My name is Sam, I am 28 years old (born in '83) and live in a beautiful town called Barboursville, West Virginia. It is a small place near Huntington, WV. Prior to the age of 3, my parents and I moved around quite a bit. Finally, my father's military path led him to be stationed in Oklahoma and my mother and I moved to Huntington to be around her parents and siblings.
We moved into a big house her parents owned. The house was on the outskirts of the roughest part of town. The area was rough with crime and houses were worn down. It was yellow, two stories tall, about 80 years old and if you went down steps beside the house you would find a large back yard covered in trees. With the house behind you, the yard was a peaceful escape within an obviously cruel setting. Cherry trees, apple trees, a walnut tree, and a few maple and oak trees provided a shaded canopy for the downward sloped yard. The back fence was lined with grape vines and a large weeping willow tree.
However, a turn to the rear revealed an ominous and threatening house. It was taller from the rear because of the basement which was visible from this side. The basement was accessed by opening a large square door that always reminded me of a barn door. The basement was terrifying, especially to a small child. The floor was earthen (dirt) and there were no working light fixtures. If you stepped up to the right side of the basement, there was a room typically sealed. My mom let me in there a few times and it revealed a workbench area that appeared trapped in time. Old, turn-of-the century tools were lying scattered, covered in decades of dust and webs. The basement also housed the furnace and yard tools. Therefore, as a child, the only reason I had to go in there was for yard tools, and to see what people were up to when they were working on the house. At any rate, I avoided this dark place not only because I found it creepy visually, but because there was a suffocating darkness that I felt - even from just looking at the padlocked basement door from the outside.
Anyway, on to the house's interior living space. The entrance to the house was covered by a long, covered porch. Part of the house extended over the roof of the porch. When you walked into the front door the first thing you saw was a foyeur with brown carpeted steps directly in front of you. To your left, a dining room... To your right, a large living room. It was like one big open area with a set of stairs stuck in the middle of it. If you went to the right of the stairs and by the living room, you would eventually get to a door that led to two more options. If you went right, you would find a long room containing washer and dryer, grandma's plants and a long table my grandfather used to use for tools. At the end of the this hall was a door to the steps which led down to the back yard. If you went left from the previous door you would find the kitchen. We liked to eat most of our normal meals in the kitchen. If you continued through the kitchen you would be led back out a door into the dining room. If you continued through the dining room, you would end up at the front door. So, essentially, the house was a big circle (I used to ride my tricycle through the place).
The stairwell was particularly creepy just because of it's darkness and the way it was situated. When you reached the top of the stairs you were at a flat spot, a landing area and you had to go up three more stairs to your right to get to the bathroom, bedrooms and spare space. Once upstairs, you could go left into the bathroom or right down a hallway. The hallway was essentially a big open area with white railing surrounding the stairs opening. So, one could lean over the banister and see the front door, essentially.
If you were walking from the bathroom, a bedroom would be on your left. If you continued straight, you would see a storage area (spare space). If you went through a door on the right at the end of the hall you would reach the master bedroom (yes the upstairs makes a circle as well). If you continued through the master bedroom you would reach the door to another bedroom. From this bedroom, you could look out into the back yard pretty easily. You could also go straight into the bathroom and back into the hallway from here.
The house was generally brown and cream in color. There was an abundance of brown carpet, brown paneling and some white/cream walls which were decorated with religious paintings, crosses, paintings of elder family members and lots of photos. I apologize for the lengthy description of the home but feel it is necessary to paint the environment.
Right after we moved into the home (I was three), my grandfather passed away. I remember the funeral but not a lot was substantial directly afterwards. My bedroom was the one sandwiched between the bathroom and the master bedroom. So, I used to go upstairs, into the bathroom then into my bedroom. It was good because could look at the foot of the bed, into my mom's bedroom. My grandma was staying in the bedroom in the hallway overlooking the stairs. I stayed in this bedroom for approximately 2 years.
Every night in this bedroom I would feel kind of uneasy but attribute it to being a child. I had some pretty scary dreams and some sleep paralysis but nothing too violent. My mom said I used to carry on conversations in my sleep a lot but I still do that to this day. I used to hear my grandma scream out in the middle of the night, "Get out of here! You have no business here!" I used to giggle because my grandma was kind of fussy and didn't really like my mom's dog so I used to always figure it was just the dog bugging her.
When I turned 5 or so, my grandma became quite ill. She had a stroke and was no longer as mobile. So, we turned the dining room downstairs into her room so that she could have access to the house. I ended up moving into her room because I liked it more. I moved most of my stuff in there but some of her things remained. One of those things was a big rocking chair that creaked like crazy if you sat in it. The floor was bare wood and would also creak a lot when you walked across it. I was less comfortable emotionally in this room. When I would look out of my door at night I could see into the dark hallway... And the railing of the stairs. Within a few days, I began having terrible nightmares about being torn apart and suffocated by something I couldn't see.
Then it happened...
I was lying in bed trying to go to sleep one night but it was so hot this was difficult. The only thing I could hear was the oscilating fan at the foot of my bed. Then I heard the stairs creaking as if someone was coming up. As I looked out of my room, I struggled to see into the dark hallway. Then I saw it, a tall, dark figure slowly coming up the stairs. It stopped when I could see it from the waist up. It appeared to be turned looking at me and just stayed there for a long time. Eventually, it moved and started to continue up the stairs. As hot as it was, I covered my head and did not move a muscle. I heard the floor boards creak as something entered my room. The steps approached the side of my bed and I could feel it standing there. I stayed covered for probably an hour before falling asleep. I don't remember what I dreamt but as I awoke, I experienced sleep paralysis. However, it was much different than before. I felt as if I was being squeezed by something terribly cold. I could hear a pulsating humm... Much like electricity, that grew louder and louder until finally I managed to move and sit up. This was the first of many, many nights. I almost never slept with my head above covers from that point forward.
Every time I would do this I would scream for my mom and she would comfort me. She didn't make any guesses as to what it was or mention whether or not she thought I was telling the truth.
One night, I woke up becuase I heard someone walk down the hallway. I managed to whimper, "Mom?" I then heard my dog growling and barking - Shaggy never did this. She was a very calm dog. My mom came out into the hallway and turned the light on. She was telling shaggy to stop and I came out to see what she was doing. She was standing there barking at the storage room at the end of the hall. She did this until my mom took her into her room. We went back to bed and I slept comfortably.
On the worst night I can remember, I woke up to a loud storm. I was 6 or 7 at the time. I woke up to a loud storm. Lightning was filling my room even with a lamp on the side table. Suddenly, the power went out... Which meant my light also went out. I could hear the fan slowing down and the room became so very quiet. I could hear the intense rain beating the roof and the lightning was the only light available. It was, again, very hot. I remember sweating from the heat and the fear. Then I heard a footstep creak on my floor. I slowly covered my head, as hot as it was. I tried to not make a sound. The footsteps slowly approached my my bedside. Then suddenly I felt like I got hit with cold energy. I felt like I was being torn out by electricity. I was shaking and couldn't scream. I was uncovered at this point and could hear the loudest scream imaginable... It sounded like it was inside both my ears. I finally managed to call out, "mom...". At this point I felt myself freed and I fell into the floor. The power came on... The light at my table came on... The fan began spinning again. My ears were ringing and my body was burning. At this time, loud footsteps thumped through the hallway and a door slammed shut (the door to the back bedroom that connected with the bathroom). My mom must have woke up when she heard the door slam and came to find me in the floor. She asked me if I was ok and picked me up and put me into bed. She looked me over and found large handprint bruises on each of my arms.
Things seemed to be kind of quiet for a couple weeks so I became somewhat comfortable around the house. One night I was riding around the house in my tricycle as I liked to do. I stoppped at the foot of the stairs suddenly and was compelled to look up. It was so dark, I couldn't tell if I was looking at anything. Then behind me, I heard a loud thump on the front door. I was startled and didn't know whether to run or not. Then I heard loud scratching coming from the top of the door. I split like lightning and ran to my grandma and mom. They looked outside and nothing was there.
This scratching became a regular occurance, as did thumping sounds coming from the basement. We could often hear them while eating or watching TV. Sometimes the toilet upstairs would flush on its own and we would all be downstairs. Sometimes at night I would hear something like someone sitting in the rocking chair in my room. It would creak loudly with any movement.
My grandma needed my help frequently so I was used to her calling my name. But there were frequent times that I would hear her call my name and when I would find her, she had never said anything. The activity seemed to die down a bit when my dad would be visiting on leave... But he was a very quick-tempered man. I remember one time he was so mad he threw me down in the hallway upstairs. I ran to my room and found a mirror on my dresser to be broken. That could be coincidence from vibration, but it is interesting.
My last summer in that house (before my parents' divorce) seemed a bit more calm. The bad dreams, the creaking floor, the scratching and thumping... All of it died down. It seemed to follow the decline of my grandma's health... At least I thought it did.
I was told many years later, as a teenager, that one of the times my uncles came over to fix the furnace they noticed a spot in the basement that appeared to be damp. They dug it up to see if their was any kind of underground water leak. What they found... I am so glad I didn't know about it. They found bones in the floor of the basement. My mom said they were in a small hole about 20" wide but a few feet deep. I remember police being in the back yard once as a kid but my grandma stayed with me in the house and wouldn't let me see.
This house had belonged to my grandparents for probably 30-35 years and my mom and her sisters did some growing up there... Mostly early-late teens. My mom told me that she had always been told growing up that the man who lived their prior to her parents had killed himself in the house, which always creeped her out. She also said that his wife had been declared missing for a long time before he killed himself but she was never found.
One of my aunts that lived there talked to me one day and out of the blue mentioned the "black man". I asked her... "Was their a black guy in the house?" She replied that he was a tall, dark shadow that would come into her room and hover over her. Apparently, they all knew about and experienced this entity.
The experiences were so terrifying to me that I get teary eyed just talking about them. After my parents divorced, we moved out of the house. I never experienced nights like that again... Thank God.
I apologize this being legnthy but would appreciate any comments you might have!