I have two stories to share, so I might as well lump them together. The first one has been in my family for several generations now and has probably been embellished quite a bit over the years, but I'll put it in anyway.
My mother's father's father (my great-grandpa) was walking home from school. It was one of those one-room school houses out on the prairie and when he walked home it was always after dark. So anyway, this one particular day he was walking home like always, when he heard something walking behind him. It was in the prairie grass behind him and off to the right. He thought "ok, there's some kind of animal going the same way as me. It will probably go away soon." So he walked for a few more minutes, but he could still hear it behind him. He decided that it was just one of his friends playing a joke on him, so he would suddenly turn around and stand still and he would catch them. So he did, and the noise stopped. And there was no one there. He stood like that for a while, and then he decided that this was silly and he needed to get home. As soon as he started walking again, though, he could hear it again. He could hear the swish of the grass being pushed aside and he imagined he could hear faint breathing.
I don't know whether he really could hear breathing or if that was added to make the story more interesting. Anyway, it was really dark by now and the stars were starting to come out. He finally decided enough was enough and he ran into the grass shouting and waving his arms and beating randomly at the grass. Then he just stood there, waiting for something to happen. A clump of grass right in front of him rustled, and then he heard a low, angry hiss. Then the grass rustled again, and he could see the grass shifting as the thing moved away from him. He stood there for a few moments, and then he suddenly felt really panicked and he ran all the rest of the way home. He never found out what had been following him.
Personally I don't know what to believe. It might have been a stray cat, but a cat would have shown itself. So I figured I would ask what you thought.
The other story is about some things that happened in my house. My family still lives here, but since I became a teenager I haven't experienced anything else, maybe because I'm not naturally sensitive it's just that everyone can see when they're young.
The first thing that happened to me was when I was six. I didn't want to go to bed, so even though my parents told me to stay in my room I went down to the kitchen for a glass of water. As I walked past the hallway out of the corner of my eye I saw a black hooded figure walking into one of the rooms along the hall. I walked right by and then did a double take and ran to look into the room it had gone into. I didn't see it, so I ran upstairs and hid under the covers.
The next thing was maybe a year later. My parents and I were staying in a hotel over Christmas and a bunch of relatives were also staying there. I really liked my cousin's hotel room, but ours creeped me out. It was cold in there no matter how high we turned the thermostat, and it was filled with that eerie heavy kind of feeling that makes you think there's something behind you. I had nightmares every night we were there, and then on the last night the thing showed itself.
I woke up suddenly as though someone had been touching me, and floating above me was a THING. I can't describe it as anything but a thing. Sometimes when I have bad dreams I'll pinch myself and wake up, so as soon as I saw this thing I curled my hand into a fist and dug my fingernails into my palm. It hurt, and I didn't wake up. The thing above me was red, yellow, and green. I could see the colors clearly even in the dark room. It looked a bit like a bird with a funny thing on its head and it had really claw-like hands and pimply skin. Around the edges it looked like smoke. It hovered over me for about ten seconds and then the smoke look spread all across it and it dissolved. I didn't know what to do then so I just crawled down under the covers and rolled into a ball. The next morning I asked my parents if they had seen anything and they hadn't.
The freaky part was that the bird thing may have followed me home. About a month later I couldn't sleep and I was lying on my side staring at my wall. I was thinking about my connect-the-dots book and wondering what I would get if I connected the little bumps on the plaster. As I stared at them they started to move. At first they all moved in one direction like they were marching. I think I made them do that by making my eyes go out of focus. Suddenly they stopped marching and started forming shapes. Mainly circles and stars, but there were other shapes, too. Then they all moved in a spiral pattern. By this time I was enjoying the show and looking forward to seeing what they would do next, so when they all started going to one spot in the middle I wasn't scared. But when I saw what shape they were making, I freaked out.
It was a vulture type bird with claw-like hands and was wearing one of those floppy hats the old ladies in cartoons always wear. It looked wizened, like an old lady. I was seeing a profile of it, and the one eye I could see had a clever, nasty look to it and was looking right at me. Then it started to move. I thought, "NO, stop it, I don't like this anymore!" And the plaster stopped moving.
The next day I had a friend over for a play date and I showed her the spot on the wall and asked her if the plaster reminded her of anything. She said that it looked a little like a bird in a hat, which really freaked me out. The bird stayed frozen into the plaster until about five years ago when it started fading. Now you can only see it if you know where to look, but it's still there.
What do you think it was, and why did it pick me to follow?