By: Redacted File | Location: Baldwin Hills, Los Angeles
Image Credit: sxc.hu
We used to visit my grandparents in L.A. for Christmas growing up. The top floor bedroom of their L.A. home still housed the beds of my great grandpa and grandma. My parents would stay in these beds when we would visit for Christmas. The bed that was my great grandfathers had the stain from the wax he would wear in his hair still on the fabric cushion of the headboard. In his bed, no one could sleep in without the feeling like someone was standing over you watching you. I was home alone taking a shower in the upstairs bathroom and smelled old school pipe tobacco that was not there. My grandfather used to take a Polaroid picture of the table set for Christmas dinner, often while listening to Sinatra. One time there was a large white mist floating above the table in the picture when it developed.
I used to wake up early in the morning and eat various leftovers, while I would watch Saturday morning cartoons. One morning shortly before Christmas, I tiptoed up the wooden stairs from my room on the main level of the house to ask my father if I could eat something out of the fridge. I remember it being very dark in my parent's room, and I did not see my father in his bed as I peered through the banister. I walked back down to the main level of the house and toward the kitchen past the front door. Just before the kitchen and to the right of the study was the door to the long white hallway that led down to the lower level of the house that contained the laundry room, downstairs apartment, and the door to the outdoor pool.
I opened the door facing the long hallway down. I mustered up the courage in my ten year old self to squeak out in a high-pitched voice asking, 'Dad, are you down there?' I instantly knew I was not alone. I felt an electric tingly chill, and was filled with a sense that I should not have asked that question, and that I should escape as quickly as possible. What I heard back gives me goose bumps to this day. I heard a terrible, hissing and powerful voice, which I could hear with my both ears, but also felt as if it was reverberating throughout my mind and my very soul. The voice said, 'NNOOOO!!!!' Scared does not cover what I felt, primal; consciousness altering, sheer terror would be more accurate. Slamming the door, I ran to my room, I then slammed that door; I dove underneath the false safety of my covers. I waited there for hours, wide-awake until my father entered my room, confused to why I was not out already awake watching transformers or GI Joe. I told him what had happened, and he talked me into following his downstairs so that I could see that he could prove that no one was in any closet or space who could have possibly done such a thing. This pointless act was equally as terrifying, as I was in no doubt about what had just occurred. Of course, we did not find anything, so I was left confused and terrified with only questions. The feeling of dread, and the certainty that we were not actually alone when we thought we were.
Years later, when I was about 17 my father admitted that when he was down there playing as a kid, he'd hear voices but he couldn't understand what they were saying, and hear people walking up and down the stairs that weren't there. I know what you're thinking, someone was waiting downstairs in a closet all night to scare me, or maybe it was some walkey talkey. The house had an alarm, which made a loud audible beep throughout the house, so no one else got in and was attempting to hide downstairs.
There were no baby monitors or other technology to use; a walky-talky would not have produced the perfectly echoing sound, and not the feeling of terror I felt. Only someone who has experienced the electric chill of an experience with a ghost can understand the tangibility of the feeling. Lastly, and most importantly even at that age I know a human voice when I hear it and this was not one. I heard the voice of something that was not human, maybe a demon or an angry ghost; but it still chills me to this day.