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Terror In Tarawa Terrace

 

This story takes place during the summer of 2006 at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, NC. At the time I was a Lance Corporal in the United States Marine Corps. My wife and I lived in the Tarawa Terrace II base housing area in a small little 2 BR 1 BA apartment/house. There were five conjoined units that made up a housing section. The units together made the shape of a square "C". Across the parking area was another housing section that mirrored ours. This was old housing that had been built in 1942 during WWII. They had been remodeled since then to modernize them and were well maintained by the base. The base was in the middle of tearing down these old housing units to build new privatized housing. Our area was last on the list for demolition (...of course).

I was starting Iraq pre-deployment training and was leaving to go to CAX, (Combined Arms Exercise) in the Mojave Desert in California the next week. During this time my wife had decided to go home and spend some time with her family; as I would be gone for a month.

I got home one late afternoon and started my normal routine of a shower and grabbing a bite to eat for dinner. While showering, I kept thinking I could see a shadow in the shape of a person through the shower curtain in my peripheral vision, and the bathroom seemed to get darker. I pulled the shower curtain aside to see what was there. However, I never saw anything out of the ordinary. The shadow would dissipate and the lighting in the room seemed to normalize. Granted, the lighting in the bathroom wasn't very good and I was pretty tired and beat down after a long day of training in the hot and humid NC summer. I never had a bad feeling or felt that anything was out of the ordinary. It was a little unnerving and I thought to myself "Whoa, that's weird..." I convinced myself that I was just exhausted and my eyes were playing tricks on me. I finished my shower and got dressed into some PT shorts and no shirt (NC summers were pretty intense with nightly temperatures averaging mid-high 80's with 100% humidity).

I went into the kitchen trying to decide what to fix for dinner. After about 10 minutes I decided that I was too tired to fix anything and I would just order a pizza. After placing my order I sat down on the couch, turned on the TV and waited for the delivery guy. It didn't take long, maybe 10 minute or so, before I fell asleep. During my time asleep I had dreamt about a dark shadow figure that was chasing me. It was a dream where no matter how fast you ran or tried to run, you never could get away or you would trip and stumble over everything. As the figure chased me it would make the lights go out. And I had an ominous feeling that I needed to stay in the light or it would get me. The dream started in my house going from room to room. Then I opened my front door and I was running into a new house. I then realized this was my childhood home. Then after going through another door, that morphed and I found myself running inside of a random hotel. All the while the shadow figure consuming the light as he followed. Then I left the house running outside into the dark night (so horror movie cliché, I know..., but I can't be held responsible for the actions of my dream self). I would run from street light to street light trying to evade the shadow figure. Finally I was awakened from sleep and my dream by the sound of the doorbell. It was the pizza deliver guy. The dream seemed like it lasted for a long time. However, I was only asleep for maybe 10 minutes.

Not bothering with plates or utensils, I took the pizza, sat it on the coffee table and began to eat. As I ate my pizza I thought about the dream that I'd had. I didn't feel scared about it at all just thought it was a bit strange. I did wonder if my dream had any correlation with the shadow figure from the incident in the bathroom earlier. However, I just chalked it up to coincidence and exhaustion. I finished eating, turned off the TV and put the leftover pizza in the fridge. Then I brushed my teeth and went into the bedroom to go to bed. I remember I went to bed a little early (before 22:00), because I had to get up early for unit PT in the morning at 05:00. Before I climbed into bed I turned on the TV and DVD player, put in a DVD of the TV series M*A*S*H and set it to play all episodes. Then I laid down in bed, began to relax and began watched my show. It didn't take long before I fell asleep again. I didn't even make it through one episode before I passed out. Then a few hours later, it happened...

All of a sudden, I was awakened by something. I was on my left side when I opened my eyes and I was looking out the bedroom door into the hallway. At the instant I had opened my eyes, it seemed as if my eyes had caught someone/something (a shadow?) moving passed my doorway. I looked at the clock to check the time and it was 03:17, I remember it distinctly. As I laid there regaining my senses, I got a really bad feeling. It was a feeling of such dread, terror and sadness; as I've never felt before or since. The feeling made me nauseous and I felt I might have to run to the bathroom to throw-up. I decided to get up and investigate what I thought I had seen. I flipped off the covers and began to sit up. My torso didn't quite make it fully upright when my body was slammed back down on to my bed! As I hit the bed my eyes closed and I could not reopen them. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't open them! Even though I couldn't see, I could feel or sense that there were four, dare I say, spirits/entities that were each holding one of my limbs. I was being held down! My limbs outstretched; my body making an "X". I realized that I was being attacked and that I had to do something! I struggled to break free of their grasp, but I couldn't.

I tried to speak, yell...anything, but couldn't! All that I could get out was almost like baby babble. I could feel that this was very bad! I didn't know what they planned on doing to me, but it was such a terrible feeling, I can't even describe it! I tried commanding the spirits to leave by yelling "In the name of Jesus Christ, I command you to leave!" But again, my words were all garbled; like a toddler just learning to speak. I didn't know what I was going to do; I was so scared! All during this time, I could hear my TV show M*A*S*H playing in the background, so I knew I wasn't dreaming. It was the episode where Klinger goes AWOL and tries to escape Korea on a hang-glider.

So, I thought to myself "I can't say a prayer, but maybe I can think it in my mind?!" So I began trying to say a silent prayer in my head. But my thoughts seemed scattered and rearranged now as well! "What am I going to do?!" I thought. Then I felt a new presence enter the room. I felt this new presence had command and authority over the others. As they held me down, it put its face down close and began scanning over my body. It's hard to explain because I couldn't see anything. I sensed it had the face of a lion or some kind of beast. It started at my feet, and began slowly and methodically working its way up; almost like a CT scan or an MRI. Back and forth, back and forth... It seemed as if it was searching for something... Like it was peering into my soul. I tried so hard to break free from their grasp but still couldn't free myself. As it reached my face, it stopped and stared for what seemed like forever! Finally it started back down my body and stopped at my stomach area, just peering into me... What was it looking for?!

My mind seemed to regain a little control of itself at this point. I thought to myself, "I should try commanding it to leave again!"...I tried with all my might to sit up and I began to think the command in my head at first. Then my mouth began to cooperate with my mind and started to say it as well. Words were still a bit jumbled but they began to come together. Still trying to free myself with all my might, my mind regained control of my mouth and it happened... I shouted "IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, I COMMAND YOU TO LEAVE!" Then all of a sudden my attackers let go of me and fled! Because I was trying so hard to break free, I sat up with such force that I almost flung myself out of bed! I was overcome with emotion, I began to cry and again yelled, "IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, I COMMAND YOU TO LEAVE!" Then I ran out of my room, down the hall, out my front door and into the parking lot. I didn't know what to do, but I felt I needed to call my dad. Of course, I ran out of my house and didn't think to grab my cell phone on the way out. In fact I was still in nothing but PT shorts. I was going to have to go back in and get it!

As I started toward the front door, I got that weird feeling on the back of my neck. The hair stood up on my arms, legs and neck as I began to feel sick, again. I flung the front door open and ran back into my house. Turning on lights as I went, I headed for my bedroom. As I reached my bedroom, I immediately turned on the light, ran to my nightstand, grabbed my phone and ran back out of the house as fast as I could!

I called my dad at almost 03:30 in the morning in North Carolina, which made it 01:30 back home in Utah. After about six rings, my dad answered the phone. He immediately asked me what was wrong. I assume he asked me this because of the time in which I called. As a general rule, I don't call my parents at zero dark thirty to discuss the weather, so his assumption was correct. Unable to hold back the tears I said, "Dad, I was attacked!" He said "Who attacked you!? Are you ok?! Where are you now!?" I replied, "Dad, I was attacked by a spirit!" The phone went silent for about five seconds... He said, "A what?" "Dad, I was attacked by a spirit, a ghost...something!" He then asked me if I had a safe place to go. I told him I that I should, but I'd need to call my Corporal, who lived just up the street and around the corner on an adjacent block. He told me to call whoever I needed and to call him back if there were any problems arranging a place to stay for the night.

I called my Corporal, and good friend, Jake who without any hesitation or questions offered me a place to stay as long as I needed. He drove over to pick me up and even went inside my house to get my uniform items and shaving bag etc. I couldn't bring myself to go back into the house again. I still had a terrible feeling just being close to it. He drove us back to his house and setup a makeshift rack on his couch. Then he asked what all had happened. I told him exactly what had transpired. He told me that he believed every word and said he had never before heard someone tell a story with such fear and conviction. I am so grateful for all that he did for me that night; most of all for just listening.

After I had returned from CAX, I told my wife about the incident that had happened when she was away. I didn't tell her right away, because I didn't want to frighten her, as she scares easy and figured she'd freak out. As we were talking she told me that she'd had strange things happen to her in that house as well. On a couple of occasions when I was at work (before my incident) she had gone into the bathroom to take a shower. She swore she saw a shadow of a person through the shower curtain. She just figured I'd come home for lunch and snuck into the bathroom for a quick peek and a kiss before heading back to work (which was very common). She said she spoke to me and asked how work was going but no one would answer. She would pull the curtain back to find nothing there and the shadow would be gone. Was this the same shadow figured that I'd seen prior to my attack?! (Cue Twilight Zone Intro Music) At the time, she said she didn't really put much thought into it and figured she just imagined it. However, after I told her my story she really got pretty scared. Before I deployed to Iraq, she flew home to stay with family again. She didn't like to be alone when I wasn't there. And even more so now with our experiences in the house. Once I returned from my deployment we decided to move to new place off-base in Jacksonville, NC.

Now for some post attack analysis. With no tangible evidence to support my claim of the attack, I found myself questioning my own integrity. Did this really happen? Was it just a dream? For weeks and months I tried to find a logical explanation almost every avenue to reason with myself that this may have not happened and that perhaps it was just a dream or maybe a hallucination. However, I couldn't deny the way it felt when I was attacked. Every fiber of my being tells me that it did happen, I wasn't dreaming/hallucinating, and I was in fact attacked by an evil spirit.

About five years after the incident, during another deployment, I found another U.S. Marine who had a similar experience. This was the first time I had heard the terms "Sleep Paralysis" and "Old Hag Syndrome". He didn't believe he had been attacked by an evil spirit and put all his stock into sleep paralysis. I have done quite a bit of research on sleep paralysis. There are many potential triggers of sleep paralysis; most of which revolve around high stress and abnormal sleep patterns. High stress and lack of sleep definitely fits the profile of a U.S. Marine training for a combat deployment. About a year later I met another service member in the U.S. Army, who also had a similar experience. She however, believed that she had been attacked by an evil spirit as well. Before telling this story, I had only told a handful of people of my experience. Strangely enough, I don't think my dad believes my story. Years later I brought it up to him once in a "Do you remember when," moment and he seemed to scoff at it. Regardless, it's really not important if he or anyone else believes it. I know what happened and how it felt. I don't ever want to feel and experience that again.

So, could my experience have been just another case of sleep paralysis? Science and "experts" tell us yes, absolutely it could. However, I believe that my experience wasn't just a mere case of sleep paralysis but rather something more sinister. To this day, I have not had another experience like this nor have I ever experienced the same feeling of terror.

What do you think? The floor is open for my readers to comment. I would very much appreciate some thoughtful honest input. Also, consider this a reach out to find other readers who have experienced similar events.

Thank you for reading!

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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, wth_devildog, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

Jitow (355 posts)
 
2 months ago (2017-10-05)
You did the right thing regardless of what it was or how it gained access to your bedroom and the key take away is that your response to the attack worked and you were immediately set free. God Bless you my friend and thank you for your service.
wth_devildog (2 stories) (14 posts)
 
2 months ago (2017-10-04)
Rook,

The possibility of the shadow being the movement of a towel is highly suspect. The towel rack was on the other wall adjacent to the shower. More likely it could've been just the folds in the translucent shower curtain and poor lighting. I'm not ruling out natural causes by any means. After all I chalked it up to exhaustion and stress at the time. I suppose anything is possible.

Religion has taught me that the holy spirit is one of love, peace, comfort and happiness. But at the end of the day, it really is left up to personal interpretation. How one believes the holy spirit should feel could be very different from another. But the consensus from society is that
God/Jesus/Holy Spirit = Good - Devil/Demon/Evil Spirit = Bad.
rookdygin (24 stories) (4356 posts)
 
2 months ago (2017-10-04)
wth_devildog,

Ah, ok... Door closed... Zero windows...Humm...

Long shot here... Is it even remotely possible that the ventilation 'started' (A/C or Heat depending on time of year) and caused your towel to move... Which in turn cast a 'moving shadow' before its weight settled it back into place? Or perhaps it was the movement of the towel itself that you saw out of the corner of your eye?

Or perhaps that wiring from 1942, as 'strong' as it was... Was not shielded and the 'shadow figure' was generated due to EMF sensitivity. Either that OR maybe a former resident was able to gather just enough energy to briefly manifest.

It's that that I do not believe your experience, but as I mentioned EVERY POSSIBLE Natural cause has to be ruled out.

'...when you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.' (Sherlock Holms by Arthur Conan Doyle)

As far as 'how' the Holy Spirit should feel to 'us'? I do not really have an answer for that. How is a 'test of faith/strength' supposed to feel? (If...IF this has anything to do with religion).

Me thinks however this had more to due with conquering your own fears/doubts and was either an intense dream or a physical manifestation of those fears... And you were able to defeat them.

Respectfully,

Rook
wth_devildog (2 stories) (14 posts)
 
2 months ago (2017-10-04)
Rook,

The shadow figure seemed to appear at a similar time (afternoon/early evening). However, the time of day wouldn't have affected the light in the bathroom as there weren't any windows in the bathroom, and we both showered with the door closed.

And again, the housing was pretty old, as it was built in 1942. I don't know if base housing ever had the electrical system upgraded over the years or not, it is possible. In 2005 my wife and I experienced Hurricane Ophelia in that house, and we never lost power.

And it is hard to distinguish the feeling between the individual entities. I can only speak for the overall malevolent feeling and terror about the situation; and that the 'lion' was in command. Coming from a religious background, I have a hard time wrapping my head around the idea that this could've been the 'holy spirit' allowing me to be held down against my will to search/scan me. The feeling seemed to be the exact opposite of what one would think the 'holy spirit' should feel and act like.
rookdygin (24 stories) (4356 posts)
+1
2 months ago (2017-10-04)
wth_devildog,

You mentioned one thing, a detail that might be 'telling'. You mentioned the AGE of the Military Housing you were in.

So some questions concerning the shadow figure...

Did you witness this figure at (or really near) the same time of day? If so it 'could' have been a shadow from something outside the home.

If the wiring was very old, or just poorly installed (Yea! Lowest bidder gets the contract!) it may not have been shielded properly which could have caused high EMF levels in the home... High EMF levels can, in some cases, if people are sensitive enough, cause hallucinations/feelings of being watched/odd rashes/nausa...the list is quite extensive and its one of the main reasons EVERY Natural/Normal cause has to be ruled out. Some very real reactions to very real things can seem 'paranormal' until 'pinpointed'.

Here is a question I did not ask before, the figure with the Lion head... You said he seemed to 'command/control' those holding you down... Looking back on this which, if any really 'felt' bad/evil/rotten to you. Just those holding you down and/or the figure with the Lions head?

Respectfully,

Rook
wth_devildog (2 stories) (14 posts)
 
2 months ago (2017-10-04)
Rook,

Thank you for your service as well! These work-ups were in conjunction with my first tour to Iraq (OIF x2, OEF x1). I do come from a religious background. However, I can't say that I have always been strong in my particular faith. However, I try to be a good person. Neither of us kept a diary of the other odd events around the house; just a mental note. The only related item seems to be the shadow figure. It appeared to both of us in the bathroom (or so we thought) and it found its way into my dream. I've tried to analyze this before. Was my seeing the shadow figure and the incident that happened later that night related?

Thank you for your interest and comments!

Semper Fi

Wth_devildog
rookdygin (24 stories) (4356 posts)
+2
2 months ago (2017-10-03)
wth_devildog,

Thank you for your service.

The 'work ups' you are referring to, were these prior to your first deployment or had you seen time over there before?

I ask because your experience contains elements that point towards it being a 'true paranormal experience' OR S/P, either may be applied. Let's break it down...

From the S/P point of view:

1) You yourself mentioned being exhausted, and as a retired Navy E-6 (was there for both Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom), the focus and intensity of the training can, and often does, influence our dreams.

2) You are religious OR come from a religious background, thus your attempts at Prayer to make it stop.

3) The 'imagery' itself. Your arms and legs being restrained may have been a manifestation of your fears and worries (Am I good enough, am I strong enough, am I ready for what lies ahead, WHAT IF I FAIL? These type of thoughts can 'pin us down'. Even if they are only subconscious.

4) The figure with the Lion head: The Lion has been used as an image for Christ... So 'He' looked deep inside you and found you worthy and thus gave you the strength to 'cast off' your fears and doubts.

So now for why it may have been paranormal...

1) The sheer number of 'spirits' you felt. You do not describe simply 'not being able to move' but something holding each of your arms and legs (one 'spirit' for each arm/leg for a total of 4) and an additional one to 'examine' you.

2) The fact you did not see it with 'open eyes' but 'sensed' what was happening.

3) I repeat the imagery of a 'lion' is often used to describe Christ... Perhaps this was the 'Holy Spirits' way of showing you that you actually had the 'inner strength' to conquer your inner most fears.

Could the other 'odd' experiences at that house indicate what happened one way or the other? Perhaps... Did either of your keep a Journal of these events? Did any of them seem related?

Just a few thoughts I had while reading your experience. Thank you for sharing.

Respectfully,

Rook
wth_devildog (2 stories) (14 posts)
+1
2 months ago (2017-10-02)
AugustaM,

I've never thought about the shadow figure in a positive light before. That is an interesting spin on it. I never did feel threatened by the shadow figure, so maybe there's something to this theory. I'm going to have to ponder on this one. Perhaps it was a tortured widow searching for her lost love. The origins of my attacker/s remain open for discussion. Perhaps what I was feeling was their pain and suffering having lost their love. However, it didn't feel like a human spirit. There was definitely a disconnect of what human emotions and interaction feels like. But it's anybody's guess. Thanks for the comment!
wth_devildog (2 stories) (14 posts)
+2
2 months ago (2017-10-02)
Unexplained,

Sorry, that last comment was supposed to be for you. I accidentally addressed it to AugustaM. I was trying to answer each one of my readers that commented and I mixed up the names. My sincere apologies!
wth_devildog (2 stories) (14 posts)
+1
2 months ago (2017-10-02)
AugustaM,

Yes, I can relate to the feeling of being in a possible state of hypnosis. And to this day, I am grateful for my buddy for listening to me and believing me. I kept this story a secret for quite a while. Only telling a select few individuals that I had full faith and confidence. I also feel that even though this was a terrible experience, I got something positive out of it. I feel I can better identify the feeling of true evil, as well as provide support to others that have had similar experiences. Having been in their shoes, I understand completely. From personal experience, having someone to talk to about is paramount. Thank you for your comment!

Cheers!
wth_devildog (2 stories) (14 posts)
+1
2 months ago (2017-10-02)
cloudy,

Thank you for your comment. That's terrible that you've experienced this three times. I've only experienced this once and that was enough! Regardless, whether or not it was paranormal, or just another case of sleep paralysis, I'm glad others have had similar experiences. That way we can connect and talk about them. A virtual support group if you will. Thanks again!
AugustaM (2 stories) (429 posts)
+1
2 months ago (2017-10-02)
I don't get the feeling this was sleep paralysis or that all cases of sleep paralysis are strictly products of one's own mind. Given your line of work, you know how to assess a threat and, in this situation, your mind said THREAT and I tend to believe it!

I wonder if the shadow figure was not directly associated with the others. Given that neither you nor your wife felt particularly threatened when he was around - that he showed up to watch over when you were in a vulnerable position (I.e. The shower) - and the dream you had right before the attack where he was trying to chase you away from there (had he been the threat, I think you would have awoken far more disturbed by the dream). It sounded to me like he/it may have been trying to watch over or warn you.

As to what the attackers were or what they were looking for... It does seem like they and their leader were quite interested in figuring out just what made you tick. This is far fetched but... Grief can transform a person and, after enough time and torment, I would venture that it could transform one's spirit as well - could your lioness been what remained of an army widow still searching for her love lost in war? Fanciful, perhaps, but just a thought.
Unexplained (2 stories) (111 posts)
+1
3 months ago (2017-10-01)
That sounded like a terrifying experience, but you recalled it so well and with such detail. Excellently written.

I've had sleep paralysis (the old hag visitation) myself once, years ago (I may write the experience down in more some time), and felt like I was being held down by some demonic creatures. I could hear them cackling and talking as they held me and I couldn't move an inch. I felt like I'd been put under (as in hypnotised) because I felt completely numb - as if there was very little circulation in my limbs - they seemed to be tingling a little, but eventually I began to struggle free from this feeling of being gripped and then the voices began to fade away. Once I'd regained my feeling and could move again I fled upstairs to my Nan and told her what happened.

Your experience seemed a lot more terrifying than mine, but I can identify with much of what you said. I understand that feeling of terror completely and am glad that you had people around you who didn't write you off as a loony.

Although the experience I had was malevolent, I actually felt like it was something that I learned from and was actually quite a good thing for me to experience. If anything, it has made me more accepting and open to what other people, like yourself, have gone through.

Again, thanks for sharing.
cloudy (7 stories) (38 posts)
+1
3 months ago (2017-10-01)
Hi, thank you for sharing your experience I really enjoyed reading it. For me this sounded very much like sleep paralysis, I have had 3 in my life so far, years apart, but they all were quite similar to what you described, I was very aware of my surroundings when it occurred and I felt a similar feeling of something evil scanning me and pressing me down, after waking up in the middle of the night or early morning. Each time was terrifying but I do think it was caused by stress for me as they all happened during periods of a lot of stress and also exhaustion. The latest one being just a few months ago in the end of my pregnancy. That would not explain the shadow you saw though and I do not know if something paranormal could also have a part in some sleep paralysis cases. I'm glad it has only happened 3 times for me though, I have a friend who have had it almost every night all his life and have just had to learn to live with it. 😨

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