In my 30 years of life I have had various encounters with the paranormal. Some of them, however, are truly memorable. One story that comes to mind is the one I will relate to you now.
It was early in the 1990s when we moved into a double-storey block of flats in the mid-city area of Benoni. It was my second year of high school, and my best friend at that time lived in the same block, a floor below us.
It was during the school holidays that my parents decided to visit family in another province, but I just wanted to stay at home and enjoy some time with my friends. After much pleading and assurance that I was big enough to look after myself, my parents spoke with my friend's mom, who agreed to keep an eye on me while they were gone.
This particular encounter happened about four nights after my parents had left, and my friend and I were sitting in my bedroom, chatting about things boys our age usually spoke about. What our conversation was about escapes me, but the topic of the paranormal was not one of the things we discussed.
At about 2am my friend said he felt tired and decided it was time to go home.
I walked him to the front door, where we chatted for a few more minutes before he said goodnight and headed for the staircase. I waited until he reached the flight of stairs before I turned around to enter my flat.
At that moment someone whispered my name in my right ear, clear and sharp.
At first I thought that it was my friend, but as I turned to look I realized that he was already going down the last few steps towards his flat. There was nobody else around.
I started getting a bit frightened, but nevertheless tried to rationalize that this was simply the effects of a tired mind combined with an overactive imagination.
As you enter the flat, looking straight ahead would reveal the living room. To the left of the entrance was the kitchen, while to the right a hallway led to the bedrooms and bathrooms. My room light was the only one on that night, so everything was mostly dark when I stepped back inside.
Almost immediately a feeling of sheer terror gripped me.
I looked straight at the couch against the far wall. I could clearly see a dark shape sitting there. I could not make out any features. It turned its head towards me, then stood up. I immediately realized that it was much taller than any person I had ever seen. Its head touched the ceiling.
An even greater sense of terror came over me at this stage and I ran into my room, banging the door shut behind me.
At this point in time I knew whatever it was was definitely not friendly. It just felt 'wrong'.
There were two slight taps on my door, then about five seconds later there was a loud bang.
Then all was quiet.
I spent the most of the rest of that night sitting on the edge of my bed, rocking back and forth from sheer terror until I eventually drifted off to sleep.
Just for interest sake, it turned out that my friend did not sleep well that night and he said he had really bad dreams as well.
Luckily the 'visitor' of that night never came again, and nothing strange ever happened in that flat afterwards either.
A few weeks later we decided to find out the history of the flats. We were rather disappointed to learn that the flats themselves were less than twenty years old, and that there were definitely no deaths, violent or otherwise, in our flat. Going further back also showed that the area was all just an open field before the flats were built.
And so this all still remains a mystery. It was undoubtedly the scariest experience of my life.
PS. I've made an observation from reading some of the other stories on this site. I wonder why it is that many spirits seem to want to communicate by either whispering in your ear our shouting at you from a few rooms away.