Over the course of our nine years on Lot 22, we had six dogs. Pets in our life came and went, none by death. We just had horrible timing with dogs. I picked a dog once that ended up only throwing up on me and biting me. Secret and Abby were simply too big for our small living lifestyle. Jax and Jill were dogs Sara and I got from our neighbor who bred them. They didn’t last long because we were too young to take care of them and no one else had the time.
Dogs came and went, yet all six of the dogs in their time at Lot 22 demonstrated similar behavior in regards to paranormal activity. They would growl and bark at invisible entities, they had rooms they would avoid, things they would follow with their eyes that were out of sight for everyone else. Their favorite above all was to stand at the top of the basement stairs growling down into the darkness at seemingly nothing. But we all know the dark holds secrets.
One of the most memorable experiences with pets and the paranormal at Lot 22 was Mia’s encounter in the Woodroom. Mom never forgets it and is sure to bring it up every time we are telling tales from the past. Here’s my version of her Parkville encounter with evil, and her version of that morning with the Devil.
1982- Parkville, Missouri
Folding down her white cotton sheets, Deborah prepared for bed. Her husband, Salvatore, would be out on his truck-driving route all night. Deborah didn’t mind the peace of being home alone. The blessing of having the whole bed to herself.
Deborah slipped into the sheets and clicked off the lamp. Instantly, she regretted it. The darkness felt heavy. Every corner of the room felt occupied. Suddenly being alone wasn’t such a peaceful idea. She reached for the lamp and clicked it on. Light washed over every corner of the bedroom. Nothing was there.
Deborah didn’t trust it. She left the light on this time. She snuggled down into the covers and cuddled up with Salvatore’s pillow. She closed her eyes before throwing them back open. Felt like something was sneaking up on her. No, you’re being paranoid, Deb, she thought. She settled back into the pillow. Back to falling asleep.
As soon as her eyes closed, Deborah wanted them open again. But a roar of hot breath on her neck paralyzed her in place. Don’t speak, don’t-don’t move, don’t look. For God’s sake, whatever you do, Deb, don’t look, she repeated in her mind.
An inhuman growl in her right ear meant something was leaning over her. She felt its presence hovering right above her, the weight of its malevolence pressing her into the bed. The picture her mind imagined for this gruesome entity suffocated Deborah with dread.
Another guttural growl followed with a flush of scorching breath. Deborah whimpered wishing it was a scream but knowing even a scream wouldn’t do her justice when she was home alone. She was trapped and helpless, but not prepared to die.
The demon snarled and heat flushed Deborah’s neck and face. Oh my god, she thought. Oh my god, I’m gonna die. God, God, please! God, please help me!
And the oppression lifted.
Deborah threw the covers away, barreled to the edge of the bed and ran out of the bedroom, dragging the door with her. The door slammed when it hit the frame, and without looking back, Deborah frantically scrambled her keys and wallet before booking it out of the house. She spent the rest of the night at her sister’s house, and didn’t return home until Salvatore got back from his route three days later.
2008: Lot 22
Three am. Never fails. All the kids were home and asleep. Deborah was at the desktop computer playing a game of Solitaire with her routine cup of coffee. At her feet was Mia, the new family dog. Deborah couldn’t pinpoint why she had an affinity for pugs. It definitely wasn’t the adoration of their crazy eyes or their labored, snorting breathing patterns, definitely not in their rolly body fat. But there was something about the dog that was pleasant. Something comforting about her cuddling up. Something about having a companion.
Deborah’s cup was empty. She stood for another. Convenient to have the computer in the kitchen against the far wall with the view of the whole house from front to back. She felt like even though they were all in their own rooms, she could still see all of her kids from here.
The pug was perched at the doorway leading to the Woodroom. Her hair was on end, her lips folded back around her canines. She was growling at something that Deborah couldn’t see through the window above the sink.
“What is it?”
Deborah was a strong believer that dogs were more perceptive to paranormal activity, and in a way, she was grateful she didn’t see what the animals did.
“What is it, girl?”
From the Woodroom doorway aside Mia, Deborah couldn’t see anything. The hairs on her arms and neck began to stand on end; that was always something that was happening in the house. Ghosts lived there, too. Deborah couldn’t deny that. She was ready to dismiss the dog’s concerns until she realized Mia was trying to go into the Woodroom. Probably to get to the back door to pee, Deborah thought.
“You gotta go outside? Outside?”
The word usually triggered an excited dance and a thrilling tail-wag. But it fell on deaf ears this time. Mia’s concentration on the Woodroom failed to break. Even when Deborah nudged the dog into the room, Mia froze at the base of the wooden step and continued growling.
Deborah stepped into the Woodroom and traced Mia’s line of sight. “What are you looking at? There’s nothing there.”
The room was empty, the curtains closed, the TV off. Deborah couldn’t see anything.
“Is it this?”
Maybe it was the black throw pillow on the couch. She scooped up Mia and held the pillow close to her face. Mia could care less about the pillow. Whatever was worrying her was at the corner of the couch. Though her eyes were going opposite ways, Mia’s face was centered there.
“What is it? There’s nothing there.”
When Deborah took a step back, a waft of something dark hit her and she froze. Swarmed by the heat of evil, tears bound to Deborah’s eyes and death crawled across her skin. There was a powerful dark energy aside her. She could feel the scorch of Hell all around her, sucking her into its eternal sin. And she desperately wanted away. But she couldn’t move.
Something was reaching for her. C l o s e r. C l o s e r.
The energy was building, drawingcloserandcloseruntilshecouldn’tSTOP IT!
Deborah ducked and ran into the back hall.
Clutch. Air. Breathe.
Gasping for breath, Deborah stared back into the Woodroom at nothing. Nothing was there where she thought a demon might be standing or a black shadow, something had to be standing there. What she felt…The heaviness alone…The malice of it.
Maybe it wasn’t just ghosts that lived here.
Maybe whatever had tormented her from Parkville had followed her.
See the face?
This photo was taken in the Woodroom on Lot 22. While this could simply be the effects of pareidolia, or matrixing, where one sees familiar shapes and patterns in distorted pixels and fragments, I believe more strongly that this is something else entirely. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments. As always, thank you for reading!