To take a much needed break from all the hot topics that require and evoke heated debates here on News24, I thought I’d share some spooky, creepy, and disconcerting experiences I’ve had of late. Whether you are a believer or not, this is my interpretation of what happened, the reality may be quite different...
I recently moved into a new house, well, not new but new to me. The house was built around the mid-seventies so it’s not too bad on the ‘creepy’ meter, its actually very pleasant. Whilst searching extensively for properties, I have come across many, many eerie places, some just give you the ‘chills’ when you walk into them. You have wonder how anybody ever stayed there and maintained their sanity.
The worst could be houses that once belonged to single old ladies, I hold a secret fear in my heart for these places, especially those with a dreaded cellar. While these feelings cannot be explained or measured by science, I’m sure many of you may know exactly what I'm referring to.
Nevertheless, the place we moved into has a huge yard, the entire property is over 1000m2 with the main house situated closer to the front and across the length of the property. At the very back of the yard is a double garage with a storeroom and toilet built on.
Now this may be fine in itself but when you are in the garage it almost seems as though there’s an air of solitude surrounding you, as if there is not a sound with not a soul around. Behind the garage is a 5m space to the back wall with trees and some old garden refuse, its normally totally dark in this area at night. Although you can barely see light over the wall into the one neighbours yard, this area maintains its darkness for some reason.
Now that the scene is set, let me detail the strange events that occurred here. I love to play pool, I play league and it was one of my desires to get my own pool table at home. The problem originally was that it was either a bed or the table (even if my wife had let me get the table instead as I had planned, we’d still have to play with our cues at some very awkward upward angles).
Naturally, when I got this place, I quickly went about procuring one. Unfortunately, the only place to put the table was down in the garage because the entire house, save for the kitchen and bathroom areas, has wooden floors which is not exactly conducive to a level pool table. I could spend hours banging about the balls and pulling off fancy things that never seem to work when it really counts.
I would often practice in the garage alone at all hours until one night, I heard an awful noise coming from the darkness behind the garage. I don’t know if any of you have ever seen a program called The Haunting, it details peoples accounts of what they suspect is supernatural activity. Now most of it is laughable, it is really a collection of peoples own interpretation of what happened (much like my story) which is understood and remembered by them based on past experiences they’ve had in their lives.
Basically, we would all probably interpret certain events in different ways. Worse still could be group experiences, where they convince themselves and after much discussion and debate the decidedly grotesque picture of the depicted events becomes reality in their minds. There was however one particularly unsettling episode, this details the presence of a succubus, a female demon that preys on male victims.
While this may sound like (or possibly is) hogwash, this guy had video evidence (who can dispute that right?). Firstly, in the black of night he heard this awful screaming, what could actually be described as screeching. So this brazen dude decides to go out and try to find out what is making the noise, he walks to what looks like a wooded area in the pitch dark armed only with his trusty video camera.
Now I don’t know about many of you but I for one would not venture out into the blackness, I don’t know if it’s because we South Africans are afflicted by a general fear of the dark and all the real dangers it holds or because it’s just downright damn scary. He describes this screeching as being constantly just in front of him as he walked and really, the video seems to show this. He also describes the screeching as neither human nor animal, that’s exactly what this noise behind my garage can be described as.
Do you think I grabbed my non-existent video camera and went rushing off to investigate? No Sir! I think we’ll eventually just have to put this one down to a cat mating with a rabid squirrel of sorts.
Now I’m not one to fear anything, I cannot think of one single thing that I am utterly afraid of, not snakes or spiders or the rats or roaches, wary of things yes but no ma’am, not afraid of a thing. The second event was a rather odd one, I was down playing pool in the evening (I had totally pushed the previous episode out of my mind) and from where the table is situated I can see out through a narrow gap between the trees and the palisade fencing in my neighbours front yard to the intercom on my neighbour across the streets wall.
Just by chance I glanced through this gap and saw someone (or something rather) walking in the street. Now this is interesting because our street is really quiet so for someone to be walking about at this hour is unusual. I waited for the shadow to pass my driveway gate (the gate is slatted so the shadow will show) but nothing! I took a brisk walk up the driveway hoping to catch a glimpse of this person somewhere in the street and guess what, nothing! Could this be put down to a trick of the eyes? All the neighbours houses were dark as well so it probably wasn’t a midnight visitor of the real kind.
The next incident occurred not long after this, again I was down in the garage playing pool, I had just finished and was locking up when I got this strong scent of a wet dog. I’ve grown up amongst big dogs so I know this scent well. The trouble is, there is not a dog for at least 30m either side of the garage (and being a smoker, my smell wouldn’t detect anything that wasn’t literally right in front of me) and it had not been raining. The previous owners had had a big dog but they’d immigrated and god knows what they did with the poor dog, hopefully he’s living a happy life on a farm somewhere and is not now residing in his still present kennel right outside the garage!
Not to bore you with all this, the final episode happened this past weekend, again I was down in the garage (I’m sure by now I don’t have to tell you what I was doing) and was startled by my wife suddenly appearing in the driveway. She stayed a bit and played about two games (which I won of course) before the little one started crying causing her sudden departure. I looked at the time and it was before 6, it was still fairly light at this point. I promised myself a last game because realistically, six hungry cats and a bird don’t feed themselves.
I played the ‘last’ game and I enjoyed it so tremendously that I promised myself what would in fact turn out be my last game. With anyone who plays pool, you’ll know that the stroke (no dirty jokes please!) is quite important, if not the most important. Before I break, I always look back at my grip hand to make sure that my wrist is not turned in any way which could affect my shot. I did this and everything was fine so I pulled back, ready to deliver a mighty blow to the rack but the cue stopped dead as if it had hit someone in the stomach.
I turned around expecting to see my wife but nothing. I cannot put this down to anything and it may sound trivial but for those of you who have ever played in a crowded bar and accidently (or purposely) bumped the back of the cue into a fellow patron, you will know exactly the feeling I felt. I continued but ended the game quite quickly, making no promises of another ‘last’ game. I bravely went back down later that evening but the whole experience had unnerved me to the point that I simply could not get my mind straight.
Every time I looked out the back window of the garage into the pitch blackness, I wondered if something was perhaps, unbeknownst to me, watching my every move, peering back at me from just beyond the window. To make matters worse, I kept picturing something coming around the garage from the darkness just as I had my back turned for the break, chilling stuff indeed…Suffice to say, I don’t hang around there much when the sun is setting anymore...
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