I have always had social anxiety (difficulty with talking in groups of people, presentations, crowded events, etc), but in the past few years I've thought back to some experiences that I know were different, as the anxiety I felt was incomparable.
So, my family became friends with another family due to mutual friends, and we started hanging out with them occasionally, because my brother was 8 and their daughter was 9. This was probably about 3 years ago, I was 16 at the time.
Side note: The first time I met their daughter I thought she was way older than she really was, because she was a very tall and heavy built child.
This family threw a Halloween themed get together, and even though I told my mom a thousand times that I really, REALLY did not want to go, (and she knew events with people made me anxious), I was forced to go with. This was the first time I went to their house.
As soon as I got there, I felt sick, uneasy, scared even. I figured the people were making me nervous, and what I was feeling was just me building up to an anxiety attack. But no matter how many times I was asked, I refused to go upstairs where my brother was (and where less people were). I was actually scared to. I didn't know why, because normally that's what I would've done to calm myself (I often flee populated areas that give me anxiety, and my brother is special to me and makes me feel better). Unfortunately he didn't want to join me downstairs.
If I wasn't with the kids, then I was with most of the fairly intoxicated adults outside, or I was just sitting by myself in a corner of the living room. I chose to sit by myself. The whole time I wanted to leave, I just did not feel good. I wanted out of that house so badly. I've never wanted to leave a place more in my life. I was shaking. I wasn't even around that many people, let alone conversing with any, so why was I acting this way? I was feeling tons more anxiety than usual.
Luckily at around 10:00p.m I was able to have a friend rescue me, she picked me up and I stayed the night with her.
What's interesting is what occurred later that night after I had left. My mom told me that she came inside to use the bathroom but she heard yelling and something going on upstairs, and when she ran to check it out, she found their daughter running after my little brother swinging a bowling pin at him, (yes, a normal-sized heavy bowling pin). She was purposely trying to hurt him. She actually did hit him once on the arm and left a nasty bruise. My mom said that when she walked in, the girl was filled with rage.
Of course after confronting the family she was really upset and left, and didn't want to see them again, considering she could've really injured him or even killed him had she hit him on the head with enough force (like I said, this child was heavy built and strong for her age). He was really lucky that she happened to come inside and hear the noise upstairs when she did.
He said that he doesn't know why she got so mad, but that she started acting "freaky" (his way of putting it) and it all happened very very quickly.
About a week later my mom was visiting with our mutual friend that introduced us to them (they weren't able to come to the get together). The topic came up about what had happened and why we chose not to associate with them anymore. She said that that's "creepy" because they've actually recently confided in her, and shared that they've been dealing with "something" in their house that's traumatizing them. They had been seeing a shadow peering out of bedrooms, jumping out at them, and scaring them half to death on a daily basis.
She even said that they got a picture of it. The mother had her phone with her and was in the bathroom with the door open, when this thing started flying back and forth in the bedroom, terrifying her (their room is in fact upstairs). I wish I had gotten the chance to see this picture.
When I heard this I was really shocked, because everything that I was feeling made sense. It explains why I was so scared, especially by the thought of going upstairs. I knew I was way more upset and uncomfortable in that house than necessary, I must have been sensing whatever this negative presence was. And it seems like maybe it was affecting this little girl too.
Thanks for reading and I look forward to comments!