This isn't a story I have ever been comfortable sharing with anyone. In fact, I believe the only person I've recounted it to is a long distance friend, because I simply can't bring myself to speak about it out loud. No one who knows me in person knows of this story; even though my family is fairly accepting of this sort of thing, recalling the event even in my mind terrifies me too much to think about discussing it in person with anyone. Maybe I'll discuss it with a close friend or someone in my family one day, maybe not.
I was probably around seven, though I truly couldn't tell you the time of year. I had been living a few miles outside of a small town in South Carolina, located on the Georgia border on Lake Russel for a few years at this point, with my mom, my dad, and my brother. The night this happened, my dad wasn't at home, he was out of town for work; this means including me, there were two other people in the house.
It was some time after midnight, I would say, that I woke up for no particular reason and couldn't get back to sleep. My door was open a crack and the hall light was on, as it was every night. I wasn't afraid of the monster under my bed or the boogeyman in my closet, but my bedroom door couldn't be completely closed or completely open. Closed, and it was too dark for me to sleep. Open all the way, and I always felt like there was something standing in my door, watching me, making it absolutely impossible for me to sleep. My mom was fine with the hall light being on at night for me, and my door was cracked about four, maybe five inches at night to let the light in.
I'm unsure of how much time passed with no event, but I know that at some point--it could have been ten minutes or a whole hour after my waking--the door swung open. Not hard enough to bang off of my bedroom wall and wake anyone else up. I could hear my brother snoring in the room across the hall. Immediately after it opened, in ran something that still haunts my nightmares to this day.
This thing stopped, turned, and jumped at me, over top of me, and froze in midair above me. I got a very good look at it. It was a little shorter than average adult height, clothes were ragged and moldy, and its flesh was pealing and decomposing. It's face was, in fact, mostly a skull. I remember there were eyes in the sockets, but they were just set into the sockets themselves, no skin around that part of the face. There were flaps of skin remaining around the lips and chin, and hair was covering where the ears would have been. Not exceptionally long hair, just down to where the earlobe would be, and it looked very brittle and old. I saw the hands still had most of their flesh, but there were still chunks missing from them, and the arms were bad enough that bone was showing straight through where some of the flesh was gone.
The figure was slightly translucent, enough that I could see my ceiling straight through it as it hovered over me, but not so much that its details weren't all very vivid. It was also completely green. Perhaps not glowing green, but definitely a sickly sort of green all over. And it hovered over me, silently, and did nothing else.
Me, I couldn't do anything but look at it. I was frozen, paralyzed in my terror. Then I thought, this had to be a nightmare, it positively had to be. Things like this, maybe they happened to some people in old haunted houses, but certainly not to me. When in a bad dream and I realized I was dreaming, I would blink three times, hard, and the last time I opened my eyes I would be awake. It's still a trick that works for me today a lot of times, but only if I realize it's only a nightmare before I awaken by some other means. Needless to say, I tried my trick. Blinked three times, as hard as I could, and when I opened my eyes, positively nothing had changed. It was still there.
I don't know how long I was still for, before I finally clenched my eyes shut and sat straight up in a sudden fit of bravery. When I opened my eyes after that, I was sitting in bed, and the apparition was gone, whatever it had been. I never saw it again.
I still might have thought it a dream even after that--believe me, I would have loved that explanation. However, my door was still open, all the way, and remained open all night. If not for that, I might pass it off today as a dream or sleep paralysis. I remained awake the rest of the night, watching the door to see if it would move again, even the least little bit. My mom stopped at my door the next morning and asked about it. I lied and told her I thought she had opened it. Just to be positive, I also asked my brother if he had opened my door the previous night for some reason. Of course, I had heard him snoring at around the time it opened, so I knew before he answered that he hadn't.
I lived in that same house for seven years after the fact, before moving into another house on the same large piece of property that had belonged to my grandparents. I'm nineteen now, and my current residence is still my grandparents' old house. I've never seen anything like that apparition, in either house, since that night.
All I'm really looking for here is a little information, you see. I've researched a little and haven't found much, and nothing remotely like this experience ever happened to me again. I would very much appreciate knowing what the thing was, since I have no earthly idea about it. I've never heard of anything like it before, and I only ever saw it one time. It still haunts my memories vividly. I still have nightmares about it on occasion. Even in a different house, I still hesitate at my bedroom door when I need to leave my room at night to head to the bathroom or get a drink. I don't know if knowing what the thing was will give me any sort of peace of mind, but it doesn't hurt to try.
If anyone has any information for me, it would be most appreciated.