So we bought a haunted house in Madison, Wisconsin.
A wise financial decision.
Yet, throughout the four and a half years we lived there, I never saw anything.
I heard things and I felt things but I never saw anything.
At the same time, around the time we bought the house, my dad was about to lose his fight with cancer, my cousin had been recently diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and my terminally-ill mom on perpetual-hospice would need me to step up as I’m an only child and there was no one else to do the stepping if my dad was fading.
And she was my mom. And she had been a great mom. So it was my honor.
In any case, I was incredibly distracted. A parade of ghosts with their own poltergeist marching band and zombie cheerleaders could have floated and stomped through the house in front of me and maybe I wouldn’t have noticed because… my world was already crashing down around me.
After I brought Mom home so I, with the support of Agrace Hospice and a team of amazing relief CNAs, could provide her with the luxe individualized care she needed and deserved at the end of her life,
the unexplained activity in the house increased.
I listened attentively to the stories of the respite caregivers who would greet David and I with wide eyes as we’d later return home in the evening from a respite outing.
Everyone had a story.
But, as my world sped up, and our house’s activities increased, I still never saw anything.
However, David did.
There were two physical encounters David had which made it clear we were now living on a different plane of activity, and they both happened within a single month’s time.
One night, I was sleeping soundly in bed when David gently shook me awake.
This wasn’t something my husband would normally do so my eyes blinked open and I irritably turned to face him.
He was lying on his side, turned towards me, and I first noticed his face was completely drained of color. He was so pale that, even in the dark of the room, his skin seemed to glow.
He also looked a bit green.
I thought he was having a heart attack or a stroke or something else incredibly upsetting and dramatic.
The fact that he just kept looking at me, drained of color, scared me. Since everyone else was dying at that time, I was pretty sure now he was dying too.
But then, David, in a casual yet strained way, said, “Look to my right. Do you see anything?”
Feeling a bit dazed and weak from the situation I had woken up into, and also happy for some instructional communication, I sat up in bed and looked to the right.
Nothing was there.
I looked back down and reported this to David.
Hearing my statement about the coast being clear, David then sat up in bed and slowly turned to also look to his right.
I watched his slow actions and was still certain he was suffering some sort of physical emergency and remained poised to dial 911.
I’d never seen my husband behave this way.
After a few minutes, his color and speech slowly returned and eventually he started to describe what he had seen.
I was so happy he wasn’t actively dying and that we were not on our way to some hospital, I hung on every word as if he was doling out spiritual food and I was a starving heathen.
He told me that he had woken suddenly in the night and he didn’t know why.
He simply opened his eyes, looked forward and saw a figure standing at the foot of the bed.
It was a young male who was wearing a dirty white shirt with its sleeves and sides cut out, and he had his back half-turned to David, as he was also staring forward, in the direction of the opposing wall where a mirror hung.
He just stood there, staring at the mirror.
David said that he woke up and saw this and felt his eyes had to have been playing tricks on him in the dark. Because it looked like someone was standing in our room and that simply couldn’t be true.
So he literally rubbed his eyes, blinked a few times, shut them, and opened them once again and…
the man was still standing there.
This is about when he melted and decided it was time to get back-up. Without taking his eyes off the figure, he reached out and shook me awake.
Yet, David glanced down after I made my first muffled grunt-groan, and, when he looked back up to where the young man had stood, he now saw no one.
So, by the time I became fully conscious, David had sunk back down into bed and had turned his body to face mine.
And this is when I saw his green face.
Over time, my husband has downplayed this. He says that he must have been half-asleep and just imagined what he saw.
He theorizes that he must have mistaken the robe and hoodies hanging on the closet door hook for being… a young man with distinctive clothing staring at the wall.
I mean, I didn’t see anything so I can’t back him up either way.
At the same time, I’ll never forget the way David looked when I woke up, and the panic in his voice.
He didn’t seem half-asleep.
Yet, my husband is a fan of the “Let’s Just Lay Here and Pretend It’s Not Happening” approach whereas I am of the “Let’s Grab the Baseball Bat and Make What’s Happening Stop” camp.
He is not someone who enjoys getting all freaked out by spooky noises or strange happenings. He’d rather just ignore all of it and reasons it will go away if given enough time. On the other hand, I’ll be up, scuffling around in the dark, poking around, making it clear that this as of yet unexplained phenomenon will be rigorously investigated and, if necessary, addressed with brute force and/or professional counseling/crisis training.
And then if a human trespasser or rational explanation is not found, then and only then will I relax and feel it’s somewhat out of my hands.
Usually, I’m assuming someone has broken in and we’re in mortal danger. Once I establish that’s not the case, I relax. To me, other humans are far more scary than ghosts.
And, if they truly seem to be malevolent ghosts, then I’ve got my nine years of parochial school and am happy to inform whatever dark spooky bullshit that they best just get right back down into hell because Jesus is coming for them.
I expect the worst and I have an approach for it, or at least I think I do.
But David? He has no real interest in any of it.
So it was really something for David to start to seeing shit.
And, not only that, but it was really something for David to start seeing shit and then feel compelled to tell me about it.
He was really being pushed out of his comfort zone.
It’s like the house ghosts knew this and were giving him an especially hard time.
Seeing my husband’s terror freaked me out and worried me, but, as long as that disappearing construction worker wasn’t standing there at the foot of the bed LOOKING RIGHT AT US,
it wasn’t necessarily something to stress about.
I mean, maybe he had never seen a mirror before and he was all “Ga-damn.“
Nothing to worry about.
Or at least that’s what I believed. If you see something and it’s looking elsewhere… awesome. They can just go on being them, and keep on looking elsewhere.
If you see something and it’s looking right at you?
So I felt able to downplay this sighting and David was very happy to rationalize it away and life hobbled forward.
Until one sunny day a few weeks later when the other freaky thing happened to my husband.
He had been in the basement doing laundry.
At the time, I felt this was noteworthy in itself.
And I was walking through our living room when David surprised me by suddenly opening and appearing in the basement doorway and he again looked green.
The sun was streaming in through the many windows of our first floor which made what I saw that much more disconcerting. I again thought David was having a heart attack. I again braced to call emergency workers.
But he flatly asked,”Were you just downstairs.”
David continued to stare at me with his scary face and my mind raced to understand what was happening.
And my husband just continued to stare at me. I then slipped seamlessly into crisis worker mode: “David. What’s wrong.”
But he didn’t respond. Rather, he stepped into the room, closing the basement door behind him, and walked slowly over to our couch where he then sat down.
And he told me what had happened.
He explained that he had just walked down into the basement to do some laundry. He bent down to set the baskets on the cement floor next to the laundry machines and then straightened.
He stood with his back turned to the basement stairs.
And someone from behind him then placed their hand on his left shoulder.
It scared the shit out of him.
But he claims he quickly smiled and turned, thinking it was me because I am a “creeper,” a claim which I take issue with, but I wasn’t there.
No one was there.
It was just him and the laundry machines and the empty basement with its odd red color scheme.
So this is when he ran back upstairs.
To this day, he will tell you about how that hand on his shoulder felt.
He was wide-awake this time. And it wasn’t something in the air. Rather, it felt exactly how it feels when someone sets their hand on your shoulder as if to say, “Hi there.”
David didn’t feel the grip was threatening or malicious. He truly felt it had been me, resting my hand on his shoulder to lovingly freak him out.
Let the record show that the reason he thinks I’m a creeper is because I simply don’t move like an ogre so I don’t make a lot of noise when I walk around the house. My mom’s drill sergeant training of “HEEL-TOE! HEEL-TOE!” still echoes in my head when I walk.
In any case, I don’t know who had soundlessly grabbed his shoulder that afternoon and neither does he. I only know that I’ve never seen my husband look the way he did after those two alleged encounters.
After the basement incident, his color slowly returned to its normal shade but he still seemed more freaked out than I’d ever seen him.
And we had been through some things.
Seizures, for instance. In case you didn’t know, I’ve been epileptic since age twelve and I did not outgrow it. So David has witnessed a few tonic-clonic/grand mal seizures which are incredibly traumatizing both to the person being electrocuted and anyone witnessing them. Yet, when I have regained consciousness in his presence, he has always been right there, appearing calm, reassuring and collected.
In addition, he had also been standing at the side of my dad’s bed when my dad died. I fell to my knees, stunned. And then I went into some kind of Other Place after I called the funeral home and they came to collect the body.
But David was solid throughout all that. His face stayed its normal color and he remained verbal.
Throughout all of the upsetting, scary, traumatizing real-life happenings, he never looked how he did on that sunny afternoon or on the night which had preceded it.
It chilled me.
At the same time, I still didn’t feel the activity was part of a concerted paranormal effort to make us move out.
Rather, I felt the house was just expressing how happy it was that we had moved in. After all, we had been only the second family to move into that old house.
And it had so much to show us and share. 😺
But I was soon to experience my own freaky encounters and, though I didn’t see the bedroom apparition myself, I am not as willing to dismiss the construction worker standing in his work boots at the foot of our bed as being a figment of sleep because I’m pretty sure I had a run-in with him or someone on another sunny afternoon that had yet to come.
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4 thoughts on “What David Saw”
Can’t wait for the next episode! Although it’s a little freaky, I’m sitting here by myself Hilly!!!!
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Eek! I’ve just started working on the next episode… maybe about ten more to go! Today’s episode (it’s Sunday) freaks me and… well, I’ll try to finish it before dark so you’re at least not reading it and sitting alone in the night. 😂😘
I love this story.
I have never experienced anything, but have heard stories from people that I trust, like yourselves, that make me wonder. Wild!
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That’s so great to hear, Lucas! Thank you so much for reading. Poorly rendering Microsoft Paint rooms with a mouse pad almost ended me. 😂 That house was… so wild. And yeah I’m a skeptic too. And afraid I’m just hearing things.😂 But I’m definitely not the only one who experienced stuff… in a couple days I’ll have the stories of the hospice caregivers! Love to you!