The Imagination of a Child

Okay, first of all this is a true story. In fact, it’s not a story it’s a true series of events. A series of dreams I used to have, as a child. Every child has nightmares I know. But mine freaked the hell out of me and the friends I told. So much so its lead to me writing the story and sharing it with the world.

It began in which I dreamt that I awoke. I woke up in my room, only things seemed off as they often do in
dreams. Things wouldn't be in their right location and the colours seemed dingy and dark and it was deadly
silent... Then I would realise I was dreaming. Some of you may be aware of the term 'Lucid Dreaming' in which the dreamer becomes aware that they are in fact dreaming. But this was different. It was like my dream wanted me to be aware. I know that’s hard to understand, hell how can it want you to...? But I felt it, along with a fear that swept over me. And every time I had it I would sit in my bed afraid to move and stare at the stairs with my door open. I would always sleep with the door open due to this scary dream and this realism would follow me into my dream state. I would pinch my skin to see if it hurt and it never did so I knew I was dreaming. This happened many times, but it only got weirder and much worse as time went on.

One time I awoke. I weren’t sure if I was dreaming or awake and I was lying in my bed. Suddenly the stairs
made a creaking noise. I looked over and I stared intensely. There was the noise again. It was as though
someone was walking up the stairs. The top step was the only one that made any noise. I knew this as I often sneaked up and down them in the night, going to the toilet. I sat there in bed and stared at the step. It creaked again, I was looking at it and it did not move, yet it made the noise. I sat frozen in bed, eyes wide. It continued and it wouldn't stop. I turned over and tried to ignore it. But it just continued. I sat up and pinched my arm.It hurt. I was awake. This went on for half an hour or so. Then suddenly it stopped. So I got up, went to the bathroom and tested the step. It creaked just as it always did. It freaked the hell out of me and sleeping that night became very difficult. Luckily no other dreams followed that night.

However, it didn’t stop there on that night. I would continue to have this 'Lucid Dream' in which I woke in
my room. I was always afraid; there was something spooky about my house and my room. Those stairs were something I needed to get away from. I would wake, feel like I was dreaming, walk around maybe grab a book off my shelf to test the reality. If I read a title or page, looked away and looked back, the text would change if it was a dream. This was another trick I had figured during this stage to test if I was really awake. And often I wasn’t. And I would pinch my arm. Then once I realised it was a dream I would run. Not down the stairs though. I would run at my window and smash through it. There I would fall towards the street and wake, my heart pounding almost out of my chest from the experience.

But it got weirder still. Just like my dream wanted me to be aware of something. It seems it didn’t want me to escape. My lucid dream changed its plan. When I awoke in my bed in my room I would lay there, like I was half asleep. I would then consider if I was having the dreams, eyes shut still trying to sleep. And so I decided I would check. Only when I opened my eyes, and tried to raise myself up, I could not. I was stuck, paralysed in my bed. I could look around and see the dingy tint of my dream room. I tried to call for help. Maybe my parents would hear me calling from downstairs. Only when I tried to call it was just noise. A groan or mumble would be formed and the louder I tried, the more disturbing it would sound. It was just a horrible, inaudible groan. The fear in me rose further. When I would awake from these dreams I wouldn’t go straight back to sleep. I would lay there in bed, heart really going for it. I was scared to my core! I alerted my parents to this regular occurrence. Of course, they were just dreams. I was told nightmares can’t hurt you so to fear them was silly. Well my experiences didn’t seem too silly. It seemed very real, and I couldn’t test to see if they were or not.

What scared me most was that occasionally at a sleep over I had these dreams. My friends would witness
them and laugh at me, see it as humorous in a mean childish way. I would moan and mumble and almost
scream aloud in my sleep. I could see them watching and giggling at me. But my eyes were closed. At least
that’s what they said. But I could see them in the room watching and I could hear everything that they said.

Only I was paralysed and unable to move. My imagination must be good my parents and other adults told me and others mentioned it. But it didn’t make me feel any better.

One night one of the worst cases of it all occurred... one of the things that still haunts me to this day and
forced me to write this story. I was in my room and I awoke, I was paralysed and afraid. I tried to sit up but I couldn’t. I moaned and grumbled a scream. I wanted to get out of my bed, just get up and escape through my window. I pushed hard and tried to raise my body, and slowly, it rose. Only I was limp and almost paralysed. My vision was skewed to one side, like my neck was broke and my head was dangling. I stood and shouted aloud in an eerie mumbled screech. I hobbled over to the stairs. My walk was slow, as though I was not in control of my limbs. They seemed mangled and broken. I weren’t sure if I could reach the bottom of the stairs or not. I took my first step, tripped and tumbled down the stairs. I could hear every bang and feel every break. I lay at the bottom, a mess of broken bones and then I awoke!

I was back in my bed, heart drumming as always, and I sat there breathing heavily. Only something was off.
It seemed strange. My room had that dingy look to it once again, like the colour had been drained from the
scene. I raised my arm and pinched it with two fingers... nothing. Maybe I wasn't doing it hard enough. But no matter how hard I pinched it, it did not hurt.

I ran for the stairs. I shot down them so fast. The landing was in pure darkness. On the right, my parents room, on the left, the stairway that led to my living room. I could see a flicker of light emitting up those stairs that would lead down into my living room. I ran to them and paused at the top. The glow was from the TV screen, it was flashing light randomly as static bounced across the picture. And apart from that it was pitch black in the room. I didn’t dare head down the stairs, it seemed too freaky to even consider heading for it. Trying to get out of the front door, out of the house and escape what was in it was out of the question. My suspended reality of the dream world had kicked in slightly and it did not occur to me that those parents were dream parents who could not advise or help me in this cognitive work of horror. I ran into the room and it was dark. I scurried onto their bed. There were two bumps under the quilt where they lay. I nestled between them. I hoped for some comfort but I gained none. They were stiff, like manikins, and didn’t move as I nudged them. And before my attempts could continue, the door creaked open. I looked in horror as I waited for something to enter.

It was so dark in the room; it was hard to tell what was going on. But something was there. Like a shadow or a figure stood in the dark. And then it spoke. Its words were demonic and hard to understand. My memory of them is unclear but I remember the message it carried. It said it was invisible. And it laughed and mocked my fear, saying it was pointless to be scared now. It had friends that were there too. At the foot of the bed and it felt like they were children, ghost children. I couldn’t see them. I just felt it, like an idea or image that was persistent in my mind. He said hiding or running was futile and that I should go with him. I had to be shown, to see what he was trying to tell me. I'd had enough. I closed my eyes, slammed them shut. My parents words echoed in my mind, dreams can’t hurt you. Therefore if I couldn’t see what was happening and they couldn’t hurt me, what would I have to fear if I closed my eyes. I shut them. It went quite...dead silent.

I kept them shut. I couldn’t feel my body so I had no awareness of my hands or legs. I tried to raise them with my eyes shut but they seemed to be nonexistent. It stayed silent and foolishly I listened. Then there was a sound. It was faint at first, but just like the gentle twist of a volume knob, it rose up and became clear. It was a child. A crying baby and its cries were getting louder and louder. Not like it was getting nearer to me, just like a volume switch. It became intense and I wanted to peek from under my eyelids to catch a glimpse of what was there. Why was there a baby? Why was it crying?? I'll tell you now I didn’t look. I dared not. I just waited as the cries became louder and louder until....I awoke in my bed. And you bet your ass I pinched hard and clear on my arm this time. It hurt like hell, and I did it again to be sure. I stayed up all night that night. I put on a video and watched it till the sun rose. I never saw the figure in my dreams again.

In recent years of horror movie watching one thing stood out to me and always spooked me... it was the time which events occurred. When I placed that video in the VHS player I looked at the clock to know when my parents would wake and I could go down stairs. It was always around 3am.The dreams of being paralysed continued. Only sometimes I would get up and make it to the window. If I got through it I would be free and my lucid dream would allow me to make fun of the world outside of my home. If I could get out, it would be okay and my nightmare would become merely a playground until I woke. This would mean I would complain less to my parents of these fears and I would sleep easily at night.

But the dream would fight back. The breaking of the window would become difficult. It made it seem real and I would pinch to test and try and wake up. But the time wasted in the room was time in which it grew spookier. I wanted out. The darkness would flood in from the landing and my escape was outside that window. I ran at it till it broke and often in my waking hours I feared one day waking and running at it for real, hard and in fear to escape, without checking if it was a dream. As I grew older I feared the room less and escaped more and more. This meant that the nighttimes became less and less distressing.

Occasionally I would come home from school at the end of the day. I was older now, the dreams sacred me
less, but the images haunted me. I would be alone and I run to the bathroom to relieve myself. Now this may
not appear as scary as it was, but I assure you it scared the shit out of me in more ways than one. I would sit
to, you know, carry out my business. We didn’t have a lock and I would use a door wedge to secure the door if anyone were to arrive home and enter. At the very moment I begun on the toilet the door would move and it would bang. Be struck from the other side and the door wedge would slide slowly out from underneath the door. I was helpless, relieving myself on the loo. I couldn’t get up due to my business and it seemed stupid to do so. But it would continue. The door would be hit over and over. I would shout to see if anyone had arrived home. They hadn't, and I would watch to see what was going to render. Nothing did. The door would just remain open. And there would be me, literally plopping where I sat. I would finish and spend the rest of my time watching TV in the living room until my parents got home, scared out of my mind. And I swear, maybe it was in my head, I heard bumps from upstairs too.

Anyway, if you've been following this far, you may be looking for a conclusion to this little "bullshit tale". A
blowout finale that will surely conclude it all in some "insidious" style rip off. Well not quite. But you will get
your dessert.

I live in a small town and recently the newspaper articles of the past 100 years or so have been placed online
in an archive viewable to the public. My sister found quite an interest in reading these articles only to find
one quite chilling story of our house, one that brought back these memories tenfold and left me with many
sleepless nights thereafter. Even now, typing away at my computer I feel the chills. Luckily I no longer live
there or I'm sure something would come flying at me from the shelf above. Anyway she stumbled upon an
article dated "February 1972" and titled "Wife jumps to her death". It was a story that ran in the papers for
three weeks. A woman had jumped from the top floor of her home and after her husband had pursued her
with a make shift weapon. Inside the home were their three dead kids. The man later got drunk and ended his life in a nearby canal.

The thing that scared me to my very core was the details found in the following papers. The man had
systematically abused his wife and this had led her to kill their children. Once he discovered the bodies of
his children, he lost it entirely. In a rage, he searched for his wife. She hid in the bathroom with the door
locked. He continually beat on the door. The evidence shown was the bruises in the wood, and the bent lock mechanism. It appears he failed and took rest in the living room, where he made his weapon. A spear like object shaped from wood. She must have peered into the living room when he was mid construction. (The TV was reported by the neighbours to be very loud at the time of the incident and was stuck on static). From here she must have foreseen her fate and headed upwards for a chance to escape... the top room. Forensics and police determined a long drawn out period between when the bathroom incident occurred and when the final events unfolded. This was concluded from reports from neighbours and evidence from the scene.

She contemplated on the stairs what to do. Paralysed with fear, she waited on the bed. There she sat until
he ranted and raged up the stairs after her screaming "You ready to reap what you sow" and the profanities
which followed. In her final minutes she chose to end her own life. She threw herself through the window,
smashing it and falling 40ft to her death.

The similarities to this event and my dream are uncanny; the TV on static, the banging on the bathroom door,
the stairs creaking. It scares the hell out of me to think that was her deciding whether to jump to her death or
to face her husband and his rage. The banging on the bathroom door, which was him, trying to get in! What
scares me the most is being paralysed. Some mention a condition of 'Sleep Paralysis' in which the dreamer is
paralysed, either from a semi awoken state, or dreams where they lay awake but unable to move. In other
versions, a witch sits on the chest of the dreamer, leaving them unable to move. What scared me the most
out of this is the thought that my paralysed state was a result of her sitting on the bed, on me, waiting for
her husband. Finally she seeked the same freedom I did. To be free from that horrible house, free, out of that window. And the mangled broken me, may have been her. Her soul that wondered her death site still mangled and broken.

These events had unfolded there, and remained forgotten in the tales of the past. Until I as a child were shown them by an invisible dark shadow of a figure who could only laugh at the fear that dwelled within me. Much like those children in that room must have felt from there crazed mother.

I no longer have this dream and have never returned to the house. I've passed its location, but I have no desire to return. What helps me sleep is thinking that maybe it is a coincidence. It may have just been a series of dreams, horrible disturbing dreams which were spawned fresh from the over imaginative mind of a child. I just hope they don't resurrect in me once again. I can say that they were some of the scariest moments of my life.

Believe this story, or do not. It happened to me. Whatever it was that happened. I’ve heard ghosts contact you in your sleep. And children are more susceptible to these kinds of things. I’m undecided due to fear of it being real. I’d like to hear your views though.

Recieved in an e-mail from Stu B. Share your thoughts in the comments.

8 comments:

  1. MorkTheMighty said...:

    Holy shit. I've had bad nightmares which caused me to go without sleep for 4 nights at one point, but nothing as bad as this. It could be a coincidence that your dreams are related to this story in ways, or maybe you've heard about the article before and you didn't really know you were hearing about the article, but your brain registered some of the information and transferred it into your series of dreams. Either way, I hope these dreams don't come back, goodnight, sweet dreams

  1. Abbi Johnson said...:

    This reminded me of a dream I once had.
    I was sleeping at my grandfather's house at the time... and beside his house was a pale, white house with it's paint peeling. I was playing in the backyard in the dream... swinging on the swing-set Grandpa always kept in the back just for us kids. Around lunch-time, I went inside and sprinkled some of Grandpa's Sweet&Low on a stick of Rhubarb I got from the back... And I walked outside, munching down on my lunch.
    I glanced over at the white house, and I was frowning. It was... calling to me, or something. So, curious little girl I was, I walked up and inspected the house. Not stupid enough to go in, I sat there with a sense of foreboding...
    Until I felt two people behind me. Shoving me in. I didn't want to go. I didn't WANT to be in there!
    And the door flung open to reveal a skeleton in tattered clothes staring at static-y television screen.
    This scared the shit outta me.
    I twisted and turned, but the people behind me shoved me in further, with whispers of, 'You have to go...' 'You don't want to disappoint, do you?'
    And the skeleton stood up, walking toward me... arms outstretched...
    I didn't wake up until it grabbed me, bone-y fingers digging into my little shoulders and lifting me up high, tossing me about like a doll.
    When I woke up, I climbed out of bed and ran up to Grandpa, asking a thousand questions about the house next door, tears streaming down my face.
    He answered me.
    A man had lived in the white house, this man was dead, and had been for awhile now. He and Grandpa had been friends. This man had been in the army with him... but didn't make it through.
    He hadn't wanted to join, either. And Grandpa had asked him why he'd joined... and the man said, cryptically, 'Couldn't let them down, could I?'
    Grandpa said that he'd never exactly specified who 'they' was, and he'd assumed that he meant America... or the other people being oppressed at the time.
    But I was pretty sure that, by 'they', he meant two entities that were certain that I had to go where they thought I should.
    So... I relate to this.
    I never slept in the room facing that house again.

  1. Ignacio Tampe said...:

    I had a collection of dreams like these too. Maybe I'll write a creepy pasta about them someday too

  1. Imari Tu said...:

    This reminds me of my past years and current years... I'm 12 and technically that isn't a child, but my dreams always seem to be so lucid and real.

    Of course, I'm not gonna be scared about it for like 5 years, I get over it from at least 3 days, but whatever creepy image I had, and I can sense it like its behind me and the events that happened, usually the small ones, always seem to happen, idk y, though.

    Anyway, it's always gonna be that feeling of paranoia and nothing more:)

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.
  1. I've had Lucid Dreaming before, not really nightmares, I've only had 1 nightmare before, although they were mostly me in anime stuff, I know weird, but recently they've been real-life dreaming, I bet we all wanna forget at least 1 kind of dream, or nightmare at some point. Anyway, I'm 13, and I get your story, and it is true that kids are aware about those things, even me, but I keep thinking, you should keep moving on, even if it's hard to forget. Also, my sis says that maybe if your having dreams that are similar, maybe they're connected somehow in someway, you just gotta solve it, like this is a puzzle, so yea.

  1. Usually I solve the question of why I'm having the nightmares during the last 'episode' as I dream them in an 'episode' sort of way.

  1. Elle Milne said...:

    Dreams are a collection of memories, or past thoughts, just anything that you've witnessed or done really. But I personally think that if no source of energy can be destroyed,then neither can souls. I think our souls are a force, like gravity, it's just there, no particles or atoms or anything, I think troubled souls must look for another body to inhabit and to tell their story, or whatever they want really, like in the way we, as the living, get pleasure out of telling people our ideas or significant thoughts or opinions. So maybe, this soul inhabited your body because you were just an easy pick, maybe they wanted you to sympathize with them.

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