My grandmother owns a beach house in Lincoln City, Oregon. My family has been staying there for vacation since I was born. It has always been my favourite place to go in the world. The house is very small and old. It was built sometime in the 50's and has undergone many repairs in the past. I personally helped with some of the repairs over the years and the place has seen my blood and sweat. My brothers and I love going to the house but I have always loved it the most. Admittedly it is a little creepy but I have been going there for so many years it's like a second home for me. While some people have gotten hurt in the house nobody's ever died in there.
There used to be an old man living next door to the house. He was very friendly and always kind to me and my brothers. The man would get up early every morning to scour the beach for agates, shells, anything he could find. Whenever we stayed at our house he would come to visit us and show us the treasures he had found. One time a few years ago we drove down to the beach house for a weekend. I was with my parents and two brothers. We arrived pretty late at night. After we unpacked our gear everyone went straight to bed. We were all pretty exhausted. That night I couldn't sleep very well for some reason. I kept nodding off then getting awakened suddenly with very intense nightmares. I was having those types of dreams where I'm in a normal place and nothing weird is happening then something flies at my face and when I try to dodge it or react I jolt awake. This particular night I kept falling asleep and reliving the same nightmare. In this dream I was walking in the parking lot outside my office where I work. It was really late at night and I was heading to my car. This parking lot has street lamps but for some reason in the dream they were off. Every time I got to my car I could hear someone running up behind me. I try to spin around but I can barely move. When I finally manage to turn around there is someone right there, running full speed at me. Just as they slam into me I wake up with a start.
I don't know if you have ever had these types of dreams but you could imagine they are very unsettling. Usually when I have this type of dream it is hard for me to go back to sleep right away for fear that it might happen again. That night I was in the old beach house it happened twice before I was afraid to go back to sleep. The feeling I had was frustrating; I was tired but unable to sleep. What happened next I might logically attribute to what is known as hypnagogia or hypnagogic hallucination. This is a condition that takes place during the point in which you are just slipping into sleep, a stage known as the "presomnal" stage or "phantasmata." During presomnia it is not unusual for anthypnic sensations to occur, ranging from but not limited to sleep paralysis, visual, or auditory hallucinations. People have claimed to experience the sound of voices, doors or windows slamming, even music. Some have heard hissing or buzzing sounds that don't seem to be in the room but in their ears themselves. These can be quite scary and are often accompanied by a rush of adrenaline. Because of this initial diagnosis I am not sure if I should attribute what happened to me as paranormal. I have once before experienced sleep paralysis and it was a bit frightening. I remember trying to move unsuccessfully and finally breaking free to the sound of a phantom door slamming somewhere in my house. This time was entirely different.
The beach house has an upstairs area with a loft that leads into a big bedroom. This upstairs room is separated from the loft by a wall and a heavy wooden door. The room itself has a yellowish-green shag carpet and an ancient queen-sized bed. Otherwise the room is almost empty. There is an old chair and bookshelf in one corner and the big bed has a "nightstand," which is actually a metal folding TV table. I usually sleep in the big bed upstairs while my brothers sleep downstairs in the master bedroom. My parents sleep in their RV in the driveway because the old beds are too uncomfortable for them. This particular trip was no exception. I was alone upstairs. There isn't any clock in the upstairs room so I am not sure what time this took place. I know that it was really late because we got to the house after midnight. After I had my two wake-up nightmares I decided to lie in bed for awhile and listen to the sounds of the ocean.
Our house is a block from the beach so you can hear the sounds of distant waves crashing at all times. The sounds of the sea started to calm my nerves after awhile. I was getting comfortable and my eyelids were getting heavy. I kept thinking about those startling dreams I had had a little while ago but I convinced myself there wouldn't be another encore. Right as my eyelids dropped the house's furnace switched on with a click and I could hear air rushing through the vent underneath the bed. I had heard these noises a hundred times in the past so it wasn't scary, but it made me open my eyes. I suddenly came to the realization that I was unable to move. I tried to turn my head towards the door of the room but I was stuck on my back looking up at the ceiling. I tried to lift one of my arms to no avail. To my horror, the sound of the air vent was getting louder and louder. The noise of the rushing air became almost deafening. It reverberated and echoed inside my head until I felt like panicking. I started to hear other noises in the din. It sounded like someone downstairs kicked the door open and ran inside. I could hear raised voices and arguing between loud male voices in the entryway. It then sounded like a fight was taking place, complete with furniture crashing around and glass breaking. There were several loud slams on the walls and floors in the midst of the deafening air sounds. The "struggle" took place in a matter of ten or fifteen seconds, then it was over. However the air sound continued, so loud it was hurting my head and ears. At this point it sounded like loudly hissing air mixed with the low growl of some huge idling machine. It was almost like a guitar amp feeding back and on the verge of the sharp stab of a treble spike. I was terrified that I couldn't move and tried again to struggle out of my paralysis. I could hear myself grunting and trying to yell but it was muffled and weak. I tried to rationalize that I was sleeping and having another dream but I was quite aware of what was going on. I stopped struggling and listened again, as I heard a new noise. I heard footsteps on the stairs. Someone was coming up.
I tried to turn my head to look at the door but couldn't, so I listened. The footsteps stopped outside the door on the loft. The rushing air noise suddenly died down and dwindled to a stop. The door knob, which is made from black metal and very old, began squeaking as it was being turned. The door to the room opened slowly with a loud creak. I am not sure why but I was finally able to fight my way out of paralysis and turn my head. The door had been opened, but nobody was there. The loft was empty. I could suddenly move again so I got out of bed and shakily walked out of the room onto the landing. I was trembling. I almost fell over just walking across the room. I had to put my hand on the wall as I lost my balance. The air felt thick and heavy, and there was a faint metallic taste in my mouth. My breathing was laboured and difficult. I was positive the downstairs floor of the house would be a shambles. I was prepared to see the door broken open and the house ransacked but when I looked over the landing to the floor downstairs nothing was out of place. The front door was closed and the lights were all off. I could see a pile of duffel bags and a laundry basket full of linens, next to several pairs of our shoes. I was not completely convinced I imagined all of this so I tried to go downstairs. My legs still weren't cooperating well so I almost fell down the stairs. My foot slipped out from under me and I slid loudly down three or four steps. I grabbed the railing and righted myself. When I finally made it downstairs I went into the bathroom and splashed some cold water on my face. When I looked in the mirror I looked ghostly pale. I thought I might be delusional. I walked out of the bathroom and into the living room of the house. I collapsed onto the couch and fell asleep.
The next morning I awoke to a knock on the door. I sat up with a start, wondering what time it was. It was bright outside. The room was filled with morning light. The smell of coffee wafted from the kitchen. I got up and started towards the door but my older brother was already up. He was just getting to the front door as I walked out of the living room. It was one of the neighbours, a man in his forties. I walked up beside my brother to see what was going on. The man said that he just talked to the police. Apparently he had not talked to the old man next door in a week. This was unusual so he went to the old man's house that morning to see if he was okay. The front door unlocked, he found the old man, dead in his kitchen. He had been dead for a week. The neighbour called the police and then started to inform the neighbourhood. As he was telling the story to my brother I could tell he was having difficulty going on. His voice was shaking and he had to stop several times. My brother and I stood there and listened, saying nothing in return. The neighbour said the old man had already begun to decompose, and smelled awful. When he finished the story he started sniffling and began to cry. My brother reached out and hugged the man. We invited him in for coffee but he said he had other neighbours to talk to, and then he left.
Later over breakfast my family was talking about the bizarre story. My dad was in disbelief that the old man was dead. My brothers and I remembered him fondly and were mostly silent over the meal. I kept replaying what had happened the night before in my head and was hesitant to tell my family. I wasn't even sure what had happened. I don't know if the old man being dead had anything to do with what I heard or experienced but for some reason I felt compelled not to tell anyone in my family.
A few days later back home I was reading the Oregonian and found the old man's picture. Lincoln City police found no signs of a struggle but the cause of death was unknown. They haven't ruled out homicide but as of now it's a cold case.
Questions or comments would be greatly appreciated.