by Samantha Donat:
To put it quite simply, I’m a scaredy-cat. I turn on all the lights in the house when I’m home alone; I’m terrified of what could be hiding in my closet when I go to bed. I tried watching The Amityville Horror last weekend and lasted 10 minutes at the most. The scariest movie I’ve ever seen was Paranormal Activity last year. I spent that night sleeping in my parents’ room. No joke.
Thankfully, I have yet to have any of my own actual paranormal experiences. However, my aunt and uncle’s house, just outside of Boston, Mass., really sends my heart into my stomach. Growing up, they would try to hide their stories from my easily frightened mind, but I eventually discovered the truth: there was a ghost haunting their house, specifically in their bathroom.
The previous owner of their house, an old woman with an old-woman sort of name such as “Mrs. Dibble,” had died in the house before my aunt and uncle moved in. But within a year of moving in, some strange events occurred. My aunt would be in the downstairs kitchen, my uncle would be at work and their only child, a toddler, would be napping in his crib. Suddenly, my aunt would hear water running from upstairs. She would go up to check, to find the tub quickly filling up with water. Alas, no one else was home to turn the faucet. My aunt firmly believed that the ghost of the old woman was stopping in every once in a while to take a bath.
They also had an old black Labrador dog they had brought with them in the move, who would wander around the house like any other dog. The only exception was my aunt and uncle’s bedroom, which the dog would absolutely refuse to go into. Considering that many people believe dogs have a sixth sense, this especially gave my aunt and uncle the creeps. They tried tricks, treats, almost anything, but the dog would just sit outside the threshold, refusing to step inside. That’s enough to make your skin crawl, right?
[pullquote]”At one point, when I dared to open my eyes, I could swear I saw a hazy white shape on the other side of the basement.”
So when I went back east to visit my aunt and uncle, let’s just say I wasn’t too keen on spending the night—especially considering I would have to sleep in the basement. But I told myself to be a big girl and ignore the horrible feeling in my stomach. And I did. I wouldn’t say that I actually slept for more than a few hours each night though, since I would lay shaking in my makeshift bed, terrified to open my eyes and see the mangled face of an old woman staring back at me. Every creak made my heart stop, and every snore from my sleeping brothers made me clench the blankets tighter. At one point, when I dared to open my eyes, I could swear I saw a hazy white shape on the other side of the basement. I then proceeded to jump out of bed, run up the stairs (stubbing my toe in the process) and sleep in the living room. I woke up the next morning still shaking. But when I went back over what had happened, I smiled weakly to myself. Had I really seen something, or was the white figure just a figment of my imagination? Does the saying “seeing is believing” actually have grounds for belief?
After contemplating whether to accept what I thought I had seen, I gave up, incapable of coming to a conclusion. Quite frankly, I’d rather not know if seeing really is believing. Whether or not it can be proven true, I’d prefer to lie quivering under my covers, unknowing of the potential spirits out there, as opposed to knowing that the creak I just heard could really be a spirit coming to pay me a visit.