Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wacky Hangers and a Shadow Man... the start of a Paranormal Investigator

I have always been fascinated by the paranormal.  The first books I can remember reading were always horror themed.  I grew up the youngest of four girls, and with that came a sister who would allow me to watch scary movies with her, with the stipulation that I must cover my eyes at the truly scary parts (nevermind that I could still hear what was going on...) and if I did not cover my eyes to her liking, she would add her hands to the coverage.

At some point in time I became convinced that the house we grew up in was haunted.  My parents built that house in 1979 or 1980 - just shortly before I graced the world with my presence.  It was a lake house built in the then vacation community of Lake Holiday, Somonauk, Illinois.  The land had at one time been inhabited by the Fox tribe of Native Americans.  We all know the fate of Native American's in our country, and over the years the land was taken over by farmers, and then by industrious investors who decided to carve out a lake between two creeks.  Back when I lived there Lake Holiday still had numerous plots of vacant land.  Trees were everywhere.  My nature loving parents refused to cut down the forest that surrounded our home, and we were fortunate enough to have a large house built on top of a steep embankment that sloped down to the lake.  The result was a gorgeous house set back from the road, encased by a thick crop off trees with a long... LONG wooden staircase hugging the slope down to the lake.

There is no gruesome history to my home.  It was built by my father on land that had stood vacant after being farmland for years.  One day my sister had come up to the house with a strange, very distinctly shaped rock she'd found down by the lake.  Upon examination by my family, they declared it an Indian arrowhead.  It was a prized position in my mind.  A few years later I had found that arrowhead again, tucked away among the treasures displayed in my Mother's China cabinet.  I set out to find an arrowhead of my own.  Having been in the midst of an obsession with archaeology, I decided to take my Mom's garden trowel and start digging around the house for arrowheads.  Much to my family's amazement, after several digs I actually did come across something.  It wasn't an arrowhead, but it was an oddly shaped rock, and when you put it in your hand it fit the palm perfectly, with an indentation for a thumb and a sharp, pointed tip.  I believe, along with my parents and even later a junior high school science teacher, that I'd found a tool that had been used to carve hide from animals.

Now, I am not going to say that the happenings in my house were from Native American spirits.  But anyone who has studied these wonderfully amazing peoples know that they were deeply connected to our Earth's spiritual realm, and I don't think that connection should be taken lightly.

When I was very young I had an "imaginary" friend.  Her name was Candy.  I never "saw" Candy, but I always "felt" her around.  I know that she was older, and I always had the impression that she had dark, curly hair.  Candy always felt very real to me, and despite the times that I would flush her down the toilet because she upset me, I along with my family and friends "acknowledged" her.  Maybe they, too, felt her presence, on a less intense level.

The real fun started around the time I was 8 years old.  By this time my oldest sister had moved out, and with her nest flying went my closest in age sister to her occupy her old room.  I was left with the biggest bedroom to myself.  We had two twin beds in there, and I would switch between the two to sleep in.  One day I was sitting on the one that was closest to the closet.  I was either reading or coloring, one of the two, when I heard a noise coming from the closet.  I was not a nervous child, and did not scare easily.  That was about to change.  When I opened the closet doors to investigate, I was met with the hangers - complete with clothes on them - whipping wildly back and forth.  It wasn't until I realized that they weren't stopping that I got scared.  I grabbed my pillow and blanket and since my parent's bedroom door was closed, I went to the next room available - the hallway bathroom that we girls all shared.  I was found in there the next morning by my sister, who went for my Mom.  No one believed my hanger story, of course, and my Mom attributed it to a nightmare.  And by the way - to this day I STILL find the most comforting room a bathroom.  Ask my husband... he will occasionally wake up to find me missing from the bed and asleep on the bathroom floor.

It took a bit for me to sleep comfortably in that room again, and I don't believe I slept in the bed next to the closet again for years.  Things were quiet in the house after that, until one night the footsteps started.  I heard them coming up and down the stairs, but they weren't the heavy footfalls of adults, and it wasn't the soft, inconsistent creaking of a settling house.  It was.. well, footsteps.  I had a friend over once when we heard them, and she - being more fearless than I at that point - whipped open the door to the bedroom to stare down the stairs.... nothing was there.  She closed the door, we turned on the lights and spent the hours playing Legos until finally passing out from exhaustion.

About this time my sister started having nightmares.  One night she woke up from a nightmare to claim that she'd seen a shadow pass through the walls towards her bed.  She has always been an artist - in fact, two of my sisters were gifted with the ability to draw, and my oldest and myself the love of written word - and she had drawn the image of what she'd seen.  It was a dark, featherlike mass with a face in the middle.  It was years later that I came across the image of a Celtic "tree man," and that is what it resembled.  After drawing it and us talking, she didn't ever see it again, and I believe that her nightmares ceased.

Aside from the crazy hangers and the footsteps, and my sister's shadow, not much happened after that, except for the occasional feeling of a presence around.  My parent's eventually divorced and we moved from my beloved lakefront home.  I moved in with my Mom and sister to a townhouse in Elburn. 

By this time I was a full fledged teenager, and my love of paranormal intensified.  I had purchased a "Psychic Circle" board from Spencer's Gifts one day, on a whim.  I bought it because I'd always wanted a spirit board, but did not like the negative connotations that a Ouija board brought.  My Psychic Circle board was wholly positive, complete with a guide book that insisted on protecting yourself and fellow users with the loving and protective energy of White light.  My sisters, my friends and I would bring out the board often to play, trying to use it as a medium to connect with beings that were not on our plane.  One day I connected with a male spirit who named himself David (let's just forget the fact that years later I met the man who became my husband, also named David).  This spirit would frequent our sessions often over the years.

After bringing the Psychic Circle into the home, things started happening.  I remember one day sitting on my beanbag chair in my room, reading, when I felt a distinct presence... something was staring at me.  I looked up and my closet door was cracked.  Thinking the feeling was coming from that, I got up and closed the door.  When I sat back down I could not shake the feeling, so I left the room and went downstairs to watch TV.

I was blessed to have a Mother who absolutely loved animals, and as such we've always had dogs and cats.  One such kitty that my oldest sister brought home, Peaches, completely bonded to me.  That cat was my heart, for years.  Anywhere I was, she was.  In the townhouse I started to notice that she would suddenly stare off at places, for reasons I could not specify.  My friends noted it too.  Even my husband, back when we were first dating, has a story of being at my house one night, when it was just the two of us home.  He was downstairs watching TV, Peaches on his lap, waiting for me to get out of the shower.  Peaches did one of her sudden head jerks and stared up the stairway at the landing.  Dave says he's never had such an unnerving feeling, like he was being watched.

Truly, the townhouse was where I had one of the most intense experiences in my life.  I had been sleeping in my room, when something woke me up.  I had left my computer on, and the soft glow of the monitor in the corner had thrown me off - I didn't know where I was.  I thought that I was in Dave's house, sleeping in his living room.  I closed my eyes and tried to fall back asleep, and as the fog began to clear I realized that I was in my own room, in my own bed.  The thought comforted me, and just as I was settling down again, I felt something.  Someone was watching me.  I opened my eyes to face a shadow man, standing at the side of my bed, staring down at me.  I have never been more shocked in my entire life.  I literally gasped out loud, and did the only thing I could think of - I was 20 years old at the time, but I grabbed my blanket and threw it over my head, squeezing my eyes tightly shut, thinking that if I can't see him, he can't see me.  I did this for a few seconds before I realized what I was doing.  I remembered that I was an adult, and that I was probably just imagining things, having been so disoriented from waking up moments before.  So, I pulled the covers back from my head.  The shadow man was still there.  I looked at him, and he looked at me, and I felt almost chagrin from him - almost like he was embarrassed to have startled me, and he began to fade away, back toward the mirror that had been on the wall, directly opposite from my bed.

After that I waited a bit, then ran downstairs to the kitchen where my cell phone had been charging.  I picked it up, thinking to call Dave, knowing that it was very late and that I'd likely wake his Dad up.  When I picked up the phone, I saw that there was a missed call and a voicemail.  It was Dave.  He'd called me  before going to bed, and left a voicemail telling me Good Night.  It was all I needed to hear, at the time.  I listened to his recorded voice, and willfully went back upstairs to sleep.  I never saw the shadow man again.

I took my Psychic Circle with me when I moved out of the townhouse and in with my Dad to attend college, but I only used it maybe a couple of times.  Dave actually hates the thing, and when we bought our own townhouse, he refused to even let me bring it in to the house.  It is somewhere in our garage now.  In the eight years that I moved out of my Dad's, the Psychic Circle was used once, at a friend's house, for a Halloween party.  We had a weird "coincidence" with some barking dogs, but that was it.

I have not had any paranormal happens like that since I moved out on my own.  Now my paranormal happenings occur on paranormal investigations.  In the mid-2000's my Dad decided to invest in his hobby, and started purchasing "ghost hunting" equipment.  Over the years he has collected quite the arsenal.  We have been on several investigations since then, and while I haven't ever experienced personally the "shadow man" since then, I certainly have had my share of incidents. And so, these are the happenings that helped shape the paranormal lover that I am today, and my theories on what I have experienced have evolved over the years, based on different experiences.

But that is another blog, for another day....

My Peaches - love you forever, baby girl - see you again someday!


  1. Nice work!! I'm glad you have decided to share your experiences with us all. Crystal

  2. It is interesting to hear these events from your point of view. Although I remember some of these events very well, they may be slightly different since they are my point of view. Love you, your sis ~

    1. I think I missed some of the details in the face thing you saw... God I remember when you first told me about that... freaky as hell! And then you saw a shadow man in the Elburn townhouse, I think too... I know there were more things and you actually had a lot of experiences, in both houses....