This 1970's era French Chateau facade home seems auspicious enough, doesn't it? I spent most of my high school years here surrounded by tree lined streets of suburban Houston middle class bliss. My Mom and stepdad purchased the house rather inexpensively, as the couple who lived there prior to us had decided to divorce, and hastily sold it to practically the first bidders. Upon conversation, years later with the same couple after my Mom had already sold the house too, she found out that the two cited constant, and stressful unexplained disruptions in their home as the reason to their marital breakup. After getting rid of the house, they reconciled. Nice of them to tell us, huh? I knew their mentally retarded son from school, and my Mom immediately found it odd that out of the only 10 homes situated on the cul-de-sac, 6 of them had handicapped children. My young brother included. My Mom believes in the paranormal, but my now deceased stepfather didn't, and offered a skeptic's eye view for all the bumps and creaks in the night. That is, until an apparition started targeting him.
It all began with the usual things of haunted house lore like radios turning themselves on, T.V. sets flicking channels by itself, and doors squeaking open when nobody touched them.
My brother, who has a high functioning level version of a chromosomal disorder similar to Down's Syndrome, was about 5, and he adamantly refused to sleep in the room upstairs across from mine. My Mom decorated it with cute bunk beds, and a Sesame Street motif, and even placed a Nintendo gaming console in there, but night after night, he still crawled into bed with my Mom. Brendon seemed fine to play in the room during the day, but wouldn't even walk past the room when the sun went down.
My stepdad took the guest room at the end of the hall upstairs apart from my Mother because he snored loudly and had to go to work early in the morning, and he didn't want to disturb her. So, Brendon had other family members just yards away from him. He wouldn't verbalize what was wrong, but we all noticed the drop in temperature upon entering the room. A big two story home in Houston is very hard to keep climate controlled in the summer, and yet that room always felt about 20 degrees colder than the rest of the house.
My Mom started noticing that whenever she pulled up in the driveway during nighttime hours, there seemed to be an eerie glow emanating from the upstairs window of Brendon's room. She knew that nobody left a light on in there, because we closed the door at night, and never entered the room. Look at the picture, it's the window on the right with the tree in front of it.
Finally, after a few years of this, Brendon turned to my Mom and told her that he couldn't sleep in his own room because the people living in his closet wouldn't leave him alone. He said that they came out at night, and wanted to talk him, and he didn't like it. My faith teaches that people who are mentally incapacitated are special spirits enveloped in the protection of a somewhat hazy brain to protect them from certain evils. My Papi mentioned that they are the spirits of the strongest warriors in that fight between souls where Satan claimed many, and the rest elected to follow Jesus Christ and his Plan Of Salvation. I believe that this veils them from aspects of the real world, but also makes them more prone to being able to see and hear things others can't. I should clarify though, that he never experienced shadowy people talking to him before moving into this house.
My stepdad, Don, was a 6'6 man of 350 pounds. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, a black belt in Tae-Kwon-Do, and a certified master scuba diver, he feared nothing. After an altercation with my Mom, I lived with my Dad across town one summer, and my Mom reported that after a few weeks, Don refused to sleep upstairs without me in the next room. He claimed to see the ghostly figure of an elderly Native American woman dressed in the traditional clothing, and long braids flowing, wander the hallway. As time passed on, several Native Americans added to the nightly procession of spirits up and down the corridor. My stepdad used the restroom frequently during the night, and I can imagine he didn't like having to fight his way through Indian spirits to get there. All of a sudden, he didn't mock my Mom and I anymore for all the weird things we saw going on.
My teenaged male cousins stayed at the house the next summer while I was gone on vacation to Indiana. Any notion of all the paranormal events pertaining to nothing more than familial hallucinations was quickly dispelled. My cousins saw and heard everything we did, and complained to my Mom about things pinching them in the night. Their departure marked the new occurrence of clothing appearing out of nowhere. My Mom started gathering up baskets of clothes, underwear, and socks that didn't belong to any of us. We would pass the staircase one minute and when doubling back, a pile of clothes would just appear as if out of mid-air. Weirdest of all? A lot of them came from The Gap and were in sizes that none of us wore, so it didn't do us a bit of good, but where did it all come from?
These were far from isolated incidences, and my Mom eventually discovered that creepy things continued plaguing other neighborhood residents. Though, loathe to discuss such things in polite company, my Mom nonetheless continued meeting former and current people from our subdivision who had the unexplainable happening in their domicile just like us.
Next Chapter: Talking Mickey Mouse Terror!