I'd heard the stories when I was a kid, but it was a few years ago, when reading a Sylvia Browne book that I figured out what this was. Different from a ghost, a Tolkas is a ghost like presence made up of the psychic energy of the people in a certain place. Unlike a ghost, a Tolkas can physically hurt you.
Our Tolkas first appeared in Melrose Park Illinois. The family lived there in a house. The house was on a block that bordered a large swamp. The swamp was bordered on the other sides by a paint factory, the railroad, and an Alberta VO5 shampoo factory.
Anyway, my sisters would let it slip that "We had a Ghost". Friends would be allowed over after school, and sure enough "the Ghost" would appear. Friends would run screaming out of the house. The ghost seemed to get along with everyone, but me. My mother told me that several times she had to shoo it away when it hovered over my crib. On one occasion though, it meant to hurt me.
Our house had a long hallway. I was about three when it happened. My mother was at one end of the hall and I was at the other end. She called to me. I ran to her. The ghost suddenly appeared between us. I was lifted off of the ground and thrown sideways at my mother. My mother had a cigarette in her hand. The cigarette went in my left eye.
My mother instantly rushed me into the bathroom and turned on the bath faucet. Holding my eye under the running water, she actually saw the red glow of the burning material in my eye. I wasn't blinded, but I am legally blind (diminished eyesight) in that eye.
We moved out of that house when I was six. The family broke up. My mother, I, and younger brother moved to New Mexico. We moved into a very old and crumbling house. I took a room off of the back porch. We had been there about a year. The key though, was that just a week earlier, my mother had held a "Mary Worth" party (you summon spirits through chanting). That is how the Tolkas found us.
I was asleep, but awakened by a scream. I looked up and the Tolkas was in doorway, blocking me from exiting the room (I knew it was the same Tolkas-Native American woman-round face, teepee shaped body with the covering an Indian blanket). Like a frightened seven year old would, I temporarily hid under the covers. Then, I decided to make a break for it.
As I sat up to get up, I felt a hand grip my throat. The hand pushed me to the bed. I continued to try to get up, but was slammed back. This fighting actually went on half an hour (I looked at the clock). Suddenly, the Tolkas was gone and I tumbled out of bed onto the floor. Barely able to breathe, I belly crawled to my mom's bed and tried waking her up.
She was upset that I was disturbing her. I told her that the ghost attacked me. She ordered me back to bed. No way was I going back to that room. I curled up at the foot of her bed and slept there.
My mother awoke at 5 for work. She carried me back to my bed. I got up 90 minutes later for school (we lived in the country). After I got to school, my Teacher noticed that I kept rubbing my neck. She took one look at my neck and rushed me to the school nurse. The nurse looked at my neck and said it looked like I had been "scratched by claws". She asked what happened. I told her I was attacked by a ghost. She called my mother, who was forced to take me home.
The Tolkas never appeared again. Both houses were torn down a few years later.