The below blog first appeared in Wendy Potocki’s “31 Days of Halloweenpalooza” on October 21, 2013:
Love the opportunity to guest blog. Thank you, Wendy. Writing about the paranormal and fear are part of who I am. I initially planned on re-telling a story I’ve told a million times. Growing up my parents’ house was haunted. Is haunted. A painting hung in my sister’s room. Was of a young girl picking flowers. The eyes freaked me out, so much so that I took it down, out into the garage and destroyed it. I was roughly fifteen years old at the time. From that point on, strange things started happening. And during it all, my mother denied anything paranormal every happened. Ever.
Nothing scary. The “ghost” who, in what I believe was a dream, told me her name was Jenny. Seemed friendly. My Casper. If I fell asleep in my room, she’d hug me. She’d whisper now and then. Fold blankets. I know – fold blankets? – but she did. She would. There was one time when she was angry, though. Jealous.
Had a girl home for the weekend from college. No one was home. We were in my room. Messing around. The girl stops. She says to me, “Sometimes I just … know things.” I replied with something like, “Oh, really?” But her ‘knowing things’ wasn’t a top priority at the time. I want to get back to smooching, you know? She’s not done, says to me, “Does the name . . . Jenny . . . mean anything to you?”
Stopped cold. “What?” Hairs on my arm rise. A shiver snakes down and back up my spine.
“Jenny – because, she’s not happy right now,” she says.
“We have to get out of my room,” I say. It’s more to myself. Said it out loud though. I work up the courage to run. Pull open the door. Jump down the stairs and then make sure the girl is behind me. She is. Good thing. No way I’m going back up there. The bedroom door slams shut. Sounds like things banging around in the room. No idea what it could be. The closet door opening and closing? The dresser being rocked up and down? No idea. The girl I’m with is just staring at me. Eyes wide. We leave the house.
From the time I was fifteen until – now, I have never slept in my bedroom. Spent my teen years sleeping on the sofa in the living room. Went to college. Got married. Got divorced. Moved into apartments. Jenny never followed me. She is still at my parents’ house though. Only now – now I have proof.
My oldest son and I were shooting video footage for a book trailer for my novel, VACCINATION. Some of the video filmed in my parents’ house. In reviewing scenes, we found a host of light orbs flitting about. We counted more than 15. They floated. They zipped. They swarmed. They also seemed to attack. An orb is small ball of light that moves about – believed to be a spirit or the spirit of ghosts.
In one of the last scenes filmed inside the house, a woman in a nightgown is at the top of a staircase (I can’t tell you who that woman was. My mother). The wall Jenny hung on is directly behind her. The shadow of her on the wall – by her legs, if you watch real close – transforms into a small creature with a long tail, and the tail whips and waves around.
Nothing is by her legs. The footage was NOT altered in any way.
A few nights ago when my son was running through the images of the orbs for us to see, and we saw the shadow dancing – my mother screamed. A few hours later, she said she needed to go to the bathroom. She started to go upstairs. Stopped. Went downstairs. My daughter tugged on my arm and said, “I think grandma is scared.”
You know what? I think grandma is scared, too.
Often asked why I write horror. Good question. Wish I had an answer.
Thank you once again, Wendy, for the invite. Hope my long rant didn’t bore your readers too much. You wanted a scary story. This, scared me. Scares me. Appreciate the opportunity to share!