Monday, July 19, 2010

Nightmare While Awake: A True Paranormal Experience

The year was 1973. The room was dark except for shadowed branches dancing on the walls. I was alone, awaiting that moment of surrender when my body would cave to the demands of sleep. But sleep never came.

My eyes sprung open at the mention of my name. Thereeeeesa, the voice whispered long and slow. Thereeeeesa.

As if the planets had spun out of control, their centrifugal force racing at a speed too fast for my mind to comprehend, I felt myself plastered to the bed. Every time I tried to lift my arms, my legs, and even my head, I remained glued in place. Panic swept over me in a drenching sweat as I tried in desperation to force myself out of my bed.

Though I poured every bit of strength into every imagined move in my efforts to stand up, I felt my energy deplete with each attempted movement. A kind of prickly numbness stabbed every pore in my skin while I listened to the reverberation of my heart thumping in my ears – drowned out only by my name being called again, Thereeeeesa.

Something had to be holding me down, I reasoned, something I couldn't see, a ghost or a spirit maybe. All I could think to do was trick whatever it was that kept calling my name.

Using my strength of will, I tried to force myself into an upright position before this thing, this ghost, this spirit, this voice, became fully aware that I was even thinking about it.

In one swift movement, I swung my left shoulder toward my right. The move was too fast. I crashed to the floor. Leaden legs, cement block appendages wouldn't allow me to crawl, let alone walk. Thereeeeesa, the whisper taunted me.

The phone sat on a table across the room. In terrified panic, I realized I had to reach the phone to call my mother. The hour was late, but my mother would hear the panic in my voice, would recognize my fear. My mother would calm me down.

I placed a hand on the wooden floor in front of me and heard the wet slap as each palm hit the ground. Inch by inch I dragged my way across the room to the phone. I reached up to grab it.

The second my finger touched the receiver, I was back on the bed. Thereeeeesa.

I could see my body glisten in the moonlight, sweat oozing from every pore after my struggle to get to the other side of the room.

If only my mother could hear my psychic cries for help. I had to get to the phone. I had to stop the voice from...from what? A ghost? The spirit of something evil? Who was haunting me?

Maybe I was imagining the voice, but the air felt suffocating. It closed in around me, its heaviness clinging to me like clammy fingers. I had to get out of the straightjacket that held me tight to my bed.

With every ounce of energy I could muster, I flung myself forward and landed, once again, on the floor. Again, I dragged myself across the floor as I listened to the squeak of my hands. Again, I reached for the phone. Again, I grasped it in relief as I pressed the first button.

Instantly I was back on the bed listening to the rapid drumming of my heart. Maybe I could make it to my sister's room. I had to tell her that somebody was in the house. I needed her help.

I could almost see the hands of the clock race in circles as the night passed in segments of time. I must have blacked out occasionally. What else could account for the fact that one second I was on the floor and the next I was on the bed with no memory of having crawled back to the bed?

I tried once more to get across the room. Plop. Onto the floor. Slap. Slap. Slap. I kept getting closer to my sister's room. Dragging. Dragging cement legs behind me. I reached up. Heard my sister breathing. Grabbed the blanket.

Thereeeeesa. I found myself back on my bed.

I remembered an old Indian story I'd heard about how facing my fears head on would make me stronger. With determination, I decided that if I could make it to the end of the hall, to the kitchen, I would no longer be afraid.

Somehow I found the strength to pull myself into an upright position and with rigid legs and a stiff back walked intently toward the kitchen. With wobbly legs, I passed my daughter's room. I watched her sit upright in her bed. Her haunted look surprised me and she spoke to me as if in a trance. Very clearly she told me, "Don't go in there," and then fell backward on the bed.

I would soon see that same image in a movie that hadn't yet come out, The Exorcist.

I was terrified that I would find myself on the bed again if I didn't move fast enough, but I was also terrified of moving forward. It must be a test, I thought. If I stopped now I would never know if I had the courage to face the demon that called my name.

With more determination than ever before, I moved cautiously toward the kitchen. Soon it would be morning. I could see the dawning light filter through the windows.

The hallway stretched out before me. The kitchen suddenly seemed so far away. With trepidation, I moved forward as if in slow motion, each shaky leg wobbling in front of the other.

And as the morning yawned itself awake, the dancing shadows disappeared. I made it! I made it to the kitchen. And now, with slivers of sunlight peaking through the drapes, the kitchen was empty. Nothing was there. The spirit, whoever or whatever it might have been, departed with the night. I went to bed and fell asleep.

During breakfast with my sister and my daughter only hours later, I related from the night before what I thought must have been a horrible nightmare. But just before I finished, I asked my daughter one question: Did you tell me anything about the kitchen last night?

"Yeah," she said as she cocked her head to the side, remembering. "I told you not to go in there."

1 comment:

  1. Wow, what an amazing experience, albeit scary. I had 2 experiences similar, although much briefer. The first, just after moving away from the city aged about 3, I went to see the elderly lady next door. She turned to face me, but had like a cartoon animated monsters mouth and started chasing me saying she was going to eat me. I was not asleep and it was the middle of the day!! The second was as a young child also. My Mum always came to tuck me in, but this particular night as she came in my room and spoke, it was not her voice, it was like Freddy Krueger from the horror films speaking. And it was not her stood there. I froze and started hyper-ventilating. She tried to calm me down but each word was spoken by a monsters voice. This went on for about 5 or so minutes and then her voice gradually softened. She vouched for that nights experience so I know I wasn't asleep.