The paranormal is a lot like religion: You believe in it or you don't, and you even get your extremist types. I, however, have had the unfair advantage of living in a house filled with nasty spirits.
It all started when I was 12 years old and my parents and I had just moved to a new town with my dad's eldest brother and his wife. They had found the house big enough for both families. We were thrilled to have found such a huge place with a pool for dirt cheap. It never occurred to us to ask why we were paying so little for a house nearly as large as a hotel.
When we got there to move in, we found candles all over the place — in every room in the house and even the garden — that had been burned and left there. We just thought that maybe the previous renters or owners didn't pay their electricity bill.
Nowadays any episode of a paranormal show will warn you about signs that your house is evil, but 18 years ago, we didn't have those.
The first couple of weeks were great. We went from a small flat to having a pool, privacy, and a garden. The neighborhood was great too. But after a while, an uncomfortable feeling started to settle in. We wondered why a great house in a great neighbourhood would be vacant for so long. I found out just how long when I overheard two kids talking about how they had climbed the wall to come swim in the pool since the house had been empty for several months.
We just chalked it up to "Maybe a murder happened here." It's not that it didn't bother us, but I figured if my parents thought it was OK then there was nothing to worry about.
Then, one night, I couldn't sleep, so I quietly went to the kitchen to get a snack. I went back to my room and then back to switch the kitchen light off and to get the juice I'd left behind. But the light was already off and the glass wasn't where I left it.
After that, I kept feeling watched and unsafe.
I started sleepwalking — something I had never done before (or since). I woke up in different rooms, and once woke up while eating an apple. Many nights I would have super-realistic nightmares where I'd wake up and my body would be sore or I'd see something from my dream and then it would be just be gone. The ones I remember most were a large goat that wanted to eat me and the house engulfed in fire.
Soon after that, I ran into something that seemingly wasn't there — I saw a very large shadow that looked like a man facing me just standing by the kitchen door.
I knew my folks were in financial misery and this house helped our situation, so I thought it best not to stress them out about the house since I was never physically harmed. But I kept my Bible very close.
As time went by, it seemed there were more of these shadowy figures, and they would come closer the longer we were living there. I stopped leaving my room at night. If I really needed the bathroom, I'd run and close the door. Every time they would get close to my room, I would pray, and they would go. Even though it was terrifying, it made my faith so much stronger. It's difficult not to believe or to wonder if you see evil and get help against it.
After we had been living there for a little while, a man came to the front gate and asked if he could get a few things that had been left behind. My dad asked him a few questions to see if he was telling the truth about having lived there, including asking about the candles.
Turns out, according to this guy, "Satanists" had lived here, and they performed so many ceremonies that they themselves felt driven out by the frightening results. He might have been exaggerating, but it would explain the creepy shadows I saw while we lived there.
Since then I've looked at the world with new eyes, because since living in that house, I sense and see spirits. Maybe I always could, but the bad ones got my attention much faster!
Soon after that man visited, we moved out and my parents bought another house. The ghosts there are much nicer.