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Dark Places

 

I honestly don't know what to make of my childhood experiences. I had a troubled, abusive upbringing and didn't really deal with it until I was in my thirties. I don't know if my experience of dark places was a side effect of that, or if I managed to short-circuit a genuine extrasensory gift along with so many other aspects of my character. Regardless, here's my tale, and your input is most appreciated.

I grew up in a modern, cookie-cutter raised ranch in a planned suburban development. It was built in 1965, and until my parents relocated in 1987, we were its only occupants. Previous to that, our hill had been wild forest for centuries after some time as an apple orchard in the early 18th century. There had been no human habitation, no ancient curses, and our "quiet corner" of Connecticut had been so isolated that the New England witch controversies had never come within miles of it. In short (too late), there was nothing from the dawn of time through the Vietnam era that could have left any residual human imprint on the first spot on the planet that I called home.

Except the dark spot. More precisely, our basement. Our house was built into the hillside at the crest of the grandly named Mount Sumner (really, just a steep hill) so that the basement was completely buried at the front of the house, but at ground level in back. The builder had intended that homeowners finish the basements into recreation rooms, so the basement had a working fireplace, sliding glass door and large window. My parents never finished our basement, so this potentially well appointed space was used for storage, and housed the furnace, water heater and laundry appliances.

The door and window faced east, but even on the brightest mornings, the basement was as dark as it was at night... At least, to my eyes. Turning on the lights didn't help either. The bulbs themselves were bright enough, and staring directly at them would leave spots in my vision, but it was as if the illumination struggled to reach any further than the edge of the glass. Worst of all, though, was the fact that the shadows that lay claim to the room weren't entirely cast by old boxes, discarded furniture and the furnace - they moved and they "spoke".

No, it wasn't English, or anything approaching any spoken language I've ever heard - I've gone over this with a couple of psychiatric professionals over the years, who seem to salivate at the prospect that a client may have heard voices and listen intently until I explain in full. It was more of a guttural background chuckle that would stop and start. As a child, I had the feeling that they were able to understand each other, and that they enjoyed the fact that seeing and hearing them terrified me.

After mocking, yelling and hitting didn't discourage my complaints to my parents, my mother humored me by accompanying me to the basement one night. There was motion where there shouldn't have been, which she explained away as a draft... But moving what? There were a few boxes and an old couch there at the time, and the bare-bulb light fixtures were affixed to the beams. She claimed not to hear the murmuring at all, but just about jumped out of her skin when the furnace roared to life. In short (again, too late), my parents accused me of having an overactive imagination, and threatened that continued flights of fancy on my part would lead to doctors, foster care, and all sorts of other horrors.

So I avoided the basement as much as possible, and completed any chores down there as quickly as I could. As I got older, I became aware of other "dark" places, though none of them had the added funhouse babbling and motion of our basement.

There was a house on the main drag between home and the supermarket, for instance, that sat in a pool of darkness despite being in the middle of a sunny, treeless yard. There was also something very shady about the local Congregational church... Fortunately not our denomination, and I only had to enter the building once, as a teenager, to drive my sister home from a chorus recital. By then, I had a handle on things.

I'd discovered drugs. Valium, to be precise, though many and varied others would follow. My mother had a seemingly bottomless supply, and I took one once after a schoolmate extolled its virtues. Not only did it calm me down and make my life infinitely more tolerable, but I discovered a side benefit the next time I had to retrieve the laundry - the sun was out and the basement was brighter than I'd ever seen it before. The shadow things were still there, but both less visible and less audible than before. I upped the dosage and they vanished entirely.

I've since stopped using controlled substances to combat life's many trials. In fact, it will be twenty years later this month. I don't see dark places anymore, but I can still feel if a building or part of it is "wrong". I leave it to you to decide if this was all childhood trauma gone awry or something more ephemeral.

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Comments about this paranormal experience

The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by yourghoststories.com. Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, SomeCallMeTim, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will participate in the discussion and I need help with what I have experienced.

micasa (17 posts)
 
1 year ago (2016-10-14)
Dear Somshelbyloree eCallMeTim,
Thank you for sharing your experiences here. I agree with shelbyloree and Redwolf concerning the reason your mother didn't fess up to hearing and seeing things like you had at the time. I also agree that geography may have had more to do with it than you originally thought.
Very frightening.
SomeCallMeTim (4 stories) (13 posts)
+1
1 year ago (2016-08-08)
Thanks for the comments, everyone - what a pleasant online community we have here!

Shelbyloree - I actually managed to find samples of the native languages online. They're guttural and choppy (not casting aspersions on the native speakers - English sounds just as discordant to speakers of the world's more melodic modern languages), but whether they're an exact match for what I heard all those years ago, I honestly can't say.

RedWolf and PunkysMama - Thanks for the affirmations. My mother spent most of her life as a firm believer in better living through chemistry... Provided it was prescribed and made in a factory. My father and sister, by contrast, could take or leave a cocktail or glass of wine and never dabbled in anything more adventurous. The path I chose made me who I am today, so I've learned to be grateful for it.
PunkysMama (4 stories) (62 posts)
+1
1 year ago (2016-08-05)
Hello SomeCallMeTim,

After reading this I felt sadness. I can almost imagine the fear and turmoil you had to deal with on seemingly a day to day basis. 😢 I also would like to congratulate you on your sobriety. Many kudos for having that strength. You definitely are a bit sensitive be it through the abuse you experienced or simply a natural gift that was impacted by your experiences; the world may never know. Thank you for sharing your experience with us.
RedWolf (28 stories) (1246 posts)
+3
1 year ago (2016-08-04)
Tim

Maybe the reason for your basement not being finished and more importantly your abuse was because your parents were being affected by the darkness too. Your mother being on valium for nerves and you had a seemingly bottomless supply. Was your father an alcoholic or did he take drugs too?

Congratulations on 20 years of sobriety. I hope your mother doesn't need the pills anymore either.

Aside from human spirits there could have been nature spirits that weren't too happy about another piece of land,trees,bushes,etc destroyed after they reclaimed the land.

Regards
Red
shelbyloree (5 stories) (285 posts)
+1
1 year ago (2016-08-03)
Looks like you had the Mohegan and Quiripi tribes in your area, unless you live in the far corners of the state.

Quick google search brings up burial mounds for the Mohegan, and yes, they would have buried their horses with them. Your basement probably looked 'darker' than next door because it was probably closer to the human remains.

My dad worked at a TV station built partially on or completely on an old burial ground and it was ACTIVE. Ceiling tiles shook, dark shadows, voices, etc. Same type of deal. Even with sunshine and a central atrium, it was still dark and gloomy.

May look into either of those languages (if they survived) to see if that could be the words you heard.
SomeCallMeTim (4 stories) (13 posts)
+1
1 year ago (2016-08-03)
Hi, Mazzmarach, Tweed and Shelbyloree.

I'd had no idea before publishing this that this is such a relatively common occurrence. The malevolence I sensed from these beings may have been entirely subjective - I perceived the physical world around me as threatening, so I may have projected that onto the shadow beings.

As it was a small, tightly knit suburban tract, we kids were in and out of each other's houses on a daily basis. None of the other houses had the activity I observed in ours, though the basement immediately next door, despite having been transformed into living space, felt dim and "wrong", though not otherwise populated.

As far as a possible burial site, when they extended our cul-de-sac in the late 1970's, the builders unearthed some horse skeletons near the base of the far side of the hill. There had been stables there in Colonial times, and I remember being surprised that anything remained of the horses at all after two centuries.
Mazzmarach (2 stories) (72 posts)
+1
1 year ago (2016-08-03)
Ahoy, there.

This talk of hills and voices reminds me of the Tuatha De Danann. There is a possibility that you were living on a burial mound and weren't told about it.

Smooth sailing,
Mazz
Tweed (22 stories) (2032 posts)
+1
1 year ago (2016-08-03)
Hi Tim,

This experience makes your stomping one make a lot more sense, you were accustomed to an otherworldly presence by the time of that stomping ghost.

I'm really sorry you did it tough growing up. 😢 I'm pretty angered at some of your parents' attitudes toward what you told them.

I want to link you to another experience on here which describes guttural type voices. Hidden within the comments section to this there's some links to some audio samples of old fashioned Nordic languages. This came about from a discussion about nature spirits, in particular Scandinavian ones. It's on the second page of the comments. I wondered if what you heard in your basement might be a similar type of entity.
Http://www.yourghoststories.com/real-ghost-story.php?story=22084

If what you heard were nature spirits, they're actually not 'bad' and I highly doubt they were the cause of the foreboding down there. It's possible they were reacting to something 'bad' down there and possibly confused by who you were, hence their discussion.

It sounds like the basement made such an impact that it made you hyper-aware of other similar dark or negative places. I'd say that's a good trait to have though.
shelbyloree (5 stories) (285 posts)
+1
1 year ago (2016-08-02)
Well from a European standpoint, your property may have been in the clear, but there have been humans roaming every part of earth for some time.

In Virginia, or West Virginia not sure which, they recently discovered what they thought were 'hills' were in fact extensive ancient burial mounds, with up to 8 or 9 skeletons within each 'hill.'

It sounds like the 'hill' is where the most activity was occurring, and given the secluded environment, it might have been a burial mound that was incorrectly identified by everyone. Anyone who knew differently would have been long gone.

It would be like building a house next door to the cemetery, and digging a basement into one of the graves, above or below. You could dig under or into the ground without actually coming into contact with a body, but it's still building into a graveyard. It's going to upset someone.

The unknown language could be an extinct native language. I seriously doubt you disturbed a troll or a fairy elf or anything like that. No demons, etc, they're more proactive from what I gather.

Moving is expensive, and not always practical, your folks probably couldn't afford to relocate, so ignored or dealt with it (mom's medicine). The dark vibes could have also expressed themselves through the abuse you mentioned, and addiction, etc.

I would venture to guess any other house attached to the 'hill' would have had similar problems, although it wouldn't have been mentioned in casual conversation over bridge or a bbq.

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