It all started the summer I moved into my new house in Herndon.
One night, while sleeping in my bed, I heard my name yelled out very loudly, as if someone was just outside my bedroom door. Startled, I jumped out of bed, heart racing, and opened my bedroom door to see if it was my roommate yelling for me. Nothing. I could hear him snoring behind his closed bedroom door across the hallway. I looked out my bedroom window. Could someone be calling me from outside my window? I peered outside. No one. It must have been a dream.
A month later I woke up at the sound of my bedroom lamp shade wobbling furiously back and forth, squeaking as it moved. What the heck? I looked over to my bedroom window. There was no breeze that night which could have moved the shade. I tried using my fist to pound on my night table to see if I could replicate a vibration that would make the lamp shade wobble. The pounding barely made the lampshade move at all.
Sporadically, every few months, strange happenings would continue to occur. My TV popped on one night with no explanation.
Another night, as I slept, I could “see” through my eye lids an older man, with a white beard, wearing a white flowing outfit, tentatively reaching his hand toward me, as if he wanted to touch my collarbone out of curiosity. I awoke with a start, sharply swinging my arm across the air in front of me in order to swipe away his reaching hand. My novel and my eye glasses, which had been sitting on top of my bed, went flying across the room as I swiped.
“What was THAT?” I thought to myself. Was that just a dream? It sure didn’t feel like one.
On a Thursday evening, I woke up for no reason other than just having a “sense” that someone was in the room. There was no other explanation — just a “feeling.” I sat up, and calmly said out loud, “Is anyone in here?” I said it twice, moving my eyes about the dark room. I started thinking to myself that this stuff must be starting to get to me. I just put my head back down and went to sleep.
Up until this point I had never spoken about any of this to my roommate. But three days later we were eating dinner in the kitchen and he started to tell me about this “strange thing” that happened to him in his bedroom a couple of nights prior. He said he felt something pushing down on his chest as if someone was laying on him. It woke him up and it scared him so much he said he started to pray.
“Wow. Really? What night did that happen?” I asked.
He told me, “Last Thursday night.” It was the same night I “sensed” someone in my room.
Right there and then I told him everything that I had been experiencing. We swapped stories.
The following month he told me he was going to invite a friend over to the house. This friend was supposedly some kind of “seer” who would be able to tell if any entity is associated with our house. Being a person who is not particularly superstitious, I reserved judgment, and remained skeptical.
My roommate invited his friend over for dinner one night and did not tell him about any of our strange experiences. He walked his friend through the house, under the pretense of just showing him around the home. Sure enough, the clairvoyant dinner guest indicated to my roommate that he could sense a presence, possibly a young person. He did not sense that this person posed any danger.
From there I decided to start doing a little research. I tried researching the previous owners of the house — of which there were two — to see if someone had ever died in the house. I spoke to a couple of long-time neighbors (trying not to give away my secret) to see if they knew anything about the previous owners. I looked online, but could find nothing. There was just no obvious, logical — or illogical —explanation.
Sometimes long periods of time would go by with no occurrences. My roommate and I would sometimes say to each other that “our friend” must have gone away.
After two years of quiet, I felt my bed shake one night. At first I thought it was the normal brief vibration that I would sometimes feel when my roommate slammed the front door too hard when he came home at night. But the vibration did not stop. It continued to shake a bit harder, and I felt the need to hold on to my bed. What is going on here? I closed my eyes tight and said to myself, “Are you done yet?” Then it stopped. It seemed like it went on for two minutes, but in actuality it was probably only about 15-20 seconds. I went back to sleep, convincing myself it must have been a dream.
Not too many weeks after that, I opened my eyes one night to see a grey silhouetted figure, standing at the foot of my bed. There were no features, just a grey human shaped silhouette. It was the first time I had been scared. I tried to scream but I could not get anything out of my mouth. My heart was racing and the adrenaline felt like it was shooting out of the top of my head. The silhouette just disintegrated like a mist before my eyes, as if it went “poof.” Gone. I laid there for a while with my eyes open until my heart settled down.
The next day I went back to the Internet to see if I could find any information about what used to be located on my property before my house had been built there. I found an old satellite photo from the 1950s. As expected, the land surrounding my house had once been all farm land. But located about 100 yards directly behind where my house now sits, I could see there used to be one single house, sitting in the middle of an open field. Was that house possibly a farm house for the surrounding property? Was there a family cemetery anywhere near the house? It was hard to tell given the grainy nature of the old photo, but my curiosity continued to be piqued.
Not too many weeks later, my TV again popped on unexpectedly during the night. While telling my roommate about the latest event, I lamented that most of the events seem to happen in my bedroom and I wondered why. He said, ”Oh, no, it happens to me too.” He told me there were a couple of instances in which he walked through the living room and swore he saw someone sitting there in the corner of his eye, but when he turned his head to look it was gone.
He also told me that he had recently been watching his own television when the volume started scaling up and down wildly. It went up to maximum volume and then dropped down quickly to no volume, racing up and down, over and over again. He grabbed his remote and furiously tried to control the blaring TV. He watched the volume hash marks on the screen going up and down. He could not get it to shut off, continually pressing the volume and the power buttons on his remote and on the television itself. He finally unplugged it. He later had a repair person look at both his TV and his remote control. They found nothing wrong with either.
On another day the same incident happened to him again. This time, instead of trying to push the volume controls on his remote, he wondered if it was “our friend” at play. He yelled out loudly, “STOP IT! Stop it right now!” With that, the fluctuating volume stopped.
A haunted house story: Fact or fiction?