This will seem long-winded or possibly a bit stream of consciousness, but as I began to write about my experiences (which I've not shared in their entirety before) I just felt it necessary to leave what came pouring out.
Honestly, some of my experiences could possibly be explained away as childhood fears and paranoia, or maybe even some kind of mental problem, but I honestly think otherwise. I never scared easily as a kid. I was never frightened of the dark or the boogeyman. Even scary movies didn't frighten me as a child. I knew something wasn't going to come a get me magically just because I'd watched Amityville Horror or A Nightmare on Elm St. I was independent and brave and never believed anyone who tried to scare me with urban legends or scary stories. This, paired with how vivid the experiences and fears still feel to me, has convinced me that my experiences were real (or else I'm just crazy!). Also, I've realized that some techniques people have spoken about helping to ward entities off (imagining a white light or some sort of protection around you, pushing off bad thoughts they might suddenly bring about and replacing them with happy ones, or thinking/telling them "Go away! This is my home!") were things I just decided to do on my own that actually helped. Maybe it was all psychological, but I really think not.
I remember that when I moved into one of my childhood homes in Florida I would feel quite scared from time to time. I would often ignore it. Honestly, it wasn't even a tenth of what a lot of people have talked about on this site, but for me, it was frightening. I was about 8 or 9 years old when it started. I had never been afraid of the dark or scared of small bumps in the night, as I knew it was animals or people outside or even the house "settling." I wouldn't even be worried about going into dark rooms on my own, but suddenly upon moving into this place I was. I started feeling as though I was being watched every time I was alone in my room or my parent's bedroom.
The two bedrooms (my parents at the very back and mine to the left) were at the end of a hallway in the back of the apartment. Even though I felt scared in the bedrooms I never felt scared in the living room, funnily enough. Although, I would always feel worried about the hallway. I just felt nervous in those rooms. If I were alone I'd feel like I was being watched or like something was just moments from grabbing me if I let my guard down. Even walking from the rooms down the hall I'd pick up my step as though something might just grab the back of my shirt.
I began doing small things, that seemed silly to me, but somehow comforted me. When I would be in my room lying down I'd often feel as though something were looking down at me. I never dared open my eyes, but I would get a very strong feeling that something was looking down at me. It was like, even with my eyes closed, that I could picture perfectly what my room would look like if I were to open my eyes lying exactly as I were. Picturing this, I could see a black figure sort of hunched over my bed. It had no features, and was almost like it was covered in a hazy black sheet. I told myself that if I opened my eyes nothing would be there, so I needed to just not worry but I still felt that fear. After a while I would try to imagine things that made me happy until the fear would subside. I would still feel as though I were being watched from afar, but I couldn't see the figure in my mind anymore. The nights where I felt I could picture the figure weren't very often (and I can't really remember how often they were) but the feeling of being watched occurred every night. Some nights I would feel as though something was breathing on my neck. It was like a tiny wispy breath, like someone breathing through a straw on me. It would occur on nights where I had been able to picture the black figure, but I would just swat at my neck, as though it were just a bug or something on me, and pull my covers up.
Well, the pulling my covers up progressed all the way to me covering my head. I thought about telling my mom, but I just felt embarrassed and like she would just think I was afraid of the dark (I later found out that she has had paranormal experiences before as well, along with my aunt and grandmother). The covers and the imagining happy things would help me fall asleep, although it would take longer and longer over time. I would NEVER sleep in my mothers room because although I felt things were watching me in my room, it was like things were always on the brink of touching me in hers and I did not like it. When I would come down the hall from the bedrooms I found that the feeling of something reaching out to grab me worsened until it was like I could picture in my mind (again, I never saw anything directly, but the images in my mind were vivid) some black mass attaching to my back. I found that if I called out to my mother (it seemed to only work with my mother) as I approached the end of the hallway it was like it dissipated, along with the awful feeling. I never wanted to alarm her, but I would always just pretend I was starting a conversation before I had entered the room.
At one point that feeling got so bad that I would start to picture that, as I turned out of the hallway and into the living room, a white light came from within and cut the thing off my back and that it would recede into the bedrooms. From our kitchen and dining room you could see down the hallway and into my mother's bedroom. I began demanding that everyone always close doors behind them because I was just so "OCD." It was really because every time I was in the kitchen or dining room (day or night, lights on or off) I felt as though I might see something if I were to glance into the room and at this point I had tried very hard to convince myself that I was just going crazy or imagining things.
At one point (maybe a year after we moved into this place? Maybe more? I've spent too much time trying to forget it happened) I was just fed up of feeling so scared in my own home. I used to just always be in the living room whether I was playing or eating or anything. I only went in my room to sleep. I wouldn't even change into my PJs in my room. Well, my parents began arguing all the time and I had nowhere to escape and I was just fed up so one night when I was really angry and felt so heated I went into my mother's room even though it was night and the lights were off and laid down on her bed. This is something I NEVER would have done before this night. I sat there and imagined that I was very strong and powerful on the inside, and that nothing could hurt me. It was like I could picture two male entities and a female one. I couldn't picture features, just figures. It was like they were interacting with one another about my being in there. I thought in my head very loudly (and whispered aloud) that I was strong and that I was something very different from them and that they could never get anything from me anymore. In my head my voice was booming and I told them to get out and never come back because my family and I had nothing they needed. I think I was lying there repeating the same kinds of things over and over because I felt like I had to be thorough. The room felt heavy and sometimes I would feel something like a pressing on my chest but I just breathed deep and imagined that there was something so strong in my body that radiated outward so nothing like them could hurt me. At some point I felt the heaviness go away and it was like I could imagine that the room was lighter than before. I felt like I wasn't going to be afraid anymore. I wasn't until many years later when I was 16 or 17 that I felt anything like this again.
The second time things happened they weren't as frightening as they had been when I was younger, but I still was very uncomfortable. I had similar feelings of being watched in my room but the things I pictured were further away in my room, not by my bed. I began having very vivid nightmares at this time too. I've always had outlandish dreams and bad nightmares from time to time, but this was the first time in my life that they felt real. My dreams are usually very disjointed and such a clear patchwork of things in my mind with nothing ever looking like it does in real life. It is usually quite obvious they are dreams and I had never woken up unsure before as to whether I was awake. In these new dreams I was always in my room, I would always open my eyes and be certain I was awake because things looked just like they had when I'd closed my eyes.
Suddenly something would start trying to pull me out of my bed as an invisible man would scream into my face and beat against my chest. I would even wake up from this, only to have it happen again and realize I was still dreaming. This same dream occurred several times and if I slept facing the wall my bed was against I would get that feeling you have when someone is lying next to you. Nothing was touching me, but it was like something was there. I never turned around, but sometimes I would make a cocoon for myself of my blankets so my back wasn't bare. Eventually I got this large stuffed white tiger that I called Vincent (yes, I named things even though I was well past the age to, I even have a name for my current car at 20 years old) and always kept it on my bed pressed against my back. This was mostly so I could tell myself "Something's by my back? A ghost? Nope! It's Vincent!" It's silly the things you'll do to comfort yourself sometimes...
Anyway, since my last experience as a youngin' I'd talked to my mom about paranormal things. I hadn't told her what happened to me in our apartment, but I had told her that I'd had bad feelings in there. She said she did too but that they went away eventually. So this time when the feelings returned I talked to my mom pretty early on. We didn't really discuss it, I just mentioned it. A few days later I came home from school and my mom had put lines of salt across all the entrances and windows of our place with a lot of salt being across the one window in my room. I asked her what this was about (I'd seen that kind of thing in movies and tv shows before at that point) and she just said that she'd done it for protection and asked some people to make sure nothing bad was in our home.
I asked her what people and she said something like "Our family." I knew she meant members of our family that had died and could tell that if I asked more questions, she wasn't going to answer, so I left it at that. Amazingly, the bad feeling was gone! I really had just thought my mom was being strange or superstitious, but I didn't feel the fear for several months after that. At that point the salt had become hard and clumped together and no longer formed a line (and kept getting in my bed which was pressed up against the window, it was very annoying having a salty bed, as you can imagine!). I'll just mention that I don't think the salt clumping was anything supernatural, I just live in a humid area and that will have messed with the salt in my opinion.
At the point that the salt just became too annoying I had a dog. I still let the salt be for a while but then when he started sniffing at it on the windowsill I vacuumed it up, not wanting him to lick it up. When I did that the feeling of being watched returned (though MUCH more subdued). My dog suddenly started sleeping with his back pressed to mine. He usually would sleep on the floor or on the end of my bed by my feet. He started staying the whole night through with his back pressed against mine, but facing the rest of my room. The more I scooted towards my wall for space, the more he'd scoot into me. He also used to roam around our apartment freely, but would now only go into my room if I or my mom were alongside him. This only lasted a week or so, however, as this time I put salt back across my windowsill and asked my grandfather (who had recently died) to make sure nothing bad was in my home for me.
Again, the feeling stopped and my dog returned to normal. Only this time he started staring at a recliner that my grandfather always used to sit in when he would visit us. My dog would usually jump into the chair to take a nap when he didn't want to be bothered, as my mom and I never used the chair and would mostly just put coats on it when we'd walk in. Once I'd asked my grandfather for protection my dog would very rarely sit in it, he would just sit in front of it and look up at it moving his ears a bit and would sometimes take one of his toys and put in on the chair then sit back down. I never communicated with this thing, but I felt certain it was my grandfather. I'd feel very comforted in the instances and very happy.
I later found out that some of the days where this would happen where after nights where my mom had laid in bed asking my grandfather for help or just for comfort (he was her father and she took his death much harder than me, as I spent a long time just refusing to deal with it). Over time I felt his presence less and less but occasionally it's there. My aunt has said she's felt him as well, but I'm not sure how often as she speaks to my mom about it more than me (and I don't even think she speaks to my mother about it as often as she's very no nonsense).
I've moved out of that place now and haven't felt anything in my new place, but for the last of the time I was in the older place (approximately 3 more years after that last worrying incident) if I ever felt strange or like I was being watched I would just say aloud "Nope! Not now!" or "No one is here but me, my mom, and my dog, so let's keep it that way!" If I feel like something lingers I'll say something more forceful. I've never done this when it felt like my grandfather (which is a distinctly different feeling).
I never tried to communicate with any of the things in my apartment (because I have NO interest in inviting anything in other than my grandfather) although I did at one time unintentionally contact my grandfather with my aunt and mother (although that is something I think I'll explain after I've gotten my mother and aunt's view of the story so I can put the story together well).
[at] dying_beauty, thanks! The "awake dreams" are so scary! Hopefully you aren't dealing with them anymore!
[at] Isandhu, yes, I think after the first experiences I had basically just convinced myself that it was my imagination running wild because I was young, but once I was older and the second experience happened it really convinced me that I hadn't been imagining it. And i'll be comparing notes with my aunt and mother soon enough, i'll certainly post it when I do! (Also, the nightmares stopped after when I first started having them.)
[at] Valentine19, 😁 I do feel that I'm in good hands! It's very comforting to think that if anything starts happening again that I've got someone on my side.