As most of you know by now, my apartment overlooks a lovely little park that serves not only as a refreshing green space in the city but also a buffer from the busy street. It's real raison d'etre, however, is for what is to be found beneath the ground. It is a mass grave.
In 1855, the steam ship Benjamin Franklin came up from St. Thomas Island unwittingly bearing yellow fever. It made port in Portsmouth, across the river where the plague first made landfall in the tenement housings there. Attempts were made at the time to quarantine but lacking a developed understanding of germ theory, all attempts quickly proved futile and the deadly disease soon spread to the larger city of Norfolk to wreak havoc.
Those stricken were dying faster than graves could be dug no more or less proper funerals conducted. The desperate city resorted to mass burials in lesser inhabited areas. One such area at the time was Lambert's Point. A pit was dug there and approximately 500 late citizens of the city of Norfolk there laid to rest. Seventy years later, the apartment building where later I would live was constructed right next door.
As one might imagine, given our rather darkly picturesque location, residents here do have their share of paranormal activity - my husband and I being no exception. I feel that much of the activity potential to our apartment is mitigated by the constant watching presence of my maternal grandparents' spirits (those discussed in 'Coming to Say Goodbye') - but as I have come to discover over the six years we have lived here, some entities still find a way through. Strangely, most of the activity is centered in the bedroom - specifically in bed (believe me - hah! I *know* how that sounds and, trust me, I don't mean 'hanky panky' nor are our spirits that way inclined!)
I have not as yet begun to keep a diary of my experiences here (shame on me, I know) but every time something happens, it always seems so small and insignificant that I shrug it off after calming down and it isn't until days later, after ruminating on it, that I see how it fits into the greater context of other events and see its significance. Thus with my promise that I will in future mend my feckless ways and start my journal and the hope that for now you will bear with me, on to my best possible reconstruction of events. I have put the events in the order that they have occurred - the first beginning, I believe in 2014, roughly 2 years after we moved in.
The first thing I remember is very simple. I was laying in bed in the dark with my sleeping mask on as there was still light flooding in from the bedroom door from the living room etc since my husband (Andy) was still up doing dishes. It typically takes me quite a long time to fall asleep and I am a light sleeper with very clear lines between sleeping and awake (I don't wake up groggy or hazy - I go straight from dead sleep to fully alert on waking no matter how sudden). Thus I laid there waiting for sleep trying to clear my head of the day's concerns. It was then I heard the footsteps creaking over the aging hardwood of the hall down to the bedroom, across the threshold, around the bed and over to my husband's side. A few moments passed as I lay there with my mask still on wondering why he was just standing there beside the bed... And it distinctly felt as though he was staring at me.
As the moments ticked by I couldn't fathom what he was doing just standing and staring and why he had come to bed without turning out the living room lights (the elastic on my sleep mask is basically shot so a bit of light still creeps in around the edges). Finally, and a bit irritated, I pulled up my mask and looked over at...nothing. He wasn't there. Then I heard the sink turn on in the kitchen meaning the real Andy was still in there washing dishes.
I know I was blindfolded so could not have seen anyone (or thing) passing out of the room but I have freakishly good hearing (one more reason why I sleep so lightly) and the building's sagging foundation conspires with its aging wood floors to create an unmistakable and very distinctive sound when feet bearing human-type weight pass over them - you can't miss it and it does not happen on its own. This sort of thing has happened several times - always at night when I've just gone to bed.
The next incident, I was again in bed (lights out, mask on) and Andy either taking a shower or doing the dishes. Again, I was waiting for sleep, knowing it probably wouldn't come until all activities (human ones at least) had ceased. I began to sense the presence of someone else in the room. I flipped up my mask and had a look about but saw nothing. The AC and fan were on so if the room had suddenly gotten cold, I likely wouldn't have noticed. So I replaced my mask and decided to ignore it. That's when I felt something grab the toes of my right foot through the covers! I shot up tearing off my mask and switching on the light in one lightening fast motion to find myself starring yet again at nothing in my empty room.
Sometime between these events - my chronology is good if my precise dates are not. My husband had an experience, which he related to me. We were both in bed, I was asleep and he was awoken by the feeling of a cold hand traveling slowly up his arm, over his shoulder and coming to rest at his throat. It went away when he sat up in alarm. I experienced nothing that night.
Next incident - once again I'm in bed, lights out, mask on, Andy elsewhere in the apartment- noticing a trend here? Again I hear the footsteps coming down the hall, into the room and around the bed. This never frightens me because I always assume its Andy. I feel him get into bed and after a moment, he rolls over towards me and gently says "Hey, sweetheart" as though to wake me up without startling me. I roll over to find out what's going on to once again find myself alone. Then I noticed the sound of dishes clinking about in the kitchen and realize, once again, Andy is still in the kitchen and I, in fact, am "alone" in our room.
The next incident - same set up: me, bed, lights out, mask on. Same footsteps, down the hall, into the room, around the bed. Once again, I feel it get into bed - this time, I somehow know it isn't Andy (for those of you thinking 'Well, about time, lady!' lol I hear the same thing every night when it actually IS Andy. Given how normal these sounds are, it is very difficult to discern between the usual and the not so usual until I get tipped off in the end). It rolls over and I can feel a warm body against my back and breath in my ear. Let me stress here that I distinctly sensed absolutely NOTHING sexual about this encounter. All the while, I can hear Andy mucking about in the kitchen. The entity wrapped an arm around me so we were spooning. My mind was reeling - torn between instinctual terror of the unknown and what seemed to be an insistence coming from the entity NOT to be afraid. It seemed desperate that I not feel any fear as though it just wanted to be near a warm living human being just for a few moments but meant no harm. So I willed myself to relax and just laid there with it until I fell asleep.
I got the distinct impression it was a middle aged man and could 'see' him laying there behind me in my mind's eye. I can't recall his face but I do recall he was wearing a button down shirt, belt and pants. I awoke that morning unable to recall my dreams but knowing they had been pleasant and feeling unaccountably peaceful and happy.
I have since heard whispering in that room sounding like a conversation between a middle aged man (possibly the same one) and a young girl - I could not make out the words and this has only happened once.
The last event of note that I will mention here happened just the other night (wee hours of the morning May 9, 2018) and it is what prompted me to write down all of this. Bear in mind that for the last week, one of my cats (Vera - a very intelligent 18 month old female) has been behaving a bit unusually in that room at night - when she hops up on the bed, instead of pestering me or cuddling, she stands rather tensely at the edge on my side and stares fixedly up into the corner above my side of the bed.
So back to May 9th, I had awoken sometime around 4:45AM (I looked at my phone at what I took to be the conclusion of the event). I don't know what precisely woke me but it is not uncommon for me to wake up at various points during the night - generally between one and five in the morning for no reason really so I ascribe no particular significance to this. After laying there for a few minutes debating whether I was going to be able to fall back asleep, whether it was worth it to get up and go to the bathroom or get a glass of water, or if I should try reading something boring on my phone until I grew drowsy once more, suddenly I felt something jump up on the bed. I lifted my head expecting to see one of my two cats at the foot but saw nothing. Assuming I was imagining things, I plopped my head back down and continued my fruitless debate until a few moments later, I felt it again. Once more, I checked the foot of the bed and saw nothing.
While actively trying to quash the growing sense of unease, I slowly probed a foot back and forth across the area to see if I would find a warm wee cat body there hidden amongst the bed clothes to explain the thumps and allay my fears. Nothing. I took a deep breath, let it out and decided that I should ignore it - rolled over, turning my back and attempted once more to review my 'to sleep' options without much success.
After a moment, it started to move again, now it's coming up the bed. It got to my knee and I rolled over to look again only to once more find stillness and nothing. Laid back down and rolled back over - by this point unable to force myself to think about much else but hoping this is all just my imagination and it'll stop. Another few moments go by and it started to move again - this time up to my hip. I peeked again. Nothing. By this point, I couldn't help it, I was scared. Wrapping myself tighter in my sheet, I tried as hard as I could to think of happy things and white light. This time the movement continued on up and paused at my shoulder. Just as I was about ready to jump out of my skin, I felt a firm nudge on my shoulder. In a flash I sat up throwing off the covers and turned on the light... Only to find a freshly awoken and quite dumbfounded husband blinking into the glare.
So there you have it, the greatest part of the activity in my home. I have hunch that I have a father and daughter though that doesn't quite explain that last encounter as it seemed too small to be human. I am a rational person with a good education grounded in science and I have gone over and over each experience in my head to try to rule out logical explanations (EMFs, structural settling, thermodynamics, jolts from heavy trucks, sounds from neighboring units, cats, fan, AC... Just plain crazy lol) but nothing can account for what I have experienced. All but Andy's experience and the most recent have occurred between ten PM and midnight during various seasons of the year.
Please, I am not Christian and have had several negative experiences with various denominations of said faith in my life- I would appreciate it if that stance would respected. I tend towards spiritualism and paganism.