Pinned down and struggling against a powerful unseen force, Theodore soon realized resistance was futile. So, in utter desperation, his body expelled a blood-curdling shriek. Just down the hallway was his step-mother. Startled by the cry for help, she quickly regained her senses and bolted in the direction of his room.
About ten minutes ago, Theodore had just woken up from a rocky night’s sleep and was just staring at the ceiling in deep thought.
“I was awake and just lying there thinking about those distressing footsteps that I heard again late last night. My parents said it was just the house settling,” said Theodore.
The late-night show of footsteps had become a nightly affair and the “house-settling theory” was something Theodore wanted to believe. But he couldn’t because of one problem.
“Anytime the footsteps woke me up at night, I would whisper to myself over and over, it’s just the house settling. But those dreadful footsteps would make their way towards the spot on the ceiling, just above me, and stop. Point blank over my head. It couldn’t have been a coincidence.”
Theodore could almost feel the phantom walker above staring down on him. It was a heavy, thick and chilling feeling. His best defense was to put the blanket over his head and force himself to sleep.
The light of the day had already crept into the room and after a few minutes of contemplation, Theodore knew it was time to get his body in motion.
But something else, something unseen, something evil and something very, very strong had other plans.
“I went to get up and just as I lifted my head and upper body, something forcefully pushed me back down, slamming me against my bed. It gripped both sides of my chest, as if someone had placed their open palms on each side of me.”
Theodore writhed and wiggled, trying to break the grip. But he couldn’t. It was just too strong.
“I came to a point of desperation, similar to someone who had been treading water for as long as they could to avoid going under. I felt like I had reached a point of no return so I gave out a loud desperate scream for help.”
As soon as Theodore’s step-mother rushed into the room, the unexpected happen.
“I couldn’t believe it. It immediately let go of me. I didn’t think it would ever let go. It was pushing down harder and harder.”
Theodore told his mom what had just happened. She looked at him in a calm reassuring way and told him not to worry because it was just a bad nightmare. He eagerly agreed despite knowing he was fully awake at the time it happened.
“Whenever I tell people this story they immediately tell me it was sleep paralysis. But sleep paralysis happens when you are between the stages of sleep and wakefulness or vice versa. I was awake for a good ten minutes. I know what I felt. It wasn’t sleep paralysis.”
Theodore had a tough time forgetting the harrowing event of that day, but within a year or so, he began to remember it only as a frightening dream. Years later, his step-mother revealed to him the truth of that day.
“She told me that she believed my story back then because she was acutely aware that there was something malevolent in the house. She just didn’t want to scare me any more than I already was, so she told me it was just a nightmare.
A couple years had passed and Theodore, like most young teens, wanted his own room. The only problem was that there were only two places to go: the cellar or the attic. The cellar was a poor choice. The attic would be ideal because it already had an empty bedroom up there.
But freedom would come with a heavy price.
“I remember asking my Dad for the room upstairs and in the back of mind, all I could think about was what might be up there. And why in the heck and I’m asking to go live up there with it. I knew it was a crazy idea but I really wanted my own room and I was willing to face whatever was there.”
The attic’s length spanned from the east end of the house across to the west end. The first two-thirds of the attic, going from east to west, was just a typical New England-like attic, composed mostly of wood and insulation. But the final one-third of the attic contained a room accessible by a narrow entryway that held no door.
The room itself was innocent enough. But on the north side of the room was a small cubby-hole, big enough for an average adult to fit through, that led to an even smaller room.
And possibly hiding something sinister.
Next time: Theodore comes face-to-face with “it” and more.