I experiences something recently that reminded me of the fear I felt growing up.
I was visiting my parents home while they were away. The whole house has seen less use that previous years due to my parents having bought a second home to be closer to my sister and her newborn. There was a thin layer of dust covering everything in the house especially upstairs where my siblings and I had our rooms as kids.
Our rooms were nothing more than remnants of what they use to be, mere storage rooms or mostly empty since our departures.
I had spent most of my nights on the couch in the game room upstairs rather than sleeping in the top bunk of the bunk bed in my room, next to the window with the sliding door closet at my feet. I never truly felt safe in my room when the quiet of night set in. The game room had been my safe haven though even here I did not truly feel safe, with the overlook into the living room and double glass doors to the balcony.
Why exactly was I afraid of this place? Was it all of the windows and threats outside? Could it have been the bathroom mirrors which once a Ouija board had told me the devil awaited within? Perhaps it was due to the antiques that cluttered the house with unknown history surrounding them. I just feel like I'm being watched when I am there.
On this particular weekend I had brought the boys and was actively exploring the upstairs for anything that I could possibly give to them that was fun during my childhood. When I went into my sister's room to see what it's current state was in I found that there was a few scattered items, a TV on the floor with a DVD player atop it, an art portfolio and A chair upon which rested one of those dolls that crawls and turns it's head.
I was immediately distrusting of the doll and felt that the lay out of the room was mildly disturbing all together. The past of feeling of being watched all those years returned and my eyes moved to the sliding door closet which always remained slightly ajar. Miscellaneous items sat within the darkness of the closet but It felt like something waited just out of sight observing me somehow.
I took this as a sign that it was time to go and took the boys down stairs into the living room to load them up in their seats. In the living room stood a female mannequin with an uninterested expression facing forward. I had mistaken this mannequin for an intruder when I had first arrived and now it felt more like I was the one intruding upon it's peace.
Having finished the preparations for departure, I gather the boys and went to exit through the entry hall. At the bottom of the stairs sat a picture in which a young boy was kissing a equally young girl on the cheek. Despite the actions of the boy, the girl looked forward at the viewer expressionless. The eyes seemed to follow me as I moved past it and out the front door.
I made it to my car and departed without incident.
Of all the mounting terror of this visit, I found that turning out the lights in each area starting at the further most upstairs was the worst. It feels that the darkness was chasing me, licking at my heels, waiting for that last light so that it can make the move it has been waiting to make the whole time.