A COMPILATION OF MY EXPERIENCES AT HOME
Early in my childhood, I have always been attracted to the ideas of the paranormal. Despite being very scared all the time - my fears irrational due to the anxiety that runs through my family and the sheltered life of being an only child - I never taunted or tried to expose myself to the taotaomona that linger in the roots and rocks of our island.
I recall countless times my cousins and I going into the jungle to catch shrimp, to swim in the river or run from the goats and geese that were down there. Many times I would hear whispers between my elders in Chamorro, the word taotaomona being something I recognized quickly as both terrifying and beautiful at the same time.
I would recite to my grandparents before I went down into a steep path carved into a cliff, banana and wolf spiders dropping from the overgrown papaya and lemai trees. Chickens crossing hurriedly to run from the growl of wild boars that we could never catch sight of with our own eyes.
By the time we would start to fish and swat mosquitoes from our skin we would forget all about the words we were to recite if we wanted to take something from the jungle...
Or, if we were too far from a restroom.
I believe I was around the age of six when we were in another village watching a baseball game. It was late at night, and this baseball field was built further into the jungle, away from other buildings and houses that were in the area where ranches are hidden away by overgrown trees and broken down cars.
This memory of myself is relived as if I was staring at from across the street. There were no restrooms, and my mother found a spot where the grass was much taller than the rest. There is a common experience for people to know that they are fanaguied by the ancient spirits that are on the island. Usually a bruise that came from an unexplained pinch is enough.
But like other cases, it was an extreme.
The next day we were to continue watching the baseball tournament at another field and village except when I woke up that morning I had a very high fever. When my mother put me in the car to go to the hospital there was no denying that I had upset something a doctor couldn't fix.
All around the car, various sizes of footprints and hand prints were placed. It was no animal. Fingers were splayed out, mud crusted against the paint and glass making it extremely visible. I don't know what my mother did with pictures if she took any, or if she was too scared to take any. Because even inside where the dials are showing the speed the glass had baby foot prints on it too.
"It's even inside the car mom!" I said to her an excited sound in my voice because of the strange phenomenon I couldn't believe, even when my mom carried me out, crying to my grandfather.
Afterwards, when we would take showers the sound of children playing right outside the window when the family and neighborhood didn't have children that age would make the shower suddenly feel colder (even without the heater) and stop us quickly, shaking more from the fear than the iciness of the shower.
This was my first experience and it lasted about a week, my aunt wouldn't let us be alone, the most terrifying part is late at night with my mom and my biha aunt, there would be a violent bang on the door that no one else but us three could hear. It wasn't the banging that was scary, but the response of my aunt.
"Keep banging!" She would yell back in Chamorro. "I'm going to die one day and when I do I'm going to find you and get you for scaring my girls like this!"
The banging would stop as if taken aback, then become more violent.
As time came to 6:00 in the morning, my aunt forced us back to go apologize, and I remember thinking how scary it as was but how much I wished it would happen again.
We said a prayer, asked for forgiveness, and it all stopped. My fever disappeared and my aunt patted herself on the back and cursed under her breath that she wouldn't forget the spirit who didn't listen to her.
There is a reason why I claimed Guam is the most haunted place in the world. This story, was just a start.