Wednesday, 3 September 2008

The Shadow Man

I was only 4 or 5 years old, living in my Nan's house in Snodland with her, my Mum, Auntie Melly and my Uncle Graham. The night it happened everyone had gone out, except for Melly who was babysitting me with her boyfriend, Mick. Now 9 Sharnall Lane sat opposite a graveyard, and along the side of it was a spooky (for my over imaginative imagination anyway!) disused driveway leading to a large house that had been abandoned... it was partially obscured by trees and my young mind always pictured it as some old colonial style house with a porch etc (in Snodland? Yeah... right). And to knock it off the rumour was (is!) that the street was built over an old plague pit. So I'll admit... I was always in the state of mind to expect the unexpected... 

That night she put me to bed, leaving the door open on to the hallway (the stairs ran at a right angle to the hallway down the side of my room). It wasn't more than five minutes later, as I stared lazily out the door into a hallway lit only with the light from downstairs, when he strode into view as if he'd walked down the hall from my Nan's room, not up the stairs. He nearly filled the doorway. He was a pitch black shadow, beyond his out line there was nothing discernible, no facial features or clothes, except that is for his bright red eyes. Now like any young child seeing that I SCREAMED!!!! Melly came crashing up the stairs and he strode of out of view back the way he had come. I told her what I'd seen and she seemed worried. She rushed out and called for Mick and together they checked the other rooms. She came back and calmed me down (she was only 15 and from what she told me later, she was quite scared herself) and they both wandered downstairs relieved. It was just a child's nightmare.

And as they got comfy on the sofa downstairs, he strode back again. Now this time I know I was awake, this was no dream, and he stared at me, and it wasn't a disinterested stare. It was a hateful look that still chills me to this day. I know this sounds silly but this time I was too scared to scream. It was the barks of my Nan's toy poodle Lucy that scared him away this time. She came charging up the stairs and down the hallway after him. I called for Melly and she came and I told her what happened. Lucy was now sitting in the hallway growling (this wasn't unusual, she was a mean tempered little creature who would growl all day long just for fun). She told me not to be silly. It had been Mick all along, trying to scare me.

I was so relieved, not quite believing her but wanting to believe her and I fell asleep quickly after that. The door was closed this time.

He never came back any other night, but it was a long, long time before I started sleeping with the door even slightly ajar. If I'm alone at anytime I often make sure all the doors in a house are closed before I can settle. Sad but all too true.

A year or so before Melly died I was talking with her about something and the subject of that night came up. I laughingly joked to her about how silly it had been for me to think Mick was a demon! She then said something that made me feel rather sick. 

"Jay, it wasn't Mick, I just wanted you to go to sleep so said it was. You and Lucy really freaked me and him out!!!"

Whether you believe it was a demon or just my overactive imagination I've actually spoken to a couple of people who've seen the same apparition  but in their own homes. Maybe you should sleep with that door closed tonight huh?


Ken said...

Apparently, no one likes a tattletale...

Be it demon or bird, you'll never know for certain. I never witnessed anything similar in my own childhood, though I had unexplainable experiences at an early age (recalling a "friend" named Robin who was hit by a train in the English countryside, as well as a stone house where I was pushed from the balcony on to a white stone driveway). Yet not many years ago, I did witness something similar.

I was investigating a wooded area not too far from where I live, and a pair of orange eyes were peering back at me in the darkness of a trail. As my eyes focused in the darkness, I saw they were attached to the shadowy form of a man standing in the centre of the trail. He began walking toward me, outstretching his arms on either side to reveal feathers draping down from each limb. (No, I didn't think "Mothman"... he seemed Native American) I would have stayed longer, since I felt no fear whatsoever, but the others I was with were feeling uncomfortable.

Personally, I don't believe shadow people are a separate form of entity. Nor do I believe anything with red eyes to be evil. I think it's all a matter of perspective...

Jae said...

It wasn't exactly the colour of his eyes that freaked me out, more the deeply ominous feeling I had when he glided back into view... It was like being wrapped up in a thunderstorm, if that makes any sense!