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The city surrounding my university was glum. It used to be a manufacturing town with a focus on railroads and defense at some points in history. Eventually as those industries went into decline in that area, the university became the center for growth—your typical nerdy campus stressing higher learning in the middle of a city whose “townies” were folks you didn’t really want to mess with in local bars. Or at least I never did because that was just not my scene.
I preferred the relative safety of campus living. Independent dorms on the hill not far from classes. I didn’t really venture off campus other than to Walmart or the even better Wegmans.
The few times I did visit one of its neighbourhoods, I returned with regret.
My boyfriend, J, at the time lived in a large house off campus. Being in that neighbourhood, the streets always felt unsettling. Too eerily quiet. Too desolate. Too oppressive. The only decent thing about where he lived was the good pizza at a pizzeria on the corner. The house was quiet too. And not in a good way.
Nothing felt right there. It was a weird, creepy, “Don’t-want-to-be-left-alone-here” kind of feeling. J had two housemates. One, G, often visited his girlfriend some cities over so he was rarely there.
J and G were oblivious. The infuriating sort who pursued psych as a major and over-analyzed everything: human behaviour and tried to explain everything away with rational thought. Really typical college-age bs. I often wish I could be oblivious to the more supernatural freaky things that followed me around.
The other housemate, Jeff, owned the house but would frequently be across the street where his boyfriend lived. It was one such night one of the worst unexplained things happened to me. Or, as I’m convinced to this day, could have been truly terrible had I not listened to my gut.
J was asleep and for whatever reason, maybe too much water before bed, I needed to pee at an ungoldly hour in the night. I couldn’t even tell you what time it was, maybe it had just crept past midnight or closer to 1 or 3 but it was dark, and I had to leave the safety of his room to go down the hall, not too far past the living room, to use the bathroom. G was away visiting his girlfriend. With Jeff across the street visiting his boyfriend, it was just me and the rest of the house that lurked and hid all manners of terrible energy outside J’s door.
And this night, it definitely wasn’t just me.
A glow was coming from the living room. Past the doorway on the right against the wall was Jeff’s computer and desk. And there was Jeff, bald head, his sihlouette sitting at his desk in the dark with the faint glow coming from the screen.
“Hi Jeff,” I said quietly, but really more in my mind, as I made a motion to step into the living room to greet him. Before I crossed the threshold, I stopped. “That’s not Jeff. He’s next door at his boyfriend’s. Don’t go in there,” my brain told me.
Mid-step, I pivoted and went to use the restroom as intended. It wasn’t long after I peered into the living room to see if ”Jeff” was still there on my way back from my accursed bathroom excursion. Sure enough, it was pitch black in the room. No shadowy Jeff. No glow at the computer. I gave an uneasy knowing grimace and went back into J’s room to try to sleep.
As if I needed a second hand account convincing me that house was off, my friend who also seems to be able to tell when things are awry, some weeks later spent the weekend for a sleepover in G’s room while he was away.
After her first night there, she sheepishly asked if she could stay in the room with J and me for the rest of the visit. Safety in numbers, as G’s room felt particularly bad too. I knew all too well what she meant. That house was the worst.
Happy Halloween, TAY!
I’m sure I’ve told that story before. My family and I have had so much happen to us over the years. That one isn’t one of the worst (because I saved myself in time) but I think it was the most extreme example of something actually manifesting “physically” as opposed to the oppressive feelings I usually get. Oh, but there was that time I visited the Vaults in Scotland and had a ghost follow me back to my hotel. That wasn’t fun but I kinda deserved it...maybe I’ll tell that one next year.
For today’s suggested topics:
- Do you have any spooky real life stories to share?
- What’s the scariest moment in a game you’ve experienced?
- What are your Halloween plans?
- How much candy is acceptable to give out? 1, 2, 3 or more pieces?
- What’s the best candy?
- Spook Amongst Yourselves!
Your Halloween song you should play on repeat all day: