In 1983 I began playing clarinet in my elementary school band.
In the morning before classes we would meet in the band room. This room was located underneath the stage, and you had to walk across the gymnasium, then down a flight of stairs to get to the door. I purposely avoided being the first person there in the morning because the lights were not on yet, and the light switch was located at the bottom of the stairs by the door. The prospect of walking across the gym with only the light from a couple door windows to see, and then down the pitch black stairs gave me the creeps. Frankly the entire stage area was a creepy with the lights or no lights, because of curtained dark areas and forgotten props.
One morning in November my mom dropped me off a little early. I walked into the gym, and looked for the glow in the far corner hoping someone had gone down already. No light. It was cold outside and I decided I was going to brave it. You can imagine how my footsteps echoed as I walked across the gym. I walked into the little stair area and found the rail with my arm. My hands are full mind you, bookbag in one, clarinet case in the other. My heart was pounding in my ears and I felt absolutely terrified. I thought about where the door was and the light switch, even though I could not see them with my eyes, I could in my mind. I thought I would just rush down the stairs and turn on that light as fast as I could. I took a deep breath and started down.
As soon as my foot touched the first step, I felt a hand on my back. That hand stayed planted firmly between my shoulder blades and pushed me, forcefully, all the way down the stairs. I barely managed to keep my feet, and it ran me right into the closed door at the bottom. It released me and I made a frantic grab for the light switch and the lights blinked on.
No one was there. There was no sound of footsteps. No sounds at all. I was in a full blown panic. I hurried back up the stairs and out into the gym. I stopped and peered up the steps to the stage, no movements up there, no sounds. No one was in the gym either. I ran back outside and stayed there by the doors until a couple classmates showed up. I had calmed down, and realized how stupid my story would sound. So I kept it to myself. I knew something was in there with me that morning though, and that memory still makes my heart beat too hard.
Later that day I reflected on what had occurred and it brought to mind something I had experienced at a much earlier age. I could remember when I was very small, Mom left the house for just a few minutes, I think to assist our neighbor. She told me to sit tight and behave and she would be right back. All I can really remember is that I was afraid, and that something was in the attic, and that it was making the most deafening high pitched shrieking. I ran under the kitchen table (Mom had a long tablecloth on it). And I sat there with my hands over my ears scared to death. The noise stopped. But I stayed there, too scared to move, until Mom came back. Its funny how when you are very young, you just take things in stride.
I knew I had experienced something different, and that most people don't believe stories like that. Since that day I have had several more happenings. Sometimes scary. Sometimes peaceful and comforting. But always impossible to dismiss.
Recently I decided I would like to learn more. I am keeping an open mind. I am curious. If it turns out there is nothing to know, at least it will be an entertaining hobby.