I remember things happening when I was about three years old... That's about as far back as I can remember. I had three nicknames already, Monkey-Boy, Spooky, and Baby-Bones. I was called, "Monkey-Boy," because no crib could hold me. I'd somehow find a way to climb out, no matter how high the bars were. "Spooky", because of my love for watching "Shock Theatre" on my father's lap on Friday nights. And "Baby-Bones", well... My father's nickname was Bones.
My mother or father would check in on me in the middle of the night. Apparently, Monkey-Boy would find his way out of the crib for one reason or another. Sometimes they would be awakened by noises and footsteps in the hallway, but Monkey-Boy would be asleep. Sometimes they would find him sleeping under the crib to hide from the monsters. Probably from watching too much "Shock Theatre."
That was in Cudahy WI, in an old house on Pulaski Ave. Once converted into a store, then back to a house again. My parents rented the house for almost 2 years, and then bought a smaller house in St. Francis, just a few miles away, and soon after my brother was born (poor kid didn't even have a nickname). Sometimes I still slept under the bed. Sometimes my brother hid with me. Whatever was restlessly bumping in the night in the old house apparently followed us to the new one. The noises were louder, and objects began to move... In particular the basement door. One day while our Grandmother was watching us, the door burst open, ripping the screws from the chain-lock out of the doorframe. The door was chain-locked to prevent my younger brother from falling down the stairs.
We lived there for almost 5 years. During that time, the noises continued. The footsteps still echoed in the hallway, and although I never saw it, I knew there was something in the basement. Sometimes I would freeze at the top of the stairs and look down. My toy-box and games were down there, but I couldn't get myself to walk down the steps. There were times I would be playing in the basement, and an overwhelming fear would cover me. I felt like screaming, but I remember feeling as if whatever it was would surely get me if I made the slightest move or sound. It would soon go away and I'd be able to run back up the stairs.
I was in fifth grade when we moved again... Still in St. Francis. We bought my uncle's house when his family moved. It was a nice house, right across from Greene Park. I must have been nine or ten by then, my brother was 7, and my sister was 4. She was seeing monsters.
I've been there countless times. My cousin and I were almost inseparable, listening to KISS albums, eating pizza and drinking root beer by the 12-pack during sleepovers. The basement was a recreation room, carpeted, panelled, full bar, TV and extra bedroom. Soon after we moved in, again I would find myself at the top of the stairs, afraid to go down to watch TV. The noises got louder.
One night in particular, I was watching my brother while my stepfather was watching a game in a bar a few blocks away. We were in the bedroom watching TV when the thumping started. It sounded like someone was on the other side of the wall, in the hallway, banging his fist... Hard. Then it stopped. We made sandwiches in the kitchen. I was back in the bedroom when I heard my brother scream. He ran down the hallway, still screaming when he jumped on the bed next to me. He said paper plates were flying in the kitchen. We both went into the kitchen and found about a dozen plates lying on the floor next to the basement door, which was closed.
The plates had been on top of the refrigerator on the other side of the room. My brother was spreading peanut butter when the plates flew in front of him, one after the other. Suddenly something banged on the door we were standing next to... Violently. We ran into the bedroom again, the thumping and banging literally chased us down the hallway and into the bedroom. Both of us were screaming. I picked up the phone and called the bar, screaming for my stepfather. It took him five minutes to get home. It seemed like forever. The banging continued until he arrived. He heard it once, and then it stopped. He checked the house, checked outside and found nothing. We talked about this recently; he doesn't remember us kids being so terrified as we were that night.
We stayed there for a couple years, and then we had to move. Something in the house was making my sister very sick. My parents thought it was mould in her bedroom. She spent a lot of time in the hospital, sometimes when she was violently ill... She saw monsters. My sister has diabetes. We thought the monsters she saw were hallucinations due to low blood sugar. I took my wife (recently married), to this house (and all the others I've lived in) some twenty years after, and we stopped to talk to the current owner. Tactfully, I asked if she had experienced anything out of the ordinary since she's lived there. She said no. I mentioned a few things that I experienced when I lived there. Then she paused. "Yes." She said. She told us about ten years ago, on separate occasions, she and her daughter saw a "demon" in the basement. About the most evil looking thing she's ever seen especially the eyes. She remembered it being red. She's never had a problem with mould in the house.
We moved from there, back to Cudahy. Ironically, the first night we moved in, my brother and I lay on the floor in the bedroom and watched, "The Exorcist." I think it's funny now.
A few months later, for the first time, I saw something. Up until we moved there, I had only heard things move, heard noises in the middle of the night, and had been terrified by something I couldn't see. The noises continued... I almost got used to that through the years. I got used to seeing cupboards and doors, which were closed... Wide open the next time I walked into the room. Now I was watching the doors open. And for the first time I was watching objects float through the room, and for the first time, I saw him, (or is it, "it?"). Floating above the stairs, which, again, led toward the basement. I could see him from his top hat, past his, (for lack of a better word... "Frilly") shirt and overcoat, down to his knees. I couldn't see his feet, but he was standing, or rather, floating in front of me. He was yellow with a red outline. I closed the door. Didn't look like a demon to me, but nonetheless, disturbing.
Things calmed down after a while. Months would go by without a sound or something moving around. It was like that for a few years. Then he/it became a bit bolder. He would come up behind you and breath in your ear. You could feel his hand on your shoulder. Once he pulled me backwards off a chair and I landed hard, flat on my back. Things happened more and more frequently. The unexplainable terror, the "ice cube down your back" fear that would grip you became more frequent. For eight years, the family dog wouldn't go downstairs.
I joined the Air Force after graduation and moved to California in 1985. I've pretty much been here ever since. As far as I know, nothing followed me, and none of the houses I've lived in since have been haunted. I've told friends here about my stories, (too many to tell, too many to remember). Some believe and some don't. That's fine with me. I have old friends in Wisconsin who've experienced the strange goings-on in some of the houses. Some of who refused to come inside after experiencing "activity." Others thought it was cool. Sometimes I miss it, but I can live without it.
My parents have moved at least twice since I left Wisconsin. Activity continued, but appeared to diminish quite a bit. Now my mother is twice divorced and lives with my sister... Still in Cudahy, and apparently "ghost free."
Everything I've written is true. Nothing is embellished to make the stories sound more frightening... If anything, what I've written is on the subdued side. I could write pages more, but I'm already over the limit I tried to set for myself!
And to wrap things up here... If anyone thinks they have an explanation for the, "frozen in terror for no apparent reason" thing, psychological or not, I'd like to hear it. Of all the things I've seen and heard... That sensation was the most frightening of all.