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A Strange Place

A true ghost story

Photo by Tertia van Rensburg on Unsplash

When I reflect on the best times of my life, my memories from the summer of 2016 make up the majority of those times. I had a great job; I figured out my career goals and education goals, and it was my last summer with my best friends before we all became too busy. I also did small side jobs in my free time, which included dog sitting. My aunt lived near a woman with two dogs, and the family was going to France for a month. Because they knew me and trusted me, they asked me and my best friend, Danny, to stay at their house, and watch their dogs over the month of July. It was an easy job, and they paid me good money, as well as provided food. We were excited to have some independence, and a huge house to ourselves, but upon our first night there, our comfort and excitement steadily decreased.  

During the first week, there was nothing too disconcerting. Danny and I had an uneasy feeling, but there was nothing outlandish going on. We discussed the uncomfortable aura surrounding the house, but eventually, the two of us assumed it was just the nerves of being somewhere new.  However, the discomfort became more sensible as we settled in. The owners of the home gave us choices on where we slept. There was a room in the basement with a queen sized bed for us, or there were two rooms upstairs where their daughters stayed. I stayed in one daughter's room, and Danny stayed in the other in order to prevent us getting annoyed with each other. Both bedrooms had en suite bathrooms, and mine had little butterflies dangling from the bathroom doorway. Despite loving the dark, I slept with lamps on, for the house gave me strong discomfort. I wanted to be able to see everything. After a long day, I was attempting to go to sleep, but as always, I could only toss and turn. Eventually, I gave up and stared at the ceiling while wishing for sleep. I heard a click from the bathroom and looked over. I tried to recall whether I shut the door earlier. I was pretty sure it was open when I laid down, but sure enough, it was closed now. Finally, I shrugged it off, and chalked it up to my forgetfulness.  

My eyes began to close in exhaustion, and I could see less and less of the room around me. There was another noise. I opened my eyes to see. The door to the bathroom was still closed, but one of the hanging butterflies caught my eyes. The four around it were completely still, and there wasn't a breeze anywhere in the room. The one lone butterfly in the middle was spinning. I furrowed my brow in confusion, and it started swinging from left to right. The other butterflies remained still. I rolled over to ignore it in hopes that it would stop. At that point, I began getting hot. Sweat dripped down my forehead despite it being cold in the room only five minutes prior. My body began to shake from fear, and I could hear someone else breathing. The lamp was located in the corner of the room by the bathroom, which was now to my back. The breathing sounded like it was getting closer, as I tried to hide my face. I could faintly make out a shadow on the wall in front of me as if there was someone there.  Breathing became impossible, and I was almost gasping for air at that point. I held the covers close to me as I felt on weight on the other side of the bed. It was almost as if someone were sitting behind me. Fear engrossed me, and I became lightheaded as my body relaxed. I felt a hand touch my shoulder, and my body shuddered. I was still frightened, but I could feel myself calming down. My breathing returned to normal, and it was gone. The air felt lighter. The weight on the bed was gone, and I rolled over to see the butterfly was still again.  

The next morning I discussed my incident with Danny. She looked horrified, but she stayed quiet. She proceeded to tell me of her night, which sounded very similar. She saw the shadow, the hand, and then all was calm. After that, we felt the presence every night. It was always different, and it didn't always touch us. However, we knew it was there. It didn't seem harmful, and after a couple of nights, we weren't afraid anymore. Before that, I never truly believed in ghosts. I thought of them as a possibility, but I never saw proof of their existence. I certainly saw life differently after the experience, and I will always remember that house.

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