While in high school, there was the occasional weird thing that would happen. Doors would get locked that shouldn't, sometimes the dining room chairs would all be pulled out over night and on a few times the volume on a stereo in the basement got turned up all the way blasting.
But this story isn't about those events, because they weren't all that scary or aggressive.
No, the events that happened my senior year of high school and stuck with me into my early 30's.
I had the biggest bedroom in the house, located upstairs, it was nearly triple the size of any of the other bedrooms and took up more then half of the upstairs.
No one else wanted the room because it was unheated and winters in Wisconsin can be pretty cold, but I managed to survive just the same.
It started off fairly simple, at night sometimes my door would open on its own. So I started locking my door. One night I remember the door suddenly shaking in its frame like someone trying to get in. I never heard any footsteps to or from my bedroom door.
These were off putting enough, especially when it happened when I tried to sleep, but it was progressing.
I could hear scratching in the walls. Not the random, spastic scratching of a squirrel or something in the wall, but slow, deliberate dragging scratches on the inside of my walls. This usually happened at night, but I didn't need to be asleep or even in bed for this to happen.
That's when the smell started to occur. I could be watching TV or using my computer or trying to sleep. Randomly I'd suddenly catch a wiff of garbage, the kind where people throw raw chicken in the garbage and don't throw it out for a few days.
I'd search all over my room for the source of this smell, but just as soon as I would smell the odor, it'd be gone. This was really frustrating for me.
And then finally the night terrors. It started shortly after the odors. I started waking up, screaming in the middle of the night at the top of my lungs, it felt as though liquid fear was injected directly into my brain. I was horrified, all I knew was I had to get out of my room.
When these bouts of night terrors struck, I'd end up spending days sleeping on the couch downstairs and just as I started to get my courage again, I'd try to sleep in my room and it'd happen again.
My family didn't believe me. The family room was outside of my bedroom and one night while they were watching TV I burst out of my room screaming and jumped down the entire flight of stairs, slamming into the wall at the bottom of the stairs.
My family was surprised, but just wanted to medicate me. Which I strongly resisted. There'd be days on end where I wouldn't sleep in fear of having another night terror.
That was when it wasn't happening just in my room, or just when I was sleeping. There would be days I could be sitting in the house watching TV and I'd get this sense of impending dread closing in on me, like a dark storm rolling in to pour down on a city. And then, I'd just start freaking out again, it was a complete, utter, unreasonable fear as if I was fighting for my very life.
This went on for weeks. Finally one day I was in my room, playing video games when I felt the same cold descent of horror approaching me.
I don't know what it was, maybe I just had enough. I stood up, hands clenched into fists and I got angry and started yelling, "This is my home, I won't be scared away, you have no right to do this to me, leave me alone dammit!"
And amazingly the sense of dread and horror started to fade away. This happened a few more times later, but never nearly as strong or aggressive.
Eventually I graduated from school and shortly after I moved away. I never have had those problems again since I moved.
I'd like to clarify that I was a classic slacker in school, I managed to graduate, but I was never stressed out. I had a job at the time, but I never took it seriously. The reality is, besides what felt like very real attacks on my very person, my life was generally stress free and relaxing.