This takes place in Addison, Illinois between ’93-’95. My wife and I were just married and moved into a one-bedroom apartment on the third floor. Almost immediately I sensed something odd about the place. Not a big deal, just a presence. I think we, as humans, are such domesticated specie that we have developed this sixth sense over the years. Especially when someone/something is creeping around our domain.
I’m a late nighter and my wife is the complete opposite. I would tuck her in around 9-10 PM and I would always be up till at least 1 AM. At night I would see something shadow-like scoot across the living room.. Always going towards the bedroom. I never really paid much attention to it, thinking it was an illusion. That was that. Until about 6 months after we moved in.
We had a one bedroom apartment but the place was laid out big. They could have easily fit another bedroom and a half bath in the place. The living room and kitchen were huge. The bedroom was way more space than we ever needed; to top it off there was an oversized walk-in closet in the room. The building wasn’t more than 35 years old at the time.
A prelude to this story since I was 17-18, I have suffered from this sleep disorder called Night Terrors. You probably have heard of it. If not, it basically is a condition of waking/un-waking from a nightmare/dream and acting out your dream for real. It really is different for everybody. For me when I was younger, it was really bad. At age 17, I once had a nightmare that me and a friend of mine were walking through an abandoned truck depot.
I climbed into the back of one of these truck trailers until I got back to the end of it. Then I turned around and the door shut behind me. I heard an engine start and then a whir-sound. In the darkness I knew what was going on, I had walked into a trash compactor and the wall was closing in on me. Now, the thing is with these night terrors, for me anyway, is that I am as lucid as hell. Only, I’m in this terrible situation. In this dream I screamed my head off, yelling every expletive I could think of to get my pal, Charlie to get the compactor shut off.
I finally found a handle of some sort at the end of the trailer and started to wrench it up and down, in hope that it was a door of some sort. In reality what I was doing was standing on my oak four-post bed. The handle in my dream was actually the far post on the right side of the bed. Five inches thick at the base with a steel rod running through the middle.
I was bending the thing back and forth as if it were a small tree branch. The base of the post completely splintered and ruined. Never underestimate the power of your mind or adrenaline, together they can deliver a wallop of strength. In this case it was misguided to say the least.
My dad kicked the door open (I kept it locked it back then). Both my mom and dad calmed me down. They honestly thought I was getting murdered. All the screaming I was doing in my dream, I was actually doing for real. I looked outside my window a minute after they woke me up and half the block had their lights on. A few of them were on their porches wondering what all the commotion was about. Looking at the splintered post and steel rod the next morning, I tried to bend it but couldn’t even budge it.
I realized that I could be a potential threat to somebody someday. I started to tell myself before I went to bed every night that I wouldn’t hurt anybody for real. After my teenage years of angst and indecision the night terrors calmed down a bit. They weren’t as violent, but more weird. After we were married, my wife would wake up in the middle of the night and collect me from the living room while I was having a one-sided conversation with an imaginary person, in the dark (and completely naked BTW hahah). I don’t remember any of this.
OK, sorry for the long history sidetrack. Most of you have probably went on to other things by now. Back to six months after we got married and are living in this apartment and my wife is trying to deal with this sleepwalking/night terror activity. One night I have a dream/night terror/sleepwalk of an old woman in our walk-in closet.
The details escape me know but I remember an old woman in the closet. I got out of bed and was talking to her about this and that. I remember her asking if the laundry machines were still run-down. In addition, I also remember saying something to her. That’s about all I remember. My wife claims that she had to manhandle me out of the closet and I was rambling about and old lady. OK, so up until now we have only me and only me.
Well, this is where it gets a little creepy. One night I have a terrible night terror, it is the dead of winter and in my dream I am standing in my bedroom. I see that the walls are closing in around me, just like the trash compactor years before. Let me tell you, people, it is really a horrifying experience to think that you will actually be crushed to death.
The thing with the night terrors is that the reality factor is ten-fold. You just don’t wake up, wipe your sweaty brow and say, “whew, that was scary!” You are in the throws of a major panic attack! What I remember distinctly was seeing the old woman in the corner of the room, crouched down from the walls coming down and smiling at me. The three walls in my bedroom/mind, were closing in unison.
We had one window in our bedroom, a four by three foot window that looked 30 feet down. I ran for the window, ready to dive straight through it (anything was better than being crushed, right?). My wife, who thank GOD was a light sleeper AND used to my nocturnal habits, was watching me the whole time, sitting on the bed.
When she saw that I was headed for the window, leaped off the bed and tackled me in mid-stride. She is a small woman and I am a somewhat large, built guy. I have to give her major credit for that tackle and also, for saving my life (or saving me from serious injury).
OK, so if you are still with me, the two things that stand out here are: a) old lady again… b) I have never (my subconscious) put myself in a position that I would harm others or myself.
So this is where my lame story heads in the paranormal direction. The next night after my scary incident, I came to bed. Later, i noticed the walk-in closet light was on. We kept the door closed out of habit, but the light was shining under the crack. Alright, No biggy, I must have left it on. Turned it off. Next morning my wife tells me that the closet light was left on. Huh? OK, a fluke, right? Well, this goes on for a few weeks.
We both figure it supernatural or a bad light switch. My electrician buddy checks it out. Nothing wrong with the switch or the circuit. Also, he points out to me that the switch is a heavy flip switch, needs a good amount of resistance to flip it either way. I wanted to videotape the switch actually flipping, but being young and broke, we didn’t have a camcorder back then.
Along with this phenomenon, we had weird feeling in the closet. When we moved, I vacuumed the closet out (one of my last choirs in that place). I felt very, very creeped out. The 2 minutes it took felt like an hour. I was glad to get out of there and that damn light switch. Adios old lady.