Sunday, June 12, 2016

The Mysterious Rectangle

Today's post is going to cover one of the single most unique and baffling cases I have ever encountered. If the following has happened to anyone else I've never read or heard about it (though I'd certainly like to). I even tried just googling "paranormal rectangle" but nothing marginally relevant came up. Really, I have no framework, no way to compare this story with other phenomena using anything other then the vaguest commonalities. Just read for yourself and you'll see what I mean!

          Earlier in this month of May my sister suggested that I ask my mother about something highly strange that had recently happened to her that was unlike anything any of us had ever heard of, let alone experienced. My sister gave me the basic information, about how our mother had seen a floating white rectangle in the neighbor's backyard. This information alone was incredibly peculiar and without obvious explanation but I figured that given time along with the full story I'd come to a satisfactory theory.

Man, was I ever wrong!
          As it goes my mother was sitting out on the back patio sometime between three and five in the afternoon, same as she always does, relaxing and watching the birds. Her chair of choice faces east towards the neighbor's, allowing for a pretty clear view of their backyard despite the myriad shrubs and trees (not that my mother is particularly interested in our neighbors, this just happens to be the best place for the chair). Well, as she was sitting there looking towards their backyard she noticed an odd presence along the opposite fence chain, the one furthest from her on the other side of their backyard. It was a rectangle. A floating white rectangle with rounded edges hovering between the neighbor's patio and their fence. She could see both the top and the bottom of it, see the empty air beneath it as it lazed about around two feet in the air. The object had a texture too "like a poster board with a sheet draped over it", only the bottom didn't drape the way an actual sheet would if stuck over a board. The size was probably comparable to a poster board as well. It was seen by my mother drifting along the length of the patio and, upon reaching the end of said patio abruptly vanishing.

          Weird, right? Well, it gets even stranger because my sister has seen a similar object in the vicinity of the same neighbor's backyard. Her encounter occurred about a year ago as she too was sitting in our parents' backyard during the middle of the afternoon and happened to look up and see what she thought was a man in a white t-shirt crouched over in the narrow alley between their immediate neighbor's fence and another fence. But that white t-shirt was also all she could make out. No skin, hair, nothing. Now, in that part of the yard there are plants that could obstruct certain details so she didn't think much of it at the time. Curious that maybe this was someone working on one of the fences she went to go see who this stranger was tromping through their backyard (you can't access the alleyway without first passing through my parents' backyard). Only, when she gets to the fence nobody is there. Mind you this alley is maybe a foot and half in width, not super easy to maneuver around in and with no point of entry other then my parents' yard or the neighbor's two doors down (which you would see if someone had made it down there).

          Many I'm sure would be quick to dismiss both of the above as a case of mistaken identity. Maybe someone was out there with a poster board, someone that my mother failed to see. The neighbors do own a white dog and maybe some trick of the light caused the animal to look so peculiar and perhaps some man did manage to get away from my sister despite having nowhere to run and nowhere to hide (which would be in itself somewhat bizarre). Barring these theories though, what then? Let's examine some common themes. Both women described seeing a white object with cloth-like texture and movement. Both women say they saw this thing during the day and both times it was seen along the boundaries of their neighbor's backyard. The white drapery brings to mind the stereotypical Halloween sheet ghost or those fraudulent old séance photographs with the trail of "ectoplasm" spilling out of the medium's mouth, but I don't know of any example where such a ghost has been seen in earnest. The daylight thing doesn't necessarily mean much, although the fairy my mother saw was also seen during the afternoon. Perhaps these objects are related to that somehow? To me though the most interesting factor in all this is the things affinity for our neighbor's fence. Or perhaps it's not an affinity. Maybe it's somehow anchored to that place and the fence is simply the closest thing to freedom it can achieve. Which then makes me wonder what's going on next door.

         It's also worth noting that up until I really started to think on it, our first impression ("our" being my mother, sister, and I) was to blame the former neighbors because they seemed like the type to get drunk and do something foolish like play around with a spirit board. However, this is admittedly little more then catty speculation although, to be fair, one of them was a raging alcoholic. Maybe they opened the wound for these new people to rub salt in.

          See, for most of my life that backyard has been incredibly innocuous. It's only in the past year that any sort of high strangess has been witnessed out there, at least by my family. And my family is outside a lot. If this had been going on for longer then the past year surely someone would have noticed something before now. So, what has changed in the last year? My best guess would be the neighbors themselves. Granted they've actually been in that house for a couple of years but in that time frame I have noticed a few things happening over there that to me have the potential to create great amounts of spiritual energy and if I had to put forward my best hypothesis it would be that whatever is in the backyard is the physical manifestation of abuse and neglect. See, there's this woman over there all the time. I don't think she lives there but she's there constantly. She's skinny. Too skinny, the way a drug addict or someone with an eating disorder might be. She once locked her young son out of the house during a snow storm and the whole neighborhood could hear the boy scream in distress. I know CPS has been over there. Clearly something is not right. I personally suspect drug abuse. So yeah, between the addiction or mental illness and the parental neglect there's no way some negative energy hasn't been built up. A sort of depressed poltergeist then, as I don't get the impression that whatever is in the backyard is malicious. Just trapped. Like how an addict or an abused child might feel. Or maybe this is a preexisting being attracted to human suffering . Of course we also have no idea what's happened, if anything, inside that house. There could be a lot more to this phenomenon then just a floating rectangle.
          As I stated at the beginning, there's little to go off of in terms of comparable events so the theories are numerous, open ended and while writing this out has given me time to come closer to a working theory I'm still left with more questions then answers.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Nobody At the Computer

A couple of days back my mother got up around five or six in the morning to use the restroom and noticed what she described as the sound of a talk show with a male host playing from somewhere in the vicinity of the family computer. Well, being that both my sister and dad work nights and often get off around this time it is quite common for someone to be at the computer this time of day and so my mother didn't initially think anything of it. After coming out of the restroom though and still hearing the same voice she decided she might as well go greet whoever was up and that's when she realized nobody was there. She checked the adjacent kitchen to see if perhaps my dad and sister we in there talking but again, no one was there and by now the voices could no longer be heard. Slightly miffed but mostly just tired my mother ultimately decided to shrug it off and return to bed.

These sort of phantom sounds are fairly common in their house, especially around the kitchen and computer area. I know I've talked before about all the mysterious footfall both my sister and I have heard coming from the kitchen and the strange things that have transpired around the computer (see last entry). A time slip seems like a reasonable explanation but my mother, only half joking, purposed that perhaps since everyone spends so much time at the computer maybe we've simply created the world's lamest residual haunting!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Lana Loving Ghost and the Bathroom Door

Because I work nights and get easily bored at my own apartment I often spend my days (and nights) off at my parents' house, frequently staying over until three, four, or even five in the morning. I'm usually the only one around, mind you, with everyone else either at work or in bed, so I have both free reign of the place and the freedom to recognize when something in it is amiss. Which, for me at least, is actually not too often. My sister and mother have had way more experiences here (see links below), but I have been witness to a few oddities over the years, including watching a camera take a photograph by itself and hearing inexplicable footfall. In the past couple of months however I have encountered a couple of peculiarities that will be the feature of tonight's entry. Neither one is particularly epic but when you spend enough time in a place you come to understand when something is off, and both of the following stories had that feeling of off-ness.

Lana Loving Ghost
My mom had gone to bed and everyone else was at work so it was just me messing around on the computer. I had Windows Media Player open but paused so I could go listen to a couple of songs on Youtube. Well, at some point I had to use the toilet, so I paused Youtube, got up and went into the bathroom. I kept the door open because I was feeling lazy and nobody was around and it was while I was sitting there that I suddenly noticed music. It was coming from the computer, and it was loud enough for me to recognize as Lana Del Rey. Now, I knew I had paused everything and that the volume on WMP was set loud, and if it had been playing while I was on Youtube I definitely would have noticed the confusing mashup of music wailing from the speakers. I could swear that when I left that computer though everything was quiet but sure enough, when I returned to it WMP was open and playing Lana Del Rey. Now, granted I did have it on shuffle and it is theoretically possible that somehow it was playing the entire time I was on Youtube but I promise you that when I walked away and entered the bathroom there was no music issuing forth from this computer.

The Bathroom DoorAgain with the bathroom!

This story is a lot shorter. Basically, I got up to use the restroom and the bathroom door was closed. Sounds stupid, right? Well, just hear me out. That door is never closed unless someone is in there (and sometimes not even then). My first though was maybe my mom (who was the only other person in the house) had done it but I never heard her get up to use the restroom (and trust me, when you're sitting in a fairly small and possibly haunted house at one in the morning you can't help but notice every single last sound, even with music playing. Not once did I hear that door close) and I seriously doubt I had done it. The idea of closing the bathroom door after I exit isn't even a part of my muscle memory. It just doesn't happen here. Of course there are a myriad mundane possibilities as to why that door was closed, but more then anything I just think it was odd that I never heard it close (and it's an unmistakable sound). Be it human or ghost or even a draft, that door should've made a sound.

Are these the most compelling of stories? Probably not. And I know they aren't great arguments in support of ghosts, but they really did happen to me and they really did put me off.

Basically, how the Super felt in the Bathroom Boys episode of T&E's Bedtime Stories is how I felt during both of the above encounters.

Now, for those interested here are some links to far more interesting encounters had within these walls:

The Orb

While in the basement my sister witnesses a mysterious orb floating around.


My sister again, this time hearing a bizarre hum outside the living room window.

Knock, Knock

My mom, dad, and sister all have run ins with something mysterious at the door.

Something in the Trees

My mom sees a highly bizarre creature hanging out in the apple tree.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Black Eyed People in Kansas and MIssouri

If those of us living in the heartland believe ourselves immune from the terror that is BEPs then think again because I'm here to tell you from personal experience (see below-"The Strange Light and the Stranger") that no one is safe from these malicious humanoids. Yes, the BEP do indeed walk amongst us and as evidence I present to you a collection of true encounters gathered from around the web and literature that all take place in either Kansas or Missouri (including two from this blog).

Happy reading!

The Strange Light and the Stranger

Three women (including yours truly) have a brief but memorable encounter with a black eyed man in the Crossroads district of Kansas City, MO (see second half of entry).

The Blue Eyed Man

There have been a few accounts of BEKs first appearing to have strikingly blue eyes before changing over to the pitch voids they're all known for. Is that what a woman (my sister) was encountering when she locked eyes with a strange man outside a thrift store in Mission, KS?

Black Eyed Man in Walmart
A mother and daughter cross paths with a man who has bizarre eyes and even more bizarre legs in a Eureka, MO Walmart.

Another BEM in Walmart

Another peculiar, black eyed man with an odd walk seen this time in a Kansas Walmart.

Something about those MoKan Walmarts...

And yet another encounter with a BEM inside a Missouri Walmart.

Black Eyed Kid at the Door

A women comes face to face with a creepy little girl in Lawson,, MO.

And from David Weatherly's The Black Eyed Children (which I can't recommend enough) comes an experience had by a sheriff's deputy working in the Kansas City, MO area. Around 2 AM the officer, having just finished up with a domestic disturbance call, was sitting in his car when he noticed two children standing on a landing several doors down. He called out to them but the duo ignored him as he approached, despite the fact that they were looking right at him. The kids looked to be around eight to ten, one boy and one girl, with pale skin and old clothes. When asked if they were alright all the boy would respond with was "We want to go inside". Getting a closer look the officer realized that the two of them had completely black eyes. Concerned they were ill or on drugs the officer again asked if they were OK and again all the boy cared to lament on was that "They wont let us inside". The Deputy knocked several times over, trying to get some answers, but around the third try realized that the kids were no longer around. Searching around the yard failed to produce the children and soon enough an elderly woman opened the door, assuring the officer that she didn't know anything about the children. A sweep of the neighborhood also produced no results.

Know of any other MoKan encounters with BEP? Please, I'd love to hear from you!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Three Forty

For the past couple of weeks I'd been struggling with what to write about next. I had some things lined up, but they were minor and didn't feel quite right for what I wanted to write about, so with these internal conflicts in mind I decided to voice my struggle to my mother.

And as is so often the case thank goodness I did because of course mother knew best!

Thanks to her I was reminded of a story I heard quite a bit growing up. Not just any story too, mind you, but one that creeped me out quite often when I was little. In fact it was so spooky to me at the time that how I neglected to recollect it up until this point is beyond my understanding, but there you go. However it's all come back to me and now, in turn, I can share it with you!

To give you some background, my great grandmother on my grandfather's side was, to put it mildly, an eccentric woman. Prior to my grandfather she'd given birth to a stillborn daughter and the resulting trauma was so great that she spent the rest of her life rather unhinged. Not only was there an air of resentment towards my grandfather (she really wanted that daughter) but the slowly stewing PTSD from the stillbirth resulted in an eventual hoarding of dolls. Dolls just everywhere. And not necessarily nice ones. Any doll she came across, no matter how threadbare or dismantled, was another one for the collection. Everywhere there were dolls. Every bare surface, even the stairs, was lined with dolls. Only the bathrooms and kitchen were spared. This was the sort of woman she was. Oh, my mother liked her and she in turn quite liked her granddaughters, but there was definitely an air of ill adaptation to the woman. Yes, and to top it all off she also quite looked down on her son for marrying a woman that she felt was beneath his station. The whole situation was, as you can imagine, quite tense.

Well, towards the end of my great grandmother's life one of my aunts moved in to her house in the Westport area of Kansas City to help care for her and in turn the home was bequeathed to this aunt, with the stipulation that she continue to live in the house after her death (all the while completely bypassing her immediate son in the will). However, after her passing this aunt instead chose to sell the house. Now, while no one knew the exact time of her death it was estimated to be some time after three in the morning and upon my aunt's decision to sell the house whenever my mom and her sister would go in there to fix up the place they'd find all the clocks, rather digital or analog, stuck on 3:40. This was the estimated time of death for my great grandmother and for quite some time, no matter how much resetting anyone did to those clocks, they'd come back in to the house and the clocks would all be stuck at 3:40. My mother also reported a feeling of being watched whenever she was in the house.

It's also worth noting that, prior to her death, my great grandmother also spent quite a bit of money on a tourmaline ring that, after passing, completely vanished from this Earth. All her other known possessions were accounted for, even others of significant value, but this one ring was never found anywhere amongst her belongings, nor her safety deposit box. It was if it had just disappeared.

The house was eventually sold to a couple my aunt knew, with no subsequent reports of abnormal activity. However, that's not say that no paranormal activity transpired. Certain people just really aren't in tune to the other world on any level and so of course would fail to notice any atypical activity in their home.  I can't help but believe my mother when she says that if anyone failed to move on, it was that woman. And who can blame her, especially after her last will and testament was violated in the name of profit? I for one find it most amazing that the posthumous activity in the house wasn't grander or more malevolent then it was.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Terrestrial Terrors : The Westport Rapist

Some of our most frightening experiences don't involve ghosts. They aren't close encounters with reptilians or black eyed children. They're the ones involving our fellow humans. The ones where one bad decision leads to dire consequences. The ones where we are powerless against nature. And unlike encounters with the paranormal, we've all experienced these terrestrial horrors to varying degrees one way or another. From the shuffle of feet outside your window to staring down the barrel of a gun, human beings are fully capable of creating their own horror show without any help from Mothman or flying saucers, and I thought it would be interesting to showcase some of these unnerving but not supernatural experiences from the people I know.

Hope you find them as interesting as I do.

The Westport Rapist
          Back when my mother was in college (the late 70s to early 80s) she lived in the Westport area of Kansas City. At the time our family owned pretty much an entire street's worth of property and my mother roomed in one of those houses alongside a friend. One night the two girls were winding down in the front room, drinking beer and bullshitting before bed. The room was set up so that a daybed sat in front of a window against the southern wall, and it was in this daybed that my mother was currently sitting with my mother's friend opposite to her on the floor.
          It was late November into early December and while there was snow on the ground the day had been unseasonably warm and because of this the girls had decided to open all the windows in order to get some fresh air circulating through the house. As they sat talking, my mother's friend suddenly stopped, lowered her voice and said "Sue, call 911" Nonplussed, the only reaction my mother could manage to muster up was "why"? My mother, whose back was to the window, could not see what the friend on the floor could. "Just call 911. There's somebody looking in the window behind you". Mother froze, unable to reach the phone, but luckily the friend was able to keep cool and dial the police, which frightened the man sufficiently enough to leave him scampering into the night.
          When the police arrived they found footsteps leading from the window to the adjacent alley but no sign of the peeping tom. More unsettling though was the officers' assessment that it was probably a local serial rapist who the police were desperately trying to catch (several rapists have been bestowed the "Westport Rapist" moniker over the years).

This is one of the most unsettling scenarios to happen to someone I personally know. Luckily it could've also been a lot worse and I'm just grateful the quick acting friend was there to scare off the creep.

Monday, November 23, 2015

A Fae Circle?

          With that above being said, this is the point in the opening where I was originally going to discuss my trepidation over claims of psychic power, but the more I thought about it the more I decided that my grandmother's visions were no more a stretch of belief then the myriad ghost stories I've already featured on this blog and that I, especially as a paranormal writer, need to keep an open mind...
     My grandmother on my mother's side claimed some degree of psychic powers. It was reputed that she could discern past lives simply by looking in to your eyes, could open her third eye to other plains of existence and possessed the ability to channel spirits. Stored away in her old room there's even a stack of papers written while she was supposedly channeling the spirit of her favorite author, Mark Twain. Personally, though, I'm not sure what to make of these myriad claims. Certainly I know my grandmother to be anything but a liar. If ever there was a thoroughly no nonsense sort of a creature, my grandmother Rose was it. Which was (and continues to be) one of the reasons I love her so much. There was no messing around for that woman. I'm not even sure she had the capacity to lie. So whatever she said on any subject, I believe that is what she believed.

          Rose was out on the back porch of Rosehaven, enjoying the sunrise hours of morning. The early air was crisp and fresh as she took in her first coffee. But despite the newness and refreshing disposition that was (and is) supposed to be a hallmark of the hour Rose could not help but notice that something was off. It was in the air. A sound. A certain tinkling of bells and chimes. She looked around but failed to pinpoint a physical source for the music so, in her resolved sort of fashion simply decided to look in another realm for the music. It was that simple. She just leaned back in her chair and opened her third eye to the otherworld as nonchalantly as the average human would scratch their nose. And it was there, in that other realm, that she discovered the source of her morning's interruption, for before her did there prance about a ring of Fae folk. It's not the easiest claim to accept, I know this much to be true. But there was, apparently, some physical proof to my grandmother's somewhat outlandish proclamations. For in place of where she claimed to see the Fae  dance there really did grow a circle of violets beneath the elm tree that dominated their side yard. Granted that, yes, Fae rings do traditionally involve mushrooms and not violets but perhaps we don't know everything there is to know about otherkin such as the fae (and flowers do of course take up a huge role in fae mythology so it wouldn't be at all surprising to see them included in the remnants of their revelry). Like everything else I blog about though, it's ultimately up to the reading to decry bullshit or not on what I'm writing about. To each their own, you know?

On a different note though, audible activity has started to pick up at my parents' tonight. My sister has been plagued by a myriad shuffling of feet and general creeking of the home as if my dad or myself are walking around after work (which sounds distinctly different from the simply settling of the property). In fact it was so profound the other night that my sister was ready to call 911, so convinced was she that some human entity had broken in.