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Warning Signs And Peculiar Visitors


It was the spring of 2001, and quite frankly, I was in a job that I hated at a local community college. My immediate supervisor was a red-faced, shrewish man who watched my every move and fabricated myths about my conduct out of sheer spite. At the time, I could not know that within 5 years the place would crumble and fall amid charges of corruption, nepotism, graft, and vice. No wonder I did not fit in--I was an honest teacher amid vipers.

As I pulled into the parking lot that fateful day, I saw a murder of crows poised in the distance around a puddle. I paid them no mind, as I entered the building. Something told me to bypass the main office and mailroom that day and just go straight to my cubicle before teaching, but I did anyway. Stupid woman! I'd been pinked. They called it a reduction in force due to budget cuts, but I knew better, the jack-a-nape in the dean's office was all too happy to invoke the no contest clause in my contract and send me on my way after all they could hire a lot more part-timers for the price of me, a full-time employee.

Somehow, I managed not to blubber like an idiot throughout the day (at least they, like lily-livered chickens had waited until a Friday); guess the reality of unemployment had not set in. Finally, it was time to go to my vehicle. The murder was still outside. It had, however, relocated to my Suburban. The birds perched, cawed, and menaced. Quite honestly, it was some time before I could shoo them from my vehicle, and the odd thing was here was my car, surrounded by a sea of other cars in a large college parking lot, and it was the only one covered in bluish-black, gabby birds. When they finally left, there wasn't a drop of bird feces on it. I don't know why they were there. It wasn't like I had a carrion-covered car. Still, the episode gave me the heebie-jeebies. There was a message in the visit. I knew it, and I despised them.

I went home and dealt with the gamut of emotions that goes with losing ones job and a going away party of crows. That night, I saw what I thought was a shadow of a man in the corner of my room, but I blew it off as my mind playing tricks on me, since I was emotionally over-wrought. The long and the short of it is, weeks passed I became depressed, went through the motions of surviving my job until it ended, and went home. Summer term came, and while at home, I began planning for a new business. Still, tensions ran high. There were financial worries, migraines, lying in bed most of the day.

I found an old store front in a historical district and began to make a career change altogether. The building had once been a dance studio, an auto parts store, a diner. It was old, but had a good vibe. I liked the feel of it. The dilapidated building abutting the structure though was another story. It had been a speak easy, a furniture store, and a funeral home. With in a week of moving into my building, as luck would have it, the building next door was condemned. Local historians, trying to prevent its demolition, went into the basement one day and pulled out some unique caskets from the late 1800's. They were wooden with peculiar angular wooden caskets with little window/doors where the faces of the deceased would be so that people could look at them. In my building and the one next door, I never felt a particular entity, but sometimes I felt a heaviness and occasionally objects would fall from the walls.

All the while, I was working very hard, experiencing headaches, and experiencing strange sleep patterns. At some point during this period, I began to start seeing the shadow person/people/things. At first it was like a head and a torso that would appear in corners or that would seem to, "hop" down the hall to my bedroom. At first I thought they were the result of too much Migraine medicine, but they would appear on hazy afternoons sans naps in the middle of the night. Seeing this being would always cause me concern, but I always sensed that he was watching me.

One night, though, after a shadow man made a hop down the hall, I decided to really concentrate on it, watch it. That's when it began to do a lot of really odd things. It backed into a wall and broke into spider-like pieces and began crawling around the perimeter of the room. It didn't crawl arm over arm like a human would prowl but like one of those rubber toys would when you slap it against a wall and it rolls down in a vertical fashion--only these did so in a horizontal fashion.

When these shadowy beings appeared they were mostly silent, occasionally there was a sound like air leaking from a tire. Often times, my chest felt tight, like I could not speak.

I do not know if they followed me from the shop or if they were psychological manifestations due to my stress, or if they were time travellers as some people suspect.

I have since moved from the shop and the home where these entities appeared. They don't seem to have followed me in the four years I have been here, but there is this sinking feeling whenever I see crows or a darkened room--I half expect them to make an appearance.

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Comments about this paranormal experience

The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, Auburnla, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

moravian (1 stories) (171 posts)
12 years ago (2010-10-14)
Nice story... Your writing style seems influenced by Poe. Were you a literature teacher?
ZUKISMOM (5 stories) (58 posts)
13 years ago (2009-04-23)
The crows can be the host for spirits that have not moved on from our realm. I see crows gathered in masses in my yard and around the parking lot of the hosp I work in. I personally take comfort in them and feel as if they are here looking out for me.
You should research the crow superstitions also residual hauntings of buildings and houses. You may understand what you are experiencing a little better. Hope things go well for you in the future.
Auburnla (1 stories) (4 posts)
13 years ago (2009-04-22)
Yes, the building had once been used as a funeral parlor. In fact, it had been a furniture store immediately prior. In the 1800's furniture stores began selling coffins to people who would purchase the devices for "laying out" the deceased in their homes. During the Civil War, embalming became popular as a means of helping to get one's loved one, particularly soldiers, preserved and returned home. Soon it became a business, big business, and the practice of mourning the deceased went from the front parlor of one's house to the funeral parlor. Furniture stores soon found it was more lucrative. I actually discovered this bit of info when doing research for some writing I was doing about another paranormal encounter. To answer your question, though, the building had not been a funeral home immediately prior to being condemned, but in its lifetime it had. Either way, the vibe, to me, lends itself to some souls who may not have been happy with the transition.
hobbyholly (11 stories) (572 posts)
13 years ago (2009-04-22)
Excellent story. I've never cared for crows...
The building that was being condemned, was a funeral parlor?
angelfeathers (106 posts)
13 years ago (2009-04-22)
Great story! Hope you'll consider submitting it to a magazine. Perhaps your job loss has translated into another occupation -- author? 😁


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