Thursday, September 29, 2011

The House on Rivermet

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays!  In honor of that, I'm going to do something I've NEVER done before.  I've had the fortune (or misfortune) of living in several haunted houses.  This month, I will be writing short stories that are an actual accounting of events that happened in these homes.  These stories are 100 percent true.  Only the names have been changed to protect the identity of those involved.  As I am not bothering my editor with these, you can expect to find errors.  I've done my best, but--comma queen I am not. LOL

Remember, sometimes the things that go bump in the night...isn't the house settling, or noisy neighbors.  Sometimes, there's really something there.

The House on Rivermet

            In September of 1992, just seven days after my second bio-child was born, we had to move from our apartment into a small duplex on Rivermet.  Things were pretty tough back then.  I’d been working at a local bar as a bartender/waitress and my boss felt it was too dangerous for me to continue working once I’d really started showing.  With only my husband’s income, we couldn’t afford the expensive apartment.  We went house hunting and found this quaint little duplex.  It was definitely a fixer upper, but the price was right.

            I’ll never forget the first time I walked into the place.   It was dingy and small, but with two bedrooms and a decent sized living room, it was good enough.  Except for the smell.  The air was thick with must.  I knew I had some major cleaning ahead of me, and just seven days after having a baby, I wasn’t sure I was up to the challenge.  We signed the lease, took the kids to his parents, and went back to clean.  By the end of the day, we were ready to move in.

            Now I have to admit the place was really cute once the layers of dust and crud had been removed.  It had all kinds of potential.  Or so I thought.  I was uneasy being there, but who actually likes being in an empty, dirty house?  I sloughed it off and the next morning we moved in.

            Looking back (because we all know the hind sight adage), the strange happenings began that very first day.  My oldest daughter refused to sleep in her room.  She was only 3, so that’s to be expected in a new place.  However, she also refused to play in her room.  And that was pretty weird.  I didn’t like the room either.  I can’t tell you why, I just didn’t.  It made me terribly uncomfortable to be in there.  So much so, I wouldn’t put the baby in there either.  I tried a few times, but I found myself continuously checking on her to make sure she was still breathing.  Probably normal behavior for a new mom, but then again, I wasn’t the freaking out kind of person.

            The disappearances started immediately.  The baby’s pacifier, bottles, everyone’s shoes, and even silverware came up missing all the time.  I mean every day, ten times or more a day, something would go missing.  I could lay the baby down, stick her pacifier in her mouth and go to the kitchen.  I’d go to the sink, or fridge, or whatever, and the pacifier I’d just given her would be sitting right in front of me.  The first few times it happened, I laughed about it.  Maybe post partum or something?  Obviously, my mind wasn’t working right. 

            Five days after we moved in, the scary stuff began.  I was babysitting, Chrissy, a friend’s 3 year old.  My husband was gone and just me and the three little ones were at home.  The baby was sleeping and I was holding the toddlers on my lap.   We were singing the alphabet song and all of a sudden, Chrissy’s face went white.  She looked terrified.  I turned my head in the direction she was looking, and there was a man peering in the small window in the front room door.  He had shaggy, dirty-blond hair, and dark circles under his eyes.  His face was really pale.  I mean hadn’t seen the sunlight in 100 years pale.  And he stared at me without even blinking.  Then he was gone.  Poof.  Nothing. 

            The girls had already started crying, but before I could put them down and get my gun (which was what I had every intention of doing), his face appeared in my living room window.  I was stunned and couldn’t move.  He disappeared again, and my body went into overdrive.  I shoved the girls behind the couch, grabbed the phone and dialed 911, and headed into my bedroom to grab our gun.  By the time dispatch answered I was locked, loaded, and back in the living room with the children. 

            Standing in the middle of the room gave me a clear view of the kitchen and the back door.  That’s what I was waiting for.  I figured he’d try to kick in the back door, if he was coming in.  As expected, his face appeared in the kitchen window.  He looked right at me.  Now a normal person, even a peeping Tom, doesn’t just stand there and stare at you when you have a loaded 45 pointed at their head.  But this guy did.  No expression on his face whatsoever.  No fear, no recognition that I was about to shoot him, nothing.  And then he was gone.

            I still had the phone to my ear and the dispatch officer told me the police had arrived out front and that I was to secure the weapon.  My reply?  “No way!  You tell them to get someone around back and when they knock on my door, I’ll put it away.  Hell, I’ll hand it to them, but there is NO way I’m putting this down until one of them is in the house.”

            When they knocked, I released the chambered round, dropped the clip, and opened the door.  Butt first, I handed the officer the gun.  He came in and I was finally able to sooth the terrified 3 year olds.
            Several minutes went by, and the other 3 policemen called the one talking to me outside.  They were out there a long time.  Finally, he returned and looked like he was trying not to laugh.  He asked me again exactly what I’d seen.  Frustrated, I repeated the story.
            When I’d finished, he laughed.  “Mamm, have you taken a good look at the outside of this building?”

            “No, we haven’t lived here that long.”

            “Well, I’ll tell ya what.  I’m not sure what you thought you saw, but the ground on the west side over here slopes down.  The man you think you saw would have been 9 feet tall to look in those windows.  There’s no footprints out there anywhere.”

            My jaw dropped.  I wasn’t crazy.  And it wasn’t just me!  The girls saw him too!

            “When will your husband get home?”

            “He’s on his way now,” I answered.

            “Okay, that’s good.  Now you need to put the gun away, and I’ll wait outside until he gets here.”

            It was blatantly obvious he thought I was a whack job.  But what could I do?  He was right about the slope.  I hadn’t thought of it when I’d seen the man, but it was there.

            After that, it got weirder.