One night two weeks ago, my wife stayed up while I went to bed. When I fell asleep, I had a scary dream. I was in a house I didn’t recognize in the dead of night. My wife was there, and there were also two other people I didn’t recognize, a man and a woman. I felt like someone was outside the house, trying to break in and hurt the four of us. At one point in the dream, I went to the bathroom. When I returned, my wife was gone and the two other people were standing in a corner of the living room, facing the wall. I walked up behind them and prepared to turn them around, knowing I wasn’t going to like what I saw. Then I woke up. It was about 2 or 3 in the morning, my wife was still up, and I really had to use the bathroom.
After using the bathroom and talking to my wife for a bit (which always helps me feel better after I have a freaky dream), I returned to bed. Now keep in mind that I’m one of those people who have great difficulty sleeping with all the lights off. I prefer to keep the lamp by my bed on at least until my wife comes up to bed. Well, the lamp was still on when I laid back down and closed my eyes. A few moments later, I heard what sounded like someone hissing just over my face. In my semi-dream state, I imagined that someone was standing over me and I freaked out. When I opened my eyes, there was nobody there…but the lamp was out and the room was flooded in darkness. I tried turning the lamp back on, but the bulb had blown out.
I reckon the light must have made that weird hissing noise when it died, and the sound was somehow amplified by my brain in its semi-dream state. I turned on another light across the room and tried to go back to sleep. Minutes later, I started feeling a muscle cramp in my lower left leg. If I didn’t know any better – and right then, you could have convinced me that I didn’t – I’d have thought someone was actually touching me where the muscle was cramping. That’s when it occurred to me that I might have a visitor from Duat. I gave serious consideration to going downstairs and sleeping on the futon in our guest bedroom, which is often what I do after I have a bad dream in the middle of the night. But then I got mad and decided to stand my ground.
“Now look here,” I said to whomever (or whatever) might have been there with me that night. “I’m trying to sleep, so leave me alone. And you’d better leave my wife and my cat alone, too. This here’s our house, by Gods, and it’s protected by Seth-Typhon and Ishtar. If you try to harm us in any way, They’ll smack the shit out of you. There’s nothing anyone can do to harm or frighten Them, and anyone who messes with Their children is messing with Them too. So you’d better just watch yourself, there, and let me go back to sleep. And no more nightmares, either!” Then all the weird things that were happening just stopped. Everything went back to normal, I fell right back asleep, and I slept pretty comfortably for the rest of the night.
In retrospect, I realize I might have been a little too hard on the “visitor”; if a spirit was indeed trying to interact with me, perhaps it was just curious or trying to say hello. (Granted, the wee hours of the night are usually the best time for spirits to do this, since we’re all closer to Duat when we’re asleep and dreaming.) Aside from the nightmare I had, there was really nothing to indicate that the spirit was malevolent (if in fact there was any spirit at all). But I really didn’t like the idea that it might be causing my leg to cramp up by touching me – that hardly seemed friendly – and it was also 3 o’ clock in the damn morning. I had to get up for work in three and a half hours, and I just didn’t feel like tolerating anything spooky at the time.
Still, this isn’t the first time I’ve had something weird happen in our house. When we first moved in, there was a day when a friend came over to help us paint the living room walls. At one point, I carried the paint trays down to the basement to wash them out in the laundry sink. The basement was still empty, and there was only one working light bulb down there at the time. I had to stand with my back to the stairs as I washed the trays, and suddenly, the hairs on my neck stood right up. I could sense someone sneaking up behind me, and I immediately assumed it was our friend trying to play a trick on me. (It seemed like something she would do.) In an attempt to turn the tables on her, I swung around and went, “Oogah boogah!” to surprise her.
But there was no one there.
I was alone in the house once when I suddenly heard footsteps in the hallway. Sometimes the cat causes that noise when she gets high on catnip and starts racing her shadow, but she was sound asleep on this occasion. Another time, I had learned something about one of the people who lived here before we moved in. I was telling my wife about it and the house started making noises as if there were heavy winds blowing outside (even though it was actually pretty still in the neighborhood that night). It was as if the house were responding to what I was saying. Other times, our cat sits by the basement door and meows incessantly…as if she’s talking to someone on the other side. I also see things in the corner of my eye when I’m lying in bed. I keep thinking it’s the cat walking across the opposite side of the room, but when I look, there’s nothing there.
I’m not sure if we have a resident ghost who’s always in the house with us, or if we just have spectral visitors every now and again. (These phenomena aren’t constant; they only happen every once in a while.) Technically, I’m not absolutely sure there’s really anything paranormal happening here at all (aside from when we invoke our household Gods, of course – but that’s substantially different). All I know is that nothing’s happened yet to suggest there’s any real cause for alarm, which is why I wonder if I didn’t overreact in the situation from two weeks ago. Still, it’s nice to know that whenever such activity makes me uncomfortable for any reason, all I have to do is mention the names of our Gods and it stops immediately.