In 1969 I was 11-years-old. Our family was pretty normal. I had two brothers and two sisters still living at home, as well as mom and dad. My parents bought this two-story farmhouse in Pettis County located north of Smithton, MO.
We had lived in the old house about two years when my 17-year-old brother told me that something woke him up in the middle of the night, and when he rolled over he saw a shape in the door. He said it had broad shoulders like a gorilla and about the same height. My brother had always been a big cut up so I thought he was joking to scare the rest of us kids that slept in a very large room just to the left of his room. So I said, "You're full of it." Then he said, "Why don't you come sleep with me for a week and see if you see it."
I don't know why, but I said okay. Now here I am, 11-years-old and sometimes afraid of the dark, but I felt safe in the old house. So anyway, I had slept with my brother for over a week and nothing but he said, "It's okay. You can sleep here a little longer." So I did.
Then one summer morning, at least I thought it was morning, I guess my left foot was sticking out from under the covers and it felt like someone dug their fingernail, like striking a match, up my foot and it woke me. The first thing I did was look down to my feet and nothing was there. So I took a minute and thought, "What in the world?" Then I noticed a dim light in the room like it was breaking dawn. So I looked to the window by the head of the bed beside me and a short stocky man ran toward the door. He was wearing a green short sleeved shirt and blue overalls, so I thought it was our dad cause he had always wore overalls and it moved just like him. So I said jokingly, "Dad, get out of here and stop bothering us. We don't have school today" as he went around the corner into the unfinished room that we used to put odds and ends in. He stopped with his body in the hallway, peaked his head in the doorway, looked into my eyes with a ornery grin on his face and wiggled his fingers at me like he was waving at a child. About that time, my brother woke up and said, "What's the matter?" and I said, "Oh, Dad's over there in the doorway pestering us." My brother looked at the door and said, "Yea, Dad, let us go back to sleep" but when I looked back at the door I no longer saw him, but the hallway seem to have a light on so I figured he was in the spare room. So I shut my eyes but couldn't go back to sleep, and I didn't hear dad leave the other room. So I looked at the hallway again and the light was off so I figured he went back downstairs and left to go to work.
Well, I didn't give it much thought through the day until dad come home from work and I noticed he had a different shirt on. And I said, "What was you doing upstairs this morning pestering us?" and he said, "What?" so I repeated what I said again and dad looked at me and said, "I wasn't upstairs this morning and I haven't been upstairs for about three months. Then my mom said, "No he wasn't. He woke up late and didn't have time to even grab a cup of coffee."
To this day I still remember the grin, those glassy eyes and him waving his fingers at me. And how he looked like my father.