10 years ago, I was in bed reading.
For the previous 6 months, we heard scratching above in the attic. My brother heard it too, but never the way I heard it. I heard something heavier. It ran back and fourth across the attic. It sounded as big as a cat.
For months my dad checked the attic. It was full of boxes - nothing could get to the floor. There was no where to run and no sign of gatecrashing animals or nests.
This night, it was getting on my nerves. It had been scratching above me for hours. I couldn't concentrate on reading. So I stood up and banged the ceiling, hard.
It hit back. Harder.
Before I could react, a loud heavy noise erupted. It sounded like a heavy trunk above me being scraped over a stone floor. The volume and high pitch forced me to cover my ears.
My immediate reaction was to run into my parent's bedroom. They were up, they didn't hear anything. It was so loud, I couldn't understand how that was possible. I went back into my room. It was silent. I read until 4am.
When I got tired, I stopped, switched off my light and got back into my bed, facing away from my bedroom door. Within seconds, I heard something fall in the hallway, where the attic door hatch was.
The footsteps were heavy enough to make the walls shake. They walked over to my bedroom door. Then, before I knew it, the wooden floor of my bedroom started shaking under the weight of something heavy moving towards me. I turned around.
In my mind, I still refused to believe what I was experiencing was real. What I saw was a dark faceless figure, from the moon light in my room. It looked like it had a white, twisted hat on it's head, like a woman with her hair in a twisted towel. Instantly my mind made a rational connection - it must be my mum out of the shower.
I quickly became angry. And shouted 'what do you want?' Thinking my mum had walked in my room randomly in the night. No reply. I shouted it again.
It disappeared in front of me. I switched on the light. Nothing there. I slept with the light on for the next month. Eventually the scratching from the ceiling died down.
It's not the first time I've experienced something like this, and it's not the last. The last time it was worse. I was physically lifted from bed. These things seem to happen once a decade but I want to know what I can do to stop them in future.