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The Watching Buddha


When I was a younger, I grew up in a home that practiced two religions. My sisters and I would regularly go to a Lutheran church on Sundays, while my mother, who was Buddhist would go to "temple" on the weekends as well. What I mean by "temple" is that in my small home town there was no dedicated Buddhist temple. The Buddhist community was growing but scattered so services/gatherings would often be held in another member's home. Often she would invite me to go with her instead of to church. Sometimes I would go with her, but often times not. I think it was her way of showing me, in her mind, that all Gods where the same, and wanted to expose me to all ideologies so that I could decide when I got older.

My point in bringing up my early religious background is just to show that I grew up with various influences and my strange experiences, in my opinion, were not due to unfamiliarity or culture shock.

My earliest encounters, between 4 and 5 years old, are very clear and involve an apparition. My friends often tell me my imagination and youth make my memories unreliable, but I have a lot of memories beginning at the age of 3 that many people can confirm. This account is not about the ones that happened to me then but rather, the one that terrified me the most when I was about 7 years old.

Growing up my parents were good friends with another family of the Buddhist/Vietnamese community. My best friend during childhood was their son, Truong, who was the same age as me. I remember a lot of activities and stuff we used to do together, but I also remember this Buddha statue they used to own. The statue wasn't uncommon itself, but it was still very different than the chubby jolly Buddha most people are accustomed to. This one had a white face while the rest of it was painted in bright gaudy colors, a devilish grin, and its eyes were painted wide open. I always got creepy vibes whenever I saw it even though they kept it on an altar in the family room.

The worst experience I had was a day I went over there to play with Truong. I can't remember why, but my parents had dropped me off and so we were alone downstairs playing in the living room. His oldest sister was watching us at the time, but eventually had gone upstairs. Truong was the youngest boy in their home so, often in the middle of playing, he would get called away to do various tasks or chores for a few minutes and then return. That day was no different so when his sister called for him, he obediently went upstairs and left me in the room alone.

I want to say the room got really cold and dim, but I know that part is probably just my imagination of reliving this story, but I do know that all of a sudden I was filled with this feeling of absolute terror. The sense of being watched overcame me completely, and I looked up at the altar to find the Buddha staring down at me. I froze for a few seconds and told myself, "It's just a creepy statue... It's not really watching you". To prove it to myself I got up and walked across the room, only to become absolutely panicked when the painted pupils shifted to the corner of its eye to stay fixed on me. At this point I darted across the room in the other direction to get away from its gaze, but once again, the eyes followed me. What was worse is that it still had that same closed mouthed, freakish grin. I admit that I didn't see them, but racing through my head was that right there beneath the surface, it had teeth- not sharp pointy teeth, just some regular pearly whites.

Standing there with its eyes on me, I felt completely weak and drained so all I could do was sit down. I looked up at it one last time to see it still staring at me, and then put my head down and sat there waiting for Truong to come back. He was gone for only a few minutes, and soon I heard his footsteps coming down the stairs. The feeling of dread immediately lifted, and we went back to playing as usual. I didn't mention anything to him at the time. He didn't ask me why I was just sitting there or mention that anything felt out of place so I kept quiet.

As I mentioned earlier, the Buddhist community was budding. His mother was extremely involved in it. Eventually his family moved to a new home next door to an old building that she and others started renovating. The plan was to open up a temple that could be used for regular services and holidays. She also was the one who coordinated bringing a few monks into the community to live at the temple. During the renovation, the monks lived with his family until the building became habitable.

Jumping a few years later, one Halloween (Truong and I both in high school now) him and his sister and my sisters and I went over to his house to have a horror movie marathon. The movies were not scary and we had a few laughs that night. Afterward, we were just sitting around trading scary stories. I told them about a few of things that happened to me when I was really young. Then I remembered the incident with the statue. I asked them if they still had it somewhere, and told them about the time I was alone with it.

After I finished telling them, I thought they would dismiss it as fantasy, but instead they got really quiet for a few seconds. Eventually his sister chuckled and said that it was weird that I mentioned that. She then told me a story related to it. Apparently they had gotten rid of the statue at the request of one of the monks that had stayed with them. His sister said the monk had come across the statue and told their mom that it was possessed. The monk also went on to say that it should not be used and that they needed to get rid of it because of its aura of bad luck. She didn't go on to say how it was discarded or if it was destroyed ceremoniously. I don't think either one of them knew what happened to it- only that it was removed from their home when the monk requested it. They also don't remember how they came to own it.

To this day, I still don't know what to make of this incident. Now that I'm older, I haven't had an experience in years, but this one is by far the clearest one I can recall.

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The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, EHauss, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

WishfulNull (151 posts)
9 years ago (2013-05-04)
Hi EHaus,

Very well-written experience! I appreciate the level-headed way you laid it all out and your view of these happenings. Definitely gave me the creeps... I can't imagine how scary that must've been for you as a kid. 😨 It really would be interesting to find out where it came from/who created it (you say it had a hand-made look to it...) perhaps one day you will find the answers. I find the phenomena of "cursed/haunted items" fascinating. This is going into my faves 😁 Welcome to YGS, and thank you for sharing! 😆
EHauss (1 stories) (4 posts)
9 years ago (2013-05-02)
I've only shared this story a few times to a few close friends and they usually wonder the same thing. I completely understand their reasoning; I too have run across disturbing paintings, dolls, etc.- that seem like they are staring. This experience was wholly different for me though. It's possible I was hallucinating, but I'm not prone to it as far as I am aware, even at that age. What unsettled me more is the remark from the monk years later that made me rethink my own skepticism.
indian47 (1 posts)
9 years ago (2013-05-02)
True buddha's dharma had vanished and if not then vanishing, todays ritualistic buddhism is nothing but a channel of negativity, I my self is a buddhist, but following buddha's original teaching.
Wyland_Renald (2 stories) (10 posts)
9 years ago (2013-05-02)
Couldn't it be that your mind was playing tricks on you?
You were young, the statue looked creepy and as we can see with eyes in pictures and such, they something feel like they are following you.
4d (15 stories) (167 posts)
9 years ago (2013-05-01)
Wow, amazing experience. Thank you for sharing it 😁 What ever that Buddah was used for sure had interest in you 😭 Mahalo - 4d
EHauss (1 stories) (4 posts)
9 years ago (2013-05-01)
Hi All! Thanks for reading. This is my first submission to YGS and I was a little nervous to share.

[at] Phantom380: It's strange how you hear or watch scary stories and you wonder why people stand there and don't do anything. I feel like I kind of understand now- when you are filled with that much shock. The door to the house was easily within running distance, but for some reason in that state, it was the one thing I felt like shouldn't do... Kind of like a fight, flight, or freeze reaction.

[at] Darkness: No, I never did find out where they got it from and I haven't talked to Truong or his family in years now. I've tried Googling to see if I could find something similar but have had no luck - or good luck:). The statue itself had a folk-art/handmade feel to it though so I still wonder where they got it. His parents immigrated during the war like my parents did so my guess is they attained it sometime after they moved to the US.

[at] HappySpirit: I totally agree. It makes wonder sometimes if the statue was intended for something else. Its looks had all the traditional characteristics of a jolly Buddha, but there was still something a little off about it. Other than that particular story about the monk's comment, they never shared any of other experiences about it- not sure if that's because nothing else occurred or maybe they weren't consciously aware of any happenings.
HappySpirit (187 posts)
9 years ago (2013-05-01)
Very creepy story, along the lines of possessed doll stories, only worse somehow, as I assume a Buddha statue is supposed to focus spiritual thoughts and energy. Yikes. I too would be interested to learn if the family had any experiences with the statue.
DARKNESS (3 stories) (2022 posts)
9 years ago (2013-04-30)
EHauss: No doubt you were freaked out by this, I would be in the exact same boat if I had a statue watching and putting that feeling of dread into me. Did you ever find out how they came to have had the statue in the first place?
Im assuming the family had their own experiences as well?
Thanks for sharing.

Phantom380 (2 stories) (12 posts)
9 years ago (2013-04-30)
That is a creept story. That monk must have had a similar experience to you. If a statue were staring at me, I'd immediately bolt out of the room screaming and yelling.

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