can’t explain, the ones that stuck with me.
But there were many more events like this. Electronic devices behaving oddly around me, new watches stopping after coming into contact with my skin, street lights turning on / off when I passed by, etc. I tried to ignore them, because they happened less if I didn’t focus on them.
In my junior year of high school, I made a mistake. Me and my two best friends decided to have a horror movie marathon on Halloween night.

I don’t know why I agreed. Maybe I’d gotten too relaxed, too complacent. Even though I still slept with a light on & my closet forced shut.
We had an absolute blast. Pizza, soda, candy, music, movies, girl talk, cozy sleepover in my living room - gosh, it was SO fun.

Midway into the second horror movie, odd things started happening. The TV turned off by itself. The sliding doors to the fireplace opened on their own.
I should have known better.
We managed to finish the second horror movie. But we were a little unsettled by all the... strange creepy things happening in the room. So we dialed things down a bit and watched a fun Halloween movie instead (Hocus Pocus!!!), then finally went to bed around 2 or 3 am.
I expected nightmares, but strangely had a... very restful, deep sleep. Woke up feeling very relaxed, though a bit groggy, around 10:00 or 10:30 am. I stretched & sat up, then casually looked around the room.

And froze.

Because my best friend was staring at me in pure terror.
After a minute of just staring at each other, I finally said “uhhh, are you okay?”

She sagged where she sat and heaved a huge sigh of relief, saying “oh thank god, you’re actually awake this time. You’ve been scaring the shit out of me for the last hour.”
She then explained to me that shortly after she woke up, I apparently opened my eyes, slowly sat up, then turned my head to stare at her with no expression or recognition whatsoever.

Until she called my name, at which time I would slowly blink, then lay back down & close my eyes
I have no memory of this whatsoever, but apparently I did it between 4-5 times during that hour? In which I was very much asleep?

At this point I wasn’t sure if I was attracting the paranormal, or somehow channeling it. Either way, I stopped watching horror movies after that!!
Ignoring the small events (flickering lights, mysteriously misplaced items, etc) and pretending they weren’t happening made everything lessen after that. Praying every day made them stop altogether, for several years. Whether it was true religious power or simply belief, I dunno.
Then things started happening again after me, my husband, and my daughter all had to move in with my parents about 3.5 years ago. Since my parents now sleep in separate rooms (my dad is in Krista’s old room), all 3 of us squished together in my old childhood bedroom.
Our daughter was still rather young at the time, so we used a baby monitor during the time between her going to bed and us going to bed a few hours later. Sometimes we would hear her talking or making strange movement noises, so we’d take turns checking on her.
Most of the time, she was sound asleep. We assumed that, like me, she was sometimes talking in her sleep.

But then, it started to become more frequent. Unusually frequent. And very distinctly sounding like a little girl’s voice.
And, sometimes, the closet door would be open when we checked on her after hearing that little girlish voice over the monitor.
Everything came to a head one night when I went to bed early. Our daughter was asleep in her toddler bed, and I was lying in our bed reading on my phone, trying to relax and get sleepy.

I heared movement, but dismissed it subconsciously as my daughter shifting in her sleep.
Then I distinctly heard a little girl's voice say something - I'm not really sure what, it was loud enough to hear but also somehow muffled to where I couldn't understand the words.

Then I heard a giggle, and the closet doors BANGED OPEN.
I lurched upright with a strangled gasp of horror, fumbled with my phone and nearly dropped it because my hands were shaking so bad, then turned on the phone flashlight and shined it at the closet in terror.

Just... clothes. Nothing but clothes. There was no one there.
I jumped out of bed and freakin SLAMMED those stupid closet doors shut, then shoved a heavy storage container in front of both doors, snarled "GO AWAY" and then stomped over to my daughter's bed, verified she was asleep and doing okay, then stared at the closet in challenge.
Also I may or may not have texted my husband and demanded that he come to bed immediately because I was freaked out.

He asked if everything was ok, and I explained (via text) what happened. He replied "huh... interesting, sometimes i wake up at night and hear a little girl thats not (our daughter's name). That's very freaky"
I don't know why this stuff happened to me, or why it seemed to center around my childhood bedroom. The house didn't have a bad history (that I know of) and wasn't built near anything odd.

But I do know the voice of the little girl stopped after I told it (her?) to go away.
Sometimes I wonder if the little girl I used to hear, and the one I told my mom about as a child who stared at me at night, were maybe one and the same.

Maybe it was innocent fun, and there was a little spirit who was simply lonely and reaching out?

I don't know.
I still avoid horror movies.

I still sleep with at least one lamp on.

I will never, ever, touch an Ouija board ever again. To this day I still feel guilty about what happened to Lynn. It feels like my fault, even though I know it wasn't intentional.
I don't sleepwalk or sleeptalk anymore, and I rarely have sleep apnea these days.

My insomnia is worse, but that's more from too much caffeine, overactive brain, too much to do & not enough time, etc.

I still don't look too closely at TV screens when they're turned off.
We don't hear any little girls at night anymore, except our own. I barely notice any weird small events anymore, and if I do, I pretend they didn't happen. Ignoring them makes it go away.

The only remaining, unexplained thing to come out of all this is:

I no longer dream.
Or if I do, then I don't remember what I dream.

I used to have long, complex, full-color, full-plot epics that lasted for ages, and I'd remember everything when I woke up.

Now there's just... nothing. Just sleeping, then waking. No memorable dreams.

I think it's a fair trade.
I'll take peace and security in the waking world over crazy vivid dreams and paranormal encounters any day.
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