2007: Man in the House

Recognizing patterns of unexplained phenomenon is comforting because at least then it leads to a rational conclusion instead of pure random insanity. But almost immediately after you put a description with the activity, you realize that your haunted house is your responsibility. Either you do something about it, or you just learn to live with it. By this experience, I was ready to do something about it.

Danny Raye

All day Saturday I wrote my story on the new Acer laptop Mom bought me for my thirteenth birthday. I started typing all the chapters I had handwritten onto my computer and saving them on the flash drive Brandy bought me. I got so wrapped up writing yesterday that I forgot to do my homework. I was so worried I wouldn’t get it done before Monday that I was reading the book at six am all by myself.

Brandy and Ari had spent the night at Amanda’s house, one of Brandy’s friends from work, and Sal had been gone since Friday night after arguing with Mom. So I was sitting on the Blueroom stairs reading, waiting for Mom to wake up. I didn’t want to sit in my room. Every time I see my laptop, I want to write. And sitting at the dining room table was too scary. I could see the whole house from front to back and it was dark outside because the sun hadn’t come up yet.

And then all of a sudden, it was dark inside too. I could feel something in the back of the house that wasn’t supposed to be there. It was so loud. I don’t know how to explain it exactly, just that I could feels chills all over my body and I could feel this pressure in my ears like when you hear a really, really loud noise. But the house was quiet. So very, very quiet that I could hear footsteps.

Thump, thump, thump.

Boots on hardwood even though the Woodroom had carpet. It was a man. I couldn’t see him, I could only hear him coming from the Woodroom toward me. But in my head, I could see a flash of what he looked like. He was chubby, and he was wearing jeans and a jacket.

I froze on the stairs.

I can’t move. I can’t move. I can’t…Mom, please come help me!

No one was home back there and there was no way anyone could get into the house unless they broke in. What if this time it wasn’t a ghost? What if it really was a bad guy coming in to kidnap me or Sara?

Didn’t matter. I couldn’t move from the stairs. I was just sitting there like an idiot waiting for him to come get me. I heard him step up into the kitchen. That means he’s right around the corner. I don’t remember ghosts feeling like this. It felt so strong that I was sure it was a real person. He was coming. He was coming to get me and I couldn’t move!

I wanted to squeeze my eyes closed and pretend like I wouldn’t see him, but I had to look. I had to be prepared, I had to know what he looked like.

Thump, thump, thump.

Why wasn’t I screaming like in the movies? My characters remembered to scream when they were afraid. Why couldn’t I scream right now and tell my mom a strange man was in the house? My voice wasn’t working! Even when I told it to scream, my mouth wouldn’t open to. There were these bricks on my chest that must have been holding my voice down.

Where I was (stairs); Where he was coming from (Kitchen on left)

Then I realized I was staring so hard at the wall between the kitchen and Blueroom that my eyes got dried out. I didn’t blink because I knew as soon as I did, he’d be there when they opened again. Or he’d step out and find where I was hiding. I wasn’t really hiding, I was glued to these stairs.

He. Was. Right. There.

Right around the corner just standing there, breathing. I could hear him breathing. I waited for him to come around. He didn’t move, he just stood there like he was waiting for me to come find him. That was never going to happen. I was waiting for anything to pop out around that corner to tell me he was there. His arm or his foot or his head.

There were footsteps behind me coming down the hall.

Then I screamed.

I flew off the stairs. My book got tossed up. I ran away from the hall and screamed my head off until my back hit the front door. I covered my eyes with my arms because I didn’t want to see what was coming for me after all.

“Ray, RAY!”

I was still crying when my mom pulled my arms down.

“Mom?” I said.

“What’s the matter with you?”

I threw my arms around her neck. “I heard someone in the kitchen. It was a man. He was coming at me and then I heard you―”

Mom held me. “Did you really have to scream?” She was upset. I probably scared her half to death.

“I’m sorry. I thought you were one of them.”

She laughed then pulled my chin up so she could look into my eyes. “I’m not dead yet, Ray. Come upstairs, I gotta pee. Tell me what you heard.”

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